Patrick Hannan (1840-1925) found gold 30 miles (48km) east-north-east of Coolgardie, near Mt Charlotte. Hannan, accompanied with Tom Flanagan and Dan O’Shea ,collected about 100 ounces before it was decided by the trio that Patrick Hannan would ride back alone to Coolgardie to register the claim.

The claim was registered on June17th ,1893. It was to be the start of the biggest gold rush Australia had seen the beginnings of one of the richest goldmines in the world.

Mark Irving “Defining Moments” The West Australian 175 Anniversary Souvenir


Once Gold has been discovered in Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and Dundas, people started to arrived in their hundreds, via Esperance. As many as 400 fortune seekers arrived in one ship alone. Esperance became the destination gateway to the Goldfields.



Esperance was declared a town site on 15th December 1893.

The area was surveyed in October by R Brazier. It included pastoral land belonging to the Dempster Brothers, who organized subdivisions of their land, East Location lots 1 to 42. and Reserve A.604.

The Esperance town site was surveyed by A.C.Ross under the direction of the head surveyor, W.H. Angove. The Dempster brothers’ land was subdivided between the Esplanade to the east, Corry Street to the west, Hardy street to the south, and to the north, what is today called Norfolk Lane. Emily, Jane Hardy, Taylor William and Dempster streets all bear the Dempster family names.

Esperance had been experiencing a land boom before gold was discovered. An important development in parliament had been the passing of the Homesteads Act, which provided for free homestead farms up to 160 acres to the head of a family, or any male over 18 years of age. The passing of the Agriculture Bank Act in 1894 also had the prospect of stimulating settlement.

A store and the first hotel were built for Mr. John Purchase. The Esperance Hotel was built by Josiah (Joe Norman) and extensions were added to the hotel later. A saloon bar license was not granted to Mr John Purchase until a licensing court sitting was held on the 2nd March 1896.

Image above: The Esperance Hotel




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