Singleton Local History
Local History of Singleton, NSW
Located in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia, the town of Singleton has a rich and fascinating history. The land on which Singleton now stands was originally inhabited by the Wanaruah people, who had a deep spiritual connection to the land and its wildlife. Their culture was based on hunting and gathering, and they used the local flora and fauna for medicinal and food purposes.
The first European explorer to discover the area was John Howe, a former convict, who stumbled upon the valley in 1819. However, it was not until 1820 that the first European settlement was established, with a grant of land made to George and John Single in recognition of their contribution to the development of the colony. It is from their names that the town of Singleton derives its name.
During the 1820s and 1830s, Singleton grew rapidly and became a bustling centre of industry and commerce. It was a major hub for the wool trade, with many wealthy pastoralists owning extensive sheep stations in the surrounding countryside. The town also had a thriving agricultural industry, producing wheat, maize, and tobacco.
In 1860, Singleton was linked to Sydney by rail, providing a major boost to the town's economy and encouraging further growth and development. With the arrival of the railway, it became much easier to transport goods and people to and from Singleton, helping to establish the town as a major transport and logistics hub for the wider region.
During the early 20th century, Singleton continued to prosper and grow, with the establishment of new industries such as coal mining and manufacturing. However, the town was also impacted by two major floods in 1955 and 1971, which caused widespread damage and disruption to the local community.
Today, Singleton is a vibrant and diverse town, with a population of around 22,000 people. It is home to a wide range of businesses, schools, and community organisations, and is a popular destination for tourists seeking to explore the region's rich history and natural beauty. The town is also known for its annual agricultural show, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Despite the many changes that have taken place in Singleton over the centuries, the town remains deeply connected to its past and is proud to honour the legacy of its early settlers and Indigenous inhabitants. Through its museums, landmarks, and festivals, Singleton continues to celebrate its unique history and cultural heritage, ensuring that future generations can learn from and appreciate the town's rich and fascinating past.