Historical Tumut Stories by "WOMBAT"

Historical Tumut Stories






No. 11.

My readers will kindly pardon the spirit of abandon that compels me reluctantly, to wander ad lib through the miscy past, gathering a little here and a little there, needless of the general chronological sequence of event. I find, in recouting the doings of sturdy pioneers (who braving vicissitudes and trials legion, have made Tumut and its surroundings the prettiest spot in New South Wales), that it is imperiitive for me to give an account of each one's doings from their start hereabouts up to the present time, or until the Grim Reaper called them.

Hence,I will now introduce briefly a few incidents in the career of Mr Robert Downing senior, who, leaving his home in County Kerry, Ireland, came to New South Wales about the end of the thirties, and entered the employ of Mr Broughton, who then owned Bombowlee Run.

He remained there till about 1812, when he took up a homestead on the Gilmore and was one of our earliest settlers.

He was a man of strong physique and deter mination, and was familiarly known in those days as "Kerry Bob." The squatting instinct seemed born in him, and he followed grazing pursuits with an indomitable spirit which enabled him during his lifetime to secure broad acres in no less than five parishes in the County of Wynyard.

When Reedy Flat (Batlow) was in its palmy days as a mining centre, Mr H. M. Reilly had a public house and a store at what we now know as Reilly's Gap, just above Windowie, then known as Black Springs, or better still as Cockatoo.

His property fell later into Mr. Downing's hands. He added considerably to the area, and worked the land successfully as a cattle run.

Subsequently he purchased "Killarney" and built thereon the Killarney Hotel when Adelong was in its heyday, and still later the "Gadara Estate," now held by his son, Mr Frederick Downing.

He cultivated largely and with satisfactory results. The subject of our notice was one who took a deep interest in politics, and in the days of hustings and platform orations his stentorian voice would be heard urging the claims of the candidate whose cause he espoused.

Well I remember him at the back of the Tumut Race course, on an occasion of sports being held and Dr Lynch was a candidate for political honors, calling out above the din of the crowd, " Come all ye Connaught Bangers and vote for Lynch."

At that election, Dr. Lvnch was defeated, his onoonedt polling was 630 votes more than him; and so irate was the defeated candidate that he wrote in the local paper roundly abusing the majority, winding up with the words, " As to those persons who have made so tree with my name. I can only say I treat them with the most unmitigated contempt their vain efforts to injure me deserve, and would say to them in the language of an admired writer, "Cease, vipers! for you bits against a file."

Some amusing incidents occurred in those old days. An old identity at this time, named Martin Dwyer, had a wooden arm with a hook on the end of it. In a row with Mr Downing, Dwyer got him down and putting the hook into his mouth brought it out the side of his cheek..

When charged with the offence, Dwyer said " I was only taking the lampers out of him." During his long life Mr Downing and his sons worked amicably together. Mr Robert Downing junior secured the estate known as Rosebank, now Mr W. D. P. O'Brien's and leased to Mr E. L. Isaacs.

Mr John Downing, the second son, owned the Oxley Estate, now Mr Noel Harris'.

These two brothers worked their respective properties for a number of years and added largely increased areas to them prior to disposing of them.

Messrs Thomas and Michael Downing, the next in the lineal order, at present follow the occupation of drovers. Mr Mat. S. Downing has for years earned on a successful butchering business at Tumut, and

Mr.Charles E. Downing's time has been alternated between pastoral and mining pursuits.

Mr. Downing senior died at a ripe old age, and his help meet and good considerate and indulgent mother followed him only a few years ago. Mr Robert Downing jr husband of Mrs Downing, of the Star Hotel, Tumut died on August 23, 1803.

The whirligig of Time brings many ohanges-victors or conquered, successful or unsuccessful, each must in the end bow to the inevitable; there are graves for all.

In 1856 the first election was held in Tumut, in the then Murrumbidgee electorate. There were three candidates, viz:

Messrs John Hay (afterwards Sir John Hay)

, Macleay and


Speeches were delivered from hustings erected for the purpose, and excitement was very much greater and decidedly more pronounced than now. On that occasion, as excitement increased, a man of herculean frame, named Nixon, said to have at one time been engaged in piracy, had a wordy altercation with Mr H. Moon, the builder of the first flour-mill here, and who at one time had filed his sahedule at Queanbeyan.

Arguments failing to convince either, Moon, in boisterous tones, said to Moon, " Go baok to Queanbeyan 1" Moon retorted, in a somewhat squeaky voice, "Hold your tongue, ye peeratc" (pirate). When the poll was declared, Mr John Hay was returned.

Speaking of pioneers' troubles, in taking up my next subject I must ask my readers to excuse the introduction of one who can' hardly be legarded under the heading of "Historical Tumut," and, as the old lady remarked, when asked her opinion of a certain preaoher, " If the text was a box it would not hold half the sermon." But it will tend to show our rising generation what he, like many of our forefathers, had to undergo before settling down. I refer to Mr William McLaren, a burly Scotchman, who was born on the ocean and was landed in Australia in 1839 from the ship The Heroof London.

