19 April 2023

Riverina Rewind: The tale of Telacon Lloyd and the view from a mill

| Michelle Maddison
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'Warrabingah', on the corner of Edward and Fitzhardinge Streets

‘Warrabingah’ stood on the corner of Edward and Fitzhardinge Streets from 1911 to 1934. Photo: Brian Walsh (Lost Wagga Wagga).

Today the Museum of the Riverina takes us back to the opening decades of the 20th century, where we are greeted by a view across Wagga’s CBD that appears to have been taken from a high vantage on the old Murrumbidgee Mill.

The house you can see at the centre of the image was situated on the western corner of Edward and Fitzhardinge Streets. Called ‘Warrabingah’, it was the family home of Catherine and Telacon Lloyd from 1911 until 1934.

Telacon Lloyd was born at ‘Granite Farm’ Wagga in 1868, the son of Theophilus and Margaret. Even though Telacon resided in Wagga his whole life, he became respected and well known throughout Australia for his mammoth dealings in stock and property.

READ ALSO Riverina Rewind: ‘Beautiful Wagga’ as we saw ourselves in 1941

As a young man he entered the butchering business and had a shop on Baylis Street. After prospering as a butcher, Telacon disposed of that business and started out as a stock dealer, later going into partnership with Anthony Brunskill.

The firm ‘Lloyd and Brunskill’ dealt extensively in stock and property, with deals extending as far north as Queensland and as far west as the South Australian border.

The partnership became known almost throughout the Commonwealth for the magnitude of its operations.

Telacon himself purchased many properties throughout the Riverina.

After retiring from his main business interests Telacon focused on grazing stock across his properties. In 1906 he had the honour of winning the first cup at the Wagga Picnic Races, when his horse, Intuition won.

In 1895 Telacon married Catherine Maher of ‘Mt Pleasant’ and together they had eight children, two sons (George and William) and six daughters (Irene, Alice, Gladys, Myrtle, Doreen and Mary).

READ ALSO Temora Rural Museum celebrates 50 years of local history and heritage

Warrabingah was built as the Lloyd family home in 1911. Described as a “magnificent brick residence”, it had a frontage of 80 ft to Fitzhardinge Street and comprised a lounge, very large dining room, five bedrooms, a kitchen with gas and fuel stoves, a pantry, servery, bathroom with gas heater, laundry with set-in copper and concrete tubs, storeroom, a very wide and roomy back verandah (gauzed in), front and side verandahs, two roomy sleep-outs and a garage and sheds.

Catherine & Telacon Lloyd and daughter Sylvia

A reverse angle looking back from the yard to the Federal Hotel. Catherine & Telacon Lloyd and daughter Sylvia. Photo: Lost Wagga Wagga.

It stood on spacious grounds and was surrounded by well laid out gardens. Across the road to the east the home overlooked the Bolton Park Bowling Green, now the newly opened PCYC. To the south stood the Federal Hotel (later the Imperial, then the Red Lion, and now The Mill Residence).

The home was sold by public auction on 8 September 1934, three years after Catherine’s death. Telacon then moved to his new home at 128 Kincaid Street, where he lived until his death on Thursday 3 September 1942.

Sadly, Warrabingah only survived a little more than a decade beyond her owner. In 1959 the stately home was demolished to make way for a Golden Fleece Service Station.

In later years the site housed a real estate agent and is now home to Right at Home Wagga.

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