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:Kidman Way & Lachlan River Road , Wallanthery , 2675
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.345467
Long: 145.835744
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 22nd May, 2002
Front Inscription

Cobb & Co
Forbes to Hillston

Willanthrey Hotel

This is the ninth 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 Willanthrey Hotel and store was started in 1862 and was on the mail route from Forbes to Hillston.  The store was still standing in 1963, but was later removed to "Old Sydney Town" at Gosford.  The hotel burnt down in 1896, while conducted by a Mrs Matheson, whose husband was a blacksmith in Hillston.

Athol Roberts
Mayor Carathool Shire Council

22 May, 2002

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