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The editor of this site, Diane Simmonds, featured in the solo exhibition of Photomedia artist Holly Grech on Friday, 26th September at the Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts in Townsville.



 To Order: Email: info@mudgeehistory.com.au

The Late Kenneth James Simmonds

Sydney and Melbourne Royal Show harness judge

Part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show Harness horse competitions for 41 years.

Outstanding winner of many trophies and ribbons

Show vehicle restoration master craftsman


Have you ever regretted the passing of a friend, or loved one; a master craftsman of a trade that is fading from our midst?

Have you ever wished you knew how to re-create those romantic, bygone treasures that are part of our history and part of our lives?


Have you ever kicked yourself for not seeking such information before our most respected craftsmen and women are gone forever?


The late Ken Simmonds was born into the horse and buggy era. His father was a Bankstown milk man, using  a horse and milk cart.   Here Ken’s story began.


Ken’s passion, showing his beautifully restored harness vehicles at the Sydney Royal Show and country shows shines in this book, methodically recording measurements and knowhow to help the show ring remain authentic. There are many in show rings today still driving Ken’s beautiful and meticulously restored vehicles. 


The knowledge recorded in this booklet is precious.

Family Researchers:

Your members will be pleased to learn that the Australian Cemeteries Index website http://austcemindex.com ,  which now has over 1.7M headstone inscriptions online, has a NSW BDM search facility that actually works properly. As with all of the website it is totally free

More information click here



Tidbit on Museums and the collection of history.


Photo of the last load of hay being offloaded from a horse drawn wagon at Mudgee Railway Station. Click here


New Reconciliation Poems Click here


MEDIA RELEASE: Upcoming 2014 World Indigenous Conferences in Cairns QLD Australia

It is with outmost pride and pleasure to announce the latest update for both the 2014 World Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference to be held on 8th – 10th December and the 2014 World Indigenous Health Conference scheduled for 15th – 17th December in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. To register for the event, please register online at http://www.indigenoushealth.net/ or http://www.indigenousconferences.com or contact us at admin@indigenoushealth.net

Click here for more information




The Kandos Hotel 

Photographs sent in by Chris Turner of Western Australia, who moved there in 2011. The photos are of Kandos at the turn of the century.




Dear Parents...I am very sorry to inform you my little son is dead, but I thank God my wife and I are quite well. I have moved from Cooyal. I had very bad luck there.




 From the book, Bring Plenty of Pickles, by Gerry Tomlinson, a special editon written about the Paine and Marks families for their descendants




 Mt Frome is about 4klms south east of Mudgee township. It was named after a shepherd, Tom Frome, who got lost in the then thickly wooded mountain. He was thought to have died there, but during a Memorial Service held in his honour, he turned up, very much alive. ..


 Updates to Let's Chat page

Lets chat - John Johnson, Eliza Forster, Cox family, Wiradjuri, Georgy the Mudgee Aboriginal Policeman in the 1800's and Amande Lee Johnson the NPWS Ranger in the 1900's. I have posed some interests in my story and wonder if you can provide anymore inform Amanda Johnson

- A Shared Sorry - The Sharing of Love - The Sharing of History "Winbourne" Mulgoa, West of Parramatta, NSW, "Burrundulla", "Menah" Stations, Mudgee and "Fernside" and "Rawdon" Homesteads, Rylstone, Central Western NSW; John Johnson, Eliza Forster, the Cox Family, the Mulgoa Clan of the Darug people & the Wiradjuri Nation.

Author: Amanda Lee Johnson, 24 Jan 2014. Captains Flat NSW. Click here for more information




A new book, Portrait of Mudgee and District by Judy Kurtz, with historical notes by Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds.

A quality coffee table book of 30 colour prints and 6 sepia drawings by renown artist, Judy Kurtz, with historical notes by Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds, all of the Mudgee region, Gulgong, Rylstone, Kandos, Goolma, Wollar, Capertee, Hill End, Hargraves and more.

Price: $39.95 plus postage and handling.Click here for more information!


National Indigenous Men's Conference

Indigenous Conference Services launches the 2014 National Indigenous Men Conference in Cairns on 13- 15 October with inspiring guest speakers from different states and territories of Australia. Click here for more.




To Whom It May Concern.


