Home Rule District

Home Rule (Co. Phillip) 32°25’S. 149°38’E., 11 km SE of Gulgong; largely defunct; mining (gold disc. 1872), grazing, farming, dairying, kaolin, yellow ochre; Angl. C. (temporary one) o.1877 in converted former store, new one (St Alban’s) 1898, burnt down; Cong. C. 1872; mines: Christmas 1880-84, Cumbandry (incl. Dog and Cat, Lily May, Britannia) 1872-1909, Periwinkle 1893, Red (incl. Red Streak and Little Cumbandry) <1900-1909, Shallow Rush (incl. Red, White and Blue) 1872-79; PO 1872; quarry (kaolin); Rom. Cath. C.; school (Mobellah till 1913) 1874, new buildings b. 1883 by D. McFarlane, closed 1957; telephone 1914; TX 1928, automatic 1967; pop. 144 (1901), 166 (1911), 100 (1933), 113 (1947), 100 (1954), 84 (1961)1 .


26 October 1893
I recently paid a visit to Home Rule, which at one time was an extensive and prosperous goldfield; but what a falling off is there! It is now but the shadow of its former self. The town consists now of one store, run by Allen and Garland; one pub., by Host Wells; a post-office, in charge of Mr. Maroney, and a public school, which is an exceptionally good building in comparison with its surroundings; this school has a muster-roll of 50 scholars, but where, in the name of mystery, all the youngsters came from, is a problem best solved by the Home Ruleites themselves. The teachers are Mr. and Master Hamilton. There are a number of fossickers about here, but, I was informed, only one claim on gold.
Morrow and Prye's dirt, a trial machine of 11 loads only, went just 4½dwts. per load, and it is quite possible that this party may do well in their ground yet.
Burrows and party, on the Helvetia, and Egan's party, in Morrissey's paddock, will shortly wash up at Canadian. The latter are not making more than £2 a man per week, so that the blow of £5, a week should not be heeded. It takes a wonderfully good claim to pay six men £5 per week, and certainly no ground in this district is giving any such yield.
Paines' crowd, in Smith's paddock, have suspended work, pending either reconstruction or dissolution, as the dirt was too poor altogether.
Wolfmüller's party are now raising dirt from a lower level, which they think will go something better than their last two lots and truly there is room for improvement. - Guardian2 .


31 August 1922
Home Rule on this road would in all probability be the turn off to Gulgong, of the railway. The old place is very quiet now, although once, it had its hundreds of digger inhabitants, not soldiers, but those who delved for gold.
Judging from the soil, good gold might be coaxed from it yet in the shape of wheat and other cereals with dairying combined. I was told that good gold was got around Home Rule, although I had a mate once who left a claim that was afterwards a golden one on the Black Lead of the Happy Valley, Gulgong, for a rank duffer at Home Rule. It would not be too hard to name the native country of the man who first named the little hamlet3 .


6 June 1924
Can anything be contemplated in this Continent more pathetic than a deserted mining town - with its tottering tenements, its empty streets - over which the grass grows, and along which vagrant goats graze, its scraps of broken crushing machinery lying here and there, the poppet heads still in position, looking somewhat like under a series of grim gibbets, and everywhere dark desolation. Think of the Home Rule of today, for instance - one time, fifty years ago or thereabouts, its population was over 20,000, whilst today it numbers only twenty souls or so. Where are the thousands who held high revel in the golden days, when a dish was washed in the rough and ready way by the prospecting miner, and the rich metal came along not in ounces but in pounds. Home Rule was only one of the several fields which flourished back in the 'sixties and 'seventies, but it and their glory has departed, and the site of that important township is now only marked by the pit-shafts and the mullock heaps which are to be seen on every side. How have the mighty fallen, to be sure4 .


1 Simpson, Phillip. Historical Guide to New South Wales. North Melbourne, Vic: Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd, 2020, p. 359.
2 GULGONG. (1893, October 26). Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1862; 1872; 1882; 1885 - 1897; 1899 - 1904), p. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2024, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62179918
3 A CROSS COUNTRY TRIP (1922, August 31). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved April 15, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article137405276
4 PEN PICTURES (1924, June 6). The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW : 1898 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166262538

Page last modified on Wednesday 1 May, 2024 15:00:23 AEST