A Brief History of Our Region

European Settlement

Settlement by Europeans began 40 years after the First Fleet arrived in Australia, as fertile land was needed to support a growing colony. Cornelius Dempsey, born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1799, arrived in the area in the early 1830s.

Gold was discovered in the 1850s and the Gold Rush was on! Snowball and Big Badja were yielding gold between the 1870s and 1890s.

Bushranging was a serious problem during these times. The local Clarke brothers were engaged in highway robbery and murder, so travelling the roads was a dangerous undertaking. However, many people stayed on in the area after the goldrushes were over and turned their hands to various activities from farming, timber-milling and fencing to eucalyptus oil production and horse breeding.

The first and second Melbourne Cup winner, Archer, was bred at Ballalaba.

In 1979 the Deua National Park was opened and Marble Arch, The Big Hole, Wyanbene and Bendethra Caves became destinations for cavers and bushwalkers.

Deua Tin Huts, a short walk from the Deua National Park, provide an accommodation experience mindful of the past custodians of the land and to the history of the people over many generations who have contributed to making this area and its community so unique.


References for further information:

Ballalaba and Beyond, Published by Krawarree–Ballalaba Historical Group

The Braidwood Museum


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