Lambing Flat Folk Museum (Young, NSW)

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Sydney University Examination

Posted on September 12, 2016 at 6:15 AM


A Group of Successful Public School Boys

Of all the educational institutions represented at the Junior University examinations recently held throughout the colony, none came through the ordeal with more satisfactory results than the Young Public School. This seminary – the destinies of which are at present, under the able direction of Mr James Rickard – sent up eight candidates for the junior and one for the Civil Service examinations. Each candidate took up seven subjects; and all passed with flying colours, obtaining 27 As, 24 Bs, and four medals, or an average of 33/8 As, 3 Bs and ½ medal. In addition to this, one pupil from Young (Master Stevenson) was awarded the J.B. Watt exhibition prize, and secured a “leg in” for the Hordern £100 prize.

Mr James Rickard has been in charge of the Young Public School since March 1886. He received his training and passed his pupil teachership in Bathurst under Mr John Dettmann, the present headmaster of the Fort-Street Model School, with whom he prosecuted his studies as a scholar and pupil teacher from the age of 10 to 19 years. Upon leaving training, Mr Rickard was appointed head master of the Mount M’Donald Public School. Thence he went to Cowra, where he remained some fifteen months before he was appointed to his present charge in the Young Public school. On the eve of his departure from Cowra, Mr Rickard was presented with a costly tea and coffee service, and a handsome illuminated address. As showing the respect in which he was held by his former pupils, it may be mentioned that no less than six of his Cowra pupils (Stevenson being one of them) followed him to Young to prosecute their studies under his direction.

Mr Rickard, who is only 25 years of age, holds 1 B certificate. In the event of Stevenson obtaining the £100 prize, Mr Rickard will be entitled to Hordern’s £25 medal. Mr Rickard is deservedly popular with parents, scholars, and teachers. He is a good disciplinarian and a first-class general, and is in many ways eminently qualified to preside over a much more important institution than the Young Public School.

John W. Stevenson is a son of Mr Robert Stevenson, forest ranger, Cowra. He was born in Cowra on June 10, 1871, and is therefore just put of his 16th birthday. He stands 6ft high, and measures 37in round the chest. Stevenson, has been trained under Mr Rickard for the past three years in Cowra and Young. At the age of 13 he passed the pupil teachers’ examination, and at 14 the Civil Service examination. He is endowed with high literary ability, and last year carried off a prize, for an essay on free trade.

Stevenson made a pass of 7 As with medals for algebra, geology and English history. He has also been awarded the J.B. Watt exhibition, the total value of which is £120, to enable him to undertake a University course, which he will enter upon next April. It is doubtful at present whether he or Master Levy, of Crown-Street Sydney, is the winner of Hordern’s £100 prize.

Hugh Spring is the third son of Mr Gerard Spring, of Moorong, formerly senior member for the district, and was born at Pine Ridge, near Mudgee, on March 1, 1872. He passed the Civil Service examination in 1885. His pass was 5 As and 1 B, with the medal for geography. He comes third for Hordern’s £100 prize.

A.J.B. Walker is the second son of Inspector Walker, of Young and was born in Glen Innes on December 3, 1872. His pass was 4 As and 3 Bs.


Martin Freudenstein was born near Young, on April 6, 1871, and is the son of Mr Freudenstein, a farmer resident at Bulla Creek, near Young. His pass was 4 As and 3 Bs.

Edward C Bluett is a son of Mr F.W. Bluett, of Wagga Wagga, where he was born on October 10, 1874. He was only 12 years of age at the time of his passing. His pass was 2 As and 5 Bs.

Gerald Spring, brother of Hugh Spring, was born at Pine Ridge Station on June 23, 1874. His pass was 2 As and 5 Bs.

G.N. Ward is the eldest son of the bandmaster of Young, and was born in Yass on December 22, 1872. He passed with 3 As and 2 Bs.

G.H. Wall is the second son of Alderman Wall, of Young. He was born in Parkes on March 4, 1872 and his pass was 5 Bs.

Cecil M’Nab, who passed the Civil Service examination, is the eldest son of the postmaster of Young. He was born at Young on September 18, 1870. At the time of passing he was only 11 years of age, and is probably the youngest successful candidate for the Civil Service this year. He was the only candidate sent from the Young school for the civil service examination.


From: Australian Town & Country Journal (Sydney NSW 1870-1907) Saturday 26 November 1887.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.

Mr. Edward Taylor, of "Rose Hill", Young

Posted on July 4, 2016 at 3:05 AM

Extracts of a character sketch by "Indara" from the Australian Town and Country Journal, Wednesday 19th July 1905.


Born in the picturesque and historical little county of Berkshire, England, in 1831. Mr. Taylor is now in his 74th year. This fine old gentleman suggests, in figure, speech, and manner, a descent from the hard fisted, hard fighting yeoman who swarmed out to meet the Spanish Armada, formed the very flower of Cromwell’s invincible Ironsides, and put up such a desperate fight in Monmouth’s cause at the battle of Sedgemoor.


Modest and retiring, somewhat slow and deliberate of speech, but very earnest and sincere. A builder by trade, and perfect master of his calling, when only in his 23rd year, foreman of works in charge of the Berlin Waterworks, and the following year in charge of the Copenhagen Waterworks. Upon completion of the works he and his family embarked for Sydney, invested in a dray and horses and headed for the Stoney Creek Gold Rush. Three months’ prospecting, during which he sank a number of shafts, all of which proved "duffers". The common-sense side of his character asserted it self, and he commenced dairying and butchering, and, immediately the yellow metal, both in coin and dust, began to flow into his coffers.


At this stage the Lambing Flat Riots broke out and about 100 of the boys came along one night and attempted to force him to help wipe out the 'Chinkies'. He determinedly refused and called their bluff.

According to Mr. Taylor the gold digging industry started to subside in about 1865 when free selection came into force, and at about the same time the town of Young began to grow.


When asked if he had built the first house here, he replied, "Even better than that" laughed the old gentleman; "I made the bricks to build the first houses erected here."


As to a question about wild horses, Mr. Taylor offered the following; "Well, we found them a terrible nuisance before the country was fenced. And, indeed, I shot hundreds of them for their hides, and the carcases we used for feeding the pigs. I did a fair amount of horse breeding in those days, and many hundreds I exported to India."


After questioning it was revealed that Mr. Taylor was a member of the first progressive committee held here, and later became a town councillor, holding this for 15 years, and during that period was twice mayor. He was appointed to the first Land Board in 1885 and retains it until this day. He has been a member of the P&A Society since inception and President twice.


He was the first to introduce farming here on a share basis - that was in 1888 - and it at once caught on, and he was instrumental in establishing the butter factory.


Perhaps his most successful effort was in the establishment of the Young Co-operative Flour Mill. He and Mr. J.C. Gough practically floated the company themselves and when capital was available Mr. Gough erected the buildings. After eight or ten successful years Mr. Taylor left the Company and established the Young Milling Company with T.P. Chapman.


An interesting story as to how Mr. Taylor acquired his homestead block, Rose Hill, at the time a 320 acre lease, is related by a friend; "You see, it happened thus; Taylor and another man simultaneously put in at the local Lands Office an application for the lease. So the affair resolved itself into who could pay the deposit first."


"Taylor’s account was at the Oriental Bank, some distance away, his opponent at the Commercial Bank, in the near vicinity. Taylor was out of the office and into the saddle - he was riding a nearly full blooded racehorse - in went the spurs, and away they went, as though going for the Melbourne Cup. Next was witnessed a struggle between man and horse - the latter, with bit between his teeth, straining every nerve in an endeavour to continue his journey home. 'Eighty pounds please, and I haven’t time to sign a cheque', roared Taylor, elbowing clients from the counter."


"The manager knew his man, and handed over the notes, and Taylor was back in the Lands Office, and folding up his receipt when his opponent entered. That occurred, I think, in 1869."


Footnote; Rose Hill homestead still stands on the Cowra Road just out of Young, one of the most historic houses in this area. Edward Taylor was a nephew of James White, Young’s first European settler.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.


Murder in Young

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 7:15 AM

From the Clarence and Richmond Examiner, Tuesday 14 May 1901.


How Jasprizza Was Killed


The same night, Wednesday, that the second-hand goods dealer met his death at Goulburn, a farmer named Jasprizza met his at Young, and by the same means - murder. He was the well known cherry gardener and vigneron of that place, and on Wednesday night had retired to bed with his wife, when a noise was heard on the verandah. The blind was partially drawn aside, and Mrs. Jasprizza glanced through the window and saw a man bring a gun to his shoulder. Immediately she cried “someone has fired at me”, something having struck her knee, and this was followed by a report, and her husband fell mortally wounded.


The bullet which caused his injuries struck him on the side, and as he clasped his hand to it he was heard to say, “Oh, who could have done this to me.” At the same time he fell to the ground, a dying man.


Deceased was over 70 years of age, and was an Austrian. He had, however, lived in Young for nearly 40 years, and was looked on as one of its oldest and respected residents. He had a wonderful vineyard - the pride of not only the district, but of N.S. Wales.


