Here is another installment of the Small Town series. Today's country is Australia. All of these small towns have 50,000 inhabitants or less. I will be covering 10 different towns in today's post. I have included as much as I can about each small town.
Reservoir is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 12 km north of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Darebin.
Reservoir is an established suburb with standard brick homes, weatherboard homes, and an increasing number of new developments. The region contains popular recreation areas and facilities, including Edwardes Lake and the Reservoir Leisure Centre, and is home to the Edwardes Street and Broadway shopping strips.
The land which became the suburb of Reservoir was first surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 and was formed from parts of both the Jika Jika Parish and Keelbundoora Parish.
The Rose Shamrock Hotel opened on Plenty Road in 1854. Reservoir Post Office opened around 1921. Reservoir became a suburb at this time with the name coming from the three water reservoirs first built in 1863. The reservoirs were collectively known as Preston Reservoir, which continue to form part of the fresh water supplied to Melbourne’s inner and western suburbs. Preston Reservoir No.1, on the west of High Street, was excavated in 1863-64 and the clay was used to form the surrounding embankments, with the base and sides lined with bluestone pitchers. The reservoir commenced supplying water in 1864. The Maroondah Aqueduct was built in 1886–1891 to supply water to the Preston Reservoir from a diversion weir on the Watts River, which was dammed in 1927 to form Maroondah Reservoir. Until 1881 Preston Reservoir was Melbourne’s only service reservoir.
By 1884 it was determined that Preston Reservoir needed additional water storage and an area of approximately 11ha was purchased on the east side of High Street. Reservoirs No.2 and No.3 were constructed in 1909 and 1913 respectively. Eventually reservoirs No.2 and No.3 were covered to prevent dust entering the water supply.
In 1914 Thomas Dyer Edwardes donated an area of 34 acres of land to the people of the former City of Preston, which was developed into Edwardes Lake Park. Between 1919 and 1939 swimming was officially permitted with the presence of the Preston Lifesaving Club and regular demonstrations of swimming and lifesaving techniques during this time.
Wagga Wagga- 46,913 inhabitants
Wagga Wagga is a major regional city in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. Straddling the Murrumbidgee River, with an urban population of more than 56,000 as at June 2018, Wagga Wagga is the state's largest inland city, and is an important agricultural, military, and transport hub of Australia. The ninth fastest growing inland city in Australia, Wagga Wagga is located midway between the two largest cities in Australia–Sydney and Melbourne–and is the major regional centre for the Riverina and South West Slopes regions. The central business district is focused around the commercial and recreational grid bounded by Best and Tarcutta Streets and the Murrumbidgee River and the Sturt Highway. The main shopping street of Wagga is Baylis Street which becomes Fitzmaurice Street at the northern end. The city is in an alluvial valley and much of the city has a problem with urban salinity.
The original inhabitants of the Wagga Wagga region were the Wiradjuri people. In 1829, Charles Sturt became the first European explorer to visit the future site of the city. Squatters arrived soon after. The town, positioned on the site of a ford across the Murrumbidgee, was surveyed and gazetted as a village in 1849 and the town grew quickly after. In 1870, the town was gazetted as a municipality. During the negotiations leading to the federation of the Australian colonies, Wagga Wagga was a contender for the site of the capital for the new nation. During World War I the town was the starting point for the Kangaroo recruitment march.
The Great Depression and the resulting hardship saw Wagga Wagga become the centre of a secession movement for the Riverina region. Wagga Wagga became a garrison town during World War II with the establishment of a military base at Kapooka and Royal Australian Air Force bases at Forest Hill and Uranquinty. After the war, Wagga Wagga was proclaimed as a city in 1946 and new suburbs were developed to the south of the city. In 1982 the city was amalgamated with the neighbouring Kyeamba and Mitchell Shires to form the City of Wagga Wagga local government area.
