Historic town with important early convict-era cottage.
Googoogong is almost not a town. It has a tiny population and, realistically, is driven by the General Store (which also includes the Post Office and Newsagency) and the Gooloogong Hotel. The town's appeal lies in the genuinely fascinating Gooloogong Memorial Park with its plaques recording the histories of most of the town's well known families and Croote Cottage, an historic pise dwelling built around 1827 by a convict gang.
Gooloogong is located 340 km west of Sydney via Bathurst, Blayney and Canowindra. It lies between Cowra and Forbes^ TOP
Origin of Name
A cattle station named 'Gool-a-gong' was established in the district in the 1820s by a Dr William Redfern, the personal physician to Governor Macquarie. No one is sure why Redfern named his property Gool-a-gong but it is known that Gooloogong was a Wiradjuri word of unknown meaning.^ TOP
Things to See and Do
Gooloogong Memorial Park
The Gooloogong Memorial Park is a unique record of the people whose families have lived for generations in this small country town. It is a pleasant place to have a picnic and spend some time. It contains a history of the local railway from 1922-1978 with an interesting collection of historic photos; a plaque recognising the Wiradjuri people as the original owners of the land; and interesting pieces of war memorabilia from both of the twentieth century world wars. The highlight, however, is the plaques which record, in suitable detail, the history of many of the families who live in the town and the surrounding region. Here is a unique opportunity to see how a small Australian country town was formed and how it evolved.
Other Attractions in the Area
Head out on the Kangarooby Road (it runs beside the pub and past the General Store) and follow the signs to Croote Cottage. It is well protected by surveillance cameras and has to opened for inspection by the owners. Ask at the General Store or Hotel for times of opening or contact the Cowra or Forbes Visitor Information Centres.
Croote Cottage was built by convicts around 1827 and, as such, is one of the oldest buildings west of the Blue Mountains. It is one of the most important historic pioneer homesteads on the Central Western Slopes having been built of pise bricks and constructed with holes in the walls so the residents could protect themselves against bushrangers and local Aborigines. The original building had shutters and a shingle roof. The walls were 20 cm thick and there was a cellar with a trapdoor where, in case of attack, the women and children could be hidden. Today the cottage is decorated with authentic period furnishings
In 1837 John Dowd and his wife moved into the cottage and it is still owned by his descendants. In the early years it had a particularly colourful history. It is believed that during John Dowd's ownership it was visited by the bushranger Ben Hall and Hall, finding Dowd ill in bed, offered to send for a doctor. Apparently Dowd, according to the legend, refused the money and delivered a lecture to Hall about his need to mend his wicked ways. The bushranger allegedly replied: "Too late now old chap" and rode off.
On another occasion Bishop John Polding, the first Catholic Bishop in Australia, said mass for the local Catholic community at the cottage.^ TOP
* Prior to European settlement the district was the home to the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people.
* A cattle station named 'Gool-a-gong' was established in the district in the 1820s by a Dr William Redfern, the personal physician to Governor Macquarie.
* In 1827 convicts built Croote Cottage out of pise. It is one of the earliest buildings still standing west of the Blue Mountains.
* In 1869 the settlement acquired its first school.
* By 1880 St Malachy's Catholic Church was completed and holding mass for the local Catholic community.
* In 1904 the distinctive Holman Bridge, a timber truss construction, was completed across the Lachlan River.
* In 1922 the North Goolagong siding was opened with the railway running from Cowra to Eugowra.
* In 1924 a 20 tonne weighbridge and 15 tonne crane were installed at the railway siding.
* In 1924 the town changed its name from Goolagong to Gooloogong.
* In 1927 Hugh Heavener built the town's distinctive Log Cabin Hall.
* By 1931 the town had a two towered wheat silo.
* The railway was closed down and dismantled in 1979.^ TOP
Useful information about the town can be had at both the hotel and the general store. The nearest information centres are at Cowra - the Cowra Visitor Information Centre, Olympic Park, Mid Western Highway, Cowra, tel: (02) 6342 4333 and at Forbes - the Forbes Visitor Information Centre, Railway Station, Union Street, Forbes, tel: (02) 6852 4155.^ TOP
The Forbes website has good information on the town. Check out http://www.forbes-nsw.com/Gooloogong.html for details.^ TOP