Young is part of Wiradjuri country. It’s 187 years since this rich diverse region was first settled by Europeans. In 1826 James White ventured into the area now known as Young and settled at Burrangong Station. At this time the recognised settlement area reached only as far as Yass and Boorowa.
The site where Young now stands consisted of a well sheltered valley with good water and it was here that White built sheep yards and a shepherds’ hut. The area was reserved for lambing ewes, and therefore was in turn given the name of 'Lambing Flat'. The beautiful valley remained as such for 34 years until 1860 when White's nephew Dennis Regan and Alexander 'the Yankee' found gold at the spot in the creek at the rear of the current Lambing Flat Folk Museum. Within 12 months some 20,000 miners were busy extracting the precious metal from the earth. Amongst them were some 2,000 Chinese miners.
Young is steeped in history, from the discovery of gold in 1860, the miners who came to try their luck, the bushrangers attracted to easy pickings and the riots that followed as European miners drove 1200 Chinese miners from the diggings. Chinese miners were sheltered by a local landowner, James Robertson, who fed and gave them refuge until the authorities arrived. Follow the story at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum.
Enterprise and ingenuity are embedded in the towns folk’s DNA, contributing to early innovation such as Young being first town in the Empire to switch on electricity to streets and homes. Today, you can still wander down Lighting Lane where those first lights shone. Young is also acknowledged as the first township to institute a rural school bus system in New South Wales.
Young is also known as the 'Cherry Capital of Australia'. Cherry trees appear to have first been planted in Young in 1847 at the home Orchard of a Mr Edward Taylor. In 1878, the first commercial cherry orchard was planted in Young by Croatian Migrant Nikola Jasprica (often known by Anglicised form of his name Nicolas Jasprizza). Using some of the original stock from Taylor's Kentish varieties Jasprica conducted grafting experiments to produce a suitable variety. He had arrived in Lambing Flat in search of gold but after 6 months started a garden and later an Orchard.
Local businesses have also flourished. The town of Young has come a long way since 1826 and continues to grow and prosper. Young is now considered to be one of the fastest growing towns in regional NSW.