Blacktown is a suburb in the City of Blacktown, in Greater Western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Blacktown is located 34 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. Blacktown is the largest of any township in New South Wales and is one of the most multicultural places within Greater Sydney. There have been discussions about changing the name of the City to Western Sydney City due to the belief that the name Blacktown is racist. However, this was voted against and the name has remained Blacktown.
Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the area of today's Blacktown was inhabited by different groups of the Darug people including the Warmuli, based around what is now Prospect, and their neighbours the Gomerigal from the South Creek area and the Wawarawarry from the Eastern Creek area. It is estimated that fifty to ninety percent of the Darug died of smallpox and other introduced diseases within a few years of the British arrival. Governor Arthur Phillip began granting land in the area to white settlers in 1791. In 1819 Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted land to two indigenous men, Colebee and Nurragingy as payment their service to The Crown, for showing the passage over the Blue Mountains and for assisting in dealing with Aboriginal issues.
In 1804, the battle of Vinegar Hill was fought at Rouse Hill on 5 March. Convicts escaping from the Castle Hill barracks clashed with government troops under major George Johnson, declaring themselves to be for 'liberty or death'. The convicts were easily defeated and died in the battle. A few years later in 1823, the Native Institution (a school for Aboriginal children) was moved from Parramatta to the site where Richmond Road meets Rooty Hill Road North (this intersection is now in the suburbs of Oakhurst and Glendenning) which was named "The Blacks Town". The institution was then known as Black Town Native Institute and it was synonymous with the stolen generation. Although the institution closed in 1833, the road heading out to the Institute became known as the Black Town Road.
In 1860 the Railway Department gave the name of Black Town Road Station to the railway station at the junction of the railway and the Black Town Road, with the name shortening to Blacktown by 1862. The arrival of the railway led to the formation of a town around the station. A post office was opened in 1862 and a school in 1877. In 1906, the Shire of Blacktown was formed and in 1930, electricity was introduced to the town. The population in 1933 was then around 13,000. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a large amount of suburban development both in the current suburb of Blacktown and the new suburbs that sprung up around it. This led to civic development in the town centre with the hospital opening in 1965, the courthouse and police station in 1966, the library in 1967 and the TAFE college in 1969. In 1973, the Westpoint shopping centre opened which was soon followed by the cinema complex.
Hoppers Crossing- 38,108 inhabitants
Hoppers Crossing is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 23.1 km south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Wyndham local government area.
The suburb is named after the family of Stephen Hopper (1832-1908), who were residents in the area. In the late 19th century, Hopper's wife, Elizabeth, was the gatekeeper at the level crossing where Hoppers Lane (Old Melbourne Road) crossed the Geelong-Melbourne railway, adjacent to the present Hoppers Crossing railway station.
Castle Hill- 35,389 inhabitants
Castle Hill is a suburb of the Hills District. It is within Sydney,New South Wales,Australia, located 30 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district and 9.5 kilometres north of Parramatta. It is within the Hills District region, split between the local government areas of The Hills Shire and Hornsby Shire.
The land that is now called Castle Hill was originally home to the Bidjigal people, who are believed to be a clan of the Dharuk people, who occupied all the land to the immediate west of Sydney. The best-known Aboriginal person from that time is Pemulwuy, a Bidjigal leader who led the resistance movement against settlers, including sacking farms in Castle Hill, before his eventual capture and dispatch by local law enforcement. The Bidjigal people are today commemorated by Bidjigal Reserve which straddles the suburbs of Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, North Rocks and West Pennant Hills.
In the past Castle Hill was serviced by the Rogans Hill railway line to Parramatta to take the rural area's produce to the city. However, it was closed in 1932, due to competition with buses, trucks and cars. Local landmarks include Castle Hill House (circa 1844) on Old Northern Road, which has a local-government heritage listing; the public school (1879), Old Northern Road, also with a LG heritage listing; the former parsonage (1866), Parsonage Road; and the former church, Old Northern Road, now converted to commercial use.
