Cottesloe history: benefits of sea breeze original attraction

Cottesloe history: benefits of sea breeze original attraction

Cottesloe was named in 1886 after the 1st Baron Cottesloe, a prominent politician and brother of Sir Charles Fremantle, after whom Fremantle was named.

While it was declared a suburban area at the time it was officially named, the first four acre lots were not sold until nearly two years later.

In the mid 1890s there was a rush to take up land and a number of houses were built.

By 1898, the population of Cottesloe was 1000.

The sea breeze was considered to be good for people’s health and Cottesloe Beach began to attract more residents and day visitors.

While Cottesloe Beach was a popular destination, it was seen as the place to go for relaxation and amusement rather than swimming and even if people were brave (or immodest) enough to get into the water there were no facilities where they could change into swim suits.

As the popularity of the beach increased and so did the desire to go swimming and to meet the needs of swimmers, bathing boxes were placed on the beach to facilitate changing.

There were also issues with mixed bathing and in 1910 the council allocated a space on the beach for ladies and children under 12 years.

It was presumed that many lady swimmers objected to bathing amongst gentlemen.

In 1906/1907 a jetty was built at the foot of Forrest Street, stretching out almost 116m into the sea and included a rotunda and boat landing platform.

It became the focal point of many activities, with brass bands playing at the rotunda every |Sunday and on public holidays.

Passengers from the Zephyr pleasure steamer would disembark to listen to the music before travelling to Rottnest Island.

While unemployment rose and businesses closed during the depression, a building boom followed and the 1960s brought a new affluence to the area.

The 1980s were an exciting time with the America’s Cup and series of yacht races held in 1986/1987 and many houses, particularly those with an ocean frontage, were built or renovated. n