History

It was reported in The South Australian Advertiser, that a public meeting of the inhabitants of Hardwicke Bay had taken place on December 12th, 1872 and “that a request be forwarded to the Post Master General that he should grant us a post office”. Some discussion took place regarding the name it should be called, Mr John Young proposed it be named WAROOKA being the native name of a well in the neighbourhood.

In 1908, Mr Joseph Vigar, another early pioneer, recalling the meeting in December 1872 mentioned that Mr John Young and Mr Thomas Robertson, were the first to use the name. Mr Vigar said that the name was the aboriginal designation for a local swamp or lagoon; he added that in talking to the only native local at that time he said that it meant “mud”.

Prior to the use of the name Warooka the location was variously referred to as Mount Hardwicke or the Peesey Ranges.

Three kilometres east of the present township, on the road to Yorketown, there was a shepherds hut known locally as the Peesey Hut, derived from a corruption of the term pise meaning sun-dried mud/clay. There was a well near the hut and it was to here that the local farmers took their stock for water, as reliable water in the area was scarce. It was this section that in a letter to the Commissioner of Crown Lands, dated July 30, 1872, Joseph Vigar and fourteen other land owners wrote: “The want of a Township in the neighbourhood has been greatly felt, also a sight for a Public Cemetery. That at a public meeting held on the 13th instant (of the present month) it was unanimously resolved that a memorial should be sent to the Honourable Commissioner of Crown Lands praying him set apart as a township portion of Section 204, Hundred of Moorowie.” The next month the township was surveyed which was locally known as Peesey Flat.

 

In September 1872, Mr John Chandler, of Flaxman’s Valley, lessee and Mr James A Johnson, of Lindsay Villa, lessor agreed that they would sell a portion of their land (Section 200, Hundred of Moorowie) for the erection of a Wesleyan Chapel (the site of the current Uniting Church) to be used for both religious and educational purposes. Mr Johnson was the accountant for The South Australian Company and grandson of George Fife Angas.

Mr Nicholas Player, lessee and Mr Johnson as lessor agreed to sell a further piece of land to Mr Edward Jacobs of Weaner’s Flat (Yorketown) for the establishment of a the towns first store in December 1874 (diagonally opposite the hotel). Mr Player was the first settler on the hill, his home being the location of the first Warooka Post Office in 1873. Due to the development on the hill the plan for a government town at Peesey Flat was abandoned.

On November 30, 1875 allotments in the privately subdivided township of Warooka were offered for sale at the Hotel Europe, Grenfell St, Adelaide.