Capel was settled very early in the history of Western Australia. In the 1830's both the first Governor, Captain James Stirling, and later his successor, Governor John Hutt, took up land in the region following the rich coastal strip and the Capel River Valley. Early prosperity also came from the fledgling timber industry in the State's Forests No 1 and 2, when the Tuart was used for railway sleepers and wagons. Capel and surrounding areas are the traditional lands of the indigenous Wardandi Nyungar people.
Today Capel and its Districts are bolstered by mineral sands mining, however the backbone and character of the area are still supported by its earliest industry, farming, and now diverse agricultural industries, including viticulture, dairy industry, dairy processing plants and blue gums. The Shire's boundaries take in the picturesque town of Boyanup, the semi-rural settlements of Stratham, Gelorup, Elgin, Gwindinup and Capel River Valley, and the beachside estates of Peppermint Grove and Dalyellup.
Boyanup town was settled (Europeans) in the 1840's by Dublin lawyer, James Bessonnet who named his farm 'Boyanup' meaning 'place of quartz' in indigenous Nyungar language.
On the 'Harvest Highway', Boyanup is a thriving and picturesque country town. Whether you are interested in sampling fruit wines and fresh fruit from the orchard, arts and crafts, hand crafted furniture or picnicing beside the Preston River, Boyanup has it all.
If you are interested in knowing more about the history of the Shire of Capel and it's people, the Shire's history book, "Just a Horse Ride Away", is available for purchase at the Iluka Capel Public Library for a cost of $50.00. You can contact the Library on 08 9727 0290.