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Crowdfunding campaign aims to save historic Toganmain Woolshed
The launch of a crowdfunding campaign to save the Toganmain Woolshed Precinct is being driven by a group of dedicated enthusiasts from across NSW.
The campaign, aptly named ‘Friends of Toganmain’, aims to restore the woolshed and adjacent outbuildings to ensure the preservation of the historic structure and to create a significant cultural tourist attraction.
Dating back to 1875, the Toganmain Woolshed is the largest remaining woolshed in the NSW Riverina region, and holds an important status in Australian pastoral folklore.
Once a bustling hub of activity Toganmain saw more than seven million sheep pass through its doors, with September 1876 recording a total of 202,292 sheep shorn by 92 blade shearers, an Australian record never to be beaten.
Today the woolshed conjures up memories of the great pastoral holdings which occupied Murrumbidgee River frontage from Darlington Point to Hay.
The vision of the Friends of Toganmain is create an immersive curated museum that will use recorded oral shearers stories, written accounts and interpretative signage, to bring to life Australia’s vital pastoral history in an environment which stimulates all the senses.
Explaining the plan, Toganmain Woolshed committee member and author of Historic Shearing Sheds, Peter Freeman stated "we have already lost many significant buildings across Australia. Our vision is to create a cultural attraction that will educate visitors and preserve that piece of history for generations to come.
“The restoration will provide the local community and the wider heritage tourism sector with access to an iconic Australian shearing shed, bringing to life the communities they supported and its relationships to local communities, Indigenous culture and the natural environment”.
Toganmain was one of the first major woolsheds to embrace the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine, which was developed in 1887. The machine revolutionised shearing by enabling a large increase in the number of sheep to be shorn per day and increased the amount of fleece taken per sheep.
The crowd funding campaign has been launched on GoFundMe and will offer supporters pledge rewards, including stunning contemporary and historic images of the precinct and its buildings, and a ‘Celebration at Sunset’ launch event. Gold supporters will experience an exclusive tour of the woolshed guided by historians and woolshed experts.
For more information go to www.gofundme.com/friends-of-toganmain-woolshed-precinct
Image: The Toganmain Woolshed Precinct (top, courtesy of Darren Ripper) and the historic Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine (below).
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