A notable part of Castle Hill's cultural history was the period from the post-war period until 1968 in which Nobel laureate Patrick White and his partner Manoly Lascaris lived at 74 Showground Road in a house they named "Dogwoods". For much of that period, they worked several hectares of farmland at the site. White wrote several of his most well-known novels while at Castle Hill; the suburb formed the basis of fictional settings for the novels The Tree of Man, The Solid Mandala, Riders in the Chariot, the collection of short stories The Burnt Ones, and the play The Season at Sarsaparilla. In his work, Castle Hill went variously by the names of "Sarsaparilla" and Durilgai". White based several characters on his experience of local individuals in Castle Hill at the time.
Rowville- 34,145 inhabitants
Rowville is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 27 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Knox local government area. Rowville is named after the Row family, whose property Stamford Park was established in 1882. The Stamford Park homestead has been restored in recent years by Knox Council. Geographically, Rowville is one of the largest suburbs south-east of Melbourne. Rowville Post Office opened on 20 December 1905 and closed in 1987. In 1989 it reopened in the new Stud Park (formerly Darryl Park) Shopping Centre.
Rowville has developed rapidly over the 1980s and 1990s, especially in terms of housing and light industrial activities. Culturally, Rowville is still developing, like many of Melbourne's outer suburbs. Development has included the construction of the Wellington Village shopping centre on Wellington Road, complementing the Rowville Lakes shopping centre on Kelletts Road. Rowville has many estates including the prestigious Sovereign Crest Estate and the older Timbertop Estate. Sovereign Crest Estate covers is a medium-sized estate which includes homes located on parts of Karoo Road, in particular 130–above.
Stud Park (formerly Kalle Anka) Shopping Centre, opened in 1989, is the largest in the suburb. It houses the Rowville branch of the Eastern Regional Library, and is adjacent to the Rowville Community Centre under the Clock Tower. The Stringybark Festival is held at the centre every third weekend of October each year and attracts over 25,000 visitors. The event is organised by the Knox Council, and is one of Australia's longest running sustainability event. There are three golf courses within Rowville. Stud Park is currently getting an expansion. Rowville is at the intersection of many local government areas with the suburb connecting to suburbs within the Shire of Yarra Ranges, City of Monash, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and City of Knox.
Albany- 33,650 inhabitants
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 km southeast of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years. The city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which is a part of King George Sound. The central business district is bounded by Mount Clarence to the east and Mount Melville to the west. The city is in the local government area of the City of Albany. The Albany settlement was founded on 26 December 1826, as a military outpost of New South Wales as part of a plan to forestall French ambitions in the region. To that end, on 21 January 1827, the commander of the outpost, Major Edmund Lockyer, formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown.
The settlement was initially named Frederick Town in honour of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. In 1831, the settlement was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling. During the last decade of the 19th century the town served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The opening of the Fremantle Inner Harbour in 1897, however, saw its importance as a port decline, after which the town's industries turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later, whaling.
Today as a city it is the southern terminus for tourism in the region, and the state's South West, which is known for its natural environment and preservation of heritage. The town has a role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troop ships departing Australia in the First World War. On 1 November 2014 the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers opened the National Anzac Centre in Mount Clarence, Albany, to commemorate 100 years since the first ANZAC troops departed from King George Sound. Approximately 40,000 people attended the commemoration events held between 30 October and 2 November 2014. Also an auxiliary submarine base for the US Navy's 7th Fleet was developed during the Second World War in the event the submarine base at Fremantle was lost. Also in the harbour was an RAN Naval Installation which provided for alongside refuelling from four 5000 ton fuel tanks.
