Tumut Plains.



"Run No. 154"

Property Details

Acres = Estimated area, (20.000 acres) twenty thousand acres.

Estimated grazing capabilities, nine hundred cattle, or four thousand sheep. Bounded on the north by Goobaragandra Creek for eight miles; on the west by the Tumut River to where the Blowering Mountain comes into the river; on the south by Blowering Mountain, which separates my run from Whitty's; on the east by the Boogong Mountains. (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954) Monday 16 October 1848).

Obtaining title to the land in 1839 Mr. Rose then sold to George and William Shelley, who had been at Bombowlee for 10 years. This seems to have been the first property sale. This 1280 acres is Block No. 1 on the County of Buccleugh land map; No. 2 being the block next to it taken up in the name of George Shelley’s wife Amelia. Mr. George Shelley had married Miss Amelia M. Waddy at Parramatta on September 1st 1835 and brought his bride to Bombowlee, Tumut, where he had been the first land holder. Mrs. Thomas McAlister of Darbalara (mentioned earlier) had the house in readiness when the bride and groom arrived - these were the first two white women in Tumut.

George Shelley sold out his Bombowlee property to his eldest brother William Shelley. At the death of William Shelley in 1845 George Shelley became the sole owner of Tumut Plains. The first house the Shelleys occupied was near the Goobragandra River. This house was unusual for its time in that it was built partly of brick (said to have been ballast in a ship) and lathe and plaster. Fruit trees still mark the spot - quinces, plums and mulberrys

Index to Squatters and Graziers - Date Surname First Name Station Description Citation Remarks

10 July 1839 Kelley W & G Tumut Plains Henry Bingham Esq County of Murray NRS 906 [X812]; Reel 2748-2749, Page 1 Superintendent: John Rogers.

10 July 1839 Shelley W & G Tumut Plains Henry Bingham Esq County of Murray NRS 906 [X812]; Reel 2748-2749, Page 1 Superintendent: John Rogers. - (Ref- http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexsearch/searchhits_nocopy.aspx?table=Index to Squatters and Graziers&id=70&frm=1&query=Station:tumut plains)

TUMUT.-The deaths occurred of well known and highly respected local identity, Mr. William Regent, for many years farmer, at Tumut Plains, aged 69, - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Monday 8 September 1924).

Mr Jonathan Regent, a farmer, resident at Tumut Plains, has been killed by lightning, as well as the horse upon which he was at the time riding.- (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Saturday 15 February 1862).

A MAN AND HORSF STRUCK DEAD BY LIGHTNING - On Wednesday last Mr Jonathan Regest, a farmer, residing on Tumut Plains, left home in the morning to look after some cattle, intimating to his wife his intention of being back in the evening. Evening came, however, but not poor Regent, and be being a man of regular and punctual habits, his wife and family became alarmed at his absence.

On the following morning the neighbours instituted a searoh, which terminated successfully about three o'clook on Friday afternoon, when Regent and his horse were both found dead about six miles from his residence, under a tree which had been struck by lightning. It is therefore conjeotured that he had taken shelter under this tree during the storm that prevailed on Wednesday afternoon, and had been struck by the lightning.

Death, both to himself and his horse, must have been instantaneous there could have been no struggle, as one of Regent's feet still remained in the stirrup. His remains were brought home and interred in the Church of England cemetery - (Ref- Wynyard Times, February 4. - (Ref- The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)Tuesday 11 February 1862).


Portion No.1 - Parish of Blowering - County of Buccleuch.

In 1829 just 4 years after Hume & Hovell passed through the area just south of his run. James Hannibel ROSE was on the ").Tumut Plains Run"

In the same year 1829 mention is made of Mr John Stuckey's property being situated further down the Murrumbdgee River from the Warby Run. So that made a small hand full of permanent people living in the area. Including Mr George Shelley Name of run, "Bombowlee"

Tumut Plains Early Map

"EMPLOYEES" and or "SUB DIVISION" owners.

Sometime in 1844 Mr Augustus LeFevre arrived at "Tumut Plains" to work on the property.

In 1880 Mr George Johnson, 1st is listed as working on "Tumut Plains".

In 1843 Mr John ATKINSON purchased "Ashfield Farm" at Tumut Plains, NSW

William John Smiles was on a property in Tumut Plains

Chinese In the Kiandra - Tumut Plains - Tumut - Blowering areas.


