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 1/2 to 5 miles wide, and 10 to 11 miles long. There are seasons when this extensive flat has been covered most luxuriantly with rich grass.”

He named these The Hampton Plains and they lay waiting to be taken up by whoever could locate them again.

Early Days Journal The Royal Western Australia Historical Society (Inc.)Volume v11. Part v1 Perth, 1974 Page 46.


In the third year of settlement at Esperance Bay, Andrew Dempster, accompanied by his foreman Benjamin Hannet, set out to find new pastures and reached Frazer’s Range, where they were to eventually establish a run for their sheep.

The first Pastoral lease granted was to G.M. Larnach for a lease of Middle Island registered as E1 – Esperance.

Andrew Dempster’s lease of 100,000 acres at Esperance Bay was listed as E2. This holding comprised of the land around Esperance Bay, north, east and west.

Charles Edward Dempster (Edward) was the first to select land at Stokes Inlet. His Pastoral lease included land on the west side of the Inlet and the East side of Fanny Cove. This pastoral lease was listed E3.

These leases were all approved in September 1867.



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