Murray Darling Depression - regional history
For information on the Aboriginal occupation of the Murray Darling Depression Bioregion, see an overview of the Aboriginal occupation of western NSW.
Ivanhoe, the main town of the Murray Darling Depression Bioregion, was established after the first land was sold at the town in 1869. In 1870, Cobb and Co Coaches opened routes through Ivanhoe, and the town continued to develop, first with a general store and then with a post office.
Police were present in Ivanhoe from 1879 to protect the public from the local Hatfield Bushrangers and by 1885 the mounted police had arrived. This same year the Ivanhoe Jockey Club held its first race meeting.
The first bank opened in 1926 and the railway reached Ivanhoe in 1927, an important addition to the town as water could now be carried from nearby lakes from where it had previously been carted by dray.
The pubs of Ivanhoe were an important part of the town, bringing visitors to stop in the town on their way. As in other bush towns, the development of bush pubs occurred along the route of the mail coaches, and their need for watering points - both for themselves and their horses.
The main land use around Ivanhoe in the 1870s was sheep and stations such as Kilfera, which employed close to 200 people at shearing time when 8,000 sheep per day were shorn. The station carried up to 200,000 merino sheep on its 832,000 acres.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011