Hi my name is Beck Evans and I am currently planning a family gathering/reunion of the descendants of Diana Mudgee later on this year in Mudgee, I currently have a facebook page with approx 116 members and counting of descendants of Diana Mudgee nationally and those who have moved internationally. I am hoping that its a possibility that I may be able to organize a session with a historian with knowledge of the family history to educate young descendants and those who are unfamiliar on the history and if there is a price per person or as a group to have this done? I am basically enquiring to sort out some family activities etc. If my request is a possibility that would be fantastic. At the stage I'm expecting between 30-50 people in mudgee.


Beck Evans.

Beck Evans [beckevans@hotmail.com.au]



Tribute to well known horse man and show judge, Ken Simmonds


The late Kenneth James Simmonds, 1920 to 26th December, 2013; Bankstown/Punchbowl horse and cart milkman; 41 years showing harness classes at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, winning over 200 ribbons, Reserve Champion Buggy horse and turnout 1966, 1967, 1968; Horse vehicle section judge at Melbourne and Sydney Royal; author of 'Show Sulkies and Buggies' 1992.

More information, click here






Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds poem features in new online poetry magazine, The Australia Times Poetry Magazine  http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/emagazines/poetry/issue204/ 

Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Australia-Times-Poetry-Magazine/386461994820768




Response from reader identifying the machinery in the collection.

Did you know Mudgee pioneered solar and wind natural, renewable energy? Meet the Simmonds family, pioneers of the new energy source who were responsible for hundreds of Mudgee families on small farms using solar and wind electricity to run their homes in the early 1980s.

Let's Chat:

Let's Chat - heaps more appeals for help on Let's Chat

Ancestry.com now has the NSW Census for 1891 and 1901, which lists people as Aboriginal.

Robert Wilson and Catherine Robinson by Philip Scott

The Patterson family of Mudgee by Chris Eaton, great grandson - Updated 20/2/13

The Eaton Family Tree by Sandy Eaton

Made in Mudgee   from Jane Paterson to Granny Eaton A short story by Great Grandson Chris Eaton


In the exciting days of the Gold Rush, Australia certainly became multi-cultural. And one of the biggest cultural groups to make a significant contribution to the pioneers' life was the Chinese. Barbara Hickson speaks of their presence in Gulgong.


Tracking The Dragon by Barbara Hickson (Part 1)

In this series of Chinese nationals in the Gulgong region of Mudgee,  Barbara tells us a bit of background on Chinese Names in the article, Chinese Anonymity. Then we have the history of  Chinaman's Swamp in Coolah, and the Keys Market Garden in Mudgee

Tracking the Dragon by Barbara Hickson (Part 2)

In Part 2 of Tracking the Dragon Barbara tells us about the site of the capture of Chinese bushranger Sam Poo; the Chinese store at Cassilis and Winn's Market Garden, Gulgong.

Site of capture of Chinese Bushranger Sam Poo. 3

Chinese Store at Cassilis. 6

Winn's Market Garden, Gulgong

Tracking the Dragon by Barbara Hickson (Part 3)

Wong Gee's Grave, Sofala; Isle of Dreams, Sofala

Chinese in Sofala

Diane Simmonds contributes to the collection of Chinese history in the Mudgee region with a history of the Chinese people in Sofala during the gold rush.



Historical collector, Peter Simmonds' historic newspaper clipping collection.


Historic Film Star Photo Collection

Peter Simmonds' historic collection of film star photographs


Joi’s apology, by Rae Desmond Jones

The poem is prominent in Rae's forthcoming volume of New & Selected Poems - to be launched on 11 August, 2013.  It's the first in the book and our website has the privilege of a preview. If you would like to order the book, contact Rae on: raejones485@hotmail.com   See more of Rae's poems on: http://www.poemhunter.com/rae-desmond-jones/



William Oxley By Paul Bech

The story of William Oxley, Police Constable in Mudgee, and his murder.


Murder and Mayhem

Court Reports from The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842-1954)

Wilful Murder




Highway Robbery, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW :  1842 - 1954)
Patrick Malony, John Cain, and Thomas Odin, were indicted for stealing two saddles, two bridles, 17 California belts, and a quantity of other property belonging to Robert Fitzgerald, Ësq , M.C , at Reedy Creek, in April. 1852.

