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Stories from the Hamilton Highway

1. The Haunted Gully (between Lismore and Derrinallum).

In 1858 this area consisted of large pastoral runs with a homestead and scattered shepherd's huts. Each mob of sheep was cared for by a shepherd and his hut keeper.

One day the weekly supply wagon driver found no shepherd and a dead hut keeper.

Eventually the shepherd was found at the Skipton pub drunk and bragging of the murder. When sobered next morning in jail he denied it and was released, only to
brag again in the pub that night.

When tried for the murder he was sentenced to hang.

Francis Ormond, then a local farmer who was later to found Ormond College and
other learning places, felt this was unjust. There was no evidence.

So he took 2 horses and rode overnight to Melbourne where he gained the
shepherd a pardon from the Chief magistrate Redmond Barry (later to hang
Ned Kelly) and rode back that day just in time to prevent the hanging.

Nothing more is known of that shepherd, but meanwhile back at the station they could get no replacement shepherd or hutkeeper because of the ghost.

The Haunted Gully
All was well once another hut was placed across the creek, as everybody knows that
ghosts cannot cross running water.

The foundations of both huts are still intact, together with the rubbish which had accumulated around each.

Author: © Chris Lang 2015


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