Peppermint Grove is one of the State’s most beautiful suburbs, known for its large character homes set in tranquil tree lined streets. The area embraces the Swan river and foreshore parks for recreation, and is serviced by a major shopping complex and an extensive range of retail and trade services.
Its long history goes back to 1835 when an innkeeper named John Butler was given a grant of land consisting of 150 acres along the north bank of the Swan River, the area now known as Peppermint Grove.
The land changed hands a number of times over the years, and in 1891, subdivision commenced when the land was purchased by a syndicate of George Leake, Charles Crossland and Alexander Forrest.
In its earlier days, Peppermint Grove was thickly wooded with tuarts, jarrahs, red gum, banksia, native pines, hollies and the beautiful peppermint trees which inspired its name. Brumbies roamed in the area, along with native cats, wallabies and an abundance of birds.
The subdivisions sold fast for between 7 and 12 pounds each (around $15 – $25) – an amount which is hard to comprehend today when vacant lots are selling for approximately up $3500 per square metre.
One of the earliest settlers was Edward Keane who later became Mayor of Perth. Another influential landowner was John Forrest, later to be Lord Forrest, Premier of Western Australia.
In 1895, after strong representations from residents, the area was gazetted a Road District, and the Peppermint Grove Road Board was established. Its main efforts were directed at providing essential roads and footpaths. The Road Board was the forerunner to the present Shire Council.
In those early days, the Premier of the day was at first reluctant to declare Peppermint Grove a Road District because of its small size, but the residents won through. Today, Peppermint Grove has the unique status of being the smallest municipality in Western Australia, covering just 1.5 square kilometres of land. From time to time, there have been calls for boundary change, but these have always been firmly rebuffed by residents.
The Shire has a population of over 1600, with a large proportion of residents who have long established links with the Shire going back over many generations.
The Council today consists of seven Councillors, including a Shire President. There are five men and two women Councillors elected.
The Shire’s Chief Executive Officer is readily accessible, and there is a marked absence of unnecessary bureaucracy.
The Council recognises that a key objective of residents is to maintain the unique character of Peppermint Grove, and its policies and decisions are formulated to that end.
Many of the Council’s strategies and initiatives are specifically directed at helping to preserve, maintain and enhance the ambience of Peppermint Grove.