The KellyGang touched almost every part
of the local community. Ned Kelly
worked for sawmills and the KellyGang
bought supplies in local shops. They went to local schools and were members
of local churches.
By the mid 1870s the major churches were established in the major towns in the Kelly counrty. There were also coursing, racing and other sporting clubs. What we might call welfare services were not organised at a community level. Most people relied on their mates, family and neighbours. There were few doctors and other medical services. By way of example the nearest hospital in New South Wales to the Beechworth hospital was the Goulburn hospital.
Males were able to vote for the members of the lower house of the Victorian Parliament. Members of Local Government were largely elected by land owners. Similar arrangements applied to the pasture protection boards, roads boards and other local arrangements. Electricity was in its infancy; there was some thought that the Government might bring up a power plant from Melbourne to light Jones Inn
The community was split between the haves and have nots. Between the squatters and mine owners and the selectors, itenerant rural workers, including shearers, carters, crop reapers, fencers and town workers. There were no welfare services.
Following the Mansfield Murders on 26/10/1878 there was an initial public out cry against the KellyGang. The newspapers were full of wild suppositions. Soon people changed. The police reported that people were polite but they gave no information.
Find the hiding places and sites where the KellyGang found fame and fortune and where their friends indulged in horse stealing and tried to make a life against the challenges of the squatters and banks. Let the KellyGang show you the places where they found safety from the law in the bush.