The arrest of Horace Watt on suspicion of being implicated in the tragedy has added to the local excitement, and all sorts of forecasts are forthcoming as to what will be the verdict of the jury. The coroner’s inquest stands adjourned till Monday.


From the Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 26 October 1901.


In respect of the murder of Nicholas Jasprizza, 75 years of age, at Three Mile, near Young, on May 8 last - at whom two shots were fired through the window of his bedroom - a notification appears in the “Government Gazette” to the effect that a reward of £100 will be paid by Government (in addition of a reward of £200 offered by the relatives of the deceased) for such information as will lead to the apprehension and conviction of the guilty person or persons.


In addition to the above reward, his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor will be advised to extend a free pardon to any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the said murder, who shall first give such required information.



Nicholas Jasprizza.


Nicholas Jasprizza was born in Dalmatia, Austria in 1835, arrived in Australia in 1864 and tried his luck as a gold miner on the Lambing Flat diggings at various places including the Three Mile diggings. Deciding to plant vegetables instead of searching for gold he obtained a quarter acre block on McHenry’s creek and established a market garden. Due to both flood and drought he had a difficult time but managed to grow enough produce to hawk around the diggings and make a small profit. He purchased a four acre (1.6 ha) block on which he planted grape vines and fruit trees.


By 1876 he had established a cherry orchard and is credited with introducing cherry growing to the Young district. In 1893 he had accumulated 900 acres (364 ha) and had 100 acres (40ha) under cherries with 7000 fully grown trees and 300 young trees under cultivation. He also had 60 acres under vines.


Jasprizza married Bridget Bowles, nee Tunney, at the Sixteen Mile rush in 1886 and had a family of four sons and two daughters. Bridget died in 1884 and he then married Rosetta Johnstone in 1886. At the time of his death it was said that his cherry orchard was the largest in the world.


As to who established cherry growing in the Young district one such story is as follows. John Bowles had married Bridget Tunney at Orange in 1860. The Bowles family were wealthy orchardists in England and John had been sent to Australia in the hope that it would cure his tuberculosis. John planted an orchard and Nicholas Jasprizza worked for him and developed an interest in cherry growing. John’s hoped-for cure was not realised and he died in 1862.


Another version is that Harry Kline came to Young from the Hunter river area where he had been a wine grower. On a visit to Nicholas he noticed some Kentish cherry suckers growing and suggested that Jasprizza should graft some good cherries on to them. Grafting wood was obtained from a cherry tree in the garden of the Gold Commissioner, all the grafts “took” and the trees were planted out and a cherry orchard established.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.



How Young got its Name

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 6:50 PM

How did the town of Young get its name? Why did the people in authority at the time not call it Burrowmunditroy or Burrangong which were the local Wiradjuri names for the area? It could have been called Spring Creek, Chance Gully , Blackguard Gully, or even Lambing Flat.


Apparently at one time the suggested name was Albert Town, to honour Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.


The Sydney Morning Herald’s Special Correspondent on March 18th 1861 stated, “The Government district surveyor has been engaged during the past week surveying the Lambing Flat, for the township, which, I understand is to be called Albert Town. The appearance of the place is greatly improved of late; some fine buildings are going up rapidly; several public houses are now nearly completed, and are large and commodious places. Lambing Flat or Albert Town is the place for all commercial transactions, and the centre of the Government offices. The Oriental Bank Corporation are building compact and spacious premises for their offices here… There is at present one day school on Lambing Flat, but only a small number of pupils attend.”


The Government surveyor selected James White’s Lambing Flat as the site for a village and the first pencil sketch was transmitted to Sydney to the Surveyor General on April 18th 1861. Northern tracks were shown to Burrangong station and to Bathurst; southward to the Spring Creek diggings and to Robert’s Currawong station, and eastwards to Burrowa.


On Saturday April 20th the first land sale for town allotments at Lambing Flat in the County of Monteagle and Parish of Young were advertised for sale on May 28th at an upset price of £20 per acre. Twenty seven lots were offered.


The Miner reported with some scepticism that, “Our township has received the name Young in honour of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government. Its brevity classifies well with Hay and Yass but it is inappropriate for the capital of Burrangong.”


Sir John Young (1807-1876) was born on 31st August 1807 in Bombay, India, eldest son of Sir William Young, 1st Baronet and East India Company director. He was educated at Eton and Corpus Christie College, Oxford.


On 18th January 1861 he was appointed to succeed Sir William Denison as governor of NSW; because of inter-colonial jealousy he was not given the title governor-general, borne by his two predecessors. He arrived in Sydney in March 1861 and immediately plunged into an angry and complicated political crisis. With the five year term of the Legislative Council due to expire he accepted Sir Charles Cowper’s proposal that the council should be made elective. Young conditionally approved Cowper’s nomination of twenty one new members, but they were never sworn in as other members of the council resigned and deprived the council of a quorum. Two government bills regarding Sir John Robertson’s land bills were also rejected. Young had to face other problems affecting relations between his office and the cabinet.


Unlike some of his successors, Young had little trouble over his exercise of the royal prerogative of pardon. Except in capital cases, he dealt with pardons without reference to his ministers; most of the colony’s leading men preferred the prerogative to be beyond the reach of political interference. In 1863 he overruled his Executive Council and commuted the bushranger John Bow’s sentence to life imprisonment.


Unwilling to leave his ministers unsupervised in Sydney, Young did not travel widely or frequently in the colony, but he and his wife were keenly aware of the responsibilities of Government House and were active in good causes. He worked diligently for the Sydney Ragged Schools, the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children, the Sydney Female Refuge Society, the Female School of Industry and the House of the Good Shepherd. A devout Evangelical Anglican, he appealed for non-sectarian sympathy and tolerance, raising the ire of some Protestants when he chaired a meeting in 1865 to organise the rebuilding of the burnt St. Mary’s cathedral.


It is hard to find any reference to the reason the town of Young was given its somewhat strange name. But it is generally accepted that the powers to be, probably Charles Cowper, wanted to remove the name Lambing Flat from the map as the riots and disturbances were a sad reflection on the Government of the day.


Sourced from Old Young, Ross Maroney; Rich Earth, William Bayley; Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ward.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.


Flocking to NSW

Posted on February 15, 2016 at 3:05 AM

The following article appeared in the Evening News (Sydney), Wednesday 20 March 1907.



Some people in New South Wales will think that there is a tendency in South Australia to undertake the task usually known as teaching one’s grandmother to suck eggs, judging by the following extract from the Adelaide ’Register’, of February 25 [actually Feb 26 - editor], which, is headed ‘The Exodus from Mount Templeton’ :-


"Today, Mr. Robert Young, late of Mount Templeton, will leave by special train for the estate he has taken up, in conjunction with Mr. Ralli, near Young, in New South Wales. The special train starts from Hamley Bridge, being the junction of the broad and narrow gauge, and conveys not only Mr. Young, but 60 people – men, women and children – who are going forth to make their homes in the eastern colony, 100 horses, and many farm implements.


"The land in New South Wales is of excellent quality, but the methods of farming it are old fashioned and non- scientific."

[P.S. I am sure the New South Wales farmers would appreciate this observation]

“The land has not been made to yield its fullest possibilities, owing to ignorance of the newest ways of utilising it. The New South Wales farmers however, are eager to learn, and welcome the many South Australians who settle among them, and respect the knowledge by which they wring the utmost from the soil.

"South Australian scientific farming brought to bear on New South Wales land should produce the happiest result, and all success is wished to those who, like Abraham of old, go out to make their homes in distant places,

"But the ‘trekkers’ from Mount Templeton will find so many from their native State settled around them that no sense of strangeness will be apparent. While all good wishes go with those setting out from Mount Templeton, serious questions arise in the mind. Can South Australia afford to lose her people without a corresponding influx of population to balance matters?”


Young and Ralli had purchased the properties Greenshades, Yannawah, Milong and Elton Hills. Elton Hills was where the old stone house stood and still does. It was a hotel at one time and a stopover place for Cobb & Co coaches on their way to the Bland. The Young family lived in the main house off the Tubbul road.


On what is now known as Olde Milong, Young and Ralli built a large new woolshed to shear and handle the large number of sheep running on the property. Also a major farming venture was commenced with large and innovative machinery being employed and a large share farming system put into operation.


Amongst those brought over from South Australia was Charles Weston, who was to become a well known and respected citizen of the town of Young. Charles was Young and Ralli’s bookkeeper and lived and worked in the stone house. There was an inner and outer office, the outer office being used as a mail sorting room as well. A section of the building was used as a shop and stores were sold to employees and others. Several other bachelors employed on the station were also housed here. A cook was employed to supply meals for the residents.


In 1914 Charles enlisted and served at Gallipoli and in France and on his return he was employed in many prominent positions as well as conducting a store at Monteagle. Among some of the positions held, which were numerous, was the District Coroner for twenty years and Secretary of the Young Pasture Protection Board for twenty seven years. He joined the Returned Soldiers League and over the years held all executive positions.

Charles Weston served on the Young Municipal Council for some twenty years and was Mayor on four separate occasions.


