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Traditionally the land of the Kwiambal Aboriginal people, the area known today as Ashford had graziers and squatters settling in the region as early as the 1820s. Located just south of the meeting point of the McIntyre and Severn Rivers, Ashford started as a small township known as Frazer’s Creek. Today Frazer’s Creek refers to a town north of Ashford, with the name Ashford given to the area by its first official settler William Wilks in honour of a town in England known for its high quality sheep stock.
The fertile grazing land had the area live up to its namesake, with sheep and cattle farms proving successful stock for local farmers. North of Ashford was a densely wooded area which now makes up Kwiambal National Park and the Cypress Pine trees covering the hills attracted timber getters to the area in the late 1800s with mills established locally to process the wood collected.
Tobacco crops were grown in Ashford as early as the 1890s with varied success and by 1910 local farmers had employed a number of Chinese immigrants to work on their tobacco farms. By the 1940s the success of local crops saw Ashford become the primary producer of tobacco in New South Wales. Although tobacco crops are no longer grown in Ashford, beef cattle and Merino sheep remain as flourishing industry for local farmers.