Stroll through Mandurah's history
Halls Cottage in Leighton Road, Halls Head (cross the inlet from the town centre and head north) was built in the 1830s, restored in 1975, and is one of the first dwellings in the state.
The National Estate register records that 'This vernacular cottage is built of local limestone with a high hipped roof and two verandahs, front and back. The interior walls are made of rough untrimmed limestone blocks and rubble held together by lime mortar and limewash. The interior features pit-sawn floor boards, and open fireplaces. The buildings is typical of the period.
The original owner, Henry E. Hall, was the first person to develop a fishing industry in the Mandurah district. Halls Cottage is now a museum of local history.
On the corner of Pinjarra Road and Sholl Street is Christ Church which was consecrated in 1871. The cemetery attached to the church includes the grave of Thomas Peel the founder of Mandurah. Near the church is the anchor from the James Service which was wrecked off the coast on 31 July 1878 with a total loss of life of all passengers and crew. Many of the bodies which were washed up on the beaches in the area are buried in the church cemetery.
One of the delights of the area, although access is extremely difficult, is Cooper's Mill which is located on Culeenup Island and is only accessible by boat.
This was the first flour mill in the Murray region. Joseph Cooper built it by collecting limestone rocks and, every morning, sailing them across to the island. Cooper began work on the mill in 1843 but he was killed in an accident before it was completed in 1850. The mill was used for only a short time. A combination of floods and bushfires effectively brought milling operations to a halt. It was used as a smokehouse for curing fish and then in the 1950s it was restored. The result is a beautifully white washed building. It is possible to visit the mill as part of the MV Peel Princess tours of the Inlet and Town Waters.
Joseph Cooper obviously had a great ability to build structures which stood the test of time. Cooper's Cottage, on Mandurah Terrace, dates from 1845 and was once used as the Travellers Wayside Inn. It is now occupied by a local business.
Or go on a guided heritage walk or cruise
This free leisurely walking tour is 1 hour in duration and runs on Fridays and Saturdays at 10am during spring and summer. The tour commences at the Mandurah Visitor Centre and finishes at the Mandurah Community Museum.
The Foreshore Heritage Tour provides information on the history of Mandurah’s pioneer settlers and an accurate portrayal of life as it once was. The informative narration showcases the past, the present, Mandurah’s indigenous cultural history, places of interest, pioneer families, their homes and their stories, community art installations and much more.
Or let Mandurah Cruises take you back in time on their Heritage & Cultural Cruise.