Bargo, New South Wales
New South Wales
|Population||4,393 (2016 census)|
|Location||100 km (62 mi) South-West of Sydney CBD|
It is situated between the township of Tahmoor (north) and the village of Yanderra (south), and accessible via the Hume Highway that links Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. It was previously known as West Bargo and Cobargo.
Bargo railway station was first opened on 19 July 1919 as West Bargo and then renamed in 1921 as Bargo. The station is part of the Main South Line and is served by NSW TrainLink's Southern Highlands Line. The original Bargo railway station building on the eastern side of the platform was destroyed by arson. Currently in use is a permanent demountable building.
Bargo's community facilities include a racetrack, tennis courts, sporting fields and skate park. Its commercial facilities include a hotel, motel, post office, a sports club, two small grocery stores, chemist, bakery, butcher, newsagent, liquor store, restaurants (including bistros at the pub and club), takeaway food, petrol station, pharmacy, car mechanic, two hairdressing salons and several other small businesses, including a used car dealership.
The earliest reference to Barago was noted as by George Caley in a letter to Sir Joseph Banks on 25 September 1807. The aborigines called the Bargo area Narregarang, meaning that the soil was not firm - a shaky place. Early explorers and convicts found getting through the Bargo area a difficult experience due to the thick scrub, explorers dubbing the tricky bush the Bargo Brush. In early Colonial times, 'Bargo Brush' became notorious among travelers for harboring 'bolters', convicts who had escaped from captivity and become bushrangers.
Bayley quotes William Riley, who passed through Bargo Brush on horseback in 1830:
"... a miserable, barren scrub, thickly wooded for eight miles; there having been so much rain lately this abominable part of the road was a continuation of bogs for eight miles." Soon the Brush, with its thickets for hideouts, became the lurking place for robbers and caused travel to become fraught with peril. The Sydney Gazette of 17 March 1832 reported the road as ". . . one uninterrupted morass"!
J. H. Heaton, under the heading 'Crimes and Criminals, Remarkable' lists "Desperate conflict between four police and eleven prisoners at Bargo Brush, N.S.W. Constable Raymond shot dead by a prisoner named James Crookwell, April 15, 1866."
Bargo is noted as being where the first recorded sightings of the lyrebird, koala and wombat took place by European settlers. Bargo is also the site of an infamous massacre in 1816, when settlers forced local Aborigines to walk off a big cliff and shot them if they refused. Bargo Police Station, now abandoned, is currently used as a doctors' surgery. The lock-ups remain behind the building. The patrol area of the Bargo Police Station included Pheasants Nest, Bargo, parts of Tahmoor and Yanderra.
Bargo has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Avon Dam Road: Nepean Dam
- Hume Highway: Wirrimbirra Sanctuary
- Main Southern railway 96.265 kms: Bargo railway viaduct
The Bargo township border runs from Bargo River Road, south along Bargo River to perpendicular with Tylers Road, along Tylers Road, then south along Silica Road to Remembrance Drive, North along the freeway to perpendicular with and along Dwyers to north along Arina Road and back to Bargo River.
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 4,393 people in Bargo.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.4% of the population.
- 82.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England at 4.5%.
- 89.2% of people only spoke English at home.
- The most common responses for religion were Anglican 28.9%, Catholic 28.0% and No Religion 22.6%.
Attractions & Local Business
Nepean and Avon Dams
Bargo is home to animal reserves like the Wirrimbirra Sanctuary, established by Thistle Harris in the 1960s, which offers bushland walks on well-maintained walking tracks, flora and fauna awareness programs, a small cafe, and a walk-in animal pen featuring wallabies.
Mermaid Pools and the Potholes
Mermaid Pools and the Potholes are located on the Wollondilly River and are open to the public for swimming.
Historically, Mermaid Pools was a local sacred aboriginal site for women. It is believed to be protected by spirits. In addition, the Potholes which is located near Mermaid Pools have been a local communal gathering point for summer swimming since early European Settlers and continues to be an attraction for local residents. The Bargo Brush is a rare shrub found only in abundance in the Bargo area and commonly found around Mermaid Pools.
