Beverley lies on the banks of the Avon River and boasts three museums, the Aeronautical, the Dead Finish and Ferguson's Machinery museum.
The railway station won the Heritage Council of Western Australia award for the 'Conservation of a place on the State Register of Heritage Places' in 2007.
The town is popular with photographers, artists and clubs such as the Royal Historical Society of WA.
One of the main attractions in town was located at the Aeronautical Museum which used to house a plane named the
It was built by Selby Ford and Tom Shackles between 1928-30. It flew for the first time in 1930 and was later flown by Major DeHavilland and Amy Johnson.
It was never licensed because there were no blueprints of its original design - the builders had simply sketched it out on the floor in chalk. Recently the
plane was taken over by the grandson of one of the original builders who has spent a lot of money restoring it to original working condition. The plane has
flown again and we believe it is currently kept in the Serpentine area. it is hoped that it will make a return flight to Beverley at some stage.
The oldest building in town is the Dead Finish Hotel which was constructed in 1872.
In the local cemetery you will find the grave of Billy Noongale, a tracker who accompanied
John Forrest on his expedition from Perth to Adelaide in 1870.
The caravan park has been re-developed which will certainly encourage more visitors to stop and spend at least a couple of days exploring the town and its surrounds.
Beverley was one of the first areas in Western Australia opened for agriculture after a glowing report to
Governor Stirling by
Ensign Robert Dale.
Dale made three excursions to the York / Beverley area, the first in 1829 and the last in 1830 when he was accompanied by Governor Stirling.
Large tracts of land were taken up following the Governor's excursion and the first in the Beverley district was taken up by the Colonial Surgeon, Dr. Charles Simmons.
Dr. Simmons was granted some 2,850 hectares on the Eastern bank of the Avon River in January 1831 and it is a common belief that Beverley was named after Beverley in
Yorkshire which was Dr. Simmons' home. Beverley is an old English word meaning beaver stream.
The official survey of the Beverley district took place in 1843. The Beverley town site was established around 1868 and its status was enhanced with the extension of the
electric telegraph from York in 1877.
The Beverley Road District was one of the nineteen local authorities established in 1871 under the Municipalities and Roads District Act. The original Beverley Road District
was in excess of 150,000 square kilometres and included the present Shires of Beverley, Brookton, Quairading,
Bruce Rock, Corrigin, Pingelly, Narembeen,
Kondinin, Dundas and a portion of Cuballing, Wickepin, Wandering
On 31st March 1892 the Beverley town site became a separate municipality under the name of "The Burgesses of the Town of Beverley". Shortly thereafter in October 1895, an East
Beverley organisation known as the Farmers and Settlers Association successfully petitioned to create the East Beverley Road Board.
These small localities were short lived, with the East Beverley Road Board dissolving in 1906 after eleven years and the Burgesses of the Town of Beverley followed the same
fate in 1913 after only twenty one years. Both were absorbed back into the Beverley Road Board. The change of name to the Shire of Beverley from the Beverley Road Board occurred in 1961.
In 1886, the Southern rail link from Perth was extended to Beverley, which was the terminus for three years. From here people continued their journey by horse or on foot.
A pipeline to connect Beverley with the Goldfields water supply scheme was completed in 1908 and the first powerhouse to generate electricity for the town was established under
private ownership in 1913. (The town was only connected to the state grid in 1966.)
In 1915 a stock disease known as pulpy kidney (infectious enterotoxaemia) caused by Bacillus ovitoxicus caused great concern as stock losses started to mount alarmingly.
Dr Harold Bennetts, W.A's first veterinary pathologist worked on a cure but it was not until the 1930s that a vaccine was developed. The Avondale
research farm continued to operate until 2008 when it was taken over by the National Trust. It has since been suffering from a lack of funding and is no longer open to the public
on a daily basis. The farm includes the largest agricultural machinery museum in the southern hemisphere. For information on opening times visit the
Avondale Discovery Farm website.
This history of the early days of European settlement was published in the Beverley Times on 17th May 1929 as the winning entry in an essay competition to celebrate the
centenary of the founding of Western Australia. The author was L. Wansbrough of the Dale (a district within the present Shire of Beverley.)
"If we wished to see Beverley in her virgin state, we would have to go back to the late (18)'30's, about this period the Government sent surveyors to divide the land into blocks,
and owing to the unfriendliness of the natives these men were protected by soldiers to protect them and the early settlers who later began to arrive.
The Barracks which soldiers occupied, were built, one on the Dale River near Waterhatch, and the other at St. Aubyn's Estate. It was at this latter Barrack that a soldier was speared and killed by natives.
Some of the first families to settle in the Beverley District were the Smith's, Lennard's and Broun's, and on the Dale the Whittington's, Kersley's, and Cox and Bartrams, while amongst the earliest in the Bally Bally and County Peak district were the Blechynden's, Robins, Edward's and Kilpatrick's families.