Another well known person associated with Elton Hills was Mary Gilmore who was employed as a school teacher when the Elton Hills school opened in 1913. She went on to be the well known literary figure, Dame Mary Gilmore.


In 1918 or 1919 Young and Ralli decided to sell Milong and return to South Australia, the new owner was Mr. A.W. Scott. Mr. Scott retained most of the employees, many who lived on the property in houses built by Young and Ralli.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.

Stories from the Past.

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 4:05 AM

Bernies' Coaches.

Joseph Oscar and William Edward Bernie were partners in a Coaching business at Young and were well known to all the old hands in the south-west, where in the coaching days, they were well known and popular figures.

They came to the Young district in the 1860s from Victoria. William Edward for a time resided on the Island (Coney Island), also at Sawpit Gully and Monteagle. Joseph Oscar eventually purchased "Lochiel", off the Kingsvale road, on what is now Willawong street.

The Bernie Brothers were familiar figures at all the shows and races around the region, plying for hire with a coach that carried 62 passengers – and no man could handle the ribbons better than the Bernie brothers. The brothers were known to almost every man woman and child in the district, and also in the towns around. Bernies' Coaches were known far and wide – that is, before the days of the motor car which now rushes along the country roads to shows and races. But in earlier times the big coach with one of the Bernies in the box, did the trip from Young to Murrumburrah, to Cootamundra, Wagga, etc., and to Grenfell and further on, to Forbes and Eugowra – in fact there were few towns where races and shows were held that Bernies' coaches were not familiar, and welcome visitors.

It was always the Bernies' pride that their passengers were always safely carried and during their long career in charge of the ribbons few indeed could say that accident ever befell them. The biggest load ever carried was on the occasion of the opening of the Tipperary Hall, when no fewer than 72 passengers were carried from Tipperary to Young.

William Bernie died in April 1915 and his brother, by this time living at Lidcombe, died in August 1930.


The above was partially sourced from the Young Witness, Tuesday May 4, 1915.


A Sad Home Coming, 1917.

A crushing blow to Private George Cartwright who returned to Young on Wednesday after being nearly two years in the firing line, was the death bed scene of his mother.

Private Cartwright is hale and hearty save for a shrapnel wound underneath the left knee cap. He is able to walk unaided by a stick or crutch, but according to the military doctors in Sydney it is just questionable whether an amputation can be avoided.

In answer to a question Private Cartwright said, "Last July we were ordered to raid a village near Fleurs. There were three lines of trenches before us, the first being 300 yards distance. On reaching the third trench a German who had secured one of our wounded officer's uniform dressed himself in it and gave the command to retire. Implicitly we retreated to our former position. I was cleaning my gun when a piece of shrapnel about the size of a matchbox struck me."

Private Cartwright added, "Yes, there was a second charge, between 8000 and 9000 casualties resulting on our side, but the foe got a bad beating. There was no mercy shown, and bayonets were used most freely. It was the only method to be adopted, for we were up against what seemed overwhelming odds. The English soldiers had made six previous attempts to accomplish the objective but failed. In the knowledge of this we were determined to make an heroic charge, notwithstanding the pick of the Prussian Guards were pitted against us."


From the Young Witness, Friday 28 September 1917.



A Lively Bolt.

One of Mr. Edmunds’ cart horses ran amok on Wednesday and careered several times around the block. The animal fortunately was not attached to a vehicle. Six or seven pedestrians had narrow escapes from being run down. A nonplussed small boy who was about to turn a corner saw the horse approaching and in the nick of time dodged behind a big pepper corn tree. When passing the Post Office the frightened steed had a portion of harness dangling over its side. One strap caught in the splash board of the Wombat mailman’s sulky and sliced a piece out of it. A sharp eye prevented a second bolt. After being deflected from a course which the horse was taking over the Wombat street bridge, it turned into Main street for the fourth time, and was finally caught near the District School.

From the Young Witness, Friday 28 September 1917.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.



Posted on December 19, 2015 at 12:30 AM


Production at Young


From the Sydney Morning Herald Monday 23 May 1927


The manner in which Australian film companies have taken advantage of the opportunities now being provided in Australia, and within the Empire, is illustrated by the Dominion Film Co., which was recently formed at Young, with Mr. Phil. K. Walsh as managing producer.


The shares were taken up rapidly, and within a few weeks Mr. Walsh has started on his first picture, "The Birth of White Australia", a 7000 ft film of dramatic and historical incidents in the development of the country.


The film is said to provide a version of the epic story of the pioneers, explorers, and statesmen who moulded the history of the nation.


The company’s directors are mainly pastoralists fired with a desire to assist the Australian film industry. Mrs. Sarah Musgrave will appear in the picture, the romantic element of which will revolve around her adventurous life.



From the Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 25 July 1928


There is some beautiful photography in "The Birth of White Australia", a new film produced by Mr. Phil Walsh, which was screened privately yesterday before Government Representatives and others; and from this point of view the picture should be a good advertisement for Australia abroad.


The serenity of light slanting down through gum trees and illuminating a thin veil of smoke; the mercury-like presence of a rushing river; the rolling spaciousness of a landscape with a herd of cattle—such aspects of Australian scenery as these the photographer, Mr. Lacey Percival, has presented with great artistry. Mr. Walsh has made his contribution to the effect by re-creating on a large scale the hustle and picturesqueness of the gold diggings of Lambing Flat and Tipperary Gully in 1860. There are hundreds of men in these scenes, all digging and washing and engaging in free fights, just as engravings and records of the period show them to have done as a matter of history. The whole of the setting is authentic.


The title rises from the anti-Chinese riots of the 1860s, when the diggers came into conflict with the police as a result of the Chinese causing difficulties with the claims and otherwise making themselves objectionable to Australian sentiment. This forms the climax of the narrative. (NB. With the passing of time this sentiment has changed. In more enlightened times most people realise that the Chinese were within their rights to be on the goldfields and should have been treated on equal terms to anyone else. Today they find the town of Young to be a most welcoming destination.)


The earlier sections (of the film) embody an aboriginal corroboree; a representation of Captain Cook’s landing; and pictures of the Duke of York opening Federal Parliament House.


The following are some interesting newspaper reports about the filming.


Goat eats the scenario


Prominent in the scenes that are being taken for the film "The Birth Of White Australia" are several goats which help to add "atmosphere" to the scenes of Old Tipperary Gully. While Mr. Phil Walsh was directing the actors in one scene at Young, he placed his typewritten scenario on a stump behind him. One of the goats wanted to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" his part, was discovered chewing the type-written pages with evident relish.

Climbing Trees at 98


Mrs. Sarah Musgrave, the first white child born on the Bland, was 98 years old on May 4. She celebrated the event by climbing to the top of St. Mary’s Church tower, which is about 50 feet high, to get a bird’s eye view of Young and thus contrast it with the days of Lambing Flat diggings. Now a resident of Auburn, Mrs. Musgrave often makes railway trips to Young. She wrote a book two years ago. Recently she climbed a tree at Tipperary Gully, and watched the old mining scenes being re-enacted for the film, "Birth of White Australia." A memorial is being erected near the High School to perpetuate the memory of some of Mrs. Musgrave’s pioneer ancestors.


Accident to Film Actor

A young film actor, Mick Quinn, had a narrow escape from death while acting in the film "The Birth of White Australia". He was rounding up a mob of cattle when he fell from his horse, rolled down the bank and fell unconscious in the stream. He was rescued by onlookers.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.



Young, as it was in 1887

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 7:30 PM

In about 1884 a fierce and wordy conflict arose between residents of the East and West portions of the town as to the best site to erect the railway goods-shed. The then Mayor, Mr. Sharp, decided to resign and test the feelings of the ratepayers. The west-enders accepted the challenge and opposed the return of Mr. Sharp. Mr. Forsythe was their champion; and after a keen contest the west-enders were defeated. But at the 1885 elections Mr. Forsythe was successful and in 1887 was elected Mayor.


The town of Young is situated in the centre of a large pastoral and agricultural district and owes its existence to the discovery of gold in 1860-61. Of late years the mining industry has been at a stand-still owing, in the case of alluvial mining, to the scarcity of water, and, in the deep sinking, to the rotten nature of the ground and the great difficulty with coping with the water and drift.

The mining industry has been succeeded by farming and grazing, the land around Young is well adapted to wheat growing, in fact almost all cereals do well, although it is generally too dry for maize. Owing to the uncertainty of the seasons, fruit growing is not carried out to any great extent; although Young is well adapted to vine culture. As for wool and sheep, Young stands very high, and can boast some of the finest pedigree sheep in the colony.


The town of Young was incorporated in 1882 and in 1886 had 400 on the roll. The estimated capital value of rateable property for 1886 was £290,860. The annual value upon which rates are struck is £20,964. There is thus a revenue of £800 per annum in the shape of rates. The total revenue for the Borough in 1886 was £10,000. There are about 50 miles of streets in the borough, 30 miles which are classified as made. Tree planting has received a fair share of attention; and the trees planted in Burrowa, Lynch, Cloete and Main Streets, as well as along the creek and on Camp Hill are doing very well. Recently a site for a park or recreation ground has been secured on the Burrowa road, and already a sum of money has been promised by the Government for fencing it in.


