Walliston is a part of the Eastern Rural Districts of the Shire of Kalamunda and is bordered by the suburbs of Kalamunda and Lesmurdie.
There are large areas of rural and forest land as well as residential and industrial areas within Walliston. The industrial area includes the Shire pound, a FESA station, Australia Post Depot and a Transperth Depot amongst a handful of automotive specialists. The total population for the suburb of Walliston is approximately 750.
After the closing of the Mason’s Mill in 1880, some of the former employees stayed in the district and eventually took up land. One such person was John Wallis, a carpenter by trade who, with his wife Emma, in 1883, selected an area between what is now Orangedale Road and Pomeroy Road. They called their property Orangedale, hence the current street name.
There were no shops in the area and few roads, merely tracks. Mrs Wallis had to venture to Padbury’s shop in Guildford when provisions were necessary. They set about to be as self-sufficient as possible growing vegetables, planting fruit trees and keeping some animals.
By 1891 the Upper Darling Range Railway had been built mainly to provide transport for the timber mills. It provided a line from Midland Junction to Kalamunda and Pickering Junction, then eventually south as far as Karragullen. One of the stops was near the Wallis home and was called variously Wallis’s Crossing, Wallis’s Landing, 12 Mile Siding (because it was 12 miles from Midland), South Kalamunda, Heidelberg and Heidelberg Grove. Whatever the name, it was a considerable advantage to the Wallis family and the other settlers gradually joining them. However, there was no timetable and passengers were not the main priority until in 1903 the government, after many petitions, took over most of the line and provided a regular passenger service. This railway siding had the highest altitude on the rail line at 1021 feet (compared to Kalamunda at 930 feet).
The area was on the move. Between 1889 and 1891 the nearby Victoria reservoir was built to supply the growing city of Perth with water. John Wallis was employed as part of the construction team during that time, earning eight shillings a day, a wage considered quite generous. Like many early settlers, John and his family built much of their own house. By 1897 there were eight children in the Wallis family and there was a general store in Kalamunda run by C.H. Brooks. John Wallis became one of the first strawberry growers in the district and they were carried to Perth four times a week by Mr Brooks.
In 1903 there was a move for a town-site to be gazetted but the Lands Department rejected the request stating that the block suggested (Canning Location 461) consisted of the roughest class of ironstone jarrah forest.
Both John Wallis and also his eldest son, Levi Wallis, served as elected members on the Darling Range Road Board and actively sought to further develop their area.
In 1915 the South Kalamunda Progress Association wrote to the Commissioner of Railways requesting a name change from Wallis’s Landing to Walliston. This request was successful. Walliston was born!
In 1918 the Townsite of Walliston was approved, with a subdivision of residential blocks as well as provision for ten acres for a future recreation reserve.
It was not until 1970 that the Shire of Kalamunda (formerly the Darling Range Road Board) agreed to the development of a Walliston General Industrial Area to be approved. It was in that year, too, that the Walliston Primary School was built.[See McNAMARA, F.J. Kalamunda of the dreamtime (1961)]