The Arcadia Pastoral Run and Arcadia Homestead

Occupation History of Arcadia Pastoral Run.

Gregor McGregor was the first white man to occupy the Arcadia Run. He is listed in the NSW Government Gazette of September 18th 1840 as having paid the five pound fee to to occupy the station. It is possible that he occupied the land proir to this date, because of the large areas that the squatters had claimed, the official records may not have been up todate, or the policing of the areas occupied by the squatters was lagging behind? It appears that he held the Arcadia Run up untill about 1843, when William and Henry Clifton took over the run. The Clifton brothers held the run for about twenty years, relinquishing it about 1864, when John Pearce took over the run.

No 37 Gazetted July 26th 1848
Original estimated area 80,000 acres. (Licence 50 months prior to N.S.W. O.I.C. October 1847)
William Snow & Henry Clifton 1858 Jan.22
Subdivided into: 1. Arcadia 2. Pine Lodge


Subdivision of no 37 Arcadia
Original estimated area 48,000 acres
1858 Jan. W.S & H.Clifton
1858 Feb. William Snow Clifton
1864 Feb.29 John White Pearce 1864 Feb.29 Charles Heape
1864 Jne.3 John White Pearce
1867 Apr.8 Archibald McMillan
1869 Aug.20 The Australian Morgage Land & Finance Co. Ltd.
1873 Apr.26 Julius Martin Wilkinson of Melbourne
1878 Nov.22 Abandoned

Date about 1845 or before.

Description of run.

Bounded by the Goulburn River on the North West for about 10 miles by the Broken River from its junction with Goulburn 4 miles East by South to an old hut on the North bank thence by a line bearing north 10 miles thence by a line bearing north north by east 7 miles bounding Mr Shepherd’s run by a line bearing South 12 miles to a point .where a small Creek enters the Broken River thence continued South to the Honey Suckle Creek 4 miles bounding Mr Grimets ? run thence by the Honey Suckle Creek West by north 8 miles thence by a line bearing South West 4 miles to the Sevens Creek at a point 7 miles from our home station South West 7 miles to the Castle Creek where a hut of Mr Raleigh’s stands on the opposite bank bordering Mr Kirkland’s run thence by the Castle Creek north 4 miles thence by a plough line 1 mile North West to the Goulburn River.

Commissioners district. Murray
General localities. Goulburn River
Estimated number of acres 80,000 acres.
Estimated capability for grazing 6000 sheep
Signature of applicant William Snow Clifton & Henry Clifton.

Description of Run

Application for lease of The Arcadia Run

Application for lease

Half yearly return of the number of persons employed or resigning at, and the number and description of the livestock.

Date July 1st 1845. William Snow Clifton and Henry Clifton.
Persons at Station. 6 male (free), 1 female (free). 1 male (bond). Total 7.
How the above were employed, names were also given.
William Clifton and Henry Clifton, Superintending Station.
3 men (free) listed as Shepherd’s.
1 man (free) listed as hut keeper.
1 man (bond) William Phillips listed as Bullock Driver.
Stock listed on pastoral run. The brand (Mark) used, C.
4 horses, 6 cattle, 1833 sheep.
To which the following fee was paid to the government.
4 horses one shilling, 6 cattle 9 pence, 1833 sheep 3 pounds 16 shillings 4 1/2 pence.
Total paid 3 Pounds 18 Shillings 1.5 Pence
Cost per animal: horses 3pence ea. cattle 1.5 pence ea. Sheep .5 pence ea.

Half Yearly Return July 1, 1845
This report appeared in The Argus on December 22nd 1846, two horses and harness had been stolen from Clifton’s Arcadia Station. Clifton tracked down the thieves and retrieved his property. Quite a remarkable endeavour ?

