William Lawson and William Cox grazed sheep and cattle in the Coolaburragundy Valley in 1821. Allan Cunningham crossed Pandora Pass in 1823 opening the way to the Liverpool Plains. The Limits of Settlement boundary was drawn down the Coolaburragundy River in 1829.
Henry Clarke and Joseph Myers were the first to be granted land near the town, around 1831, which was located on the eastern side of the river, from approximately the Coolah Creek Road to Cooks Lane.
James McCubbin had huts, an inn, blacksmith and post office in the 1840s where the Motel in Campbell Street is now. In 1857 he purchased 160 acres, encompassing much of the current township of Coolah) for 16 pounds.
By 1866 the population of Coolah was 60. In 1882 the township was surveyed and crown land proclaimed.
The Home of the Black Stump
Coolah lays claim to being the home of the Black Stump, supported by records of the Black Stump Run and Black Stump Creek prior to 1826. The Limits of Settlement included a boundary along the Black Stump Run and squatters who crossed this line were said to be “beyond the black stump”.
Tracks to and from Morpeth, Coonamble and Mudgee joined this area and the third owner of the Black Stump Run, John Higgins, established the Black Stump Inn which burned down in 1908.
Near the site of the old Inn is a modern roadside rest area, complete with a black stump.