1898 Edward St (Later the Esplanade)

Brief Outline of Esperance History

Since European Discovery and Settlement

Travel along the timeline to see significant events and click items to discover more about the events and stories that make up Esperance History.

Esperance Timeline

1863The Dempster Brothers

The Dempster Brothers Leave Albany

On April 23rd, in a small chartered vessel, two of the Dempster brothers, William and Edward, George Maxwell and Victorian, G M Lanarch, left from Albany. The coastal cutter Amelia also carried their horses and provisions. The party landed at Point Malcolm where they travelled by land attempting to travel..Discover More

1864Dempster Family

Dempster Family Settlement

Brothers Edward, Andrew and James Dempster set out to journey overland from Buckland to Esperance Bay, where they had founded the pastoral station. They were accompanied by their shepherds, workmen, their wagons and livestock -19 horses, 518 sheep and 80 cattle. William had remained at Buckland to assist his Father...Discover More

1865Andrew Dempster

Andrew Dempster’s Mission

Andrew Dempster, in search of a shorter stock route between Buckland and Esperance, set off from Esperance via the Gage River (Dalyup) near Esperance, only to reach the Dundas Hills via Fitzgerald Peaks, before the drought conditions became too harsh and so he was forced to abandon the expedition.  ..Discover More

1866Frazer’s Range

Andrew Dempster reaches Frazer’s Range

The generous land offer by the W.A. government, was to attract more settlers to increase the colony’s population, as it fought to survive and prosper. The explorer C.C Hunt had reported fine pastoral lands: “an extensive open plains of rich soil north-east of Lake Lefroy, the average width about 4..Discover More

1867Brothers Marry

Dempster Brothers Marry

Edward Dempster married Mary (Maggie) Taylor of Candyup in Albany on the 5th March. They then resided at the Buckland homestead in Toodyay. Emily Mary Marsden of Northam married Andrew Dempster, 28th August, in Northam. At Buckland, in Toodyay, James Dempster bred horses, sired from thoroughbred stud stock. Having a..Discover More

1868First Children

Emily and Andrew Dempster’s First Child

Emily and Andrew Dempster’s first child, James Maclean, was born in a wattle and daub cottage on 1st July at Esperance Bay. Being totally isolated, Andrew assisted Emily during the birth of their first child. Their home had a thatched bush timber roof that leaked when heavy rain fell. The..Discover More

1869William Returns

William Dempster Returns

William Dempster returned from the north-west to Esperance Bay. Andrew and family travelled to Perth. Andrew and Emily’s second child, William Edward, was born in October while they were in Perth.    

1870Campbell Taylor, Alexander and John Forrest

Campbell Taylor Settles at Lynburn Station

Sir Alexander Cockburn – Campbell Taylor applied for the first pastoral leases east of Esperance Bay, between Point Malcolm and Point Dempster and became the Dempster brothers’ first distant neighbour. Sir Alexander Cockburn-Campbell Taylor secured 100,000 acres, lease E4. The station at Thomas River was named ‘Lynburn’. Campbell Taylor held..Discover More

1871Alexander Forrest with Tommy Windich

Alexander Forrest with Tommy Windich

Alexander Forrest, with Tommy Windich, explored further north east from Hampton Plains and beyond. They discovered some water on their way through Frazer’s Range. John and Alexander Forrest had travelled through the Frasers Range area on their expedition to Adelaide in 1870.    

1871Purchase Sailing Vessel

Dempster’s Purchase Single Masted Cutter Rigged Craft

The Dempster family purchased a single masted cutter rigged craft of over 27 tonnes. James Maclean Dempster sailed from Fremantle in the Gipsey on its first voyage to Esperance Bay. He was accompanied by son William and their shepherds, engaged for the Esperance runs. On their arrival shearing was already..Discover More

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Contact EBHS at Museum front office (08) 9071 1579 or email: admin@esperancehistory.com.au

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