Bellingen Hyde Street Historical Mindy

History of Bellingen

Did you know?

Until 1870, when Crown Lands set aside a portion of land that was to become the village of Bellingen, there were no roads or ferries to cross the Bellinger river. There were no doctors or schools and few businesses in the small settlement that was to become the township of Bellingen. Over the next few years the town began to grow steadily, with postal services, schools, police services, doctors, hospitals and churches. There were buildings that were removed from Fernmount to be reassembled in Bellingen; hotels and bank buildings were some of these. In 1909 Hammond and Wheatley built the Emporium that still operates today and 1910 saw the building of the Court House and Police Station. At this time many of the early settlers arrived and started more businesses like wheelwrights and blacksmith shops, chemists and food stores.

Bellingen’s rich history….

is a tapestry woven from the threads of Indigenous heritage, European settlement, and a spirited counterculture that has thrived amidst its lush landscapes.

Long before European settlers arrived, the area now known as Bellingen was home to the Gumbaynggirr people, who cultivated a deep connection to the land that continues to resonate today. European settlers began to arrive in the mid-19th century, drawn by the fertile soils along the Bellinger River. The town was officially established in the late 1800s, and the charm of its Victorian-era architecture can still be admired along its streets today.

Bellingen’s history is marked by the ebb and flow of industries such as timber, dairy farming, and agriculture, which have left their mark on the town’s identity. The community’s resilience in the face of economic shifts has given rise to a sense of togetherness and a commitment to preserving the town’s unique character.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Bellingen became a magnet for artists, musicians, and free spirits seeking a more alternative way of life. This countercultural movement, which still thrives today, has added a dynamic and creative dimension to the town’s identity. Whether you’re exploring the heritage-listed buildings, meandering through the vibrant markets, or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, Bellingen’s history is an integral part of the tapestry that makes this town a truly enchanting destination.

Year 1916. L to R. Back Row. O.M Betts, H.L James, R.Finney, G.B Mosman, E.A Dobson, R. Scott Middle Row. E. Watson, P. Benjamin, E.O Baker, J.G Henderson, E.Yeoman, C. Hayden, J. Noble, A.J Cordwell. Bottom Row. G.C Gollan, F.R.H. Baker ( Sec), J. C Cawood, A. Black (Pres), H.H. Boultwood, G. Suthrien, E. Lyon. Images kindly supplied by Bellingen Museum – Bellinger Valley Historical Society

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