Tom Bryant launches new Windellama history

NEW HISTORY: Author Tom Bryant is launching his new book on the history of Windellama this Sunday near the Windellama Hall.

NEW HISTORY: Author Tom Bryant is launching his new book on the history of Windellama this Sunday near the Windellama Hall.

Windellama is celebrating its 200th birthday this weekend with the launch of a book of the area’s history. 

History author Tom Bryant has researched and written the book called Some Windellama History. 

The book launch and celebration on Sunday, March 18 will coincide with the Windellama monthly markets.

The day will start at 10am with the unveiling of a large map of the path that the explorers took in 1818.

Mr Bryant said the book is the culmination of over 20 years of research.

The early part of the book details the explorations of James Meehan, Charles Throsby, Hamilton Hume and others, who passed through Windellama in 1818.

The book also contains fascinating information on the district’s early settlers, as well as the history of the various schools, postal services, hotels, mining activity and bushrangers. Many well-known district names are within its pages. 

Governor Macquarie wanted to establish an overland route from Sydney to Jervis Bay. In 1818, he sent a party made up of Deputy Surveyor General James Meehan, Charles Throsby, Hamilton Hume and others to try to find a way there but the main obstacle was the Shoalhaven River, which they had to cross.

“The party made several attempts to cross the river but failed. On March 26 they had progressed to Caarne in the Bungonia area and here it was decided that the party would divide,” Mr Bryant said.

The group led by Charles Throsby retraced their steps and succeeded in crossing the Shoalhaven near Kangaroo Valley and reached Jervis Bay on April 3, 1818.

“Meanwhile, Meehan, Hume and others, now convinced that they could not cross the river, continued on through areas now known as Inverary, Jacqua and on  April 2, 1818 set foot on the Windellama area. They camped for the night near where the Buburba Creek enters the Windellama Creek,” he said.

The Historical Society was successful in gaining a grant from the Royal Australian Historical Society to publish the book. The grants were made available by Create NSW and the New South Wales Government.