The absence of a water supply scheme is much felt. Some years ago an officer sent to Young by the Government, selected a suitable site some distance above the town, and a report was submitted to the Government; but beyond that nothing further has been done in the matter.


The town of Young boasts of some fine public buildings such as, the courthouse, gaol, post-office, railway station, public school, mechanic’s institute and hospital.


The town and district support two flour mills, two breweries, a tannery, soap-works and numerous other industries. Young can boast a racing club, a cricket club, a football club, a Highland society, a poultry, pigeon, and canary society, and a very strong Pastoral and Agricultural society.


There is also a strong volunteer corps which has won in Sydney twice, the bayonet exercise against all comers. There are four churches, viz., Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan, besides a branch of the Salvation Army.


The present Mayor of Young, Mr. John Forsythe, was born in 1850 in Sydney, and began in business as a general storekeeper. In 1882 he arrived in Young and started business as a general storekeeper. He has built up a large and prosperous business and had made hosts of friends. His first entry into public life in Young was as president of the Phoenix Debating society; and within two years he occupied a prominent position on most committees in town, including the Mechanic’s Institute, the Hospital and the Progress Association.


From an article in the Aust. Town & Country Journal, 27th August 1887.

Footnote; John Forsythe’s store was on the eastern side of the Town Hall where Crawford’s Cherry City Disposals are now. He was Mayor on two occasions, 1887 to 1888 and 1889 to 1890 and was Alderman on four separate occasions. John Forsythe stood unsuccessfully for the Legislative Assembly in the seat of Young, his opponent was Mr. J. C. Watson , who was successful.

John Forsythe passed away in 1936, his wife had passed away in 1929. Both are buried in the Presbyterian portion of the Young cemetery.

Forsythe Avenue, which was previously known as Commons road, was renamed in memory of John Forsythe.

Young Historical Society - Brian James.

The Passing of Two Pioneers

Posted on November 5, 2015 at 10:20 PM

From the Young Witness, Tuesday 27 June 1916.

One of the sturdy old pioneers of the southern districts, in the person of Mr. Hugh McAlister died at his late residence Nasmyth Street, Young at 2 o’clock on Saturday morning, the cause of death being heart failure. The late Mr. McAlister who had reached the ripe old age of 73 years had until about 18 months ago, scarcely had a day's sickness in his life, and it is stated that until he was 70 he had no need of medical advice.

He was born at Sutton Forrest, NSW. In 1843, and whilst only a very small boy, went to Gundagai, where on growing up he engaged in the butchering business. At the age of 31 he married Miss Mary Flinn at Gundagai . Later on he went to Mitta Mitta, where he and his brother engaged in pastoral pursuits and after a period removed to the Wagga Wagga district. This was the year 1879, and after a residence of 12 years in that district came to Young in 1891, and settled on “The Bland” in close proximity to where the Bribaree railway station was erected on the new line from Stockinbingal to Forbes. In this district he resided until about 5 years ago when he came to town to reside.

In the early days Mr. McAlister joined in the search for gold on the various fields in these parts. He came from Gundagai to Lambing Flat two years after gold was discovered there. There was then thousands of miners on the field already and practically all the land was taken up. The Grenfell rush then broke out and Mr. McAlister instead of trying his luck at “The Flat” moved on to Grenfell, being amongst the first 30 prospectors on the field. He stayed there for six months but not having his hopes realised, returned to Gundagai.

Most of the old hands could tell of personal experiences with the bushrangers who frequented these parts. Deceased, however, was never “stuck up”. When some of Moonlight’s gang were arrested at Wantabadgery, and two of them were shot, he was in the immediate vicinity, and later was present at the bushranger’s trial.

The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon. The cortege left the residence in Nasmyth street about 2.30 and included friends from near and far, there being many from the Thuddungra and Bimbi districts. The body was first taken to St. Mary’s church and thence to the R.C. cemetery where the interment took place. The prayers at the church and graveside were read by the Very Rev. Father Hennessy, who also made a few remarks on the life and character of the deceased.

The pall bearers were Messrs F. Regan, W. Redman, I. Brown, J. Blackwood, W. Heares, and J. McAlister. The mortuary arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Patterson Bros., Young.

Goulburn Penny Post,15th February 1940.

Known as Young’s “Grand Old Lady.” Mrs. Helen Marina, M.B.E., died at her residence “Verana,” Young, on Monday afternoon. Mrs. Marina celebrated her 79th birthday on February 5. Born in England she was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Taylor, and was brought by them to Australia in a sailing vessel in her infancy.

Early in life Mrs. Marina became an ardent church worker and when in her teens took her place in the choir in St. John’s Church of England. After spending her girlhood at “Rosehill” she was married to William Marina the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carlo Marina of “Moppity” in 1884. The couple resided for some years at “Waterview”, Monteagle, where Mr. Marina was engaged in mixed farming, until he transferred to “Verana,” where Mrs. Marina lived for 40 years.

The late Mr. Marina was a noted woolgrower and bloodstock breeder, and was keenly interested in amateur horse racing. He was one of the first presidents of the old Burrangong Picnic Race Club.

The late Mrs. Marina was herself an exceptionally fine horsewoman, and for many years rode and drove at P. and A. Shows at Young and neighbouring towns.

Footnote; Edward Taylor was the son of James White’s sister, Janetta. James White being the first white settler in the Young area.

“Rosehill” still stands on the Cowra road just out of Young.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.

The Donegal Men

Posted on October 16, 2015 at 12:45 AM

From articles in the Empire, Sydney, 6th and 15th January, 1862.


Another one of those brutal scenes has just happened which is a disgrace to the district. Burrangong was just congratulating itself on the quiet and peaceable way that Christmas passed off. Scarcely however had it passed when an affray took place, which has required all the energy of the police to check from becoming a very serious business.


It appears that Mr. Booth, who kept a public house in Burrowa Street, had music and dancing all night on Boxing night, for which he had a special license, and early in the morning of Friday, some drunken brawl took place inside the house, and subsequently outside the door. It is stated that the row was between a section of Irishmen, and some of them, the Donegal men, were in the act of kicking and beating a man who was on the ground, when some Cornishmen passed the house, and not being in sufficient force, went behind the house and got some sticks, and rushed on the Donegallers , who fled, leaving behind them two men, whom Mr. Booth dragged in, and hid under his bed. One of them was much hurt, and Mr. Booth dressed his wounds, and cautioned him to go quietly home.


Thinking all was over and quiet, Mr. and Mrs. Booth went to bed at about seven in the morning, when they were awoke by a great noise. A mob had entered the house and were beating with sticks any man they could lay their hands on. One man who was lying down intoxicated was much hurt, having been beaten about the head. Everyone was taken by surprise by the brutal and indiscriminate attack.


Between 7 and 8 o’clock, four Cornishmen, recently arrived from Victoria, were sitting at the bar in Dollimore’s public house, when in rushed a mob of about thirty, violently assaulted three of them with pick handles and sticks, the fourth escaping. It seems that he who escaped had had a fight with an Irishman the evening previous and had got the better of him. Mr. Dollimore said he has not seen a more desperate thing; the three men were knocked down, beaten fearfully, kicked and jumped on. The three men now lie in a most dangerous state, it being uncertain if they will live. After this a mob rushed into the Kiandra Hotel, opposite Dollimore’s, and finding a half drunken man there, made a rush at him; the barman got him away behind the bar, and immediately became an object of vengeance with pewter vessels flying at him. He managed to hide himself in a back room and eventually escape to an adjoining house.


The police were immediately on the alert to discover the perpetrators of these outrages and managed to arrest twenty two men. Troops were seen to be marching about with fixed bayonets, and have done their utmost to bring the men, of whom the mob were comprised, to justice. There is great excitement in the town at the present time, and at Booth’s, Dollimore’s and at the Kiandra people are armed with revolvers, waiting if any attack should be made. A party has threatened Booth to burn his place down tonight. The police are out in great force and the night should pass off quietly.


The readers must not be misled by believing that the disturbance is political, or in any way aimed at the authorities or Government. It is simply a row between a section of Irishmen, natives and English. It must be remembered that numbers of most respectable Irishmen abhor these murderous attacks and will join in doing all that is possible to put a stop to them.


Richard Patten, who was arrested at Morris’s ballroom, Victoria Hotel , and John Hannon were convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in Goulburn gaol. The Bench sentenced the prisoners John Ryan, Richard Patten and James Farrell, to two months imprisonment, with hard labour, in Goulburn gaol. Richard Patten’s sentence to commence after the expiration of the one lately passed upon him for riot and assault.

Footnote; William Dollimore was the licensee of the Grand Imperial Hotel at the southern end of Main Street near the creek and behind Barney Phillip’s Diggers Arms. In the article it states the Kiandra Hotel was opposite Dollimore’s, but to my knowledge the Kiandra was on the corner of Main and Burrowa Streets, but it may have moved as they often did. Mr. Booth was licensee of the Criterion Hotel and the Victoria Hotel mentioned was opposite the Great Eastern in Burrowa Street.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.

