- Taralga, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Taralga
state = nsw
lga = Upper Lachlan Shire
postcode = 2580
pop = est. 400
maxtemp = 18.0
mintemp = 6.0
rainfall = 804.4
stategov = Goulburn
fedgov = Hume
Taralga is a small village located in the
Upper LachlanShire, New South Wales, Australia. It is located at the intersection of the Goulburn-Oberon Roadand the Laggan-Taralga Road. It is accessible from Oberon to the north, Mittagong to the east, Goulburn to the south, and Crookwell to the west. Taralga is located relatively close to the famous Wombeyan Caves. It is a very cold area and is frequently affected by snow in the winter months.
The population of Taralga has fluctuated over time - from 100 or so in 1863, to over 700 thirty years later, followed by a decline to half that size immediately after the depression of the 1890s. By the mid 1950s it had regained almost its largest size, but today houses around 400 people.
The area around Taralga was the traditional land of the "Burra Burra" peoples, a warlike tribe who often clashed with neighbouring tribes. Although no major clashes with the Europeans seem to have been recorded, nor tales of collaboration with them, their last great gathering or
corroboreeseems to have been in the 1830s after which they are not recorded by European history. Accordingly, they would have been pushed further west to less fertile plains after the disease brought by the Europeans. Tales of giving poisoned bread to Aborigines by settlers are also founded to be from this regionFact|date=May 2007. Charles Throsbypassed through Taralga in 1819 journeyed from Cowpastures to Bathurst in search of new grazing lands. By 1824, John Macarthur's son James and his nephew Hannibal had established themselves in the Taralga region where they helped pioneer Australia's wool industry. A private village was established on land donated by James Macarthur and cleared by convicts in order to house and service members of the Macarthur family and their employees.cite web
title =Macarthur, James (1798 - 1867)
Australian National University
Australian Dictionary of Biography
accessdate = 2007-02-21] The town's main street, Orchard Street, is located on the site of Macarthur's orchard.
An 1828 census revealed a small number of residents at Taralga suggesting the village was already under way by that time, although there were probably no more than a few buildings. [cite web
title =Mulwaree Shire Community Heritage Study, 2002 - 2004
Goulburn Mulwaree Council
accessdate = 2007-02-05 ]
For the first few decades of being colonised, most of the settlers were convicts assigned to the landowners and it was they who largely cleared the land, built the huts and houses, and ran the farms. Taralga started to look like a town after the first few houses were built in the 1840s.
Taralga was officially established as a town in the 1860s, with a school in 1857, and churches—
Presbyterianin 1861, "St. Ignatius" Roman Catholicin 1864, "St. Lukes" Anglican in 1866 and Methodist(now the Historical Society building) in 1868. There were a number of stores, smiths and artisans' businesses and two hotels recorded in 1866. There was a large increase in population in Taralga after the 1860s, caused mainly by the gold rushbringing new migrants to the area.
A railway to Taralga opened in 1926 and closed in 1957. It branched from the Crookwell line at the locality of Roslyn. The line has been lifted and little remains of the formation [cite web | last = Bozier | first = Rolfe | coaauthors = "et al" | work = NSWrail.net | title = Taralga Line | url=http://www.nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:taralga | accessdate = 2007-05-05 ] .
While the population of Taralga declined after the gold rush period, the charm and character of the town certainly did not. Today there are many historically significant buildings to be observed throughout the town. Small vineyards and beautiful countryside can be found in and around the town. There are two heritage listed hotels if one becomes parched, or the sports club with lawn bowling greens and tennis courts. The town also hosts the annual "Australia Day Rodeo" and the Taralga Tigers Rugby Club always attracts big crowds during the Winter months.
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