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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Glenmoor

The Moore family first took up land, in the Canberra area, in 1851 when Richard Moore and Margaret (Courtney) Moore purchased an 8 acre block on the Garryowen estate which is now part of present day Queanbeyan. At the time Richard was working as a shoemaker. He later went into the carrying trade and sons William (15) and Richard (12) assisted with the wagons, carrying wool between Queanbeyan and Sydney.

With the passing of the Robertson Government Free Selection Act in 1861, the family of Richard Moore decided to purchase land in the Burra Valley area. Richard purchased 40 acres at Warm Corner, Burra, at 34/3d per acre. The land is now known as Portion 15 Parish of Burra. The original block was added to over the years, finally totalling a area of fourteen hundred acres.

William Moore was working with his father on Warm Corner and with the family’s bullock teams at the time of his marriage to Catherine McKenzie. William and Catherine lived at Warm Corner until 1874 when William and his brother Richard both selected land at Bulga Creek. William Moore’s selection was situated near the junction of Bulga Creek and the Murrumbidgee (Yarrolumla Parish). He built a slab house on his land and named his property Fairvale. Fairvale was eventually increased in size to 867 acres. William was assisted in the farming of his land by his sons. William also owned some 400 acre in the Queanbeyan area as did his sons: Richard owned Sunnybrae; James Courtney Moore took up the area known as The Bend (686 acres) and Harry Moore owned Calabash (1850 acres). As teenagers, James C. and Harry also summered stock in the high country pastures of the Snowy Mountains. At this time the family of William Moore owned about 5000 acres in the Canberra/Queanbeyan area.

When William Moore died in 1913, sons James C. and Harry were leasing the Fairvale property from their father. James C. was also leasing 400 acres at Sunnybrae on the Queanbeyan River and held the property Nanima, which lies north of Gledeswood.

The property known as Glenmoor, County of Murray; Wallaroo Parish, came into the Moore family when James Courtney Moore and brother, Henry McKenzie Moore, purchased it in 1926. Block 34 of 970 acres, (paddocks 1, 2 & 3) was purchased from McCarthy and the Belconnen block of 630 acres was purchased from Palmer. Block 12 of 954 acres within the Capital Territory was leased from the Government.

Following the purchase of Glenmoor, major construction was started on the new land. Tom O’Connor was responsible for the construction of the house and the woolshed. Timber from the Nanima property was brought the 12 miles to Glenmoor and used for the stumps under the woolshed floor. Oregon was used for the floor. George Kinlyside, a wheelwright at Hall, built the stables. The jarrah granary building was purchased as a constructed building. It was disassembled and brought to Glenmoor where Sid Cleary took care of its foundation and reassembly.

Henry (known as Harry) and sister Emily, moved to Glenmoor upon completion of the house. James and family lived at Gledeswood – the ancestral home of the Murty family. Glenmoor was farmed by the brothers, James and Harry, with the assistance of James Moore’s sons, Colin and Donald, who rode to Glenmoor from Gledeswood each day, a distance of several miles. Colin and Don became full time employees at Glenmoor once they finished their education at Telopea Park School.

In 1941, Harry and Emily moved to Queanbeyan following Harry’s buy-out from Glenmoor. Glenmoor then became the property of 'J.C. Moore and Sons' – the sons being Harold Colin Courtney Moore, Donald McKenzie Moore and Curtis James Bass Moore. The land known as Glenmoor was worked by Colin and Don. Colin, wife Elma, and children Gary (1942), Kay (1945), Colleen (1946) and Michelle (1949) lived at Glenmoor. In 1952, Don and wife Joyce, and children David (1945), Michael (1947), Beverly (1952) and later, Glenda (1956), moved into the new house on the western portion of the property which Joyce named 'Jaramlee'.

The original property of Glenmoor, which bordered the N.S.W/A.C.T. boundary, contained the paddocks No’s 1, 2, 3, Top Belconnen and Bottom Belconnen – which extended to the Murrumbidgee River at The Point. The property was later extended with the additions of The Block, which was in the A.C.T. and leased land; The New Paddock, which bordered Brooklands and was purchased from Hibbersons; and Crow-a-jing-along, purchased from Frank Southwell and his wife Florrie (640 acres), which bordered the Charnwood road. In all the area amounted to around 4000 acres. The land was bordered by the Ginnindera Creek. Gooromon Ponds Creek, also known as Bedellick Creek, passed through the land.

The main buildings at Glenmoor were the homestead, shearer’s quarters, woolshed, stables and various covered storage areas and sheds, a large grain silo and covered hay storage area. The shearing shed had three stands and all sheep from Glenmoor, Jaramlee and Gledeswood were shorn here after 1951. In the early years, Gledeswood sheep were shorn at Glenwood, the property of the Hibberson family. Merino sheep and Hereford cattle stocked the property. A number of acres of crops were grown each year, usually wheat and oats, which were used for feed and hay.