Report from Burrangong and Wombat Goldfields

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 4:05 AM

From the Empire, Wednesday 1 January 1862.

The place was almost deserted, everyone going to the Lachlan (Forbes); but a great change has come over Lambing Flat in the last week. The Lachlan lead cannot be traced and in consequence hundreds, if not thousands, are returning here, including the Victoria men. Our population was never so large and the town is alive and full of business.

After all, we have, however, lost the great interest we at Burrangong took in the Lachlan. This deep sinking is heavy work and trying to men of small means, and, therefore, unless shallow sinking be found, Burrangong will remain the gold field of the Colony.

The new rush down the creek is very good and a small town is being formed there. Four public houses are erected and innumerable shanties and stores doing a fair trade. There is another rush on the other side of town near Victoria Gully. 1000 men at work today and the general opinion most favourable as to the richness of the ground.

Wombat is going ahead and some very good ground being struck. At Little Wombat the Chinese are mustering in strong force, 8000 at least, and they have quite an Asiatic city,-- large eating houses, stores, of course, fine commodious gambling houses being plentiful. The gambling house is one of the necessities of Chinese life. There has been some little apprehension felt that a collision would soon take place between the Europeans and Chinese at Wombat, and some additional police have been asked for. This will not occur if the commissioners put sufficient police force on the ground to keep the Chinese from encroaching on European ground.

I have it from certain information that some of the Chinese are armed and are resolved to take a stand and fight it out if any “roll up’s” take place. Revolvers are plentiful with them, and they will stand at bay if a collision occurs. Judicious management and promptness at the present time and compelling the Chinese to keep to a clearly defined boundary, will do more to preserve the public peace than 1000 soldiers will do at a future time. It would be a wise thing if the Commissioner would publicly mark a boundary beyond the Chinese shall not pass, publish such boundary in the local paper, and immediately any one works beyond the ground set apart, make an example of him as far as the law will permit. Great watchfulness is required by the officials. Now is the time for Government officers to take such precautions that no affray shall occur. By such a course of proceeding all parties at once would see their positions, whereas many diggers seem to think that the Government want the Chinese to encroach, and the Chinese imagine the soldiers are here especially to protect them against any violence by the Europeans.

Our Christmas has passed off excellently. Trade very brisk; crowds of men about intent on enjoyment and fun, and less drunkenness and rowdyism than usual at this time of the year on any diggings. What will the readers say when we inform them that at Burrangong – that stronghold of rioters – that resort of thieves and scoundrels, as by some journalists it has been called, not one single police case came before the magistrates on this morning, the day after Christmas Day. With a population of quite 12,000 souls ,about one fifth of Sydney, not one individual was apprehended for drunkenness. Oh ! you good and virtuous citizens of Sydney, who sit at home glorying in your superior civilisation and refinement, before you condemn the gold digger, and speak of him as a dangerous character, compare your police-office records with those of this the largest gold field in the Colony, and then see which population will rank higher in morality, as judged by that standard.

I could tell you of our Christmas sports – greasy poles, foot racing, wrestling, &c., &c., but my communication must draw to a close.

Footnote; Our correspondent had just finished congratulating Burrangong on the peaceable way Christmas Day had passed off – mentioning that on Boxing day not one case of assault or drunkenness had come before the Bench. Scarcely had the letter been posted when an affray took place, which required all the energy of the police to check from becoming a very serious business.

We will relate this story next week.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


To the Burrangong Races

Posted on September 22, 2015 at 11:40 PM

Abridged from an article, by Pegasus, in the Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 23 March 1878.


Not having spent a day in the town of Young for some thirteen years, it was with no small amount of satisfaction I found myself at the railway station at Redfern about to start away south, with the object of assisting at the annual races of the Burrangong Jockey Club.

It was Monday evening when I was starting on my journey, and the “sleeping carriage” of much renown had its place on the train; but two or three other first class passengers besides myself preferred an ordinary compartment to forming part of a mixed sleeping party. However there was no first class carriage, so Mr. Collins, the Station Master, had some cushions put in a small second class compartment, in which our party travelled comfortably and unmolested to Murrumburrah.

One of our party having purveyed for the journey a piece of nice , cold, Windsor-fed pork, besides a large lump of grand cold plum pudding, we didn’t make an onslaught on the refreshments at Mittagong, and only indulged in a cup of coffee at Gunning; but without any incident we found ourselves at Murrumburrah, where we took the coach to Young. We had one very narrow squeak of a capsize; and I can’t say I liked the look of the off side wheel ; but no harm was done and we arrived at Young at 9.00am Tuesday morning.

Walking down the street to mine hostelry, one and another of my old friends hove in sight. While the stockowner and farmers of the district, were flocking in, to attend the Pastoral and Agricultural show, which was on that day. One friend of nigh on twenty years, Mr. T.R. Watt, was absent; and with sorrow I learnt that he had died the previous day at Forbes due to a buggy accident.

Melting hot was the weather on that show day; the glare on the white dust in the streets being excessively trying on the eyes; and on the showground itself there wasn’t a particle of shade. Meanwhile , the various dispensers of creature comforts, both in the town and at the show, drove a roaring trade.

I don’t know when I have been among such a lot of good friends. There was that right down good fellow, Carlo Marina, of Moppity, who has the best sheep in the district. John Allan, of Wattamondara, another good old friend, and jolly Phil Mylecharane, and A. R. West from Cowra; R.H. Roberts from Currawong; A. Hancock from Burrowa; J. Murphy from Kalangan; Mackinnon from Bumbaldry, and hosts of others.

The Jockey Club has taken great trouble with their course, having built a commodious stand, enclosed a saddling paddock, and cleared the middle of the course to give a good view.

The business folks generally show a really good spirit in seconding the efforts of the Jockey Club in the closing of counting-houses, banks and stores in time to allow employees to be present on the course; and as Mr. W. J. Watson is vice-president of the club, I’ve no doubt the closing system will be more extensively followed in future. The president Mr. O’Malley Clarke, was here, there, and everywhere and not able to do enough for anyone.

The racing was good, but a great deal of dissatisfaction was caused by the scratching of Macaroni from the Jockey Club Handicap. Mr. Ivory explained to me that the horse had been backed to win a big stake for the Sydney Cup, and he feared knocking him about by the walk to and from the course, and running on pretty rough ground.

The hotel accommodation is very good, the Great Eastern, the Empire, and the Albion being the most popular houses—the first two relics of the past, while the Albion is a splendid two story brick building, at the corner of Burrowa and Main Streets, and contains some of the most comfortably and handsomely furnished private suites I know anywhere.

I now take my leave of Young, for a period, not as long, I hope, as my last absence. All that we want is more first class carriages and a more extended tariff at the refreshment rooms. At Mittagong on our return the roast beef was something to remark about. The cabbage half boiled and altogether as bad as one could conceive.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


People from the Past (Part 4)

Posted on September 6, 2015 at 6:50 PM

Adding further to the list of early inhabitants of Lambing Flat and Young who helped make Young what it is today.


Capt. Henry Zouch – Appointed to Bathurst under the old military mounted police system. During his regime at Bathurst he successfully carried out the search for the remains of Richard Cunningham who had been speared by natives. Later he was appointed Gold Commissioner for the Turon and then Superintendent of Mounted Police for Main Roads. In this capacity he took charge of the Lambing Flat Gold diggings and played a large part in the maintenance of law and order. Upon absorption of the mounted patrol by the general police in 1862 he became general superintendent of the Southern District with headquarters at Goulburn.

Zouch Street in Young was later named in his honour.


Rev. R.H. Mayne – The Burrowa Anglican Clergyman who was the visiting C. of E. Minister to Lambing Flat in 1861 and ’62. He was instrumental in building the Episcopalian Church at the back of Main Street. Rev. W. H. Pownall, the first resident Church of England clergyman took over from him.


George Rex – Famous in the early 1860s for the ginger beer and other beverages he supplied at his little shop at the southern end of Main Street beyond Barney Phillips establishment.


Sippell Brothers – Tobacconist etc., of Main Street during the 1860s and for a long period after.


J. Robinson – A wholesale carcase butcher on Victoria Lead in 1861 and later. He advertised that he would deliver beasts dead or alive anywhere.


Mrs. Reus – She conducted a fruit and confectionery shop in Main Street next to On Lee & Co. during the late 1860s.


Christopher Reus – The son of above. A hairdresser and tobacconist in Burrowa Street in the early 1870s. He had learnt the trade from Peter Myer, the first hairdresser at Young.


Mr. Stenson – A Lambing Flat miner who was arrested at Tipperary Gully by the military on their arrival in July 1861. He was charged with participation in the riot of 14th July 1861. He was acquitted of the charge at the trial of September 1861.


John Stewart – Tried at Goulburn, in September 1861, with Spicer and Cameron for their part in the riots at Lambing Flat. He was acquitted.


