Murgoo Station

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Murgoo Station is located in Western Australia
Murgoo Station
Murgoo Station
Location in Western Australia
Murgoo hut near shearing shed, 1905
Murgoo Homestead, 1905

Murgoo Station is a pastoral lease and sheep station located in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

Situated approximately 112 kilometres (70 mi) to the north of Yalgoo and 146 kilometres (91 mi) to the west of Cue, the station has an area of 402,960 acres (163,072 ha) consisting of saltbush plains and mulga country.[1] with an elevation of approximately 800 feet (244 m) above sea level.

The station was established in 1873 by Edward and Frank Wittenoom[2] and possibly owned for a time in 1875 by the Mungarra Squatting Company that was run by A. Brown and J. H. Monger.[3]

In 1880 the Wittenooms established the homestead at the current site. In 1891 the Wittenooms sold the property to Messrs Richard Holmes and H. Maloney. Holmes later sold his share to Maloney who ran the station until his death in 1903.[4]

Th station was on the market in 1905 and had a flock of 19,000 sheep, 500 cattle and 55 horses. There were many shallow wells and 23 windmills.[5] Divided into 15 large sheep paddocks, one large cattle paddock and ten smaller paddocks for horses or other stock, the station was sold later that same year to agents of Mr Charles Atkins for the sum of £23,200.[6]

The Aitken's imported Merino rams to the station from Victoria in 1908.[7]

In 1918, the Aitken's sold off 298 rams from the property.[8]

From 1919 the station was being managed by R. W. Fremlin, who steadily improved the properties situation. The property contained between 60-70 windmills by 1928 and had 423 miles (681 km) of five and six strand fencing erected.[9] Fremlin retired from managing Murgoo and other Atkins Brothers holding including Mount Narryer and Tibradden Station in the 1930s and moved to Mullewa where he died in 1954 aged 80. The combined properties run by Fremlin ran over 40,000 sheep and routinely produced 1200–1400 bales of wool per year.[10]

During the 1920s the station would often transport sheep to Derby for export by truck, the 230 miles (370 km) journey would take two days.[11] (Something not right here - Murgoo is about 820 miles from Derby, which would justify the time taken. Alternatively, Carnarvon would have been the closest port about 240miles away which matches the distance)

20,000 sheep were shorn in 1920, increasing to 28,000 in 1922 then following a drought only 23,000 in 1924. In 1924 the Atkins also sold 5,000 wethers to Mr. McKenna of Carlaminda station at 42s. per head. This was a record sale at the time.[12]

By 1926 over 31,000 sheep were clipped and in 1927 the station shore 32,000 producing over 900 bales of wool. In 1928 the station was owned still by the Aitken Brothers, who were originally from South Australia.,[13] the station also sold off 21,000 sheep from both Murgoo and the adjoining Mt. Narryer station which was also owned by the brothers.[14]

The current lessee is Reginald Seaman, Murgoo is operating under the Crown Lease number CL573-1966 and has the Land Act number LA3114/578. The Seaman family have been on the property since 1974 and in 2010 had to take the drastic step of destocking the property as a result of severe drought. Murgoo had below average winter rainfall between 2000 and 2010, receiving only 68 millimetres (3 in) of rain in 2010.[15]

Races[edit]

In 1915, Charles Atkins decided to hold a race meeting in the area to liven things up a bit. The first race was held at Manfred Station, approximately 75 miles from Murgoo, in 1917 which at the time was owned by Frank and Edward Wittenoom. Races were held at Manfred until 1920 when the Murgoo Picnic Race Club was formed in 1920.

A race track was made and Atkins made use of the shearing shed as a clubroom and for the race ball. In the early days women were only allowed in the clubroom when invited by a member and always received champagne as a refreshment.

Two day meets were held from 1920 to 1929 and then halted over the course of the great depression and a couple of years of drought before resuming in 1935. During World War II the Murchison Patriotic Funds Committee took over and ran the race biannually, and normal race meets resumed again in 1947.

No meetings were held in the drought years of 1950, 1951, 1955 and 1956, but were run regularly since until at least 1963. No bookmakers are allowed on the course and all jockeys are station hands and overseers.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Murgoo Station". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 September 1905. p. 44. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Murgoo Station". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 September 1905. p. 44. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin No. 73" (PDF). 1980. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Murgoo Station". Geraldton Guardian. Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 22 December 1928. p. 35. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Murgoo Station". Western Mail (Western Australia). Perth: National Library of Australia. 23 September 1905. p. 44. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sale of Murgoo Station". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 7 October 1905. p. 9. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Merino Rams imported by Messrs Atkins Bros from Victoria for their Murgoo Station on the Murchison". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 13 June 1908. p. 29. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Recent Station sales". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 2 August 1918. p. 18. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Murgoo Station.". Geraldton Guardian. Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 22 December 1928. p. 35. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Former Station Manager Dies, Aged 80.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 15 September 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Trucking stud rams from Murgoo station to the coast". Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 11 October 1925. p. 7. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "A record sale of wethers". Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 27 July 1924. p. 15. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Murgoo Sheep Station.". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 17 September 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Murgoo Station". Geraldton Guardian. Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 22 December 1928. p. 35. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Heartbreak as farmers watch crops fail". The West Australian. 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Champagne for all at Murgoo Picnic Races.". The Australian Women's Weekly. New South Wales: National Library of Australia. 10 October 1962. p. 12. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 

Coordinates: 27°21′42″S 116°25′41″E / 27.36167°S 116.42806°E / -27.36167; 116.42806