Quiet town in the Snowy Mountains - popular destination
for people fishing for trout.
Located 51 km northwest of Cooma and 453 km southwest of
Sydney, the new township of Adaminaby has a population of
about 400 and is 1021 metres above sea level.
The original town of Adaminaby (which is now under the
waters of Lake Eucumbene) came into existence in 1885
although pastoralists had been in the area since the early
1830s. Initially the population of the area was sparse. John
Cosgrove and Charles and Henry York were the first settlers
and they named one of their large land holdings Adaminaby
(probably spelt Adamindumee and possibly meaning either 'a
camping or resting place' or 'place of springs' in the
language of the local Aborigines).
For thirty years the country around Adaminaby remained
sparsely settled by Europeans. The land was grazed but the
living was hard. It wasn't until the discovery of gold in
the area in 1859 (Kiandra)
and 1860 (along the Eucumbene River) that people began to
move into the area in significant numbers. Being located
midway between Cooma and Kiandra, Adaminaby enjoyed a brief
boom at this time as it became a convenient stopover point
for gold prospectors on their way to the goldfields.
It is an hilarious comment on local government decision
making processes that when the township was finally
proclaimed on 25 March 1885 it was named Seymour (a name it
had been given in 1860 when the town had been surveyed - but
a name which had never gained favour) but in less than a
year public opinion prevailed and on 9 October 1886 it was
These events are all recorded on a plaque on the side of
the town's General Store which also notes that the Snowy
Mountains Authority moved the town to its present site in
1956-57 to make way for the rising waters of Lake Eucumbene.
Historic Buildings in New Adaminaby
So complete was the removal that even the old churches
(perhaps the most interesting buildings in town) were moved.
Of the more interesting are St John's Anglican Church,
Adaminaby (on the hill behind the shopping centre) which was
originally built in 1906 and moved in 1956 and the Uniting
Church, previously the Presbyterian Church, which was built
Lake Eucumbene, the largest of the man-made lakes in the
Snowy Mountains, was completed in May 1958. Its earth and
rockfill dam is 116 metres high and 579 metres long. It is
capable of containing 4 799 100 ML of water - more than
three times that of Blowering Dam. Eucumbene filled so
slowly so that as recently as 1978 the people of Adaminaby
could hold a rooftop regatta over the remnants of their old
houses. In recent years droughts have lowered the level of
the dam revealing the ruins of the old town.
|A boat moored in Lake
Eucumbene near Old Adaminaby
Historic Buildings in Old Adaminaby
It is still possible to view the remnants of Old Adaminaby.
If you drive a couple of kilometres out of town towards
Kiandra there is a sign to Old Adaminaby which is located 7
km from the Snowy Mountains Highway.
There's a nice irony about Old Adaminaby. It is now newer
and more attractive than new Adaminaby. In recent times
people have built attractive fishermen's chalets and holiday
houses on the foreshores and the area has been turned into a
pleasant holiday retreat.
In fact there are only four original buildings left in
the town - the Methodist Church which is now surrounded by
attractive picnic grounds on the edge of the lake, the Old
Schoolhouse which is the office and residence for the
Caravan Park, and two other dwellings. Apparently over 100
buildings, including 75 houses, were removed from Old
Adaminaby to the site of the new town.
For filmgoers the Old Adaminaby Race Track (located on
the road to Rosedale on the Cooma side of the town) was used
in the film Phar Lap.
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