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23 April 2024

"Tambaroora was a Town
When Hill End was just a Pup
Tambaroora will still be a Town
When Hill End is all Buggered up"
Author: Unknown
(It did not end up that way)

We would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional custodians of this land
the Wiradjuri People
and pay our respects to the elders both past, present and emerging
who's land we are on today

The Town of Tambaroora and Village of Hill End and certain area's surrounding the Town and Village are classified as Historic Sites and as such these area's are protected under the Heritage Act (NSW) 1977. They are administered by the Heritage Council and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)


Before searching for gold or disturbing any relics whatever they may be, please ensure you familiarise yourself with the protected areas. If in doubt contact the NPWS staff at their offices in Hill End or visit the Hill End Historic Site web site to confirm which areas are protected.

Section 12 of the Mining Act 1992 and Clause 12 of the Mining Regulation 2010 give the main provisions for fossicking in NSW.

The Hill End and Tambaroora Temporary Commonage partially surrounds the defined boundaries of the Villages of Tambaroora and Hill End and there are also conditions that apply to the Commons use. Contact the Hill End and Tambaroora Common Trust for further information.

Enjoy the history of the area and what the area has to offer, take the gold but please help preserve it's history, this is an irreplaceable asset for future generations to enjoy.

Hill End Village

Listing the Sections and Lots of the Village based on the 1894 Village Map Sections and Lots of Hill End Village

Utilising the Holtermann Collection images to position on the Collection of Panoramic Views

The Tambaroora Cemeteries - COMPLETED

Logging the Tambaroora General Cemetery, formerly the Church of England Church/Graveyard and the Tambaroora Catholic Cemetery with updated images and where possible updated information on the occupants.

All Things Mining

Currently undertaking to log all known Mining Companies, Principal Claims, Gold Leases and Batteries for the Tambaroora Area from the first known records through to now, this includes their location and those persons associated with the companies and leases where known.

Mining Companies and Principal Claims and scroll to Beyers and Holtermann's Star of Hope GMC Ltd or the Scandinavian GMC or click on the links to go directly to the their profiles. Currently there are 264 Companies and Principal Claims.

Gold Leases - Currently 1338 Gold Leases

Location of Tambaroora the Area and the Town

Tambaroora the area and Tambaroora the Town are nestled in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, no longer considered a remote area, the nearest towns are Orange in the west, Bathurst to the south east and Mudgee to the north. The Town is centrally located within the Tambaroora upon the Tableland. Tambaroura was never a defined area, when written about it was left to the authors impressions given in descriptions by those who had some knowledge of the district. The extent of the Tambaroura varied in all directions of the compass, some citing locations as far as Boiga Mountain and Dun Dun in the north, Ullamalla and Bundy Station in the west, Sallys Flat in the east and south of the Macquarie River to the south. It became an identifying feature once Europeans set foot upon it but to the original occupants it was their land to nurture.

Communities of the Wiradjuri Nation occupied this area from a time unknown, they were a vast nation covering a large part of central New South Wales.

A description given by Hodge (666) in an article he wrote to support the "NO BASE" movement (667) in 1985 described the three communities that occupied the local area along the Macquarie River region:
"The Bularidee occupied from the Winburndale junction with the Macquarie to Bullen Waterhole upstream from the Tambaroora Creek junction with the Macquarie. The isolation of the Bularidee served them well having limited contact with early Europeans who were expanding west in ever greater numbers until the discovery of gold which drove them from their traditional lands.

The Wompanje occupied the Macquarie further down towards Suttors Long Point around Trianbil (Triamble), stone cairns in prominent places on high ground indicating tribal boundaries.

The third tribe were the Wirridgerie, this community were to become close friends with the Suttors at Triambil, some gaining employment with the family.

A reporter for the Empire newspaper in 1852 Mr. Angus Mackay while on one of his early visits to the Gold Field asked as to the meaning of the name Tambaroora:
"Tambaroora is a native name, and, I am given to understand by those who profess to have some knowledge of aboriginal philology, means 'sweet grass'. Native names always have significance, and in this instance the term is well applied, as the level ground in the vicinity of the Tambaroora has rich soil, and is well grassed (see Note below). It seems to have been a favourite resort for kangaroos in olden times", "Reverting for a moment to the aboriginal nomenclature, I may remark that the appropriateness of the names given by the aboriginals is well exemplified in two instances at hand. The serpentine course of the Turon has frequently been the subject of observation, and those who are not already aware will be interested to know, that the beautiful native name 'Turon' signifies a 'snake'. In the case of the 'Pyramul', which in the aboriginal language signifies 'twisting', the appositeness is not less striking, for this river is remarkable for its sharp, sudden bends"(668) (669).

Mr. T.C. Suttor (670) of Triamble in 1915 included in his tribute to Mr. Le Messurier at a farewell dinner in Hill End a brief description of the local aborigines, stating "Golden Gully had been a sort of Garden of Eden to them whence the beginning of their race had sprung" (671).

Detailed information can be found on the Wiradjuri Nation on this web site -

Wiradjuri Nation

Note: To some the description given by Mr. Mackay above of the "level ground in the vicinity of Tambaroora" may seem odd, the image today is of a very deep eroded Gully. However, in 1852, its appearance was very different, he describes Golden Gully "On the north-west of the Bald Hill several small water-courses take their rise, and meet in a long narrow valley which, about a mile further down, opens into the Tambaroora flats. This valley is called Golden Gully, though it is not at all deep like a gully, but merely a slight hollow between rising ground."

The area occupied by the original inhabitants did not have a defined area, there being no reason too. Not until the arrival of Europeans did defined areas become a necessity. Prior to the discovery of gold in the district European contact with the land was from the established pastoral leases with established stock routes and tracks leading to and from the leases and homesteads in the area and beyond.

From the time explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth crossed the Blue Mountains in 1813 European expansion into the unsettled districts spread rapidly, leading this move west was agriculture, the Explorer/Surveyor Oxley (672) in his quest to follow the Macquarie downstream from Bathurst in 1818 noted numerous sightings of cattle movement (673). Eventually the Tambaroura would be occupied on a permanent basis by stock and shepherds employed by the prominent pastoralists of the surrounding districts with the first Yearly Leases of Land being put up for auction in 1834(674) and Pasturage Licenses being issued for "Depasturing Crown Lands situated beyond the boundaries of location" from January 1837(675).

