Gregory, Western Australia
|Population||46 (2006 census)|
|Elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Northampton|
Port Gregory, located close to the mouth of the Hutt River, was established in 1849 and named after brothers Augustus and Frank Gregory, two of Western Australia's most active explorers. In May 1853 sixty convicts and Pensioner Guards arrived from England via Fremantle in the ships Leander and GoldDigger. A townsite was gazetted in 1854 as Pakington near the shore with Lynton gazetted as the convict depot and townsite for the Guards inland on the Hutt River inland. The convicts were utilised for Government works and in establishing a road to the Murchison River and the Geraldine lead mine operated by Cornish miners during the 1850s. Ticket-of-leave men from the depot were hired out for work at the port and on nearby farms and stations.
A major employer was Captain H. A. Sanford who as Magistrate for the region and the Superintendent of Convicts built an impressive homestead alongside Lynton. He resigned in 1854 and took up pastoral and whaling pursuits, establishing a whaling facility just north of the Pakington townsite. John Bateman and others also established whaling facilities nearby. The name Pakington was rarely used however and the name Port Gregory which is the harbour located next to the town, was more generally accepted. Initially the port was used by whalers and pastoralists and to ship Lead from the mines (notably the Geraldine mine operated by miners who were part of the Cornish diaspora in the 19th century) in the Murchison region during the 1850s. Salt from nearby Hutt Lagoon was shipped until the depression when the port and both the 'towns' became deserted. In being unwilling to bombard the nearby port of Geraldton due to a large number of aircraft visible from his submarine, the Captain of IJN I 165 bombarded Port Gregory in January 1943 in the mistaken belief it was still occupied. The bombardment was one example of German and Japanese attacks on Australia during World War II. There are many ship wrecks in the vicinity most caused by the unsuitability of the port for large vessels. These include trading and whaling vessels and an iron ship, the SS Xantho which sank after being overloaded with lead ore from the Geraldine mine.
The townsite changed its name to Gregory in 1967.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gregory (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- McDonald, G. K., 1994. The Little Boat harbour: history of Port Gregory. WA Museum, Fremantle.
- Hiroyuki Agawa (nd). The reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the Imperial Navy. Kodansha international, Tokyo, p. 307.
- Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – G". Retrieved 2008-10-27.