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Esperance Bay was named by the French navigator Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1792 as his two ships took shelter near Observatory Island during a storm. Settlement did not occur until 1864 however, when the pioneering Dempster Brothers drove sheep, cattle and horses from Northam to establish the Esperance Bay Pastoral Station.

The townsite of Esperance was Gazetted in 1893 after the discovery of gold in the Eastern Goldfields, and seemingly overnight, the little town experienced an incredible transformation as fortune seekers from all over Australia and around the world flooded the once sleepy little port on their way to the Goldfields.

In September of 1895, Esperance was declared a Municipality, however in the years following the district saw great population fluctuations as it endured the good times and the bad until the 1960's when the Esperance sand-plain began to emerge as a major agricultural region.

For a more in depth look at the rich history of Esperance visit the Esperance Museum or head to the Municipal Heritage Inventory.

The Shire Administration Building through the years: 1896 - 1898 - 1965 - 1992