Croydon- 26,946 inhabitants
Croydonis a suburb of Melbourne,Victoria,Australia, 28 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Maroondah. Dating back to 1840 the land was first utilised by settlers for grazing and the first road cut through the area now known as Croydon, was initially known as Sawmill Road, as a sawmill was nearby. Later it became known as Oxford Road and later Mt Dandenong Road, some time in the early 1900s. Owing to the coarse silvery-white grass, the area now known as Croydon was first called "White Flats". The Lacey family from Essex, England named the area Croydon after Mrs Lacey's home town. They preferred this to Mr Lacey's home town, Steeple Bumpstead. The Lacey family has a street named after them near the Main St. shopping precinct.
In 1868 parcels of land were surveyed and the first habitations were constructed with wattle and daub. These were later rebuilt in timber and the area prospered in sheep, beef and dairy farming, and sawmills. Orchards were soon established and thrived. Crops included apples, cherries, pears, peaches and plums. Street names in and around Croydon now reflect the impact orchards had on "White Flats". In 1874 Cobb & Co. ran horses and carts to the area, also known as Brushy Creek.
In 1882 a single rail track was constructed through to Lilydale. When opened on 1 December 1882 the station was called Warrandyte. Travellers would travel by rail to "Warrandyte" station and were then faced with a horse and coach ride to Warrandyte, some 10 km north, which was not well received by the vast majority of travellers, believing the Yarra River was close by. On 1 August 1884 it was renamed Croydon railway station.
From the mid-1880s Croydon started to develop and Mr James Hewish built his home and several other business ventures, including a general store, news agency, butchers shop and hotel, and planted various orchard trees. The Post Office opened on 1 December 1883 after the railway line was established. Nelson's Hill Post Office opened nearby in 1902 and was renamed Burnt Bridge in 1979. In 1908 Croydon Hall, in Mt Dandenong Road, was built. It is now home to EV's Entertainment Centre. In 1912 Croydon was proclaimed and gazetted as a town. In 1925 the Croydon section of the Lilydale railway line was electrified, with electrification arriving at Lilydale a month later. Croydon railway station was rebuilt in the 1980s. As part of its increasing passenger traffic the bus station/interchange was revamped in the early 2000s and is used by Invicta and Ventura Bus Services.
In the early 1920s a Monday market began. The market included live animals, chickens, birds and other small animals. It was a noted landmark and meeting place for locals from neighbouring suburbs until the site was redeveloped in the 1980s. It closed down in 2012.
Originally Croydon was part of the Shire of Lillydale. In 1957 a request was submitted for Croydon to leave the Shire of Lillydale and become its own entity. The City of Croydon|Shire of Croydon was incorporated in May 1961 and was proclaimed a City in 1971. It was merged, along with the City of Ringwood, into the City of Maroondah in 1994.
Alice Springs- 25,186 inhabitants
Alice Springs is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Known as Stuart until 31 August 1933, the name Alice Springs was given by surveyor William Whitfield Mills after Alice, Lady Todd (née Alice Gillam Bell), wife of the telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Todd. Now colloquially known as The Alice or simply Alice, the town is situated roughly in Australia's geographic centre. It is nearly equidistant from Adelaide and Darwin. The area is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for tens of thousands of years.
The city's population accounts for approximately 10% of the population of the Northern Territory. The town straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The surrounding region is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, an arid environment consisting of several different deserts. Temperatures in Alice Springs can vary, with an average maximum in summer of 35.6 °C (96.1 °F) and an average minimum in winter of 5.1 °C (41.2 °F).
Forest Hill- 10, 052 inhabitants
Forest Hillis a suburb of Melbourne,Victoria,Australia, 18 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Whitehorse. Forest Hill was recently ranked 93rd on Melbourne's most liveable suburb list, which was higher than other nearby popular suburbs such as Bentleigh, Mount Waverley and Glen Waverley. Forest Hill Post Office opened on 1 March 1874 in the then rural area. It closed in 1895, reopened in 1902 and closed in 1976. The Forest Hills Centre office opened in 1965 shortly after the centre opened and was renamed Forest Hill in 1985.
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