Return for stock on Station. January 1st 1848 (not on official form)

Stock Return January 1, 1848

Return of livestock kept and pastured Messrs W. S. and H. Clifton in the District of Murray beyond the District of the Colony, rendered in conformity with the jurisdiction of the act of the Governor and council.
Name of Station. Arcadia.
Persons Superintending William Snow Clifton.
Estimated extent of run 80 sq miles.
Stock on Station and how branded.
Horses 9 CP, cattle 25 CP, sheep 4427 various marks.
Deposition from owner:
I William Snow Clifton do solemnly declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief the foregoing is a true and faithful account of all sheep, horses and cattle of every kind kept or pastured by me, or under my charge on the several stations above-mentioned within the District of Murray, and I make the declaration by virtue of the act of the Governor and Council of New South Wales. Victoria No.?
Signed by proprietor or superintendent William Snow Clifton.
Declared before me at Molka.
On the first day of January 1848.
John Livingstone J. P.

Amendment to return of January 1st 1848.

Letter from William Snow Clifton reads as follows.
Goulburn River January the 9th 1848.
I beg to state that at the time of making the preceding return I was not aware that unweaned stock were intended to be included, which on subsequently reading the act l apprehend is the case, I therefore wish to be allowed to amend it by the addition of.
1095 lambs, 3 calves, 2 foals.
Making the total 5517.sheep, 28 cattle, 11 horses.
which to the best of my knowledge and believe is correct
Fees payed. Sheep. Cattle horses
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant.
William Snow Clifton.

Amendment January 1, 1848

Return of livestock for Arcadia Run July 1850

Livestock Return July, 1850

Death of Henry Clifton

The report of the death of Henry Clifton, here it states that he was the son of William Snow Clifton, but in fact he was the younger brother, no details as to the reason for Henry’s death

Memorial for Henry Clifton

In 1857 a new Anglican Church, Christ Church, was being built in Kilmore William Snow Clifton donated a memorial window in honour of his late brother. The building of the church was finished in 1864.

Victorian Yeomanry Corps.

William Snow Clifton was a member of the Victorian Yeomanry Corps. which was a voluntary military group that was formed in 1855 and based in Melbourne.

Return of livestock for Arcadia Run January 1857

Murder on The Arcadia Station

No further details were found regarding this murder

Dispute letter

Arcadia Goulburn River.
October 27th 1857
To His Excellency C.J. LaTrobe Esq.
Lieut. Governor of Victoria.
Having been informed that Mr Shepherd has applied to be permitted to make a fresh application for a lease for a run adjoining this called Tallygaroopna with a view of extending the boundaries of the same, I have taken the liberty of submitting to your Excellency that such a proceeding would be fraught with great injustice if it interfered with the existing claim so far as it relates to the run called Arcadia in the occupation of M.S.and H.Clifton–that boundary was agreed on partly between Mr Shepherd and myself and a continuation of the same by Mr Shepherd’s agent in his absence in England–guidelines have been subsequently defined by Mr ?? a government surveyor at my request having previously received the sanction of your Excellency which I had every reason to believe would be final.
I have the honour to be.
Your Most Obedt Servt
William Snow Clifton.

Dispute Letter October 27, 1857

Application to divide Run

Port Phillip Club Hotel.
January 21 1858
I beg to make application to you to allow me to divide the run called Arcadia in the Murray District into two parts, I propose to take the Broken River as a division line, that part lying north of the said River to be called the “Pine Lodge Station” and that part south of the said River still to retain the name of “Arcadia”. Then the stations will be of almost equal area it will contain about fifty thousand acres each and will each carry of four thousand sheep.
I have the Honour to be
Your Most Obedient Servant
William Snow Clifton

Application to Divide Run January 21, 1858

Transfer of Licence

The Chief Commissioner Crown Lands
Melbourne. Feb. 23. 1857/1858 ?
I have the honour to request that you will cause a transfer of the licenses for the Stations in the Murray district of the Colony of Victoria and known as “Arcadia” and “Pine Lodge Stations” now held in the joint names of W. S. and H. Clifton, to be made to me William Snow Clifton one of the parties names in the present license the other party being my late brother to administer whose estate I am duly authorised by law.
I have the Honour to be.
Your most Obedient Servant.
William Snow Clifton.

