Home  |  Pioneers  |  Contact UsCopyright/Disclaimer

Maharatta Station

Information supplied by Jan Campbell [djiptyltd-at-bigpond.com] 13.10.10

MAHARATTA:  From book Bombala – Hub of Southern Monaro

 p.27.    Maharatta was being grazed by the stock of William Klensendorlfe prior to 1830.  His run had extended from the Bombala River to Boggy Creek.  He was still in possession of the southern portion of the run in 1839, and Doctors Charles Throsby and Frederick May held the licence for the northern postion.  Dr Throsby was the nephew of the explorer Charles Throsby from whose property, at Bong Bong, the party of Currie, Ovens and Wild had set out to discover Monaro in 1823.

 p.42.    The Ingram family spent Christmas Day 1839 on Maharatta with the Garrity family, in a hut at Cunningham’s Point, contributing a goose and bucket of potatoes to the Christmas dinner.  They were settled into a slab shepherd’s hut on a tributary of the Bombala River, … The location of that hut is, today, marked by the intersection of Maybe and Burton Streets, Bombala.

p.45.    The Clergy

In 1838 the Reverend Edward Smith had been ‘licenced to officiate in the South Eastern portion of the County of Murray and appointed to reside at or near Queanbeyan”.  From there, in 1839, the newly-appointed Anglican minister had travelled far and wide performing baptisms at Gejezerick, Snowy River, Delegate, Little Plain, Aston, Bibbenluke and Mount Cooper.  In 1841 he performed a marriage at Taylor’s Flat and baptisms at Taylor’s Flat, Bald Hill, Little Plain, Maharatta, Bombalo and Bobundara.  The following year marriages were performed at Pinchgut and at Murdering Range.

p.47.    (Discussion of siting of town of Bombala)

Tommy Fleming recalled that:

The Bombala township was first proposed to be located at Gow’s hut on the Bombala Run at the crossing of the river on the old Sydney road, but opposition raised by Campbells caused it to be removed to where it now stands.

The decision had finally been made by Magistrates Throsby, Robertson, Boucher and Nicholson – who, on 4th February 1848, had chosen a site for the much needed Court House on the opposite side of the Bombala River from the inn of William Hamilton, which was then being rebuilt at a new location, on the road to Boyd Town.  An observer, previously quoted, recorded that:

The court adjourned and the magistrates proceeded to Messmate, Maharatta, to select a site for the new court house, near the new inn now in the course of erection, the said hotel being nothing less than a miserable slab hut, shingled with bark.

p.76.    The Bombala Herald was set up in opposition to the Bombala Times in 1872. Edited, printed and published by Emanual Jonas.

Emanuel Jonas had come to the district as manager of Maharatta for H.M. Joseph, and was well respected as a stud master.  After his retirement the Bombala Herald was taken over by his son P.J. Jonas who “conducted a successful auctioneering and stock agency business as well”.

p.90.    Public Schools in the County of Wellesley

1886    -           Bobundara, Corrowong Lower, Maharatta, Timbery Range.

p.106.  Dairying

As the farming population of the area increased, so too did the number of dairy cattle.  In 1886 Arthur Joseph of Maharatta also turned to dairying, and the expertise which he imported to the district for the large scale production of butter and cheese, on his own property, was later utilized by co-operative dairy factories set up throughout the entire district.

That this aspect of farming is still within the living memory of the oldest residents of the district is borne out by the reminiscences of Ella Cotterill, born in 1902, and interviewed in Australia’s bicentennial year by Janice Rumph:

Before Maharatta Station was resumed for closer settlement…sheep, cattle and dairies were maintained on the station as well as a cheese factory at the Outskirts Creek.  The cheese were taken by waggonette to either Merimbula or Eden, then by boat to the Sydney market.  Mr Jack Hood was the cheesemaker at Maharatta.


Prior to the 1880s, when the first of the hospital boards of directors was set up, hospitals were little more than asylums for the ‘poor, blind, aged and infirm’.  They were institutions, supervised only between dawn and duck, in which the destitute might die.

