The Mundaring & Hills Historical Society is responsible for the care of two reserves in the Shire of Mundaring. Both reserves are important to the history of the Shire. Two separate friends groups assist the Shire of Mundaring in maintaining the reserves, especially with weeding. Volunteers for these two groups are also welcome, and if you are interested please contact us.
Jane Byfield Reserve
Corner of Great Eastern Highway and Homestead Road
The road between Guildford and York was developed in the early 1830s and by 1839 a military barracks had been established at Mahogany Creek to provide protection to travellers on the York Road. By July 1841 the military presence was withdrawn and the government decided to sell the barracks, together with 320 acres of land (Swan Location 97). Brothers William and Robert Habgood purchased the property in 1842. Prior to the sale, two reserves were created within Swan Location 97 just to the east of the barracks. These reserves, numbers 880 and 881 were gazetted for the use of travellers using the York Road. The larger reserve 881, on the southern side of the road, was set aside for camping and stock use. The smaller reserve 881, on the northern side of York Road, contained a well. This well was dug in the bed of Mahogany Creek. For settlers travelling with stock these camping reserves were very important as they represented a place where they could rest, water their stock and stay overnight.
The Habgood brothers established an Inn in the former barracks and sold it to Edward Byfield in 1844. Edward, together with his wife Jane ran the Inn (which he named the Prince of Wales) until his death in 1863. Jane then ran the hotel with her second husband James Gregory, until her death in 1871.
In 1995 both pieces of land still remained as public reserves and the Historical Society was successful in persuading the Shire of Mundaring to have reserve 880 named after Jane Byfield.
In 2007 the Historical Society took over the care of Jane Byfield Reserve and continues to maintain it with a very small group of volunteers.
Mundaring Cemetery Reserve
1 Yarri Grove Mundaring (Off Great Eastern Highway at Railway Terrace)
Mundaring Cemetery was gazetted as a burial ground in 1906. Prior to the development of the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board each local council was responsible for maintaining their own cemeteries and trustees were appointed to run a cemetery and pass by-laws. The first trustees for Mundaring Cemetery were Matheison Jacoby and Henry Weston, local landowners.
The earliest burials took place in the Anglican section of the cemetery and the earliest headstone that survives is that of Albert Lemmey who died at the age of three 1916. The next recorded burial was that of Private Gordon Jacques of the 28th Battalion. Gordon had been gassed during World War 1 and returned home for care, dying shortly afterwards in January 1919. His brother Freddy carved the timber enclosure that surrounds the grave.
The Mundaring Cemetery ceased taking burials in 2007, although ash internments still take place.
The Historical Society formed a friends group for the cemetery reserve in April 2010. The specific purpose of the group was to help eradicate weeds that had spread to the eastern portion of the reserve and to prevent cars driving through the cemetery and damaging the pioneer gravesites. The society has assisted with a number of weed eradication programs and continues to monitor the reserve with a small number of volunteers.