Parkes turns 147 years young on December 1

ANOTHER YEAR OLDER: On December 1, 1873, the township was officially named Parkes, in honour of the then Premier of the Colony of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes. Photo: Submitted
ANOTHER YEAR OLDER: On December 1, 1873, the township was officially named Parkes, in honour of the then Premier of the Colony of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes. Photo: Submitted

On Tuesday, December 1, Parkes turned 147 years young!

"Today Parkes celebrates its 147th birthday and to mark this milestone, Parkes Shire councillors joined in a cutting of a birthday cake in the Council Chambers," Mayor of Parkes Shire Ken Keith OAM said on Tuesday.

"December 1, 1873, is the date the township was officially named Parkes, in honour of the then Premier of the Colony of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes."

The Parkes area remained relatively unsettled until 1862 when the discovery of gold led to a hastily erected 'canvas' town known as "Currajong".

It accommodated thousands of hopeful gold seekers.

A further discovery of gold in 1871 at the nearby Bushman's Gold Mine helped the district to become one of the richest gold producing areas in the colony.

In 1873, the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, showed interest in the district by visiting the diggings.

On December 1, 1873 the name of the settlement was changed from Bushmans to Parkes in honour of the great statesman.

Sir Henry Parkes visited Parkes in 1887 and gave the town the Fontana Bust, which is displayed at Parkes Shire Council.

In that same year Parkes changed the name of its main street to 'Clarinda', which was lady Parkes' Christian name.