Brief History of Beverley
Beverley is situated on the edge of the Western Australian Wheatbelt and was founded in 1838. The town was named Beverley by Charles Simmons (the Surgeon General) because of the similarity he saw of the landscape to his hometown of Beverley in Yorkshire, England.
In 1829 Ensign Dale organised an excursion to the York/Beverley area looking for suitable agricultural lands and returned to Perth with glowing reports.
Following Governor Stirling’s excursion back to the area the following year, large tracts (expanse) of land were taken up. The first to take up land in the Beverley district was the Colonial Surgeon, Dr. Charles Simmons. He was granted 2,850 hectares.
In 1886, Beverley’s first electric telegraph line was built from York to Beverley followed the same year by the extension of the Southern rail link from Perth to Beverley. The “turning of the first sod” (laying of foundations) of the Great Southern Railway was performed by his Excellency Governor Broome on the 20th of October 1886. Prior to the railway, horse trams were the usual form of transport.
Beverley became the terminus of the Government railway until 1902 when the connection to Albany was completed. All trains rested overnight and refreshment rooms were built to accommodate passengers. The goods room at the railway station also doubled as Anglican church and services were conducted by Mr Drake Brockman, the stationmaster.
Today, Beverley has a population of approximately 1600. The local farming community now grows a wide range of products from traditional wheat and wool to emus, deer, grapes and olives.
Things You May Not Know About Beverley
The postcode for Beverley is 6304.
During the late 1800s and the early 1900s the water supply of Beverley came from wells and the Avon River.
Just outside of Beverley is the Avondale Research Station which was one of the first properties settled in WA. The station was originally owned by Governor James Stirling.
The town has an interesting collection of Art Deco buildings.
A sheep disease known as Braxy-like disease (also known as infectious enterotoxaemia and the more colourful Pulpy kidney) originated in the Beverley/ York areas in 1915. This nasty disease spread throughout the agricultural area, killing sheep within hours of contamination.
In 1930, Avondale began to research the disease, under the direction of Dr Harold Bennetts, who was Western Australia’s first veterinary pathologist. Bennetts eventually identified the cause of the disease (Bacillus ovitoxicus) and as a result, developed an infectious enterotoxaemia vaccine. On the 16th March 1979, Prince Charles visited Avondale and planted a tree near the entrance to the farm.