Quick but slow
Flat fertile land along the banks of the Helena River was some of the earliest to be selected by European colonists, much within the grant of Governor James Stirling himself. Yet, despite both its early alienation and its fertility, significant developments only occurred many years later.
. . Firstcomers and farms
Arriving on the Caroline on 12th October 1829, Samuel Talbot and Henry Camfield were early arrivals who obtained grants in the Helena Valley. Talbot left the colony and for virtually 60 years his grant was neglected. Camfield leased his the property out to various tenants and it came to be known as Clayton Farm.
. . Bricks and blocks
Richard Smith arrived in the colony as Camfield's indentured servant. Camfield released him in 1830 and Smith was able to purchase Clayton Farm in 1853, building his home using clay from the site. By the end of the nineteenth century the area became famed for its brickyards. The farm remained in the family for over 50 years, before selling off portions in 1906 to Katherine Samson who subdivided it into small orchard blocks.
. . Enterprise bears fruit
Sales of the Clayton Farm blocks increased after WW1. The area was promoted as 'The Mildura of the Swan District' and returned soldiers received discounts. James Morrison, who owned much of Talbot's original grant, followed suit and subdivided. By the 1920s there was a considerable settlement of farmlets and small orchards.
A State Registered Place in Helena Valley is: Clayton Farm.
Photo below: Clayton Farm, Helena Valley, circa 1920s. No Mosaic ref.
Background photograph: 'On our selection Helena Valley W.A.'. It shows a landscape of a cleared section of bushland. A house stands in the middle section of cleared land, which is planted with young trees and vines, etc. No Mosaic ref.