The first stage of the original Madora Bay residential locality was subdivided in 1960 with Madora Beach Road being constructed during 1959. The first stage consisted of the land bounded by Sabina Drive, Challenger, Albion and Madora Beach Roads. Prices were between £250 and £525 for the best lots fronting Sabina Drive on the beachfront. Terms were carried by the sellers with £5 deposit, the balance over seven years with 84 monthly payments, interest being 6% pa reducible adjusted quarterly.
Buyers secured their own water supply with rain water tanks and wells; sewerage disposal was by septic tanks. Within a year or two of the first stage being developed the State Electricity Commission supplied power.
Over the following years other stages were developed both north and south of Madora Beach Road. The name of the estate was changed during the 1970s by the developers from Madora Beach to Madora Bay as it was considered more attractive from a marketing perspective. Other initiates to improve the estate included planting Tuart Trees along Madora Beach Road and throughout the land to the east of the estate, together with the establishment of a park on the northern side of the intersection of Madora Beach Road and Sabina Drive. The site was leveled, lawn planted and water secured from a well established on what is now Lot 1 Madora Beach Road just to the east of Challenger Road. The well still exists with water supplied via pipes along the northern side of Madora Beach Road to the park.
An architecturally designed brick shop was erected on the southern corner of Madora Beach Road and Sabina Drive to promote the estate and support the local residents. Tenants of the general store were subsidised £3-10-00 a week by the developer on the condition the premises were operating during certain times of the year. The shop has since been demolished and the Madora Bay Tavern is erected on land that the shop formerly occupied.
The name Madora was chosen for the estate by the late Harry Perry being a variation of Chadora, a timber siding east of Dwellingup and Mandora, a cattle station near Broome. He also named the street names after early sailing ships that conveyed settlers to Western Australia.
Early ownership of the land is interesting with Thomas Peel being the original proprietor, Thomas Peel Junior in 1882 subdivided the initial holding of 42,514 acres and sold the super lots off to members of well known pioneering families like Dempster, Paterson and McLarty.
During this period the lot extended from modern day Karinga Road to north of Secret Harbour and well east of the Serpentine River. Gradually with subdivision Lot 3 Cockburn Sound Location 16 “shrank” and a 1908 Certificate of Title showing the beachfront land from Karinga Road in the south to the Singleton Beach boundary in the north extending inland well beyond the Serpentine River, Lot 3 consisted of 8,470 acres; the owner was a farmer Hubert Gull (today Gull Road runs north off Lakes Road near the Murray Field air strip). In those days the title shows the Mandurah to Fremantle Road transversed northwards from the right angle turn in Karinga Road. The present Mandurah Road alignment was gazetted in 1919 and the old alignment closed in 1923. The Madora Bay land holding north of Madora Beach Road was still identified as Part Lot 3 until the early 2000’s.
During the 1950’s the Mandurah Road Board conducted the town’s sanitary tip on the land situated on the south west corner of Karinga Road in modern day San Remo. In those days Karinga Road was known as “Perfume Lane”. The land is still owned by the City and is designated as “Karinga Reserve”.
As the title was further subdivided the land to the west of Mandurah Road was owned in turn by Levi Butcher, Duncan Ross McLarty, later Sir Ross McLarty, a Premier of West Australia and Roy Adam a farmer of present day Ravenswood. The land was used as a “run off” block during winter for cattle farmers in the Murray district.
In 1958 the property was purchased by Harry and Nancy Perry, Estate Agents of Mandurah. At this time the land consisted of some 800 acres. This change of ownership initiated the commencement of residential development in the locality with holiday home block buyers and retirees followed by younger families being the purchasers.
The original Madora Bay town site has been subdivided into some 650 lots and the newer development immediately north of Karinga Road, commenced in 2002 has approximately 400 lots.
(John Perry, 14 January 2009)