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One of the original properties in the Kelly Country

Nearest towns

History at Banawatha before the KellyGang

located on the Murray River north of Wangaratta and west of Wodonga

The run was first taken up in 1837 by Joseph Slack but later abandoned. In 1839 it was taken up by George Hume Barber , a nephew of Hamilton Hume. He called it 'Barneywatha'. It was 38400 acres.

It was sold to David Reid in 1856 but much of the property was resumed for smallholdings. He then built a stone house that he called 'the Hermitage'.

Most of the property was sold in 1865 to John Whitehead. George Henderson bought the house and the leased rights to some of the land and in 1871 he had sold the lease to Henry Richardson.

G Henderson and J B Barlow attended a major meeting to plan for the coming of the railways (Argus15/7/67)

Barnawatha House was built in 1870 of clay bricks formed and fired on the property. It has a three-storey belltower

In 1876 the license was held by Henry Richardson and the half yearly license fee was £10

Where did the name Banawatha come from

Could be either aboriginal for a deaf and dumb person, or from barne-waitha - tall rushes. Name can aslo be spelt Barnawoodtha

Nanny 1843-1882, member of Toolinyagan clan, Pangerang tribe. While living at Barnawatha complained to commissioner of crown lands after husband murdered.

The original aboriginal owners

The first selectors



Original neighbouring properties

Murray River

What was Banawatha like in the late 1870's

The town of Banawatha had been formed

There was a postal route from Banawatha to Yackandandah via South Barnawatha, and North Wooragee

There were deposits used for ballast on the railway line at Banawatha (Argus11/3/73)

Links to the KellyGang

Sup Sadleir sent a report on the hunt for the KellyGang from Barnawatha on 1/11/1878.

The KellyGang had made it to the River Murray. (RC1756)(JJK)

While hunt for KellyGang continued Banawatha was surrounded by water (Argus7/11/78)

There are some indications that Joe Byrne had a place that he sometimes used to hide stolen stock in this area

Rivers Creeks and Hills near Banawatha

Barnawatha is located on the Indigo Creek, called Koendiddah by the aboriginals

What happened at Banawatha after the time of the KellyGang

The Chiltern Barnawatha show (Argus21/9/81)

What is happening at Banawatha today