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18 July 1868 Willunga

 18 July 1868 Willunga

On 18 July 1868 a report on Willunga appeared in the South Australian Register that described the town as having some fine buildings including the Alma Hotel, Oddfellows Hall, Telegraph Office, Police Station and Court House, Catholic Church and School and a number of Non-Conformist Chapels. There were also some fine houses in this thriving township. As early as 1840 Willunga was being advertised as the ‘new halfway town to Encounter Bay and Currency Creek’, as well the mail coaches passed through there after a bridge had been built over the Onkaparinga River. Slate had been found in the nearby hills in 1840 and was soon being quarried and by 1857 the town was also the centre of the largest wheat growing district in the colony with the grain being shipped from Port Willunga. By the 1890s these two major industries of the district had fallen away with the demand for slate greatly reduced and the wheat growing moving into the northern areas of the colony. Willunga fell into a decline from which it did not recover until the 1950s.

Historic Places of Australia, National Trust, 1978, pp 498-511.

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