Rylstone is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, in the Central Tablelands region within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area.
- Area:124.132 km2
- Elevation:585 m
- Local Government Area:Mid-Western Regional Council
Rylstone is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, in the Central Tablelands region within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area.It is located on the Bylong Valley Way road route.At the 2016 census, Rylstone had a population of almost 650 people.
The district was originally known as Dabee (under various spellings). There are many contemporary newspaper references to the town being referred to as Ryalston in the period 1846 to mid-1850s then referred to as Ryalstone during the late 1850s.
Rylstone town was laid out in 1846 by surveyor Davidson. By the 1850s Rylstone was becoming a well established town with post office, hotels, school, mills, and police lock-up. The Rylstone district was declared as a police district in 1854.
Rylstone was formally proclaimed a town on 20 March 1885.
On 9 June 1884 the railway was opened to Rylstone, this changed the status of Rylstone village to that of a town. The railway yard included a goods shed, trucking yards, and turntable. Notably, Henry Lawson's father, Niels Hertzberg Larsen, helped build the timber railway station. The line was extended from Rylstone to Mudgee and this section was opened on 10 September 1884. Rylstone is located on the Wallerawang to Gwabegar branch line.
In April 1895 a railway telephone line was installed between Wallerawang and Mudgee with Rylstone as an intermediate telephone point. The telephone was an important safety feature on this railway due to the steep cliffs and tunnels that occur on both sides of Rylstone allowing quick and clear communication of problems.The railway line through Rylstone was closed on 2 March 1992 and remain closed for 8 years, the NSW Government spent $11 million to resleeper the track, repair bridges, and level crossings reopening the line on 2 September 2000, the line was again closed 7 years later on 30 June 2007, the line remains closed; however, there are plans to reopen the line for coal trains to operate between Cobbora Mine (near Dunedoo) and the Mount Piper Power Station and Wallerawang Power Station.On 24 October 2017 the NSW State Government announced that $1.1 million would be provided to reinstate the 8 km rail link between Kandos and Rylstone, thus enabling tourist trains to access the resulting 'Kandos-Rylstone Rail Heritage Precinct'. Refurbishment work, which includes replacing 3,500 old timber sleepers with long-life steel, is expected to commence in April 2018 and continue for six months.
Four road bridges have spanned the Cudgegong River which flows through the town. The first bridge was a suspension bridge that was washed away by floods around 1867. This was followed by a second bridge of two spans built by a Mr Hayden soon after the flood. This second bridge was alongside the first bridge at the end of Hall Street. A third bridge built by Mr Eddy Fitzgerald replaced the second in 1890 and was a little further up the River. The fourth bridge, and the only one remaining, which is still used today was built in 1948 to line up with the Bylong Road.
A railway bridge also spans the Cudgegong River approximately 100 metres upriver of the present road bridge. This apart from upgrading works, to add additional centre pillars, is the original structure built during the construction of the line.
By 1868 there were four Hotels, the Rylstone Hotel, Bridge View, Shamrock and the Globe. The Rylstone and Globe Hotels remain in business.
The Shamrock Hotel was located on the southern side of the railway bridge and was built by Michael Hayes in 1885 closing in 1890.
## Aboriginal history
The local indigenous Aboriginals were the Dabee tribe and they in turn were part of the broader Wiradjuri group of people. Some of the localities in the area are derivations of Aboriginal words.
Lue (chain of waterholes) believed to be pronounced in the Aboriginal language like Loowee
Mudgee believed to derive from Moothi meaning nest in the hills
Dabee - name of the local Aboriginal Tribe and the Fitzgerald's property was named after
Wollemi - is derived from an aboriginal word meaning "watch out" or "look around you"
Cudgegong - meaning red hill, noted for the red clay used by the Aborigines in body decoration
Tong Bong, pronounced "Tung Bung"One of the last full blooded Aborigines of the Rylstone area was Peggy Lambert wife of Jimmy Lambert, she was buried in the Aboriginal section of the Rylstone Cemetery in June 1884. Another local Aboriginal was Jimmy McDonald who was attached to the Rylstone Police station as a tracker.
## Early settlers and properties
## Buildings and businesses
Early buildings were constructed of timber slabs and stringy bark, later wattle and daub became common. Plentiful sandstone in the area led to significant buildings being constructed of that material.
The Butter Factory - when closed it became the Freezing Works
The Rabbit Factory - building demolished
Cordial Factory - built in 1880 and owned by Mr JN Collins of Mudgee
Court House and Gaol - built in 1870The main commercial street, Louee Street, was originally an upper level and lower level street. In the 1930s the street was levelled and this created the high steps to the buildings on the high side of the road.
## Other events in Rylstone history
Rylstone does not have a local weather station so the statistics are taken from the Mudgee weather station (approximately 42 km north west). Average temperatures range between 15 and 40 degrees Celsius in the summer (December - February) and -3 and 15 degrees Celsius in the winter (June–August). The average annual rainfall is 674.4 millimetres (26.55 in).
# Things to do
Rylstone is becoming a destination for travellers on a new tourist route that has developed following the final sealing of the Bylong Valley Way. The sealing of the route was commenced in 1950 and only completed in April 2009. A large part of the Bylong Valley Way route lies between the Wollemi and Goulburn River National Parks, with its scenery and animal and bird life the route is becoming popular with weekend travellers. Business associations and local governments in the area are promoting the journey to develop the tourist potential. With the completion of the work Rylstone has seen a steady increase in tourists visiting its cafes, pubs, and bed and breakfast establishments. A route is now available from Sydney through the Hunter Region and return to Sydney via Rylstone providing a tourist loop.