Only the ruins of a homestead and a carefully restored and maintained
cemetery can be seen as a reminder of the hardship and mystery surrounding
habitation of the Wonnangatta Valley. Alfred Howitt arrived in the valley around
1860 and a cattle station was established. In 1866 the homestead and station was
taken over by William Bryce and his family. The homestead was nestled in between
the Wonnangatta River and Conglomerate Creek with views overlooking much of the
valley. It was surrounded with forbidding mountains, much of the access being
cut off during the winter months by heavy snow falls along the top of the
ranges. The only supplies that could be brought into the homestead came on
horseback from Dargo.
The harshness of the area can be imagined with two of the Bryce's ten
children being buried in the small family cemetery. Annie, William's wife is
also buried in the cemetery. She died in 1914. The homestead again changed hands
at this time.
The mystery of who murdered the two men has never been solved!
Did Bamford murder Barclay and then commit suicide later?
Were both men murdered by unknown cattle duffers?
Did Bamford kill Barclay and then he himself become a murder victim, killed by one of Barclays friends?
The station changed hands again in 1934, purchased by Alexander Guy (Guys hut
is still used by bush walkers in the area).
The station was distroyed by fire in 1957.
The last owner of the station purchased the property in 1970. His name was Bob Gilder. The final stage of the history of the Wonnangatta Station lies in the hands of the Victorian Government as the Valley has become a part of the National Park system. Cattle can no longer graze in the peaceful valley, but the "Friends of the Wonnangatta" group are actively engaged in preserving the area for all to see well into the future.
The Wonnangatta homepage
ęPSnare, IT Consultancy, 1997. Last updated 13th November, 1997