Transfer of Licence February 23, 1858

Letter of Administration

Crown Solicitor’s Office.
The 24th February 1858.
I hereby certify that administration of the goods and chattels of Henry Clifton were duly committed to William Snow Clifton on the twenty sixth day of May 1854 and that as such administration the said William Snow Clifton is the proper person to request the transfer of any Station or runs now standing in the name of the said William Clifton either alone or in conjunction other persons.
Henry ??
Crown Valuer

Letter of administration 24 February, 1858

Commemorative Sword

This was the sword that was presented to William Snow Clifton

The following is a letter received by The Arcadia & District Assoc in 2016, which will give some history and explanation to the above photo. The Association was not in a position to accept the offer of this item, but it does add an interesting part to William Snow Clifton’s life.

Sale of Arcadia Pastoral Run

Advertisement for the Sale of The Arcadia Pastoral Run account J W Pearce which appeared in The Argus on February 17th 1864. It is not certain that the above property was sold at this time and it was reported sometime later circa 1867 that Archibald McMillan had purchased the run for 15000 Pounds

On June 7th 1888 an obituary for John White Pearce was printed in the Bendigo Advertiser some of which is included below:
Death of an Old Identity. After a weeks illness , Mr J W Pearce , J P, who was familiarly known as “Daddy Pearce” one of our old and most respected residents, “solved the mystery” at 11 o’clock this morning. The deceased had exceeded the span of life usually allotted to man, having entered on his 89th year last month. Up to last Saturday week he was in his usual health and spirits, and on that date remarked that he never felt better in his life. He was one of the older justices of the peace in the colony, and was so regular an attendant on the bench that he won for himself the sobriquet of “The Chief Justice” On Sunday week he caught a violent cold, and since that time was confined to the house. Drs Henderson and Reid were in constant attendance upon him, but skill and attention proved unsuccessful and this morning the old gentleman passed away peacefully.
The obituary then went on to describe some events of his early life.

Squatter charged with assault and attempt to rape

The owner of the Arcadia Pastoral Run Archibald McMillan was charged by the police with assaulting , with intent to commit rape on a woman by the name of Mary Clapp who was the wife of one of his employees. The alleged assault was reported to have taken place on July 12th 1869 at a hut near where the shearing shed and sheep wash was situated on the Seven Creeks about 3 miles from the homestead of the owner.

Mc Millan appeared before the Benalla Police Court on Tuesday August 3rd 1869, sitting on the bench were five JP’s. After hearing the evidence for the prosecution and the defence , the court adjourned the case until the following Tuesday for legal reasons. Bail being set at 200 Pounds and sureties of 100 Pounds each.

At the next sitting of the Benalla Police Court, the accused was committed to take his trial at the Circuit Court to be held in Beechworth in October next.

On October 10th Mc Millan appeared before the Chief Justice at the Beechworth Circuit Court. After hearing the evidence for the prosecution and the defence, the Chief Justice summed up the evidence. The jury returned a verdict of “Not Guilty”, the prisoner was then discharged.

This is part of the report of the Circuit Court proceedings that appeared in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth) on Thursday October 14th 1869.

In these early days of the colony the delivery of mail to the squatters, selectors and people who lived in this remoteness was a problem that the government was required to make right. Mail was transported by stage coach or on horse back, no bridges over rivers and creeks and the roads were mere tracks along newly surveyed roads.
A news article in the Riverine Herald on June 17th 1871 gave an account of action that was taken by two of the squatters in this area to overcome this problem. Archibald McMillan of Arcadia P R and James Miller of the Noorilim East P R formed a deputation accompanied with nearly 100 signatures met with Mr Turner the Deputy Postmaster – General to state their case.

The deputation to the Postmaster- Generals office was successful, in the Benalla Ensign on July 1st 1871 a news item from a correspondent in Shepparton stated:
The Postmaster -General has established a post – office at Arcadia Station to be open on the 1st of August next, and to be run from Murchison once a week, which will be a great benefit to the residents between here and Murchison on the other side of the Broken River, as they are now completely cut off from here in winter months in consequence of the flooded state of The Goulburn at the junction of the Broken River.

