Old Tintinallogy

Old Tintinallogy was the original homestead of the Tintinallogy run.1 Tintinallogy is on the east bank of the Darling river between Menindie and Wilcannia. The station was amongst the first official runs on the central Darling, and also on the eastern side of the Darling, being established by Edmund Morey about 1851. The west side was initially more popular and stations like Weinteriga had been occupied by 1849, and Mt.Murchison beyond what would become Wilcannia by 1850. Nicholas Sadlier, who had been manager at Tarcoola after MacPherson, recorded that at that time the land on the east side was unoccupied by Europeans from Tintinallogy to Bourke.2

An old chart of river distances3 lists Old Tintinallogy as being 387 miles from Wentworth (at the Murray-Darling Junction), and 742 miles from Walgett (considered the northern limit of navigation). Old Tintinallogy to be 67 miles upriver from Menindee. Typical estimates make the same journey to be 30-40 miles by road. Near neighbours Albermarle and Henley were 32 and 14 miles down river respectively, while Weinteriga and Tintinallogy were 13 and 25 miles upstream.

The original Tintinallogy homestead was located on the southern boundary of the station.4 Morey abandoned the lease in 1852 after problems with staffing (it was the time of the first Victorian gold rushes) and Aborigines. Morey was an absentee owner, having more property at Euston on the Murray; and some of the staff he could get were killed in his absence.5 Maiden suggests the property was taken over by 'Sam Shorten', but it is possible this was in fact the Staughton Bros (one of whom was a Sam). A J.S. Staughton had been a witness to the burial of William and Elizabeth ROGERS' daughter Elizabeth on Weinteriga in 1866.6 In Greville's 1872 Directory, under Wilcannia the grazier at Tintinallogy Station is listed as S. Staughton and under Menindie the squatters are Staughton Bros. Maiden also notes that Stoughton lost 4000 head of cattle on Tintinallogy in the 1877 season.7 The 1881 electoral roll for Wentworth, Wilcannia and Menindie shows Stephen G. and Samuel T. Staunton as having Tintinallogy.

In the second half of the 1860s William Rogers appears to have worked for the owner Tintinallogy. In this period the squatter built a new homestead, also near the river, but being 25 miles up-river, it was closer to the centre of the run.8 When you look for Tintinallogy on a modern map, it is this newer homestead that shows as Tintinallogy. Old Tintinallogy no longer exists. As far as Tintinallogy goes, the Staughton's appear to have sold Tintinallogy to the partners in the syndicate known as Ross Reid & Co. around 1885.9 Ross and William Reid had started at Mt.Murchison (later the location of Wilcannia) in the 1850s, and in 1862 owned Tolarno. In the economic turmoil of the 1890s Tolarno was lost to a bank in 1892, and Tintinallogy in 1898 - although John Reid stayed on as manager for another six or seven years.10

William ROGERS took up the Old Tintinallogy homestead as a selection; presumably under the provision of the 1861 Crown Lands Alienation Act (the so called Robertson Act). Much of central and western New South Wales was then occupied by squatters - pastoral farmers who grazed sheep or cattle on land leased from the Crown. The 'owner' of a station therefore 'owned' the lease. To encourage economic growth, and closer settlement, selectors could take up a 40 to 320 acre block of land provided they met certain requirements, mostly through making improvements on the land. It seems William ROGERS met the conditions as we are told the 100 acre (40.47ha) homestead area was held freehold.11

In 1884 a new Crown Land Act required leasees to give up half their leases for closer settlement (to be 'resumed') - in return for better conditions lease (including longer terms). The new act also allowed conditional leases where selectors could take up land adjacent to their freehold land - recognising that the maximum 320 acres was insufficient to support a family. An 1885 map of Tintinallogy drawn up to show the areas to be held and the areas to be 'resumed' also shows Old Tintinallogy and several other selections. This map shows Old Tintinallogy to be far larger than the 100 acres freehold, and is likely to be a conditional lease. We currently have no information on how large that area was. The map is marked "Notified 30th June 1868", but it is assumed this is for the original selection.

More law changes occurred in 1901 following the "Royal Commission into the Condition of the Crown Tenants", and in 1905 further amendments allowed conditional leases to be converted to conditional purchases. This does not appear to have occurred in the case of Old Tintinallogy. A 1912 county map shows the Old Tintinallogy block to have reached 1590ha, or 3930 acres. The map also shows the property to be held by Alexander 'Sandy' ROGERS. It appears this larger block was known as "Woodstock". (used on birth certs of Sandy ROGERS children from 1898, Max hamm says area known as such till about 1940)

We are still investigating the later history of the property. At its peak, up to 13 families are believed to have lived in the vicinity. As well as Rogers and Geyers, a Mr Petersen ran a smithy, a Mr Wilson had a market garden, and a Mrs Murdoch lived a small way upstream. There were several more selections upstream of Old Tintinallogy. One of these was held by Sam Meredith whose name appears on some records associated with Old Tintinallogy. The community included a school, which shared a teacher in rotation with several other nearby communities.(Maiden) When the school closed, the building was taken to Slammanon.12

Some time following the death of Margaret GEYER (nee ROGERS) in 1907, Sandy ROGERS appears to have moved to 'Slammanon' a property on the road to Ivanhoe. The property seems to have been left in the hands of the McINNES.13 They and others appear to have left the property for Menindee in 1923. The surrounding area had been taken up by the Hamms and the property was subsumed into their property, which became known as Viewmont.14 The county map shows the ROGERS lease to have been gazetted as terminated in 1944. However a number of leases show this same date and as such it appears to have been an administrative tidy up. The 100 acres of freehold was passed back to the Western Lands Board.15

The Hams lived in the old Hotel while their own homestead was built on what was formerly the Henley property (the Henley homestead was where Viewmont woolshed is now located). The Hams temporarily used the former McINNES home as a woolshed. It is not known what happened to the other residents. Rabbit and 'Roo shooters, and vagrants used the old hotel as a camp site and it slowly disappeared (much into campfires), the last remains being demolished about 1939-1940.16

Few reminders remain of the old settlement. The original cattleyards can still be made out as compacted ground, as can the old goatyard. Some posts from the new cattleyard remain. The old boiler remains near the site of Wilson's market garden, the furrows of which have almost vanished. Small amounts of rubbish (like an old bedhead) marks the site of the McInnes house. The cemetery on the sandhill has fallen into disrepair with a broken picket fence amongst the roots of the pepper trees.17


Notes:

  1. Maiden (1989) p182
  2. Maiden (1989) p21
  3. Parsons (1987) p138-139
  4. Map of Tintinallogy Run 1885
  5. Hardy (1969) p69
  6. NSW Death 1866/002890
  7. Maiden (1989) p72
  8. As shown on the Map of Tintinallogy Run 1885
  9. Moore (1975) p73
  10. Moore (1975) p73
  11. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  12. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  13. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  14. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  15. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  16. Max Ham via Mary Wilson
  17. Mary Wilson - see photo on the Cemetery page

The menu photo depicts the old boiler at Old Tintinallogy. Photo by Mary Wilson ©2003