first land adjacent to the Lithgow Valley to be settled
was by Andrew Brown at Bowenfels between 1824 and 1826.
Brown had travelled from his home in Methven, Perthshire,
Scotland to manage James Walker's property at Wallerawang.
Brown applied for 200 acres of land situated west of
the current Lithgow Park to Cooerwull Brook (now Farmers
Creek).The property was named Cooerwull after a small
blue-bell like flower that grows in the region.
1837 Brown established a flour mill at Cooerwull to
process wheat grown on his property and from the
district. The mill which was situated on Cooerwull
Brook was initially driven by a water wheel and was
converted to steamin 1851. In 1867 the
mill was converted to allow for the manufacture
of woollen tweeds. The manufacture of tweed at this
site continued until 1973.
is likely that Brown was the first to discover and utilise
coal in the Lithgow Valley, with records suggesting
that he was cutting coal to run his mill in the early
1860s (Cremin etal 1987, p3)
also built a church and school hall at Cooerwull, now
the La Salle Academy.
The school, which functioned as an academy for boys
was capable of accommodating up to 80 pupils at a time.
He was also responsible for building Methven, named
after his home town, for his son John Laurence. Methven
was completed in 1878 (Cremin etal, p.30). The current
Bowenfels Presbyterian Church was also built by Brown
as a school hall for children of itinerant railway workers
as a gesture of philanthropy.
City of Greater Lithgow acknowledges and appreciates
the History excerpts taken from the Draft
Economic Development Strategy for Lithgow which was researched and compiled by Economic
and Community Development Class, University of Sydney