Early Farming in Bendoc

The name Bendoc has not always been the town name! In the early days, the area was know as WAGRA, Aboriginal for Black-eyed crow.

It was suggested that Bendoc came to be through Ben Boyd, a grazier, who ran his cattle on ‘open’ ground later to be known as “Bendoc Park Station” and used to ‘dock’ them there. The “K” has since been dropped.

The Pastoral industry has been maintained throughout, but in Bendoc itself, sawmilling is the main industry.

In 1845 a grazing licence was granted to J J Hensleigh at “Mountain View” where after the separation of the states of New South Wales and Victoria, found his cattle ran in NSW and his home was in Victoria.

In 1862, Charles Lawson obtained a large cattle run on the opposite side of the Bendoc River 5 miles north of Wagra, Bendoc.

As families began to take up runs (land), farming became entrenched with many of the same family names still around today.

In 1869, the township of Bendoc was surveyed and the Parish of Bendoc was surveyed one year later. On 4th March 1871 a Land Board was held at the court in Bairnsdale, the following people applied for land Charles Lawson, Norman Cameron, J R Bruce, Hamilton Reed, J J Lawson, Robert Mutchinson, Kenneth McPhail, C N Lawson, Robert Jamieson.

There was a Land Board established in Bendoc in November 1884. Approximately 20 settlers applied for land.

In the early days, dairy cattle were stocked. A butter factory at the NSW/Victorian border (known as Factory Hill) was kept supplied by local farmers.

Each landowner grew wheat for his/her own use. The wheat was taken to Bombala for gristing and the farmer took home al the flour, pollard and bran for stock feed during the hard winter when it snows.

In the 1930’s pasture improvement was introduced to the area. This meant heavier stocking rates. Road improvements brought the introduction of Merino sheep for wool and crossbreeds for fat lambs. Beef breeds of cattle now predominate especially Herefords and Angus which can handle the harsh winters.

Crops are important in the area for fodder, hay and grain. Recently, oilseeds have proved that they will grow successfully and provide a useful feed for finishing off stock before market.