The site was first explored by Dr. Charles Throsby in 1819, with the first landholder, Samuel Blackman, arriving in 1836. In May 1859, Tuena was formally declared a town.
Gold was discovered at Tuena in November 1851, although gold had been discovered on the Abercrombie River (the Tarshish Diggings), 10 km north some months earlier. The following extract from a contemporary newspaper announces the discovery at Tuena.
Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (Newspaper), 15 November 1851: —
On the latter part of last week, news arrived on the river, and was quickly circulated through the surrounding country that very, rich diggings had been discovered on Tuena Creek, at one of Mr. Smith's sheep stations, known by the name of the Sapling Hut. He proceeded to the place and found a body of men very busily engaged digging up the bed of one of his sheep-yards and procuring gold in abundance.
The town also boasts three churches - St. Mark's Anglican(1886), thought to be the oldest timber 'miner's church' still standing, the stone St. Margaret's Presbyterian(1890), and St. Mary's Catholic Church in 1896 (built of bricks from the old Cordillera mine).
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