Ages ago, I started a project to take photos of all the old houses in the area with my Holga medium format camera.

Well, I only got so far and lost interest, but I was going through my photos and discovered I’d taken a  load with the regular digital camera.

So with a little nip and tuck in Lightroom, I kinda massaged them into a similar feel of image to finish the project – at least as finished as it was going to get.The houses arent very old in the this part of the world  – the entire suburb (in terms of Anglo/Modern Australian settlement anyways – the Noongar Aboriginal people have been here for over 40,000 years before that – but thats a whole different story) dates back only to about 1830, but it wasn’t really until 1870’s to the turn of the century that the place boomed.

After the decline of the town as a regional port (newer deeper water facilities opened up in Fremantle to the north), the place fell quiet and was really only used as a sleepy holiday/fishing town.  It’s the houses from this period that still remain – the fishing shacks and prefab houses – these are the ‘old’ buildings in the area.


Some of these buildings sit on prime beachside land, but remain dilapidated – presumably because their owners lack the funds to develop but don’t want to sell and relocate.  Some have been lovingly brought up to date.  Many have been flattened and the sites subdivided and modern units built in their place.  I see a lot more going this way, hence my thoughts about doing this project.

Well, there wont be time to finish it, to interview some of the occupants as I’d originally planned – I’m moving away from the ocean that I have grown to love, up to the forested hills to Jarrahdale (ironically, the site of the jarrah forests and sawmills that fuelled the growth in Rockingham back in the 1800’s!).  So I thought I’d put the pics up and close the book on it as it were.

Jarrahdale has it’s own story , closely related to Rockingham, and maybe I’ll get the urge to dig a bit deeper once the initial move and maintenance is completed on the house, but for now, here’s ‘Shack’ – part of Rockingham’s post industrial leisure and holiday making past.


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