Crowds soak up Randwick's rich history

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Historical WA farming and horse racing milestones were combined at the Randwick Stables Commemorative Day and Community Garden Open Day at Hamilton Hill on Sunday.

The open public invitation brought 1500 people to the property and surrounds that was first owned by Captain George Robb, who arrived at the Swan River colony in 1832.

The heritage trail included the community garden, which was the site of the Robbs' early pioneering Hamilton Hill farming house, built in 1830.

There was a spread of activity on the adjoining vacant swamp land, with visitors enjoying Clydesdales demonstrating all the heavy work of yesteryear.

Local historian Paul Watson said the swampland, which is under review for heritage listing, was part of the State's first land grant acquired by Captain Robb.

"The swampland was once a significant wetland, with a long Aboriginal history and which, during the late 1800s, supported a thriving and diverse community in the new colony," he said.

Mr Watson said the original wetland was ploughed in for cultivation purposes by the Chamberlain family in 1902, which established the Sunnydale orchard.

He said the property was a showpiece of the district for many years, and Mr Chamberlain (a prominent boat builder) won many major prizes for the property's produce at local agricultural shows.

The event was jointly funded by the city of Cockburn and Fremantle Port.

Full report and pictorial spread in next week's edition.

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