Orange was proclaimed a village on 18 November 1846. The area had been known as Blackman’s Swamp, presumably after John Blackman the Chief Constable of Bathurst. The village was named by Major Thomas Mitchell in hounour of Prince William of Orange which whom he served during the Penisular War in Spain and who later bacame King of Holland.
The first payable gold in Australia was discovered at Ophir near Orange in 1851, thousands of people flocked to find their fortune. With the discovery of gold came the development of Orange with several landmark buildings established. Grand stately homes such as Duntryleague, Croagh Patrick Mena, and Walaroi Mansion are a reminder of the prosperity of the region.
Things to see and do
Lake Canobolas was originally built as Meadow Creek reservoir in 1917. The Pump House contains the equipment that was used to pump water from Lake Canobolas to Orange from 1918-1917.
The Pump House contains three separate pieces of equipment. Manufactures were Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd.of Grantham and Stockport, England. The plant was dispatched from England on 24 February 1915 for Melbourne. It is a double cylinder suction gas engine and was the last
engine built by Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd prior to World War 1 when the plant was was given over to the war effort. The Pump House is currently undergoing some minor restoration work.
The Pump House is situated on the eastern side of Lake Canobolas and is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Cook Park consists of four and a half hectares of low lying swampy ground that narrowly escaped subdivision for housing. In 1873 it was set aside as a public reserve, and three years later some clearing begun and a fence erected. In 1878 an assortment of trees was obtained from the Sydney Botanical Gardens. It was named Cook Park in April 1882, presumable after the explorer Captain James Cook.
Gardens and walks were laid out, an ornamental lake excavated in about 1880, and the fountain was presented by James Dalton the following year. Other notable historic features of Cook Park include the fernery, the Blowes Conservatory, the Frank Mulholland Sunken Garden and Bastick Cottage, named after the long time caretaker of the Park, and is no the Park Guidry. Pick up a self guided walking tour from the Orange Visitor Information Centre.
The pioneer Cemetery originated from the Frederick’s Valley Government Stock Station c1820s-1830s. Chinamen’s Bend was named after Chinese market gardeners who leased the adjacent land in the 1880s and 1890s. The cemetery’s headstones date back to the early 1840s.