Was settled in the 1880s, following the discovery of shale oil in 1883. Proclaimed as such on the 4th September 1897, by the 1920s, it was a ghost town. The first lease on the southern portion of the Airly shale deposit was taken up by the original prospecting party of Messrs Melliday, Massey, Bulkeley, Nicholson and Larkin and was known as the Genowlan Mine. This group failed to meet the necessary labour conditions and the lease lapsed. A new lease of 420 acres was taken up by Mr D. Wilson in late 1890, in turn, this lease was purchased by a German owned syndicate called the Genowlan Shale Company. A more fulsome account of the changes in ownership of the various mining leases and the interlocking relationship between Airly with the adjoining village of Torbane is documented by Mills, and also by Taylor, Greg. J. The Glen Davis Story, History of the Capertee Valley Shale Oil Project. Undated, p. 4.