Learn more about the history of Maylands from 1829 to today. Click through each time period to discover what was happening.

Maylands in the colonial period

From 1830 until about 1900, the Peninsula area was known as Peninsula Farm and famous for the agricultural products it grew to support the developing city of Perth.


The boating parties of Captain Stirling passed through a shallow passage to the Perth water, and then on to Maylands, and the upper Swan.

Within a few months of the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829, the Peninsula area was settled and farmed by the Tranby Settlers, led by Joseph Hardey.

Floods destroyed the two residences Joseph Hardey constructed  before the current Tranby House was built in 1839.

Hardey and his family were soon well established both as farmers, and as devout and active leaders of the Methodist Church. They eventually owned all the land on the Peninsula. The Peninsula produced many fine crops of corn, wheat fruit and wine, taking prizes in the Melbourne show for dried fruit and wine.


Joseph’s son Richard established the Peninsular Brick Co on the southern tip of their land.

1880s and 1890s

A rail line from Perth to Midland was built in the 1880s and a new railway station was built in 1900 to support the Mephan Ferguson pipeworks established around 1898 to manufacture pipes for the Goldfields Pipeline. The factory and railway led more people to move to the Maylands area.

Having access to the rail line and cheap land available for affordable housing helped Maylands develop as a family area. Shops were built in Railway Terrace (later renamed Whatley Crescent) from 1898, and the shopping area then extended into Eighth Avenue and Guildford Road.


W.A. Home Teaching Society for the Blind established


The Blind Institute’s foundation stone was laid on 17 December

Around 1900

The Blind Institute took up residence in a new building in 1900.

When the Peninsular Brick Co. ceased production around 1900, its land and machinery was sold to Mills Pottery, a Melbourne Company that wanted to establish itself in Western Australia. An efficient pottery manufacturing business was soon established using clay from the local pit mixed with imported material. As roads were so sandy, the river was still  extensively used for transport of materials and products to Perth and Fremantle.

Maylands history from Federation up to World War I


The Central Hotel was operating on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Guildford Road, Maylands.


After Joseph Hardey’s death, his son Richard developed the land for sale for urban settlement in 1903. This coincided with the growth of the Maylands town area, which absorbed the Peninsula as a suburb known as Maylands.

Building of the Rail and Traffic bridge at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Whatley Crescent, Maylands

Maylands Primary School was built on the southern side of Guildford Road between Peninsula Road and Sixth Avenue, Maylands.


The Peninsula Hotel was operating on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Railway Parade Maylands
This hotel was designed and built by Gus Liebe,  better known as the architect and builder of His Majesty’s Theatre in Hay Street, Perth.


The Maylands Police Station and residential quarters was built on the southern side of Guildford Road, between Eighth Avenue and Ninth Avenues. (This building now houses the Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association.)

The Mephan Ferguson foundry had a rail line across Railway Terrace  (now Whatley Crescent) so it could load water pipes directly onto the trains.


Opening of the new Maylands Baptist Church building on Seventh Avenue, Maylands.

The First World War had a big impact on Maylands

Local men left to join the army, navy and airforce.


Maylands after WWI and prior to the Great Depression


Maylands Hall, often incorrectly referred to as “Maylands Town Hall”, was opened by the Chairman of the Perth Roads Board, Mr. E.W. Hamer on May 7.  The building cost 4,500 pounds.

Sir Norman Brearley established West Australian Airways, the first Commercial Airline in Australia (before QANTAS). It operated twice weekly between Geraldton and Derby.

The Seventh Avenue bridge caught fire.


West Australian Airways gained  approval to operate from Perth and built the Maylands Aerodrome on land that was originally Peninsula farmland as  its Perth base.


Air services  from the Maylands Aerodrome commenced  in January 1924.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church was being constructed at Seventh Avenue,  Maylands.


Robert. O. Law, an engineer of some renown, built the first Hoffman brick kiln on the Maylands Peninsula.

Maylands Aerodrome was flooded.