Pride was taken in farming for quality not quantity. The best wool clip price was 240 pence per pound for 'strong' merino wool. An average yield was around 14 pounds of wool per head of sheep. The annual wool clip was sold through the brokerage company of 'Shute Bell Badger Lumby Co. Ltd'. Rowley was the shearing contractor used for many decades by the Moore family. The 1940s wool clip mostly went to Russia.

Cattle and sheep were regularly sold at the Hall Saleyards and occasionally from the paddock. Tom Adams was one satisfied paddock buyer following the purchase of some store cattle which had been brought to Glenmoor from Braidwood. The cattle were drenched at Cameron’s property, Glengalla, then spent an excellent summer and winter on Glenmoor before being sold the following February, following some hand feeding. According to Don Moore, Tom Adams declared these cattle to be the best beef to ever pass through his abattoir.

Other sheep and cattle breeds were tried on Glenmoor but the greatest success was with the Merino and Hereford breeds. An attempt at farming 'fat lambs' was tried but did not prove to be a great success. Black Pole cattle were purchased from 'Booroomba' and driven to Glenmoor by J.C. and Don, camping overnight at Buckmaster’s yards on the Murrumbidgee. This breed proved to be a lot of trouble, so were replaced by the preferred Hereford breed.

Horses were the only other stock on the property. There was a minimum of six draught horses needed for a team for the wagon and plough so at least two extra horses were kept in reserve. Saddle horses were also needed and everyone had their favourite.

Automobiles became more popular in the ‘50s. The red Reo had been replaced by Colin in the late ‘40s with a second hand Chevy car. In 1952 a Bedford truck was bought for the farm and Colin bought himself a new Vanguard car in 1955. A kerosene Fordson had been purchased in 1948 and this was upgraded in 1952 with a diesel Fordson tractor. The early fifties were a time of prosperity with the best wool prices in decades; a series of good seasons also coincided. Don purchased a new Vanguard and later in the ‘50s they both upgraded again when Colin purchased a Desoto and Don purchased a Ford. Life was indeed moving along smoothly.

Electricity came to the property in the early ‘50s, with the assistance of Bruce Moore, who was working for the Power Authority at the time. Electricity added a great deal of comfort to the homes. Wood burning appliances were replaced with electric and kerosene lamps were replaced with the much safer electric lights. New and varied appliances were available to assist the work of the women. The shearing shed was electrified as were the shearers’ huts. In 1956 a bore was drilled near the creek which ran through the cow paddock. With a regular supply of water septic tanks replaced outhouses; gardens and lawns became a passion; vegetable gardens and an orchard were established.

Life on the land revolved around the seasons, the families and school holidays. Winter was a busy time with lambing. September was a popular time for relatives to visit and participate in activities such as tailing the lambs, rabbiting or feeding the cattle. October was the usual time for shearing. No matter what the activity there were usually some willing helpers, on horseback, from amongst the kids. A special treat was being given a day off school to help with taking cattle to the sales at Hall. Afternoon tea, at the Hall Saleyards, was catered by the various ladies church groups. The outstanding selection of baked goods was always enjoyed by those attending the sales. Following the crop harvesting, Colin’s family holidayed at the South Coast in January. Don’s family holidayed during the May school holidays.

J.C. and Minnie retired to Manly in 1951 and this saw a reorganisation of the property and a new partnership agreement between the three brothers. An innovation developed by Colin and Don was the Footrot Bath, which proved to be helpful to a number of sheep graziers. A number of pine plantations were established on the land to provide winter shelter for the stock. Several paddocks were improved with the use of topographical contours being established on hillsides. Phallaris was grown as a cash crop for a couple of years. Bruce Moore’s son Greg assisted with the harvesting of this crop. In 1960 Gary completed his schooling at Yanco Agricultural College and after a few months working in the Riverina area, returned to Glenmoor to work with Colin and Don.

The break-up of the property and the eventual sale of Glenmoor and Jaramlee was precipitated by the sudden deaths of Minnie in 1961, James Courtney in 1962, Elma in 1963 and Colin in 1963. For a short time Donald and Gary continued to run Glenmoor and Jaramlee but due to ill health, Don terminated his management position and sold Jaramlee in 1964. The Perpetual Trustee Company placed Malcolm Dare as manager on Glenmoor for a number of years until Glenmoor was eventually sold in 1971. Curtis Moore’s family continued to farm Gledeswood , Nanima and the Block until the Block was resumed for housing development. Curtis had his shed improved and shore his sheep there. The centenary of the Murty/Moore family at Gledeswood was held in 1977.

[Kindly contributed by Kay Jones (nee Moore)]

Related Photos


James Courtney Moore ⧉

Colin and Don Moore ⧉

'Jaramlee' ⧉

'Gledeswood' ⧉

Click on the caption (⧉) to view photo details and attribution.

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