Yass Local History
The Local History of the Town of Yass in New South Wales, Australia
The town of Yass is situated in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 280 km southwest of Sydney and 60 km northwest of Canberra. The town is named after the Yass River, which in turn was named after an indigenous word meaning 'running water'.
The indigenous people of the Yass area were the Ngunnawal people, who lived in the region for tens of thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. The first Europeans to arrive in the area were explorers Hume and Hovell, who passed through in 1824. The town of Yass was founded in 1837 and quickly became an important stopping point for travellers headed to the goldfields.
During the 1850s, Yass experienced a population boom as the gold rush brought thousands of people to the area. The town played a significant role in the wool industry, with many wealthy wool growers establishing grand homesteads in the area. Yass was also home to several notable people, including award-winning poet A.B. Paterson, who worked as a solicitor in the town.
The town has experienced many significant events throughout its history, including a major flood in 1974 that caused widespread damage. Yass has also seen its fair share of bushfires, with the most recent being the 2020 bushfires that destroyed homes and devastated the surrounding countryside.
Today, Yass remains an important regional centre for agriculture and tourism. Visitors to the town can explore its rich history by visiting sites such as the Yass and District Museum, the Cooma Cottage heritage house, and the Yass Railway Museum. The town is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the annual Turning Wave Festival, which celebrates Irish music and culture.
The town has a vibrant community and is known for its welcoming locals. Many people choose to live in Yass for its peaceful, rural lifestyle and close proximity to both Sydney and Canberra. The town continues to evolve and grow, while maintaining its rich history and cultural heritage.