Some of the names associated with the opening of the area were the Suttors, whose pastoral interests spread from Peel, Trianbil and the Meroo. The Samuel brothers, Saul (676) and Lewis had interests in Sydney, Bathurst, Tambaroura and as far afield as Nyngan and Wellington, their interests were not strictly pastoral, their portfolio included merchandising, mining, real estate and financial. One person who does stand out above the rest was William Cummings whose interests were from Peel, Bruinbun, and the tablelands of the Tambaroura at Cummings Old Station latterly known as the Paling Yards and at Bundi (Bundy Station). It was Cummings who established the original Bridle Track from Peel to Tambaroora and beyond. Cummings was known to be running stock upon the tablelands twenty-five years preceding the discovery of gold, he was later to become a member of the NSW legislative Assembly from 1859 to 1872.

Cummings applied for and purchased yearly leases by auction in 1834 in the County of Wellington which covered area's in the vicinity of the confluence of the Macquarie and Turon Rivers and the tablelands above (677) which would be later known as the Tambaroura. The reminiscences of Mr. James Collison in 1919 relates to his experiences at what was to be known as "The Stockyard" and his time with William Cummings, "Last time I told you about going to the diggings in 1852, and how I lost my bullocks and everything, Well! Before that happened, just after my 16th birthday, I drove in the stuff for the first public house on the Dirt Hole for a man named Chapman. The flash name now for 'the Dirt Hole' is Hill End, but it was always the Dirt Hole in those days. Within a week of that I drove the stuff for the first commissioner's residence and barracks built on The Stockyard another mining place afterwards called 'Tambaroora Flat'. This was where old Billy Cummins had a stockyard 25 years before, but when gold was found there, they gave it the aboriginal name for the place 'Tambaroora Flat'. There were three Cummins brothers and they were about the richest men around Bathurst in those days. Old Billy used to say to me 'Great God, Jimmy my boy, little did I think when riding about here twenty-five years ago that I was riding over thousands of ounces of gold' I asked him why he had left that place, and he explained that it was alright country in good weather, but the stock would not stay on it, and when he came to muster he found he had not as many as when he came to the place, so he took up land on the Macquarie River (Bruinbun). I said to old Billy Cummins that he must have used good wood for his stockyard, for I had pulled some post up a few days before and they were put in 25 years ago. That was in '52 when I pulled up some of the posts of the stockyard and Billy Cummins was old then, so goodness knows when those brothers came out to the colony(678) "

The Stockyards location was well known to those who travelled the stock routes through the area, this Stockyard shared the area with at least one other known Stockyard managed by Mr. Oakes.

The land taken up on the Macquarie and purchased by William Cummings in 1837 was 1064 acres known as "Bruinbun"(679). It was approximately 16 kilometres from the Stockyard, a track led from Bruinbun back across the Turon River up the tableland meeting at one of the two road junctions in the vicinity of the Stockyard , the track followed closely what was to be known as the Bridle Track up to Hawkins Hill.

Other land purchases in 1839 set the scene for agriculture to take a hold on the landscape, to the north west of the Stockyard approximately 12 kilometres and on the northern side of Pyramul Creek was "Tatuali", a Station of 640 acres (680). Purchased by Hall, Palmer (first names unknown) and George Aspinal in 1839(681), a road led from this Station back to the Stockyard via Bundy and Cummings Stations. The other Station, "Toolamanang" of 640 acres to the north east of the Stockyard approximately 21 kilometres was taken up by George Suttor in 1839(682), a road to the Stockyard from the Station was via Sallys Flat. The land between these Stations was acquired as pasturage leases which saw permanent occupation of the area by shepherds and drovers. The land around the future town of Tambaroora held good grazing pasture and the shepherds made suitable use of it when moving and depasturing stock.

You may ask what is the connection of these pioneering Stations, well these Stations laid the foundations for the roads and tracks that eventually cris-crossed the region giving access to the Gold Fields and settlements, see Figure 2.

The Stockyard as described by Collison above, was referred to by numerous reporters and correspondents in the early days of the gold rush, and was used by the earliest prospectors as a reference place for future miners to gather. Interestingly, Saul Samuel is noted as having an established field on the flat behind the future Commissioners Camp on Tambaroura Creek; there was also the road (later known as McMahon Street within the town) leading to Cummings Old Station and onward to Bundy the Run of William Cummings and further to Tatuali and Trianbil, the roads and Bridle Tracks moved stock to the further reaches of the outer districts.

An early pastoral map has also been annotated with the name Samuels Field in this area, this was Saul Samuel and his brother Lewis who were diverse in their pursuits, pastoralists, miners and various commercial interests were just some of their quests of note extending from Sydney to Bathurst and beyond, their pastoral interests extending to Wellington and Narromine. Saul Samuel was later to become a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, the Colonial Treasurer and later Sir Saul Samuel, although little is mentioned about his early undertakings. Samuel applied to register a quartz vein that was within the field on the 28 February 1852(683) and was the third quartz vein application on the Gold Field. This Field was to be the centre of a dispute made by prospectors later in 1852 to the Gold Commissioner in that they were unable to dig on the field (684), Samuel later relented and allowed the miners to occupy the field. Samuels Field may have been Cummings old Stockyard. Other Stockyards and Slaughterhouses occupied the area but it is not known if these preceded the discovery of gold or not.

It was 1852 and the gold rush was on, Government Gazettes were being inundated with notifications of horses being impounded at Tambaroura, Cummings runs were extensive and he continued to run stock on the Tambaroura, in August 1853 he had impounded at the Pound in Tambaroora a bay horse from his run at Paling Yard (685), again in October 1853 six horses were impounded at Tambaroura from his run at Wallen Bullen, and five geldings from his run at Bundy (686). In October 1853 Cummings had fifteen horses impounded at the Tambaroora pound from his run at Bruinbun which was on the Bridle Track from Bathurst . Horse losses of those heading for the Tambaroura were enormous and a great many were impounded at Tambaroura in those early years. They were being impounded from as far afield as the Macquarie River (Suttor), Triamble (Suttor), Bruinbun (Cummings) and the Pyramul (Doherty) and Wickets Run.

