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 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:Bathurst Street, adjacent Royal Hotel , Condobolin, 2877
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.088518
Long: 147.148603
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 14th May, 2002
Front Inscription

Cobb & Co
Forbes to Hillston

Royal Hotel Condobolin

This is the fourth 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.

The original Royal Hotel was built at 80 Bathurst Street, Condobolin by David Tasker, and was the venue for Cobb & Co to feed and stable their horses.  The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1883.

The second Royal Hotel was opened in 1886 and was said to be the largest hotel in the west that was used as a Cobb & Co booking agent.  A dust, hail and rain storm destroyed the hotel in November 7, 1928.

Apart from the period of the Boer War where David Tasker Jnr served, the licence was held by Snr and Jnr David Henry Tasker from 1876 to 1922.  The third Royal Hotel was built by Toohey & Co in 1939 with Harry Hoare as licensee.

This plaque is dedicated to Cobb & Co, who used Royal Hotels 1 and 2 as change station and booking office, and to David Henry Taske Snr and Jnr, both Condobolin Mayors and Shire Presidents 

Terry Brady
Mayor Lachlan Shire Council

14 May, 2002

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