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History Aboriginal - Local Tribes - Bundjalung People
The following information was derived from the Goanna Headland Plan of Management (Department of Lands, 1988) and the Broadwater National Park, Bundjalung National Park and Iluka Nature Reserve Draft Plan of Management)

The Evans Head region is generally accepted as being an area of significant cultural and historical heritage for Aboriginal people. It is evident that the entire region, stretching North to Ballina, West to Casino and South to Iluka was an important gathering place for the Bundjalung people. The Goanna Headland and its surrounds is a significant site, being the subject of complex series of spiritual/creation stories located on the upper north coast and therefore of spiritual significance for the local Bundjalung descendants.

The Bundjalung people used to hunt, fish and gather shellfish from the river estuary and also utilised the diversity of plant foods available. Shell middens and flaked stone artifacts have been recorded and studied in the area reflecting the high use intensity.

Traditional knowledge indicates that the Evans Head area is also significant due to previous use as a ceremonial ground and for collection of orche from Red Hill. An 1840s massacre site is also located within the locality. The locality was used as a camping and holiday ground for Bundjalung descendants until the 1960s.

To date some 24 archaeological sites have been located on Goanna Headland to the south of Evans Head Village. Nine sites have also been identified within the Broadwater National Park, which are of aboriginal cultural significance.

Evans Head is therefore a region within the shire which is recognised as having significant Aboriginal Heritage through the presence of ceremonial grounds and occupation sites combined with the richness of biophysical resources available. These values have been recognised and subsequently protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Aboriginal culture has also been protected by being included within Plans of Management prepared by Department of Crown Reserves including Conservation of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, Preservation of Fauna, Preservation of Native Flora and Public Recreation (Dirawong Reserve) combined with the addition of Goanna Headland to the Register of the National Estate.

Aboriginal cultural heritage conservation is an issue which needs to be addressed in future strategies to enable the preservation, conservation or utilisation of these cultural elements within the village. This involves the understanding of heritage issues and their intrinsic values. On a planning level it is essential for the provision of compatible landuse activity surrounding these sites combined with the need to both protect or enhance these elements of cultural and heritage interest through a legislative framework.

European Settlement
The beginning of white settlement into the Richmond River area was the result of early explorations into the region by cedar cutters who arrived in approximently 1842. The subsequent expansion of the area, particularly at Evans Head was in response to the discovery of gold in 1877. Gold and sand mining has played an important role in the development of the local economy of Evans Head. With historic minings at Chinamen’s beach in 1870s, both gold fosicking and black sand mining became important extractive industries for the immediate area with Tom Paddon being a prominent miner at the time. Sand mining continued throughout the area including mining operations close to the Iron Gates site, near the northern reaches of the aerodrome and also throughout the heathlands and flats adjacent to Broadwater and to the south of Evans Head.

Evans Head was named after a Lt. Evans who was conducting a coastal survey aboard a chartered ship commanded by Captain Tom Paddon. Tony Paddon became the first white settler of the region in 1877 when he became interested in the pursuit of gold and joined the teams of fossickers on the beaches south of the present town of Evans Head. Following a profitable pursuit of gold, Paddon turn to other ventures including the building of the first Hotel in Evans Head, built out of pit sawn cedar he found on the beach. The Paddon Hotel was established at the mouth of the Evans River, from which he also operated a ferry service and thus became the supplier of ‘punts and tackle’.

After selling the Paddon Hotel which was later destroyed by fire, the Paddon family settled on the Iron Gates site which he described as ‘a reef of irony looking stone right across the river’. It was at Iron Gates that Paddon began an oyster cultivation operation, being the first to do so on a scientific and commercial basis. Paddon was also responsible for bringing the first educationalist into the area as the Tutor for his sons. The tutor, a SF Cashmore later wrote many poems and other
literature about the district. Efforts were made in 1911 to establish a provisional school, although it didn’t become a reality until 1920 when the first school building was erected.

Captain Paddon has been described as the foremost pioneer of Evans Head, playing a prominent role in the early development of Evans Head. He died in 1914 at the age of 73 and was buried on his property at the Iron Gates. In the early 1900s, the area was utilised for agistment of cattle due to the drought conditions prevailing in the hinterland. The natural beauty and amenity of the area was quickly recognised and farmers began to holiday at the heads with their families. The Village of Evans Head was proclaimed by Government Gazette of 24 October 1924 to allow for development of this increasingly popular holiday destination. John Rosolen and his daughter began the first business at Evans Head in December 1919 when they opened a small general store housed in a 12ft by 18ft small wooden building. By the time he settled at Evans Head there was only a handful of private homes, a wine shop and two boarding houses. Realising the village’s potential, he rebuilt his general store on the same site, and by 1930 he had organised the first butcher and baker shops and was among the pioneers for the development of the bowling club and aerodrome.

World War II Photographs, these mainly are from Evans Head but there is a few from other areas.

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3

Album4

Album 5

Album 6

Album 7

Thanks to Stewart Brown for these Before and After pictures of Normandy 1944.

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Size: 2.79meg

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Main Street



Construction of Bridge has started, year ??


Woodburn Street


Evans Head 1939


Woodburn?

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