Figure 2 - Pastoral Map of Counties

The map above shows Cummings "Bruinbun" at left, Aspinals "Tatauli" at top right and Suttors "Toolangang" at bottom right with the linking roads and tracks. This map identifies the bridle tracks by the dashed lines, the solid brown lines are roads. (County Map Courtesy of Land Registry Services)

The Narrative on the Hill End and Tambaroora Temporary Common has more detail on the development of the area post the Gold Field era.

Not long after the first officially recognised discovery of gold in the New South Wales Colony by the brothers William and James Tom, John Lister and Edward Hargraves in 1851 a myriad of prospectors followed in their footsteps, the miners travelled to area's beyond the settled districts, previously unexplored lands, rivers and creeks all became potential goldfields. News of these new goldfields spread rapidly by word of mouth on every street corner and pub, newspapers endeavoured to relay news of new discoveries expeditiously, sometimes at the expense of fact, although in all fairness to the reporters and correspondents the "facts" as told to them were not completely factual. Exaggeration and lack of local knowledge distorted what was the actual situation on the ground at the various goldfields. Names of geographical features were misspelt or spelt the way it was pronounced, it must be remembered that even though English was the language of the Colony there were so many English speaking prospectors of different nationalities whose accents allowed for variations in pronunciations. Not only was the language an issue, locations of geographical features when being reported upon appeared in different locations.

Initially upon the discovery of gold in the district the individual Goldfields were referred to by their locale, not until the Goldfields expanded in the early 1850s did the name "Tambaroura" become extensively used by those reporting on the discoveries, the Tambaroura Goldfield which included Bald Hills Creek, Bald Hills (later known as Forbes 1860-62, Hillend and finally Hill End), Golden Gully, Samuels Flat, Tambaroura Creek, Tambaroura Proper, Dirt Holes Creek and Green Valley all fell under the umbrella of The "Tambaroura". The descriptions in the following newspaper articles give an appreciation of the influx and distribution of the prospectors.

8 Oct 1851
The Lower Turon, Hawkins Bald Hill Creek and Dirt Hole Creek
29 Oct 1851
The Turon, including Hawkins Ridge and Dirt Hole Creek
29 Nov 1851
The Lower Turon

The Empire newspaper dated 30 Oct 1852 gives an account of the geographical footprint and size of The "Tambaroura".

Initially the Goldfield may have been haphazard in its function but was very soon brought under control by the appointment of Gold Commissioners and their subordinates to police everything associated with the retrieval of the gold and the associated commercial industry which it created.

The Tambaroora Goldfield was first proclaimed on the 2 Feb 1853 in a Proclamation for Gold Fields, although not mentioned by name it was one of the tributories of the Macquarie River. On the 26 Feb 1864 it was mentioned specifically in a Gazzette Notification of the Tambaroora Gold Field

1856 saw the arrival of the first Chinese to the Goldfield en masse, their work ethic stood them apart from their European counterparts and initially drew a great deal of negativity from the rest of the mining community. In time this negativity subsided and eventually their integration into the mining and general community made a valuable contribution to the socioeconomic climate of the Tambaroura.

In July 1857 the Sydney Morning Herald gave a detailed description of The "Tambaroura", and again in 1865 another description of "Tambaroora"

Its size as described in newspapers grew and shrunk in relation to the reporter or correspondents local knowledge when reporting on the district. With so much rapid development taking place Proclamations and Acts were created to ensure control of the Crown Lands and Pastoral Leases that occupied the area and policing and management of the Goldfields.

In 1859 a Birth, Deaths and Marriage Registration District was gazetted to record those events in the area.

The early 1860s saw the creation and naming of the Parish of Tambaroora, covering an area from Dirt Hole Creek in the north down to the Macquarie River in the south, with a width of approximately five miles. The parish area covers only a portion of the original Tambaroura. Two other Parishes had portions of their land within the Tambaroura, the Parish of Cummings in the north west and the Parish of Carroll in the south east.

Up until Jul 1870 only five batteries existed on the Goldfield, the Victoria in Foremans Gully on Engine Road which was built on the subscriptions of the community in 1860 with the guidance of the Police Magistrate Joseph Cox, it is interesting to note that Engine Road formed part of the original road from the township of Tambaroora and Dirt Holes Creeks to Bald Hills, the other batteries were the Excelsior at Newmans Gully, the Rose of England at Dirt Holes, the Little Wonder on the Lower Turon and the Root-Hog Mills at Root Hog on the Macquarie river. Crushings from the Batteries

8th Feburary 1870 saw the creation of the Hill End and Tambaroora Temporary Common for the usage of the residents.

Random notes from the 8 Aug 1870 gave detail of a Tambaroora of 1870.

With the increase in miners the population started to spread out, A Reporter on one of his journeys to the Goldfield filed this report on the "The Bald Hills" and its rapid expansion, it was this expansion that was partially responsible for many of the discoveries of gold in matrix laying on the ground in proximity to exposed quartz reefs. This led to a move from alluvial mining to reef mining in the late 1860's, discoveries made up to twenty years previous which had remained concealed were now being rediscovered, eventually this form of gold acquisition extended to cover a far larger area, the mining of the reefs around the Root Hog and Chambers Creek and the Lower Turon in the area where the Turon River meets the Macquarie River, up over Hawkins Hill, under and to the west of Hill End and continued north along and to the west of Golden Gully all the way thru Tambaroora Proper across Tambaroora Creek and under Red Hill to Dirt Holes. Some of these reefs had been discovered many years previous but due to government intervention any mining activity was restricted. A frenzy of speculation followed with many gold leases applied for and surveyed in anticipation of a greater wealth being found. Tambaroora shared in the reef mining frenzy, many companies took up leases along the reefs, Whites Line and the Rose of Denmark Line are two of the longest lines in the Goldfield. The numerous reefs along the western side of Golden Gully saw many companies created and occupying leases all the way to Red Hill, Tambaroora. But this frenzy did not live up to expectations, the land was virtually depleted of the hidden wealth within a few years, the village of Hill End which took only two years to build was within another two years being emptied of those who created it. The Mining Warden for the area in 1878 commented in one of his reports of the exodus of the occupants of the area en masse.

