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Cooranbong's Art Project

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Principal: Di Cox

Ph:  0249771122

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Webmaster: cooranbongbarron


1823 Settlers began flocking to the Hunter Region. Our local area was known as "Kourumbung" meaning creek with rocky bottom. Capt. W.M Reid found the natives friendly.

1826 - 27 Percy Simpson chose 4000 acres at Kourumbung. he probably came by bullock drays from Maitland. Six convicts helped him build a house and stockyards near the present catholic church. his property extended along the Cooranbong side of the creek from Babers Rd to Red Hill and back towards Mandalong. boats came up the creek to Simpson's

1828 Aborigines were diminishing quickly. Only 64 were living on the N.E side of the lake. a track was opened between Simpson's and Wiseman's Ferry. This was much shorter than going through Maitland.

1829 convicts escaping from the Newcastle coal mines passed through the lake and some runaways became bushrangers. Patrick Campbell took up 1500 acres across the creek from Simpson. This later became the property of the Sanitarium Health Food Company and Avondale College.

1830 Tingcombe chose 1280 acres on the East of Kourumbung. Gangs of men began cutting cedar in the valleys west of the lake. The land was heavily timbered.

1833 There were more than 100 head of cattle on Kourumbung. a Sydney butcher purchased them. it took more than 12 mths to round them up. The great quantities of cedar were fast disapppearing. Aborigines raided Kourumbung gardens and dairies and even speared cattle. Food was scarce because of drought and competition for wildlife by displaced Maitland Aborigines. Runaway convicts caused trouble with the Aborigines.

1834 Moses Carroll was appointed constable at Kourumbung. Thomas Moore took up land at Martinsville. A lock up was built in 1835.

1850 Cattle thriving! Constable is Archibald Elliot.

1858 Richard Gorman bought 55 acres for 1 pound an acre along the creek for a farm.

1860 about 6 families lived in slab and shingle huts. They cut shingles, grew corn, wheat and vegies, milked cows or goats, killed their own meat, fished and collected honey. Black Swans were hunted and their meat and down sold. There was a wharf on the south bank of the creek below the crossing. There small ketches delivered supplies and took away cedar and oak shingles.

1861 settlers included the Armitages, Blackfords, Deaveses, Condrens, Booths, McGuinesses, O'Neills, Tuckers, Bonnets, O'Leary's, Stockdales, Mantons. Weatherboard catholic church 45' *15' built near present site. First school begun in church.

1862 Annie Malone (13) died of burns.

1864 Thomas Russell ran the "Village Maid" between Cooranbong and Sydney bringing mail and supplies. Ex convict Joseph frost bought 40 acres at end of Babers Rd.

1865 Population about 150 people, mostly families of sawyers and shingle splitters. no store. Supplies brought by sailing ketches. James O'Neil owned the "Cricketers Home" Inn. Cricket club met every Saturday afternoon.

1866 Post office opened in John Bonnett's home. Regular weekly mail service between Mt. Vincent and Cooranbong. T Humphries opened the first store. The teacher's house was a floorless slab hut with shingle roof.

1867 Russell bought Humphries store. first bridge built over Dora Creek at the crossing.

1870 About 6 small ships regularly carried timber to Sydney. Anglican church built near post office. Teacher Maria Healy.

1873 police station built opposite Russel's store.

1874 Industry includes ship building yard, 2 saw mills- Russell's and King's steam mill.

1875 Timber getters cut blackbutt, blue gum, turpentine and tallow wood for wheel spokes, plastering lathes etc. and forest oak for shingles.

1878 court house built. Telegraph office open. Two hotels "Cricketers Arms", "Welcome Inn", 4 general stores, school of 70 children in R.C church, race course about 1 mile north of town. Cooranbong races popular. Russell sold land on hill for a school room, teacher's residence and underground water tank.

1879 First school built on present site.

1880 Third hotel 2 storey "Heart and Hand"

1881 Teacher James Lappan, 1882 John Shanahan, 1883 Mr. Blackwood. Sandstone post office built.

1883 Four Sisters of St Joseph began  school in R.C church. public school numbers dropped to 23. Teacher Mr Farrell.

1884 School closed when only 6 children enrolled.

1887 Cooranbong is destined to become a very important town....The railway will probably go through it's centre, and Dora Creek is navigable to within 1/2 mile of it. Cooranbong was the major town on the lake. It had 4 steam saw mills, 3 hotels, 3 stores, police station, court house, post and telegraph office, anglican and catholic church, public and catholic schools.

1894 Seventh Day Adventists bought Campbell's 1500 acres for Avondale College.

1897 Avondale College and Sanitarium Health Food Company established.

1899 Avondale health retreat opened.

1906 Brick catholic church built.

1919 Police station closed. New station in Morisset.

1925 Russell's old store burnt down.

1950's Anglican church pulled down. Post office relocated in Freemans Drive. Electricity and water connected to school in 1958 -59