Nursing of the sick was carried out at home.  Doctors were called in cases of injury, and some, such as Dr Charles Throsby of Maharatta ran surgeries in their own homes.  Nurses acquired their skills and reputations by practice.

p.164 – Runs and Stations occupied prior to 1850

MAHARATTA originally included Dunundra

MAHARATTA was grazed by Clensendorf before 1833.

MARETTA, 20 square miles, licencee 1839 William Klensendorlf, superintendent Joseph Langhorn, 19 residents, 3 slab huts, 2 stockyards, 1670 cattle, 1500 sheep, 8 acres wheat.

Klensendorlfe, William, 38, came free Ocean 2 1818, landholder, Camden, in 1828.

MARATTA, 24 square miles, licencees 1839 Frederick Maye and Charles Throsby, superintendent Frederick Maye, 38 residents, 10 slab huts, 1 slab wool shed, 2 stockyards, 1300 cattle, 7 horses, 7200 sheep.

Throsby, Charles, came free Mangles 1820, landholder, Glenfield, Lower Minto, in 1828.

May, Frederick, 25, came free Lord Wellington 1822, superintendent to Mr Throsby at Sutton Forest in 1828.

MAHARATTA, licencee 1848 Charles Throsby, superintendent James Burns, 29 males, 2 females, 5 children.

MAHARATTA on Bombulla River, 22,000 acres, lease application 1848 Charles Throsby.

MAHARATTA, station of Robertson and Throsby, Meneroo, 58 miles from Twofold Bay.

Robinson, Dr, lived at “The Willows” in 1848.

MAHARATTA was purchased from Throsby by George Hebden in the 1840s.

Hebden, George, see McLeay Flat

MAHARATTA was purchased from Hebden in 1861 by Sydney merchant, Moses Joseph.



Occupied by stockmen of Alexander McLeay in 1828.

McLeay, Alexander, 61, came free, Marquis of Hastings 1826, Colonial Secretary, Macquarie Place, Sydney, in 1828.


McLEAY’S FLAT, 4 square miles, licencee 1839 Henry Badgery, superintendent Charles Sye, 6 residents, 1 slab hut, 1 bark hut, milking shed, 4 cattle , 3161 sheep, 3 acres wheat.

Badgery, Henry, 24, born in colony, Springcove, Sutton Forest, in 1828.

McLEAY’S FLAT, licencee and superintendent 1848 Henry Badgery, 15 males, 2 females, 6 children.

McLEAY’S FLAT, on Bumbarla River, 16,000 acres, lease application 1848 Henry Badgery.

McLEAY’S FLAT was purchased from Henry Badgery by George Hebden.

Hebden, George, see Maharatta.

McLEAY’S FLAT STATION, 16,000 acres, occupant 1865 J. & H.A. Nicholson, capacity 500 cattle, charges 110 pounds.

From: A BIG LOOKOUT by Frank Allen M.B.E.


Report taken from Perkins Papers, page 317:

….. With the laudable desire of witnessing the working of a Bush Bench, we this day rode over to the Court House held temporarily at the Mahratta Station of Charles Throsby Esq., where one of more of the magistrates are brought to be in attendance on each Thursday.  Shortly before noon, Messrs Robertson and Boucher, accompanied by Mr. Murray, Clerk of the Bench arrived, and were politely shown into the kitchen by Mr. Millington, the chief constable. The third magistrate, Mr John Nicholson, Esq., J.P. attired in an extensive plaid vest, with whiskers to match, arrived.  The case of a shepherd was tried, and he was fined 2 pounds stg.  The court adjourned, and the magistrates proceeded to Messmate, Mahratta, the select a site for the new court house, near the new inn, now in the course of erection.  The said hotel was nothing less than a miserable slab hut, shingled with bark.  On 19th February called at Hibburds for a supply of Dragon’s Blood, to refresh us on our downward route.


Wheat growing for grain, was however, one of the earliest of crops grown in the district as a whole, and some quite large areas were grown on such places as J.R. Logan’s Aston, and Joseph’s Mahratta.  To such an extent indeed was wheat grown, that Bombala had its own flour mill or mills, there are those who say that there were as many as three.


The first steps towards the organized marketing of dairy products occurred shortly after dairying commenced at Mahratta in 1886.

