THE history of European settlement in the Yenda region stretches back to before the name was even known and before the creation of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
Selectors in the area had had established themselves despite battling the elements and economic depression and there were substantial houses and small cottages, and wells and bores scattered around the district.
This was the extent of settlement when the NSW government resumed the land to set up the MIA.
Inspired by the work of Sir Samuel McCaughey at his North Yanco station, a vast irrigation scheme was planned for the area, with work beginning in 1910.
The selectors lost their homes and their livelihood, having been given just two months to leave and received half of what they considered the value of the land at that time.
Temporary canal construction camps were set up for workers and in 1911 a camp, with store and butchery, was set up in the Yenda area (possibly on present Wade Park).
Water for the new irrigation scheme was officially “turned on” on July 14, 1912 and flowed into the Mirrool section in October 1913, with the Mirrool Irrigation Area proclaimed on January 28, 1914.
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A permanent centre was planned to centralise the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission’s organisation in the Mirrool section. The railway siding was constructed in 1915 to service the centre.
Originally called East Mirrool and later renamed Yenda, it included a works office, a bulk store and housing for administrators.
No one knows where the name originated, but the name “Parish of Yenda” had first appeared on maps in 1877.
The village bearing that name was proclaimed and notified in the Geographical Names Register of NSW on October 20, 1916.
The WC&IC built a storage shed and workshop and there was also a sawmill and chaff shed. Workers, many with families, lived in tents and shacks. There were large horse-yards and a blacksmith’s shop.
By 1920 several hundred people were camped on the common, with reports suggesting it was a pretty lawless place.
A town was laid out with the four main roads, named North and South Avenue, East and West Avenue, meeting at a central park.
Recent population changes
Some of the statistics on Yenda as an urban centre/locality, gathered on Census night since 2001:
- Population: 1067
- Male: 523 (49.01%)
- Female: 544 (50.98%)
- Families: 314
- Private dwellings: 434
- Population: 1064
- Male: 543 (51.03%)
- Female: 521 (48.97%)
- Median age: 36
- Families: 295
- Private dwellings: 448
- Population: 1021
- Male: 518 (50.73)
- Female: 503 (41.88)
- Families: 264
- Private dwellings: 457
- Population: 1022
- Male: 49.2 per cent
- Female: 50.8 per cent
- Median age: 41
- Families: 276
- Private dwellings: 443
- Average people per household: 2.4