Quaalup Homestead Bremer Bay WA
John Wellstead built Quaalup Homestead in 1858. The Wellstead family resided in Bremer Bay, however they free-ranged this area with cattle and sheep to preserve their own pasture. During this time they built the Homestead, which was initially used as an outpost and the barn, which stored the various fodder that they cropped. The original Homestead consisted of three rooms: the kitchen, bedroom and a sitting room.
In 1890, John Hassell took out a Pastoral Lease extending from Jerramungup to House Beach (located at Hood Point). The Hassell family grazed only sheep and one brother lived at the Homestead. He had a teamster working for him by the name of James McGlade. James was in charge of shepherding the sheep from Quaalup to House Beach. They were shorn there and the ﬂeece loaded onto rafts that were then ﬂoated out to clipper ships anchored just oﬀ the coast. James’ daughter, May McGlade, died in 1927 at the age of 18 years from a chest complaint. On return from shepherding (2 days later) James took a tall kitchen cupboard out of the Homestead, knocked the shelves out and that became Mary’s coﬃn. Mary was buried on the side of the track leading to Quaalup (the lonely grave on the nature walk). Mick Hassell married in 1930 and the Homestead was extended by three rooms. The Hassell family deserted Quaalup and the House Beach area once a main road was built from Jerramungup to Albany. The shearing shed at House Beach and James McGlades cottage were pulled down and the materials utilised to extend the main shearing shed at Jerramungup. The Lugge family was next to live at Quaalup after swapping land they owned with the government. However, because of health problems they soon returned to Perth. Quaalup then became part of the War Service Settlement Scheme made up of 13 blocks. Unfortunately, due to the land not being viable for growing food crops, it was never taken up. Quaalup was eventually sold oﬀ block by block. Two of those blocks have gone to the National Park and the remaining 6 have diﬀerent owners. Geoﬀ and Norma Keen bought Quaalup Homestead in 1974. He was the Park Ranger at that time and the family spent years restoring the Homestead, which was badly vandalised. The old barn was a solid building up to the seventies, when somebody stole the roof and it started to fall apart. In 1989 the O’Brien family purchased Quaalup. Since June 2004 it has been owned by Karin and Carsten from Hamburg, Germany. The 40 acres of native bush surrounded by the Fitzgerald River National Park are now the “Quaalup Homestead Wilderness Retreat” with the Homestead being part of it.