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Showing posts from February, 2012

Mullion Creek #9

1. Mullion Creek Village sign
2. School
3. Community hall
4. Community hall interior
5. St Brendan's church
6. Mullion Creek environs

Mullion Creek is a very small town 19kms from the city of Orange. The school's website says that it serves the local district and children from Orange whose parents have learnt the value of a small school. With only 34 students the school is certainly small but looks prosperous and the town is very neat and tidy.

St Brendan's church in the centre of the town was built in the 1930s and is said to have an interior the belies the rustic simplicity of its exterior.  I didn't see inside but I did peep through the windows of the community hall.  The church puzzled me because it has a very new cemetery in its grounds - the first burial was in 2007.

Mullion Creek is perhaps better known as being the gateway to the relics of the goldfields at Ophir where Australia's first payable gold was found.

See where Mullion Creek is located on the map.

Euchareena #8

1. Dray in paddock
2. Petrol bowser at old general store
3. Euchareena home
4. Modern community hall
5. In better shape than this building
6. Local church

When I first blogged about Euchareena I wrote "Euchareena is like a town that stopped. This dray isn't in a museum, it's in the paddock near the house, just as if one day they parked the dray, put the horse out the pasture and time stood still."

The town's growth is said to have been spurred along by the arrival of the railway, though I don't think it ever grew big. The station was closed around 40 years ago. Today there are about 20 houses, a modern community centre, school, church and rural fire service building. The kind of place passed through on the way from somewhere to somewhere else but a pleasant place for locals to live.

View Euchareena's location on the map.

Stuart Town #7

1. Stuart Town welcome sign
2. Old shop
3. Old bakery
4. Hotel (not Royal)
5. School of Arts
6. War Memorial
7. Railway platform

Stuart Town, which started with an 1870s gold rush, was first known as Ironbarks, made famous in the Banjo Paterson poem "The Man from Ironbark". Old shops still stand, now serving new purposes. There is a working pub and general store and a railway station visited daily by the Western Line XPT passenger service. Today its population of around 300 serves the local rural community - wheat, sheep and orchards. It is a bit of backwater which has left much of its old town quaintness intact for rust and ghost sign lovers to enjoy.

See where Stuart Town is on the map.

Mumbil #6

1. Mumbil General Store
2. Houses in the town
3. Community Hall
4. War memorial outside the community hall
5. Rural fire brigade setting up for weekend exercises
6. Nearby Lake Burrendong

Mumbil began it's growth when the train arrived in 1879. It had a busy period during the construction of Burrendong Dam which began in 1946, then settled into its small town existence.  It is a low rise town with a school, general store, pub and a good sized cluster of straggly country houses along meandering streets. Community spirit is evident in a neatly kept community hall and active rural fire service.  The sign at the entrance to the town boasts of the annual Black Wattle festival which seemed rather odd until I found the name Mumbil derives from the aboriginal word for Black Wattle.

As the nearest town to Lake Burrendong it serves as a place for campers to replenish supplies and grab a drink at the pub. There is a big camping ground at the Lake. Now the big drought is over it might be worth a w…

Dripstone #5

1. Dripstone house
2. Old stone building now a shed
3. Landscape
4. Rural Fire Service
5. Church of St Agnes of the Springs


Today Dripstone is a small cluster of houses beside a disused railway station. The railway reached this location in 1880, then known as the Springs. I don't know why this town came into being, whether the town grew because of the train or whether the train came because there was already a town. Perhaps the springs had something to do with it. There are apparently a large number of springs in the district and nearby is a large rock which is always oozing water, leading to the name Dripstone which it took on in 1890.

Either way this small community still lives with occupied houses and a rural fire service.  The rural setting is pleasant but unremarkable.  Most fascinating to me is the old church 1km down the road from the main town. Apparently it closed in the 1960s and is now a picturesque, melancholy shell.

View the map to see where Dripstone is located.

Wellington #4

1. Sculpture at the gateway to the town
2. Post Office
3. War Memorial
4. Lion of Waterloo Hotel
5. Grain silos
6. Macquarie River
7. Streetscape


The modern sculpture at the entrance of Wellington, near the famous Wellington Caves, is not exactly characteristic of the town. This is a classic larger Western NSW town with a population of around 4,600. Attractive well kept two story municipal buildings, palm lined streets and an elegant town park with a more ornate then most the war memorial are testament to days of wealth and prosperity fed by gold, and the produce of rich farmland.  The Lion of Wellington hotel established in the 1840s boasts to be the oldest operating hotel west of the Blue Mountains.

Like so many of these inland towns grain silos stand by the railway line which reached Wellington in 1880 and is still visited daily by the Sydney-Dubbo XPT service. After a brief stop the XPT rumbles across the railway bridge over the beautiful Macquarie River

While in more recent years Welli…

Localities

1. On the road between Yarrabin and Twelve Mile
2. Monument beside the roadside at Larras Lee
3. Dark Corner
4. Farm at Palmers Oakey
5. Church at Duramana
6. My favourite farm at Glanmire
7. Old Walang community hall
8. Wattle and daub farm shed at Napoleon Reef
9. Abercrombie Caves picnic area
10. Farmland at Beneree
11. Church at Tallwood
12. Browns Creek
13. Community hall at Gumble
14. Farm gate, Bumberry
15. Community Hall, Mandagery
16. Old home at Murga
17. Rural Fire Service shed, Bowan Park
18. Cluster of rural buildings, Boree
19. Logan Wines, Apple Tree Flat
20. Home at Sodwalls
21. Short Sheep Wines, Buckeroo
22. Budgee Budgee Inn
23. Land at Cooks Gap
24. Home, Laheys Creek
25. Old inn, Spring Ridge
26.  Farming community, Grattai
27.  Catholic Church and historic cemetery, Sallys Flat
28. Church, Turondale
29.  Old dwelling, Shooters Hill
30  Garden, Edith
31. Garden, Isabella
32. Roadside, Maryvale
33. Grain silo, Muronbong
34. Sign, Gollan
35. Home, Spicers Creek
36.  Wheat silo, Walmer
37. Wheat fields…

Obley #3

1. Map of Obley as it was
2. Old building still standing 
3. Newer building
4. War Memorial

Obley is what I call a "relic town". It had all the town things - a school, churches, butchers, bakers, general store, post office, police station, community hall, two hotels (including a Royal Hotel) and like all towns sent their young men to war. 13 went and 5 didn't come home. They say the police station and community hall remain as private residences but all the rest of the buildings are gone.

It was a camping ground for teamsters and there was a nearby gold and copper mine. The railway passed Obley by, going instead through Yeoval where the gradients were not as steep. So the town dwindled to nothing but its young men are remembered.

See Obley's location on the map.

Cudal #2

1. Cudal cultural centre
2. Old garage
3. Old shop
4. Royal Hotel Cudal
5. War Memorial
6. Canola fields

Cudal, population 380, serves the local farming community. Wool, fat lambs, cattle, wheat and canola are the main produce in the area. While there are shops that have seen better days it has full small town infrastructure and is a pleasant spot to visit when touring this rather attractive rural area. And if you are looking for accommodation I believe the Royal Hotel can put you up.

See Cudal's location on the map

Sofala #1

1. Sofala Main Street
2. Old cottage
3, General Store
4. Mural depicting Sofala's mining history
5. Odd fellows hall
6. One of many attractive old buildings
7, Sofala Royal Hotel
8. Back yard shed
9. Old shop now being spruced up
10. The spruce up job
11. Sofala from the Ilford-Bathurst Road

Sofala is the oldest surviving gold-rush town in Australia. The rush in the area began when Edward Hargraves discovered gold in 1851 and took just a few months for thousands of people to set up mining operations in the valley. Fossickers can still find gold in the river.

Today with a population of just 280 people the town survives on its history. The main street is bordered by many original two-storey wooden gold rush buildings giving it a unique aged character. A great place to visit and explore. Well prepared for tourists.

See Sofala's location on the map

Regional Map

The map shows the boundary of where we are visiting. Who would have thought there would be 100 towns in this small patch.

The towns

How big does a place have to be to be a town? Sometimes they used to be and no longer exist. Other times they appear to have never been more than a locality. Until I go and have a look I won’t know. Some maps list places that others don’t show. So I decided to pick a map, draw a border around the area I wanted to explore and write down the names that were beside the dots. There are 150 names listed here. Some will certainly prove to be nothing more than a signpost to someplace else and I will cross them off the list, and maybe there are towns that have been missed on the map I used. In the end I am sure we will get to 100. I will mark them in bold and provide the link once I have visited them and posted their photos.

Here is the list of tags I am applying to the towns and my definition.  I may add to this as I go along.

City - A large regional centre with a population of 10,000+ people.
Large Town - A big vibrant town with a population in the thousands
Town - somewhere between a large an…

About

I was sitting at the Railway Station Cafe in Kandos, flipping through the Discover Central NSW newspaper while I waited for my lunch to arrive.  In so doing I came across a map and began to mentally tick off the places I had been and the places I would like to visit.   I like lists and ticking things off.  I like visiting towns just to see what’s there and to say I’ve been there, especially towns west of the Blue Mountains where I live.  And so the idea of 100 towns was born
This is more of a gallery than a blog.  A collection of images from the towns I have visited sometimes at different times and different seasons.  It doesn’t seek to be documentary of the town or its people, it’s just images of the things that interested me. Followers of my blogs know that I like old more than new, that I like to photograph Royal Hotels, have a thing about forests, hay and the water level of dams and am rather fond of little country churches.  So if I have not shown your town in the best light becau…