In 1891 distinguished colonist Edward Keane purchased land that included what was then known as ‘Butler’s Hump’, now Keane’s Point. By 1894, Edward had built their family home, Cappoquin House which they named after their home town in Ireland.
Although his work as a civil engineer, builder and politician kept him extremely busy, Keane still found time to be an instrumental force in establishing the Freshwater Bay Boating Club at the foot of Irvine Street in December 1896. With government agreement, the Club, now known as The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, built a jetty out into the Bay with its own club house (look out for the plaque to mark the spot, next time you visit the bay). Keane died in 1904, and twelve years later his wife decided to subdivide their land into residential sites.
The subdivision was suspended when an influential group united to purchase the land to keep it in public hands. In 1920, the land was leased to the Repatriation Department for Permanently Disabled Returned Soldiers, and Cappoquin became Anzac Hostel and accepted 14 patients. By 1928 numbers had reduced to just six patients who were transferred to Lucknow Hospital.
The area subsequently became a popular camping ground before finally being leased, in 1936, to the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. The club has flourished and it remains a premier home for yachting in Western Australia.