Ross Cleary’s description of the “new” sign erected near the Travellers Rest Inn Monument, Icely Street as “interpretive” is quite correct, although someone’s particular version. The sign appeared one morning erected by a Cabonne Council worker. It is still a mystery as to who wrote the text, presumably with the blessing of Council, which owns the Monument.
It is disappointing that despite several authenticated articles printed in Orange City Life and local media were not studied first, as the text now on the sign detracts and distracts from the true historical significance of the actual site and role played by the Inn, built by Thomas Icely in 1846, as well as that of the crossing of the river by Governor Fitzroy, 26 November 1846.
It is unfortunate that the sign is now the main and only object of the attention of visitors to the town, thus ignoring the Monument. Several tourist buses in the last couple of weeks showed little interest in the actual Monument itself. Of significance and yet ignored is the fact that in 1834 the Belubula River was deemed to be the western boundary of the Colony of NSW.
Country west of the river (at Canowindra) was still Terra Nullius, as a result of James Cook’s claiming only the east coast of Australia for the Crown. No land was granted, able to be sold or leased. It was however occupied by squatters and other nefarious characters who caused much trouble.
The first Land Grant, 20 February 1838 was made to Thomas Icely by Kenneth Snodgrass Governor of NSW, of 640 acres, known as Edgecomb, on which the Inn was built on a site west of the fence in Icely Street, now denoted by the Monument.