Sunday History Photo / Qld

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 08:19
ThreadID: 87882 Views:3282 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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The town of Ilfracombe, with one hotel and Folk Museum had in the 1890s three hotels each with its own dance hall, a soft drink maker, a coach builder, two general stores, a billiard saloon, a dressmaker, three commission agents, a couple of butchers, a baker and a saddler.
Today there are just 350 people living in a shire which covers an area of 6500 sq. km. The old stations where anything up to 100 people were employed are now a thing of the past. Back in1892 Wellshot Station (60 km south of town) was the largest sheep station in the world, in terms of the number of sheep it ran: 460 000. Indeed, so predominant was it that Ilfracombe was, until 1890, known as Wellshot.
Another record claimed by the shire is that of the largest mob of sheep ever moved as a single flock. In 1886 43 000 sheep were moved through the area by a droving team of 27 horsemen - and that doesn't include the cooks, blacksmiths and hands which would have been needed to accompany the drovers. The era of the large wagon hauls was ended by the arrival of the railway in 1891, making Ilfracombe a railhead for the transportation of regional livestock to urban markets.
The changing of the times is apparent in another historical landmark associated with the town, when, in 1910, it became part of the first motorised postal service in Australia, from Ilfracombe to Isisford.

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Located just 27 km east of Longreach, on the Landsborough Hwy.
The huge properties which once dominated the area have been broken up into smaller units. Despite the changes of the last century Ilfracombe still survives as a service centre to the surrounding sheep and cattle stations. It possesses such facilities as a swimming pool, a 14-hole golf course, tennis, rugby league, and clay target clubs, a recreation centre, a racecourse, an hotel, a store, a post office, a school and a caravan park..

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In 1988 Peter Forrest was commissioned to write a history of the shire. The result 'A Rush for Grass' is much more than a local history.
Things to see at Ilfracombe are the Ilfracombe Machinery and Heritage Museum
The Museum, situated on the northern side of the main road, provides an insight into this past with its displays of an old police lock-up used between 1901 and 1974, a meat house, the old manual post office exchange, a machinery shed with steam engines, tractors, pumps, graders, trucks, drays, buggies, a 100-million year-old petrified palm, curious natural limestone rocks with a remarkably rounded form, along with other interesting artefacts and memorabilia. One of the old wagons possessed by the museum was once in local use. It was drawn by 20 or 30 horses and carted about 100 bales of wool (weighing 15 to 20 tons) to sea ports such as Bowen or Rockhampton, a six-month return journey.
The museum has been built in the style of an old station homestead. It is open permanently with no entry charge, and the

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Wellshot Hotel dating from 1890, the front section remains largelt unaltered, though the accommodation wing to the rear was rebuilt in 1956. The interior contains memorabilia from the height of the wool-station era.

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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:10

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:10
G/Day Doug

Every time we are out that way we stop at the Caravan Park at Ilfracombe, and go for a stroll and check out the old Vehicles and Machinery.

They are located in a park on the side of the Hwy, with free entry.

AnswerID: 461374

Reply By: Member - Julio C (VIC) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:19

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:19
I will be there in two weeks time, looking foward to it
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:44

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:44
Ilfracombe golf club is holding its "open" Today , Players from throughout the district playing today , some travel long distances , eg from Muttaburra ,Alpha , Hughenden ,Morella , Winton , Jundah etc and of course the closer big smokes of Longreach and Barcy. ,, Perfect winter weather today for the Golf.
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 10:42

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 10:42
Another great post, Doug. The museum is worth an hour or two of anybodys time,
the caravan park, is small & friendly, & just a short stroll to the Wellshot Hotel. And
try as I could I couldnt find anything wrong with the beer. That may get me moderated, as Axle can attest, apparently beer is no longer a part of the 4wd travelling ozzie scene. Strange times ;)))))...cheers....oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:24

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:24
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Reply By: Member - John L (WA) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 13:50

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 13:50
Ahhh Very interesting as usual. Thanks Doug for making me wait to see todays post! Lovely to catch up with you, Fred & Noel at Mt Bundy. John & Heather
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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 19:35

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 19:35
Evening Doug, another wonderful post. The old Galleon at Ilfracombe Museum belongs to Ian's Dad and he used it all around there and the Blackall area.
AnswerID: 461431

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