Welcoming party on the road in front of the Public School. The occasion was the visit of the NSW Governor, Sir Harry Rawson in 1907.

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WELCOME to the Tomerong Local History web site. This site presents a glimpse into the past of this New South Wales south coast village with a surprising and rich history. Each page, accessed from the menu at left, contains a snippet of the documented history. Much more information is available so should this site not satisfy your interest then go to the More Information page to learn how you can find out more.


Tomerong is a small village located 20 kilometres south of Nowra between the Princes Highway and Jervis Bay. The purpose of this site is to provide an overview of its unique and long history. Each topic provides an informative and factual overview of the growth and development of the village.

The village of Tomerong was not a government or private town. It developed because of its location on the Shoalhaven to Ulladulla Road, its proximity to Jervis Bay and through the community spirit and perseverance of its pioneers.


The first Tomerong land sale occurred at the Nowra Courthouse in April 1855. Twenty years earlier, land around the shores of Jervis Bay had been granted. The owners included the Colonial Secretary, Edward Deas Thomson, who selected 2560 acres on the south bank of Moona Moona Creek, and John Lamb, a former naval officer who became a member of the NSW Legislative Council. Lambs property became the Erowal Estate.


In 1857 John Parnell, one of the original land purchasers from two years earlier, opened a hotel at Tomerong that operated almost continuously for the next 54 years. Its position on the Main South Coast Road and the attraction of country horserace meetings meant Tomerong became a focal point for travellers south of Terara and Nowra.


By 1862 the village was evolving and boasted a school, post office and general store, all of which have a rich and interesting history. Fifteen years later a Church Hall was erected, the use of which was shared amongst the denominations and community groups. Family names such as Bryce, Parnell, Suffolk, Barham, McGuire, Ganderton, Watt and others featured among these and later organisations.


The establishment of the timber industry in the 1870s meant sawmills and timber getting would feature prominently in the areas history for the next 100 years. The result was that the areas declining population, mainly caused by the difficulty in farming the land, was reversed.


In 1907 Tomerong became the centre of local government when the new Clyde Shire built its council chambers in the village. This period saw land speculation as planners and commissions investigated the possibilities of a federal port at Jervis Bay and connecting railways between the port, the capital and the south coast line. The Shire was amalgamated with the Shoalhaven Shire despite local discontent, thirty years later.


The long awaited School of Arts was built in 1926 and, over 75 years later, it is one of the few remaining halls still owned and operated by the community and not by council. A bush fire brigade was established in 1939 but the war years saw little occur until 1947.


Recent years have seen the end of the local timber industry as sawmills have consolidated and closed. The opening of the bypass in 1995 has changed the village environment and has led to an increasing demand for residential properties. Despite over 150 years of settlement, Tomerong still retains its village charm and community spirit.



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Since July 2007