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The Kidds of Tocal

Back to Tocal to stay

John, Ann and their family stayed in the Goulburn district only a short time. In 1856 they moved back to Tocal to live and work for the rest of their lives. Two years later, John and Ann's last child was born at Tocal and named Elizabeth Jane.

When John Kidd returned to Tocal he saw many changes. The property had been leased to Charles Reynolds and his family since 1844 and a large barn designed by eminent architect Edmund Blacket had been erected to house stock and fodder. This original barn was destroyed by fire in 1867, and its replacement still stands today.

A reaping and threshing machine was being used on Tocal's crops of maize, oats, barley and rye. Potatoes and table vegetables were being grown for the house, as well as pumpkins, and lucerne hay for the stock. Tocal's Devon cattle were of special note in the Colony. A punt was operating near where the bridge is now.

Below: Stud groom John Kidd (2) with imported stallion Simmer

John Kidd with imported stallion Simmer

Bushrangers were prevalent in the 1860s, one of whom was the notorious Thunderbolt who had worked at Tocal in 1853 and returned in 1856 to steal a mob of horses, the first act in a life of crime that lasted until 1870.

In 1860, Charles Reynolds bought Duninald from Captain William Dun, his father-in-law, and moved his Devon cattle and fillies there. The Hereford cattle stud remained at Tocal, and John Kidd would have been busy with the grooming and showing of these cattle at shows, assisted by his son William.

Like to know more? Buy the book! This web exhibition is based on the book "At Home Amongst the Stock": The Kidds of Tocal [details]