Charles Sanderson – Stationed at Lambing Flat as senior-sergeant, but in 1862 promoted to Sub-Inspector of police. Involved in defence of the Camp during the riots of 1861. In 1862 he was moved to Forbes and in September 1862 arrested Charles Robardy for the murder of Daniel Crotty, the Murringo mailman, in August of that year. He returned to Young and was in charge in the mid 1870s as Inspector.


William Spicer – Store keeper at Spring Creek and initial agitator against the Chinese miners. The Government offered a reward of £100 each for the capture of the three main ringleaders. Spicer was the only one of the three to be sentenced to Imprisonment.


R. H. Fitzsimmons – A Gold Commissioner of the early 1860s and often sat on the bench with G. O’Malley-Clarke.


H. Godfrey – General storekeeper between the Criterion Hotel and Morgan’s Horse Bazaar in Burrowa Street in 1861 and 1862. Sold out in July 1862 due to illness.


Charlie Fleming – The proprietor of a Tinware business on the corner of Main and Cloete Streets in 1861. Made a good profit with the sale of prospectors' dishes, buckets etc.. Tom Fleming, his nephew, later owned the old tinware shop and other premises. All these old buildings were removed to make way for the Services and Citizens Club.


Emanuel and Sons – Large general storekeepers on the east side of Main Street opposite the (old) Empire Hotel.


Edward Dixon – He conducted a boot, shoe and drapery business in 1861 and later. He advertised his house manager as William Griffiths.


Sub-Inspector McLerie, Jnr. – He was at Lambing Flat during the latter part of the riots, and directed the cavalry charge of troopers led by Sergeant Brennan on Sunday, 14th July, 1861, against the rioting diggers. McLerie Street was named after him.


Lieut. Morris – He was attached to the regiment sent to Lambing Flat in July 1861. As there was no resident clergyman at the time he was called upon to read the burial service for the funeral of Captain Wilkie.


Donald Manson – Conducted a drapery business from the early 1860s to mid-seventies in the Hall of Commerce building in Burrowa Street , (later Gilpin’s in the 1930s and Mallick’s later on and now houses Young Eyes). The building has recently had a well deserved face-lift.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.


People from the Past (Part 3)

Posted on September 2, 2015 at 6:10 PM

A continuation of a list of citizens of early Young who played a part in the development of the town.

M.D. Isaacs – The editor of The Miner, Young's first newspaper, in 1861. Moved to Forbes, but returned to Young ,and as he was a qualified solicitor, practised for a Forbes attorney.

Lieut. Col. Jno. Kempt – Was in Supreme command of the military detachment sent from Sydney in July 1861.

W. Kelly – A landowner on the northern boundary of the town. A partner of Mr. Sam Tout of Calabash.

William Lupton – The only fatality in the attack on the police Camp by the diggers on 14th July, 1861.His funeral was one of the largest ever held at Young, being attended by some 3000 people, many with bandaged wounds.

Sam Matthews – The owner of the “Blue Store” on the corner of Lynch and Main streets and later the proprietor of the “Camp Inn” in Yass street not far from the old Court House.

William McKay – A miner from Lambing Flat who was arrested at Tipperary Gully on the morning after the Military arrived . He was charged with participation in the riot of 14th July, 1861, but eventually acquitted.

Barnett Phillips – One of the principal storekeepers of the early days and was located towards the southern end of Main street. He was the proprietor of the “Diggers Theatre”.

E.A. Scarvell – A solicitor who for a time was in partnership with James Gordon in the early seventies. His son married one of James Gordon’s daughters and lived at “Karabah”, Cowra Road ,Young on the property originally taken up by Dr. Temple. He built “Moorong” on the Wombat road, later the home of Luke Tierney.

Henry Greig – Came to Young in late 1860, a storekeeper from Goulburn, and opened “The Australian Stores” in Main street. He was sympathetic towards the Chinese and had business dealings with them and this made him unpopular with the European diggers. He owned many allotments in Lynch street and it has been said that he was the owner of the coach bailed up by Frank Gardiner’s gang at Eugowra in 1862.

Maurice Dalton – A landowner in Wombat street, who kept the Golden Fleece Hotel on the Wombat road at Spring Creek and carried on a slaughtering business there as well.

Jack Hadwick – Kept a Public House called The Digger’s Home on Chance Gully Flat, at the western end of town in 1862. He also ran a concert hall at the same place. (near the site of the present day flour mill).

Dr. H.J. Clarke – Practised in Young from the early 1860’s, and resided next to Watson Bros. first primitive store at the western end of Burrowa street. Clarke street in this vicinity is probably named after him.

I .Cohn – The sole photographer in Young in the early 1870s. He was manager of The European and Australian Photo Company with a head office in Melbourne. His premises were situated next to Christy Reus in Burrowa street. Examples of his wet-plate work should be found in many old albums.

William John Watson – Part of Watson Bros. activities in their initial store was the treating of wash dirt purchased from small diggers, fossickers and Chinamen, and this part of the business was managed by William John on the creek bank behind the store. On James’ transfer to Sydney, W.J. managed the local store and flour mill further up the street, and became a prominent factor in the towns development. He was one of those that financed and established a new newspaper for the town, The Chronicle, in 1874. He was a great supporter of St. John’s Church.

Dr. Charles Temple – A very respected early doctor and citizen of Young. He drowned in Penrose’s Race at the crossing place near the Shamrock Hotel (Australian) after visiting the Gaol Hospital. He apparently drowned in two inches of water after suffering an epileptic attack. His great funeral with Masonic honours showed the esteem in which he was held. His weatherboard cottage, said to be the first weatherboard cottage to be erected in Young, stood in Burrowa street opposite the Great Eastern Hotel on the eastern side of the Commercial Bank ( NAB).

Harry Tovey – A large landowner in the northern part of the town in the middle 1860s. He was employed for many years in Peter Cram’s flour mill and was later licensee of the Oddfellows Arms Hotel (now the Young Hotel).

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


Report to Parliament (Part 2)

Posted on August 9, 2015 at 10:50 PM


Continued report of William D. Campbell to Parliament regarding Chinese Compensation Claims


Some of the claims require special notice; but it may be well to draw attention to the claim of Simon San Ling. He is one of the few Chinamen on the gold field who was known to the Europeans beyond the Chinese encampment, probably on account of his being married to a European, but among these, as well as among his own countrymen, he appears to have borne a good character. His claim is, however, deserving of special notice, on account of the statement made by Mr. James M. Henley, in a letter to the Governor, wherein, speaking with reference to the European wife of the claimant, he says, “The lawless mob burned down her tent, and the cradle wherein the baby was sleeping; her own and children’s clothing were torn to pieces and burned by a lot of vagabonds who counselled together for the violation of the woman and murder of the children, but were prevented by the timely interference of some of their number less hardened than the others.” Without desiring to palliate or excuse the proceedings of the rioters on the occasion referred to, I consider it necessary to state that, having made special enquiry into the truth of this statement, I have not been able to get any corroborative testimony. The troopers at the camp at Back Creek neither saw nor heard of anything of the sort, and the woman herself says, in her evidence, “I was not in the tent during the time the mob was there, and received no ill-sage, personally, from any of their number. I was not molested by any of them in any way. I had a cradle in the tent which was burned, but my child was not in that cradle when the mob came up.” Simon San Ling’s own statement shows that his wife never complained to him of being ill-used on the occasion referred to and the conclusion is almost inevitable that Mr. Henley must have been labouring under an excited imagination when he made the statement above quoted.


In the claimant’s evidence he particularises the property destroyed, amounting to £69 worth; and making an allowance for new and old articles I have concluded his loss could not have exceeded £50. It will be observed that he and his brother, San Sing Dob, are represented being in poor circumstances in February previous, and he must have been more than ordinarily successful to have saved that amount in so short a time.


In the general list there appears a claim by John Sam, and three others, for £1396.0s.4d., being the value of gold and notes said to have been taken from two of the claimants. In the course of inquiries in reference to this claim (the claimants not having appeared) the only evidence obtained was from Leogh Look, whose tent the claimants resided in, but he cannot speak of the amount of gold in their possession. They state that they came to ’Lambing Flat’ to collect debts due to them from “400 Chinamen;” and Leogh Look states that in addition to the sums collected they in addition received monies to take to China for their friends. If there is any truth in their having had the gold the missing partners found it a convenient opportunity for carrying it off to China.


There is no reason to doubt that cases of robbery from the person did occur, but from the excited condition of the mob at the time, they appear more to have looked to the destruction of property than its appropriation to their own use.


The fact that few Europeans not implicated in the riot could supply any information renders it impossible to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion as to the actual amount of losses sustained. The amount of gold, if actually appropriated, would in due course have found its way to the ordinary escort, but no evidence of this can be obtained, while there is little evidence to show that the parties who formed the mob were in better circumstances after the riot than before.


PS. This is the end of William D. Campbell’s report, which has been abbreviated due to space available.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.

Report to Parliament (Part 1)

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 12:45 AM

Report by William D Campbell Esq to Secretary for Lands as published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 3rd November 1862.


