2.2 - Squatters & Selectors

The village of Woolgoolga arose where two early cattle runs met. Woolgoolga Creek was their shared boundary. The squatters who took up these runs occupied traditional Gumbaynggirr land, but paid a licence fee to the government.

Redbank / Corindi Run

By 1848, Redbank Run was held by Captain John Pike. By the time he sold it to the Devlins, Redbank had 1,000 head of fine cattle and a 3-room cottage. In 1879 Samuel Cohen purchased the lease.

Captain Pike usually visited each of his runs once a year from his Hunter River estate, Pickering, on a “splendid hack”, accompanied by a groom. 

Weelgoolga Run 

Established in 1852 as Somervale Run, it was first held by Samuel Small. By 1863, another owner, Dr William Bassett, had built a 3-room hut of cedar slabs (where Seaview Tavern would stand 112 years later).

Thomas Small took up the run, renamed Weelgoolga, in 1875, and his manager Henry Wall and wife Lucy lived in the hut.  

From 1880 on, selectors purchased small plots of Crown land from both big cattle runs. By 1885, much of the best land around Woolgoolga Creek had been selected. Both Cohen and Small then let their leases lapse.  

The first selector, William Sare, grew sugar cane, and established a basic sugar mill driven by two horses walking in a circle.

The NE boundary of Weelgoolga Run, along River Street, became the western limit of the new village in 1888.


Bullock train

Sea View Hotel

Date ascertained‏: the residential annexe was built during 1897-1898. 

The following article indicates that the residential annexe immediately south of the Woolgoolga Hotel (later called Sea View Hotel) was not yet completely finished, 10 months after the hotel was offered for lease with a description that included the new annexe rooms. It seems that construction of the annexe spanned 1897 (and perhaps late 1896) to early 1898. In 1914 this annexe was converted to Sea View Hall. 

On The Track

Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915) February 1, 1898, p. 4. 

Retrieved September 1, 2012

By the "Examiner's" Special Reporter

… In the town Mr. W. T. Pullen is erecting a large residence, Mr. H. Caldwell has completed a new cottage, and Mr. A. Neale is completing an addition of seven rooms to the hotel, besides other alterations. 

F.J. Rudder was probably the proprietor when the bulk of the construction was done. The Neales did not last long – 12 to 14 months only – they left Woodburn for Woopi in Jun 1897 (two months after the April article I sent before), were definitely in charge by July 1897, and in cAug 1898 transferred the licence to A.J.Barrett. 

The Pullen residence was probably the house later called The Laurels, on or very close to the site of the old Weelgoolga slab hut, and it could well have incorporated the new frame present when Pullen purchased the property 15 years earlier in 1883. The Laurels is shown in Yeates Fig.9.22, p127. Now the site is occupied by the Seaview Tavern.

Panel 2.1 - Squatters and Selectors