Mr Killalea

Sturt Families

ADAMS, William farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

GRAVES Hedley farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

GREEN George farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

HOWE James farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

HOWE John carrier Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

IBBOTSON George farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

NAUGHTON Hugh farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

REGENT, Jonathan farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

STURT, George farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

VICKERY Edward farmer Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

HOWE John carpenter Tumut Plains Tumut - (Ref- Greville's 1872 Post Office Directory)

This report is submitted in good faith. All endeavours have been made to make all entries authentic and correct. For any corrections and additional valuable information, maps and photos you may have please contact John

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SHELLEY Amelia landowner Tumut Plains

SHELLEY George farmer Wermatong

SHELLEY Rowland farmer Tumut Plains

SHELLEY William farmer Woonoona

153. Shelly Wm., estate of, (per Susannah M Shelley.) Name of run, Bumbowlee. Estimated area, twenty-seven thousand acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, one thousand two hundred cattle, or nine thousand sheep. Bounded on the west by the Tumut River, commencing half a mile below Mundongaldgee hut, extending along the Tumut River to the lower end of Cockatoo; then by a tier of ranges running over to a creek called Kilmacat, crossing that creek one mile below Shelly's Kilmacat sheep station; on the north by the Pine Mountain and Wianga Range ; on the east by two miles of the Brangle Creek, commencing at the Black Swamps; then by a tier of ranges extending to a flat called the Spring Sheep station; on the south a line of hills, and ranges, which separate the run from Broughton's and Whitty's runs.

154. Shelley George Name of run, Tumut Plains. Estimated area, twenty thousand acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, nine hundred cattle, or four thousand sheep. Bounded on the north by Goubaragandra Creek for eight miles; on the west by the Tumut River to where the Blowering Mountain comes into the river; on the south by Blowering Mountain, which separates my run from Whitty's ; on the east by the Bongong Mountains. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Monday 16 October 1848).

The Tumut Country. , . (FROM OUR REPORTER.) The Tumut country is known as one of the most fertile regions of New South Wales. Situated in a mountain district, it has usually an abundance of grass and water when the less favored districts of the lower country and plains are suffering from a lack of these necessaries. In dry seasons, like the present, multitudes of sheep and cattle are driven from the lower country, and from the plains, to pasture in the abundant verdure of Tumut, and to quench their thirst at her ever-flowing streams. The prolonged drought of the present season has, however, scorched the pastures of even this district, and left her hill sides brown and sere. The seerching heat and the rainless days of the past few weeks have brought about this state of affairs, as up to that time grass was fairly abundant. The scarcity of to-day can, however, bear no comparison with the unfortunate desolation of other parts of the colony. This description is only appropriate to the hill country around Tumut, as her plains and valleys are still covered with fair pastures ; and so fertile are their soils, and so abundantly watered, that it would be hard to conceive the drought whioh would render them otherwise.

THE TUMUT PLAINS - are extensive areas pf rich vegetable mould, containing thousands of acres of land so fertile as to produce cereals, vegetables, and fruits in the richest profusion, and with water so near the surface as scarcely to require any irrigation. These plains were, nodoubt, at one time a lake, which has been gradually filled up by sedimentary deposits from the surrounding mountains, and eventually drained by the action of the streams flowing from the lake, cutting channels for themselves in the obstructions which impeded their progress to the sea. The extent of the plains is larger than appears at first sight, as they wind in and out among the hills, forming beautiful and far reaching valleys in many directions, all very fertile and well watered. On the plain water may be obtained anywhere by sinking distances of from 4ft to 10ft deep. The soil, which is usually of that depth, rests on a bed of boulder drift, the wash of former ages from the mountains, and contains gold in some quantity. The Tumut River and numerous small tributaries water this region. The plains and an extensive area of the hill country at one time formed the run of the late Mr. Shelley; and the property is still largely in the possession of the Shelley family; Mr. R. M. Shelley, of Tumut Plains, owning some portion of it, and his brothers-in-law, Messrs. Brown and Harris, owning the major part. The last two gentlemen have about 400 acres of their land rented to Chinamen for tobacco-growing purposes. About 500 acres of their portion of the plain are planted to maize. Mr. R. M. Shelley rents a considerable area of his property to Europeans at rentals of from £1 to £110s per acre. At present the plain is dotted with Chinese tobacco plantations, and their sheds for curing and drying the leaf.

DAIRYING pursuits the country is well adapted. .But the business is not prosecuted to any great extent. Mr R. M. Shelley has a cheese factory near his residence, Tumut Plains; but the present dry season has somewhat interfered with the output. The cheeses made are of good quality, and find a ready sale at Young, Goulburn, and other places.

TOBACCO. CULTURE - is now the great industry of the district; and, as this crop is practically in the hands.of the Chinese, the benefits accruing to the country from the development of this industry are not as great as if white labor was employed in the business. Why the Chinese are employed so extensively in this business, is. a question I an unable to answer. The Chinaman can certainly, pay more rent for an acre of land (and, make a living out of it than a white man. A Chinaman, as a genera, rule has no family to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate; no literary tastes to satisfy; no religion to support; no political or social clubs to patronise; and attends no race meetings, balls, or parties.

He lives in a shed, works incessantly from sunrise to sunset, Sunday and Saturday; is clothed in the cheapest garments; and lives on the poorest food. Competition with such a one is beyond the power of a white man; and, therefore, the Mongolian pan afford to give more rent for his tobacco land than a white man, and as a matter of course, drives the white man out of the field. This is, however, only one view of the ease, and does not answer my question, because there are white men (of whom Mr. E. M. Shelley is one), who will not rent to Chinese at all, and will and do rent to white men at a cheaper rate than Chinamen can obtain land.