“When Arthur Israel Joseph, yielding to his father’s desire resumed the management of the Mahratta property in 1885.  He found so much money had been spent on the Estate, that to keep on the old style with sheep and cattle, would not pay interest on the capital.  He determined to turn Mahratta into a large dairy farm”.



Quoted from The Bombala Times newspaper of May 8th, 1931, written by Mr. M. H. Hart

‘I wish to give you a true account of that bushranging episode that took place in 1866 (it took place in 1864 actually – from F.L. Allen) having known the men and what they did.  Peter Drynob was a fencer, a smart athlete and was well known in the district.  John Collins, the sporting shoemaker, offered to back Drynob for 25 pounds to fight or box anyone.

‘Captain Jones came up from the coast to make a match, but he had no money to put up and the match fell through.

“They had been drinking at Ted Jones’ pub at Currawong.  Their funds ran out, and a man named Hill suggested that they start bushranging. To this they agreed.  The stuck up Dr. Campbell at the Bald Hill and took his gun.  It was a splendid fowling piece he had got made to his order in Glasgow, the stock of which he picked out from 2000 for its splendid markings in walnut.

“Then they started for Mahratta, but Drynob got thirsty and made for the nearest pub.  He stuck up the hotel in Bombala then kept by Mrs. Leonard. Joe Hughes the constable rushed in and Drynob fired at him, but a man named John Abercrombie knocked the barrel up, and the bullet went through the ceiling.  Hughes got assistance and locked him up.

‘The other two were arrested after sticking up Mahratta, by Sergeant Zoellner, after he had put a bullet through Jones’ shoulder when Jones fired at him and missed.  They got ten years each.’

Closer Settlement


…The government did however resume two areas;

20,130 acres being the whole of the Mahratta Estate and 16,210 acres of the Bibbenluke Estate at a price of 3 pounds 15 shillings, the price agreed between the government and the owners. (c.June 1910.)

From: NEWS & NOTES, Bombala Times 1921-25

p.2 - 28/1/1921

Mr A. Rodwell, Maharatta, claims a record.  Last week he had his crops of wheat cut, threshed and sown in the one operation.  A heavy hailstorm was responsible.

p.53 - 17/7/1925

Mr C.E. Rodwell, of the A.B.C. BANK, OF Pambula, and son of Mrs Rodwell of Maharatta, has received notice of his transfer to another branch.

p.58 – 23/10/1925

For Sale by Public Auction: at Bombala, Saturday October 24th, two splendid farms at Maharatta, known as “Rock Flat” and “Dundundra” by P. Jonas.  Lot (1) Rock Flat 481a. freehold, comprising Portions 23 of 46a, 61 of 200a, 48 of 154a. and 64 of 81a.  County of Wellesley, Parish of Gulgin.  There is an old house and kitchen on the property, also an old wool-shed.  Permanently watered by Rock Flat Creek.  Lot (2) Dundundra 1320a.

Freehold comprising 7 of 40a, 94 of 324a, 177 of 40a, 193 of 40a, 195 of 40a, 194 of 98a, 210 of 60a, 211 of 40a, 126 of 320a, 127 of 320a County of Wellesley, Parish of Maharatta, together with A.L. Portion 2 of 10a given in, annual rent 1 pound.  Boundary is netted.  Sub-divided into three grazing paddocks.

HEBDEN: From book Bombala – Hub of Southern Monaro, by Claire Schofield

p.43.    Katharina Umbach, who emigrated from Germany with her husband Johann and their two-year old son Fauldine in 1854, wrote:

We hired with Mr Hebden as Shepherds, I and Vater, to mind a Flock each for the rate of 50 pounds per annum, and for the term of two years.

From thence (Maharatta) we shifted to the sheep station where we stayd 2 years but shepherding seemd a very lonely Bissnes for us.

p. 67.   The teamster, William Went, had been approached by George Hebden of Maharatta, who wanted to have his wool clip hauled to the coast without exposing his whole year’s production to the risks associated with the use of the existing dray tracks.  The two men had discussed the situation at length and, finally, an agreement had been struck – the teamster would get the contract to cart the wool if he could find a less hazardous route.  For his part the squatter would supply the labour to clear a wagon road.

