Deposit 68 - Corona Station (Queensland) deposit

Identity area

Reference code

AU NBAC 68

Title

Corona Station (Queensland) deposit

Date(s)

  • 1918 - 1945 (Creation)

Level of description

Deposit

Extent and medium

2 photograph albums

Context area

Name of creator

(1912 - 1979)

Administrative history

Corona Station is situated north-west of Longreach, Queensland. The station was purchased by the Australian Agricultural Company in 1912. From 1917 to 1941 the manager was Thomas L Armstrong. In 1979 the leasehold areas of Corona were sold. The AA Co transferred operation of the Corona freehold land to its Maneroo station in March 1980.

Name of creator

(1824 -)

Administrative history

The Australian Agricultural Company (AACo or The Company) was formed in London in April 1824. Its purpose was to raise fine woolled sheep and sell wool on the London market. The formation of the Company was supported by an Act of Parliament and a Royal Charter. Its directors and major shareholders included directors of the Bank of England, the East India Company and Members of Parliament; with assigned convicts given the roles of shepherding and general labour. The Company’s initial land grant was one million acres in New South Wales plus two thousand acres in Newcastle. After some uncertainty the land, in the colony, was in three blocks: 464,640 acres between Port Stephens and the Manning River (Port Stephens Estate), 249,600 acres on the Liverpool Plains west of Willow Tree (Warrah) and 313,298 acres at the Peel River south of Tamworth (Goonoo Goonoo). The AACo operated in four major NSW locations during the nineteenth century – Port Stephens, Tamworth, Quirindi, and Newcastle – and from the last quarter of the century also in Queensland and eventually in Northern Australia. Its interests expanded to include wool, wheat, cattle, coal and land sales.

Within a year of its formation the AACo also became involved in coal mining at Newcastle, taking over the government’s operations there. After protracted negotiations the Company’s first pit was opened in 1831.The discovery of gold in New South Wales on the Company’s Peel Estate led to the formation of the Peel River Land and Mineral Company in 1854. Between 1825 and 1862 the AACo, with the Peel River Land and Mineral Company, brought from Europe to New South Wales over 700 men to work either at the colliery in Newcastle or on the extensive pastoral estates at Port Stephens, Tamworth and the Liverpool Plains. The new arrivals were managers, skilled mechanics, shepherds, miners and labourers. The first group of employees was managed by the Company’s first Agent, Robert Dawson (Agent, 1824-1828). Dawson’s successors included Sir Edward Parry (Commissioner, 1830-1834); Henry Dumaresq (Commissioner, 1834-1838); Phillip Parker King (Commissioner, 1839-1849); followed by several General Superintendents with Jesse Gregson, the Company’s longest serving General Superintendent from 1875-1905.

In 1864 the AACo began the development of the Warrah Estate for sheep breeding, investing extensively in wells, bores and fencing. The AACo purchased Corona (near Longreach) in 1912; Bladensburg (near Winton) and Highfields (between Corona and Bladensburg) in 1915; Headingly (Urandangie) in 1916; before moving into the Northern Territory with the purchased of Avon Downs (Barkly Tablelands) in 1921. From the 1930s gradually phasing out sheep the AACo became increasingly involved in beef cattle, developing the Santa Gertrudis stud at Goonoo Goonoo and purchasing Rockhampton Downs (Barkley Tablelands NT) in 1948, Wrotham Park (near Chillagoe, Q) in 1963, Brunette Downs (north of Tennant Creek) in 1979.

In 1975 the London-based directors resigned and the Company’s tax domicile was transferred from London to Tamworth, NSW and then to Brisbane in 1985 following the sale of Goonoo Goonoo. From 1976 the Company’s name was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as the Australian Agricultural Company Limited. In 1995 Elders Ltd acquired the AACo and it was delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange. The Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Futuris Corporation Limited after Futuris took over Elders in 1997. The Company was re-listed in 2001.

Name of creator

(1878 - 1944)

Biographical history

Thomas Scott Lorraine Armstrong was born in 1878 at Gunbar Station, Hay, New South Wales (NSW). He was educated at the Church of England Grammar School, North Shore, Sydney. He worked as an overseer at Lissington Station, Bourke, NSW and as Manager at Urie Point Station, Brewarrina, NSW. In 1899 he worked Moolbong Station, Hillston, NSW and in 1901-02 was farming at Darling Downs, Queensland (Qld). From 1902?-1912 Armstrong was Manager, Euroka Station, Walgett, NSW. In 1917 he was appointed Manager of Corona Station, Longreach district and was an Inspector for the Australian Agricultural Company for Queensland. He also held local positions as Member, Longreach Shire Council; Deputy Chairman, Longreach Hospital Board; Vice-President of the Executive Council, United Graziers' Association of Qld; Member, North Gregory Rabbit Board; Chairman, Mitchell West Dingo Board; Chairman, Mitchell West Marsupial Board. Armstrong retired in 1941 and died in Toowoomba on 26 September 1944.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

'Some experiences of a Queensland station manager' and other articles in The Pastoral Review (1943-1945), written by Mr Thomas L Armstrong as manager, Corona Station, 1917-1941, and photographs of the Armstrong family members and various station activities over the same period. The photographs show the homestead, family pets, horse-riding, swimming in the creek, family holidays at Manly, station jackeroos, Aboriginal stockmen, the Chinese cook, a governess, the dog-trapper, race meetings, horse sales, cattle, drought feeding sheep, lamb marking, bullock teams (1919), Mitchell grass after rain, loading 'bush hay', travelling to Headingly by car, a storm-damaged windmill, and other facets of station life, mainly during the 1920s and 1930s.

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Conditions governing access

Researchers must sign an access agreement

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description on 28 July 2011

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