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5 corrections, most recently by GBurghall - Show corrections

PERTH NAMES. The Barracks of Barrack street. By Cygnet. THE Barracks that gave Barrack- street its name were those first military Barracks which were built along the alignment of Barrack-street in 1829 for the soldiers of the 63rd regiment. We actually know the very day on which these barracks were com- menced; it was on August 13, 1829, the day after Governor Stirling had de- clared the new town of Perth to be well and truly founded and Mrs. Dance had put an axe into the tree to cele- brate the event a few yards inside that lane near the Town Hall in Barrack- street. We learn this from the journal of Peter Broun, the Colonial Secretary, who on that date made the entry: "The line of the new barracks laid down by the Surveyor-General." Two months before this, the soldiers of the 63rd regiment had come to Perth and taken possession of what was to become the Barrack Square. St. George's-terrace, that portion between Pier-street and Barrack-street, had formed a sort of a ledge half way up the hill from the river, and here the soldiers downed their packs and began to clear the trees for their encamp- ment. The officers' quarters occupied the site of the present Burt Memorial Hall. Then came the parade ground, now the sward fronting Saint George's Cathedral. Next, the sergeant's quar-   ters enclosed the angle that St. George's-terrace makes with Barrack- street. The soldiers' quarters, no mat- ter where their tents were originally pitched, were soon established along the alignment of Barrack-street. For how many years the soldiers oc- cupied these barracks in Barrack-street cannot be said with certainty. The officers' quarters in St. George's-ter- race remained standing until well into this century. The sergeants' quarters were rebuilt, and this new building (or it may have been a newer building still) remained until somewhere in the 70's. Every vestige of it, however, dis- appeared when the old G.P.O. was built in the 80's. When the barracks in Barrack-street ceased to be the living quarters for the soldiers of the various regiments which succeeded the 63rd regiment as the garrison of the colony, I am unable to say; but in my own time the guard house where these old soldiers kept guard with their very ancient muskets was still standing, and was eventually transformed into the police court. I imagine some of the old building still remains in the present Industries Department next to the Town Hall. What are called the "Old Barracks" today, at the top of St. George's-ter- race, were not built until the 60's. They housed the soldiers who came with Stirling. The soldiers in the barracks of Barrack-street garrisoned the infant colony. The soldiers who occupied the Old Barracks at the top of St. George's terrace merely guarded the convicts. The Pier of Pier-street. THE Pier that gave its name to Pier street has disappeared as com- pletely as the fields of St. Martins-in- the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, or the Green of College Green, Dublin. It was, of course, the first landing stage to be erected in Western Australia, and it must have been run up within a few days of the arrival of the soldiers of the 63rd regiment on June 18, 1829, when they first came up the river to seek a site for Governor Stirling's town. These soldiers landed on the river shores about where the present Supreme Court stands, and after a short look round their new surround- ings they began to force their way up through the bush towards the summit of the hill now marked by Hay-street. Half way up the hill, however, they halted at a spot where Pier-street meets St. George's-terrace. The track they had made so far was soon known, and quite naturally so, as Pier-street. so that Pier-street (although not that part of the thoroughfare that exists today) is the oldest street in Perth. The first mention of the pier of Pier street that I have been able to locate is that made by Dr. T. B. Wilson when he came up the Swan River to Perth on October 18, 1829, four months to the day since the soldiers had arrived here. But in the meantime between their arrival and Dr. Wilson's coming, there had been a change in the structure the pier had been elongated into a jetty. "We landed on a jetty of con- siderable length" Dr. Wilson writes in his book, and "to his great joy" he was greeted as he stepped on to the jetty by an old friend in the person of Sur- veyor-General Roe. Governor Stirling was also on the jetty at the time about to embark on an expedition up the Canning River, and he invited Dr. Wil- son to accompany him. But the doctor preferred to stay with Roe in Perth and talk over old times. The original Pier-street, that part between St. George's-terrace and the river, was open to traffic until the 50's when a stone wall was built along the south side of Government House grounds, thus cutting off access to the river. In the 70's the present brick wall was built along St. George's-ter- race, so that from that date all traces of the original Pier-street disappeared and there remained only that part of Pier-street which had never known the pier. The Pier-street jetty described by Dr. Wilson persisted until the 70's. At least, in a photo of Perth in the 70's a long jetty is to be seen jutting out from Government House grounds. The wide expanse of reclaimed foreshore has, however altered this part of Old Perth out of all recognition. The Mill of Mill-street. THE mill from which Mill-street takes its name was Kingsford's Mill, erected between the Adelphi Hotel and Mount's Bay-road by Samuel Kings- ford in 1833 to grind the wheat of the earliest settlers It was not the first mill in Perth; that honour goes to Reveley's Mill, the site of which is marked by a brass tablet in the techni- cal school grounds. Kingsford obtained the right to drain the lake (from that time called Lake Kingsford) which occupied the site of the present central railway station and extended from Wellington-street over Roe-street and almost to James-street. In October, 1833, he commenced to cut a drain between this lake and his mill in Mill-street to supply power for the mill. Kingsford was nothing if not ambiti- ous, for he acquired from the Govern- ment the "perpetual right" to drain for the purpose of his mill not only Lake Kingsford, but Lake Irwin (now the railway goods yards), Lake Sutherland (beyond West Perth railway station). and Lake Henderson (now Robertson Park), as well as an option for five years over Monger's Lake and Herds- man's Lake. He called his enterprise the "Perth Mills," and on August, 1839, was advertising flour at 4d. a lb. He died in 1840, and the advent of steam apparently led the mill to cease work shortly afterwards.