Darbys Falls – Early Days

The story is still in preparation. In the meantime some detail and photographs below.

See also other Darbys Falls items, including Gordon Elliott’s account, as well as Margaret Harris’ Diary, in the Index to the right.

The location of the original Darbys Falls on the Lachlan River on the bottom right of the map, near the junction with Milburn Creek. The land there was settled there by the Jordan and Markham families in the early 1830s. The first Post Office was established by the Jordans in 1875. Darbys Falls was moved to ‘Daley’s Springs’ in the top left hand of the map in about 1885.


Present day Darbys Falls is noted on the upper left side of this cadastral map. However this location dates only from the mid 188os when the Darbys Falls school was established at the site of Daley’s Springs. The original Darbys Falls is also noted on this map….in the lower right hand corner near the junction of Milburn creek and the Lachlan River.



The First Darbys Fall or Falls.

The first of the two early settlers at and around the site of the first Darbys Falls was Edmund Markham (1802 -1866)(“Mangles” 1822) in the very early 1830s. The precise date and circumstances are unknown though it is likely that he arrived there in 1830 shortly after resigning his short membership of the Sydney Police. The other early settler, at about the same time was  (1795-1871)(“Boyne” 1826) who later, probably after 1841, took up land in his own name surrounding the area set aside for a “Village Reserve”  (See Box below)  This is the area which later was designated Darbys Falls.


The earliest reference I have found to the location, described as Darbys Fall, not Falls, was in the Bathurst Free Press of 14 November 1861, referring to the area of the junction of Milburn Creek with the Lachlan River.:“……….at the lower end where the two channels join again, the River can be crossed with a dray at what is called Darby’s Fall. The banks are very straight and steep, probably some 25 or 30 feet. “

Richard Survey 1836 (Book 456 NSW Archives AO2/5073)

While there is no evidence that any Crown facilities were erected there, it appears to have been the point where travellers could cross the Lachlan. The origin of the name is unknown, though the use of the term “Darbys Fall” may suggest a fall from the  so called cliff opposite the crossing. On the other hand, the term “Darbys Falls” suggests a waterfall, a feature not evident there today?Nicholas Jordan’s eldest son J N J Jordan, (1833-1917) and born on Milburn Creek, and whose home was adjacent to the crossing,  was the first postmaster. My father wrote some years ago that “….he was the first Postmaster and that the Post Office was opened at the Rusty Hut on July 1st 1875 and later moved to what is known as ‘Jack Anthony’s Place”.” The only other reference to Jordan as Postmaster or to the Post Office, was the Bathurst Free Press in 1878 reporting a case re money stolen by a local youth from mail originating from Jordan’s Darbys Falls Post Office.


The 1903 Opening of the Darbys Falls Bridge over the Lachlan River in 1903.

The  Opening of the Darbys Falls Bridge over the Lachlan River in 1903.


Notations on reverse of bridge photograph:

Notations on reverse of bridge photograph:


Bridge at Darbys falls NSW [Canowindra Star and Woodstock Recorder Friday 2 May 1902.]

Bridge at Darbys falls NSW [Canowindra Star and Woodstock Recorder Friday 2 May 1902.]












The original Darbys Falls Catholic Church at the site of the present day cemetery.

The “new” Catholic Church, now converted and used as a family home.

Shop,House, Post Office at Darbys Falls Ca 1950.

Darbys Falls from the Air 1





The shop at Darbys Falls pre-war.