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Contributed by Jen Swales <janese-at-bigpond.com> 09.10.06

Billilingera Station.

Several spelling versions exist for this property. 6 klms or 2.5 miles from Bredbo.

Billilingera was home to a great many people in its early days. Up until at least the early 1900’s.

The very first owners were Henry and Charles York and John Cosgrove.  © 1828.

Billilingera Homestead.

Very little is known about the actual homestead itself. Built after 1870 I think. I am happy to be corrected if anyone knows the actual dates etc. 


Billilingera. An artist’s impression. Based on the ruins of the present day homestead. To the left of the photo is the small schoolroom. Buildings behind the main house are the kitchen-laundry-servants quarters. Note the woman in the doorway and the man and child feeding the chickens.                                    PhotoJen 2005


This is a painting that was commissioned by the present day owners

David Coggin and family.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Billilingera to take photos of the homestead, which is now in complete ruins. The picture above is a photo of a painting.


In Lhotsky’s information regarding runs of the Menero area he has this to say.

1834…In a list done at this time.


Mr. Henry York has been resident for 5 years. 600 cattle and 2000 sheep.

This would make Henry York resident there since 1829.

1830… Mark Russell (convict) was sent to work for John Cosgrove. He lived there for 8 years. Given a conditional pardon in 1838, he was able to send for his wife and two children. He drowned in the Murrumbidgee in 1849.

1836…The squatting act was bought into force. A license cost about £10. One way of controlling those that lived outside the limit of the 19 counties. 


1848-1850…In Hancock’s lists.

Billy Linpepa (sic) Cosgrove and York were non-residents of the property. Had a good many sheep but no cattle. 

If the York’s and Cosgrove were not living there, shepherds or a manager would have been settled there to look after their interests. I wonder how many great cattle runs in Australia were run by overseers and shepherds who were most likely ticket of leave men. All the glory going to the owner, I guess that is the difference between the classes of rich and poor.


Residents of Billilingera.  (See note)

1856…Rebecca Harper born. Parents Stephen Harper (Labourer) and Ann Green.

1857…Sarah Cosgrove was born at Billilingera. Daughter to John Cosgrove.

1862…Thomas Brogan.

1872…James Cosgrove. Squatter.

John Cosgrove. Squatter.

John Cosgrove. Squatter. Junior.

Edward Chalker. Shepherd. Senior.

1887…Stephen Harper died at Billilingera.

1896…Jesse Friend died at Billilingera his death certificate being signed by James Cosgrove. Jesse is my Great great grandfather. There is quiet a story of this family, his first wife was Ellen Green the sister to Ann Green. His 2nd wife was Mary Summers.

Between the years 1860 and 1872 there were 6 more children born to Stephen Harper at Billilingera. His death certificate states wife unknown. His first wife Ann Green having died or left before 1860. His 27-year-old son filled in the details. Odd, that he did not know who his mother was.

Other names that were mentioned in the area were.

Elizabeth Peckerham.

John Roddan.

Walter Peagram.

A Brodie. 
Dr. Florence.
Mrs. Thomas Brogan. Died in Cooma 1887.
Henry Jack.
Ann Harper.
John Thomas Mortlock.


There are many more residents whom I know nothing about. The information regarding the story of Bredbo and Billilingera has come about during my own family research. Hopefully there are more names out there that can be added to the list, giving an overall picture of how many people did live at Billilingera during the 1800’s.

 The families Brogan/Chalker/Friend/Green/Harper/Summers are all related to myself the author.

If you have an interest in Billilingera I am happy to share the many photos I have.



Front of homestead.

Side and back.

Side, looking into internal walls.

The inside of an upstairs chimney.

The servant’s quarters and barn.

School House.

What is left of the Blacksmith’s.

Overseers or shepherds cottage.



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