McLachlan House History

McLachlan House was established in 1969 and named after Mr John Charles McLachlan, the original owner of the Wolaroi Mansion.

Schooled at a private academy near the site of Sydney Observatory, Mr McLachlan later attended the Lyceum Academy and attended classes at the Sydney School of Arts.

For a time he was articled in a Sydney office, but later expanded his legal knowledge in a Bathurst solicitor’s office, to which he came in 1862. Transferring to Orange, he became associated with a solicitor named James and began an extensive practice.

Mr McLachlan established, in a large part, the first Highland Society in Orange. He became the first captain of the Volunteers, and also interested himself in the development of the game of cricket in the Orange district. Every local institute met with his support.

In the year 1868, Mr McLachlan married Dora Moulder and they lived in a small house on Bathurst Road. The 1700 acre area of land was acquired by Dora’s father, Mr Joseph Moulder, as a wedding gift for them to build their home. ‘Wolaroi’ (aboriginal for echidna) was the name applied to the area by Mr McLachlan, who built the mansion upon his favourite site. The area provided an extensive view of Orange. In 1884 Mr and Mrs McLachlan moved into the Wolaroi Mansion.

In February 1889, the Mansion was vacated when Mr McLachlan moved to Sydney to extend his legal practice. In 1893 as a result of increased school enrolments, Mr McLachlan’s Bathurst Road property, ‘Wolaroi’, including the beautiful mansion, was purchased by Mr T.H. Richards - owner, principal and sole teacher of the initial school known as Weymouth House that opened in June 1886 on the corner of Sale and Byng Streets, Orange.