Top drop . .
As early as the 1840s settlers on their way to York made a track through this area but the route was so rocky and rugged it was seldom used and the southern foothills were left undeveloped. In 1883 Dr Alfred Waylen, the colony’s principal Medical Officer, purchased three lots in this rugged area, which he planted out with vines. He named his property ‘Darlington’.
. . Premier land
The opening of the Eastern Railway in 1884 was the opportunity for increased settlement in the area around Darlington Vineyard and lots were surveyed and auctioned. Orchards and dairies became the main primary industries to be established in the area. By the end of 1890, all of the best quality land had been purchased. The area was popular with politicians and businessmen, due to the presence of the railway and they constructed holiday homes in the district. Among the new landholders were three politicians who later become Premiers of Western Australia.
. . Official stop
Once Waylen’s vineyard became productive, a small siding was erected to serve the property. Following the influx of settlers and the development of orchards, the small siding was replaced with a large platform and additional facilities. The station, named Darlington after Waylen’s Vineyard, became a regular stopping place from 1892.
. . House guests
In the 1920s Darlington became well known for its guest houses and something of a holiday resort with a golf links and tennis courts. Famously, in May 1922 the author DH Lawrence, of Lady Chatterley’s Lover fame, stayed at a Darlington guesthouse and later collaborated with one of its proprietors on a novel.
State Registered Places in Darlington are:
St Cuthbert's Anglican Church
Mosaic ref: 2004.318
Photo below: Darlington Station in 1954. The open gabled structure covers the early station shelter.
Background Photo: St Cuthberts Church, Darlington. Mosaic ref: 2003.146
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