History of Collarenebri Originally known to Aboriginal people as ‘Collarindabri’ – a place of many flowers. Collarenebri has a chequered history. Collarenebri came into being in 1860 when William Earl established a pub called the Squatter’s Arms on the Barwon River, at a place known by local Aborigines as ‘Collarindabri’, meaning ‘place of flowers’. The settlement was known as Collarindabri for many years. By the end of 1865 there were a number of houses and in 1867 a (non official) Post Office was opened. Also in 1867, the Site of the Town of Collarindabri and its suburban Lands was gazetted. During the 1870s, other settlements along the Barwon competed with Collarindabri for business and government services, preventing the concentration of people and services into a single large centre. These settlements, with names such as Wirrabilla, Mogil Mogil and The Happy Home, have since disappeared. Mogil Mogil was the first centre on the Upper Barwon to receive a permanent police station. Construction of Collarenebri’s first school began in 1884 after campaigning by the residents, who claimed there were 34 pupils between the ages of 4 and 14 years within two miles of the proposed school. A police station was established in 1882. The town had 92 permanent residents in 1886. Collarenebri grew rapidly in the 1890s. A bore was sunk, making sheep grazing more viable in the area. With the boost in primary production, there was plenty of work available. Captain Thunderbolt the notorious bushranger roamed these parts holding up Edward Fletcher, the local storekeeper, in 1866 and robbing him of 22 pounds in cash and goods. He then proceeded to rob the local pub “The Squatters Arms”, on the other side of the river. Many of the buildings date back to 1910 and a wander around the town will allow you to have a slight understanding of what the early days must have been like.
- Walgett Visitor Information Centre
- Phone: 0268 286139