Toganmain Woolshed Precinct

Toganmain Woolshed Precinct

Toganmain Station, located between Darlington Point and Carrathool on the southern side of the Murrumbidgee River, was one of the principal grazing properties in the Riverina. With about 13 miles of river frontage the station was first established by NSW’s Colonial Secretary Sir Alexander Macleay whose initials gave Toganmain its distinctive AML brand.

Toganmain’s 167,000 acres were purchased by Thomas Robertson Senior in blocks commencing in 1867. It would remain in the Robertson family until 1988.

The Toganmain wool clip had an excellent and enviable reputation for both quality and style in Australian and English wool trade circles. Toganmain woolshed at 240 by 80 feet is the largest remaining woolshed in the Riverina region of NSW.

It originally boasted a 110 blade stand. So it was not unusual to have 60 shearers engaged, along with rouseabouts, cooks and shearing hands, as well as another 30 men employed on contract to work at wool scouring.

In September 1876 Toganmain recorded a total of 202,292 sheep shorn by 92 blade shearers, an Australian record never to be beaten.

In 1887, Wolseley’s shearing machine was demonstrated in the Toganmain woolshed. This established once and for all the reputation of the new machine, proving it to be a sound working tool destined to increase the speed and ease of shearing. In 1888, 15 Wolseley machines were installed at Toganmain, supplementing 65 manual blade stands.

Later on the woolshed board was reduced to 55 ‘Wolseley’ machine stands. Ultimately these would be replaced by 40 diesel driven stands.

By 1891 Toganmain was a massive property – over 300,000 acres in size. With Thomas Robertson as manager, a horse tramway connected the woolshed to the wool stores and wool scour beside the Murrumbidgee.

In that year, 218,000 sheep were shorn at Toganmain.

Expansion was only halted by the great drought of 1895-1903.

When Thomas Robertson died in 1904, his 22-year old youngest son John Seymour Robertson took over management. Despite the recent drought, the property still held 100,000 sheep. In 1910 John Seymour sold off 46,259 acres to pay for his father’s probate.

.  In 1940 John Seymour’s son and daughter Graham and Rua took over management from their father, but Graham’s time there was short-lived. In 1942, as a WW2 pilot, he was killed over the Pacific. John Seymour Robertson once again took over the management until his own death in 1958. By then Toganmain was much reduced in size and capacity.

Unfortunately, this is not open to the Public at this point it is only accessible when there is a working Bee

If you would like support this project
Our vision: to restore and preserve the Toganmain Woolshed Precinct to its full historical grandeur, and become a significant tourist attraction and educational centre welcoming all Australians and international visitors.
Toganmain Story: Once a bustling hub of activity, the Toganmain shearing shed now sits abandoned. Situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River between Darlington Point and Carrathool in country NSW, this iconic shed was the fourth largest of its kind across Australia. As the years have passed it is now the only one of those four left standing.
The shearing shed saw more than seven million sheep pass through its doors over the years, with the September of 1876 recording a total of 202,292 sheep shorn by 92 blade shearers, an Australian record never to be beaten.