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Tintaldra ...indigenous for   'young man by the water' On the banks of the Murray River,  the small village of Tintaldra, 23 km from Corryong, has two of the oldest commercial businesses in the Upper Murray, the Tintaldra General Store, built in 1864, and the Tintaldra Hotel, built in 1870.  Both were built by contractors employed by squatter Sydney Grandison Watson, who owned the Tintaldra grazing run and other properties in the Upper Murray during much of the last half of the nineteenth century. Mr. Watson purchased the Tintaldra run in 1858 and was quick to see the economic potential of a natural river crossing near the boundary of this run. This shallow ford across the Murray River was often used by travellers moving livestock and goods between New South Wales and Victoria. However in winter and spring, the water ran deeper and faster and crossing the river became a very dangerous activity.
In the mid 1860s, Mr Watson employed  Christy Vogel, a German born man to build a hand-drawn punt to ferry travellers and livestock across the swollen waters. The punt, which operated upstream of the ford, conveniently led travellers past a general store he had had built beside the river. Mr Watson therefore was able to make money from punt fares as well as from the sale of goods in his store. Christy, who also ran the blacksmith business at Tintaldra, and his family operated the punt for twenty five years. The punt was eventually replaced in 1892 by a red gum bridge, the first bridge over the Murray River in the Upper Murray. As a border crossing, the colonial Victorian government  realised Tintaldra was a convenient location for the collection of government duties and to inspect stock health on entrance to the colony. A Customs House was built and a Customs Officer- Stock Inspector was stationed at Tintaldra, until after the Federation of the States resulted in the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Mr. Watson had contractors build the Tintaldra Hotel. Unlike the General Store, which was managed by Watson's employees, the Tintaldra Hotel was leased to independent licensees.
In its early days, the hotel proved to be a difficult business to be in as it is documented that many struggled to pay the rent and to make ends meet. In its early years there was a high turnover of publicans who attempted to make a living from this hotel. Thankfully for the Upper Murray community, the hotel has survived as a commercial business and, today, is an important link to the early days of European settlement in the Upper Murray. Despite the prominence of Sydney Grandison Watson during the mid 1800s and the large number of his offspring, it is believed that no descendant of Sydney Grandison Watson lives in the Upper Murray today. The Watson family sold Tintaldra Station to the McKinnon family in 1910. The Watson home, the Walwa Homestead, and surrounding land were later sold to the Bramley family in 1930. Both properties are still in the hands of descendants of these families.
“The Man From Snowy River’ Country of North-Eastern Victoria & Southern NSW