It was in the late 1830’s when Europeans started settling in the area. Notably Charles Huon arrived in Wodonga ( 45km east of Rutherglen) in 1836, Peter Stuckey took up Brimin in 1841, Thomas Clarke and James Lindsay Brown took up Gooramadda in 1847. More importantly for Rutherglen and Wahgunyah John Foord and John Crisp took up the Wahgunyah run of 35,000 acres in January 1839. It was this that marks the birth of what was to become the birth of the Rutherglen district. By the time gold was discovered in Rutherglen, on Saturday 9th September 1860, the district was already very well established in agriculture and horticulture.
The Olcorn family had 2,000 acres on the flat country eight miles south-west of Rutherglen. They were colourful people who’s farming principles made them rich and they always would look ahead two years in fodder conservation for their stock. In the 1944-45 drought they had 1,200 bushels of oats in their woolshed, worth an absolute fortune, they gave it to those that needed it to keep their stock alive.
Albert Terrill started working for David Mitchell at his Bethanga property when he was 12 years old. When Mitchell bought Gooramadda Park in in 1886 Albert moved there his job was to be in charge of stock buying. Albert went on to buy his own properties and fattened five to six thousand sheep a year and ran cattle.
Tom McKinty was a boundary rider who spent 14 hours in the saddle per day when he patrolled the 17 properties that the Terrill family owned. He did this for 40 years.
Williams family settled in Brimin from South Australia in 1862 , they bought with them Shorthorn cattle. In 1870 they set up a saw mill to supply sleepers for the construction of the railway in the area.
Robert Jack the first, arrived in Australia in 1856. He came to Rutherglen before 1860. His property Silverburn, just west of Rutherglen was taken over by Robert Jack the second, on his death in 1891. Jack produced wheat mainly but also had a vineyard, a Clydesdale Stud, a bone mill, a dairy herd, pigs and he found time for fishing and poetry. His poetry was written with inspiration and sensitivity. Robert Jack’s poetry is available for viewing at the Common School Museum.
Information taken from Rutherglen – Wine Centre of North-East Victoria by Brian Lloyd & John Kennedy