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rylstone kandos history

Kandos and Rylstone History P.1

from History of Kandos by  BA Fleming
and other research by Diane Simmonds and the Rylstone Kandos community.

1820James Blackman jnr. explored route from Bathurst to the Cudgegong River and present site of Rylstone.
1822James Blackman jnr and William 'Ironbark' Lawson trace route from Wallerawang to the Cudgegong near (later) Dabee village.
1800sSquatters arrive in Rylstone area, shepherds and stock camped on banks of the river, traders then came, Rylstone was formed. They came up through the Capertee (Capitee) Valley and Glen Alice. Large areas of land squatted by Richard Fitzgerald (Dabee), Mrs. (Gov. Lachlan) Macquarie (Windmill Hill), and Edward Cox (Rawdon on north side of Cudgegong River)
1823 Aboriginal name of area Combamolang
1824Soldiers rounded up all Aboriginals living in the valley and took them to Capertee Valley, where they shot them. (Healing the Land, p.61 by J.Monticone)
1827Captain William John Dumaresq, on his journey to Bathurst described Dabee (Daby) as an extensive plain for many miles of the richest soil, without a tree. The Cudgegong River runs through the middle of the plain. Beyond Dabee, the next station on the road to the Hunter's River is Bylong (Pylong) on the banks of the creek that runs into the Goulburn River.
1828Combamolang spelt as Combimelong
1830sRail line surveyed through Capertee, Glen Alice, Dunville Loop, over the range to Olinda, down flats to Rylstone, then to Mudgee. Route not used.
1849Combimelong changed to Coombermelon
1852John Lloyd arrives at Dabee on October 17
1855Coomber Melon's first recorded land sale - Mr. John Lloyd snr. bought  32 hectares (80 acres) of land at the first ever land sale held in the district.
1860sFree selection allowed farmers to secure land - sheep, cattle, dairying, wheat, corn and veges etc. came
1870sFive families in the area, Mr. John Kable,  Mr. John Lloyd, John & Joseph Donoghue,  Thomas Russell, Mr. Mullens.
1872John Lloyd sets up school in slab building, 23 children, 10 cents ea.
1874Coombermelon now Coomber Melon
1874 Nov 1John Lloyd's Coomber Provincial School approved.
1874Rail route Wallerawang Gwabegar Branch rail line explored. pass north of Pipers Flat, over Cherry Tree Hill, within a mile of Keenan's Swamp at Ilford, through Aarons Pass, then following the general route taken by road to Mudgee.
1876Another rail survey to reduce grades and earthworks. Rylstone may miss out. Rouse, Buchanan and Hurley, MPs, pressed for a decision in favour of new route, coming behind Ilford and through Rylstone.
1882Two rail tenders, one to Capertee and one to Mudgee. Captertee  section  completed in 1882.
1884Stage two of the railway went through Coomber Melon Mountain area to Rylstone, opened 9th January,1884. Mr. James Angus contractor.
1884Mr. R. Highfield completed new rubble stone school building. It was used until 1924 when present residence for the Primary School headmaster was built as a school.
1888Gov. sets an area apart as a camping ground on December 15. Mostly because of the new school, established since 1872, surrounding farms and the rail gave promise of a village forming. (Kandos)
1910Coal first mined by Mr. W. McKay of Rylstone at Coomber Mountain.
1910Marble Mining by Harold Clarendon Rylstone Jackson of Rylstone out towards Carwell Creek. Marble railed to Sydney and used for facing many city buildings.
1912Limestone lease to A. Holland
1912 April 25Albert Andrew Holland, son of George Albert Holland, owner of the Globe Hotel in Rylstone, granted first mining lease for limestone, taking it over from Harold Jackson, who used to mine marble.
1912 SeptemberCement Works envisaged.
Mr. Frank Oakden, General Manager of Melburn Lime and Cement Co in New Zealand since its inception 26/7/1888 appointed by government to assess Rylstone-Clandulla site for cement manufacture.  Deposits of material the best in the state.
