The walk commences at the
MUSEUM (1) and continues along Walker Street to Richmond and River Streets. You
will walk along
the same route the early settlers used on
their way from Lismore or Irvington Wharf to the Crossing Place.
THE COURT HOUSE
(2) was built by Mr George Hughes and designed
under the supervision on the Government Architect James Barnett. The
building was opened in 1882 and is listed with the National Trust.
Casino's first Court House was built on the corner of East and North
Streets. In the 1860s the Court House then a slabbed walled structure and
the Police Station were moved to their present site in Walker Street.
THE SCHOOL (3) The first school was
operated by Eliza Sjostrom on the reserve near the site for the Irving
Bridge. The first National School was built here in 1861. The first
teacher Mr Dixon planted the large pine tree near the gate. In 1929 more
buildings were added and the school operated as both a Primary and
Secondary School until the High School was built in Queensland Road and
opened in 1965.
THE IRVING BRIDGE
(4) was named after Clarke Irving owner of Tomki
Station and Casino's first local Member for Parliament. There have been
three bridges across this site since the settlement of Casino. The first
Irving Bridge was opened in 1876. Only a one-lane bridge it proved
inadequate for the growing town's needs. The second Irving Bridge was
built and opened in 1908. A span of this bridge was washed away in the
1954 floods and the present bridge was built as a result of this. An army
Bailey bridge was used until its completion and opening in 1959.
THE CROSSING PLACE
(5) was named because of the rocky ford in the
river, which provided a safe crossing for travellers while ever the river
was at a normal level. A settlement, which developed here before the town
of Casino was laid out and gazetted, was known as "The Falls". The
Historical Society erected the memorial cairn made from a piece of rock
taken from the riverbed in 1967. It marks the site of the Crossing Place
used by the first settlers Henry Clay and George Stapleton. They named
their property "Cassino" which later was changed to Tomki by the second
owner Clarke Irving. The township became known as Casino prior to
planning. The change of spelling was used in various government documents
until formally adopted by the town surveyor F. S. Peppercorne in 1855.
ST MARKS ANGLICAN CHURCH
(8) The first church in Casino was St Marks
Church of England, which opened in 1871. It was built on a portion of
land with frontages to Walker and Barker St but excluding the corner block
where the Westpac Bank now stands. The present church was built in 1904 on
land given by Henry Barnes. The former church and rectory were sold and
the proceeds helped finance the new buildings.
THE CECIL HOTEL
(11) was first built as the Imperial Hotel. It
was located on the corner of Walker and North Streets on the present site
of Days Machinery. It remained there until about 1918. It was then cut
into sections and hauled by bullock team to its present location. It was
reopened in 1919 as the Cecil Hotel with Mr. R Saunders as proprietor.
(12) This building was formerly the Commercial
Bank Casino's oldest banking enterprise. The first branch was opened in
the 1870s in a building near the Tattersalls Hotel. Within a year the bank
moved to its present site next to the Post Office where it operated out of
a cottage, which served as a bank and residence. Additions were made to
the building c1880 as white ants had infested the original building. The
present building was completed in 1883 with further additions and repairs
carried out in 1914. A portico once covered the entrance and footpath.
THE POST OFFICE
(13) Mr William Scott
became the first full time Post Master in 1872 in an office situated on
the site of the Richmond Valley Council's Southern Office in Walker St.
The nucleus of the current Post Office was built in 1879 comprising 4
rooms, a kitchen and a stable. In 1889 extensions were added to enlarge
the office and in 1915 further alterations were made which included a
second storey. The building was added to the Heritage Register in 2000.
EL GRONDA ARCADE
This is the site of the El Gronda Theatre which
was opened in 1936. The building was set back from the main street with an
impressive entrance of statues, plants and a fountain. The steps at the
end of the arcade are the only part of the theatre, which still exists
today. The name was derived from the spelling of the owner of the theatre
Mr. L. Dorgan.
THE SCHOOL OF ARTS
(14) was established on this site in 1873. It
provided a venue for the town's people for such games as cards and
billiards. It was favoured as a meeting place for organisations and
institutions and was used for some very important public meetings. The
second building was erected in 1907 only to be destroyed by fire in 1932.
The present two-storey brick building was erected in 1934. It contains
tenant shops and offices at street level with the upstairs area housing
the School of Arts Library, reading rooms, offices and the Casino &
District Family History Group.
THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL
(15) is Casino's second oldest business. James
Britton built the first Commercial Hotel in 1875. By 1900 more
improvements were made which included a second storey. Even further
improvements were known to have continued until 1907. It was described in
the Freemasons Journal of 24 March 1900 as the "Best Hotel in the North."
THE MAFEKING LAMP
(16) was erected by public subscription in 1901
as a monument to celebrate the relief of Mafeking and other towns, which
had been held under siege during the Boer War in South Africa. Names of
those Richmond River men who lost their lives during this campaign were
inscribed on one panel of the lamp. More memorial plaques have been added
to commemorate other wars. The lamp was dedicated as an official war
memorial in 1991. It is now a central part of our Anzac Day and
Remembrance Day services.
THE WESTPAC BANK
(18) The first Bank of New South Wales was
opened in 1889 and operated from an office in the Town Hall in Walker
Street. In 1904 the current block was purchased. The present bank building
was completed in 1905. The block was originally known as Mooney's Cow
THE TATTERSALLS HOTEL
(17) is the oldest business in Casino today. The
first hotel is believed to have been erected in Hickey Street by John
Brown a mailman. The current hotel operated on this present site from the
1870s. It began as a slab walled single storey building. Further
improvements in the 1880s were made to create a two storeyed weatherboard
building. This was followed by the brick accommodation additions at the
rear in 1904. The front section was demolished and rebuilt in the 1930's
highlighting the Art Deco style of those times.
OTHER SITES INDICATED ON THIS
Site of Durham Ox Inn - Casino's first inn (6)
Site of John Grimes Store (7)
Holwood Boarding House (9)
Site of James Dillon's Blacksmiths shop & residence
and later Richmond River Express Office (10)
Mural depicting old Casino & Stations. (19)
Painted in 1988 as a Bi-Centenial project by Artist Lee Blacker
and assisted by community members and students.
WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR WALK!
If you would like more information on early
Casino, including photographs, make a visit to the Folk Museum
Joan Newman 02 66622893
Opening times for the Museum are:
Monday 10 am - 4pm - Research only
Wednesday2pm - 4.30pm
Sunday 10am - 12.30pm
Or by appointment School visits and Bus Tours welcome
History of Casino
The Hermann Collection
Our Society Crest
Casino & District Family History Group Inc.