October 2021










Located at the Old Schoolmaster's House, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Pinjarra. 

Our volunteers are there to greet you on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 3 pm, or by appointment.


The aim of the Historical Society is to research, collect, maintain and share stories of the Murray District that stretches from North Dandalup to Coolup, from West Murray to Dwellingup – and including the vibrant town of Pinjarra.  We have a well maintained local history library, interesting displays and a large collection of photographs, documents, and display books.


We also have a strong membership of enthusiastic people and are always looking for additional members to join us.  If you have a love of history, in particular of the Murray District, or if you have information to share, please visit us.  And if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of our group.  Our general meetings with a guest speaker are open to visitors.  Other events, including bus trips, are available to members.  All visitors are welcome to browse our collections during our ‘open’ hours or by appointment.



NOTE:    for All interested persons and All Members

Programme of coming events includes:




  • Sunday, 17th October 2021 – 9am-3pm

PINJARRA GARDEN DAY located in the beautiful surrounds of our historic Edenvale Precinct.

Loaded with activities for all ages, this is a fabulous, Free Entry and family friendly event.

The event will be led by an experienced garden presenter, entertainment, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, animal farm, food, stalls and so much more. Also pop in to the Old Schoolmaster’s House to view all that the Murray Districts Historical Society has on display.


  • Tuesday, 26th October 2021 – 7pm to 9pm


General Meeting @ The Lesser Hall, Pinjarra (next to the Library)

Guest Speaker: John Viska (Pres. Garden History Society, WA)

  • All are welcome to attend the meeting and presentation. 
  • Attendance is $2 for members and $5 for visitors.
  • Supper will be served at the conclusion of the evening.
  • If you would like to join us please contact Anne Cubitt on:

Mobile 0422 516 283 or email mdhspinjarra@outlook.com




PINJARRAH PARK 1823-1898 Theodore Fawcett and his Decendants

(Excerpts from information resourced and collated by Mervyn James Beacham)


Pinjarrah Park (Murray Location 1) was a 10 000 acre grant originally held by FD Wickham, an absentee land owner. The grant remained undeveloped and eventually passed to his brother-in-law Lt Col William Fawcett, member of a well-connected and respected military family.

In 1858 William’s son, Theodore Fawcett (1832-1898), resigned his commission as Captain in the 6th Dragoon Guards and came to Western Australia to develop the grant. A small 2 room cottage (typical of the early colonial era houses then extant to the Murray District) was erected and clearing commenced. By early 1860 tenders were called “for several miles of substantial two-rail fence at Pinjarrah Park”.


Following the lead of previous settlers in the district, Fawcett planted a vineyard (Dom Pedro variety) on the upper lands and an orchard on the river flats below the cottage.

Fawcett had an eye to the establishment of a pleasure garden at Pinjarrah Park is indicated by his importation in 1861 of the first Camellias into the colony.


At the beginning of 1863 Theodore Fawcett returned to England. It is assumed that the main homestead was already under construction by this time. In March of that year Fawcett’s agent advertised for a gardener for Pinjarra Park. The position was taken by John Witchell, who until his death 21 years later would tend the gardens and vines.


Theodore Fawcett returned to Western Australia in June of 1864 with his bride Eliza Audry Agnes Hill (1839-1918). Though coming from London society, Eliza proved to be the perfect partner in directing the running and development of Pinjarrah Park.


Fawcett had been instrumental in the formation of the Pinjarrah Mounted Volunteer Corps in 1862 and as its commander hosted the troop for inspection at gala days at Pinjarrah Park.


Ticket of leave convicts were used extensively to provide cheap labour on the estate, though this practice could lead to difficulties. In 1867 a disgruntled convict set fire to the haystacks in the yard close by the house.


In 1870 Pinjarrah Park received the first of many Vice Regal visits.


In early 1870’s Fawcett began distilling Brandy at Pinjarrah Park.  The property had been producing high quality wines for some ten years and the vineyard had grown to encompass some 40 acres. The distillation enterprise was expanded further to produce Eucalyptus Oil, which was considered to be superior to Bosisto’s product.


Theodore Fawcett died in 1898 and Eliza continued to run the property with the help of her son Ernest.


Pinjarrah Park passed out of the hands of the Fawcett family in the first decade of the 21st century. The property now consists of some 500 acres and is currently run as a caravan park.


The entire publication above can be read at the Murray Districts Historical Society.


At the Old Schoolmaster’s House in Henry … Come and look through the House as there is much more history to see and learn about!


Do you have an interest in the history of Pinjarra and the Murray Districts?

If you would like to become one of our volunteers, please advise Jill on 0408 846 567 or by email alanjill37@hotmail.com


Follow our monthly articles in the Community Newspaper for more information about the history of Pinjarra and the heritage buildings of the Murray District.  And we always welcome any stories or photos you are willing to share with us.


And we welcome new members.

For information about the Murray Districts Historical Society, its membership and its activities, please contact

Anne Cubitt – Secretary  mdhspinjarra@outlook.com


For assistance with research or general questions about local history, contact Merv Beacham on 0417 986 838, or Val King on 0458 673 608


For more photos and stories of the rich history of the Murray, look at our Website murrayhistory.org.au/home or visit us at the Old Schoolmaster’s House within the Edenvale Heritage Precinct.


You can also Like us on Facebook here


We are grateful to all of our Sponsors, Supporters and our Volunteers

and we look forward to All Visitors during 2021.


Murray Districts Historical Society • Old Schoolmaster's House, Henry Street • Edenvale Precinct • Pinjarra Western Australia