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On the old Hume Highway north of Benalla.


In the beginning of white settlement some Scots had stopped in the hills on the route from Benalla to Wangaratta and called the place The Glen. The town of 'Glenrowen' was proclaimed on 25 February 1861, perhaps named after the the Rowan family of the Springs. The first blocks were issued in 1858.

How was selection going in 1867 (Argus12/10/66)

Importance of Glenrowan

The main train line and road between Melbourne and Beechworth passes through a gap in the Warby Ranges at Glenrowan between Mount Morgan to the west and Mount Ruffy and the Futter Range in the east.

The lay out of the town and location of the place where the track was taken up. (SMH30/6/80)

The town is in a way in 2 parts, the old town part is to the south and west of the railway station along the old road between Benalla and Wangaratta, and the new part of town developed around the railway station. Jones's Glenrowan Inn was in the new part of town.

The Great Northern Railway was built in the early 1870s. It was the railway station closest to Greta and the Kelly home. The station was opened on 1 November 1974.

Daniel Morgan spent one of his last nights before he was killed asleep in the Glenrowan quarry in 1865

Selectors in the area (Argus21/6/80)

The scene of the Glenrowan siege and the battle with the KellyGang including the capture of Ned Kelly and the deaths of Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart

The siege was also the place where the reputations of many senior police officers ended including Superintendents Hare and Sadleir and Insp O'Connor and Sgt Steele

In more modern times trade has flowed through the town to places on either side.



What was Glenrowan like in the late 1870s

The railway arrived, on the Benalla to Wangaratta streach; description of the town. (Argus28/10/73)

On 9 December 1874 a telesope was set up at Glenrowan to watch the transit of Venus

The township of Glenrowan consists of about half a dozen houses, inclusive of two bush hotels, Jones's Glenrowan Hotel being about 200 yards from the station, on the west side of the line, whilst M'Donald's Hotel is about the same distance-on the other side of the line. See also (Argus21/6/80) (Argus30/6/80)

The town had lots of social events such as race meetings, picnics, ploughing matches and circuses. One of the most popular places for picnics was a paddock near Harvey's Paddock (orchard). The town plan of 1875 shows 35 blocks and a railway reserve, High Street and Palmerston streets and as the side streets Maud, Russell, Panmure, Granville, and Liddle.

Facilities in Glenrowan in the late 1870s

Population Main businesses

Glenrowan had a few shacks, a general store, a black smith shop and two hotels. The police barracks, post office and school were a kilometre closer to Benalla. The quarry was in production and the town serviced the wine industry in the area

Today the main street is on the eastern side of the railway line. In the KellyGangs time it was on the western side, up the hill from Jone's Glenrowan Inn

Mr Curnow stopped the train near Playford's and Desoyre's paddocks, about a mile and a quarter from the Glenrowan railway station ( Argus29/6/80 )

Hotels Jones Glenrowan Inn, [[../plM/macdonInH1.html|../plM/macdonInH1.html]]

McDonnells Railway Inn Railway Station Railway station

station master's house, Mr Stanistreet was the station master School The local school was in -- Street and Thomas Curnow was the school master.The school, police station, and post office was about a mile south of the railway station, and the same side as Jones’s Hotel (Argus30/6/80) Police Station

Constable Bracken was the policeman at the time of the siege.

Station was one mile south of the town on the main road to Benalla (JJK) Post Office Near police station. Mr Hillmorton Renoylds was the post master at the time of the siege.

There was a daily mail service to Greta from Glenrowan (Patrick Delaney) Local Government Other things of interest Patrick McDonnell shop owner

Reynolds store keeper (Argus18/11/78)

George Miller selector

Links to the KellyGang

see above

Const Johnson and his search party lost track of the KellyGang as they traveled through Glenrowan on 11/11/1878. From the inquiries Johnson's party made made they found that on the previous Friday (8/11/78) night that three men had been seen near the railway station when the train came in.(RC12461)(Argus14/11/78)

On 9/12/1878 the day of the Euroa robbery, when the train arrived at Glenrowan, Mr. Sadleir observed a suspected sympathizer and scout of the gang watching their movements; and, from his action and the expression of his face, it was evident that something unusual was stirring. Nicolson and Sadleir had taken the bait and they were off to Wodonga - in the wrong direction (RC2nd reportIX)

