The Tumut area has been occupied by humans for thousands of years, but it was not discovered by Europeans until late 1824.
Europeans first walked (or rode a horse) through the future site of Tumut township in January 1825.
Only one of these men was born a free man in the British Colony of New South Wales - most of the others were British born convicts.
Seventy six years later the Colony of NSW became one of the States of a new country - Australia.
This site attempts to bring together a wide variety of information written by people who lived through past times. These contemporary stories reflect the knowledge and attitudes of the times, for the writers knew nothing of the future.
The hope is that readers can transport their minds back to times past by reading the news of the day.
In today's world of fast communication and travel it is easy to forget life was not always as fast and convenient as it is today. For example:- up until the 1850's the ability to start a fire by simply striking a safety match did not exit and - when an early Tumut settler sent wool to Sydney for shipping to England, the wool could arrive in London before his bullock wagon had time to arrive back in the Tumut valley.
Photo, Tumut River Valley early one morning, 2013.
New South Wales,
The large map (below right) shows what was known about the geography of NSW c1830, when the first settlers were moving into the Tumut area.
The future site of the town of Tumut is located on this map just below the first "e" in the name "L. George".
Mail:- Tumut History, PO Box 132, Tumut, NSW 2720, Australia
"Information is our only purpose; that accomplished, we shall consider that we have done our duty."
Did You Know?
The name "Tumut" is derived from the Aboriginal word meaning "a quiet resting place by the river".
The district's first inhabitants were the large and important Waradjery tribe.
Our Forefathers Existed Without:-
Sugar till the 13th century;
Coal fires till the 14th;
Buttered bread till the 15th;
Potatoes and tobacco till the 16th;
Coffee, tea and soap till the 17th;
Puddings till the 18th;
Gas, matches and electricity till the 19th;
And canned goods till the 20th.
The Tumut & Adelong Times 18 October 1949
1903 Map (left)
In 1903, the Federal House of Representatives elected Tumut as the Capital of Australia. That night there were celebrations in Tumut.
But later, the Senate did not agree.
The capital eventually ended up 90 kilometers directly east of Tumut (on the same latitude).
When reading the old newspaper articles on this site you may be puzzled by some words. Some are explained here.
proximo = something that may occur in the future.
Inst= a date earlier in the current month (but be aware the article may be a reprint so check the date of writing).
ultimo= something that occurred last month (but be aware the article may be a reprint) and, to confuse things, in some newspapers ultimo may mean something that occurred 2 months ago.
Many old newspapers report the first settler at Mingay (at the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Tumut Rivers) as being Benjamin Warby. However, this information apears to be the perpetuation of a mistake made by James Gormly in a widely reported speech he made in 1906 (James never attempted to correct the mistake). Ben Warby was the brother of the real first settler - William Warby. Even the later sale of Mingay by William to Benjamin is doubtful as the "sale" of the land may have been fraudulant (as was the "sale" of everything on the property).