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Wagin

Wagin is a town and shire in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, approximately 225 km south-east of Perth on the Great Southern Highway between Narrogin and Katanning. It is also on State Route 107. The main industries are wheat and sheep farming.HistoryThe name of the town is derived from Wagin Lake, a usually dry salt lake south of the town. The Aboriginal name is Waitjen, having been first recorded for the lake by a surveyor in 1869-72. There is uncertainty about the actual meaning of 'Wagin' but it is likely that it either means 'the place where emus watered' or 'Emu's watering hole'.The first European explorer through the area was John Septimus Roe, the Surveyor General of Western Australia in 1835 en route to Albany from Perth. Between 1835 and 1889 a few settlers eked a simple living by cutting sandalwood and shepherding small flocks of sheep. Land was granted to pastoralists in the Wagin area from the late 1870s onwards.The town itself came into existence after the construction of the Great Southern Railway which was completed in 1889 with the town originally called Wagin Lake. The local Agricultural Hall was built by 1896 and opened December 1 the same year. In 1898 Wagin was proclaimed a town with the word Lake dropped. A further railway connection with the Collie to Narrogin line at Bowelling was made on 10 December 1918.
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