23 Apr 1989 - Braidwood Marks 150 Years

Braidwood marks 150 years

It is bigger than the bicentennial as far Braidwood is concerned, though it may not warrant a royal visit or even an expensive fireworks display. But Braidwood is 150 ears old and the town intends to party for the next week. Braidwood is home to almost 1000 people and a centre for more than 2000 others living in the shire. Just an hour's drive away, Braidwood has long been for Canberra an ideal stop-over on the way to the coast. Monday is the 150th anniversary of the proclaiming of Braidwood as a town.

Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, a surgeon-superintendent of convicts on transport ships, was the pioneer landowner in the area. Part of his land grant, Braidwood Farm, was selected for a village and surveyed by James Larmer in 1839. The town was gazetted on April 24, 1839, and the first town blocks were sold in 1840. In 1851, when gold was discovered in surrounding areas, Braidwood boomed. Thousands of miners moved into the area and hotels cropped up on most street corners. But as the gold disappeared, so did the miners.

To celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary, the town held a "mini-festival" in Ryrie Park and a street parade yesterday. Today, an ecumenical church service will be held at 10am and will be followed by a picnic and "old-fashioned" games and sport day at the Braidwood recreation ground.

Tomorrow, Mrs Lillian Archbold, the great-great-grandaughter of Dr Wilson, will give an address during celebrations in Ryrie Park and a time capsule will be buried in the school grounds. A 15-square metre birthday cake will be cut and Graham Bond, of Aunty Jack fame, will perform after the ceremony. A colonial-theme birthday dinner will be held in the evening. Other activities have been planned and further information is available from the Tallaganda Shire Council on (048) 42 2225.1