horses buggy
Do you have old photographs that might be helpful to this site?
Please email the author, Diane Simmonds, by clicking here:
Or, phone 02 63722189bsp;
Or, phone 02 63722189
The author may be able to restore your photographs in return for use on this site.

(Photos on this site are produced for web use only at low resolution.)

painting of mudgee nest in the hills judy kurts

Painting of Mudgee, Nest in the Hills, by Judy Kurtz, local Mudgee artist,
The mural size painting hangs  in St John’s Anglican Church parish hall.


william lawson

William Lawson discovered the Mudgee pasturelands in 1821, taking the title of discover of Mudgee from James Blackman, who, although first to discover the Cudgegong region, missed the Wiradjuri settlement at Mudgee by just a few miles.

Mudgee is discovered: James Blackman, William Lawson, Cox family

James Blackman marked a road from Bathurst to Wallerawang in 1820 and in 1821, with three others, explored the route from Bathurst to the Cudgegong River. He was the first European to cross the Cudgegong River, but he did not travel as far as Mudgee at that stage. (See James Blackman p12).
Blackman crossed the Turon River, went north-east to the Crudene, coming to the Cudgegong about 50 miles (80km) from Bathurst, travelling through Aaron’s Pass, named after his Aboriginal guide Aaron, who was Chief of the Tabellbucoo Tribe in the Wirajuri nation. Blackman followed the Cudgegong River for about 20 miles (42 km) and came to the Burrundulla Swamps, but did not reach the Aboriginal camp at Mudgee, as Lawson accompanied by John Blackman, James’ brother, did later that year, claiming the discovery of Mudgee township site for himself. It may seem like splitting hairs, but the tradition has been kept that it was Lawson who actually discovered the township site of Mudgee.

William Lawson, commandant of Bathurst, who had failed in an earlier attempt to reach the Mudgee region, travelled with his companions across the Turon to the Mudgee region in 1821. Lawson was 47 years old when he discovered the Mudgee pasture lands. He was rewarded with 1000 acres of land for crossing the Blue Mountains. Lawson later took up 6,000 acres along the Cudgegong River, and Lawson Park and Lawson Creek in Mudgee are named after him. Lawson later explored land north of Mudgee the Bylong area before moving north-west.
In 1822 Blackman and Lawson traced a route from Wallerawang to Dabee, near Rylstone.
The first settlement of Mudgee was at ‘The Camping Tree’ on Menah, just across the present old railway line and down the Wilbertree Road, where George and Henry Cox, William Cox the road builder’s sons,  settled in 1822, soon followed by others.  Explorer and botanist Allan Cunningham came in 1822.
The Camping Tree still sits beside the river on the Wilbertree Road. The first gaol was there, virtually a round-backed timber cage where inmates were chained to the walls.


Previous |  Content |  Next

Would like to advertise in this space?


Support local history