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Casino
Pleasant country town on the banks of the Richmond River
Located 726 km north of Sydney and 228 km south of Brisbane, Casino is a pleasant country town on the Richmond River. It has a large number of interesting historic buildings. It is also a major service centre for the rich pasture lands which surround it. The annual rainfall is 1107 mm.

Prior to European settlement the Casino district was part of the lands inhabited by the Bundjalung Aborigines. It is unclear how many of the group lived around Casino although one report, dating from 1840, talks about a gathering of a 'mob of wild blacks numbering five hundred or upwards'. The Bundjalung spread across the area and their territory reached as far north as Toowoomba and included the modern-day towns of Tenterfield and Warwick. One of the annual rituals of the Bundjalung people was the movement to the coast during the winter months when the mullet were plentiful. The inland peoples from around Casino brought black bean seeds with them to trade for the fish.

The first European to discover the mouth of the Richmond River was Captain Henry John Rous who in 1828 identified the mouth of the river as he sailed along the coast from Sydney Town to Moreton Bay. Rous entered the river and sailed about 20 miles (32 km) up river. He subsequently named the river Richmond after the fifth Duke of Richmond. Later that year the explorer Allan Cunningham reached the river by land. Remarkably no one in Sydney seemed terribly interested and it wasn't until 1838 that a group of cedar cutters entered the lower Richmond Valley. It was around this time that Henry Clay and George Stapleton took up land along the Richmond River. Stapleton had cut a path down to the coast from Glen Innes and, with Clay, he purchased cattle. The two men eventually reached the Richmond Valley where they claimed 30,000 acres. They named their property 'Cassino' which was named after the beautiful town of Monte Cassino in Italy.

By 1842 cedar cutters were in the lower reaches of the Richmond Valley near Pelican Creek. Over the next decade the whole of the valley was settled and by 1849 there were more than 20 squatters and a significant number of cedar-cutters who were shipping their timber to Sydney.

The first evidence of a settlement (the beginnings of a town) occurs at a place known as 'The Falls' in the early 1850s. It is known that Petty Sessions were being held in the valley as early as 1847 and that a postmaster was employed in early 1849. By 1853 Assistant Surveyor W. Darke had surveyed a site for a village and that same year both a General Store and a Hotel - the Durham Ox Inn - were built in what is now Richmond Street. Later that year a policeman arrived in 'The Falls' and the following year a bark hut was built which became the Court House.

In 1855 the Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, declared the need for a town in the valley with suburban allotments and a proper subdivision. This was the site of 'The Falls' which was renamed Casino. Why the spelling was changed from Cassino no one knows? It was in 1855 that the town was officially gazetted.

By 1857 a private school had been opened (it catered for 15 students) on the bank of the Richmond River near where the Irving Bridge stands. A doctor arrived two years later and in the same year (1859) a second hotel, Tattersalls, was opened.

In 1861 the town saw the opening of the first Public School and the population had grown to a point where there was a mail delivery once a week. Still this was hardly a thriving country town. Robert Dawson, who arrived in the area in 1870, described it as 'a drab little village though there were some buildings of fair pretensions' and observed that 'roads were almost non-existent, only rough bush tracks being available' and that 'nowhere on the Richmond were there any banks, churches, newspapers or telegraph lines'.

The next few years were to see this rather sad village turned into a town. In June 1870 the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney established a local branch. By December of that year the 'Richmond River Express and Tweed Advertiser' was being published and in 1871 a Police Magistrate and Telegraph Office arrived. In 1876, after years of construction, a bridge across the Richmond River was completed.

Between the 1870s and the 1890s the town competed for importance with Lismore and by the 1890s Lismore was clearly the more important of the town centres. By 1905 the railway had arrived but the town had already positioned itself as a service centre for the surrounding rich agricultural lands.

Today Casino calls itself 'The Beef Capital'. It has an official Beef Week which is held each May - the 'week' actually lasts for 12 days. With a population of around 12,000 it is a thriving rural centre which relies heavily on the region's cattle industry combined with the importance of the local timber industry. To appreciate the scale of the local cattle industry it is worth noting that over 120,000 head of cattle are sold at the Casino Livestock Selling Centre each year

 

 

Broadwalk Business Brokers

Broadwalk Business Brokers specialise in General Businesses for Sale, Caravan Parks for Sale, Motels for Sale, Management Rights & Resorts for Sale, Farms for Sale, Hotels for sale, Commercial & Industrial Properties for Sale.

 

Phone: 1300 136 559

Email: enquiries@broadwalkbusinessbrokers.com

 

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