My name is Kahlia Pearce; I am doing a Graduate Diploma in Archaeology and Heritage Management at Flinders University. I am undertaking the Directed Studies topic to give me an insight into what it would be like to do a Master’s thesis. My Directed Studies topic is on the historical archaeology of Calperum and Taylorville Stations, located just outside of Renmark. I will mainly be focusing on looking at other potential historical sites that could be found within the area.
Research has been tricky, as there have been name changes in many parts of the study area. Chowilla was used as the name for a pastoral property in 1846 (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1995:8). This property was then split into two properties known as Chowilla and Bookmark by Richard Holland (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1995). Holland used the Bookmark property for sheep and Chowilla was used as a cattle station (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1995:8).
The area known as Bookmark was then renamed Calperum (Australian Landscape Trust 2012). This area was subsequently renamed Calperum and Taylorville, as can be seen in the picture below.
I have found in my research a mention of stone homesteads erected at Bookmark and Chowilla in 1876-1877, and woolsheds and shearers’ quarters built on Chowilla (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1995:8).
Further research needs to be undertaken on these aspects, and I am planning a trip up to the local library at Renmark. Hopefully the library and talking to the people in the community can shed some light on the history of the area known now as Calperum and Taylorville.
Australian Government n.d. Calperum and Taylorville Stations. Retrieved 28 February 2014 from
Australian Landscape Trust 2012 History: Calperum Station 1838-2010. Retrieved 1 March 2014 from
National Parks and Wildlife Service 1995 Chowilla Regional Reserve and Chowilla Game Reserve Management Plan. Management plan prepared for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Australia.
Hi Kahlia, your project sounds really interesting. Are you aware of the Chowilla Dam Project during the 1970s? It was where the SA, NSW and VIC Governments proposed to dam the local regions to provide a guaranteed water supply for SA.
I am currently research the Indigenous and historical archaeology just over the boarder in Victoria. My research area spans the Murray-Sunset National Park and Neds Corner Station- essectially between Mildura and the SA Boarder.
It would be great to chat in details at some stage.
All the best