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Salisbury History

History Haunting History of Salisbury Walking Tour 1919 John Street

Salisbury has a long history of being a bustling place for trade and industry.

The first people in the Salisbury area were the Kaurna people and many occupational and sacred sites associated with the Kaurna people still exist around the Salisbury area. Just five years after South Australia was founded, a Scot named John Harvey arrived in 1839. He purchased land along the Little Para River in 1847. He named the settlement ‘Salisbury’ after the English city near where his wife was born. The Salisbury township grew as a service centre for the adjacent wheat and hay farms. The 1850s were a time of great growth, with the post office, railway station, church, police station, courthouse and schoolhouse, all built to support the new town. By the early 1880s, the town had grown to a population of about 500 people. When the city centre became home to an explosives factory during the Second World War, the population doubled overnight, and by 1943 the factory employed 6,500 people. With a young, diverse and growing population, the city centre transformed again during the 1970s as a place for shopping, leisure, business and civic activities. The multicultural community and entrepreneurial spirit shine through in today’s city centre, with a rich blend of shopping centres, businesses, community facilities and small businesses and restaurants.

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