A gradual change in geographical identification can be seen in the prospectus's issued for the numerous companies being established from 1871 to 1872. The early advertising for potential shareholders listed a great many of the locations for the mining companies as being either in Tambaroora or Hawkins Hill Tambaroora, Hill End Tambaroora, Golden Gully Tambaroora, Red Hill Tambaroora or Dirt Hole Creek Tambaroora, even Green Valley had been referred to as being under the umbrella of the Tambaroura. In pursuance of all things factual and if one wished to be pedantic, it could be said that the famous Holtermann Specimen was found at Hawkins Hill Tambaroora and not Hill End as the history books would have us believe. Hawkins Hill was not within the village boundary of Hill End, nor did Hill End share its village name as a proclaimed Goldfield or district as did Tambaroora.

Many prospectus' advertised in the early onslaught of Hawkins Hill in 1871 noted the companies locations as being Hawkins Hill Tambaroora or Hawkins Hill, Hill End, Tambaroora.

This gradually changed with promoters of shares promoting the inclusion of "Hill End" in prospectus's being issued, until "Tambaroora" was omitted altogether. In 1876 the Mining Warden for the District in a report referred to the district as being the Tambaroora and Turon Goldfield, Hill End had had its day.

Both names became less significant as the small village of Hill End became a share holders dream due only to the incredible amount of gold in matrix lying latent and being rediscovered at Hawkins Hill, which by the way was not part of Hill End, up until 1871/72 it was referred to as being Hawkins Mount, Hawkins Spur and finally as Hawkins Hill, Tambaroora. Tambaroura/Tambaroora were well known for twenty years previous for its incredible alluvial and limited gold in matrix discoveries, as opposed to Hill End, previously known as Bald Hill from the early 1850s and its alluvial gold deposits. Unknown to many, gold in matrix had been found in the early 1850s at Hawkins Spur/Mount, but laid dormant until promoters were convinced that the economics would produce profit.

History does not make money, and with so many thinking that Tambaroura/Tambaroora had reached its pinnacle promoters realised a new more highly profitable return would be made if the focus moved from Tambaroura/Tambaroora to a less known location, the village of Hill End having only limited exposure in the past would make an appearance as a new Goldfield to potential investors and seemed to be the appropriate choice. The incentive to contribute towards shares in the rapidly expanding companies would have been irresistible...little did they know the villages rise to importance by 1872 would see it matched by its downfall starting from 1874. The newly appointed Mining Warden for the Tambaroora and Turon River Mining District in 1874 noted the rapid decline in mining operations.
Money and Shares have no friends! Both mining and commercial interests left in droves, machinery was quickly removed and relocated to new goldfields throughout the State.

It is akin to a cycle, Tambaroura/Tambaroora was the focus of attention for all things gold in the period 1850's to late 1860's, the emergence of the matrix in gold on Hawkins Hill saw a game changer and the focus moved to Hill End. It must also be remembered in the period of first discovery in the early 1850's the rapid building expansion used materials available locally, in the early development of the township of Tambaroora only a few buildings were constructed of either brick or stone, the later development of Hill End in the early 1870's saw immense changes already made in building construction, technology had eased the burden of construction and saw a rise in trades who specialised in construction, Hill End managed to ride this wave of development and was lucky many buildings were constructed of materials that were of a more permanent nature. Those that stood the test of time survived, a great many were not so lucky and as the world grew so did Occupational Health and Safety, many had to be demolished circa the late 1960's early 1970's when National Parks and Wildlife Services took on responsibility for the first Heritage listed village in Australia. Tambaroora was not so lucky and for some unknown reason the remnants of those buildings that did survive in the township were dozed into obscurity, well almost, the demolished materials are still to be seen to the keen eye.

1874 saw the introduction of the new Mining Act "An Act to make better provision for the regulation of Mining" and was to be cited as the Mining Act 1874. The three divisional Goldfields, North, West and South were abolished and replaced with Districts. In the case of the Tambaroora Goldfield it became the The Tambaroora and Turon Mining District

Many revivals followed, the economic depression of the 1890s had a severe impact on the country and the world, many of those feeling the hardship made their way back to the fields to try their luck.

With the technological advancements made to the mining industry large scale hydraulic sluicing became another method to extract gold from the old alluvial fields. The first to attempt this method on the Tambaroora Goldfield was the Golden Gully and Tambaroora Sluicing Company in 1911. Part of their operation was to construct a 500 foot earthen wall dam across Golden Gully to hold approximately 12,000,000 gallons of water for the sluicing operation, remnants of the wall still remain. Their lease covered most of the Golden Gully west of the township. This was followed by Oriomo Pty Ltd in the 1930s with the construction of a concrete dam with all the associated mining machinery on Tambaroora Creek approximately 1 mile (1.8kms) to the west of the town, to be used to hydraulically sluice alluvium from the Creek at the base of Red Hill which sadly included the destruction of the site of Chinatown. Other operations continued on a smaller scale up to the 1960's.

Mining operations of some sort have never ceased, ongoing operations have continued to the present day at various scales with many mining tenements, gold leases and exploratory licences being issued.

Eventually the spelling of the name Tambaroura changed possibly coming about more from misinterpreting the letter "u" for an "o" as both names appeared with both spellings until the name "Tambaroura" faded away... until NOW !

(Opens in Left Frame)

To those who were unfamiliar with the location of Tambaroora its isolation and distance from Sydney would be forever embedded in their memory after having made the journey. In the mid 1850's this proved to be the challenge which had to be negotiated by those keen to find the riches awaiting their arrival. This journey would have been all that much harder for a person of a non-english speaking background, not only was the language a hurdle but the attire worn and the hair in pigtails would be seen by those who had never seen a Chinese person before as a curiosity, others who had some knowledge of their culture may have wrongly seen them as a threat.

Their movement to the Goldfields was always in groups as described by a reporter in Jul 1856. This would definitely have brought them to the attention of the towns people and alike as they moved along the roads. Newspapers reported on their movements, the Sydney Morning Herald of the 1 Sep 1858 in an article described their passing through Bathurst on their way to the Goldfield.