Reg and Jenny Franks, Local POW Camps and Mosquito Bombers
Learn about local prisoner of war camps and how Mosquito bombers were made from local timber that also supplied Slazenger tennis raquets.Kandos. Also how rice pudding challenged the war effort.

Folk Tales: Laura Wallis - local historian's great grandmother writes:
It was fine then till Saturday night and we had it (heavy rain) again. We slept under the dray and water was running under us and over us.
A letter home to England of a woman's incredible journey to the goldfields at Maitland Bar.

CRESP FAMILY COLLECTION Photos from their farm in Boinka Victoria
80 year old, Norah Kendall has collected the Cresp family photos together and shares some photos of a winnower from the old family farm at Boinka, Victoria.

St Matthew's Catholic Church, Botobolar
St Matthew's celebrated the 100th anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone in 2000

An Historical Tour of Appletree Flat
You could pass the historical gems of Appletree Flat in a moment on a drive from Mudgee to Sydney, unaware of what you are driving through. Take the time to drive there and really look at the surrounding scenery and hear its historical ghosts talking to you.

Railways - Capertee, Mudgee, Gulgong
The coming of the railway to Capertee, Mudgee, Gulgong

Elsie Winter's Memoirs of a train ride to Sydney

Cooyal's own lady bushranger, Mary Ann Bugg and her Captain Thunderbolt.
The romantic story of an educated Aboriginal woman, Mary Ann Bugg, the wife of well known bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt, Fred Ward. Read about this incredible woman and her infamous legendary husband. It is said Captain Thunderbolt would never have survived without the 'power behind the throne', Mary Ann Bugg.

More bushranger information
More about bushrangers, cattle duffers and stagecoach holdups in the Mudgee region.

Folktales - Don Hobbs' Trip to a Bushranger's cave
Don takes us by horseback from Nullo Mountain to Mount Pomany to see the remains of an old bushranger's cave.

More Mudgee Poems About Us written by Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds

Dreamtime Poems
We are of one spirit poems of reconciliation written by Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds.

New Aboriginal Family History Page
The editor of this site is seeking to add a new section on Aboriginal family history for in the Mudgee region to help families find their relatives. If you have some information, no matter how small, please send it in to this site on info@mudgeehistory.com.au and we will see if we can provide the links to help find our Aboriginal heritage.
Also in this section, we have new information on Diana Mudgee.
Also in this section, tracing the family tree of Mary Ann Bugg

Sofala Churches

Capertee Village
The history of Capertee
Historical names of the Capertee families. by Mickel Cowie

The Village of Sofala

Gold at Sofala

The Village of Hill End

James Watsford 1st Mail Coach Driver over the Blue Mountains

Cobb & Co Change Stations around Mudgee

Cobb & Co at Sofala

The old Chinese gold diggings at Worlds End

The Wiradjuri People by Mickel Cowie  

This article is submitted to us by Mickel Cowie. Mickel went to primary school at Charbon in 1939-42 and has since been a regular visitor since then to Rylstone; Kandos & Dunns Swamp and maintained contact with friends in the area and keenly interested in the history of the area. He is of Aboriginal descent through his maternal Madge Green (Lambert) line and the GGG Grandson of Peggy Lambert. Also posted on this site: Information regarding the descendants of the Green Family and the descendants of Peggy and Jim Lambert has been posted on this section.

Let's Chat
A new section for readers to help each other search out family history and other historical matters, and for researchers to add their findings.
Pearson's Lookout - was it named after a cyclist?

Great Grandmother Pearce.
More on Peggy and Jimmy Lambert

More on the Mawbey family and Jimmy Governor.
Marjorie Partridge of Kandos
Sarah Beames/Gardiner
Aboriginal Ancestors on Winburdale and Brucedale near Bathurst
James Watsford, first mail coachman
Thomas Graham Wilson of Burrundulla and Waler Horses ...and more...
Diana Mudgee

Aboriginal Family Research page
Poems About Us  
Henry Lawson's poems about the Mudgee region, plus Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds' local poems, plus poems by readers.Henry Lawson Poetry about the Mudgee District. Frank the Poet, or Francis MacNamara.

