Brief History of the City of Perth
The City of Perth in Western Australia was officially founded on the 12th of August, 1829, by Lieutenant Governor James Stirling on King George IV’s 67th birthday . It was later proclaimed a city in 1856.
Prior to settlement Aboriginal tribes were custodians of the land. The first known Europeans to have explored the Perth area prior to settlement were firstly the Dutch in 1697 lead by Willem de Vlamingh and then over a hundred years later by the French in 1801, lead by Nicolas Baudin.
In 1829, soon after Captain Stirling and the first settlers landed in the new colony, John Septimus Roe (Surveyor General) laid out the first initial plans for Perth. He envisaged St George’s Terrace as being the main street of the colony, being idyllic located near the Swan River foreshore. The street would in time feature some of the city’s grandest commercial buildings. Many of the important settlers also laid claim to the street and built their residences along the terrace including John Septimus Roe. Click here for more History of Perth.
Things You May Not Know About Perth
The City of Perth is the most isolated Capital City in the World.
Originally Perth was to be established at Cockburn Sound or alternatively Point Heathcote, however, Lieutenant Governor Stirling, disobeyed the advise.
Engineer-in-Chief, C.Y.O’Connor , had his office in the Barracks Arch looking down St George’s Terrace. It was from the office above the arch where much of his planning for the Goldfields Pipeline was carried out.
The Swan River’s shoreline was originally located on The Esplanade. All the land (which is now mostly parkland) was reclaimed. Now, thanks to the Elizabeth Quay development much of that reclaimed land is back to being part of the Swan River.
On the corner wall of the Treasury building along St Georges Terrace is a plaque and “zero” marker indicating the location where all Perth distances are measured from. The location was originally Perth’s General Post Office.
Rumour has it, that when St George’s terrace was extended to Adelaide Terrace, it was directly in the path of John Septimus Roe’s house and one of his prized trees. Being the Surveyor General at the time, he simply made amendments to the plans, hence the small kink in the road near Victoria Avenue.
The Swan River was named after the native black swans.
The City of Perth is divided into five precincts: The Central Business District (CBD), Riverside, West Perth, East Perth and Northbridge.
His Majesty’s Theatre is the only Edwardian Theatre still existing in Australia and was the first building in Australia to constructed of concrete and steel. The theatre featured a dome roof which was designed to slide open to reveal the night sky.