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Guide to Tocal

Charles Boyd Alexander

Photo of Charles Boyd Alexander

When the subject of Charles Boyd Alexander is raised there are often mixed reactions. The Alexander’s (Jean, Robert, Isabella and Charles) purchase of Tocal occurred in confusing circumstances. Eighty-two years of the Reynolds family association with Tocal came to an end when Darcie Reynolds mistakenly thought that the property was being auctioned in single lots – in fact the entire estate was knocked down to Jean Alexander in one bid.

The shy Alexanders moved on to Tocal and their reluctance to become a part of local community was unfairly mistaken as snobbishness. In fact people who knew the Alexanders well described them as ‘warm, sincere, humane and very generous’.

Charles Alexander keenly embraced the mechanical era. He installed a generator in the brick stables, bringing power to the Homestead, and the adjacent stable was converted to hold 60 batteries to store electricity. He oversaw the installation of improved water reticulation systems and water troughs with an electric pump from Webbers creek to the Homestead.

Charles Alexander also purchased one of Tocal’s first tractors, which is now housed in the Stone Barn. On his death Charles willed the tractor to John and Bruce Gardiner of Millers Forest who donated it back to Tocal in 1986.

Charles Alexander guided Tocal from a labour intensive operation to one using the latest technology. In doing so he began to move Tocal in the direction that is now associated with modern agriculture.