Moruya is an important regional administrative town and a treasure trove of Australian colonial history. VIP Heritage Tours offers a glimpse into the beginnings of the nation through the historic buildings, locations and artifacts that are well preserved in and around Moruya.
The first Colonial settlers to Moruya were Francis Flanagan in 1828 and John Hawden in 1831. Local streets keep their names alive and while many buildings of that early era have disappeared, there are dozens of well preserved Moruya homes and businesses from the mid 19th Century to be seen within walking distance of the centre of town.
The town was named after the Aboriginal term ‘Mherroyah’ or ‘resting place for Black Swans’ and the original settlement began on the northern bank of the Moruya River as travel south was only possible by punt until the first bridge was opened in 1876. The main street is called Vulcan Street due to the predominance of blacksmiths at that time.
Buildings in Moruya were constructed in the 19th Century of local hardwood, granite and bricks brought as ballast from Sydney until the first clay bricks were made in Moruya by Robert Little of Dwyers Creek in 1875. Emmott House the site of the present day museum is an excellent example of locally made bricks.
Along with Broulee, Bateman(s) Bay and Narooma, Moruya was an important seaport town supplying agricultural produce and timber to a fast growing Sydney while receiving building materials and vital stores in return. The discovery of alluvial gold in the mid 19th Century saw Moruya and the surrounding district grow and prosper. Moruya later became an important source of high quality granite for nation’s public buildings including the Cenotaph in Martin Place and pillons for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Moruya’s prosperous future was assured with the opening of a road between Braidwood and the coast in 1856 that also saw Nelligen become an important port on the Clyde River. Located inland from Moruya is Coman’s Mine that retains remnants of the original gold crusher and rail line used to carry and process ore.
Information for this blog was sourced from the Moruya and Distict Historical Society which operates a comprehensive museum which is open to the public from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.