Wasleys, South Australia
|Population||372 (2011 census)|
|Time zone||ACST (UTC+9:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||ACDT (UTC+10:30)|
|LGA(s)||Light Regional Council|
The town of Wasleys was established in an area known as the Mudla Wirra Forest. The name Mudla Wirra is aboriginal, Mudla meaning "implement" and Wirra meaning "forest". The town of Wasleys is now situated on an area first known as "Ridleyton" which was named after John Ridley, who laid out the village of Ridley in 1873. In 1869, the Peterborough railway line was built through the region and a railway station was erected on the land purchased by Josiah Wasley, one of the first settlers to the area.
The township was advertised to attract people seeking good agricultural land as "Ridley Township - Wasleys Station". In time two townships were announced and called Ridleyton and Wasley. As the towns grew the name Ridleyton was discarded and the town became known as Wasleys.
Early settlers soon made their mark on the history of the region. In 1843, John Ridley revolutionised the agricultural industry with the first "stripper machine".
In the 1860s, a local farmer named Charles Mullen created a method of ploughing which was known as "Mullenising". Mullen invented an implement, used throughout Australia, which was the precursor of the stump-jump plough.
During 1866-1877, pioneer farmer Richard Marshall succeeded in solving the "red rust" problem in wheat by crossbreeding various wheat varieties and improved soil conditions using bone meal on the land. After good crop returns, a student at Roseworthy College named Charles Deland, led a campaign in favour of fertilizer.
On 12 April 1970 a bus collided with a passenger train on the road from Wasleys to Gawler killing 17 people and injuring 45.
Wasleys became a thriving centre and once operated three chaff mills. Although the chaff mills have ceased operating, the town is still a focal point for agriculture and farming livestock, and as reported in The Bunyip on 27 September 1873, "There can be no questions that this is an excellent locality for a township". 85% of all residents were born in Australia, 10% in the UK, and the remaining 5% in other countries.
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