Situated just over an hour from Forbes, the Young region is probably best known for its National Cherry Festival in December. The undulating countryside, fresh produce and fascinating pioneering history are some other reasons to visit.
James White ventured into the area in 1826 and settled at Burrangong Station. The site where Young now stands consisted of a well sheltered valley with good water. It was here that White built sheep yards and a shepherds’ hut.
The area was reserved for lambing ewes, and was given the name of Lambing Flat. The beautiful valley remained as such for 34 years until 1860 when White’s nephew Dennis Regan and Alexander ‘the Yankee’ found gold at the spot in the creek at the rear of the current Lambing Flat Folk Museum. Within 12 months some 20,000 miners were busy extracting the precious metal from the earth.
Cherry trees appear to have first been planted in Young in 1847 at the home or- chard of Edward Taylor. In 1878, the first commercial cherry orchard was planted by Croatian migrant Nikola Jasprica (often known by anglicised form of his name Nicolas Jasprizza). Using some of the original stock from Taylor’s Kentish varieties, Jasprica conducted grafting experiments to produce a suitable variety.
He had arrived in Lambing Flat in search of gold but after six months started a garden and later an orchard. By 1893 he had 100 acres under cherries with 7,000 full-grown and 300 young trees and 60 acres under vines. Today Young is known as the Cherry Capital of Australia, and boasts many other stone fruit orchards.
It was during Jasprica’s life time that Young became the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electricity into homes of the township. Young is also acknowledged as the first township to institute a rural school bus system in New South Wales.
Young is now considered to be one of the fastest growing towns in regional NSW.