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Apsley In Days Gone By

We are fortunate to have several valuable history books describing life as it was in this area at the time of settlement.

Most of these books give some details of the First Nations People and the landscape they inhabited pre-colonisation of our districts.


The districts surrounding Apsley was settled by squatters in the late 1830's and early 1840's.

Coming from mostly wealthy English, Scottish and Welsh families,

they built beautiful station homesteads and outbuildings on their large sheep runs.

Many of these buildings can be seen as you drive by.

As the years went by, enterprising individuals setup businesses. Soon there was a blacksmith, a saddler, a Colonial Bank, and a boarding house.

The Border Inn added more rooms and a number of horse stables to cater for travellers.

This Border Inn photo was taken around the turn of the twentieth century

when gentlemen and ladies still travelled in horse drawn vehicles

but to own a motorised conveyance was a status symbol .

The photograph is from Apsley Past and Present and Other Verses written by Emily Kealy c1930's.

Courtesy of Kealy Family

Popular amongst the station owners was horse racing with their stock men the jockeys.

Between several of the station owners and the third owner of the Border Inn, Joseph Botterill,

a plan to hold the Apsley Cup was devised for the Autumn of 1855.

The race track was through the scrub behind the Inn,

with the "straight" on the dirt track through the settlement. The finishing post was at the front door of the Border Inn.

Between 1852 and 1863, the town boomed when several thousand European gold seekers passed through Apsley on their way to the gold fields,

with very many Chinese gold seekers walking through to the diggings after they started arriving at the Port of Robe in the late 1850's.

     With the Free Selection Land Act in the 1860's, the district soon grew in population and so did the township of Apsley.

In 1897 the Apsley State School's enrolment was around sixty children. There was also a number of smaller district schools.

     Today, Apsley's fertile agricultural land is much sought after and is renowned as a prosperous agricultural district

with many diverse land uses, injecting many millions of dollars into the local economy.

On the 12th October 2018 the town turned out to welcome

Tour for a Cure

Daniher's Drive 2018

Hosted by the Border Inn.

Brian Close photo

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