North Coogee is a coastal, western suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn. The suburb is immediately to the north of Coogee, which takes its name from the lake, Lake Coogee, in the area, which translates to "Body of water" in the native Aboriginal Nyoongar language. Originally this lake was named Lake Munster after Prince William, the Earl of Munster, and later King William IV. The aboriginal name Kou-gee was recorded in 1841 by Thomas Watson and has been variously spelt Koojee, Coojee and Coogee.
As the area was adjacent to the relatively safe harbour of Owen's Anchorage in Cockburn Sound, the area began to be used as an alternative destination point for ship arrivals.
The original land grant was to George Robb and stretched between Hamilton Hill and North Lake. In 1899 it was further subdivided and by 1900 the area saw the establishment of a number of commercial lime kilns, to provide for the construction boom and population growth which had been brought about by gold discoveries.
The area continued to take on an industrialised character that continued until the early 1990s. Features of the area included the Fremantle Smelting Works, just south of Island Street, which processed lead and base bullion from Kalgoolie. Next to the smelter was the slaughter house of Copley & Co, processing sheep and cattle on the same location where John Wellard had slaughtered sheep for the Convict establishment in the early 1850s. Further south at Robb Jetty, slaughter houses operated by Forrest, Emanuel & Co, and Connor, Doherty and Durack existed, these slaughter houses essentially supplied all the meat to the metropolitan area and the expanding goldfields. The livestock arriving from the north-west of the state including the Kimberley Region and were unloaded from from the ships onto the jetty. As there was no cold storage at the slaughter houses extensive pasturing for the animals as well as small market gardens were established in the region around the abattoir.
In 1898 a railway was built from Fremantle to Robb Jetty. The slaughter houses expanded with a bone mill, blood manure and skin-drying sheds added. Next to the slaughter houses an explosives magazine was built in the sandhills. In addition a piggery, slaughter hosue and bacon factory were built by J.C Hutton & Co, south of Robb Jetty at James Rocks.
In 1903 the railway was extended to Woodman Point and the explosives magazine was moved there, further away from Fremantle.
The area steadily became the centre of much of Perth's heavy industry and comprised the coal fired power station, railway marshalling yards, abattoir as well as numerous skin drying sheds. From the 1980s however, pressures brought on by demands for residential housing began a process of removal of the various facilities.Railway marshalling yards A large WAGR marshalling yard with signal box tower built in the 1960s during the standard gauge railway line project from Kalgoorlie to Leighton.
The yard was decommissioned in the Westrail era in the 1990s.Robb Jetty Abattoir The abattoir was closed in 1994 with the jetty itself dismantled in the 1960s. All that remains of the former jetty are the pylons which extend between 200 – 300 meters out to sea. The chimney is the only remaining part of the large complex of buildings which included offices, holding yards, freezer and chiller facilities. The chimney is listed in the State Register of Heritage Places.South Fremantle Power Station Construction of the Power Station commenced in January, 1946. The South Fremantle site was chosen for its relatively close metropolitan population, its proximity to nearby railway facilities for the delivery of coal and the ease with which seawater could be utilised for the cooling system. The four boilers 1, 2, 3 & 4 of 'A' Station were fired up in January 1951; the first 25 MW turbo-alternator came on line in May 1951 prior to the official opening of the Power Station on 27 June 1951 by the Hon. David Brand, Minister for Electricity. In September 1951, the second 25 MW turbo alternator came on line. The No. 3 turbo alternator came on line in January 1954, and the No. 4 turbo alternator in December 1954. The power station was then complete with a total capacity of 100 MW.
Much of the plant was designed and manufactured in England, with skilled contractors were sent out from England to assemble the plant on site. The State Energy Commission encouraged the recruitment of staff by providing housing in the Hilton Park area, and the new suburb soon had many community amenities. A bus service from the Power Station to Hilton and Fremantle was provided for shift workers. Over 250 workers were employed at the power station during the 1950s.
In 1954, a major fire at South Fremantle in the coal conveyor from the crusher house caused structural damage and resulted in a switch to oil fuel for the boilers. In the mid 1970s the plant was converted back to coal, which fuelled the station until its closure in 1985. By the 1980s production of electricity at South Fremantle had become uneconomical. The interconnected grid then was supplying electricity from power stations with more up-to-date machinery and closer to the coal source at Collie, Bunbury, Kwinana and Muja.
In September 1985, the South Fremantle Power Station closed after 34 years service and its four chimney stacks were demolished.