The harsh climate of Tambaroora was unknown to the Chinese, water was always at a premium not to be misused, this was made all the harder when trying to extract gold from alluvium. Water was an essential component used and with so many diggers on the Goldfield it was always in demand, the Empire newspaper of the 20 Mar 1858 reported on a incident involving the Chinese careless use and total disregard for a commodity that was second only to gold itself in value. It would appear that this article is bias in its reporting considering the Commissioners stance on the matter.

The above article notes that witnesses estimated the Chinese population on the Goldfield as being between 1500 to 1800 persons. It must be remembered that the article mentions Tambaroora as being the population centre, this is a reference to the area and NOT the town itself. A quick reminder that Tambaroura (the area) was spread from Green Valley in the north down to the Lower Turon and junction of the Macquarie River in the south. It has been found that even this is conservative in size with documents indicating a far greater area.

An article in the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal dated 28 Aug 1858 describes an encampment established by the Chinese separate from the rest of the community.

To date indications are that possibly up to three settlements of Chinese occupied area's around or within the town itself. Another record indicating a settlement was on Foreman's Flat, in the vicinity of the future Canton Line. A travelling reporter whose article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald of the 26 Jan 1859 gives a detailed account of his travels to Tambaroora and what he saw as he entered the town from the east. This report has enabled us to reconstruct the location of this settlement.

Another area indicating a Chinese settlement was in the vicinity of the Hong Kong Line to the west of the town, this line was worked extensively by the Chinese in the early period after their arrival on the goldfield.

The third settlement is the one most recognised by images from the Holtermann Collection which show the establishment of a Chinese community located just north of the main town centre. The reason for this later settlement was due to the conflicts between the Chinese and Europeans.

In December 1859 the Chinese realised that to co-exist with their European counterparts they needed to be able to liaise with them and understand the cultural differences, at a meeting of the Chinese at the racecourse on the 17th February they elected W. Sengchai, to represent them. The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal of the 17 Dec 1859 gives an account of the meeting.

1 Jul 1872 - Great Australian Gold Mining Company Mining Mangers Report - Chinese moved off the Company Ground by the Mine Manager.

Evidence still remains of the occupation of the Chinese on the Goldfield, tell tale signs indicative of Chinese mining techniques appear scattered on the landscape. They have stood the test of time from floods, erosion and human intervention, very few today would recognise and be able to identify the methods used by them. Most commonly seen now are their water races and tailings mounds, the tailings mounds in particular are unique, methodically stacked rocks gives the impression of some type of stone structure which leaves one pondering their purpose. Little do they realise that the rocks are just discarded material from the various sluicing operations undertaken.

The Town name was selected as a necessity to identify the very fast growing settlement which had become the judicial, administrative and commercial centre for the other satellite mining settlements established on the Goldfields in the district. One of which included Bald Hills, later on briefly known as Forbes until the error was realised and finally as Hill End and could possibly explain why Tambaroora was gazetted as a Town and Hill End only ever a Village. For a short period of time the Town was referred to as Tambaroora Proper to distinguish it from the area name.

Up until the later part of 1852 the area near the junction of Golden Gully and Tambaroora Creek in the vicinity of the future Commissioners Camp later known as Camp Hill was referred to by correspondents and early miners as "The Stockyards", this is supported by the recollections of a gentleman who spent some of his youth in the area, James Collison remembers the "The Stockyard" at this Site. Samuels Flat or Samuels Field was located immediately to the west of the Commissioners Camp between Golden Gully and Moonlight Creek and attracted rushes of miners with reports of gold being found there on more than one occasion. An early Pastoral Map that preceded the gold discovery in the vicinity of the township is annotated with "Samuels Flat" in the same area that Cummings Stockyard was located, another was Oakes Stockyard which is also mentioned by name in relation to rushes to the area. All of these area's were eventually to beome part of the town of Tambaroora.

The roads in the district which were already established for pastoral usage merged in the vicinity of the future town, the road later known as the Escort Track entered the town at Clarke Street, the road to Cummings and Bundy Stations was at Mcmahon Street. There was also the road to Dirt Holes Creek and its continuance to Louisa Creek (present day Hargraves) and Richardsons Point (present day Windeyer) on its way north to Mudgee. A deciding factor in the siting of the Commissioners Camp would be its central location to the surrounding local Goldfields of the Lower Turon, Bald Hills Creek, Golden Gully, The Stock Yards, Tambaroura Creek, Dirt Holes Creek and Green Valley.

This merging of tracks would have seen a concentration of those whose interest was in commercialization and not prospecting, hotels and stores soon occupied prime positions along the road between Golden Gully and Dirt Hole Creek with a scattering of Hotels and Stores in each of the local Goldfields. Throughout 1852 an inrush of miners and associated industries saw the name Tambaroora Proper appear as a reference to this site, the "Proper" initially being added to distinguish it from the area of the same name.

Prior to 1859 and from the outset of the initial gold rush of 1852 the land was settled in a very haphazard fashion without any thought of uniformity, it was a case of first in first choice of land. Irregular shaped lots sprung up everywhere, especially along the main street of the town from McBrian Street down to Clark Street, and along McMahon Street in the west, this area was to become the hub of the towns business district.

1859 saw a survey undertaken of the town to bring some uniformity to its layout and in preparation for the formal naming of the town on the 13th Dec 1859. What may have appeared on town and parish maps did not necessarily mean that it was how it was on the ground, roads shown on maps in fact never existed on the ground.

The town was a major hub for the gold mining and supporting industries in the district, its significance declined in the late 1860s when alluvial mining waned and later at the beginning of the 1870s when the focus moved from alluvial mining to reef mining on Hawkins Hill and around the young pup Hill End.

Many revivals followed, the economic depression of the 1890s had a severe impact on the country and the world, many feeling the hardship made their way back to the fields to try their luck. In the 1890's an attempt was made by the government to revive the town, adjustments to the town boundary in the north east corner of the town saw new Lots surveyed and placed on the market, thou with little success, previously unsold Lots from the 1860s and 70s were once again advertised for sale on numerous occasions, and a new General Cemetery was surveyed and dedicated.

