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This page is designed to provide space for people of the Community to provide local history information about their community and to provide links to relevant history sites related to this community. The management of this site realises that this list may not be complete.

Walgett District Historical Society

For the students of history, the district of Walgett is most interesting.

Notable aspects of the history of the district include:

Records suggest that the first white man into the Walgett area was Captain Charles Sturt in February, 1829 as he explored the Castlereagh River and ventured into the area. Prior to that John Oxley was known to be in the region, but most probably much further south.

One early name associated with the settlement of the area was that of Henry Bailey who may have occupied 'Walchate' (as it was then known). This was the name given to the pastoral area (or 'run') that was described as a 32,000 acre area capable of running just 300 cattle. This was around the mid to late 1840's.

Settlement followed until the town of Walgett was proclaimed in March of 1885. In this era, the township was served by paddle steamers, used to carry the produce of the area - wool, wood, dried fruit and livestock. These steamers travelled the Murray-Darling River system during this period and provided the main transport to the area.

In 1877, Frederick Wolseley started to experiment with mechanical shearing devices, having decided that the existing method of hand shearing was inadequate and needed a major overhaul. Patent for this machine, developed in his blacksmith's shop on his property Euroka, was granted in March of 1877. The machine was a huge success, spreading rapidly throughout the whole country. Relics of this era can still be seen on the property.

The Walgett Mail was the first newspaper to be published in the region and commenced publication in 1879, its publisher being a man named George Cohen. The town also boasted its own brewery (run by a Mr. Skinner) until around 1910.

In 1906, the local government act (of the same year) proclaimed an area in the region as the Walgett Shire

The railroad finally arrived in Walgett in 1908 and this brought about many changes.

Walgett was also the gathering place of many of the areas aboriginal tribes. The natives came from near and far to participate in the many corroborees that featured in their way of life, a tradition sadly no longer practiced. A large number of aboriginals are still found in the township, the Namoi Reserve and the Gingie Reserve.

If you know of a local history site that services this community but is not listed here, or would like to use this site to promote your local history, please Email us (using the button at the bottom of this page) and let us know the details, including the community to which you are referring.

Genealogy Links

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