His father was a squatter with Merchant Campbell in Queanbeyan, and at the latter's death he and his mother and father were turned out. The young fellow and his father's next exploit was with surveyors at Binalong. They went to Merool Creek and were lost for 5 days near Binyal Mountain, when a blackfellow was sent out to what is called Pigeon Bock to bring the surveyor's teams in.

Having a disagreement with their employers, McLaren and his father went to Jack Downing, and remained 3 years with him engaged in station work.

They then went to Binalong to see their people, but on arrival found they had gone to Dungog, where they next went, only to find the mother of our wanderer dead. McLaren senior was an engineer and followed his trade at Dungog for 3 years, assisted by his son.

Leaving there, they went to Hoods and Gordon und completed a job mustering wild cattle.

Afterwards they joined one Charles Tunks, an engineer, and engaged in building threshing machines. They later had a contract on the Clarence Town road from the Police Department to construct culverts from Clarence Town to Hunting's Punt, at which they did well.

The McLaren's went to Sydney and thence back to Queanbeyan, where the father died from cancer. " The young man, thus left on his own, next found him self at Gundagai, in 1852, at the time of the disastrous flood, in which he rescued several girls and women from a watery grave.

His next situation was with his brother Arthur as reporter of travelling sheep to Girrerra Station, then owned by Mr Barber. After remaining there for some lime, he went, to Tuena and losing his horse was compelled, to stay. Here he went to firebrick-making, but he beat his legs .craoking caused him to give it up.

Mining at Junction Point was engaged in for a time, and after going to Burrowa and Yass he came to Tumut in 1872, where he has remained ever since, mining principally on Emu Greek and Goobragandra River.

In the former place he selected 40 acres of G.P and 120 acres C. P., and has founded a comfortable home in his old days,(To be continued.)

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

To Home page - To







At 1 o'clock.


HAVE received instructions from MR. W. HASSETT, of Grahamtown, to offer by public auction, as above, his valuable property on Mt. Pleasant Creek, 10 miles from Adelong, consisting of


423 ACRES C.L. all condition

1148 All fulfilled

The above property is situated from Adelong, 10 miles from Railway Station, and adjoins "Ellerslie Eatate." House, Hay Shed, Drafting Yards, etc, in 4 paddocks, boundary and subdiving fences wire-netted, permently watered by Mt Preasant Creek, which runs through the property; also spftbge. 17 acres under lucerne, 20 acres under maize, and 200 acres more could be cheaply cleared, the best of wheat land; the balance is tip-top grazing country, all well improved Soil richly chocolate. We know this property well and strongly recommend intending buyers to inspect. We will drive anyone round the property at anytime arranged.

w. A. WRIGHT & CO,

Auctioneers, Gundagai,





on the above date at 2 p.m. /

50Hd. Horses,

Including Eight Draughts.

Further Entries Invited.






HAVE received instructions from (W D P O'BRIEN,.Est),


in farming areas at an early date, the remainder of the propery containing about 1400 acres of

Freehold Land, of which 1100 acres is choice Wheat. Oat and Lucerne Land.

Terms and further particulars will be announced in a future issue.


Sole Agents.



including: Draught and Light Horses.

Further Entries Invited.



TROTTING RAILWAY II. (Imported) W.SiB. Vol XI-4 Height 14.2

Holds Government Lite Certificate

Is a beautiful dapple brown, with rare ubatanoe. etrenbth and quality; fine all round action, perfect in harness, very active, docile and fast I \ FEE 1. .. 5 5s, WELSH MOUNTAIN PONY, ~ MEWY BOY. (Infeortcd). * W.S.I3. Vol. IV% Height, 12.2. Holds Goverommt Life Certificate. Is a beautiful roai\ with black pointa. A Perfect Pony. FEE .. .. i 4s. As the lists for both Stations are rapidly filling, early application is neoessary, Apply STUDSMAN, QffUa Wslfli Cob and Pony 8tad Farm FOR SALE. A TUBULAR SEPARATOR (hand), in r\ thorough order, cnpioity 35 gallon* per. hour. A'so one cream oan (8 gal). For; particulars and price apply office of this paper.



Next Gilmore Hotel

Saturday, Nov. 2,


sale of Cattle, submit G, B. Guy forward will hold a Special when he on account, of 55 Head coir On account" Mr, 10 Head Stee: 10 Springers On account variojc^ owners 40 Head Mixed G&'ttle. Further entries will be received by Mr, W. O'Brien, Gimore, Hotel.

