History with Brian James: History of Rye Park village

Earnest Begg (Rye Park) 1895. Photo: contributed
Earnest Begg (Rye Park) 1895. Photo: contributed

History of Rye Park

Following is the history of Rye Park gleaned from old residents of the district.

Our representative had a hard job getting the information and we had to call on Ron Edwards and his grandfather to obtain most of this information.

The history of the village of Rye Park follows:-

When first surveyed Rye Park was known as the "Walla Walla Scrub".

The name denoting the condition of the country at the time. And now a great deal is prepared and suitable for agriculture .

Among the first settlers were Messrs, Sainsbury, Turner, Bembrick, C Noakes (senior), W Percival, W Clifton, W Southwell, T Douglas, Begg, Hume, G Wilson, C Plumb, H Banks, Howell, Perks, J Cook and Pitches.

Begg and Douglas arrived from Young in about 1862.

One of the leading citizens of the village was Will Clifton, who was a bush lawyer and Doctor.

He built and was the first licensee of the hotel, and was one of the principal movers in the building of the bridge.

The residence on "Rye Park" was situated on the block of land now owned by Mr A Southwell.

Mr Brembrick was the first store keeper of the village and was also a local preacher.

C Plumb, a blacksmith by trade, was the initial conductor of the Post Office, which was situated on the property now in the possession of Mr W Edgerton.

The building with the window through which the mail was passed is still standing.

Mail delivered from Boorowa took place once a week.

G Wilson bought Sainsbury's farm, as well as a farm, he also had a vineyard and manufactured wine.

The property is now known as "Ainsbury".

W Percival was the first settler to grow wheat at Rye Park, and he had to turn the first sod with a shovel.

Then came the single furrow plough with which, for many years all ploughing was done.

Mr S Edwards was the first district resident to purchase a double furrowed implement.

Mr Howell was the first owner of "Llangrove". Andrew Hamilton Hume, nephew of the explorer, bought the property and renamed it "Everton" by which it is known today.

Mr Hume lived at "Everton" for over sixty years, during which time he was one of the chief merino sheep breeders of Australia.

Convict labour was utilised for the building of the main portion of "Everton" homestead.

Mr J Cook snr owned the first bullock team and carried between Grenfell and Goulburn.

Messrs, Kershaw and Banks bought one hundred acres from J Cook and subdivided it into small blocks.

The blocks on which several prominent buildings stand were donations.

The block on which the Methodist Church was erected was the gift of Mr Brembrick.

The school block was given by Mr W Southwell, the Salvation Army block by David Southwell, and the Hall block by J Southwell.

The "Walla" mine near the township was discovered by H Wilson and for many years was one of the richest silver and lead mines in the state.

Rye Park's first school teacher was James Brierly, of Yass, from which centre he carried on horseback the old acacia trees that were in front of the school.

The chimney of Rye Parks one and only Court House is still standing.

T Brown , a Dalton preacher used to walk from the centre of Frogmore to preach calling into Rye Park on the way and delivering a sermon.

The Rye Park racecourse was situated on land now comprising part of "Wattle Grove".

Cattle growing and wheat growing were the principal industries in the district which was noted for it's cattle duffing at the time.

A one of the yards where brands were changed was in the hills on land owned now by Mr W Armour.

(This column from Brian James is sourced from the Burrowa News, Friday, October 19, 1934).

  • Brian James contributes his column each Tuesday to the Young Witness on behalf the Young Historical Society.

Do you have a history story? Email peter.guthrie@youngwitness.com.au to share your story.