In 1865, the NSW Government Gazette reported the sheep carrying capacities of 4 Manilla District Stations. Keypet Station it says, had a grazing capacity of 10,000 sheep, Mundowey 18,000, Retreat 7,500 and Menedebri 10,000.

Shearing Time - Roberts' Sunnyside

When the first leasehold holdings came up for review in 1872, there was a rush for selection. This land was sited on the Manilla River in the Upper Manilla valley, the Upper Namoi, Halls Creek, Klori and Keepit. With closer settlement came greatly increased sheep production. By 1880 wool production had become the principal industry of the district. By 1896, a continuous stream of wool teams passed through Manilla on their way to the railhead at Tamworth.

Stocking up after the 1902 drought with sheep was a problem, and sheep were brought from the Riverina. Charles Baldwin of Durham Court bought 10,000 head shipped to Manilla by train. A prolific season followed the drought. 

Big wool teams began to make their appearance in 1904 and shearers were putting up big tallies. At the Braes, twelve men working for Sir William Broun sheared 1,824 sheep in one day, averaging 152 sheep per man. In 1907 Manilla railway station received 13,000 bales of wool, much of it coming from the Barraba district.

Shearing Team 1900s



NB: This content is subject to ongoing research and review. Duplicate outdated texts may exist elsewhere on the internet.​ Please check here  for current editions.
Images: Manilla Community Archive unless otherwise stated.
Text Edits: ©Diana Nichol  2000-2020   E: |

Mobile viewers can browse more of this story on our web pages