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

The plaque commemorates the re-enactment of a Cobb & Co. 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 & Co. 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 & Co., and historian David Rutherford also attended the re-enactment.

Cobb & Co. 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 & Co. 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 & Co. 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 & Co. umbrella.  He also purchased many land holdings in Queensland and New South Wales using the name of Cobb & Co.


Address:Booberoi Road, Former Cugong Hotel Site, Euabalong, 2877
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.016191
Long: 146.692906
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 16th May, 2002
Front Inscription

Cobb & Co
Forbes to Hillston

Cugong Hotel

This is the sixth 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 Cugong Hotel was built in 1886, situated some 150 metres sooth of this site, where the big peppercorn trees now stand.  It was opened by the famous mail contractor, Cobb & Co coach driver and father of fifteen, Patrick (Paddy) Byrnes who remained here until his death in 1900 at the aged of 94.  

He and two daughters were buried here, but their remains were transferred to Lake Cargellogo in 1926, to be placed in the Byrnes family vault.  Paddy Byrnes first came to Cugong in 1840 as overseer to T Tulley.  His family had many hotels and his grandson Boy Byrnes of Euabalong is here today.

Terry Brady
Mayor Lachlan Shire Council

Lilliane Brady
Mayor Cobar Shire Council

16 May, 2002

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