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Mallala

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Fast Facts
Town or Locality: Mallala
Year Established: 1842
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The word 'Mallala' is derived from the Aboriginal 'Madlola' - a place of the ground frog according to Place Names of South Australia (Geoffrey H. Manning).

Light to moderate heavy timber covered most of the area, but in the North Eastern direction the main portion was plain land covered with cotton bush. The Mallala district is dominated by the Light and Gawler rivers. Today, the well-watered, fertile plains are major suppliers to the Adelaide vegetable markets. Remote scattered patches of scrub still stand to remind us of the original landscape.

The large runs of the pastoralists were cut up into smaller holdings, which sold for £1 per acre to new settlers, and created a continuous series of small farms.

Amongst the early pioneers were Messrs John Forby, Robert & George Marshman, Samuel Crouch, Peter Farrelly, H.B. Moody, W. Jarmyn, Samuel Chivell, J. McCabe, John Murphy, W. Jury, A. Vawser, M.H. East, N.J.W. Lindsay and John Forbes. The descendants of many of these men and their families still live in this district.

The first land taken up in the district was in 1851 by Phillip Butler, under occupational licence. The Butler property was called 'Mallala Station', and the town of Mallala developed in the vicinity.

The first private subdivision, on Section 60, was called Mallala South (also known as New Mallala) and was later followed by private subdivisions of Section 51 and 266. These were referred to as the Mallala subdivisions. Later, part section 276 and 277 were divided, and this subdivision was known as the Mallala Extension. Although Mallala had existed as a town for many years, it was not until 27 March 1925 that Mallala was approved as a subdivision name by the Nomenclature Committee.

The present township lies midway between the hills and the sea, fifty-eight kilometres north of Adelaide. An impressive War Memorial stands at the hub of an eight-road intersection in the centre of the town. Converted from an old RAAF training base, the Mallala Motor Sport Park hosts an annual round of the Australian Touring Car Championship, while the international standard Equestrian Centre is a key link in the national show-jumping and eventing circuit. A now departed industry was the East Brothers Machinery works, who for over a century manufactured farm equipment which was sold widely across Australia. The town once had a very impressive flour mill where the townsfolk used to grind the locally-produced wheat, but the building fell into disuse as the industry centralised.

Today the mill is used as a museum for the local historical committee.

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