'Portland' is named after the Isle of Portland, Dorset, on the South Coast of England. The Portland district was occupied by the Wiradjuri people prior to white settlement. In 1828 Peter McPherson took up a grant of 260ha at Piper's Flat. In the 1830's he used limestone from the area to build a house for his son at Limestone Flat.
At this time William Russell also took up land near Portland. In 1893 Thomas Murray selected a portion of land on what was later to become the site of Portland. He established the first lime kiln on the corner of Lime and Villiers Streets.
In 1883 the railway arrived, with the station known as Cullen Siding. Portland's growth escalated from this time.
In 1824 James Walker took up a 2000 acre grant within the area known today as Wallerawang. At the time this area had the aboriginal name of
"Waller-owang' - meaning - 'a place of plenty wood and water'.
James Walker established "Wallerowang House" and began using the land for sheep and cattle grazing.
In James Walker’s time the estate of Wallerawang became a major stopover for travelers between Sydney, Mudgee and Bathurst. Charles Darwin was such a guest in 1836 and in his writings describing the wildlife he mentions a number of platypus.
Edwin Barton married James Walker's youngest daughter, Georgina and after James and then Robina Walker's deaths in 1856 and 1867 'Wallerowang House" was renamed Barton Park in 1867.
HISTORIC BUILDINGS GALLERY - Click any image to view
Cullen Bullen was also occupied by the Wiradjuri people prior to European settlement.
Robert Dulhunty took the first land grant of 2,000 acres where he built a homestead and grazed sheep and cattle. Dulhunty chose 'Cullen Bullen' from the language of the local Aborigines. It seems to means 'lyre bird' because it is believed they were common in the area. The first land grant at Ben Bullen just 9 km north of Cullen Bullen was also taken by Robert Dulhunty.
The village of Cullen Bullen seems to have developed in the 1840's as a stopping place on the road to Mudgee. With the discovery of gold at Hill End and Sofala traffic was growing.
The Cullen Bullen Lime and Cement co. commenced operations and the first cement making kilns west of the mountains were built in the early 1890's. In 1884 what was known as Cullen School opened. It moved to its present site in 1895.
Portland was gazetted as a village on 3 march 1894 and declared a town in 1906.
The cement works opened in 1902.
It is estimated that almost 18 million tons limestone were quarried up until the works ceased operating in 1991.
Georgina Barton funded the construction of the St John the Evangelist Church - designed by Edmund Blackett and built by George Donald in 1881. This church is one of the last major churches in NSW built entirely by private philanthropy.
James Walker's window Robina established a small stone school in 1860. The Old Wallerawang School is still standing but was transformed into cabin style accommodation in 1994.
It was the arrival of the railway in 1870
that brought industrialisation and more settlement. A town developed adjacent to Wallerawang station and until the line to Bathurst was established in 1876 all passengers alighted at Wallerawang to board a Cobb & Co coach to either Bathurst or Mudgee.
The old Wallerawang station was built in 1870 and was once one of the most important junctions on the main western line.