Young is marketed as the Cherry Capital Of Australia and every year hosts the National Cherry Festival. Young is situated on the Olympic Highway and is approximately 2 hours drive from the Canberra area. Young is situated in a valley, with surrounding hills. The town is named after Sir John Young, the Governor of NSW during 1861–67.
Before European settlers arrived in Young, members of the Burrowmunditory tribe, a family group of the Wiradjuri people, lived in the region. Descendents of the Burrowmunditory clan still live in Young.
James White was the first European settler in the district and established Burrangong Station in 1826 with a squatting claim of . His story is told in the novel Brothers in Exile. Gold was found in the district in 1860. Until that time the area was called Lambing Flat, a reference to the grazing of sheep that was the main industry until mining. The town was gazetted in 1861. The goldfields produced 470,000 ounces of gold sent by escort from the fields. Up to 20,000 miners worked the fields including about 2,000 Chinese miners.
Lambing Flat Post Office opened on 1 March 1861 and was renamed Young in 1863.
From November 1860 through to June 1861 anti-Chinese miners attacked Chinese gold miners in the area, now known as the infamous Lambing Flat riots. As gold became scarce, European miners began to resent what they saw as the greater success of the more industrious Chinese, and hence many Chinese miners were attacked, robbed and killed. The anti-Chinese rebels rallied in numbers of up to 3,000. Eventually the rioters were controlled, Chinese miners had their claims restored to them, but the New South Wales Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Bill which restricted the number of Chinese that could be brought into New South Wales on any ship and imposed a tax per head on entry.
In 1889 Young was the first town in Australia to install electricity into the streets and homes of the township, Tamworth NSW installed electricity to the streets only the previous year.t
Young is acknowledged as the first Local Government Area to institute a rural school bus system in New South Wales