Australian Town and Country Journal at KellyGang 18/5/1872 (4)

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Leaving Corowa, passing a few free selections, Elliott's Corowa Steam Saw Mills (large buildings), and a few of the lagoons which are so plentiful along the Murray river, the first station of importance called Collendina, is reached. It is 12 miles from Corowa - a good road the whole distance. The station is the property of Messrs. Gayer and Crosse. It carries sheep principally, and its area is about 60,000 acres. The residence of the hospitable proprietors is situated on the bank of the Murray. A broad lagoon, swarming with wild-fowl, the river beyond, up und down which a large number of steamers are seen passing in the wool season and when the river is up, make a pleasant picture. The residence is of pine, and looks very comfortable. The improvements on Collendina are worthy of mention. During the past ten years at least £25,000 has been expended in fencing, clearing, and the erection of buildings for station purposes.

A number of free selections are below the house, and the road continues with fences on each side for eight miles. Here is Taramia, the station and residence of Messrs. J. C. and H. Whitty. The homestead is about a quarter of a mile from the road. Taramia is a sheep station. Still proceeding for five or six miles, and Simpson's public-house was passed. Turning to the left for two miles further and I came to Mulwalla . Mulwalla is a small township of 100 inhabitants, having a church and school, a post office and store, besides a public-house. The three latter are owned and carried on by Mr P Dunn. The few houses in Mulwalla are scattered very much. The town is badly situated, being a mile from the main road, and the same distance from the Murray river. It is a much older township than Corowa. Police courts are hold periodically.

For many months a punt was working on the Murray at Mulwalla. It was owned by Mr E Pettier. In October, 1870, a river boat, the Lady Daly, was coming up the river and broke the rope and gearing of the punt, causing a complete wreck, and the punt sank. Pettier claimed compensation, and considerable litigation followed, but without effect. Pettier has now lost his punt and its value in law expenses; and no punt has been put in its place on the river at Mulwalla since.

The excessive heat of the previous day suggested the necessity of an early start on the following morning, in order to get over as much ground as possible before the sun rose high in the heavens. His fiery majesty had scarcely tipped the tops of the highest trees, when my horse was brought round, and I was in the saddle on my way down the river. When about half a mile from the township, a left hand track was taken, which led to gates, and through some fine paddocks, open forest land, while -

The sun's bright orb .ascending all serene

Now glanced obliquely o'er the woodland scene.

Creation smiles around on every spray

The warbling birds exalt their morning lay,

Blithe, skipping o'er yon hill, the fleecy train

Join the deep chorus of the lowering plain;

While all above, a thousand liveries gay

The skies with pomp, ineffable array.

Arabian sweets perfume the happy plains

Above, beneath, around, enchantment reins.

An inspection of some of the "fleecy train" then took place. Those before me bore a satisfactory proof of what was being done by the flock masters of the Murray in improving the breed of sheep in the district, and the quality of the wool. Continuing my course through the paddocks for a short distance brought me to the house.

Mulwalla Station is the property and residence of Alexander Sloane, Esq. The township once formed part of the station. The residence of Mr. Sloane, which is about two and a half miles distant from Mulwalla township, is one of the most pleasant on the Murray. It comprises several buildings, in cottage style, though much more extensive than such buildings usually are, and throughout they are built of pine. The Murray pine I have already spoken of for its beautiful grain, and when polished it is perhaps unequalled among Australian timbers. A neighbouring residence was called a "cedar palace" by one of our well-known public men, and on looking at the interior of Mr. Sloane's residence, with its polished ceilings and pawlled walls, the visitor sees the justice of the appellation.

There is a good shrubbery and garden, filled with choice plants and flowers, before the residence, and a cheerful view from the verandah over a stretch of green fields and meadow lands to the entrance gates, may be had. Station life must flow quietly and pleasantly at Mulwalla, and Mr Sloane is to be congratulated on the many improvements which come under the visitors notice. The stables are to the right, and the large woolshed is seen in the distance. Paddocks, divided, and sub-divided, fenced, and cross-fenced, with brush and wire fencing; gates taking the place of the old slip rails are seen in all directions. The area of the station is about 52,000 acres, and it carries upwards of 20,000 sheep.

Following directions for twelve miles through fairly grassed country, I reached Boomoonoomona, the station of the prince of woolgrowers on the Murray. Its importance demands a separate chapter.


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