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|Bungendore is a small town with a numerous specialty shops and old stone, brick and timber buildings. It is located in a beautiful valley near Lake George, 265 km south-west of Sydney, 26 km north-east of Queanbeyan and 701 m above sea-level. Once occupied by the Ngarigu people, the first Europeans in the vicinity were the exploratory party of Charles Throsby. Captain Richard Brooks set up a stock station at Turallo Creek in 1824. That same year, botanist Allan Cunningham recorded the existence of this outstation in the area he called 'Bungadow'. The village began around 1835 and mail started arriving as part of the Queanbeyan route in 1836. The townsite was approved and Bungendore proclaimed in 1837. The following year a lock-up was built and The Harp Inn was established as the settlement became an important crossroads which linked, and still links, Goulburn, Braidwood, Queanbeyan, Canberra and Cooma. 'Gidleigh', just south of the present townsite, was established in 1833 by the son of Governor King. William Westwood, a convict, escaped from 'Gidleigh' around 1840 and became a bushranger known as 'Jacky Jacky'. He bailed up a number of people around the district in 1840-41. In 1841 he escaped custody several times (once being temporarily locked up in what is now the Lake George Motel) before being captured and sentenced to Norfolk Island where he was hanged for murder in 1846. The first post office was built in 1840, an Anglican Church c.1843 and the Bungendore Inn in 1847. The latter became a Cobb & Co staging post. Annual races were established in 1848. Nonetheless, by 1851, the population was a mere 63. The 1850s saw at least two other hotels established. A flour mill was built in 1861, St Mary's Roman Catholic Church and two denominational schools in 1862, the courthouse in 1864 and a public school in 1868. The railway arrived in 1885 and the town remained a railhead until the line reached Queanbeyan in 1887. Partly because of the coming railway, the 1880s were a boom period for the town and the population increased from 270 in 1881 to 700 by 1885. However, because Queanbeyan emerged as the major town in the area, Bungendore has essentially remained a country village serving the surrounding graziers. Hence there are several rural suppliers and related industries in town. In recent years the social balance in the town has been somewhat altered and it has acquired a slightly more metropolitan air due to the presence of commuters from Queanbeyan and Canberra and of professional people. A number of tourism-oriented businesses have sprung up in town such as antique and art-and-craft shops, restaurants and tearooms.|
|HISTORY OF THE AREA|
first European exploration of the Bungendore region was by Charles
Throsby and his party. Explorer and botanist Allan Cunningham passed
through the district in 1824. European settlers had arrived within
a year of his visit.
A station was established in the area around 1824.
The beginnings of the town date from about 1835 with Bungendore being officially recognised in 1837. A lock-up was constructed the next year, along with The Harp Inn, which is now the Lake George Hotel/Motel. A licence has been held non-stop since 1838 but the building has been much changed.
A mail service commenced in 1836 with a post office constructed in 1840. The current post office was built in 1882.
Bushranger William Westwood (known as 'Jacky Jacky') was active in the region in 1840-41. Jacky Jacky was briefly locked up in the Harp Inn during 1840.
The Bungendore Inn (1847) was later used as a Cobb & Co staging post. Only fragments of the Inn remain today.
By 1848 there were 30 people in the town. The population increased to 63 by 1851.
Churches, schools, hotels, a flour mill and a courthouse (1864) were all added to Bungendore before 1970.
The former Beehive Hotel, constructed in 1859, is still standing. The stone courthouse (1864) is currently the Bungendore police station.
The stone St Mary's Catholic Church was an 1862 construction while St Philip's Anglican Church was built in Gothic Revival style in 1864. The original St John's Presbyterian Church (1875) was torn down to accommodate the railway. The current St John's was erected in 1886.Rail reached Bungendore in 1885 and this contributed to a period of prosperity in the 1880s. The railway station (which shut in 1987), gatekeeper's house and stationmaster's residence all date back to 1884-85 and were built in Gothic Revival style. The Royal Hotel (1882) was constructed in preparation for the rail connection. The original 1855 Royal Hotel is also still standing but is currently a private home.A coaching inn constructed using hand-made bricks in 1888-89 is currently the Carrington Motel and Restaurant. It has also been used as a store, a bordello and a private home.
Queanbeyan became the major centre for the region, leaving Bungendore as a small service town to the surrounding farming enterprises.
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