Couple of days ago we decided to take a drive to Walla Walla New South Wales. It was a cold day so driving seemed the logical thing to do.
On our way we stopped of at Gerogery a small town about 22 minutes from Albury. We had met the couple who run the Post Office and general store at the Walla Walla pub a few months ago. They talked about the old fashioned lollies they have in the store so we decided to check it out. We bought a bag of mixed lollies for $5.00 – yes back when I was a kid that would have been around 20 cents. We certainly got a huge bag though.
One thing with country folk, when there is too much produce they share it for free. Outside the shop was a large box of mandarines and lemons and grapefruit. We loaded up a bag of lemons and mandarins as our tree and our neighbors tree had already borne their fruit. With winter in earnest here in Australia, hot lemon drinks with raw honey certainly keep the bugs away and because it tastes nice!
In Gerogery there is a doll museum which one day I might go and take a look. If I do you will hear about it here. The pub is also a great place to catch up with friends. We visited it a few months ago when it had just been taken over by new owners. We will go back one day and enjoy a good ole country pub meal.
Our next stop was Walla Walla, we were going to let the dogs Sally and Betty have a run on the oval however a AFL footy game was on. So we drove just a little way out to Morgans Lookout.
So who was Morgan and what is Morgans lookout?
Dan Morgan was a notorious Bushranger of the 1860’s. He was known as Mad Dan Morgan. He was born in 1833 in Sydney to poor Irish parents, in 1853 he decided to join the gold rush. On the way he turned to a life of petty crime, from which he graduated to robbery which earned him 12 year sentence of hard labour. His release in 1860 as a more hardened criminal he was to become a legend of the worst kind.
Dan Morgan was an excellent bushman and this allowed him to evade the police. His hideout 6 miles from Walla Walla gave him a 180 degree view of the surrounding district.
Its now a lookout and the views over the country is pure spectacular. The huge rocky outcrop had perfect hiding areas. It felt a little bit like Hanging Rock near Woodend in Victoria.
Today the Lookout has a steel staircase to the top of one of the rocks on which you can have a 360 degree view.
As you can see so many places to hide and from the top of the rocks he would have been able to see if anyone was coming after him.
I didnt feel up to climbing the staircase due to the cold wind so will go back when the weather warms up. There are picnic tables and a toilet block.
Morgan was shot near Wangarrtta in Victoria in 1865
He was known as the most bloodthirsty of all highway robbers. How on earth did he get that reputation you ask. I know I did.
Reading up on his history it seems he does not have the “gentleman” tag line that bushrangers Ned Kelly or Ben Hall had.
Dan Morgan – I kept calling him Mad Dog Morgan, used to torture his prisoners and one poor person a terrified wife of a police informant that frightened all the surrounding districts. The poor woman was forced to sit upon the flames of the kitchen stove, and only when she was well alight he doused her with water. I cringed when I read that, the horror she went through. How could anyone survive that!
Dan Morgan shot police but he also shot unarmed people in his robberies. Anyone who stood in his way he shot.
The story of Dan Morgan was made into a movie. “Mad Dog Morgan” that was filmed in the region in 1975, starring Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) and Jack Thompson (Sunday Too Far Away, Man from Snowy River), David Gulpilil (Storm Boy) and Frank Thring(Bodyline). So thats where I got the name Mad Dog Morgan.
I could write for days about his exploits and maybe one day I will when we visit Henty where two of his victims are buried. Also next time I visit Wangaratta I will see if I can find his grave as Dan Morgan is buried in the cemetery there.
There is so much to write about where I live in Albury and areas close to home. So much history which seems to be forgotten but by writing about it we can learn a bit more about how this country Australia was made.