Group's efforts to save iconic Toganmain woolshed

Graeme Nalder

Graeme Nalder

On the banks of the Murrumbidgee River between Darlington Point and Carrathool sits a piece of Australian history one group is desperately trying to save.

Once a bustling hub of activity the Toganmain shearing shed now sits abandoned.

In a different time the iconic shed was the fourth largest of its kind across Australia, but as the years have passed it is now the only one of those four left standing.

The iconic building saw more than seven million sheep pass through its doors over the years, leaving of course minus their coats, with the September of 1876 recording a total of 202,292 sheep shorn by 92 blade shearers, an Australian record never to be beaten.

“Toganmain is at the pinnacle of an extraordinary group of historic shearing sheds still standing,” Graeme Nalder said.

“I think it is important to save this shed, in Europe they have castles and cathedrals, well here one of the things we have is shearing sheds, they are an important part of Australia’s history and they are disappearing.”

After visiting Toganmain three years ago Mr Nalder said he couldn’t help but be impressed with its size and history.

Standing on land owned by pastural company Paraway, a manager on site explained to him while the shed was no longer in use, its historical significance meant they would be interested in any plans to preserve it. And so it went, a phone call to one Peter Freeman, author of Historic Shearing Sheds, and the ball was rolling – with a group formed to preserve the Toganmain Shearing Shed. But in January the group hit a wall at their AGM realising the need to have more local people become involved with, and eventually take over the cause.

The shed desperately needs repairs, a difficult task to accomplish from afar. But further to the importance of preserving the region’s history Mr Nalder also pointed out the enormous potential of the site as a tourist attraction.

The group hope to hold a meeting in the next few months to discuss forming a local organisation to take over the cause, anyone interested in helping is asked to call 0448 148 541.

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