York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, being situated approximately 97 kilometres by road east of Perth in the Avon Valley, which is one of the most fertile sections of the State.
With the increasing population of the Swan River Settlement in 1829 (the year of Western Australia’s foundation), it became evident that suitable land would have to be discovered for the growing of cereal crops needed to provide necessary food.
Ensign Robert Dale, 21 year old Officer of the 63rd Regiment, was assigned the honour of making the first exploratory journey over the Darling Ranges during the winter months of 1830 into what was later to become known as the Avon Valley.
As a result of these explorations, Governor Stirling decided that the new district would be thrown open for selection and this was done by Government Notice on 11 November 1830.
The first explorers saw a resemblance between the valleys traversed and their own country of Yorkshire and it was decided by the Governor that Yorkshire should be the name given to the district and that York should the be name of the first town.
The first settlers in the district reached the valley on 15 September 1831, and immediately set about the construction of huts, the preparation required for their stock and the cultivation of new land.
The first decade of settlement in the Avon Valley, showed steady progress and a clear indication that the whole district should develop into a rich and prosperous farming area.
With the natural increase of population, the township began to take shape and great improvements were noted. Private and Government buildings were erected.
The year 2006 marked the 175th anniversary of the State’s oldest inland town of when it was first settled by Europeans in 1831. To mark this important historical occasion the town had a year of celebrations and a wide variety of cultural and community events.