...a place in the KellyGang story
With the discovery of gold Milawa developed with many businesses including hotels, and shops. Milawa was on the route to the Buckland River gold fields. Milawa was called The Square for a number of years.
Milawa is likely to have an association with Mary Jane Milawa, the last member of the local Pangerang tribe. She died in Wangaratta on 10/10/1888. But it would seem that it was named after an aboriginal word meaning 'flat land'
In 1861 a school was established opposite the Church of England on Vineyard corner.
The police station was established in 1874. The court also sat a Milawa
A large 3 storied flour mill was built between Milawa and Oxley. The building is still standing.
The Bank of New South Wales had a branch in Milawa. Messers Jack and Morrison were managers
Bank holiday, 23/1/79 (Argus22/1/79)
West along the main road to the Hume Highway is the old four-storey flour mill made of local bricks. It was powered by a steam engine and built in the 1860s.
Steve Hart started his working life as a butchers boy in Milawa. Ned Kelly visited Milawa several times
In June 1879 Const R Alexander was ordered on transfer to Milawa; while there he assisted in guarding Oxley bank and regular police duty (RC13082)
Police at Milawa opened pre issued sealed orders about responding to an outrage from the KellyGang. The text of the orders for Milawa were:
"Benalla, 24th September 1879. Strictly confidential. Memo. -On receipt of instructions to carry these arrangements into effect, Constable Arthur" (the man in charge) "will first have the township of Miliewa patrolled by a constable, for the purpose of watching for the appearance of the outlaws, and should they pass through, it will be the duty of the constable simply to note carefully the direction by which they leave, preserve the tracks, and report without delay to Constable Arthur, who will immediately pass on the information to Sergeant Steele. This duty must be maintained from 10p.m. to 6a.m.
"2ndly. Have the-bridge carefully watched by a constable, and, if necessary, a reliable hired assistant, whose wages must not exceed l0s. per diem, chargeable only for the time actually employed. It will be the duty of these men to watch carefully-and, above all, silently-the bridge, and should the outlaws pass, they will note carefully the direction they take and preserve the tracks, so as to enable the trackers to pick up the trail when they arrive. It is not intended to dispute the passage of the river with the outlaws, there being only one man at each point of observation-(that is if the whole party of outlaws should pass together; if but one or two pass, and the constable or his assistant should clearly recognise them, then he should certainly capture them, if an opportunity offers-J. S., Superintendent)-but simply to watch and afterwards indicate the direction taken by them.
" Too much care cannot be taken whilst on this duty, as the slightest indiscretion might spoil all our plans. These duties require coolness and sagacity, and as very important results may follow the efficient performance of them, I hope no pains will be spared by the men entrusted with them. Should the outlaws pass over the bridge, the watchers must keep them in view as long as possible from their post of observation, but keep themselves carefully concealed from view; and when the offenders have gone out of hearing, they will proceed quietly for a time towards the place where they will have to report to Constable Arthur; but as soon as they consider it safe, they must mend their pace, and make their report as soon as possible. Every care must be taken to guard against giving a false alarm, the result of which might be fatal to our arrangements. The bridge must be carefully and constantly watched, day and night, until orders countermanding these are given. - bridge will be watched by the constable from Beechworth, who will receive his instructions there. - (Signed) J. Sadleir, Superintendent" I will ask the Press not to mention those localities by name. (RC2759)
Aaron Sherritt was in Gardner's hotel, at Milawa, on the evening of a ploughing match on 16/9/1879. See also James Wallace (teacher) James Doig (local farmer) Colin Gardner, J.P.; James Kelly, teacher; John Burry, farmer; A. McCormick, farmer. Det Ward was trying to trap people (RC14640)
Const Jim Dixon was stationed at Milawa about this time ()
Milawa is the head town in the centre of the gourmet food country with fine wine, cheese and mustards
See also Graham Jones, Memories of Oxley
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