Today I took a trip to Rankins Springs.
John Oxley first passed this area in 1817, he described the area as barren and desolate, Oxley doubted if civilised man would pass this way again.
The area has an interesting history although the origins of the towns name remains unknown, boasting a large Black Cockatoo population and displaying art in there honor.
Between 1895 – 1912 Chinese men were hired by store keeper Sam Yett and his sub contractors Ah Yett, Wong Gooey and Ah Sam to ring bark trees for squatters in the area.
The Chinese camps around Rankins Springs are believed to of been occupied for over 20 years giving the area a significant Chinese history.
The end of WW1 saw land around Rankins Springs being split up for settlers blocks. The blocks were unfenced, waterless and heavily timbered with Mallee and Box trees.
In 1922 settlers started arriving in the area, their families arriving soon after.
Rankins Springs become connected to Sydney by rail in 1923, having the service twice a week. The train would leave Sydney at 8pm and arrive in Rankins Springs the following day between 3pm and 4pm. Livestock, produce and wool was taken back to Sydney and sold through the markets. The rail service ceased in the 1970’s with the vast improvement of roads and vehicles. The water tank and the turn table is still on the edge of town today.
Hardships were many and by the 1940’s many families had left the district. In these years British and Irish immigrants had made a huge contribution to the development of the area.
In 1965 electricity was connected to the town and gradually spread throughout the entire district. 1981 saw the opening of the stock and domestic water supply finally solving the towns water problems.
Rankins Springs is definitely worth a look.