.Then as reported in the Australasian on October 21st 1871, tenders were called by the Government for delivery of mail in this area:
Contract 321. Delivery of mail to and from Murchison and McMillans (Arcadia Homestead Station) by way of Kearney’s Hotel (Moorilim) , Pethybridges (a selector at Arcadia), Castle Creek, and Spencers Farm (also a selector at Arcadia), once a week.

>Arcadia Station for Sale

The Homestead of the Arcadia Station account Mr Archibald McMillan was advertised for sale in The Goulburn Advertiser in September 1874. Mr Julius Martyn Wilkinson became the new owner of the run in 1875 and remained as owner until 1877 when it passed to Mr Joseph Jacobs. Possibly Julius Wilkinson had prior to the sale of the run by Archibald McMillan staked a claim to the area where the shearing shed, yards etc were located, allotment 55, where a later parish map showed him as the owner of 388 acres.

The Arcadia Pastoral Run had now been considerably reduced in size to 591 acres of freehold land, which was the area where the homestead was located, allotments 60 and 74 Parish of Kialla. Also the right to occupy about 500 acres of Crown Land along the Goulburn River. Selectors who had come in to the area exercised their right and took up land that the Government had made available thus reducing the area formally held by the Squatters. In the ten years that Archibald McMillan was the occupier of The Arcadia Run it was reduced in size from about 50000 acres to 1100 acres. The area where the the homestead was later became known as The Arcadia Homestead.

Part of Kialla Parish Map circa 1870

The map above shows the two crown allotments, 60 and 74 where The Arcadia Homestead was located. During the occupancy of Archibald McMillan the original pastoral run had been reduced to this size which was then held under freehold title. The small blue area is the lagoon near which the buildings of the homestead were built. The brown area was used as cultivation paddocks at this time. The area within the yellow square (bottom right) is where the shearing shed, sheep wash and sheep dip were located. This area is situated on the Seven Creeks near where the now called Mitchell Rd crosses the creek, some three miles from the home station. The dotted lines indicate the tracks that were used by the owner and the employees of the Pastoral Run.

It was unfortunate for Archibald McMillan that as the selectors moved across the area staking a claim on the crown land, his holding diminished rather dramatically. This no doubt caused some financial difficulties for the squatter, during the late 1860,s the Australian Mortgage , Land and Finance Co had a financial interest in the property. McMillan lost control of the area where the shearing shed and yards were situated. Julius Martyn Wilkinson is shown on a later Parish map as the occupier of allotments 54A and 55 consisting of 598 acres, the date being September 20th 1878.

A report from a correspondent to The Ovens and Murray Advertiser on December 4th 1877 commented about the shearing at Wilkinson’s shed

Following the sale of The Arcadia Homestead property Archibald Mc Millan moved to New South Wales where he acquired a property of about 6000 acres at Eugowra in central NSW. He remained here until his sudden death in 1902 at the age of 76 years. He and his wife Mary whom he had married when she was about 17 years of age at about the time he took up The Arcadia Pastoral Run. There were 16 children born to this union, two died in infancy, two of the sons were killed in France after joining the army in World War 1. The eldest son Gilbert was accidently killed when run over by a wagon load of logs in 1889.

New owner for Arcadia Homestead

A journalist writing in The Ovens and Murray Advertiser on December 29th 1877 under the heading “Rambles in The Valley of The Goulburn” described a visit he had made to the Arcadia Home Station now owned by Joseph Jacobs.

Then on February 14th 1885 the agricultural reporter for The Australasian (Melb) writing about “Agriculture on The Goulburn” gave a good description of the farm and Jacobs’ management of it.

In 1888 Jacobs entered his farm in a farm competition run by the Euroa Agricultural and Pastoral Society. The judges were praise worthy of his farm but unfortunately he was not placed in the first two winners. It was noted in the comments about his good orchard and his planting of twenty acres of vineyard which he hoped would supplement the farm income. There was a small area of vines when Jacobs took over The Homestead which encouraged him to expand with further plantings.

