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The Old Mildura Homestead circa 1847
The Old Mildura Homestead stands as one of Mildura’s most significant links to the past, with its unique position in the district’s history and folklore.
According to local legend the people who inhabited this region prior to the arrival of Europeans called this place Mildura mil meaning water and dura meaning rock.
Today the reconstruction of the Homestead and its environs is an inspiring reminder of Mildura’s brave beginnings in the pastoral and irrigation industries.
You are invited to take full advantage of the historic Homestead and its park-like surrounds. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy as much time as you like soaking up the past.
Mildura's Story So Far
The pastoral era began here on March 1 1847, when squatter Francis Jenkins swam 900 cattle and ten horses across the river from New South Wales.
Believing he had settled in South Australia, Jenkins travelled to Adelaide to register his selection ‘Stateman’. Jenkins returned to discover his claim had been taken by Hugh and Bushby Jamieson who obtained the first Depasturising Licence for a leasehold they named Yerre Yerre. In 1858 the name changed to Mildura.
The pastoral industry’s early days in the district were a tremendous success, boosted by the early riverboat trade. In 1854, 10,000 sheep grazed the run.
Encouraged by good seasons and high wool prices, Alexander McEdward bought the Mildura property in 1874.
Sadly, the boom years did not last. By 1878, beaten by drought and rabbits, McEdward sold the freehold and an adjoining three leasehold blocks to the Tapalin Pastoral Company. The company was liquidated just one year later.
In 1887 the enterprising Canadian brothers George and William Benjamin Chaffey travelled from California to set up an irrigation colony at Mildura. Their first base was the old Yerre Yerre property.
The cottage, woolshed and stable help recreate station life of the 1850s.
A link to Mildura's past
The Chaffey brothers had been inspired to come to Australia by the President of the Royal Commission on Water Supply and Irrigation, The Hon. Alfred Deakin MLA. Victoria’s gold rush had ended and Deakin believed irrigation would provide a great solution – promising a new beginning for thousands of people. The grand colonisation scheme began on May 31 1887, when the Victorian Government agreed to a concessional grant of 250,000 acres. In 1888, the first pumping for new plantings occurred at this site.
What is Here Today
From the first European explorers to overlanders, pastoralists and irrigationists, building success in this land of little rain has long been a story of vision and determination.
The Old Mildura Homestead has been recreated to remind us of this heritage. The red gum slab Homestead building is a replica of the first home built in Mildura, circa 1847. An adjoining brick building is identical to the extension added when the Chaffey family lived here.
The Old Mildura Homestead
Cureton Avenue Mildura
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