•Butlers Falls, near the junction of the Talbragar and Macquarie Rivers, was a Cobb & Co crossing that was remembered in many personal recounts. There is a pioneer cemetery is nearby.
•There are various Cobb & Co sites in and around Dubbo. These include:
◦the Albert Bridge, replaced by the LH Ford Bridge in Cobra Street. The original bridge, once a toll bridge, was constructed from timber and featured three arches. A mile peg remains at the bottom of Bultje Street to mark the site;
◦the blacksmith’s shop on the corner of Macquarie and Wingewarra Streets and, on the opposite corner, the Cobb & Co Booking Office, once the Royal Hotel (now the Endeavour Court Shopping complex) where Cobb & Co horses began their journey;
◦the Dubbo Cemetery, where quite a number of people with Cobb & Co links are buried including Mr Lowe, Jim Weldon, Billy Orbold and Commissioner Grenfell;
◦Dundullimal, a National Trust property and popular tourist destination that features many intriguing old buildings. There was an original Cobb & Co crossing on the river at Dundullimal and the road cut through the property, up over the hill. The crossings in Dubbo were very important as they were part of the great stock routes from north to south.
◦Dubbo’s Imperial Hotel (Kemwah Building) which, by its position, was almost certainly used by Cobb & Co. Built in 1881, the licence changed hands many times and at one time, the pub was operated as a gambling house by a woman known as ‘Flash Kate’;
◦Dubbo Post Office, established in 1848 with the present post office built in 1886. A two-horse coach, blasting a coaching horn (by regulation), serviced the post office twice weekly. Cobb & Co took over the run between Wellington, Dubbo and Bourke in 1872;
◦Serisier’s Store, once owned by Jean Emile Serisier who purchased the first Crown Land in the village of Dubbo in 1850 and lends his name to one of the city’s main bridges (built in 1987). Serisier was the Postmaster in 1853 and conducted the post office from his store. In 1865, he erected a brick and stone building on this site, however both it and the residence above it burned down in 1880;
◦Western Plains Zoo, which contains an original Cobb & Co shed within its extensive grounds.
•Minore Hotel, commonly known as Dickygundy, was a Cobb & Co changing station that opened for business in 1872 but may have been a shanty before then. About 6km from the hotel is Minore Falls, which was a Cobb & Co crossing on the Macquarie River. Today, it’s a lovely picnic spot with a wide beach and shallow crossing.
•Murrumbidgerie was a 240,000-acre property owned by James Rutherford, head of Cobb & Co enterprises, and was one of the first settlements in the Dubbo area. The property featured a homestead made of pine and rammed earth, a sandstone coach house, slab huts, a blacksmith’s shop and a racecourse; two fig trees and a clump of acacias mark the site of the original settlement. The coaches crossed the Macquarie River at Bril Bral Falls, on the Old Dubbo road. Part of Murrumbidgerie was proclaimed a village in 1888 and renamed Wongarbon in 1908, after a local Aboriginal tribe (‘wonga’ was the Aboriginal name for the wild pigeons that were prevalent in the area). The village’s Caledonian Hotel was originally called the Murrumbidgerie Inn.
•Whylandra Crossing, about 13km west of Dubbo, was another Cobb & Co crossing. There were once two hotels here that catered for Cobb & Co passengers.
Dubbo Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Macquarie Street and Newell Highway, Dubbo
Phone (02) 6884 1422