MOST of the information on this site is drawn from the resources compiled for the local history book of the village, “From Bullocks to Bypass”.
This book traces the story of the village and its environs from the early days of settlement when farming was the main occupation. Much of the early history is also the history of the Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin area. Shortly after settlement a Hotel was constructed to cater for the highway travellers. This was followed by those essential facilities required for an isolated community; a government School, a Post Office and later, a Store. As the success of farming waned some of the settlers moved to other districts and village growth was stalled. The decline of the village was arrested by the capitalisation of the area’s abundant natural resource, timber. The timber industry provided employment for the locals for over 100 years. Tomerong’s importance grew as it became the headquarters for the newly-formed Clyde Shire Council and, soon after, land speculation increased as rumours of a Federal port and connecting railways flourished. The last thirty years have seen the end of the local timber industry and the removal of the highway, resulting in the tranquil village life of today.
This book includes the factual elements of a local history: details on the geography, the early exploration, settlement, communications, commerce, industry and local government. It traces the establishment of this community through its early settlers, how they were employed, and what community organisations they established. Wide use is made of primary sources from as early as 1855 and many quotations are provided from newspapers and interviews that add a human side to the story. The book provides a comprehensive view of how this village evolved.
Whilst ‘From Bullocks to Bypass’ has been written with the general public in mind, it has been meticulously sourced so that other local or family historians may build on their own research.
¨ Boxing day horse race meetings where the evening celebrations lasted until daylight.
¨ The tragic case of the first fatality in the village attributed to a motor vehicle.
¨ The victorious cricket teams of the 1930s.
¨ The dispute between the users of the Church Hall and the Temperance Society.
¨ Warne’s ‘Gold Saving Machine’.
¨ The colourful history of the hotel that closed just as it was beginning to receive community support.
¨ The successes and disappointments of the pioneering families and settlers.
¨ The hope and speculation produced by the proposed railways and Federal port.
¨ The sacrifice paid by our World War veterans.
¨ The ever present danger of bushfires, their effect and the story of the local brigade.
¨ How the locals entertained themselves prior to the electronic era.
¨ The eager desire to establish a school and the frank Inspectors’ reports from its early years.
¨ The failure of crops, the move towards dairy farming and the establishment of the Creamery Company.
¨ The early land sales and the impact of the Conditional Purchase laws.
¨ The Post Office petition where all the signatures were allegedly in the same handwriting.
¨ The visits of the NSW Governor and the Prince of Wales.
¨ The story of the first system of local government for the region that covered a vast area and had its headquarters based in the village.
¨ How the timber industry became a major factor in village life.
¨ Plus many more interesting facts and quotations.
The book was five years in the making. It includes 16 maps, charts and drawings, 43 photographs, many tables, 240 pages and almost 140,000 words. It contains an index, a chronological summary (dateline) and bibliography. The purchase price is $30 (plus postage & packing if applicable). It is also available from National, State and Regional libraries.
Many local histories are only ever published once, and in limited quantities, so be sure to obtain your copy. To purchase a copy contact the author;
C/o Tomerong Post Office
02 4443 4129
(+61 2 4443 4129)
Or email Tomerong Local History
The amount of research required and the information acquired for Tomerong’s local history meant that not all information could be presented in a book. Many photographs and maps are held and these are often displayed at the biennial Tomerong School Country Fair. The display contains over 300 photographs, many maps and also family history information. The book was launched on Saturday 5 May 2001 at the Tomerong School of Arts. All copies were sold, but a small reprint means new copies are now available. The pictures below are from the launch and the display.
NOTE: See the Contact & Links page for access to more historical photographs of Tomerong via our Tomerong Past site.