Wallacetown has only ever been almost a village although at one time it had two hotels, a few houses, almost a school and many years later, a shop/service station.
The Village of Wallace was proclaimed on April 28, 1863 and a village planned as shown on the map Parish of Wallace, County of Clarendon.
Initially, Wallacetown, as it became known, was the staging point for coach horse changes, which were required at regular intervals of 15 to 25km. Until the southern railway reached Junee and then Wagga, the only regular form of reasonably fast transport along the Sydney road was a coach company, such as Cobb & Co. The Wallacetown Inn became the change station, the next one north was Jewnee (Old Junee).
The Wallacetown Inn was licensed from 1865 to 1879 and the nearby Rovers Arms from 1865 to 1877. It burned down, probably in the late 1870s.
It seems that many villages had a race track soon after their establishment and a race program from a meeting on October 27, 1873 survives. James Pratt came to the district as a small boy and from his excellent memoir, he moved into the Wallacetown Inn, then a residence in 1887. He lived there until his death in 1914, while members of the Pratt family lived there until it was pulled down in 1947.
There were sufficient children in the area by 1880 for a school. A tent school was started in 1881 and tenders for a temporary building invited in 1883. In early 1884, lack of numbers caused the school’s closure and the building did not proceed. Pupils then attended Yathella School and later, some attended Harefield School.
The large government dam on Houlaghans Creek was built in 1875 and formalised on December 17, 1888 (PWP 143). The Travelling Stock and Crown Reserve (TSR) of approximately 31 acres was notified on October 27, 1888. The dam encompassed Leach’s Waterhole which is now barely discernible opposite Harefield Road. Prior to the dam, coaches and wagons crossed the creek just above the waterhole and wheel ruts are still visible on the western side.
Local men worked for the larger properties in the district and might also have gained employment at the Malebo silver mine or another nearby mine.
The closure of the Wallacetown Inn in 1879 was probably due to coaching declining with the advent of rail nearby and through traffic bypassing it when high water levels in the creek prevented wheeled vehicles passing close to it. Those water levels also made it difficult for some children who attended Yathella School. Those who lived on the eastern side were rowed across, well before the first bridge was provided.
There is no record of a church in the village, as was the case in many small places of that period but there was a Union Church at Yathella. After it closed, it was moved to Kooringal (Wagga) and was only recently demolished. After Yathella School closed, parts of the building were incorporated in a shearing shed near Wallacetown.
When telephone service became available in the district in 1914, the exchange was at ‘Rocky Lea’ or ‘Rockley’ with three subscribers. The owner, Sam Hillam, had three daughters who delivered messages on horseback.