From the days of early settlement when Cobb & Co coaches and bushrangers ruled the rough dirt roads and squatters and drovers roamed the hills and plains, Waugoola to Woodstock charts the life and times of one of New South Wales’ most prominent farming properties and the community it was a part of.
A book documenting the colourful history of Waugoola Homestead and the nearby town of Woodstock, will be launched on 18 November at Waugoola.
After purchasing the historic farming property with his family four years ago, current owner Mr Peter Allen was enthralled listening to stories about both the property and the generations of families who worked and lived there.
Mr Allen felt it was important to preserve the stories in a way that could be shared.
He commissioned author and historical researcher Amanda Mackevicius to collaborate with fifth generation Woodstock local Kevin Graham and the extended Woodstock community to produce the book.
Over 40 people responded to newspaper advertisements inviting contributions for the illustrated history, which is brought to life through archival images, rare documents, oral histories and candid stories from descendants of the pioneers who settled the fertile farming district, the ancestral country of the Wiradjuri people.
For more than 150 years, Waugoola and the nearby town of Woodstock have been home to an enterprising, resilient and close-knit community, whose lives have intertwined through generations of family ties, rugged hard work and social hierarchies, through gold rushes, wartime and most of all, through sharing the joys and heartaches of life on the land.
Waugoola to Woodstock tells previously untold stories from Australia’s rural heartland and offers a new level of understanding of pioneer farming life in the central west tablelands of New South Wales.
Designed by Bathurst Architect J J Copeman and completed in 1910, Waugoola was home to three generations of the Whitney family for nearly 90 years.
The homestead was commissioned by Arthur William Whitney, the son of Cobb & Co partner William Franklin Whitney and his wife Isabella.
Originally more than 17 000 acres in size, the property was renowned for the fine Merino wool it produced and employed up to 50 people between 1920 and 1944, many of whom both lived and worked on the property.
For further information or to purchase a copy ($45 + postage) please email the author at Amanda@zonex.com.au or call Amanda on 0418 648 468