Orange (map) is a provincial city and local government area located on the Mitchell Highway about 250kms west of Sydney at an altitude of 862 metres (population circa 40,000).   Key industries include agriculture, mining, health services and education.  A significant landmark nearby is Mount Canobolas at an altitude of 1,395 metres. Orange is one of the few population centres in Australia to receive relatively frequent snowfalls. It is the birthplace of poets Banjo Paterson and Kenneth Slessor.

In 1822 Captain Percy Simpson drove into the Wellington District and established a convict settlement called 'Blackman's Swamp' after John Blackman.  Percy had employed John Blackman as a guide because he had already accompanied an earlier explorer into that region.  

Blackman's Swamp was proclaimed a village and named Orange by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1846 in honour of Prince William of Orange. At nearby Ophir in 1851, the first discovery of gold in Australia was made which led to the Australian Gold Rush.  Subsequent discoveries of gold in nearby areas led to the establishment of Orange as a central trading centre for gold. This is contrary to the popluar belief that gold was first discovered close to the nearby regional town of Bathurst, New South Wales.

The growth of Orange continued as the conditions were well suited for agriculture, and in 1860 it was proclaimed a municipality. The railway from Sydney reached Orange in 1877.

Orange GenWeb Coordinator:  Volunteer Required








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