Cobar Local History
Cobar is a small town located in the central west region of New South Wales, Australia. Its name is derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning "red earth" or "burnt earth", which refers to the town's copper mining history.
The first European to explore the area was Charles Sturt in 1829, but it wasn't until the discovery of copper in 1869 that the town was established. The Great Cobar Copper Mining Company was formed in 1870 and a large influx of miners and their families followed, causing the population of the town to boom.
By the 1880s, Cobar had become one of the largest copper mining centres in Australia, with several mines operating in the area. The town also had a thriving business district, with many stores, hotels, and other establishments catering to the needs of the miners.
However, the boom was short-lived and by the early 1900s, the copper mines were in decline. The town's population dwindled and many businesses closed their doors.
During World War I, Cobar became an important centre for the supply of copper to the war effort. The mines were reopened and the town experienced another boom, but once again, the prosperity was short-lived.
In the 1950s and 60s, Cobar experienced a revival as new mines were established and the town's economy began to grow once again. The population increased and new businesses opened, including a large meat processing plant that became a major employer in the region.
Today, Cobar is a thriving rural community with a population of around 4,000 people. The town has a rich history that is still visible in its many heritage buildings and monuments. Some of the most notable include the Great Cobar Heritage Centre, the Old Court House, and the Miner's Memorial.
Cobar is also home to several annual events that celebrate the town's history and culture, including the Cobar Show, which has been held since 1895, and the Festival of the Miner's Ghost, which honours the town's mining heritage.
In recent years, Cobar has faced some challenges, including drought and a decline in the mining industry. However, the town remains resilient and continues to work towards a bright future.