Located on Cobb Hwy between Hay and Wilcannia
Ivanhoe is a small town in outback NSW between Condobolin and Broken Hill on the western railway line The town has a hospital Central School post office pub club caravan park and weekly train service from Sydney Arriving Monday afternoon and Departing Broken Hill On Tuesday morning for the return journey. Population is roughly 200 people
Where is it?: Ivanhoe is located 826 km west of Sydney via the Great and Mid Western Highways and 90 metres above sea-level it has some 500 residents.
A good introduction to the town can be had by following the eight signposted locations on the Ivanhoe Heritage Trail. Each location offers a detailed description and history of (1) the arrival of the railway (2) the Government Tank (3) the Post Office (4) Bushrangers (5) Watering Holes (6) Industrial trouble (7) the Cobb Highway and (8) Reminiscences. All sites, except the railway station, are located within a block of the main street.
The town’s name probably came from Williamson who named it after Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe. Williamson was a Scot and there were a number of Scots in the area. They looked to their country of origin (and its most famous novelist) for other local place names – Mossgiel, Glenro, Waverley (another novel by Scott) and Abbotsford (Scott’s birthplace).
A telegraph station opened in 1883, by which time there were about 50 residents, a blacksmith’s shop, two hotels, two stores, the telegraph office and a few cottages. The town was a change station (where coach horses were changed) for Cobb & Co. by 1884. A police station opened the following year and a school in 1889. Ivanhoe was proclaimed a village in 1890. The arrival of the railway in 1925, and the completion of the line from Sydney to Broken Hill in 1927, was a definite boost to the town.
There is little information available on the local Aborigines. However it is clear that there was, in general, intense and violent conflict over European settlement of the far west of NSW until the 1850s and 1860s. On the shore of Boolaboolka Lake, to the east, a group of whites shot a entire tribe and left the skeletons to bleach in the sun.
The Carowra Tank Aboriginal Settlement was later established under the supervision of the Mossgiel police and a local resident recalls no conflict from this period. In the 1930s the tank dried up and the Aborigines moved away although some have, over time, made their way back
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