There are others who reluctantly rent to Chinamen, and who would rent more cheaply to white men could they be obtained. And then there are thousands of acres of land in the hands of white men, which are in every way fitted for the production of any crop, but are simply used for pasture. Chinamen frequently pay as high a rent as £3 per acre for tobacco land at Tumut. Much of the land is let on the share system; and in that ease as high a price as £6 an acre is annually paid to the owners of the land as their share.

It is gratifying to be able to record that outside of the Tumut district (notably about Adelong) numbers of Europeans are entering upon the cultivation of tobacco, with every prospect of success. Indeed, why should it not be so The Chinese brought no BMH other than that acquired in this country to bear on the tobacco question; and why should not the white man learn the business as well as the Chinese? Mr. E. G. Brown (of Messrs. Brown and Harris beforenamed) buys most of the tobacco produced in the district. He considers that the total yield of tobacco in the Tumut district for the past year was about 400 tons, and that the present crop will amount to about 800 tons. About 2000 acres are at present under cultivation in the Tumut district alone and the areas in and around Adelong, Tarcutta, and the neighborhood may bring the total area up to about 3000. Speaking of

THE PRODUCTS OF TUMUT, - Mr. Brown says that they cannot be excelled. The maize of the district tops the Sydney market. But maize must touch 4s per bushel before it will pay to send it to Sydney. A considerable supply of fresh fruits would be sent to the Sydney market from the district if the railway rates permitted this to be done. But under the present arrangements the railway freights are so high as to preclude the possibility of sending fruits by this means at a profit. As an illustration of this a resident of Tumut on a recent trip to Sydney brought a small lot of apples container about four dozen as a present to a friend, and on that small quantity had to pay 6s hr freight on arrival in Sydney. That this should be the case is simply ridiculous, and calls for immediate investigation on the part of the railway authorities.


Mr. Rowland Mansfield Shelley, who died recently near Sydney, was the youngest son of the late Mr George Shelley, who was the first squatter In the Tumut district. He was born on July 15, 1847, at The Old Cottage, on the banks of the Goobraganbra River, Tumut Plains. Soon afterwards his parents moved to a new home on higher ground known for many years as The Plains, but now known as Camelot.

Mr. Shelley was educated at Dr. Wood's school, Parramatta. St. Marks Collegiate School. Macquarie Fields, and The King's School, Parramatta. He entered the services of the Australian Joint Stock Bank, and held positions at Wagga Wagga and Deniliquin. He then went on the land, and later became the owner of The Plains, where he lived until 1907. He was one of the first aldermen of Tumut, and was Mayor for two years. He was returning officer for 18 years, Magistrate for 25 years, Licensing member on the Bench for 20 years, president of Agricultural Society and Farmers' and Settlers' Association, a member of the School Board, a Warden at All Saints' Church of England for 25 years, and secretary and treasurer for 20 years, and Past Master of Tumut Unity Lodge of Masons. He leaves a wife and one daughter and four sons. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 13 January 1933 Page 10).



We briefly reported in last issue the death, of Constable Gordon Kenneth Vickery, of Tumbarumba, which took place at the Tumut Hospital on Thursday morning last. Deceased was the fourth son of the late Edward and of Mrs. H. B. Vickery, of Tumut Plains, and was 31 years of age.

Ten years ago he joined the N.S.W. police force and was stationed at Broken Hill, Wentworth and, Tumbarumba, at the latter for the last two years and three months.

In 1918 he underwent an operation at the hands of Sir Alexander McCormack in the Coast Hospital for an internal complaint and again in 1921 for a recurrence of the trouble (gastric ulcers). After the last operation he could not regain his lost strength, and towards the end of last month his condition became so serious that he was admitted to the local hospital. Internal hemorrhage had then set in and from the time of his admission on Boxing Day he never rallied, dying from perforation of the stomach, which caused the hemorrhage, and exhaustion.

In 1916 he married Miss Betty, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. Jarvis, of Cootamundra and formerly, of Tumut, and to them was born a daughter, Daphne, five years of age. Deceased was a highly respected officer, and made many friends where ever he went, having the goodwill of his fellow officers as well as the public, born of his conception of his duty to do justice to all men and act with discretion. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved widow and daughter, mother and brothers (Ted, Lyle, Roy, Bob and Jack) and step sister (Mrs. Harry McAllster, Goulburn), all of whom were present at the funeral.

The coffined remains were borne to the hearse and thence to the grave in the Church of England portion of the new cemetery, on Friday afternoon, by his "comrades in blue," viz: Sergt. Vallins (Tumut), Sergt. O'Connor (his superior officer at Tumbarumba), Constables McAndrew (Batlow), O'Neil (Tumut) and Irwin (Tumut), who sent a beautiful wreath tied with white ribbon conveying in gold lettering their sympathy for the bereaved. Rev. K. L. McKeown officiated at the graveside. - (Ref- The Tumut Advocate and Farmers & Settlers' Adviser (NSW : 1903 - 1925)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 8 January 1924 Page 3).