ORANGE CITY CENTRE
1.Cemetery and Whitney’s Tomb
4.Orange Visitor Information Centre
7.Cobb & Co Depot
8.Templers Mill Motel
9.Whitney's Old Residence
12.Duntryleague Golf Course
14.Peisley's first Coach & Horses Inn
The Orange City Council and Cabonne Shire areas have a wealth of Cobb & Co sites. Visitor Information Centres can provide you with mudmaps outlining some wonderful Cobb & Co scenic walks and drives, and local enthusiasts are happy to talk with you about the old Cobb & Co days.
1.The Orange Cemetery contains the graves of William Franklin Whitney, one of the partners of Cobb & Co, and his wife, Isabelle, an indomitable woman who formed the Whitney Pastoral Company and ran the family’s flagship property, Coombing Park, with enormous success. Elsewhere in the cemetery is the grave of Francis James Mulholland, who worked for Cobb & Co and lends his name to a sunken garden in Cook Park.
2.Once called the Coach and Horses Hotel, the Victoria Hotel was a significant site for Cobb & Co travellers. The stables and changing yard were nearby, close to the railway crossing gates.
3.The Whitney Fountain, in Robertson Park, was built and dedicated to Whitney by Cobb & Co following his retirement. The fountain is crafted from Italian marble and was paid for by docking five pounds from each employee’s wages.
4.Orange Visitor Information Centre (see below).
5.The Royal Hotel, once known as the Wellington Inn, was the Cobb & Co booking office for around 50 years. The booking office site is on the western side of the Royal.
6.The first post office was located on the south-western corner of Sale and Summer Streets. The present post office was built in 1880.
7.The Cobb & Co depot and stables were situated where the Grace Brothers shopping complex is now. Cobb & Co horses made an impressive sight as they thundered out of the Anson Street gateway at the start of each journey.
8.Templers Mill Motel is built on the site of the old Royal Hotel, where Cobb & Co operated a booking office before moving it to the new Royal Hotel.
9.Whitney’s Orange residence, 106 Moulder Street. The Whitney family moved from Buckiinguy, near Canonba, to Orange to be near doctors after the death of one of their children due to lack of local medical facilities. The Whitney house was later owned by the Cobb & Co Booking Office Manager, Edward Nathan, for 20 years and was used as a Cobb & Co stables and depot.
10.The Welcome Inn was built in 1870 and was a licensed inn for 14 years as well as a pick up point for Cobb & Co passengers.
11.Built as the Globe Hotel in 1865, the Gladstone Hotel is the oldest original purpose-built hotel still operating in the Orange region.
12.Land now occupied by the Duntryleague Golf Course was the setting for two separate inns in the days of Cobb & Co.
13.The Limerick Castle Hotel was situated on what is now golf course land, directly opposite Prince Street.
14.The original Coach and Horses Inn, built in 1838 and later known by various names including George Mills’ Boree Road Inn and Mills’ Inn, was located on the Boree Road (these days known as the Forbes Road), also on what is now golf course land.
ORANGE AREA AND CABONNE SHIRE
•The Black Bull at Shadforth (site only) was built in 1857 and was a changing station for Cobb & Co. The area was also known as Fredericks Valley. The hotel was demolished in the 1950s and all that remains is a dairy, a well, rubble and a shed on private property.
•The property belonging to Boree Cabonne was a changing station at one stage and features creek crossings that were negotiated by the coaches, as well as an old slab hut said to have been used by Cobb & Co. The original homestead hosted Major Thomas Mitchell during his exploration of the Central West area in the 1830s; it was demolished in 1897 to make way for the majestic structure that appears there today (you can see the building quite clearly from the road). A property called Rocklynne, in nearby Boree Lane, is also thought to have acted as a Royal Borenore Cobb & Co changing station, although it was not officially on the main coaching route. It’s possible that the route occasionally varied according to weather and road conditions. A cutting in Boree Lane is largely held to have been widened to allow safe passage for coaches.
•The little village of Borenore has an inn, the Royal Hotel, which was a halfway house. The building has been restored and is a magnificent relic from Cobb & Co days.
