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Stories from the Hamilton Highway

3. Why does B140 exist?


The Hamilton Highway exists through a quirk of history and geography.

In the early days of settlement aspiring pastoralists headed west to find suitable land to run sheep.

Wool was in great demand to clothe the new middle class in England and Europe.

The squatters found the western plains with their native grasses and few trees
were good for sheep.

They needed a level route for the bullock wagons to cart supplies from the port
of Geelong and cart wool back on the return trip. The bullocks could pull any
load any distance but not up a steep hill.

The most direct and level route was where the present highway now runs.

Shanty pubs appeared at the river crossings and towns developed around them.
Towns such as Inverleigh, Cressy, Lismore, Darlington, Caramut, and Hexham.




Wool Wagon 1900
Author: © Chris Lang 2015

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