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Toodyay (Noongar: Duidgee), known as Newcastle between 1860 and 1910, is a town on the Avon River in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 85 km north-east of Perth on Ballardong Noongar land. The first European settlement occurred in the area in 1836. After flooding in the 1850s, the townsite was moved to its current location in the 1860s. It is connected by railway and road to Perth. During the 1860s, it was home to bushranger Moondyne Joe.
Old Toodyay, 1836-1860
The Avon River valley in which Toodyay was to be located was discovered for the white settlers by Ensign Robert Dale in 1830, leading to further exploration by settlers including James Drummond, Captain Francis Whitfield and Alexander Anderson. The first village of Toodyay was established in 1836, one of the earliest inland settlements in Western Australia. Drummond established his homestead Hawthornden a few kilometres to the north.
Newcastle, 1860-1910
The original townsite was subject to flooding, which led to its abandonment in the 1850s, and a new townsite was established on higher ground 2 km upstream. This was proclaimed by Governor Arthur Kennedy on 1 October 1860 as "Newcastle" and the original settlement came to be referred to as "Old Toodyay".
In 1870, a steam-driven flour mill, Connor's Mill, was built on Stirling Terrace by George Hasell. The mill was also used to generate electricity in the early twentieth century. Saved from demolition in the 1970s, and restored to demonstrate the milling process and machinery, the mill now forms the museum section of the Toodyay Visitor Centre.

References and Links

Erickson, Rica 1969, The Drummonds of Hawthornden, Lamb Paterson, Osborne Park.

Erickson, Rica 1971, The Victoria Plains, Lamb Paterson, Osborne Park

Erickson, Rica 1974, Old Toodyay and Newcastle, Toodyay Shire Council

Erickson, Rica 1978, The Dempsters, UWAP.

Erickson, Rica 1997, The Misfortunes of Phoebe, Hesperian Press, Carlisle.

Pelloe, Mrs T. 1929, 'The York Road', Early Days, vol. 1, part 6: 1-16.

Wikipedia, as above.

Toodyay Historical Society bibliography.

Redcoat Settlers in Western Australia 1826-1869 (Diane Oldman)

Garry Gillard | New: 3 June, 2021 | Now: 4 July, 2022