Home | Exhibitions | Past

The Western Suburbs at War

The western suburbs, that area of Perth that stretches from Subiaco to Fremantle, was at the heart of Western Australia’s First World War effort. Freshwater Bay Museum’s highly anticipated Western Suburbs at War exhibition is now open and tells some of that story.

The exhibition is based on stories that the community has shared. It draws on the Museum’s own collection of First World War artefacts as well as loaned objects (medals, uniforms, photographs, letters and diaries). It records stories of bravery and loss, love and hope. It also provides a record of the use of the Claremont Showgrounds and surrounding areas for the accommodation and training of the 10th Light Horse Unit and later the 44th Battalion.

The exhibition has activities suited to children and school groups.




You can read the “War in the Western Suburbs” booklet here

Bay View Terrace – From mud and slops to the fashionable strip

Early Bay View Terrace (Humble Road) was smelly and unhealthy. Rats infested buildings, rubbish, including horse manure and animal carcases lay in the street and in the right of way behind the business premises.

In 1913, the health inspector reported:

Some are in a filthy and dangerous condition, the late rains coupled with the washing of carts and drainage from yardsall flowing into right of way. It was churned by the passage of vehicles into a deep, offensively smelling mud.

Early businesses served the basic needs of the growing community. Butchers, greengrocers, bakers, fish and tea shops were well represented. Pharmacies, laundries, drapers, newsagents, hardware businesses and bookmakers provided services.

Freshwater bay Museum’s Bay View Terrace does not provide the smells and the filth. Nor does it provide an experience of the shopping strip, or a business at any particular time. What you do see are some of the types of businesses that were represented in a variety of forms over time. These showcase cameos will change, giving us an opportunity to display items in our collections.
Museum shop frontsPhotographsCLAREMONTMUS_0613-9CLAREMONTMUS_0613-17


Wetlands – from Bunyip to Beautiful

From December 2011 to February 2012 the Freshwater Bay Museum’s schoolroom became a wetland.  Claremont hosted Museums Australia WA’s Year of Biodiversity Project, an exhibition entitled Wetlands – from Bunyip to Beautiful. Objects from the Museum’s collection and wetland plants told the story of changing understanding of the role of wetlands.

The Museum’s contribution to the exhibition was the story of its own wetland Galbamaanup or Butler’s Swamp. World Wetlands Day was celebrated on 2 February 2012 with storytelling and other activities for children. Always a rich resource for Aboriginal people on the Swan Coastal Plain, the wetland was once used for farming and was later a rubbish tip.  Butler’s Swamp is now known as Lake Claremont and the Friends of Lake Claremont (established 2003) and the Town of Claremont now work closely with the community to manage the Lake as a healthy natural, seasonal wetland for this and future generations.

A Rich Resource

Rising Waters

Lake Claremont Today

Animals of the Wetlands

Planning for Beautification

Swamp Solutions

School Days

The best days of your life?

In this exhibition we took you back to school!

Did you remember getting the cane; when topees were part of the uniform; the school bags and cases you carried and the school milk that sat outside your classroom getting warm? Playgrounds, classrooms, teachers, sports, uniforms and discipline were just a few topics covered in this nostalgic exhibition.

School Days featured classroom stories, school photographs and memorabilia from some of the more than 25 educational institutions established in Claremont from the earliest days of the Swan River colony.