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*** TRACKS INTO THIS AREA SUBJECT TO WINTER CLOSURES ***
A cache in a remote part of Victoria's High Country at a memorial dedicated to one of the many dogs that enabled men to farm here. It could not have been done otherwise.
It is well known that much of Australia's sheep and cattle industry is dependant on the cattle dog. The high country was no different and would have been nearly impossible to farm if it hadn't been for the humble working dog.
The story of the Dog's Grave is set on Cobungra Station - a station still operating today on the Great Alpine Road between Hotham & Omeo - in the late 1850's and early 1860's. It is hard to imagine how remote this country was back then.
There are two possible stories about how this place came to be known as the Dog's Grave.
This site was once the first camp out of Cobungra Station on the cattle run to Dargo, but has not been used as such now since 1937.
Peter Meehan ran this side of the run for the Gray family and did it on his own with his horse Skinny & his kelpie, Boney.
One story tells of Peter Meehan finding his dog dead at the door of his hut having taken a bait laid for dingos. He buried the dog nearby the hut and built a fence around it. Peter Meehan is not really buried all that far from Boney, you will possibly find his grave in the cemetery on this side of Dargo - I'm not sure if it is still marked.
In 1888 a railway construction gang camped in the area surveying for a rail line from Stratford to Omeo. The camp cook restored the grave but later the hut & fence later were destroyed by fires.
In 1964 SJ Treasure of Dargo & a Dept of Mines Geologist, John Neilson set about finding the site. They located the ruin of the hut chimney and later the grave rock pile itself. They erected a third fence around "Boney".
When John Gianarelli was prospecting in the area with Jack Treasure he was told the story of the Dog's Grave and set about creating the memorial which stands here now, placing it here in 1975.
Researching the book "Cattlemen of the High Plains", Harry Stephenson came across another version of the story. In the second story the dog's name was Angus. Not a kelpy but a smithfield. The drover who owned the dog was a chap by the name of Johny Crisp.
The source for this information, Charles McNamara of the family who originally built McNamara's Hut, insists that his version is true as his grandfather owned Cobungra at the time the story begins.
The story about the dog taking dingo bait is a common thread in both stories.
Whichever is the true story, the memorial stands to drovers and their faithful dogs.
Aside from the Dog on the Tuckerbox this may be the only other drovers dog imortalised in stone in Sth Eastern Australia.
The cache is in an ammo can. Please hide well. It is a short distance from the Dog's Grave, but please visit the grave and have a think about the kelpies that helped build this country.
Enjoy the cache. Please trade even or trade up and replace it well hidden from casual view.
(Reference: Cattlemen of the High Plains, H. Stephenson)
Onfr bs ynetr gerr pbirerq va onex & oenapu ovgf.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum