Yass Valley Local History
The Yass Valley region in New South Wales, Australia has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Indigenous Australians, who have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years. The traditional custodians of the land were the Ngunnawal people and the Wiradjuri people. The region is still home to many Indigenous communities, and their culture and legacy continue to be an integral part of the Yass Valley community.
European settlement in the region began in the early 19th century. In 1821, explorer Charles Throsby discovered the Yass River and surrounding valley. The region was soon settled by pioneers who were looking for fertile land on which to graze cattle and sheep. The town of Yass was established in 1837 and quickly became a bustling centre for commerce, government and transport. In 1839, Yass was declared a police district and a courthouse was built the following year. By the mid-1800s, Yass had grown into an important regional centre, with a population of over 3,000 people.
The Yass Valley region played a significant role in the Australian gold rush of the mid-1800s. In 1851, gold was discovered in nearby Bathurst, and the discovery sparked a gold rush across the state. Many miners travelled through the Yass Valley region, hoping to strike it rich. The town of Jugiong, located between Yass and Gundagai, became a popular stopping point for miners and travellers. It was during this time that notorious bushranger Frank Gardiner and his gang robbed the gold escort at Eugowra Rocks near Cargo in 1862.
The Yass Valley region was also an important centre for agriculture and industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The region was home to many large sheep and cattle stations, and wool and meat products were exported to markets across Australia and overseas. The town of Yass was known for its flour mills, tanneries, brickworks, and saddlery and harness-making industries.
The region played a key role in Australia's military history as well. During World War I, many young men from the Yass Valley region served in the Australian armed forces. The town of Yass raised money for the war effort by holding fundraising events and rallies. Similarly, during World War II, the Yass Valley region contributed to the war effort by providing soldiers, nurses and other support services.
Today, the Yass Valley region is a thriving hub of industry, commerce and culture. The town of Yass has preserved much of its heritage architecture and charm, and is home to many cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The region is known for its natural beauty, with rolling hills, bushland, and the Yass River winding its way through the valley. Visitors to the area can explore the region's fascinating history by visiting local museums, historical sites and landmarks.
In conclusion, the Yass Valley region in New South Wales, Australia has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. From the traditional custodians of the land to the pioneers who settled the region, from the gold rush to the wars, the Yass Valley has played a significant role in shaping Australia's history and culture. Today, the region continues to thrive as a centre for industry, commerce and culture, while preserving its heritage and natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.