News

Sign tells of Bays history

WINDOW INTO THE PAST: Unveiling a sign at Main Beach in Byron Bay this week are Byron Mayor Jan Barham, Byron council’s superintendent of open spaces Andy Erskine, and president of the Byron Bay Historical Society Jim Rogers.
WINDOW INTO THE PAST: Unveiling a sign at Main Beach in Byron Bay this week are Byron Mayor Jan Barham, Byron council’s superintendent of open spaces Andy Erskine, and president of the Byron Bay Historical Society Jim Rogers. Jann Burmester

WHEN people think of Byron Bay, they think tourist town.

But long before the hordes of international tourists and backpackers discovered this coastal gem, the town owed its existence to an industrial past which included farming and links to the shipping industry.

Byron Bay's colourful history has been captured in a new interpretative sign, Byron Bay As A Sea Port, installed on Monday at Main Beach by the Byron Bay Historical Society and unveiled by Byron Mayor Jan Barham.

"Like many coastal towns, Byron Bay has reinvented itself several times as new industries emerged and demand for services and products grew," she said.

"From the early days of cedar cutting, dairy farming, mineral sands mining to whaling, the need for shipping and rail transport featured prominently in town life.

"The new historical society signage has captured wonderfully the Bay's history and it is a great stop-and-learn experience for everyone visiting our beautiful beaches.

"The society plays a wonderful role in ensuring the records of yesteryear are maintained and we thank them for their continuing efforts."

Historical society president Jim Rogers said most people who came to Byron Bay had no idea there had been a jetty off Main Beach.

"They think Byron Bay has always been a tourist town, but it was a sea port with a colourful history," he said.

The sign contains six old historical photos with information, including photos of the jetty and the SS Wollongbar, which was wrecked in 1921 after a cyclone.

The historical society is planning more signs to erect around Byron Bay.


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Moonshine Ochre a shade of Blues

ON STAGE: Gold Coast band Mescalito Blues.

GOLD Coast band Mescalito Blues are a regular fixture

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Bong throwing at Nimbin MardiGrass

THERE was no shortage of brave (or foolish) competitors in the Nimbin MardiGrass “Hemp Olympix” on Saturday.

Moonshine Ochre a shade of Blues

ON STAGE: Gold Coast band Mescalito Blues.

GOLD Coast band Mescalito Blues are a regular fixture

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Shakespeare at Byron just As You Like It

Rosalie Craig in As You Like It, produced by the UK's National Theatre Live.

SHAKESPEARE’S glorious comedy of love and change comes to Byron

Ramones drummer to hit the beats in Byron Bay today

Richie Ramone is an American drummer best known for being the drummer for the iconic punk band the Ramones, from February 1983 until August 1987.

HE WAS born Richard Reinhardt in 1957

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances