Australian
Heritage

 

Molong

The small country town of Molong is located on the Mitchell Highway 35 kilometres north west of Orange. Its main street has been classified by the National Trust.

A government stockade and staging camp was set up the current townsite in the 1820s and was used as a resting place on the route to the Wellington convict settlement.

White settlers arrived during the 1820s and 1830s.

Copper was being mined at nearby Copper Hill by 1846. This was the inaugural metal mine in NSW.

In 1849 Molong was officially gazetted, taking its name from an indigenous Wiradjuri Aboriginal word believed to translate to 'place of many rocks'.

Major Mitchell's Aboriginal guide, Yuranigh, was killed on Molong's southern fringe in 1850. His grave is located two kilometres east of town.

In 1851 gold was found at Ophir, near Orange, and many of the Copper Hill miners joined the gold rush.

In 1856 the first town land was sold and Molong really began to develop from this time.

A Methodist chapel (1858) was Molong's first church. It is now incorporated into the current Uniting Church building. Molong's original Church of England was established in 1860 and is now used as the Anglican church hall. The Presbyterian Church and Manse were constructed in 1866. The old Catholic Church dates to 1877.

Molong's first courthouse was built in 1864 and replaced in 1885

In 1878 Molong was made a municipality.

Molong, like much of Australia, flourished during the 1870s and 1880s and many of its historic buildings date from this time.

A single storey post office was built in 1879-80. In 1900 the second level was constructed. The Post Office Hotel (now the Rural Lands Protection Board) is an 1872 construction. An 1876 general store (now Upstairs Downstairs) later served as the headquarters of the Molong Express Newspaper. The CBC Bank (1883) is now the National Bank. A town hall was constructed in 1888.

In 1886 the railway arrived and Molong served as the line's western terminus until 1893 when the line was extended to Dubbo. The loss of its status as a railhead, coupled with the effects of a depression, slowed the development of the town.

Bank Street, Molong, Cabonne Country

The growth since that time has continued to be slow. At the time of the 2001 Census Molong had a population of 1,563 residents.


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