Sir, - in accordance with instructions contained in your communications of the 16th July 1861 forwarding certain claims by Chinese for compensation for losses said to have been sustained by them at the riot which took place at the Burrangong Goldfield on the 30th June 1861, I have now the honour to report as follows:-


Immediately on receiving your instructions I placed myself in communication with the parties acting on behalf of the claimants. My instructions being to enquire into the claims of the Chinese for compensation.


It would appear that on the 13th June, 1861, a number of Chinese, estimated about 200-600 were encamped at Sawpit Gully, Lambing Flat, and about 1000-1200 at Back Creek about 7 miles distance. On that morning a “roll up” took place, where a number of Europeans attacked the Chinese at Sawpit Gully, and drove them from the ground, burning and otherwise destroying what property was left behind. The rioters then proceeded to Back Creek where they acted in a similar manner. It was known at Back Creek that the rioters were approaching; and the Chinese being warned, a considerable number packed up their goods and left the encampment sometime before the rioters reached that place. A number of Chinese at the Back Creek on their arrival is variously estimated at about 400-1000; those who remained were attacked even more savagely than their countrymen at Sawpit Gully had been;


Many of their numbers were brutally assaulted, their bundles taken from them and burned; their stores and other property sharing the same fate.


In addition to the claims forwarded on behalf of the Chinese directed to the government, a large number were handed to me by the claimants themselves, having returned after the arrival of the military stationed at Lambing Flat. From the list attached it will be seen that the claimants numbered 1568 individuals. The amount claimed for loss of gold, notes, etc £2083; opium £4917; general store goods £2120; and for tents, clothing, tools etc; £13492. The total amount of the claims being £40628 - Many of the largest of the claims have been lodged on behalf of Chinese who had in various parts of the country employed agents to whom intimation was given of the time when the inquiry would be held and that their personal attention would be required, but in scarcely a single instance did they appear. On referring to the Chinese interpreters, I found that the names of the claimants in many of these cases were only equivalent to the Christian names of Europeans, and that it was therefore impossible to discover the individuals represented. Looking, however, to the particular nature of the losses which they are said to have sustained, consisting for the most part of gold, notes, etc, it is not improbable that these claims were put in at a venture and that the claimants were intentionally absent from the inquiry. Under these circumstances, I am unable to make any definite report as to their accuracy.


Having gone carefully into every claim, when the claimant had appeared, and having procured such information as could be obtained I have prepared a separate list containing the particulars of approved claims. In this list it will be seen that the claims on behalf of 706 individuals against 1568 who have claimed, and the amount supposed to have been lost is £4240 against £40623 claimed.

With reference to the loss of gold, notes, etc, I have found it impossible, excepting in a few cases, to get any satisfactory information. Presuming that those who had the most to lose, and could readily get away, were first to take advantage of the warning previous to the approach of the rioters, and seen that the average amount of gold said to have been held by each of the claimants, far exceeds that generally is the position of the gold digger, there is every reason to believe that, in many cases at least, the claims under this heading are fraudulent.

Footnote; W.D. Campbell’s report seems to be at variance with the usual reports that on 30 June 1861 the Chinese were driven from Blackguard Gully. Campbell states they were driven from Sawpit Gully, no mention of Blackguard Gully. Some would have been at Blackguard Gully but the greater number were on Sawpit Gully.


*To be continued.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.


Chinese Compensation Claims

Posted on July 24, 2015 at 6:00 AM

The following is from a report published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday 3 November 1862 from Parliamentary Papers submitted by William D. Campbell, to the Secretary for Lands, from Beverley, Burrowa, 20 May, 1862.



In accordance with your instructions… of the 21st May, 1861… forwarding claims by Chinese for compensation for losses alleged to have been sustained by them at the riots at the Lambing Flat Gold Fields in January and February, 1861, I have now the honour to report as follows:-


The claims forwarded to me are,-


1. Claims on behalf Chinese, 24 in number, amounting to £5339/6/0

2. Claim by Su Sang Sing Dob £300/0/0

3. Claim by Ar Sing, Yang Yei, Ar Song, and Kan Long £700/0/0


With reference to the first of these claims I have used every endeavour to ascertain the identity of the claimants, but have found it impossible to do this… In accordance with the information so obtained… I report that, on the 19th February, 1861 … the Chinese who previous to that date been resident at Lambing Flat and Blackguard Gully, were encamped at Wamba Numba, about 5 miles from the former place – there were about 200 Chinese there – that a number of rioters proceeded from Lambing Flat to that place to remove the Chinese, who, before their arrival, and knowing of their approach, had removed a greater part of their property – and very few of them were there when the rioters reached the encampment. That the only losses then sustained by the Chinese arose from the destruction… of cradles, buckets, tin dishes, tents, &c… the whole value could not have exceeded £20. One witness (Howarth) speaks of the destruction of a dray and goods on this occasion, but he is contradicted by another (Brown), who had better opportunities of knowing what occurred.


In the claim referred to, large amounts are put down as for loss (I presume by robbery) of gold and notes, but I can find no evidence… that any robberies were committed on this occasion, while the evidence of Brown and other witnesses… that the Chinese… were not likely to be in possession… of any gold and notes … this claim… is not only unsupported by any evidence… there is reason to believe it is altogether fraudulent.


Su Sang Sing Dob’s Claim. The claimant in this case states that he sustained losses to the extent of £300, and as he appears to have been better known… more satisfactory information has been obtained.


His losses are said to have been sustained on 27 January, 1861, and to have consisted of goods purchased from Mr. Walker, a storekeeper at Braidwood. On referring to the only gentleman of this name and occupation at Braidwood, he states that he has been out of business for two years, “and have never had any transactions with Su Sang Sing Dob, nor do I know anything of him.” The witness Howarth says he saw the store of this claimant burned at Blackguard Gully on 17 February, and that it contained a considerable quantity of opium, but as the claim is made for losses sustained at Lambing Flat, and as evidence shows that the claimant was then in very poor circumstances, the witness Howarth must be labouring under a mistake.


… it is very doubtful if the claimant sustained any loss on the occasion referred to, but if he did it could not have exceeded the value of his tent.


Ar Sing, Yang Yei, Ar Song, Kan Long. The claimants in this instance claim to the amount of £700, part of which… to the value of £255 1s. 6d., purchased from Molison and Black, through San Tin War. In the course of my enquiries… I have only been able to find two parties who are supposed to be the real claimants, Ar Sing and Pak Fuk… Ar Sing produced invoices by Molison and Black but admitted all the goods had not arrived prior to removal of Chinese from Blackguard Gully or the sheep station at Wamba Numba. The goods could not have been destroyed as they could not have arrived either at Lambing Flat or the Sheep Station prior to the riots.


In conclusion, … from information obtained from Chinese as well as Europeans… the destruction of property on the occasion… 27th January and 17th February, 1861, was very trifling and the claims referred to are altogether fraudulent. William D. Campbell.


P.S. It has been necessary to abbreviate this report due to space available.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.



People from the Past (Part 2)

Posted on July 15, 2015 at 1:25 AM

A continuation of a list of residents of Lambing Flat who were here in the early days of the town and who played a part in the development of the area in some way.


Black Traveller – A one armed aboriginal who for periods in and around the town in the 1860s and 70s was given to vocal exhibitions of no mean order when the spirits moved him. He was last heard of in Forbes in the late 1890s.


E.A. Baker – The Hon. Ezekiel Alexander Baker, MLA., was a mineralogist, who came to the colony in 1853, under engagement to a mining company that failed. He came to Lambing Flat in 1860; although identifying himself with the diggers' cause against the Chinese he refused to become involved with violence. He was with James Torpy, as a selected delegate, to present Governor Young with a petition protesting against martial law being proclaimed on the diggings, but was not received by the Governor, on the grounds that they were representing the illegally rioting miners. After the troubles in 1862 Baker opened the American Café in Burrowa Street, near the site of the Town Hall. He was an active member of the Progress Committee and was a long serving Hon. Secretary of the Burrangong Hospital. In 1866 after the discovery of gold at Emu Creek he moved to Grenfell and started The Mining Record newspaper. In 1870 he was elected to Parliament for the Southern Goldfields, replacing J. Bowie Wilson. In 1877 he was appointed Minister for Lands in the Robertson Government, then later Minister for Mines. In 1878 he was a Minister in the Parkes Ministry.


Thos. R. Watt – Conducted a butchery in Burrowa Street in the late 1860s, later retiring to his property “Stanley”. From here he also controlled “The Troughs Station” in the Forbes district.


William Wales – Was said to be a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo, where he was wounded. He lived at Lambing Flat during the riots and two of his sons were participants. Moved to Forbes and then to Burrowa where he died at 104 years of age. His daughter married William Wiggins of the Black Range and died in 1932 at 84 years of age.


Dr. Robert Falder – A noted medical doctor in the early 1860s, who afterwards went to Grenfell and was succeeded by Dr. Barnett. While he was at Young he was Coroner and medical attendant to the military at the Camp.


Edmund Freeman – He was the proprietor of the Burrangong Stores in Main Street in 1861. He also conducted a general auctioneering and commission agency under the name of “Freeman, Hayes and Co”. He owned many allotments in the town.


