Quairading is a typical wheatbelt town with a bulk grain storage facility, railway siding, some old farm machinery in the median strip, a large old hotel (Quairading Hotel) and small number of shops servicing the surrounding farmers.
The primary appeal of the town lies in the attractions – huge granite outcrops (Mount Stirling), a pink lake, nature bushwalks and a large, privately build weir and dam. It is more than just another wheatbelt town.
Our name, Quairading, is derived from the Aboriginal word ‘Kwirading’ meaning the home of a small bush kangaroo.
In the beginning, nomadic Aboriginals roamed the Dangin area, which provided good hunting grounds and waterholes. At times there were six to eight hundred Aboriginals camped near Dangin Springs – the only water supply for miles around. The name ‘Dangin’ is aboriginal for the needle bush which grows in profusion in the area.
In 1863 Mr Stephen Stanley Parker took up a selection on Dangin Springs although farming didn’t commence there until 1859 when his son Edward Read Parker moved to the area. Stephen Parker owned Crown Grant land in York and went on to become one of the wealthiest pastoralists in the Avon Valley region.
The farming property, called ‘Dangin Parker Estate’ was further expanded by Edward’s son, Jonah Smith Wells Parker when he acquired an additional 16,000 acres making it one of the largest farming properties in Western Australia at the time. In addition to experimenting with wool, mutton, pigs and sandalwood production, Jonah Parker pioneered the production of eucalyptus oil in 1882.
In the early 1900’s, the Government opened up new areas of land to accommodate those men looking for work and somewhere to settle permanently. Quairading was one such area, and during the period from 1903 to 1908, many new settlers moved into the area and commenced clearing the land. Settlers were given a homestead block of 160 acres free of charge, on the condition they lived on it and improved it over a period of seven years.
The town of Quairading was officially gazetted on 7th August 1907 and a railway extension from Greenhills to Quairading was built in 1908 with Quairading at the terminus. A small settlement sprang up.
By 1909 there was a hotel, general store, blacksmith, baker, carpenter and two banks. The Quairading district quickly went ahead, and by 1950 there was very little farming land which had not been cleared and brought into production.
The small community at Dangin was eventually disbanded in favour of one central settlement at Quairading. Dangin’s status as a ‘dry’ town also led to its demise as people were drawn to the licensed hotel at Quairading.
Improvements in technology and farming methods have resulted in a steady increase in production over the years and today Quairading is a very attractive and safe area in which to farm. Quairading also boasts many quality facilities and amenities to suit individuals, families and retirees.