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Bombala Local History

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The Local History of Bombala, New South Wales

Bombala is a small town in the Monaro region of New South Wales, Australia, located about 485 kilometers south of Sydney. With a population of just over 1500 people, it is known for its historic buildings, agricultural industry and proximity to the beautiful Snowy Mountains.

Early History

The traditional owners of the land on which Bombala now stands are the Aboriginal people of the Ngarigo nation. They have lived in the region for thousands of years and have a strong cultural connection to the area. European exploration of the region began in the 1820s, with the first Europeans settling in the region in the 1830s.

By the 1840s, Bombala had become an important waypoint for travelers and settlers making their way to the goldfields of Victoria. Sheep farming was also established in the region, with farmers using the fertile land around Bombala to graze their livestock.

Growth and Development

The town of Bombala was officially gazetted in 1847. By this time, a number of buildings had already been constructed, including a hotel, a courthouse and a post office. The town quickly became a hub for the surrounding agricultural community, with farmers from the region using it as a place to buy and sell goods.

During the 1860s and 1870s, Bombala experienced a period of rapid growth and development. A number of new buildings were constructed, including the Anglican and Catholic churches, the public school, and several important government buildings. The arrival of the railway in the town in 1889 further stimulated growth and development.

World War I and Beyond

World War I had a significant impact on Bombala, as it did on many Australian towns and cities. Many young men from the town and the surrounding district enlisted in the armed forces and were sent overseas to fight. Some never returned, and the town felt the impact of their loss keenly.

In the years following the war, Bombala continued to grow and develop. The town experienced an economic boom during the 1920s and 1930s, with construction of many new buildings and infrastructure projects. The arrival of electricity in the town in 1925 was a significant milestone in the town's history.

The Modern Era

In the post-World War II period, Bombala continued to be a thriving agricultural community. The town's economy was supported by a range of industries, including wool and cattle production, timber cutting and tourism.

Today, Bombala retains much of its historic charm, with many of the town's early buildings still standing. The town's main street is particularly well-preserved and is a popular destination for visitors to the region.

Despite being a relatively small town, Bombala has a rich and fascinating history. From its early days as a stopover point for travelers and settlers to its role in Australia's participation in World War I, the town has played an important role in the development of the Monaro region.

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