The teamster had set to work. Starting at the top of the Postman’s Track, he had followed it down to the Devil’s River.  Two miles further along he had deviated from the track, striking off in an easterly direction and following a spur through to the foot of the mountain.  The route had been roughly cleared and a log dragged along it to mark the way.  The landowner had kept his side of the bargain, supplying a gang of men, which had consisted mostly of German immigrants.  The labourers had felled the trees and the teamster had used his bullocks to haul the logs off the roadway.

In Monty Williams’ own words:

To me that effort astounds.  I know the old Mountain Road well and I know bullocks…I can only say if was a tremendous feat on that man’s part.  To negotiate two unbridged crossings of the Tantawanglo River and an unbridged crossing of Page’s Creek was something in itself. The real problems, though, were the steep parts that had to be dealt with, particularly the last drop down to the coast.  Here brakes on the wagon would have been next to useless and the only way that this was overcome was by tying trees to the back of the wagon to keep it from sliding onto the bullocks.  When I last saw the old road, there were still plenty of logs and trees at the boom that had done the journey in this way.

p.71.    Passenger Traffic.

The first white occupants of the district had arrived in the late 1820s on horseback, leading pack horses.  These had been followed in turn by the teamsters, hauling their masters’ goods and chattels on bullock drays – with assigned servants and hired labourers trudging wearily behind.

For nearly three decades, notwithstanding the fact that independent carriers had now replaced station employees, and that Bombala had been surveyed as a township in 1849, these remained the only means of access to southern Monaro from the outside world.

In 1855 George Hebden hired a batch of German immigrants in Sydney, to work as shepherds on Maharatta, and arranged for their transport to Monaro via Twofold Bay. Ironically the sailing vessel, Caesar, which had brought them from Hamburg with much loss of life, had already docked at Twofold Bay, to disembark the assisted immigrants sponsored by James Manning of Kameruka, before taking the remainder on to Sydney.

From:  Sheep & Shepherds, Sheepwashers & Shearers on Bibbenluke 1851 -1867

            By Barbara Dawson October 1996

p.39 (appears to be accounting for movements in sheep numbers)

December 1856

Incomplete records, 6 one year old sheep lost by James Curran;

215 Rams in the last Return were sold to Messrs Hebden and Gunn, 135 of these came from Macnath (?) & Halls, the rest are Stuarts.

p. 46

Decrease 1858:

April:   76 (rations)

            43 (natural causes)

            1,380 (wedders sold to Mr Wren)

            100 (ewes sold to Mr Hebden)


Decrease 1849:

May:    75 (rations)

            72 (natural causes)

            997 (maiden ewes to G. Hebden Esq)


            68 (rations)

            164 (natural causes)

            502 (wedders to Geo. Barclay)

            3 (ewes to Geo. Hebden)


Surrounding Squatters (1860s, 1870s unless otherwise stated)

Hyam Moses Joseph (Maharatta – 1880s)

In book Cooma Country by Lauri Neal there is this on page 205:

Preamble says that before Cooma was a municipality, area was represented in 1850s in Legislative Council which met in Sydney.

Arthur Jeffreys represented Maneroo Sept 1851 to March 1854, followed by Egan in April 1854.

Seems this representative was chosen at meeting only by show of hands!

Egan was again elected on Jan 26 1858 when:

“the nomination of a member for the District of Maneroo in the ensuing Parliament took place.  Daniel Egan was proposed by William Hibburd and seconded by Alexander Montague.  George Hebden was proposed by Robert Cassels J.P., and seconded by Henry Hogarth.  A poll was demanded by six electors on Mr. Hebden’s behalf, and was fixed for 5th February on which date the voting was – Egan 34, Hebden 21.  Total votes at Cooma 55.”

Seems that 1858 was when secret ballot was introduced. And at the next election Egan was replaced by Alexander Hamilton, a local property owner.


Home  |  Pioneers  | Contact Us |Copyright/Disclaimer


Monaro Pioneers

Published regularly, designed to keep you informed about the latest material, comments and updates on the site.