Our streets’ stories

Have you ever wondered about the history behind your street name?

"The swinging bridge" features in Mr Wode's booklet. Photo courtesy Forbes and District Historical Society.

"The swinging bridge" features in Mr Wode's booklet. Photo courtesy Forbes and District Historical Society.

After nine years of research, local Shane Wode has put the finishing touches on his booklet The Streets of Forbes.

The Streets of Forbes notes that many of the oldest streets in town have special connections to the early days of the town – knowledge that might have been lost.

Browne Street is just one example. The street was named for the Englishman Captain William Browne JP., Gold Commissioner in charge of the Lachlan–Forbes Goldfield.

How about Farrand Street? William Farrand JP, was a schoolteacher, newspaper editor and proprietor, and Police Magistrate in Forbes from 1862–1869.

Mr Wode has been tracking these stories down through records and speaking with locals since his project began.

Some streets commemorate people who were charged with keeping law and order during the era of gold mining, while others commemorate our British heritage.

Quite a number of streets have themes for example girls’ names, wine varieties, species of trees, and various breeds of livestock.

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Kerry Neaylon, Shane Wode and Helen Bernardi at the Streets of Forbes book launch.

Kerry Neaylon, Shane Wode and Helen Bernardi at the Streets of Forbes book launch.

Mr Wode said one of the interesting things he came across during his research was that an area in Forbes bounded by Bridge, Ferry, Barwin and Lower Hill Streets was known as Poverty Point. 

Other significant locations within Forbes are highlighted, including Gum Swamp, the Botanical Gardens and Grinsted Oval. 

One interesting location was that of ‘Swinging Bridge’, a pedestrian bridge that spanned the Lachlan River at South Forbes from 1907 to the 1970s.

It was a popular swimming spot and became the headquarters of the Forbes Amateur Swimming Club in 1913.

Stephan Field, on the Bedgerabong Road, is named in honour of prospector “German” Harry Stephan who discovered the richest lead of gold ever found in NSW.

Mr Wode thanked Helen Bernardi and Kerry Neaylon for their help, as well as the people who provided information.

The Streets of Forbes booklets are available for $10 each at the Forbes Museum.

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