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Maitland

William and Ann Rogers, with sons William and Samuel, were the first European settlers in the area, leasing land in the Yorke Valley and Kilkerran districts in 1851. William Rogers senior died in 1854, but his widow and sons remained to run the property. In 1869 there was a demand for more farming land on the peninsula, and so much of the land held by the Rogers family was surveyed into the Hundreds of Maitland and Kilkerran, and subdivided.

It was a case of third time lucky for the surveyors of the town of Maitland. The first site chosen was rejected after complaints from Samuel Rogers that it was too close to the homestead of his Ynoo Station. The second was abandoned after a timely flood swept through the area, washing away the surveyors' tents. As a result, the hill two and a half miles north of this site, with views over the Yorke Valley and Spencer Gulf, was selected.

Traditional owners, the Narungga, called the area Madi Waltu, meaning 'white flint,' referring to the nearby limestone cliffs. But when the town was proclaimed on 22 August 1872, it took its name from the Hundred of Maitland named after Lady Jean Maitland, the wife of the first Lord of Kilkerran, and an ancestor of the South Australian Governor, Sir James Fergusson.

Maitland's layout was based on Colonel Light's design of Adelaide, with wide streets bordering a central square and surrounded by parklands. Many streets were named after members of the Rogers family.

The town took a few years to get going, but much development took place in the last few years of the 1870s, with the first bakery, public school, race meeting and agricultural show all established in 1878.

Originally grazing country, advancements in land-clearing technology such as the development of the stump jump plough in nearby Kalkabury, meant that the area could be adapted for growing crops.

The first barley was grown commercially in 1905, and by 1914 the central Yorke Peninsula had become the main barley producer in Australia - boasting some of the best malt barley in the world. (An industry that continues to thrive.)

Such was the success of the area that Maitland developed a reputation for affluence.

The ease in which barley and wheat can be grown no doubt accounts to a great extent for the wealth in the locality, and also for the particularly fine homesteads noticeable everywhere. Many of these homes possess electric light and power plants, and wireless sets, these being regarded by the more prosperous farmers as a necessity.

Maitland district is understood to have more motor cars per head of population than any other district in Australia.

(Waddy, AF, Souvenir of Yorke's Peninsula, p.12-13)

In 1972, Maitland celebrated its centenary with a feast of events including a parade, show jumping competition, vintage car rally, commemorative publications, the building of a pioneer memorial, and - less conventionally - a beard growing competition! Contestants were given 13 weeks to work on their entries and beards were judged for 'colour, density, shape and feel' at the Proclamation Day Ball.

Car rally, Maitland
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Maitland Football Club
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Maitland Institute
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Maitland Municipal Band
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Maitland, aerial view
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National Bank, Maitland
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Post Office, Maitland
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Samuel Rogers
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Showgrounds at Maitland
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