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Wandering

Wandering is a town located in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia, approximately 120km from the state capital, Perth, just off the Albany Highway. It is the main town in the Shire of Wandering. At the, Wandering had a population of 355.HistoryThe area's name, although an English word, appears to owe its name to a local Aboriginal word, "wandooin", after the wandoo or white gum tree that is prevalent in the area, although some sources suggest it was named to recall the first sighting of wandering stock, and was originally applied to Wandering Brook, first recorded in 1866.Wandering was first settled in 1859 by members of the George Stedman Watts family when their straying wagon team horses were found grazing in lush grass around a fresh water spring known to this day as Horse Well. In 1861, they selected an area on what is now the south-eastern approach to the town, and named it "Grassdale" - the property is still owned by the Watts family to this day. A road board (later to become the Shire Council) was convened in 1874 within slightly different boundaries to the present day. By 1877, there was sufficient population in the area for the government to set aside land for a school.In 1911 - 12, the government surveyed a number of lots and then gazetted the townsite of Wandering. However, the decision two decades earlier to build the railway some distance to the east restricted the town's growth. Also, fresh water was not readily available - the town was reliant on two Water Corporation dams until scheme water was extended here in 1997. Subsequently, rural residential subdivisions in the area on 1600m2 lots have been developed.
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