The Boorara owners Homestead.
Fred Cotter managed Currawinya and Caiwarro which lie to to the south and east of Boorara.
To the west Kilcowera and Boodgerie were once a part of this property before Allan MaGrath sold them off in the 1960's. As I write my son David has the privilege of mustering for Greg and Toni Sherwin to the west.
The Managers Homestead which sits alongside the owners home.
Boorara is capable of carrying 3000-5000 head of cattle and is home to a variety of wild horses, pigs and goats which we saw on the way in. It's good country.
During the last 10 years "old fella MaGrath" allowed the property to cruise along- and rightly so. His father was a "hard bastard". Our family often spoke of him in hushed tones he gave no quarter. There was no leeway in his mind. Late for an appointment to discuses fixing fences and he would tell you to "piss off".
He died in the 1950's and left his sons and Jim Cotter to run the place.
Sitting opposite the homestead and across the airstrip is the home that James Henry Cotter lived in. ( photo above). It backs onto a lagoon and the view from the back is breathtaking.
Some of the iconic parts of Sydney are named after this family McGraths Hill (note spelling has changed), and McGrath house in Penrith. "Old Fella" McGrath paid Jim Cotter a wage even in retirement. Its hard to find such a commitment from both employer and employee today.
The original Homestead which sits alongside both the managers home and owners home.
Old fella MaGrath told me of a story of Jim riding a Harley Davidson from the entry gate to the homestead in a few minutes- this making and average speed of about 70mph.. Jim had won many a race on a horse at Hungerford, Tilpa, Louth and Wanaaring, so this speed comes as no surprise.
We were told that Jim was also the first to use motorbikes as boundary riders units with side car in the district. A brilliant idea and still used today.
So what of Boorara today? This iconic property is on the verge of collapse. All the bores leak. The homestead bore to such an extent that Jims cottage now sits in the lagoon itself. You cannot walk to the homestead without getting up to your ankles in water. The pise walls will simply soak up this water and then collapse. The fencing on the western boundaries are now marginal and there is no infrastructure to start up.
Some of the Sheds and the end of the air strip
I mean, no poly pipe, no dozer, no grader, no usable trucks or tools or steel panel or fencing wire.All were sold off recently in a clearing sale. Even the brands.
Its a classic example of someone who wants to have a gin and tonic in front of the fire place and not put in the hard yards. What it requires is steady commitment and an understanding that the stock come first. Frankly you have to be born to it.
Today Boorara sits idle. Doors open. Run down. Can it be brought back to its former glory?
Time will tell. There is a story of Caiwarro where, after the clearing sale they used a bull dozer to get the Billiard table out of the home... I walked across Caiwarros old tennis court and wondered if this was the fate of Boorara.
Time will tell.