Mundaring & Hills HISTORICAL
S O C I E T Y
A presence on the road . .
Within a few years of the start of the colony, relations between Aboriginal people and European settlers became strained. A number of incidents along the York Road resulted in the establishment of a military station at Mahogany Creek in 1839. When these barracks were abandoned, the building was converted to a wayside inn, later to be known as Mahogany Inn.
Image: Inn, Mahogany Creek 2018
Named for water
What we call jarrah nowadays was called Swan River mahogany by early European colonists, its wood having similarities to that of mahogany that was imported to Britain from the West Indies for furniture making. This is the probable origin for the name of the creek that runs through the jarrah forest in this area, and for which the settlement is named.
A watering place
The creek provided an important watering place for travellers and stock along the York Road, which was realigned to access it. A well made the supply permanent. A watering hole of another type came about when the barracks were abandoned by the military. Converted to overnight accommodation, from January 1845 the barracks were licensed as the ‘Prince of Wales Inn’.
Train to trade
Trade at the ‘Prince of Wales’ boomed while hundreds of navvies worked on the Eastern Railway in the 1880s. They moved on, but railway access encouraged sawmilling and orchardists to the district, and the Mahogany Creek Suburban Area was opened up. Gravel quarrying supplanted timber as the main industry after 1900, with granite quarries suppling the materials for many iconic Perth buildings. The Inn was unable to compete with train travel and it ceased trading in 1883. It was purchased in 1884 as a private country residence by Stephen Henry Parker, who then gave it to his daughter as a wedding present.
Settlement further east of the Mahogany Creek train station led to a new stopping place on the Eastern Railway, the new siding named Zamia after the native palm. Several settlers farmed poultry to meet the demand from both Perth and the goldfields, and Zamia became recognised as the centre of the hills poultry industry.
State Registered Places in Mahogany Creek:
Above: Mahogany Inn, 1902. MHHS Collection.
Above: Casotti Granite Quarry in Coppin Road, Mahogany Creek, 1960s. MHHS Collection.