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Riverina in 1875

This page is a transcription of an article appearing in a newspaper in 1875 when several newspapers were asked to write articles about their areas to be shown at the Melbourne-Philadelphia Exhibition.

Thanks to Rusheen Craig for the transcription.


The Riverine Grazier - 4 August 1875.
Published at Hay,  NSW.

The present number of the Grazier is the one of which fifty copies are to be sent to the Commissioners who have charge of the exhibits for the Melbourne and Philadelphia Exhibition. Several of these copies are to be bound into one volume for future reference, so that posterity may be able to form some idea of the people amongst whom, and the country in which each newspaper circulates, at least, so far as the Press will convey that impression.

Our district, has not, it is true, much of a history as yet to record for future generations to ponder over, as it is too young. It cannot be much, if anything, more than five and twenty years since Riverina was taken possession of by the white man, at least the part which lies between the towns of Narrandera and Wentworth, and the Billabong and Darling Rivers. It was almost a terra incognita before that time - inhabited by the blackfellow and his lubra, who found means of living by hunting the kangaroo, opossum, the wild turkey, or some of the other birds with which the country abounds.

Now, how changed. One of the pioneers of civilization returning to visit the country today, and passing down the River Murrumbidgee to the town of Hay, would scarcely credit the evidence of his own eyes when he looks on the large and really splendid residences on North Yanco, Gogeldrie, Kooba, Tubbo, Benarembah, Kerarbury,  Toganmain, Groongal,   Howlong, Burrabogie, Wardry, Eli Elwah, and Illillawa Stations. Passing the town of Hay,  which we venture to say, is the most thriving and prosperous town in New South Wales at the present time, the visitor will find the hospitable dwellings on Mungadal,   Wooloondool,  Benduck, Canoon, Toogimbie, Pevensey, Nap Nap, Yanga, Canally, and Paika stations.

All these are but types of the homes to be found on the Yanco River, such as Yarrabee,   Yamma, Bundure, Yanco, and Coree, or the dwellings of the D'Arcy's, Tyson's,   McFarland's,  Synnot's, Molesworth's, and Haines on the Lachlan River. The back blocks, as they are called,  which a few years ago were regarded as of little value, are now esteemed as of almost equal worth with those on the frontages of the rivers referred to, and on Willurah,  Wargum,  Nyingay, Warwillah, Yandembah, Moolbong, Mossgiel, Kilfera, and many others, there are large and comfortable residences erected.

It is only a just need of merit-when we say that the residence of Mr Peter Tyson, of Corrong, is fit for a prince to dwell in.

These splendid properties afford a rich pasturage and herbage of saltbush and cotton bush, to millions of sheep and cattle, and render a return to their owners of an annual income we should be afraid to guess at. There is not, perhaps, in the habitable parts of the globe we live on, a country so desirable to live in as Riverina, so free from epidemics, so salubrious, so rich in the necessaries and even the luxuries of life, a sky so serene, an atmosphere so pure and a climate so comfortable. True we have a few hot winds during the summer months, the thermometer then reaching 120 degrees in the shade, but as these are exceptionable and rare occurrences,  and serve the purpose of frost and snow in northern latitudes.

Our wants are served by a fleet of steamboats which land their freight at our doors, and ply on the Murrumbidgee from Gundagai down to the junction with the Murray, and carry our wool and produce of all kinds to Echuca or Adelaide. Any stream or waterhole will furnish abundance of fish to us, and we want nothing to make us happy but thankful and content hearts.

We have churches and ministers of all denominations, and thanks to our paternal Government, we are being supplied with the means of education for our children at a nominal rate, while our hospitals supply medical assistance to the sick gratis.

We can build our dwellings if we wish of red gum, box, or pine timber, or make our furniture of boree or the scented myall, which grows plentifully on the banks of our rivers or sandhills which skirt the plains.

No man need go about here without means if he is only willing and able to work, and there is employment for everybody, and good pay for his labor. The complaint is general that laborers cannot be had. There are Government works to be done;municipal and private works also for which no person is offering.



RIVERINA arrived from Echuca on the 28th ult., returning on the 2nd inst.
PRINCESS sailed for Echuca on 28th ult.
CUMBEROONA sailed for Goolwa, South Australia on 28th ult.
CORRONG arrived from Echuca on 2nd inst., and sails up for Wagga this day.
KINGFISHER arrived from Echuca on the 2nd inst., the Wagga portion of her cargo was transported on board the Corrong.
EDWARDS arrived from Echuca on 2nd inst., and steamed up to (?)illaw, she sails for Echuca tonight.
BURRABOGIE arrived downstream on the 28th ult., and sailed for Echuca same day.
Messrs McCulloch and Co.  report that the PIONEER left Echuca on the 31st ult for Hay.
The COROWA left Echuca on the 2nd inst.,  for Hay and Wagga.

