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St Kilda History

History St Kilda 3

St Kilda Township

St Kilda was surveyed and laid out as a government town by Thomas Evans in May and June of 1873. Popular belief is the name was chosen by John Harvey (the founder of Salisbury) who named St Kilda after the island in the Outer Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. The soil was described as 'sandy, part shingle and sand interspersed with low bushes and salt bush'. There were 14 huts in St Kilda at the time of the survey, but they were only huts of district farmers who came occasionally for fishing, crabbing and recreation. Some of the early landowners included John Harvey, William Davey and Francis Fenden. Because the local seawater was thought to be good for arthritis, John Harvey had large amounts of it carted to his home for bathing. In 1866 St Kilda was added to the District of Munno Para West. When the town post office was opened in 1924, the decision was made to rename the town to Moilong to stop confusion with St Kilda in Victoria. Later the name was changed back. On 1 July 1933, due to Local Government Acts, St Kilda and most of Munno Para West were united under the newly formed District Council of Salisbury.

St Kilda Beach Hotel

In December 1889 a man named Matthias Lucas was granted approval for a proposed 16 room hotel. John Harvey laid the first foundation stone and the St Kilda Beach Hotel was completed around 1895. The hotel gained its license in 1898 and became a main focal point for the town. Over time the hotel became known for after-hours drinking. As there was only one road into town, a lookout was posted to watch for the police constable. The after-hours drinkers were caught red-handed one night when the constable arrived by boat through the mangroves. Several leading citizens were involved in the incident.

Recent History

St Kilda was a popular place for Sunday School picnics and New Year Day celebrations. In 1958 a swimming pool was built. By the 1960s boat ramps and moorings were built to accommodate anglers. Other attractions that were developed include the Tram Museum and the Adventure Playground. In 1985 the Mangrove Trail and Interpretative Centre was built to preserve and promote the unique local environment.

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