4. Commonwealth Bank (195-197 Dowling St)
This was the location of a cobbler’s shop until the Government Savings Bank erected a bank and residence in 1918, on what was then called ‘Oakley’s Corner’.
5. CWA (199-201 Dowling St)
R A Oakley, who ran a coach service between Dungog and the Clarence Town steamers, had a cottage on this site. The Country Women’s Association bought the building in 1955 when men were required to guarantee the loan for the £8,000 purchase price.
6. Chill Billies (203-205 Dowling St)
Originally the Centennial Hall, it was a skating rink and venue for Dungog dramatics. Since the 1980s it has been a series of cafes.
7. Dungog Inn (211 Dowling St)
Probably Dungog’s oldest building, here convict James Stephenson established an inn in 1840. Later Samuel Redman ran a boarding house with a post office in the front room. A solicitor’s office in the 1980s, it was most recently a gallery and gift shop.
8. IGA (221-223-229 Dowling St)
Finches and then the Royal Exchange Hotel was here, before Skillen & Walker’s general store in 1882. The present 1896 building has a 1920s facade. The Market Royal of 1929, established what is thought to be the first ‘cash and carry’ store outside Sydney. It is now Dungog’s only supermarket, the local IGA.
9. Medical Centre (243-245 Dowling St)
Built in 1878 as a ‘Protestant Hall’ it was run by trustees who organised events such as a ‘Sports and Highland gathering’ and a ‘bazaar and fancy fair’, to help pay for it. With a new facade in 1926, it became Skillen’s Grocery, later Talla Walla Tours, a Chinese Restaurant, and Barrington Tops Real Estate.
10. Bank & Manager’s Residence (257 Dowling St)
A beautifully maintained Victorian Filigree building designed by J W Pender for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney in 1884. Now privately owned and housing an antique shop; the National Australia Bank continues to lease the banking chamber.
11. Timber workings (bottom of Hooke St)
This area has been the site of Walker’s flour and timber mill, Croll’s Timber Mill and is where the wood was milled to create the Concert Hall floor of the Sydney Opera House.
12. The Monument (middle of intersection)
Erected by the Dungog Tourist League in 1927 to direct tourists to the new Barrington Guest House and Chichester Dam; it remains a figure of some debate.
13. Bank Hotel (270 Dowling St)
Originally the 1878 house of storekeeper and mill owner John Walker, it was converted in 1891 into a 27 room hotel and opened in 1892 as the Bank Hotel. Australia’s first Prime Minster Edmund Barton and member for Hunter (which included Dungog), addressed crowds from the balcony on 15th March 1901.
14. ‘Cheapside’ (262-266 Dowling St)
This Victorian Regency building was built for John Wade in 1879, as a general store and residence. Edward Piper operated here from 1890, when it was known as ‘Cheapside’. In 1901, it was one of the earliest stores to install gas lighting for its outside illumination, utilising the NSW Acetylene Gas Co.
15. Uniting Church (246 Dowling St)
The foundation stone for a ‘neat and commodious brick chapel’ was ‘erected by the Wesleyan community’ here in 1853 and officially opened the following year. The second minister here, the Rev. R W Vanderkiste, became lost in the Allyn Ranges for six days in 1858, after which he wrote a book entitled ‘Lost, but not forever’.
16. Hardware Store (224-232 Dowling St)
Designed in a Late Victorian style, this two-storey shop with four bedroom residence with ‘steel ceilings and asbestos walls’ and intact kerb side balcony, was built in 1913 by Amos Moore and designed by J Warren Scobie of Maitland for Grierson’s Drapery.
17. Brighton Terrace (210-222 Dowling St)
The Skillen & Walker Terrace in 1895, it was designed by C H Button (also Town Clerk). From 1898 until 2000 one business here was always a chemist. Mary Josephine O’Reilly, daughter of one of these pharmacists, was the first Catholic female pharmacist in NSW.
18. Coolalie (206 Dowling St)
Built in 1895 for prominent Dungog storekeeper Henry Charles Dark, by local architect/builder J A Hall, it was described as ‘the largest, best finished and most imposing’ residence in the district and ‘a credit to the town’. The gardens were extensive and included a fernery and tennis court. In 1995, a 100th birthday party of Coolalie was held to which over 50 descendants of the Dark family came.