Day Two: Bega

European settlement started in the Bega Valley in 1829. Permanent settlement was established in 1834 when the Imlay brothers acquired 65000 acres of squatters land.

By 1844 drought and depression saw the foreclosure of the Imlay properties by the Walker brothers and their bankers. The Walkers took ‘Kameruka’ leaving George and Alexander Imlay with ‘Tarraganda’ which Peter Imlay purchase in 1847 after his brothers’ deaths in 1846-7.

In December 1848 the Bermondsey disembarked immigrants at Twofold Bay, Eden to work at the Kameruka and Tarraganda estates. In March 1855 the Ceasar brought German migrants from Hamburg to work at Kameruka.

May 1851 saw 17 people die in the flood. The flood forced a move to higher ground on the southern side of the river and the new town was founded.

Sheep were originally the mainstay of the Bega Valley but they gave way to dairying and pig farming. Butter and Cheese was produced and shipped to Sydney, Melbourne and England. The NSW Creamery Butter Company opened at North Bega in 1894 but closed in 1899. The Bega Co-operative Creamery Company opened in 1900 and still operates to this day employing over 600 people.

Extract from A Short History of the Bega Valley

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