M. Carter – Resided near The Camp and advertised in the Courier in 1862 that he conducted a “Tailing Paddock” where horses could be tailed during the day and hobbled at night. He later sold out to Staniforth.


Giles and Millson – Ran the London Butchery in Burrowa Street and dispensed “Epping Sausages” in 1862. Situated between the Criterion and Great Eastern Hotels.


Rev. George Grimm – Early Presbyterian Minister in charge during the 1860s and 70s. He was a great scholar and his musical family assisted at many public functions. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. T. Main at St. Paul’s, which had been founded in 1867.


Rev. J. Cameron was the first resident Presbyterian Minister at Young and boarded with Sam Rennie’s family.


John Grogan – In 1861 was the first Licensee of the Gold Digger’s Arms Hotel on the south side of the creek at Petticoat Flat near Crinoline Lead. He advertised his House as a pleasant retreat from the turmoil of the town. He sold out in 1862.


William Fletcher – Opposite Butler’s Commercial Hotel on the corner of Burrowa and Main streets he conducted a ironmonger store. Schmidt’s Chambers are now on this site.


George Lyons – A very early store keeper in Burrowa Street west of the Commercial Bank (NAB) who in the mid 1870s transferred his business to Wombat. His son, William, continued the Wombat business and later moved to Binalong. William married a sister of W. O. Judge of Judge’s Pharmacy.


Edward McEvoy – The first manager of George Lyons store and when Lyon’s moved to Wombat opened his own store in Lynch street. The building later occupied by Chellew and Trompf on the corner of Burrowa and Lynch streets was known locally as McEvoy’s Corner.


Edward Mauby – Young’s first resident solicitor ,set up in the gold rush days. Nesbitt’s garage was later on the site of his office.


Sourced from the Young Chronicle, 4th November, 1932.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.

People from the Past

Posted on June 15, 2015 at 1:45 AM

Following are some of the people who were prominent in the early days of Lambing Flat, who in some way left their mark on the future town of Young:

Cobborn Jackie – Chief of the Burramunditory tribe and crowned King of Burrangong by James White. A member of the Wiradjuri group, who owned the whole of Young and surrounding area before James White arrived. Jackie died at Forbes in 1874, and it was claimed that he was 110 years of age.

P. L. Cloete – He was Chief Commissioner of the Southern Goldfields between 1860 and 1863. He was later appointed Water Police Magistrate in Sydney. Died in 1870 and Cloete Street is named after him.

Captain J. Wilkie – He was attached to the second military expedition sent to Lambing Flat. Suffered an epileptic seizure and fell from his horse on 1st February 1862 and subsequently died. Buried with full military honours. As there was no town band a circus band was used to lead the funeral procession.

Mrs. Geo O’Malley Clarke – The widow of Captain Wilkie who after his death built St. John’s Church in memory of him. She later married George O’Malley Clarke who was a gold commissioner at the time of the riots.

Jimmy Cain – The jockey who rode the winner of the main race at the first race meeting held at Lambing Flat. The horse owned by Sells – a Spring Creek publican – was stolen after the race, supposedly by Frank Gardiner.

Edwin Davis – A carrier who was one of the first to arrive at Lambing Flat with a load of flour in 1860. Stayed for some time, later moving to Yass where he was a butcher, where he died in 1932.

A. and I. Fitzsimmons – Landowners at the western end of Burrowa Street. They ran a carcase butchery at Chance Gully but sold out to John McLean in July, 1862.

D. Dickson – The first resident gold commissioner at Lambing Flat. He read the riot act to an assemblage of miners at Golden Point on Sunday, January 27, 1861. He was very unpopular with the diggers.

Captain Lovell – In charge of a detachment of artillery sent with the military to Lambing Flat to quell the riots in July 1861. The clumsy cannon, locally known as the “Bull Pup”, greatly amused the crowds. Lovell Street was named after him.

Peter Myer – The first hairdresser to set up in Young, he was next door to Charles Flemming’s shop in Main street. He taught Christie Reus the hairdressing business.

Rev. J.D .Thane – A Congregational Minister who built the first Protestant Church at Lambing Flat. He held his first services in a patched up tent, later obtaining an iron structure that had been used as an Inn. He raised £200 with which he built a church at the western end of Burrowa Street. This building was later blown down in a storm.

George Thompson – Came to Young in the early 1860s, selecting land on the Murringo Road. A good cricketer, and played well into his seventies. In 1862 he was selected to play in the combined NSW and Victorian team to play against the first English team to visit Australia. He died at Young in 1921 at the age of 89. His son George Edward lived on the same property.

Mrs. Kitty Woods – She died at the age of 105 on 9th June, 1931 and had been married when she was 14 to Peter Woods, an Irish stock owner. Peter was killed in a buggy accident in 1880. Kitty had worked as a dairy maid on Moonbucca Station and later purchased the Star Hotel on the Burrowa-Main Street corner where Raine and Horne is now. She lived in later life at Burrangong, two miles from Young.

Jonathan Collins – He was a gold miner in the early days and took a prominent part in the agitation against the Chinese. He later became an Inn keeper at Yass. Tom Collins, his son, became a Federal Member of Parliament for the region.

Edward Hargraves – In the late 1860s came to Young with his parents from Penrith. He learnt hand brickmaking under James Hasemer in Murringo Street. He died in Young in May 1932 aged 76.

Richard Harris – Practised as a Horse Doctor from the premises of Richardson and Evans in Burrowa Street opposite the Great Eastern Hotel in 1862.

Ah Sing – Manager of On Lee and Co.’s general store in Main Street in the 1870s.

Sourced from the Young Chronicle, 4th November, 1932.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


George Cranfield and the Shearers' Demonstration

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 4:40 AM

A demonstration and sports meeting of union shearers, to celebrate the conference between the sheep owners and the representatives of the union, took place at Young on Saturday last, and was a most successful gathering. At 11 o’clock the procession was formed opposite the shearers' office, Criterion Hotel, where they were addressed by W. G. Spence, president of the union. The procession headed by the town band and the handsome banner of the branch, then started for the cricket ground (now Cranfield Oval), upwards of 300 shearers marching in line, and altogether about 500 taking part in the days amusement.

The principal events were the sheep-shearing contests, viz:- One for a prize of £15/15/- . The first was won by J. Byron, a shearer from Berthong; the second by Peter Scott, Wombat. There were two other events for good prizes. For the first event there were 36 nominations, the judges were Messrs. G. H. Greene , E. J. Allen, and M. Brown. The other sports were all well contested.

Although there were about 1500 on the ground, not a single complaint was heard, or a case of intemperance noticed.

In the evening a torch light procession took place, and a meeting was held in the Mechanics’ Institute, the Mayor in the chair, where addresses were delivered by Mr. H. Greene, who spoke in strong terms of the apathy and selfishness of sheep owners, and while warmly supporting the union, denounced anything in the way of intimidation or boycotting. Mr. Greene was followed by Mr. W. G. Spence, president of the union, who spoke to the same effect, complaining that the union was boycotted by certain sheep owners. At the close of his remarks he contended that the sentences passed on the participators in the Brookong rioting cases were altogether too severe. He advised the union men to act with moderation, and live down opposition.

Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 1888.


The above article in the Sydney Morning Herald mentions the Mayor being in the chair - the Mayor at the time was George Cranfield. George Cranfield was involved with the Carriers' Union and was pro union, as were some other members of the Council and many leading citizens. The 24th October, 1888 was a big day in the life of George Cranfield and the people of Young. George had more on his mind other than unions, this was the day the mechanics' Institute was finally purchased by the Borough Council as a future Town Hall for Young.

As chairman of the Young Federal Labour Council, George was heavily involved with Union matters and he and his fellow unionist found sentiment changing, as strikes and troubles increased, in the attitude of some business owners and citizens.


In 1890 a general strike was called in the country. To gather support the combined unions of Young decided to hold a demonstration to raise funds for the Burrangong Hospital. Cranfield arranged to purchase 60 sheep from Tunney’s “Spring Park” for a shearing competition. When Cranfield and others approached some business owners for donations they were treated in an abusive manner. So as to gather support they asked the hospital committee to collect the money at the showground gates and at the concert and ball in the evening, and they persuaded people of various political persuasions to act as officials.


The day of the demonstration was Friday 21st November, 1890 and it was a resounding success. George Cranfield led the march on a grey charger, the Young Town Band followed the banner of the shearers' union, consisting of a shearer, a kangaroo and an emu painted by Joseph Schmidt. Fifty shearers on horses followed the band with 100 shearers on foot. The Yass Town Band was placed further back in the procession. The various Society groups followed, and then the general public brought up the rear on the long march to the showground.


At the height of the day it was estimated 1500 people were at the showground. The Burrangong Argus begrudgingly said the demonstration was “par excellence the greatest event of its kind ever held in the town”.

The concert and ball at the Town Hall that evening was equally a great success. At 11pm, half an hour after the concert ended the ball commenced and 40 couples danced waltzes, polkas, reels and schottisches until dawn .


*Some of this article sourced from “Bow Bells to Burrowa Street” by William Forbes.


Young Historical Society – Brian James.