From Buckley's Crossing to the Dalgety Bridge
The first settlement was originally known as "Buckley's Crossing" after Edward Buckley who established a farm near the river crossing in 1832.
It was renamed Barnes Crossing in 1848, by which time it had become an important waypoint on the stock route between Gippsland in Victoria and the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. In 1874 the town was formally surveyed and named Dalgety after the maiden name of the surveyor J.R. Campbell.
At the time of the survey the population was 23 and it was recorded that a punt was operating across the river. (At the bottom of Barnes St).
A Catholic school was opened in 1874 to cater for children of Irish gold prospectors, and the first bridge over the river was constructed in 1888. The town also became a meeting place between the white settlers and the local aborigines, the Thaua and Ngarigo people who lived in this area seasonally.
In 1903 Federal Royal Commission named Dalgety as the location for Australia's national capital city. The choice was based on criteria including climate, food supply, land ownership and ability to support major industries and was formalized in the Seat of Government Act 1904.
In an early demonstration of Sydney/Melbourne rivalry, the decision was immediately opposed by the Parliament of New South Wales which argued that Dalgety was too close to Melbourne and too far from Sydney.
A more practical objection was the distance to the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line and the expense involved in constructing a spur to the proposed capital. These objections were resolved with the passage of the Seat of Government Act 1908 which passed over Dalgety in favour of Canberra.