Wiradjuri and other Aboriginal Tribe links passage to central west
There were two aboriginal tribes in the Triamble, Macquarie River region. The Aboriginal name for the Macquarie River was Wambool, meaning ‘meandering’. The tribe Thomas Charles Codogan Sutter first encountered in early 1830 was the Waradgerie tribe, and no instances were ever recorded of them attacking the early white settlers.
Can a button challenge Blackman's discovery of Mudgee? an old coin
Wal Ellison and his wife discovered an old soldier's button while metal detecting south of Mudgee along the Cudgegong River. He has done some research, and believes the button was lost by the original owner, who was a soldier of the 73rd Regiment on Foot, who were in the colony between 1810 and 1814, working from Newcastle. Mr Ellison thinks the find might just challenge traditional records that Blackman was the discoverer of Mudgee. Read the account and make a comment.
Triamble Valley Aboriginals Jim Birtles
There were two aboriginal tribes in the Triamble, Macquarie River region. The Aboriginal name for the Macquarie River was Wambool, meaning ‘meandering’. The tribe Thomas Charles Codogan Sutter first encountered in early 1830 was the Waradgerie tribe, and no instances were ever recorded of them attacking the early white settlers.
Aboriginal Elder of Mudgee   
A few miles north of Rylstone, the Great Dividing Range swings eastward, enclosing the fertile, almost treeless flats of the Cudgegong River. Where these flats give way to the rugged mountain country surrounding Nullo Mountain, in the small valleys that lie beneath Mount Never Never and Mount Kelgoola, many early settlers made their homes.

The Gold Rush and Cobb & Co   cob and co rutherford family
On the Mudgee, Eurunderee, Home Rule and Gulgong run, Cobb & Co were allowed 120 pounds per annum extra to convey the mails on from Gulgong to Mudgee immediately after they arrived at Gulgong, by a buggy or other light vehicle. This run was transferred from John Randell in 1883 to Cobb & Co.

Passages to the North-West Plains 
The Colonial discovery and occupation of East-Central NSW, 1817-26
Incorporating an extended discussion of the armed conflict between Aborigines, settlers and police in the Hunter Valley, 1825-26; By MICHAEL O’ROURKE
Local Character: Don Hobbs  Don Hobbs

Everyone in the Mudgee district would agree Don Hobbs is slightly eccentric, but they would also agree that he has a heart of gold and is there to help any community event he can.


Website Launch
Norman McVickerNorman McVicker OAM, Launched this site on the 20th February 2009   
The history of the Mudgee region is being transformed by the age of information technology. Our history is to be online on a web site created by Diane Simmonds. I have been researching and writing a column about local history for over twenty years for the Mudgee Guardian. Once read, it disappears into archival catacombs. That is about to change and local history will be available at the flick of a switch.

The technique is not new but this method of recording allows the surfer of the net to have information available 24 hours a day. That is new-- and I am pleased to be associated with the project. I hope the community will also readily adopt this revolutionary approach of “history at your fingertips” and its easy accessibility for everyone—young and old. 

Better still the web site is open for contributions. So I would urge would be historians to remember--what happens today is tomorrow’s history and needs to be recorded as it occurs. Mudgee has needed this web site for a long time. 

It is with considerable pleasure and gratification I launch the website into space for all to enjoy.

About Norman McVicker (Click here)

Budgee Budgee on the other side of Mudgee (Click here)


Salute to the late Norman McVicker, OAM

1920 - 2012


"Some people are volunteer fire fighters, some rescue squad. I am too old to be fighting fires or rescuing people, so I do what I can do – I write the people’s history....


The Mudgee Valley


Mudgee District Local History is a service that tells the story of the second region settled west of the Blue Mountains, a district with a fine tradition of heritage that is preserved and valued.

Mudgee is the Orana district, meaning welcome; the name Mudgee meaning ‘nest in the hills’ according to local Wiradjuri Aboriginal tradition. The region covered in this history includes Gulgong, Rylstone, Kandos, Cassilis, Ulan, Lue, Hargraves, Grattai, Windeyer, Wollar, the Turon, Bylong, Capertee, Hill End, Ilford and Sofala.

The region snuggles in the foothills and tablelands of the Blue Mountains, the rolling hills and mountain peaks preserving the secrets of yesteryear — and the district is rich in a heritage of the Wiradjuri nation, gold mining, Australian wool production, cattle and horse breeding and more recently fine wines, honey, olives and fine food, art and culture. Information about these genres and more will be added to the site as it grows.