Concerning the townb site of Beverley, perhaps I should say that the original place intended for same, is where St Paul's Church at Edwards Crossing is now situated. Owing to a shortage of Government land space, the present site was surveyed in about 1870 by the late Sir Jon Forrest, who named the principal streets, two after himself and the main street after his assistant Vincent. It was during this year that the bridge over the Avon River near St. Paul's Church was constructed by convicts, who also partly made the road from York to Beverley.
In 1872 the town of Beverley consisted of five buildings three of which are still standing, one of these was the first hotel to be built and was then known as the "Settlers Arms" but which is now called the "Dead Finish". The second building is the old Police Station in Hunt Road, in 1872 the Police Station was in charge of Police Constable Edwards, these two places coupled with another old house on Hunt road are Beverley's oldest buildings.
In those days before the railway was connected, the mail was carried on horseback from York to Beverley, and so on around the Dale, by Mr. Bartram Senior, the first mail contractor and also District Registrar.
The first Anglican minister to come to Beverley was the Reverend Lynch, and resided at Gilgering until later the Reverend Canon Groser took up his residence at "Wannering" where he lived until St Mary's Church and the present Rectory were built in 1890.
The first school to be erected was a small place on the Avondale Estate, in which in later years was removed to it's present position. About 1875 the first flour mill to serve the Beverley district was built at Yandegin, and was of the stone process; that is, the grain was ground between stones and driven by steam. A roller flour mill was established on the banks of the Avon about 1896, this was destroyed by fire on Christmas Day 1906.
Beverley's first Post Office was in the old Police Station building and was later in the Railway Station yards adjoining the present Co-Op buildings site. About 1880 came an important step in the advancement of civilisation, in the form of a telegraph line being built from York to Beverley. Perhaps an even more important step was taken when in 1886, the railway line was also constructed from York, as up to that date horse trams were the usual form of conveyance.
Not long after this railway was completed, the small town of Beverley was the scene of great activity, on October 20th. 1886 a train load of visitors, including departmental heads, arrived from Perth to witness the "turning of the first sod" of the Great Southern Railway by his Excellency Governor Broome. Up 'till about 1902 the terminus of the Government railway was Beverley, all trains stabling there overnight, and the refreshment rooms were built to accommodate through passengers.
During the period of '86 there were not many business places in our town; only two hotels. the old "Settlers Arms "and the Freemasons, Mrs. Sewell's store in the same building, a boot makers shop, and a butchery owned by Mr. Horace Smith.
The room now used for goods at the railway station was about this time used for Anglican Services, conducted by Beverley's first Stationmaster Mr. Drake Brockman. Mrs. Brockman conducted the Sunday School then, and later at the State School, this lady's memory is reverenced by quite a number of old time residents for the good work she then initiated and St Mary's Church is a monument to her and her husband's early efforts.
In later years the Methodist and Catholic Churches were established, the latter under the good Father from York and the former by a Mr. Mawson. In the earlier periods Beverley's water supply consisted of wells and the river, the late Thomas Edwards of Rockfield supplying residents with water from his wells at two shillings and sixpence a hogshead for drinking purposes. in those times the present site of the Avon Bridge on Monday mornings presented quite a variety of colours on clothes lines when some of the housewives dealt with the weekly wash. At that time the water in the river was much fresher than now and, some, had to be used for domestic purposes. It was not until 1907 - 1908 that the present supply was obtained. The first street lights used were acetylene gas and were few in number; electric light was adopted in about 1911 by the late Mr. P. Lambert.
The first motor vehicle to come to Beverley was a motor carriage on high wheels, and was then popularly known as the "Joy Bird". It was owned by the late Mr. DeLisle and it's chief characteristic was stream of fire from the rear which resembled a comet as the "Joy Bird" careered along. The main source of earnings to Beverley's first motor mechanic, Mr. Dean, then in his early stages, and he later became the proud possessor of it.
Early day amusements were limited to the annual fair (Agricultural Show), Races and Foundation day Sports, and were red letter days for young and old. Races in those days were different from today; every horse was a trier, punters and bookies being unknown although bets were made between man and man, but the sport generally was clean.
Cricket at that time was the popular summer game, Beverley then, as now, holding it's own with surrounding districts, and perhaps it would be interesting to mention some of the best players at that game, they were the late T. Davey, Sampee, J. Sewell, H. and E. Monger, J. Cahill, also W.V. Brown, J. Smith, L.A. Edwards, and D. and E. Bereton, all who are still residents of the Beverley district.
I might also mention that in those days the affairs of the town were controlled by a Mayor and Councilors, Beverley's first Mayor being the late Mr. William Smith. In later years the Municipality passed out of existence and from that time the Beverley Road Board has had authority over the whole of the district this brings me to the close of the old period or rather to the commencement of present day businesses.
The district which has advanced with the times, in all it's avenues, stands today among the most solid, being particularly noted for it's sheep industry. First in both wool and mutton, it is destined to be an important part the production of fat lambs for export besides holding it's own in every other branch of agricultural production."