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Our History

The Shire has evolved from humble beginnings, dating back to 1840 when Thomas Peel established the Serpentine Farm on his land grant on the banks of the Serpentine River (Mann, Wilma, Harnessing Voices, 2001).

Jarrahdale Centenary Log website

Prior to the Serpentine Road Board being gazetted in 1896, the area was governed by the Canning Road Board. Upon the formation of the Serpentine Road Board, which held its first meeting in 1897, the new Road Board controlled a corridor about 18.5km wide extending from Albany Highway to the coast. (Coy, N.J. The Serpentine, 1979).

In 1902, the Jarrahdale Road Board was formed and the two Road Boards, Serpentine and Jarrahdale functioned independently for almost a decade. In 1913 the Serpentine and Jarrahdale Road Boards combined to become the Serpentine Jarrahdale Road Board. Land west of the Serpentine River system was transferred to the Rockingham Road Board. (Coy, N.j. The Serpentine 1979). In July 1961, the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Road Board was transformed into the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale when seven Road Board members were sworn in as Shire Councillors. (Coy, N.J. The Serpentine, 1979).

With its good soils and access to markets, the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale was a very stable farming and orchard area with other industries based on its natural resources. There was, and still is, timber processing based on local forest product and brickworks based on local shale and clay. In the late seventies these were supplemented by Alcoa’s bauxite mining with a crushing plant in Jarrahdale, all of which provided local employment. Today small holdings and a rural lifestyle have seen the development of several equestrian establishments. 

A steady growth in the value of rural production together with recognition by local government of the Shire's food production capacity, the need for protection of good agricultural land, and the necessity for value added enterprises, have all added to the Shire's reputation as a 'food bowl'.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has a strong sense of history based on the original families to settle in the area, from the early Peel settlers, the group settlement families, and later generations. While the Darling Range escarpment will always hold its appeal, the Shire and the community recognise the cultural significance of the build heritage of the area. 

In 2016, the Shire is a local government authority handling significant growth, whilst nurturing the rural lifestyle and character of our community. The suburb of Byford has recently been ranked fourth in the nation for family friendliness as part of the ‘Top 100 Family Friendly Suburbs’ report compiled by RP Data.