Bargo is home to Storybook Alpacas - www.storybookalpacas.com.au - offering visitors the chance to visit an Alpaca Farm with Farm Visits
Wollondilly AFL Club
Australian Football was established in Bargo in 1982 at the Bargo Sportsground. Firstly with the Wollondilly Junior Australian Football Club - The Cygnets with teams from U9's - U15's competing in the Greater West Sydney Competition. Then followed in 1989 Wollondilly Senior Australian Football Club - The Knights fielding First Grade and Reserve teams in the South Coast AFL Competition. In 2014 Wollondilly Senior Australian Football Club moved into the Sydney AFL Competition, competing in Division 4. The only truly Australian game of football and the only AFL Clubs in the Wollondilly Shire.
Bargo is home to the Yerrinbool-Bargo Bushrangers football team. The team was established by a group of men in the Pub one night, the Bushrangers now have teams from Under 6 to All Age Men & Women competing in the Highlands Competition. Notably, the Yerrinbool-Bargo coalition soccer team is one of the only local soccer teams where two places of different regions and councils form a coalition; Yerrinbool is of the Southern Highlands and Wingecarribee Shire whilst Bargo is part of the Wollondilly Shire and Macarthur Region.
Bargo Rural Fire Brigade
Bargo Rural Fire Brigade was established 1939. From its humble beginnings, the brigade's few handtools and drum of water have been constantly upgraded to its present-day Pumper, Heavy Tanker and Light Tankers, housed in the purpose-built Village Two category building on the outskirts of the township. The brigade's services include fighting structure fires and bush fires in the local area and attending vehicle accidents on the Hume Highway where passes through Wilton, Pheasants Nest and Yanderra. Bargo Fire Brigade assists with out-of-area disasters, for example, the 1994 Sydney Bushfires, the Sydney Hail Storm of 1999, the bushfires of the Christmas period 2001/2002, and 2007 Gosford storm damage.
The Brigade celebrated its 70th year of operation on 26 December 2009.
Bargo Yanderra Tennis Association has recently upgraded facilities with new court surfaces and is currently running an interclub competition between Thirlmere tennis club and Bargo. Ladies social competition are usually run on a Tuesday during school terms.
Food and shops
- Hector's Takeaway
- Bargo Bakery
- BWS Bargo
- Friendly Grocer
- MFC Bargo
- Charcoal Chickens
- Bargo Butchers
- Post Office
- Bargo Motors Used Car Dealership,RMS Authorized Inspection station & mechanical repair centre
- BP Petrol station
- The Local Italian Restaurant
- Bimbo's Roadhouse (Bargo Pie Shop)
In popular culture
W. A. Bayley observed:
"The whole road was a nightmare with its succession of bogs where bullock waggons sank to their axles. Drivers cut saplings to corduroy sections of the road and threw stones into bogholes. Teams on unbogged waggons were attached to teams on bogged vehicles to help pull them free; sometimes only to see them sink again! A waggon could take a couple of days from Bargo River to Mittagong, camping the night anywhere around Yerrinbool, then called Little Forest, before the steep climb of Catherine Hill which would then be attacked with fresh bullocks in the morning... The Sydney Morning Herald of 2 June 1865 reported that it had not been uncommon to see all the types of vehicles 'stuck fast or rather half buried in the numerous sloughs ... filled with mud .'
"If you travel on the road, and chance to stick in Bargo,
To avoid a bad capsize, you must unload your cargo;
For to pull a dray about, I do not see the force on,
Take a bit of greenhide, and hook another horse on."
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bargo". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- NSWrail.net | Bargo Station
- Reed, A. W (1973). Australian Place Names. Artarmon: Reed. ISBN 0-589-07115-7.
- Bayley, W. A (1973). Picton-Mittagong Loop-Line Railway. Bulli: Austrail. pp. 8–11. ISBN 978-0-909597-14-6.
- "Bargo". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
- Appleton, R & B (1992). The Cambridge Dictionary of Australian Places. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39506-2.
- Heaton, J. H (1879). Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time: containing the history of Australia from 1542 to May 1879. Sydney: George Robertson.
- Fowler, Verlie. "Massacre at Appin in 1816". Campbelltown Stories. Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society Inc. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Nepean Dam, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01368". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Wirrimbirra Sanctuary, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01508". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Bargo Railway Viaduct, New South Wales State Heritage Register (NSW SHR) Number H01024". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Edwards, Ron (1991). Great Australian Folk Songs. Willoughby: Ure Smith. p. 354. ISBN 0-7254-0861-8.
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