The Cameron was posted from Glenrowan (Argus18/12/78)

Const Stephens spent 3 months as an undercover policeman working as a porter at the railway station. (RC4527)

Const Faulkiner travelled through Glenrowan on 26/6/1880 and saw police parties that were there to cut off the KellyGang and sympathizers communication. (RC5485)

Where did the KellyGang take up the railway line? (Argus30/6/80)

When Curnow stopped the train it was near Playford and De Soir's (Desoyre) paddocks, about 1 1/4 miles south of the town(Argus29/6/1880) (FH)

Hear Mr William Grovernor's version of the story (BWC)

There is no telegraph office at Glenrowan and Mr Cheshire, the Postmaster at Beechworth, on hearing that the KellyGang were there, proceeded with the Beechworth detachment of police by train and on arrival, at about 9am, had the wires cut, and connected with a small pocket telegraph instrument, thereby Glenrowan in telegraphic communication with the city. (Argus2/7/1880)

Arrival of the train at Glenrowan (DailyTelegraph29/6/80) (McPhee)

By the time Jones Hotel was fired 700 people had arrived on the platform. (Age29/6/80)

The horses were found at Glenrowan. It had been stolen by the KellyGang and used at the siege. (Argus30/6/80) (SMH30/6/80)

Taking up the railway track (JJK) See also [[../../things/K_kellys/K_KellyGang.html|KellyGang]]

People living in Glenrowan

O'Horan (RC4612)



Reardon James

Rennison, Catherine and William

Reynolds, Hillmorton

Reynolds HJ selector 1876 (behind on payment for selection 1876)

Rule, John (baker)

Simpson William selector 1876

Smith (see also (OMA5/4/1879))



Walker, Abraham selector 1876 Ashmead John selector

Cameron John

Cass William (RC4574)


Costin (Argus13/9/81)

Edward Barrow

Bracken pc

Brolly Daniel selector 1876


Desoyre (De Soir)

Gibbons, Robert

Graham, Robert

Groveror, William


[[!!FIXME ../../documents/Newspapers/79_04_17_Argus.html|!!MISSING]]

Holloway, William


Kershaw, James

Kelly Denis selector 1876 (behind on payment for selection 1876)

Larkins (Argus)

Leo James selector 1876

McAuliffe Dennis

McDonnell Paddy

McGonigal John selector 1876


Mortimer David (JJK)

Mortimer William (Argus29/06/80)

What happened at Glenrowan after the time of the KellyGang

The scene the day after (Herald29/6/80) (Herald3/7/80) (Argus8/7/80)(DailyTel2/7/80)

Mr Curnow the school teacher had to leave Glenrowan with his family. But this was only part of the problem. People talk about the Kelly family gathering at Greta and stopping the authorities from holding an inquest into the deaths of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart.

Glenrowan was a town in termoil. A party of six men, all well armed, under the command of Senior-constable Kelly, left to night for Glenrowan on about 30/6/80. It was planned that they would stop all nigh at the Glenrowan police camp. The authorities considered it advisable in consequence of threats made to roast Constable Bracken as the police had roasted Dan Kelly and Hart. (Age 1/7/80)

In the days following, Glenrowan was visited by a number of people, who were anxious to see the scene of the fight. They eagerly cut out bullets in the trees and fences. At that time everything there was very quiet. However, the locals were not at all satisfied.(Age 1/7/80)

Const Gascoigne was stationed at Glenrowan for a time (RC9656)

Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into the KellyGang outbreak took evidence at Glenrowan in 1881. (Argus16/5/81)

New building on the site of the Glenrowan Inn leased to the police by Mrs Jones. There were other buildings on the site (Argus13/9/83)

Members of the Glenrowan community

What is happening at Glenrowan today

Glenrowan is just off the new Hume Highway and it is visited by a large number of people who are interested in the story of the KellyGang and the Glenrowan siege of 28 June 1880 when Ned Kelly was captured and Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart in Jones's Glenrowan Inn.

Glenrowan is making a new effort to tell the story of the KellyGang in a more effective way.

Contact the Glenrowan Improvers

See also Benalla Cavalcade by AJ Dunlop