Richmond River Historical Society
District History  

Brief Chronology of the Richmond River

DATE EVENT
6000BP - 1838 Bundjalung people sole occupiers of the area.
1828 Captain Henry John Rous in the frigate Rainbow explores and names the Richmond River.
1839 Squatters Clay and Stapleton become first white settlers in the Richmond Valley, at Cassino Station.
1842 Cedar cutters arrive, amongst them Steve King.
1842 - 1848 Main stations established: Cassino, Runnymede, Wooroowoolgen, Wyangarie, Dyraaba, Fairymount, Tunstall and Lismore.
1843 Conflict with settlers results in massacre of up to 100 Aborigines at Evans Head.
1846 First boiling-down plant in the district built at Fairymount.
early 1850s First sawmill built, at Shaw's Bay, Ballina.
1853 or 54 Reported massacre of 30-40 members of Ballina Tribe by Native Mounted Police.
1855 Surveyor Peppercorne makes plans for the village of Lismore; one year later the village is notified.
1859 Clark Irving elected first member for the Clarence District which includes the Richmond and Tweed River valleys.
1861 Enactment of Robertson Land Act, which results in settlers of moderate means flocking to the district and selecting land.
1862 First steam drogher (tug) introduced to the Richmond River by W.T. Yeager.
1865 First large sawmill built, at Wyrallah.
1870 James Reeves sets up first dairy, at Fairy Hill near Kyogle.
1871 First newspaper, the Richmond River Express, appears at Casino.
1876 The Northern Star newspaper started by W. Kelleway.
1879 Lismore becomes a municipality.
1881 The Colonial Sugar Refinery opens sugar mill at Broadwater.
1889 First dairy cooperative established at Springhill, Wollongbar.
1889 - 1911 Breakwater built at Ballina.
1892 First plantings of Paspalum grass, originally discovered by Edwin Seccombe of Wollongbar, lead to major development of dairy pastures on the North Coast.
1894 First train in the district runs between Lismore and Byron Bay.
1895 The North Coast Fresh Food and Cold Storage Cooperative Ltd (later Norco) begins operations at Byron Bay.
1907 Dedication of St Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore.
1946 Lismore officially gazetted as a City.
1954 Lismore no longer a port, as North Coast Steam Navigation Company ceases operations.
1960s First large-scale macadamia orchards planted.
1970 Teachers College, Lismore opens.
Early 1970s Major decline of dairying, with loss of 85% of dairy farmers in the North Eatern sector of NSW.
1973 Aquarius Festival held at Nimbin, resulting in the revitalising of the village and the rise of alternative cultures in the district.
1989 University of New England - Northern Rivers established at Lismore, later becomes Southern Cross University.

 

Nimbin Rocks

Nimbin Rocks

Ballina looking south

Ballina looking south

 

Clearing the Big Scrub

Clearing the Big Scrub

 

Early dairy farming

Early dairy farming