The Mudgee region still retains many of its original villages, steeped in family traditions and local character. The villages are made up of generational families and newcomers, the first influx in the 1970s and 1980s of alternative lifestylers, or ’blockies’; the more recent semi-retired tree changers, but all bringing a multitude of art, craft, and entrepreneur skills, giving life and colour to the image of who and what we are as a community.

This is our story.


This site is copyright, except for personal research that is not to be published.

The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows 10% of the number of words on this website to be reproduced and/or communicated by any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or the body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act.

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Please note contributor's items remain their own copyright, subject to the above conditions. If you want to use a contributor's material, please contact the administrator, who will pass your request on. info@mudgeehistory.com.au

Diane Simmonds
Diane Simmonds

Mudgee Country: Wiradjuri Country
Beginning to Early Settlement
Aaron, Early Settlers, Martial Law
Windradine, A Dying Race
Peggy and Jimmy Lambert, Jimmy McDonald, Tom Penney
More about Peg and Jim Lambert — by Michael Cowie
Massacres, Martial Law is declared
Jimmy Governor
Black Trackers
Wally Washbrook Aboriginal Elder.
Wiradjuri Nation by Norman McVicker OAM
The Cox Family, Wiradjuri, Winbourne and Burrundulla
Triamble Valley Aboriginals (Jim Birtles)
hand painting in cave

Aborigines Trackers
Crossing the Blue Mountains and Early Settlement
Bathurst settled first. Blaxland, Wentworth, Lawson, Cox
Mudgee is discovered: James Blackman, William Lawson, Cox family
First settler names in the district and properties, Mudgee becomes a village
Early days of Mudgee, slab buildings, churches, inns, Post Office, Courthouse, etc. gold, Mudgee to Mullamuddy a municipality
Hospitals, Post Office, banks
First gold discoveries
Norman McVicker—Robert Hoddle did NOT design Mudgee
James Blackman
William Lawson.
William Cox, road builder across Blue Mountains
George Cox, son of William Cox
George Henry Cox, son of George Cox
William Lawson

three sisters
Cobb & Co
Cobb & Co and the Gold Rush, bushrangers.
Bushrangers, Rylstone, Home Rule, Denison Town.
Cob & Co, Cooyal, bushrangers..
Mudgee drivers, innkeepers, coachmen.
Cobb & Co Mail Routes in the Mudgee region.
The Deane Family, coachbuilders
Cobb & Co Change Stations around Mudgee
cobb and co coach
Gulgong Gold
Prince of Wales Opera House
Gulgong Cobb & Co
Rolf Underwood’s Robbery Under Arms
Rouse Family
Henry Lawson
Chinese Bushranger
News Snippets
gulgong opera house
Rylstone Kandos
Kandos History
Kandos WWI Veteran
History of Rylstone by Aboriginal Elder Jim Birtles
Kandos High School Year 9 Their Service, Our Heritage World War I and World War II project.
WWI Sidney George Robbins
WWI Waler Horses & General Chauvel of the Light Horse Brigade
Simpson and his donkey & Two Boys
Waler horses
Waler Horses & Cobb & Co
WWI Laurie McLeod
WWI Fred & Harry Travis
Whose side was God on?
Women in war
WWI Thomas Chadwick
Newspaper report
WWI John & Margaret Currie
Junge Family Photos
Kandos National Archive Records
World War I photos
WWII Prisoner of War Stalag 13
WWII Women in War
James Nolan WWII MBE
Jack Ferguson WWII Navy
Jack Tindale WWII Airforce
Australian Prisoners of War
Val Wade British Force WWII
samson and his donkey

Jim Judge and wife

This website invites your participation.

If you have added knowledge, or a story to tell of days gone by in the Mudgee region, please email the author, Diane Simmonds by clicking info@mudgeehistory.com.au

This website is an ongoing work, guaranteed to be updated regularly as the research and community participation grows. Authors of research published on this site will have their own by line; they will keep their own copyright and a photo of themselves to go with their story is preferred. If you would like to contribute an article about the Mudgee region on this site, please email the author by clicking info@mudgeehistory.com.au

If you have old photos that might be useful on this site, please email the author by clicking info@mudgeehistory.com.au

For more information on the co-ordinator, please click here.

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