Overland Corner Hotel

The Overland Corner Hotel is situated beside the Murray River, and was once a convenient watering place and camp site for the overlanders and drovers operating between New South Wales and the colony based in Adelaide in the early 1800's. It was also the stopping place for paddle steamers working along the Murray River and coach passengers using the Adelaide to Wentworth route. The historic building was built in 1859 by the Brand Brothers for pioneer pastoralist James Chambers of Cobdogla Station, to cater for the overland drovers and provide a staging point for the coach route from N.S.W. to Adelaide. It was delicensed in 1898 but continued as a general store and post office for many years.

By 1855 the establishment consisted of a police station, horse staging building, blacksmith’s and wheelwright’s shop and a general store. In 1859 the hotel was built, and by the 1870's it was the recognised overnight camping spot. Sometimes up to 30,000 sheep grazed the river flats near the hotel.

The Overland Corner Hotel is constructed of 1.5m thick fossilised limestone, it is the oldest building in the Riverland. A famous chapter in the history of the hotel was a visit from the infamous Captain Moonlight, a daring bushranger, whose real name was Andrew George Scott, alias ‘Preacher’ Scott. He was an Irish-born schizophrenic adventurer who became a lay preacher at Mount Egerton in Victoria, and at the same time a bankrobber. After a stint in prison, he graduated to bushranging. During 1879 when he was on the run from the New South Wales and Victorian Police he used the Overland Corner Hotel as a watering hole. While drinking, and still on horse back, he demanded that both front and back doors of the hotel be left open. He was always on the ready and was not going to be caught if the local police showed up. In fact they soon made it too hot for him in South Australia so he went back to New South Wales, to be captured at Wagga Wagga and eventually hanged on 20 January 1880 at Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney.

The first hotelkeeper's licence for the Overland Corner Hotel was granted to William Brand on 13 March 1860.

A police station was built in the area in 1855 because of 'troublesome natives and cattle duffers'. In 1859 John Chambers was given permission to build an accommodation house or hotel on Crown land on the flood plains above the River Murray to serve drovers and the local station owners. In 1861 William Brand took is new wife, Martha, to live there, where she was probably the first white woman in the area. The hotel was built of limestone from the region in two stages with the original thatch roof being replaced with iron before 1870.
In 1862 George Brand took over the licence from his brother at a time when the 'Corner' was becoming an important staging post on the mail run from Wentworth in New South Wales. By 1866 there was a well established mail coach service which followed a route from Overland Corner to Blanchetown, Freeling, and then by rail to Adelaide.
The 14 roomed building, fort-like with an inner courtyard, was bought by the National Trust in 1965 to preserve what is reputed to be the first stone building to be erected in the Murray Valley.

Local tradition has it that a bushranger and his band roamed the area around Overland Corner stealing cattle. One story claims that the gang came to Overland Corner and, after stopping at the police station to take the precaution of locking the police in the cells, retired to the Overland Corner Hotel. It is said that the leader of the gang rode his horse right into the bar. Before leaving he is claimed to have carved his name onto the pub's wall, but no trace of his signature shows today.

Bushrangers, overlanders, ghosts and a beer! The Historic Overland Corner Hotel is both a pub and a living museum.

Situated 680 metres from the Murray River and 21 kilometres from Barmera off the Goyder Highway, the hotel boasts the biggest beer garden in the Riverland and includes a quaint dining room with two open log fires for those cold winter days. The Hotel is a fully licensed venue, with a pool table and heaps of memorabilia of yester year. The hotel can cater for any occasion large or small.

An amazing history for an amazing pub. Stay a night and you might run into Captain Moonlight's ghost or any one of the many others said to be a part of the history of the Overland Corner Hotel.

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