1912 OctoberHonourable King O'Malley, Minister for Home Affairs advised sending an officer from the Commonwealth Department with a view to utilising Rylstone district cement for Federal purposes.
It is safe to say, during the year prior to the outbreak of the war, the local market value of German cement sold in Australia was approximately $500,000 (250,000 pounds). This competition was entirely eliminated with the establishment of the Kandos cement company.’
from History of Kandos  By  BA Fleming
In the Prospectus issued by the Company, Dr. R. Logan Janicke, LLD M Inst. M.M. the well known Geological and Mining authority, calculates the life of the Company's Limestone Quarries at over 120 years, and of the coal in one seam (there being two other seams above the existing tunnel) at over 250 years.
In addition, the surrounding belt of country is known to contain extensive deposits of valuable minerals, and this fact, together with a large available supply of cheap coal, bids fair to make the district one of the most important manufacturing centres in Australia.
The Mudgee line is well known for its large business enterprises among which may be mentioned the following:-
Commonwealth Cement Company's Works at Portland
Goodlet & Smith's (Cement Makers of Granville) Quarries at Excelsior
Coal Mines at Cullen Bullen
Coal Mines at Ben Bullen
Commonwealth Shale & Oil Company's mines at Torbane
Freezing Works at Rylstone
Cheese Factory at Bylong
Lithgow Commonwealth Small Arms Factory
Hosking Iron Works
Glen Davis Shale Works
1912 NovemberMessrs. Holland and McDonald brought Dr. Janicke, one of Krupp's Directors, to view coal mining and mineral development possibilities. Mr. Holland was an active promoter of mining in the district.
Mr. Holland applied for a lease of 277 hectares on Coomber Coal Mine to mine for coal over 20 years.
Mr. J. Erle Herrman, the original leasee, objected via Mr. G. Hammond Hassey. The Crown terminated Mr. Herrman's lease, because of nonfulfilment of labour conditions stipulated by the Mineral Lease and the Mining Act. They notified in the Government Gazette the lease ceased on 11/11 at 11am. (note the irony of the time [Remembrance Day is 11/11])
from History of Kandos by  BA Fleming
Mr. Holland pegged out the lease in his name on 11/11 at 11am and was therefore entitled to the lease. He was granted the lease for 20 years.
Mr. Holland then sought leases 43, 304 and 1008 in the Parish of Wells, which were held for the purpose of procuring limestone. He applied for suspension of labour conditions.
Mr. Colin Edward Douglas Rogers, financier of Sydney, (and others) held an option over the leases in question. They had sent 1.3 tonnes of material to Krupp Ltd. in Germany. Dr. R. Logan Janicke was completing the report on the area. They also held options on the coal lease that Holland had just won. They needed 6 months to get their affairs in order. The warden awarded that suspension be granted from that day.
Albert Holland continued to acquire leases for mining purposes over 1912 and 1913.
1913 MayNSW Cement Lime & Coal Co Ltd registered
1913Land purchased for works and towncoal leases taken up by the NSW Cement, Lime and Coal Co. Ltd.  Mr. DJ Davies appointed Colliery Manager.
1913 February 20 
 NSW Cement, Lime and Coal Co Ltd registered as a public company.
Chairman James Angus, GM Frank Oakden, Directors EH Buchanan, LJ Davids, CA Jacques, GRW  McDonald MLA, and CED Rogers. Secretary CC Campbell. New Zealander Vilhelm Albert Langevad, Civil Engineer at the Adelaide Tramway Institute, a friend of Frank Oakden laid out and established a cement works.
'C' CC Campbell, Secretary
'A' J.Angus, Chairman of the Board
'N' AT Noyes, Construction Engineer of Noyes Bros.
'D' GRW McDonald, MLA, Director
'O' F.Oakden, General Manager
'S' AC Stephen, of Stephen, Jaques & Stephen, Solicitors
This name thought up by the daughter of James Angus.(What happened to Holland?)

