Taylorville: A Place of Mystery
Boggy Flat was established by James White in 1871. James White held approximately 21 pastoral leases, covering an area of 1,386 square miles. In 1908 Frederick George Taylor, a famer, renamed Boggy Flat to Taylorville. Taylor is also known as the father of Taylorville. Taylor and his family’s first home was located under the cliffs at Gillen East; their permanent home was completed in 1911 on the Murray.
At Taylorville there was a river landing for paddle steamers, and the Kookaburra and the Queen were constant visitors.
There was a stage coach that ran between Morgan, Renmark and Wentworth (when required), operated by Moody and Plush. F.G. Taylor opened a post office on April 13, 1915; it closed on July 31, 1967. In 1914 F.G. Taylor created the F.G. Taylor and Sons Mail Lorry.
Western’s Flat was part of Taylorville; on the site was a building built in 1841 that was specifically designed as a rest stop for overlanders travelling to Overland Corner. This building is an organic restaurant today known as Mallyons. A hotel was built within the area and the rest stop became a stable for passengers and staff of Cobb and Co. These buildings were also used as a shearing shed in the 1900s during the Second World War and for barn dancing for the adolescents from Morgan and Taylorville.
Anon. 1919 The Late Mr F.G. Taylor, The Father of Taylorville. The Murray Pioneer 13 July n.p.
Anon. 2010 Mallyons celebrates a decade of fine food. Riverland Weekly 16 September p.10.
Nunn, J.M. 1994 History of Waikerie: Gateway to the Riverland. Waikerie: Waikerie Historical Society.
Taylor, M. 1995 Taylorville South Australia Towards 2000: “Southward Ho” to Adelaide on The Barque “Himilaya”. Mildura: Victoria.
Posted in Student Posts
Tagged Directed Study, Frederick George Taylor, Renmark, Taylorville
Not all fun and games
Throughout my research I have been having difficulties accessing research and establishing where to find the information.
I have been directed to a few books and articles to look at, however, I am finding it difficult to find the information I require for this research. Throughout this research I have been trying to establish mail change stations and information on Frederick George Taylor, who was a farmer at Taylorville. This research has been difficult as it is known about these people and events but there are limited written records on possible site locations.
Calperum has been used throughout its farming life for sheep grazing and horse breeding. The Robertson family were breeders of many of the horses which were raced at the local pubs. I have been informed that many of the dams bear the names of the horses who won their races.
Sheep station at Calperum
I have also been attempting to establish if Hawdon and Bonney, who herded the cattle from New South Wales, established a camp site near Calperum. Through looking at maps and reading their journals there was Indigenous contact around the Calperum area, but located closer to the River Murray. I believe that if there was a campsite located near Calperum it would not be located within the study area, as it would be located closer to the River Murray.
Maps have been difficult to research, as there are many maps located within the state library. It has been difficult as there is little information given about what the map contains and most maps are located within the underground storage. It is difficult to establish a boundary for the study area as it has changed throughout time due to settlement and ownership of the pastorals located at Calperum. This research is very broad and time consuming, however, I am committed to finding all information I have access to, to create a report on the historical aspects of Calperum.
Calperum Station Sheep Ranches. Retrieved 1 June 2014 from
Kahlia Pearce, Grad Dip in Archaeology and CHM
As part of my Directed Study project on the historical archaeology of Calperum station, I thought it would be a great idea to drive up to Renmark one day and look at the local history books in their library, as they didn’t have a catalogue online. The road trip was long and tiring, but we were lucky it did not rain during the trip.
Renmark Public Library
At the Renmark public library I searched through their local history cabinet. There were a few books in the library that I could not find at the State Library regarding the history of Calperum Station. I am not focusing on Calperum Station, but the other potential historical archaeological sites that may be present in the area, thus it is still useful to read the information as it gives a back story and clues on what I could research.
I mentioned to the librarian that I was doing a research project on the Calperum and Taylorville area. She gave me some contact details for the local historian in Renmark who could help me with my research.
I was very lucky when I contacted the historian, as she has an interest in pastoral history. I have received a lot of advice from her on where to look and what to search for. I recently took a master class on specialist library skills (which I highly recommend for everyone to attend, as it was very helpful), as I had no idea how complicated it can be when trying to research specific areas and all the different keywords that may seem irrelevant but that can turn out to be useful when searching for relevant information.
Getting into contact with other researchers is very useful in the archaeological world, as it is a way of gaining knowledge from other people and finding new things you can research. When I was an undergraduate I had no idea how difficult it actually was when doing a research project that no one had attempted before. I would not trade this experience and it has taught me some very useful tips: particularly that people who are interested in, or specialise in, these areas are the best source of guidance.
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.