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Western Australia


Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Toodyay Local History

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The region of Toodyay is located in Western Australia, Australia. It is a small town approximately 80 km northeast of Perth. The region has a rich local history dating back thousands of years, with evidence of Aboriginal activity in the area. The town was first founded as Newcastle in 1836 as a military post, and later renamed to Toodyay in 1910. The town has featured prominently in Western Australian history due to its strategic location on the Avon River.

The Toodyay region was originally inhabited by the Ballardong Noongar people. Evidence of their settlement can be found in the area, such as stone tools and rock shelters. The Ballardong Noongar people have a deep connection to the land and continue to live in the region today, passing on their traditional knowledge and culture to the next generation.

In 1836, Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury, a member of the 21st Regiment of Foot, established a military post in the region. The purpose of the post was to protect the newly established Swan River Colony from potential attacks by Aboriginal people. The post was named Newcastle and was located on the eastern bank of the Avon River. The post was later abandoned in 1855, and the buildings were dismantled and used to build other structures in the area.

The town of Toodyay was established in 1836 as a result of the establishment of the Newcastle military post. The town was founded by settlers looking to establish farms in the area. The town’s name was officially changed from Newcastle to Toodyay in 1910. The name Toodyay is believed to come from an Aboriginal word meaning “place of plenty” or “place of many rocks”.

The town of Toodyay has played a significant role in Western Australian history. In 1861, the area became widely known as the site of the first major conflict between settlers and Aboriginal people. Known as the “Battle of Bolgart”, the conflict arose from tensions between the settlers and the Yued people who lived in the area. The conflict resulted in the deaths of several Aboriginal people and two settlers.

The region was also a major hub for the transport of goods during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The town of Toodyay was located at the head of navigation of the Avon River, making it an ideal location for the transport of goods by barge. The town became a hub for transport of goods such as wool, wheat, and sandalwood. The railway eventually replaced the barge transport system, with a railway line being built in the area in 1891.

The region is also home to several historical sites. The oldest building in the region is the Old Gaol Museum, which was built in 1864 and served as the town’s gaol until 1909. The Toodyay Courthouse, built in 1861, is another historical site in the area. The courthouse is now a museum, and visitors can learn about the region’s history and the legal system in Western Australia.

In conclusion, the Toodyay region has a rich local history dating back thousands of years. The region has played a significant role in Western Australian history, with the establishment of the Newcastle military post and the town of Toodyay. The region has also been a major hub for the transport of goods and is home to several historical sites. Today, the region is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who come to learn about the area’s rich history and experience its natural beauty.

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