Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ebenezer Russell's Branding Iron

Walking around regional museums in the Illawarra one will often come across a collection of branding irons that are reminders of the pastoral heritage of the area. More often than not their original user is not well known, even though the owner's initials may be clearly seen.

At Tongarra Bicentennial Museum there are a collection of three branding irons, one of which can be identified as belonging to a prominent dairyfarmer and pioneer of the local area.

Ebenezer Russell purchased a property in present day Croome in 1840. The property was bought for five shillings an acre. After clearning the land in anticipation for cultivation, it was used by Russell for growing wheat and potatoes. It was only later that Mr. Russell turned to dairying and decided to subdivide his property to establish tenant farming.

In the present day Ebenezer Russell's original homestead may be seen in its original place in the Croome area. Farm buildings also at the property include a stables, dairy and wheat mill. The property is also noted for the use of a hall at the property in 1860 as a polling place for the second Shellharbour Municipal Council elections. Ebenezer is the father of John Russell, another leading historical figure in the area.

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Why not visit a museum which has Ebenezer Russell's branding iron in their collection? The item may be viewed at the Tongarra Bicentennial Museum.

The museum is located at Russell St, Albion Park NSW 2527, and may be contacted by calling 4256 6698.

Opening Hours are Wednesday 10am - 4pm & Saturday 9am to 12pm

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