•Cheesemans Creek contains the remains of a change station, stables, post office and Chinese vegetable gardens. The post office operated until the 1970s and the main building was used as a hotel between 1875 and 1901.
•Gamboola was where the coach was ambushed by bushrangers on the Cobb & Co Boree run.
•Part of the Toogong-Parkes run, the picturesque Gumble and Delayneys Dyke area features the remains of a Cobb & Co changing station, as well as Chinese gold diggings and a dam. You will travel over much of the original Cobb & Co road to get here, passing through Yarraburr, an Aboriginal cooking place, on the way.
•Guyong was the site of the Cornish settlement. There was a changing station here at the turnoff from the highway to the gold mines and villages of Byng and Ophir, and the property of Quinton features remnants of a coaching horse yard.
•Hitchinbrook. The white two-storey house on the highway next to the Chinamens Bend Cemetery, south-east of Orange, has had various names over the years. Established on this site in 1845 as the Travellers Rest, it was licensed until 1876 and later known as Hitchinbrook, the Half Way House and Curran’s Inn. A ghost is said to walk the roadway outside the house just before dusk.
•Keenans Bridge is referred to in one account of the Escort Rock Robbery by a passenger who, with servant and child in tow, joined the coach at Keenans Bridge on its return to Orange following the holdup. Keenans Bridge had a post office from the 1850s and an inn (possibly another Royal Hotel); you can see the remains of both the inn and an old Cobb & Co crossing here.
•Larras Lee (private property) features long stretches of original Cobb & Co track still discernible throughout the property. Look up from the highway to the Larras Lee hills and imagine the coaches racing across the ridges beside you as you follow the main road.
•Lucknow was a thriving gold town in the 1860s and ’90s, when miners left nearby Summer Hill to seek their fortune here. The first post office was established in 1863 and by 1866 was housed in the Perseverance Hotel before being moved to Newman’s store. There were many inns in Lucknow to cater for the ‘gold fever’ influx. Pick up a copy of the Lucknow Heritage Trail brochure from the Orange Visitor Information Centre.
•March, north of Orange, was a Cobb & Co stop on the Wellington run and had a hotel and post office. Next stop on the route was Caleula, with its big flour mill and the popular Welcome Inn. Caleula was called Irvinstone on Cobb & Co timetables to avoid confusion with Caloola, south of Bathurst. The route was: Orange, March, Irvinstone, Shepherds Creek, Farnham, Stuart Town, Neurea, Wellington, Montefiores.
•Slightly to the west of Manildra at Meranburn, you can still see the remains of the Junction Inn, a changing station and hotel that served passengers on the Orange to Parkes route. Meranburn was the main settlement in the area in the late 1800s; the focus shifted gradually to Old Manildra and then, with the arrival of the railway in 1886, to where the town of Manildra lies today. During the 1890s, Cobb & Co had a mail run from Molong to Manildra. The Craft/Art Gallery/Library and Business Centre in Kiewa Street (Manildra’s main street) can supply you with a local mudmap.
•Cobb & Co ran regular services from Orange to Molong and from Molong to Parkes. The New Royal Hotel was an impressive building on the corner of Bank and Gidley Streets in Molong, near the Yarn Market Reserve. The Coach House is the only remains of the old hotel, which once housed the Cobb & Co booking office and the coach that met the Molong train.
•Ophir, once a thriving gold town, was a Cobb & Co destination where coach passengers were catered for by the Diggers’ Home. Today, Ophir is popular with tourists keen on fossicking and there is still gold to be found; indeed, the commercially operated Gunnadoo Mine supplied gold for the medals in the 2000 Olympic Games. Further details are available from the Orange Visitor Information Centre.
Orange Visitor Information Centre
Experience the magic of Australia’s Colour City Heritage trails, wineries, parks and gardens,historic villages, natural wonders, gold fossicking Visitor information, local produce, cafe and friendly service
Cnr Byng and Peisley Streets, Orange
Phone (02) 6393 8226 or Toll Free 1800 069 466
Open daily 9am-5pm
Cabonne Visitor Information Centre
The Yarn Market, 79 Bank Street, Molong
Phone (02) 6366 8260
Open daily 9am-5pm