The river Murrumbidgee at Hay is 15 feet 5 inches,  stationary at Wagga on Saturday it was 16 feet, falling;at Gundagai last night it was 7 feet, falling.



Riverine Grazier office Wednesday, August 4, 1875.

The weather continues wet and cold. We hear that north of the Lachlan men are plentiful, consequent on the determination of many station-owners to shear in the grease this year. In stock movements we have to report-

Mr Wakefield Barton is close at hand with 6000 fat sheep from the Darling for Melbourne
3,700 fat wethers left Canoou on 24th ult.  for Melbourne;they crossed at Hay on 30th.
4,700 fat mixed sheep left Till Till for Melbourne on the 24th ult., to travel via Oxley and Hay, Mr McCarthey in charge.
2,572 fat wethers left Benerembah for Melbourne on 31st ult., in charge of Mr Angus Sutherland.
6,000 fat wethers, property of Messrs Rome Brothers, from Barcoo, Queensland, Mr J. W. Foley in charge, are in the neighbourhood of Bourke crossing this way.

The CROSSINGS over the HAY bridge for the week

350 rams, Mr D'Archy's for Oxley.
2,750 fat sheep from Oxley for Melbourne, Mr Hemly in charge.
29th - 6,000 fat sheep,  Mr Phelps's from Albermarle.
31st - 4,000 fat sheep from Alma Station, Mr W. B. Kelly in charge.
2,700 fat sheep from Canoon for Melbourne.
August 1st - 2,000 store sheep,  Mr L. McBean's for Woorooma, in charge of Mr Martin Metz.
8,000 fat sheep from Mossgiel, in charge of Mr Evans.


July 21st - 8,000 Mossgiel sheep, Evans in charge, for Melbourne.
23rd - 6,300 Brindingabba sheep, Barton in charge, for Melbourne. 

This is the lot of sheep reported as waterbound north of Merowie.

27th - 388 heffers and 101 bulls from Benthanga station for the Paroo, Trotman in charge.

Our MAUDE correspondent writes on July 29th

There was this day shipped from Maude wharf store, on board the steamer Princess, 38 bales of wool from Mr James Tyson's station on the Lachlan River. I think it the first shipment of this year's clip on the Murrumbidgee is Wilkinson.
Hann, Minchin, and Co. sold at WAGGA WAGGA by auction.
121 fat wethers in the assigned estate of Mr R. J. Higgins
98 cows for Mr Smith, of the (??Mole) Macquarie.
370 cows to Mr S. Swift sold privately.
5,600 ewes with lambs and 454 young wethers on account of Mr R. McIntyre to Mr John Affleck of Eunonyhareena.
200 mixed sexes for Mr J. J. Gibson to Messrs Bowen and McAlister, in conjunction with Messrs W.  and J. Raleigh.
5,200 six and eight tooth wethers on account of Messrs Westby, Pullitop.
3,500 six tooth ditto on the account of E. C. Pearson, of Sandy Creek to the Hon. William Wilson, of Willandra.
Rams-140 four tooths, Widgiewa bred, for Mr R. McIntyre to Mr J. Affleck, of Eunonyhareena.
50 head Learmonth blood for Mr Geo. Mair, of Groongal, to Mr W. Faed of Butherwa.


The Lake Cowal station with 2,400 head of cattle ,  14,000 sheep, horses, plant, &c. , on account of Messrs R. H. Clarence & Co. , to Messrs F. W. Ricketson and Ghinn.

Mr James Beveredge's estate, Bonnie Doon, to George Mc Donald, of Meroolbale station.

Mr Butterworth reports-

The sale of about 50 head of dairy cattle for Mr Andrew Donohoe, to Messrs Tomkins and Co., of South Merrowie, at 5 pound per head.

Mr J. J. Donnelly has sold his Egan Creek Station, in the Murrumbidgee district together with 10,000 superior sheep, to Mr W. Love, of Wagga, the station being highly improved.


On the 2nd instant, our local inspector, Mr John Keighran summoned Mr Martin Metz, in charge of Mr Lachlan McBean's 12,000 sheep from Rawbelle, Queensland, under the 42nd clause, for imperfect branding;he was fined 1d a head on 3,000 sheep.


Our correspondent reports the following crossings for the week ending July 29th, 1875.
July 24th - 4,400 sheep, Roto.
26th - 3,300 sheep, Tubbo.
28th - 200 Booligal, cattle for Sandhurst.
Close - 3, 000 sheep, Tongamain.
5,300 sheep, Nap Nap.


4,300 sheep, Yancannia
6,200 sheep, Albermarle
5,000 sheep, Hope and Scott
6,000 sheep, Gunderbooka
5,000 sheep, Mossgiel
4,000 sheep, Alma
3,000 sheep, Oxley
2,000 sheep, Coroonboon
3,609 sheep, Booabula
1,700 sheep, Learmouth's
3,500 sheep, Kerarbury
6,000 sheep, Tyson's.

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Last updated on 21 July 2018