About Numurkah & District
# Brief History of the District (Click on arrow near heading below, for more information)
# Brief Early History of Numurkah Township (Click on arrow near heading below, for more information)
Brief History of the District
1861 - District Squatter Runs
1890's - Selections in the Kaarimba-Mundoona area
1960's - Soldier Settlement Irrigation Blocks: Baulkamaugh area
NOTE THE CHANGE IN THE SIZE OF PROPERTIES FROM SQUATTER TIMES THROUGH TO SOLDIER SETTLEMENT
Brief Early History of Numurkah Township
Numurkah township (and Wunghnu township) were both proclaimed on 8th February, 1875
There were several founders of Numurkah during the early years of the settlement:
John Walters who lived in a shepherd's hut near the Baala Creek (now called Broken Creek). The hut was part of the Bajanna (Strathmerton East) Squatter Run
Peter McCaskill, who settled in what is now the commercial heart of the town, established a store-hotel-post office
Alfred Leahy surveyed the town and brought several blocks of land in subsequent years (but didn't actually live in the town)
Messrs Saxton, Meiklejohn, Gray, Brenion , Quinn, Knox all selected land surrounding the surveyed township. Many of these original settlers and townsfolk such as Messrs McCaskill, Dolphin, Stewart, Swallow have streets named after their families
Ironically, the main street of Numurkah was named after a person (Melville) who was charged with being a "dummy" for squatters wanting to retain some of their land. Eventually his land, south of the Broken Creek, was held in reserve for watering purposes and over the years much of this has remained as public land (recreation reserve, parks and gardens)
Even though the town was proclaimed in 1875 and there were a number of people settling in the town area, sale of town blocks didn't occur until 1878.
Peter McCaskill bought the block of land that he was already using for his hotel, as well as several other blocks
Joseph Crow bought a block of land and established the first newsagency
Basic businesses began: bakers, butchers, general stores, blacksmiths, hotels (our Museum has files and photos of many of the early businesses)
Once the Railway came through in 1881, the town developed very quickly with businesses spreading out from the railway station along Knox St, Meiklejohn St and into Melville St. Community organisations and services also developed quickly: medical services, legal services, fire brigade, education, churches, Mechanics Institute & Library, sporting clubs.
Originally (1871) the Numurkah area was in the Shire of Echuca. When this large shire was divided into two in 1879, the Shire of Shepparton was formed in the east (with some of the council business being conducted in Numurkah). The northern part of the Shepparton Shire became the Shire of Numurkah in 1884. In 1957, the Shire of Numurkah was divided into two, creating the Shire of Nathalia in the western part of the original shire. As part of the statewide amalgamation of shires in 1994, Numurkah Shire was merged with Nathalia, Cobram , Tungamah and Yarrawonga to create the Shire of Moira.
Interestingly the corporate seal of the Numurkah Shire (see below), displays the date of incorporation as 1879, not 1884.