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From the beginning of European settlement in Yass the development of the district has been tied to national and even international events.
Since the late 1830s the main route from Sydney south to Melbourne, passed through the town ensuring its importance as a place of commerce and as the centre of the extensive Catholic and Anglican parishes. Yass became the place where families and friends from outlying areas assembled for the big events in life – baptisms, marriages and funerals in the local churches.
Passing travellers and overlanders stopped seeking food, shelter and water before continuing their journeys – some travelling as far as Victoria and South Australia. Settlers from the outer districts came to Yass once or twice a year for their supplies. Their stay in the town added to the coffers of the makeshift stores and the inns, whose owners in time prospered and built permanent premises – some of these are still part of the Yass streetscape.
For many years the economic wellbeing of the district rested squarely on the back of the fine wool industry but in recent years diverse agricultural and farming endeavors, as well as light industries, have gained in importance. Its proximity to Canberra has contributed to the expansion of the town and the villages as commuters seek an alternative lifestyle. Yass, once heavily promoted as the most desirable site for the national capital, can be said to have the best of both worlds – a rural town with all the benefits of the nearby National Capital!
The following is a list of publications that relate to the Yass district and its inhabitants. Some publications are long out of print but are available from libraries through the inter-library loan system. Those that the society has available for purchase, are listed on our Publications page.
a decent set of girls'; the Irish Famine Orphans of the Thomas Arbuthnot 1849-1850.
Richard Reid and Cheryl Mongan, Yass Heritage Project, Yass, 1996, 1997
Binalong: Beyond the limits
Rev Brian Maher, self published, 2003.
Boorowa: over 160 years of White Settlement
Helen V Lloyd, Tovelaom Pty Ltd, Panania, 1990
Currency Lad: the story of Hamilton Hume and the Explorers
R H Webster, Ginninderra Press, 1999
Early Days of Yas: Mary Yeo JP, Yass historian
P R Bindon & A J MacQuillan (eds), Yass, 2017
Echoes of Irish Australia: Rebellion to Republic
Jeff Brownrigg, Cheryl Mongan & Richard Reid (eds), Galong, 2007
Far Away Days, a history of the Murrumbateman, Jeir and Nanima districts
Dorothy Mulholland, Murrumbateman Old School Grounds Committee, 1995.
From a little acorn, a history and genealogy of the Davis family of Gounyan
Beryl May Pittman, Davis of Gounyan Family Society, 1989.
Irish Gold: a tale of two pioneer families
The Robert Lehane, Ginninderra Press, 2002
Lang's Creek Anglican Cemetery, Boorowa NSW 1845-1988
Jill Hodgson, self published, 2004.
Looking Back: My Story: Erin Bernard Bell OAM
Tony MacQuillan (ed), Privately published, 2011.
Memories of Yass Mission: St Augustine's Parish, Yass NSW Sesquicentenary 1838-1988
Rev Brian Maher, St Augustine's Sesquicentenary Committee, 1988.
Mount Carmel Centenary 1875-1975
Historical Committee, Centenary Celebrations Committee, Yass, 1975.
My Dear Mother: a letter from a soldier after Gallipoli
Roy Denning, Yass & District Historical Society Inc, 1998.
News and Gossip of Old Yass: compiled and written by James Richard Mallyon
James Richard Mallyon, Robin Butt (ed), privately published, 2009
Reids Flat: on the banks of the Lachlan
Helen V Lloyd, John & David Lloyd, Panania, 1999.
St Andrew's Church, Yass, Centenary 2006
Brian Carruthers, St Andrew's Uniting Church, 2006
St Clementine's Anglican Women of Yass 1838-1988
Dot Greenwood and Jane Nauta, Anglican Women's Diocesan Council, 1988.
Talks with a Fork,
various authors, Yass and District Historical Society, Yass, 2001.
The Explorers' Country Kitchen
Ruby Brown and Marion McCarthy, self published, Yass, 1986
The Merryville Type: How excellence bred brilliance
David Moeller, Lexington Avenue Press, 2001
'The very dawn of settlement' surveyed from Galong Cemetery
Max Barrett, CSSR, self published, 2006
We have not forgotten': Yass and district's war 1914-1918
Cheryl Mongan & Richard Reid, Milltown Research & Publications, 1998.
Where were they and what were they doing in 1872: a story of the Hannan, Kelleher, Madigan, Greenwood, Watson, Hynes and Hallam families in the colony of New South Wales
Myles Hannan, Triple D Books, 2007
Yass Municipal Centenary History
William A Bayley, Municipality of Yass, Yass, 1973
Yass Lodge Concord No 27: 150 years 1860-2010
A J MacQuillan & VW Peter Bindon DGIA, Yass Lodge Concord, 2010