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Ardlethan  New South Wales

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The small Newell Highway town of Ardlethan - 65 kilometres south of West Wyalong - might have been by-passed by the rush to the western goldfields of NSW, but it hit paydirt in the form of tin. The strike attracted miners, money and service industries into the town originally settled by Scottish immigrants whose influence is reflected in the village name which means 'hilly' in Gaelic.

At one stage, the Ardlethan tin output ranked second only to Tasmania in tin production, and the open-cut mine operation continued for more than 100 years before it was closed in 1986.

As recorded on a cairn in the town’s Stewart Park, Ardlethan’s founders also claimed to have bred the famous Australian kelpie sheep dog by crossing a Scottish breed with the dingo. A plaque on a bronze statue of a noble kelpie records the detail of the union and the city celebrates the birth of the new breed every March with the Kelpie Dog Festival.

Today Ardlethan's 430 residents live in a tidy, well-serviced town in the Coolamon Shire which is a major producer of wheat and fat lambs.


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