John Butler was an early settler from Liverpool who arrived in Australia in January 1830. He set up a
farm and inn at Freshwater Bay (now Peppermint Grove) to accommodate people travelling
between Fremantle and Perth. He became the first European explorer to visit the Alkimos area in
1834, when he led a small group north from Perth to search for lost cattle. John Butler’s
contributions to local history can still be seen today with several places named after him, such as
Butler’s Swamp (now Lake Claremont), the suburb of Butler, and John Butler Primary College. A
monument to commemorate John Butler and a military pensioner settlement can be seen in Lake
Lieutenant George Grey visited the area soon afterwards in 1838, followed by John Septimus Roe
and Governor Hutt in 1841. As Perth expanded people began to settle in the Wanneroo area and the
land that would become Alkimos was leased to L.B. Lukin in 1888. The area was originally part of the
Perth Road District, which then became the City of Stirling until the Wanneroo Road Board was
established in 1902, later becoming the shire of Wanneroo in 1961. As the population grew,
Wanneroo gained city status in 1985. As the area continued to prosper and expand, new urban
centres were planned to house the increasing population, one of these was Alkimos.
Butler, J (1835) ‘John Butler’s report of an excursion to search for cattle 35 miles north of Perth in
March 1834’ Exploration Diaries. WA Dept. of Lands and Surveys, pg. 280-281.
Chambers, A. (1991) The pioneers : a story of Wanneroo. City of Wanneroo, Joondalup, WA.
Monument Australia (2014) Butler’s Swamp. Accessed online at: www.monumentaustralia.org.au