Development of the Town

The information below will hopefully describe the layout of the town and the ongoing changes that were made, it also hopes to explain the different types of land acquisitions that were made available to potential landowners or grantee's of lands.

Originally the names of surveyed dimensioned land area's were called either "Portions" or "Allotments" as noted on the various Land Purchase documents, but in time this nomenclature was replaced with the simple term "Lot", I have used Lot throughout this web site.

There are four area's which fall within the scope of this research:
1. that part of the Parish of Cummings (PoCu), DP756877 located in the north west of the Tambaroura,
2. that part of the Parish of Carroll (PoCa), DP756873 located in the east of the Tambaroura,
3. the Parish of Tambaroora (PoT), DP756905 in the centre which covers the majority of the area, and
4. the Township (ToT), DP758950.

Parish boundaries have changed over the years and where known have been indicated.

Surveying Instruments
Surveying the Lots entailed using either of two types of instruments: the Circumfernator, and or
the Theodolite
these were supported by the Gunters Chain for measuring the distances. At every corner of a Lot a stake was driven and the corners were lockspit.

Types of Land Purchases
The date used as the purchase date for the land acquisition may not be the exact date, some Grants only note the date the document was signed by the Register General. This date could be days, weeks or months after the actual purchase was made, this is especially true where the land may have been purchased at a Land Auction Sale.
The various dealings of the individual lots are all documented, the referring registered document is annotated with the year date and document number ie; Mis:68-1234 or Aln:70-1234 or 64-1234

Grant Upon Purchase of Improved Crown Land - Introduced in 1861 as the Crown Lands Alienation Act 1861. Under the 8th Clause of the Act a person could apply to purchase land previously occupied by the intending purchaser upon which they had made improvements, be it building or cultivation.

Auction Sales - As advertised in the newspapers and Government Gazettes, usually held at the Police Office

Grant of Land Offered for Sale at Auction and not Sold - Where a Lot was advertised for sale by auction and was not sold at that auction, a potential purchaser could apply to purchase the Lot at the Upset Price set prior to the original auction.

The date used as the purchase date for the land acquisition may not be the exact date, some Grants only note the date the document was signed by the Register General. This date could be days, weeks or months after the actual purchase was made, this is especially true where the land may have been purchased at a Land Auction Sale.

Deceased Estates
It has been found that some Certificates of Title for Lots owned by persons who have passed away have not had Applications by Transmission made upon them, suggesting that the Title may have been lost hence those responsible for the administration of the Estate were not aware that these Lots were part of the deceased estate.

Where a Mortgage was undertaken there have been instances where the mortgage has not been discharged and no further dealings have been noted on the Certificate of Title.

Application by Transmission - In a broad sense is the dealings of a Deceased Estate or an Insolvent Estate.
Grant Upon Purchase of Improved Crown Land - Purchase of land previously occupied by the intending purchaser upon which they had made improvements, be it building or cultivation.
The various dealings of the individual lots are all documented, the referring registered document is annotated with the year date and document number ie; Mis:68-1234 or Aln:70-1234 or 64-1234

Upset Price - the lowest price at which a person is permitted to bid for something being sold at auction.
Vesting Order - An Order of a Court passing legal title in lieu of a legal conveyance.

Site fixed upon and town officially named:

Source: (030) n o.254 Pg.2756 dtd 16th Dec 1859
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

The town boundary is a defined area as surveyed in 1859 and later in 1893 and is broken up into sections and in most cases bounded by streets, within each section are the lots. Also as part of the town are the Suburban Lands which holds the suburban lots of various acreage.

On the 3 Dec 1860 at the Tambaroora Police Office an auction sale was held for Town Lots:

Town Lot Purchases - 3 Dec 1860:

Source: (032) No.194, Pg.2017 dtd 20th Oct 1860
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Another land sale took place on the 15 May 1861 for that land that was not bid for or where deposits were forfeited from the previous sale.

Town Lot Purchases - 15th May 1861:

Source: (025) n o.81, Pg.809 dtd 10th Apr 1861
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

1861 was the introduction of the Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1861. One of the clauses of this act, clause 8 allowed individuals to apply for land that they may have occupied previously and had made improvements upon, this was called an "Improvements Purchase".

1863 saw the first group of Lots applied for as "Improvement Purchases" approved, all were located along the main street of Tambaroora known as Mudgee Road:

Permission to purchase Improved Lands - 1863:

Source: (236) n o.25 Pg.389 & 390 dated 13th Feb 1863
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Deeds of Grant ready for Delivery - 1864:

Source: (040) n o.76 Pg.906-909 dtd 13th Feb 1863
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Permission to purchase Improved Lands - 1864:

Source: (040) n o.157 Pg.1751 dated 5th Aug 1864
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

This was followed by another approval in Sep 1864.
Permission to purchase Improved Lands - 1864:

Source: (040) n o.185 Pg.2084 dated 20th Sep 1864
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Again in Oct 1864 another approval.
Approval to Purchase Improved Lands - 1864:

Source: (040) n o.193, Pg.2197 dtd 4 Oct 1864
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Approval for the purchase of these lots did not necessarily mean that the applicant purchased the Lot, different circumstances may have either prevented the purchase or the applicant decided not to proceed with the claim be it for financial reasons or the need for the Lot was no longer required, which resulted in the Lot containing the improvements and was applied for as such being forfeited for non-payment of the appraised value.

As can be seen in the image above, the monetary payment conditions were laid out in paragraph 2, it has been seen on some survey plans that some purchasers did not meet these requirements and their applications were forfeited.

The appraised values of the Lots gives an indication of the extent of the improvements made to the Lots at the time of the survey or appraisal that accompanied the application. Thomas SMITH's purchase of Lot 1 Section 9 is a good example, this was the site of the original Hargraves Hotel, the extent of the improvements made on this Lot were extensive and can be read in the For Sale advertisement of 1857 for the Hotel. The appraisal value in 1863 was 18 pounds 11 shillings and 3 pence.