A report in The Australasian (Melb) on April 29th 1893 indicated on the success of Jacobs’ vineyard where it stated ” Mr Jacob of Arcadia Homestead, has done particularly well, some portions of his vineyard yielding 600 gallons to the acre”

Joseph Jacobs would have to be classed as a successful farmer from the reports in various newspapers, also the fact that he carried on farming on that property for nearly thirty five years, 1835 to 1910. There continued to be paper reports of stock sales up until 1909. About this time he sold the property to Mr Sam Kerr who had been farming at Congupna. Joseph Jacobs died May 9th 1921.

The Kerr family farmed the property for the next eighteen years. However on March 8th 1922 Sam Kerr advertised a clearing sale on his property as he had decided to go in to business in Shepparton. His son Hugh Kerr then took over the running of the farm on a share basis.

In 1923 Hugh Kerr entered a crop competition, details of which was published in The Shepparton Advertiser on December 10th 1923. The result of the competition is not known.

Following the death of Samuel Kerr as reported in The Shepparton Advertiser on May 17th 1926, the Arcadia Homestead property was advertised for sale on February 2nd 1927.

The freehold land area has remained the same but the lease hold area has now been reduced to 60 acres compared to 500 acres in 1875
The Arcadia Homestead circa 1915 with the buildings in the background
The lagoon near The Arcadia Homestead Photos courtesy of Geoff Allemand

William Ross became the new owner of The Arcadia Homestead and occupied the property for the next twenty two years. Following the death of William at The Homestead on Easter Sunday 1950 the property was again put up for sale.

Advertisement that appeared in The Argus for the sale of The Arcadia Homestead on account of the Ross family
A farewell evening was held for Mr Ron Ross and Miss Laura Ross on their departure from The Arcadia Homestead.

The last owners of The Arcadia Homestead

Following the sale of The Arcadia Homestead by the Ross family a Mr J J Trahair became the new owner of the property, however his stay there was quite short and the property again changed hands. Mr Wallace Teasdale bought the property in 1953 and the family farmed there for about 30 years. Part of the property was sold in 1971 and following the death of Wallace in 1973 the property was sub-divided circa 1983 into medium size building allotments to become what is now known as Arcadia Downs, which could be described as urban living in a rural setting.

Mr Kevin Teasdale son of the late Wallace Teasdale was kind enough to provide the following articles about The Arcadia Homestead.

A newspaper report appeared in The Shepparton News on November 11th 1968, which was a story about The Arcadia Homestead, its author being Isabel Fitzgerald. Included in the article are some comments by Mr Hugh Kerr whose family owned the property for about 25 years.

Hugh Kerr who was born in 1894 at Nappers Corner ( near Sale in Victoria) was one of eleven children born to Samuel and Henrietta Kerr. When the family moved to The Homestead they occupied a twelve roomed house built before 1885 and he recalls that the sheep yards existed just off the Kialla Road. ( The shearing shed and sheep wash was situated on the Seven Creeks just south of Mitchell Road in the early days of the pastoral run) He mentions that during his family’s occupance the original selectors hut still remained intact and was used as a store shed. This was a large building 50 feet long, it’s shingle roof covered with iron. It’s walls made of mud and rushes mixed, boarded up and left to dry – were 1 foot thick; the skillion roof overhung to form a 5 foot high veranda. The house had only one exterior door, facing north and inside it was partitioned into three, the outer room probably having been the kitchen.

Hugh Kerr went on to describe the winery building, which he said was a building with walls 18 inches thick constructed in the same manner as was the homestead, was let into the side of a sand hill and was only recently burnt down by spontaneous combustion of stored lucerne. The vines were ripped out in 1926 following the death of Mr Kerr senior.

The barn on the Teasdale property, note the walls made of slab timber with the corners notched to fit together.
The article about The Arcadia Homestead which was printed in The Shepparton News on November 11th 1968.
The Teasdale residence which was moved to Katandra circa 1990