EARLY SETTLEMENT - Mudgee, P.5
Hospitals, Post Office, banks
The first permanent building in Mudgee was a slab hut erected by James Blackman in 1837, which was a general store as well as Blackman’s home.
His enterprise was situated beside a deep waterhole in the Cudgegong River, close to where the Cox brothers made their first camp.
The census finding 36 dwellings and two small stores in 1841 were mostly centred on the West End of Market Street. Blackman also opened the first inn, The Mudgee Hotel, in Market Street opposite the present court house in 1842, but some say the hotel may have dated back as far as 1837.
A hospital also opened at West End in 1840, near the Cudgegong River and in 1842, Dr King opened a private hospital in Mortimer Street. In 1852 a public meeting called for a public hospital, which was built on a 2 acre block in Perry Street—one main ward, two small wards and four small verandah rooms and a two-room kitchen. Public subscriptions supported the running of the hospital with additional fundraising. In 1874 Dr Roberts of Sydney laid the foundation stone for a new 30 bed hospital at the present hospital site.
Gulgong gained its first hospital in 1871, sitting on a hill overlooking the gold fields and constructed in just 8 weeks on the promise of a government grant of 150 pounds.
Mudgee also had one of the first Post Offices west of the Blue Mountains, and John Griffiths took the mail and sold stamps from his store from January 1840. The first Telegraph Line to Mudgee opened about 1861.
The first bank, the Bank of NSW, opened in July 1856 in a room in the Bushman’s Inn and the Australian Joint Stock Bank and the Government Savings Bank soon followed, as did the Commercial Banking Co of Sydney from 1864 to 1867, then again in 1874 onwards.
The population of Mudgee increased from 803 in 1857 to 1507 in 1861, thanks to gold being discovered in the region.
By the mid 1880s, commercial development had crept east along Market Street to Church Street, which became the main CBD, as it is today.
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