How Unley developed
The City of Unley began life as a series of large rural holdings that were sold prior to settlement. Once the colonists arrived, the land was subdivided and small villages sprang up to cater to the new residents.
The first six subdivisions were Unley and Unley park, which were subdivided 1840, Goodwood, Fullarton and Parkside in 1849 and Black Forest in 1850.
Unley acted as a town centre for the growing number of communities, but each settlement had its own shops, schools, tradesmen, pubs and churches. Villages continued to sprint up on the main roads between Adelaide, Mitcham and Glen Osmond, as orchards and vineyards were planted, dairies and olive oil and jam making factories opened.
As the new subdivisions were opened, the space between the villages closed up, especially from the 1880s on. Open land that had been bush and farmland filled with houses and Unley gradually grew in to the united community it is today.
Until 1871, the original villages were part of the District Council of Mitcham. When the Unley Communities' combined population reached 2,000, they were able to secede and the Corporate Town of Unley was born. Thirty five years later, the population had reached 20,000 and Unley was entitled to become a city.
By the end of the 1920s, the area was almost completely sub divide and the scattered villages had become a thriving city that combine the best of all the settlements.
The concept of the City of Villages survives today in the varying characters of the suburbs and shopping precincts that combine to make up the City of Unley.
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