An East-West service to Adelaide was established using the three-engine Fokker aircraft.  This service operated twice weekly taking two days to complete the journey and  overnighting at Forrest, Western Australia.

The years of the Great Depression


Renovations to Maylands Hotel, corner of Rowlands St and Guildford Road at Maylands.

The Seventh Avenue Bridge caught fire in 1931 and 1932 and was also vandalised in 1932.


Building of the “Roxy” open air picture gardens, corner of Guildford Road and Falkirk Street, Maylands.

A portion of the Seventh Avenue Bridge fell down.


When the Seventh Avenue Bridge was upgraded in 1934, its  gravel was replaced with bitumen.


The Premier of Western Australia, the Hon. J.C. Willcocks, M.L.A, opened the art deco Royal Western Australian Institute for the Blind building in Whatley Crescent at Maylands on 28 July.

World War II

Maylands men and women served in the defence forces.

Maylands and especially Maylands Aerodrome operated on a war footing. RAAF aircraft used the Maylands Aerodrome as a base and under the direction of the Department of Aircraft Production, RAAF and allied aircraft were maintained and repaired at the Maylands Aerodrome.

Post-war migration period


De Lacy Reserve was being developed in the 1950s. The site was previously a swamp known as Cow Dung Swamp, but it filled with water in the winter, and was a great swimming hole for the kids. On the west side was a sand hill, which was pushed into the swamp to fill it. There were quite a few commercial sand pits in this area of the Maylands  Peninsula.

In 1954,  the timber Seventh Avenue Bridge was extensively modified.  Concrete columns and structural steel were added.


The Maylands Aerodrome served as Perth’s main airport servicing all kinds of aircraft and even flying boats until  it ceased operations on 30 June. The Federal Government sold the land to the West Australian Government at a reduced price for Public Recreation and Police purposes. The police were given a management licence for their reserve, originally 25 acres. The Maylands Aerodrome facilities were then converted for use as a training area for the Western Australian Police Service.

The airport moved to the present site of the Perth Airport.


Ending the White Australia policy in the 1970s changed Australia’s migration patterns.

Further repairs were made to the Seventh Avenue Bridge.


The Peninsula Hotel saved from demolition by the Peninsula Association Inc was used as a community centre.


Window restoration at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, Seventh Avenue, Maylands.


Maylands Hall, often incorrectly referred to as “Maylands Town Hall”,  was converted for use as a Public Library.


The City of Stirling purchased the vacant claypits at the Maylands brickworks for $1.45 million.


Lifting of the rail line across Railway Terrace (now Whatley Crescent) that had enabled the Mephan Ferguson foundry to load water pipes directly onto the trains.


Maylands Historical Society & Ministry for Planning publish a Conservation Plan for Chase House site, Maylands Peninsula, Lots 556-560 Hardey Road, Maylands, WA.


Adjustments to local government boundaries meant the suburb  of Maylands was transferred from the City of Stirling to  the City of Bayswater.

Maylands moves ahead


Maylands railway station had a comprehensive makeover.


The Royal Western Australian Institute for the Blind changes its name to Senses Foundation (inc) in 2001 and registers its new name in August.


The centenary of the Maylands Primary School building on the southern side of Guildford Road between Peninsula Road and Sixth Avenue was celebrated by many distinguished past pupils and teachers.


Sale of the Blind Institute’s buildings and site on Whatley Crescent. Maylands.


The Blind Institute’s buildings and site on Whatley Crescent. Maylands were completely vacated.


The whole of the Peninsula Hotel building was leased to Dome Coffees as a Coffee shop and as their headquarters.


Renovations at the Peninsula Hotel unearthed a handful of coins dated 1930s, 1940s and 1950s under the concrete flooring of the verandah which was being dug and replaced. The construction manager kindly handed them in to us – silver threepences, sixpence, one shilling, pennies and halfpennies.

With a grant from the Federal Government, we purchased a new camcorder, to aid in recording the presentations, which form an important part of our collection on the history of Maylands.


Official opening of Aerodrome Park, Maylands.


Maylands Historical & Peninsula Association Inc turned 25!