About Us

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Les Dollin, the creator of this website, has been researching the history of the Singleton watermills at Kurrajong, NSW, for over 20 years.

Above: Les Dollin and his wife, Anne.

A Passion for Local History

Les Dollin has lived in the Kurrajong community for all of his life. Apart from his research on the Singleton watermills of Kurrajong, Les has studied the history of:

-- Matthew Everingham's exploration in 1795,
-- the Comleroy Road locality (creating the comleroyroad.com website),
-- the drovers along Comlerloy Road stockroute,
-- the construction of Bells Line of Road,
-- the police station at Kurrajong, and
-- the Convict Stockades of the Blue Mountains.

Les' interpretation of the route that Matthew Everingham took in his 1795 attempt to cross the Blue Mountains is documented in The Everingham Letterbook by Valerie Ross, 1985, Anvil Press.

A Fascination with Early Industrial History

Les Dollin worked at the Chullora Railway Workshops of NSW State Rail for 30 years. He was part of the team of electricians that maintained the workshops. In later years he was the maintenance electrician of the Boiler Shop, which once used to construct boilers for steam engines.

Les gathered a small museum of artefacts, photographs and memorabilia of the Chullora Workshops and he worked regularly with the Powerhouse Museum to preserve that history.

Les' work was also acknowledged in a book on the history of the Railway Workshops at Chullora, Boilers, Beauforts and Bogies, by Jim Longworth, 2009.

Research on Early Surveying History

Les Dollin has a strong interest in early Crown Surveyors and has traced the survey lines and reference markers of the early surveyors in the Kurrajong district. He has systematically recorded and photographed many old reference markers carved into trees and rock, before they disappear completely. At one time, he had the opportunity to work with a current Crown Surveyor, pointing out old reference markers.

Les has also done in-depth studies of historic Parish Maps, exploring early grants and portions, and has studied early land documentation at the NSW State Archives.

Family History

Les Dollin and his wife, Anne, have explored the family history of their ancestors and have documented some of that history on their website: www.lesdollin.com

Les is a descendant of Benjamin Singleton's sister, Hannah (1802-1869).

Skills in the Australian Bush

Les Dollin is a skilled bushman, with a particular strength in identifying and remembering subtle features of the Australian bush. He has applied these skills to local history projects.

Les also helped his wife, Anne, redescribe all the then-known species of Australian stingless bees and find a new species. During a series of safaris to remote areas of Australia from 1983 to 2012, Les searched for and found over 300 nests of these tiny bees for the research. This work culminated in the publication of two major scientific papers. This research also involved locating and interpreting documentation written by very early naturalists who visited Australia.

Public Education

Both Les and his wife, Anne, a scientist, enjoy creating easy-to-read resources, that help people of all ages explore early Australian history and Australian native bees. Together they created Aussie Bee website, which introduces Australian native bees to over half a million people each year.

We hope that you will enjoy exploring our new Singleton Mills website and, if you have any historical stories, photographs or records that would help expand this resource, we invite you to Contact Us.