From grazing lease
In 1892 the whole of what is now Parkerville and Stoneville was a grazing lease. However, following the construction of the new railway deviation the potential of the fertile Jane Brook Valley (which the railway line passed through) was soon realised and the land was surveyed and sub-divided. This new ‘suburban area’ was gazetted in 1895 as Parkerville in honour of Stephen Henry Parker who had purchased The Prince of Wales Inn on the Guildford to York Road.
. . through mill town
Uptake of the original large allotments was slow and, when an 1899 survey revealed iron and timber squatters’ camps scattered through the bush, smaller housing lots were offered. Two separate sawmills operating near the Parkerville station had both closed by 1900 but, despite this, the uptake of the new smaller lots was successful.
. . to quarry town
Quarries, opened to meet the demand for blue-metal, in particular to pave Perth streets, made Parkerville one of the busiest centres in the hills. The City of Perth established a quarry in the area, known today as Clifton quarry, and the sound of the works’ siren or dynamiting became familiar noises across the valley. The works closed seasonally and during the Great Depression, causing Parkerville’s population to fluctuate. Gravel pits were also opened and Parkerville station had to be improved and expanded to cope with the amount of stone and wood being railed.
. . and a home for children in need
Parkerville Children’s Home was established in the wet winter of 1903 at the site of an old sawmill. The children spent their first night in a leaky barn and were drenched, galvanizing the people of Parkerville into providing chaff to replace ruined bedding. Thus started an ongoing and close relationship between the community and the Home, which constructed one of the first brick buildings in Parkerville as part of its revolutionary cottage system to house children.
A State Registered Place in Parkerville is: Parkerville Children’s Home & Cemetery.
The photograph below depicts the Parkerville amphitheatre in 1970, also known as the Seddon Vincent Memorial Theatre for Australian Playwrights.
Mosaic ref: 2015.71
Background Photo: Parkerville Railway Station, picnickers special train, 1932.
Scroll down to see the complete background photograph