The first land grant of the area around Jilbup (Thomsons) Lake, in what is now Hammond Park, was to George Dunnage, who had 20,000 acres granted in 1830, including the whole Hammond Park area. Another often-cited holder of early grants is C.E. Mangles. The land changed hands many times in the next 50 years, as many hopeful young settlers were disillusioned by the harsh nature of farming and living in the new colony.
One notable grantee of a thousand acres at the lake’s southern end was Thomas Watson, who came out with Thomas Peel on the Gilmore
in 1829. Ten years later Watson was responsible for surveying a road from Dandalup to Fremantle and recording the names of several lakes along the way, including Lake Coogee
Jandakot Agricultural Area
From 1890, the whole south-eastern Cockburn district was part of the Jandakot Agricultural Area
, and was a huge provider of food for the Fremantle and southern areas. Many people bought land in the area and made a good, if tough, living growing fruit and vegetables on market
gardens, running dairies and piggeries. In the early 20th century a lot of market gardens were run by Chinese migrants
, and there was one who worked in the Hammond Park area known as Georgey Way.
James Hammond's market garden
James Hammond was born in England in 1840, and emigrated to Canada where he was a skilled piano-maker. When his eyesight started to fail, he migrated again, this time to Western Australia in 1887. Hammond arrived in Fremantle and bought a block on the eastern side of Thomsons Lake. He married and had eight children.
He built the house and other buildings on his Thomsons Lake land and ran a market garden, which all his children worked on with him. One of their major crops was cauliflowers. The land around the lake was fertile for growing crops but often needed to be drained of some of the swampy waters.
He was successful and his market garden remained productive for nearly 100 years, run by his children and grandchildren.
Harry Waring Marsupial Reserve, Thomsons Lake
The Marsupial Reserve currently on the southern shore of the lake was created in 1970 by the Minister for Fisheries and Fauna as a breeding colony. In 1982 it was renamed the Harry Waring Marsupial Reserve after a professor of zoology at UWA, whose interest in marsupials led him to spend much of his career developing places to study them in their natural habitats. Waring died in 1980.
The suburb Hammond Park was officially gazetted and named in 2002. It was formerly a part of the suburb of Banjup
, as was Aubin Grove
on the eastern side of the freeway which was named the next year. There are still some market gardens operating in the suburb, but it is increasingly being subdivided and built into dense residential areas by property developers.