Northam – 1830s

Richard Ensign Dale, soldier and early explorer, travelled east of the Darling Mountains where he came to the Avon River. Although this was Noongar land, allotments were made available for Europeans for agricultural settlement by October 1830.

The Avon River also flooded that year. Noongars recounted that the flood of 1830 was so great and the land so marshy that kangaroos became bogged in it. [vi]

1832: Hostility between Noongars and Europeans increased as more explorers arrived in the Avon Valley area.[vii] As Europeans expanded their number of sheep and crops, Noongar people were deprived of their water holes and hunting grounds. The settlers demanded that soldiers were posted at York to protect them from the increasing conflict, and an outpost was established there.[viii]

1833: The town of Northam was gazetted.

1834: Agriculturalist, H.G. Smith travelled to Northam to view his grant of land with five volunteers and one Noongar man named Weenit. Noongar people, like Weenit, acted as guides for most European settlers.

Smith’s description of the Avon River is published in the Perth Gazette: The country he described was lush with native flora and fauna, with the Avon ‘abounding in kangaroos, musk and common wild ducks; also cockatoos.’ [ix]

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