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Home > About the Region > History of the Region > Michelago History

Michelago History

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EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT

Explorers

Exploratory probes into the ‘South Countrie’ began as early as 1823, when a party consisting of Brigade Major John Evans, Captain Mark Currie, and Joseph Wild as guide, reached the Umaralla River on June 6, in search of new grazing lands. Joseph Wild was an employee of Charles Throsby Smith, nephew of Dr. Charles Throsby of Sutton Forest, and had been present on numerous expeditions, including the discovery of Lake George and the Limestone Plains; so a natural choice.

Their base camp was at the southern end of Lake George, where Throsby Smith held land. They left on 30 May, travelled south and camped the night by the Queanbeyan River (Fish River it was called by Wild). The following day they crossed part of the Limestone Plain and the Tuggeranong Plain (which they called Isabella Plain, Isabella being the daughter of the Governor of the time - Sir Thomas Brisbane) and reached the Murrumbidgee River near Pine Island.

Due to the river being impassable by recent heavy rain, they continued upstream. Their campsite was on the eastern side opposite what is now Tharwa Village. The next day took them through Williamsdale & ‘down country to a very considerable extent’ and as far as the Umaralla River.

Despite the abundance of wildlife, with which they supplemented their diet, staple dry supplies were getting low, which meant their return, this time by way of Michelago and Burra Valley, to base camp. It is recorded they had a Ngarigo guide to direct them through to Burra. Some accounts claim he had been captured for this purpose and made his escape at Burra; in others, he joined them freely.

After news spread of the expedition, the shepherds and herdsmen of the established landholders soon followed, with stock in need of more grazing land.



 

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