In 1896 the State Government awarded a contract to J Wishart & Sons for the construction of a 2,953 feet (about 900 metres) wharf at Mangrove Point (Town Beach) which was completed the following year.
The Port was essential to life in Broome as everyone relied on the West Australian Steam Navigation Company’s fortnightly mail steamer service to travel to Perth or Darwin. Ships of the Blue Funnel Line traveling between Perth and Singapore called at Broome en route.
The wharf was the headquarters of the pearling fleet, and essential to the cattle industry - a tradition which has continued into modern times. The port was connected to the town by a tramway line which ran from Chinatown to the end of the wharf.
The wharf served as a 'spring tide port' and trading vessels could only enter and leave port on spring high tides. At low tide the flat bottomed vessels would rest on the muddy sand.