The site of Sid's Bottle Shop, beside the busy roundabout at Bultje Street and Macquarie Street, has been pinpointed by local historians as the location of the first shop in Dubbo.
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Telling the story of Dubbo, from when explorer John Oxley sighted these "rich flats bounded by gentle hills on each side of the river" in June 1818, is "never clear cut" according to historian and Dubbo Regional Council's Local Studies Officer, Simone Taylor.
Ms Taylor's historical recordings of the city's first settlers were completed in 2017, which contained findings of her fellow intrepid chroniclers of the Dubbo and District Family History Society, such as Marion Dormer and Bill Hornadge.
Ms Taylor took the Daily Liberal to the northeast corner street where Jean Emilie Serisier, hailed as the "Father of Dubbo", built what was called the first "Dubbo Store" before the town was established as a village in 1849.
Serisier, a Frenchman, arrived as a 15-year-old in Sydney in 1839 and by 1847 made his way to Robert Dulhunty's Dubbo Station, located on a stock route between Wellington and Dubbo.
If Ms Taylor's findings are accurate enough, Dulhunty, who squatted on his land called 'Thubbo', an Aboriginal word description of the thatched roof of his house while owning Cullen Bullen Station near Lithgow, Serisier, Wellington publican Nicolas Hyeronimus who is a Belgian, and a foul-mouth Old Bailey ex-convict George "Dusty Bob" Smith who worked as a stockman met up for drinks.
The men purportedly met up to discuss setting up a store on Dulhunty's property but the "hot-headed" young Frenchman's proposal was rejected thus Serisier went further up near the Macquarie River where a convict gaol and court was already established.
It's not exactly certain whether Dusty Bob owned the land where Serisier's store was eventually built but once it was, the Belgian Hyeronimus' built a watering hole around the same time.
But that pub created a dispute as Dulhunty had a pub called Macquarie Inn on his vast property at the time, leading him to see the other two men as competitors.
But the prodding of Serisier and his employers and backers in Sydney, known as Mr Fesq and Mr Despointes, also Frenchmen, along with Hyeronimus' clout as a pub licensee and running more than 30,000 acres of pastures in Wellington bordering Dulhunty's property, encouraged surveyor George Boyle White to approve the establishment of Dubbo village on 23 November 1849.
As a squatter at Dubbo, Dulhunty is known as the earliest settler with his property called 'Thubbo' by the Aboriginal man he employed, but Ms Taylor said they believed there were much earlier squatters who had families that settled in the area.
Dubbo's name is also traced by historians to a Wiradjuri word describing the land in the area as "red ochre".
While Dulhunty is believed to have squatted first in Dubbo since 1833, Ms Taylor's research showed his name did not appear on records except on the documents pertaining to 2,000 acres in Lithgow and surveyor Dixon mentioning he borrowed a dray from Dulhunty during exploration of the Macquarie River.
When the colony's squatting legislation was approved in 1836, Ms Taylor's paper stated that Dulhunty was able to legally claim ownership of Dubbo Station, while also owning a residence called Claremont in Penrith where he lived with his wife Eliza Julia Gibbs.
But it was Serisier's arrival in Dubbo which proved significant to establishing the town as a business centre in the far west, Ms Taylor said.
"Of all Dubbo's founders, it is Jean Emilie Serisier who has the strongest association with the township," Ms Taylor wrote in her research paper.
"Serisier settled permanently in Dubbo and became one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens."
The humble slab hut store Serisier established at the site of the roundabout on Bultje Street was transformed into the largest shop in town prior to his death at age 53 in 1880 while visiting his homeland, Paris.
Ms Taylor said she traced the footsteps of the four men, particularly Serisier, whose name appears on one of Dubbo's bridges so the myths that abound in early histories that have been told about Dubbo can be backed up by primary records that shed light on their lives here.
Serisier's Dubbo Store sold everything settlers needed at the time such as flour, groceries, drapery, clothes, ironmongery, wines, and spirits.
According to records, Serisier's store was styled like chateaux with parapets, with his name etched on a signboard, J E Serisier, wine and spirit merchant.
By the 1850s, the Overland Stores also opened at Macquarie Street, then a wool warehouse by Tait and Smellie sold wool from the region and shipped it to England.
More stores opened in Dubbo during the 1870s with various products available to the settlers such as crockery, furniture, boots and shoes, women's clothes, hats, millineries, and laces.
Ms Taylor said in her role as a local historian, despite her family having no connection to Dubbo, she is fascinated by the interest of many local families digging deeper into some of the earliest colonial records about the town.
"You can see the interest many people have in doing their family history as well as the popularity of historical dramas and reality TV shows such as 'Who do you think you are'," Ms Taylor said.
"I enjoy talking to people about their research projects and am always surprised by the breadth and variety of topics and stories when people come to our research room at the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
"I love being able to find things in our collections that assist with their research projects."
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But while Ms Taylor is convinced they have found many pertinent documents on Dubbo's history, she also believes these are "only ever partial" because as historical documents about early Australia are becoming available for the public to see, there would be a glut of future information to consider.
"I am sure if I ever get into this topic again, I would find new information that might provide new perspectives or interpretation of the early settlement of Dubbo," Ms Taylor said.
"It fascinates me to explore how local stories link to broader historical events and trends for example how World War II affect inland townships like Dubbo."
Ms Taylor said a collection of mementos belonging to Dubbo's earliest settlers could also be viewed at the WPCC museum on Wingewarra Street where anyone interested in the region's history can undertake their research.
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