November 29, 2021

Overland Corner Hotel - oldest pub on the Murray River

The Overland Corner Hotel (Roderick Eime 2021)

This classic colonial inn, reputedly the oldest surviving hotel to be built along the Murray River, has had a colourful past, hosting patrons ranging from bushrangers to ghosts.

The Overland Corner Hotel was built by the Brand brothers in 1859 for pastoralist, John Chambers. Using local materials, it was constructed of limestone blocks hewn from a nearby quarry, local red gum and native Murray pine timbers and a thatched roof of river reeds. One of the brothers, William, was the hotel's first licensee.

The hotel originally sat on land which was part of Chambers' Cobdogla Station, a sprawling cattle property on the Murray River. The 'overland corner' refers to the river bend where large mobs of cattle were swum across the river after drovers had moved them 'overland' from New South Wales, destined. for the Adelaide markets. The extensive river flat below the hotel was used as a holding paddock for stock, while no doubt, many a drover enjoyed the pub's hospitality. Today it's a popular camping area. The pub operated for almost 40 years before being delicenced in 1897. It operated as a store and post office until 1965 when the property was bought by the National Trust and restored to its former glory. It was relicenced as a hotel in 1987.

Like most good pubs, The Overland Corner Hotel is not without a swag of yarns. Irishman Andrew Scott, otherwise known as bushranger Captain Moonlight, is alleged to have had a drink or two at the hotel with a few accomplices. Moonlight is said to have ridden his horse into the front bar. Ghosts of past patrons are also said to still enjoy the pub's hospitality, revelling into the early hours, long after the lights are out!

Overland Corner Hotel (08)8588 7021

Text source: Australian Bush Pubs | Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage | ISBN 9781925868630
Main photo: Roderick Eime

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