ARTHUR A. BRADLEY Auctioneer, S. & S. Agent, Tumbarumba. BUTCHERING. CABT, luden^vfth meat of thig ch^iicBi^t^cufe and the primest article procumble;|rwill visit ADLLONG on MONDAYS tind and'i'UjMUr on TUESDAYS und SATUR DAYS as usual. PRIME ST MUrrON : Sides at 1W po lb, forequarters -id, leg or loin ud. POULTRY PURCHASED in any QUAN TITY TO STAND THE SEASON AT "COSGROVET" BOMBOWLEE SE. TERMS: : Mares to bo removed and mild fd^when' stinted, due notice of which wiij^egiven. Good paddocks pruvided ; A MAN to DRIVE Apply to Red Hill. POISQN CAR?^ MRS- M. A. ANDREW Picnio Parties and Banquets catered for The publio will receive prompt attention to their requirements. A Ball IN AID OF ^ TUMUT A. % PASSDCIATION WILL IT. HELt TUESDAY, 2MH





The Largest Assortment

OF Dress Materials


Including Marquisettes, " San Toy Voiles, Silk Stripe "Voile, Foulards ari-3 liifcen and Tussore SilEs.

The Assortment is too grgsft to fiiejgcSon all priciaf but the dress lengths are 2s cheajf$ thancan purchased elsewhere for We guarantee'p% I ft t | I LINELLA, THEllEW DRESS FABRIC, 84in. wide in Blue3, Greys and Tussore shades, at 6d per Yard " is a marvel. AN END TO MOULDY *r DRY TOBACCO!!! /^LIMATE or Weather cannot affect ^ the condition of CHAMPION." Every 2oz. Hermetically-Mealed Tin is GUARANTEED-it being TESTED UNDER PRESSURE. The Fleke-Cut and the Mixture are the very finest types of Virginian Tobapcc on the market. SMOKERS need have no hesitation to laying in a f&od supply, for it is'/tot only guaranteed to open up AS SOUND A'5 WHEN PACKED, but improves f>y keeping* Air-tight, i FLAKE-CUT: Light and 'Dark. 2oz. Tips 1MIXTURE : The ChoicestBlend. HERMETICALLY-SEALED. Special Attraction. Gus. St. Leon's GREAT UNITED CIRCUS. TOUT ONE NIGHT ONLY, THURSDAY, 24TH INST 40 Importe A selection from the best tife world can oer, including The famous Five St. Leons- Honey and Cherry, Seronita Aillipina, two Comiquea- 3 Saidio sisters, Comioal Gustane, Beg J and. And a number ol others Also the Big Brass Band of 16 (the largest on toar). Playing to thrilling, Crowed houses nightly. -CAUTION-Don't attend thiB Circus in tight Clothes; you are liable to burst all the buttons off laughing. 1 LOCATION: MADIGAN'S GROUNDS. ERNEST J. CQYLE, Touring Manager. CRYSTAL PALACE PICTURES: O'BRIEN'S HALL, TUNIUT, Thursday Ni tv ' .'"'.The Great Animal Picture "Ldst In the Jung*} Also the DIplomaticvSl#f!rv#,'*% "The Sham Secret" I Interesting, sensational, brilliant and entertaining^*'^ Good programme always-assured. Entire change each" week. Watch lor announcement of Star Item. PRICES: 2/- & 1/-; CHILDREN, HALF PRICE. First Aid in the Mitchen! Wom^n'i work in the kitchen is o trying and tiring that anything .which makes for eaiitf methods and better results is sure of a hearty welcome. That is why "Good Shot" Baking Powder is m popular and so generally used. It is truly the housewife's first aid in the kitchen. combines the maximum of quality and purity. It Is prepared with scientific accuracy, from materials which have been proved beyond a doubt to be the best for the purpose. It is guaranteed absolutely free from alum and other adulterants. Use "Good Shot" Baking Powder and you will find that your bread and scones will be nicer, cakes daintier, pastry lighter and crisper, and puddings more wholesome. It makes cooking a pleasure instead of a burden. All leading storekeepers sell " Good Shot" Baking Powder or can procure it for you. The Cook's Best friend. D. mrorai t. CO. Ut, S* rrairietars, 153 Clwetce SL, Sydney. AND MARSHALL D ' CRONAN Farriers, (LATE W. M. MMSJtfL

General Blacksmith


Where Horses K Sh

ANNOUNCE to the community that they have entered into partnership to conduct the business of the "Oriental Blaoksmithy" and Farriery", and by close attention to orders, tradesman like methods and superior workmanship seek to secure a fair share of the trade of the distriot. $

We perform all our work personally, and specialise in horses hoeing. Give us a trial, ' S

Moderate oharges. Quiok despatah.

WILLIAM MARSHALL in thanking the public for the liberal patronage accorded to him during the three years and eight months he has carried on the business on his own acoount, sbw|b a cwtUmauoe vrf wtetwlou of wwe to Ute new firm,