Re-enactment of Cobb & Co. Coach RoutePrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Lachlan Turner

The plaque commemorates the re-enactment of a Cobb and Company coach route in May 2002 during the "Year of the Outback".  It was organised to commemorate the importance of the passenger and mail service conducted by Cobb and Company to the communities along the route. The plaque is erected at the site of the former Grudgery Hotel. 

The re-enactment was organised by David Walker of Forbes, who was assisted by Len Auld and Ben Hall.  A descendant of James Rutherford, who was the owner of Cobb and Company, and historian David Rutherford also attended the re-enactment.

Cobb and Company was established in Melbourne in 1853 by a group of immigrant Americans with Freeman Cobb being the primary person in the establishment of the new coach industry.  The coaches were imported from the United States of America, and these were a better vehicle than the English coachis that were being used in the Australian colonies at the time.  The business was sold as a consortium with James Rutherford as the manager.

The Cobb and Company name was retained and its influence spread through eastern Australia.  It moved into New South Wales in 1861 with Bathurst as its headquarters.  During the height of the enterprise, Cobb and Company utilised a team of approximately 19,000 horses.  During his 50 years as manager, James Rutherford bought out other coaching operators, but allowed some to operate under the Cobb and Company umbrella.  He also purchased many land holdings in Queensland and New South Wales using the name of Cobb and Company.


Address:Bedgerabong Road, Bedgerabong, 2871
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.365638
Long: 147.728283
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 12th May, 2002
Front Inscription

Cobb & Co
Forbes to Hillston

Grudgery Hotel - Bedgerebong

This is the second of ten (10) plaques erected along the mail and passenger route from Forbes to Hillston at the sites of change stations and inns, to commemorate the re-enactment by Cobb & Co coach owners, David Walker, Len Auld and Ben Hall, who followed this route "Down the Lachlan Years Ago", "When Cobb & Co Was King".

As part of the Year of the Outback 2002, it also honours the men and women who handled the mail and looked after travellers at these ten particular locations, and also the hundreds of others involved, at a time when horse transport was the norm.

In 1877 William and Harriet Hodges left Bathurst by wagonette and horseback with their 12 children for Gudgery at Bedgerebong on the Lachlan River.  They spent the rest of their lives at Bedgerebong where they opened the Gudgery Hotel and later bought properties for their sons around the area.

They are buried in the Gudgery Private Cemetery on the banks of the Lachlan River behind where the Gudgery Hotel was located.

Descendent of William and Harriet are still on the land around Bedgerebong today.

Alister Lockhart
Mayor Forbes Shire Council

12 May, 2002

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au