More on the naming of Kandos by Pam O'Connor, Kandos

When I recorded the name CHANDOS  as the first thought for this area of land, (now known as Kandos) before it was a town, as reported in my latest book Rocky Mountain Spirit, there was controversy over the name. My findings after much deliberation, may clear up some of the questions.

For years it was thought by the residents that the name was changed to Kandos because ‘a director’s daughter thought it up, using the Works’ directors’ initials.

I feel this just doesn’t fit! On closer examination of this theory, there is no way I believe that Macdonald represents the ‘d’ in Kandos.

Bruce Fleming, whom I admire as a local historian, informed me that he never saw it written in any of the Works’ minute books that he was fortunate to be able to study. He said he took the directors’ names as where Kandos originated from an oral report that he was given when he wrote the book ‘A History of Kandos’ in 1984.

Now if we go back to the 1890’s we find that the Minister for Rylstone was in fact, one William Chandos Wall MP.  Before entering politics, this man was also a prospector, geologist, minerals surveyor, commission/mining agent, inventor and a quarry and mining operator. He established surrounding quarries and mines in this district.




Text Box: William Chandos Wall

Now I believe it was he who first lobbied for a Cement Works to be built here at Government level.  Remember I am talking long before there was a works at Kandos, namely the 1890’s. 

William had taken out a mining lease at Lue when he decided to switch his Parliamentary Ministry to Rylstone in 1894.

We know how long it took to get things passed and up and running through Parliament today. In the 1890’s it took even longer, hence it is not unreasonable to suggest that this area was proposed for mining long before the original mine opened. We know that coal deposits were mined in 1910.

In 1888 an area was set aside for camping grounds. This came about because there were many people gathering under the mountains - shepherds and prospectors mainly.

John Lloyd built a wooden school ( on the right going out of Kandos in Lloyds paddock that back up onto Coombers property which  still comes right up to Larges Lane and out onto the Ilford Rd where the walking track is at Kandos.) This school housed twelve pupils. But it was fast becoming too small what withfor the Coombers’ children, Lloyds’ children and then children from the camping grounds under the mountain.  Lloyd wrote to the Government for help and the government said if they build a suitable school, then the Government would supply a full time teacher.  (This letter was given to the Kandos Museum when I was Accession Officer 2001-2012)  Now Coomber was a much bigger property than the Lloyds, and he put his hand up to build the school … hence the school was named after the property name,  The Coomber Provincial School. 

Now back to the name CHANDOS … The AREA wasn’t known as Coomber but Chandos. When the first train came through it came to the siding of Chandos. This information comes  from the book Wallerawang to Gwabegar a book compiled from RIC Bridge Section records, Station Information publications originally held in the State Rail Authority Archives Section, and information supplied by the research section of the Australian Railways Historical Society. Compiler J.H. Jorsyth, in 2004.

I quote from Page 16 … 

“KANDOS 249.300 km / 634.3 m”  The timetable states that it “Opened as CHANDOS on 12.4.1914”

It goes on to say that the railway station changed to Kandos on 7.3.1915. There is further proof that it was called Candos (Percy Candos Mason was born on 22/4/1914,) but this is not recorded in the Railways timetable, hence it would appear that it was not official. The reasoning could be that the official name for the town was being discussed and first they took the ‘h’ out of Chandos to get Candos.  Then changed the ‘c’ to a ‘k’ hence Kandos.

The railway book goes on to tell of the initials of the Directors but considering that it was written in 2004, and the information is a ‘word of mouth’ and indeed doesn’t fit the initials, I feel it is safe to say it was from William Chandos Wall’s name that Kandos originally came from.


Yours in History,  

Pamela O’Connor,

Author of Rocky Mountain Spirit  


The book, Rocky Mountain Spirit, explains the remainder of this story.

I have compiled an errata for this book. Anyone wishing to have one please contact me

The book is available at the Kandos Paper Shop or Rylstone Historical Society.

If you also would like to write an opinion on the origins of the Kandos name, please contact the editor. All views are welcome. Readers make up their own minds.




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