White settlement

Explorers first reached the Broke area in 1818 and land grants followed in 1824. John Blaxland received a grant because he had found a route to the Hunter Valley, while grants also went to George Blaxland and Robert Rodd. The village was given its name by Major Thomas Mitchell, the NSW Surveyor General, who used the name of his English friend Sir CharlesBroke-Vere.

John Blaxland had built a mill at the nearby Fordwich by 1860. Six years later, Broke had an Anglican church, a farm implements workshop and a school. The Great North Road was completed and became the main stock-route to Sydney; since it passed through Broke, it contributed to further growth of the village, with something like a thousand head of cattle using the route each week. This amount of activity meant that by the late 1800s Broke had several hotels, a post office, a school, a mill, two churches, a hall, a brickkiln, a butchery, bakery and blacksmith.

However, it was not to last. The railways eventually replaced the Great North Road as the main route between Sydney and the Hunter,which meant a drastic drop in traffic through Broke. A railway service between Wollombi and Singleton was proposed but never constructed. Broke reverted to being the quiet village it had originally been. However, a number of significant buildings have survived from the early days. They include the original post office (1882), the village hall (1898), public school (1876), Anglican church and Catholic church, the old police station and the remains ofthe Blaxland Homestead on Broke Road.

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