It is interesting to note that there appears to be a trend by persons wanting to purchase their improved land as an "Improvement Purchase" but they did not pay the appraised value of the Lot and instead preferred to purchase the Lot at the auction sales that were held at later dates. The value of the auctioned Lot appears in some cases to be less than the appraised values that were put on the same Lot.
5th May 1865
Lands Dedicated for Religious and Public Purposes:

Source: (041) n o.87, Pg.985, dtd 5th May 1865
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Land Sale Town and Suburban Lots - 27th Sep 1865:

Source: (041) n o.179, Pg. 1877 dtd 24th Aug 1865
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Deeds of Grant - 27th Oct 1868:

Source: (044) n o.276, Pg.4009-4013 dtd 14th Nov 1868
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Deeds of Grant Ready for Delivery - 26th Jun 1873:

Source: (721) n o.162 Pg.1799-1803 dtd 26th Jun 1873
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

Approval to Purchase Portions or Lots - 4th May 1875:

Source: (051) n o.94, Pg.1310 dtd 4th May 1875
Extracted from the digitized Gazettes by Archive Digital Books Australasia

In the early 1890's an attempt appears to have been made to reawaken the township, alterations to the design of the Town and the addition of Lots saw in the ensuing years Auction Sales to sell off those Lots and those Lots that were not originally sold in the 1860's and 70's.

Proposed Alteration of Design of the Town and Suburban Lots of Tambaroora - 17th Feb 1891
The alterations consisted of the addition of Suburban Lots in the north eastern part of the Town

Source: (390) n o.113 Pg.1366 dtd 17th Feb 1891
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Application to Mine within the Town and under Roads - 27th Jun 1893:
The Application was refused on the 15th Aug 1893

Source: (391) n o.462 Pg.5076 dtd 27th Jun 1893
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Hill End and Tambaroora Temporary Commonage - 29th Jul 1893
Removed from within the boundaries of the Town and Suburban Lands of the Town of Tambaroora

Source: (391) n o.544 Pg.6048 dtd 29th Jul 1893
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Application to Mine within the Town and under Roads - 15th Aug 1893:
These Applications were all refused

Source: (391) n o.568 Pg.6306 dtd 15th Aug 1893
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Land Sale Town Lots - 7th Nov 1893:

Source: (391) n o.609 Pg.6885 dtd 31 Aug 1893
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

In Dec of the same year 425 acres was revoked from the Wellington Goldfield and made available for sale in the Town and its Suburban lands.
Land Revoked from Wellington Goldfield and to be sold as part of Tambaroora Township and Suburban Lands - 14th Dec 1893

Source: (391) n o.544 Pg.6039 dtd 29th Jul 1894
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

In 1894 Lots which had previously not been sold when sales were held in the 1860s and 70s and the unsold Lots from the Auction held in the previous year were placed up for Auction again, this Auction also included the lands that were revoked in the later part of 1893, all were put up for Auction on the 18th Sep 1894.

Land Sale Town and Suburban Lots - 18th Sep 1894:

Source: (295) n o.467, Pg.4535 dtd 18th Sep 1894
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Again in 1895 Lots which had previously not been sold when sales were held in the 1860s, 1870s and the unsold Lots from the Auction held in the previous year were placed up for Auction again, all were put up for Auction on the 5th Jun 1895.

Land Sale Town and Suburban Lots - 5th Jun 1895:

Source: (468) n o.226, Pg.2205 dtd 1 Apr 1895
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Revocation of Reserves from Sale - 4th Jan 1918:
The listed Lots below appear to not have been sold after the previous years attempts, their Reserve status was revoked 60 days after the notification date.

Source: (142) n o.2, Pg.84 dtd 1 Jan 1918
Extracted from the digitised articles found in Trove, reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Reclassification of the Town
The Town was officially assigned a Village on 8 Jun 2001. Source: NSW Geographical Names Board (https://proposals.gnb.nsw.gov.au/public/geonames/31308e69-8a5b-41db-a6b4-7b47350cd2e7)

Sadly Tambaroora was relegated to the scrap heap of time, the only mention of the name Tambaroora now is that which appears in the history books and on signage which still exists giving an approximate idea as to its location. A town without a face does not make very interesting reading. Very little remains of any above ground features in the district, even less remains within the towns boundary to indicate the size of the town or its memorable gold industry.

Visually the only identification of the towns footprint are the remnants of footings of the buildings or the wells and cellars which were located within the vicinity of those buildings or the lone chimney which stands as a reminder of a town that once existed in the district. The only indication of Saint Saviours Church of England Church is a pile of wall debris and exposed footings indicating the shape of the church, as is the case with the red brick Roman Catholic Church and the school teachers residence.

Once the economics of gold recovery exceeded the dwindling returns given up mining associated machinery and equipment quickly found their way to new Goldfields or other mining related industries throughout the Colony, only those mining companies lucky enough to recover substantial returns remained. On the commercial front declining populations dictate the continuing functioning of the supporting businesses, not only did the mining population move on but so did the businesses. The entire town was over time dismantled, some of the buildings materials found their way to either Kandos or Rylstone, other building materials made of valuable timbers like cedar found their way back to Sydney to supplement the shortage of building material in the rapidly expanding city, other materials found their way into the local shearing sheds and other buildings in the area.

What remains now are the memories of a Town in Images
What can be seen Now!

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Peel to "The Stockyard" upon the Tambaroura - This is a PDF file and will open in this Frame

All the Known Cemeteries in the Tambaroora - This is a PDF file and will open in this Frame

The Part it has Played - This is a PDF file and will open in this Frame

The Brief Story - This is a PDF file and will open in this Frame

What is seen today is not representative of the Tambaroura of the 1850's as seen by those arriving on the Goldfield, the deep gullies and erosion seen today were not a part of the landscape back then, pastured lands, scrub and open land made up the scenery. Eventually the development of the Goldfield changed the surroundings, holes of all shapes and sizes pock marked the area in the pursuit of gold. The end result of the mining activity was the beginning of a landscape change forced upon the area by erosion. Underground alluvial mining saw many of the discarded tunnels fill with water, these water filled tunnels eventually caused softening of the soils in the walls, roofs and floors of the tunnels, the close proximity of the tunnels with their softened walls and roofs saw the earth collapsing the walls and allowing the water to flow freely, this is still evident today in Golden Gully. Water races constructed to utilise the limited water available to be used in sluice boxes and Toms were eventually discarded and again uncontrolled water flow took advantage of its freedom to reek havoc on the landscape, allied to this were the roads leading to the various satellite goldfields and numerous occupied area's, when they were no longer used maintenance upon them ceased, this gave water once again the opportunity to demonstrate its destructive capability. Today it is difficult to accurately determine what was the result of mining or the result of erosion.

