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Nungatta visit

THE Bombala and District Historical Society held its spring excursion to Nungatta, Nungatta South and Wangabelle on Saturday, November 15.
Nanjing Night Net

Around 60 people made their way to Nungatta for morning tea where the President, Stuart Hood welcomed all and gave the group a history of settlement in Nungatta.

Mr Hood explained that when W.T. Morris squattered on 100,000 acres in the area in 1836, they found the aborigines in the area were outcasts from other tribes and were not aggressive like some of the aborigines further south.

There were a succession of owners each lasting three or four years until Alexander Weatherhead bought Nungatta in 1854 for 800 pounds.

It was now much reduced, about 12,000 acres. He later wrote that he was very happy there, he could eat when he was hungry, sleep when he was tired and work for the rest of the time.

He raised his family there, farmed it successfully and when he died in 1901 he left an estate worth 40,000 pounds.

Hector McWilliam (of McWilliams Wines) bought it from the estate in 1914 and unsuccessfully tried to subdivide it into dairy farms. He then sold it in 1918 to Henry Phippard, a Sydney builder (with his brother, Ernest, they had built the Queen Victoria Building), and built a large homestead on Nungatta.

However his attempt to run pigs was a failure, and in 1923 sold it to Traralgon graziers, Dunbar, Dunbar and Napier, who were later joined by David Walker, father of Alan Walker of Palarang. They successfully raised cattle, droving them to Traralgon to fatten them.

In 1946 they sold Nungatta to the Osbornes from Bungendore who used managers to run sheep and cattle. Gil McIntosh and Paul Gimbert were two of the managers in recent times.

Paul recounted some of his memories of his time at Nungatta. In 2013 Ben Campbell bought part of the property while James Osborne retained the south western portion.

The group then went and inspected the Homestead, which has fallen into disrepair, but it was evident that it had been a magnificent house when it was built.

Next was the woolshed where Keith Brownlie and John Podger, who had worked there during shearing, recalled some interesting incidents that had occurred.

Following lunch the group went to the cemetery where Alexander Weatherhead, some of his family and some workmen were buried, before continuing to South Nungatta.

South Nungatta was split off Nungatta in 1907 and run by Charles McCoy. Between 1919 and 1970 the Browns owned it and since 1972 the Nungatta South Group has owned it. They are a Melbourne Group who want to run it as a Conservation Reserve.

The group then proceeded to Wangabelle where Dot de Geus gave the history of Wangabelle from a thriving dairy community with a school of over 100 pupils to the present time where there are about 15 beef cattle farms.

The group also looked at the cemetery where descendants of the original settler Captain Stevenson are buried. Captain Stevenson himself is buried in Rockton.

This was the conclusion of a very successful day.

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