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This web site is based on newspaper reports, government gazettes and other government documents particularly mining orientated documentation relating to the extended period that Tambaroura/Tambaroora functioned as a mining community.

It will allow you to revisit how reporters and correspondents of the 1850s and later disseminated what most people were eagerly awaiting for in the major cities regarding the discovery of gold in the unsettled districts. In our case the Tambaroura area as was recorded through newspapers and government gazettes and those who thought they knew about the Tambaroura, inclusive in every respect where known is the locale of the original occupants from whom the name originated, the pastoralisation of the area by pioneer graziers and most importantly their shepherds, later the discovery of gold and its resultant economic growth and expansion and sadly to its eventual demise.

This web site has been designed to supplement the many publications which have already been written on the region. Tambaroora has always been the second cousin when the history of gold discovery and the stories of the Gold Fields are concerned. Hill End has been the dominant name when associating gold to the area. Hopefully this web site will give a more in depth understanding of the size and importance that both the early Tambaroura district and Tambaroora the town played in the functioning and recovery of the gold in the region.

I decided to undertake this project in an endeavour to compile data relating to the persons, lots and portions, mining companies, gold leases, lines (reefs or veins) and geographical features which have in some way contributed to the making of Tambaroora and its surrounding district.

This site is a work in progress, the project will continue to grow as names and data pertaining to Tambaroora and its surrounding district (excluding Hill End) is added. Only that information relating to Hill End which supports an event relating to Tambaroora will be included.

All Names
I have been liberal with the inclusion of a persons name, in searching for names associated with Tambaroora it was difficult to determine if they had ever set foot in Tambaroora or just used the name as a reference. An example is the unclaimed returned mail from Tambaroora Post Office to the GPO in Sydney, it is not known if the persons ever arrived in Tambaroora or they found their way to other Gold Fields along the way. It would appear that their intention was to go to Tambaroora so not knowing if they ever arrived or not I have included their names. The same applies to the New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriage Register, persons have indicated that they were born in Tambaroora but there is no record, these names have also been included.

Names that have been excluded are those that have used Dirt Hole or Oakey Creek as a reference, unless I have been able to confirm that the person was at either of these two places in the TAMBAROURA, as there appears to be several of these places stretching from upstream of Sofala down along the Turon river to the Macquarie River then up Bald Hills Creek to Dirt Holes Creek.

A Persons Mining Interests and Assets
Only those assets, be it property or commercial and those mining interests that were located within the Tambaroora district as noted in the "Coverage of the Township of Tambaroora and its Goldfield" have been included in this web site, no data pertaining to a persons holdings in Hill End have been included at this stage.

Lots, Portions and Streets
Duplication of lot numbers will occur as numbers were allocated according to the parish in which the lot was located. Parishes in the district were Parish of Tambaroora (PoT), Parish of Cummings (PoCu) and Parish of Carroll (PoCa), lots which are located within the actual township of Tambaroora are identified within section numbers which are blocks of lots bounded by streets, so there is a duplication of lot numbers also within the town, these lots can be identified by (ToT). Parishes used in determining portion/lot locations have been taken from the 1877 Tambaroora and Turon River Goldfield map and may not reflect the current parish borders.

Coverage of the Township of Tambaroora and its Goldfield
(for the purposes of this web site and research)
Area of Interest Map
Northern Boundary - everything south of a line running east west from the northern boundary of Lot 12 at Dirt Holes Creek in the Parish of Cummings (PoCu).
Southern Boundary - everything north of a line running east west from the southern boundary of Lot 26 (current owners, Mr & Mrs R Anderson) (PoCa).
Eastern Boundary - everything west of a line running north south on the eastern boundary of Lot 81 in the Parish of Carroll.
Western Boundary - everything east of a line running north south on the western boundary of Lot 69 in the Parish of Tambaroora (PoT).

Family History Research
This site is not designed so much as a family history source but cannot be avoided when noting the names against the mining interests and properties held in the area. The Hill End and Tambaroora Gathering Group and Daphne Shead at Hill End Family History are both highly qualified in that area. Malcolm Drinkwater at History Hill at Hill End is a must place to visit, his knowledge of the area is extensive and his collection is second to none. History Hill must be seen to have an appreciation of life on a Gold Field and has been Malcolms life's work and an immense credit to him. Their contact details are on the Contact Page and I highly recommend contacting them not only in relation to family history but also historical aspects of the area. Please note that a persons name is being spelt as it appears in the various documentation, in some cases this is being annotated where I have identified a conflict in the spelling or a records interpretation of the individuals name.

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A very important point that has to be remembered in relation to reading and understanding the histories of the area is to take into consideration the identification of the early geographical features of the area. In the early days and years of the Goldfield numerous correspondents and reporters from various newspapers of the day visited and re-visited the area, their reporting was based on their own visual interpretation or information from those who had either been on the ground since the Goldfields inception or those who had only recently arrived. Not all the information was factual but in all probability was given in good faith.

Geographical names given for sites of diggings were not always accurate, an example of this is the Pastoral Lease Map of the late 1840s or early 1850s which shows Bald Hill Creek as being on the western side of Bald Hill and flowing into Tambaroora Creek just before its junction with the Macquarie River, after the discovery of gold its position had re-located to the east side of Bald Hill and flowing into the Turon River. Eventually its placement reverted back to its original locale and is officially recognised as such to this day. The Creek flowing into the Turon River was eventually named Oakey Creek. This is just one of many examples, especially where geographical features are concerned where the names have been wrongly attributed to a place or an event. This has caused confusion when trying to understand the progressive development of the district.
Many geographical names were created locally to refer to a place or an event and are not recognised officially, hence they are not recorded anywhere other then in the newspapers of the day or on this web site

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