Pioneer family sells up property

HISTORIC Drake property Oak Hollow has been sold to new owners after six generations in the Hyne Family.

And a memorable collection of Australiana and collectables will be auctioned on Saturday, January 25 from 10am.

According to fifth generation grazier Mike Hynes, the property was selected by his great-great-grandfather John Hynes in 1860, when the district still very much belonged to the Aborigines and their natural world.

But times were changing, with gold found at Drake.

John, who migrated from the Hunter with his team of bullocks, descended off the New England plateau to claim a swathe of prime grazing land along the Clarence that at one time stretched to Collum Collum near Yugilbah and covered 25,000ha in its prime.

Today the property comprises 400ha with Drake's Lumbago Creek running through its heart.

Mike said the rural climate made it difficult for his children to remain on the land, although his two daughters Jane and Melissa had married men who worked on rural properties.

"We have mixed feelings about the sale but today there are difficulties on the land," he said.

"There is a real need for off-farm income."

Mike's only son Matthew has his own business in Brisbane.

Oak Hollow in recent years made its living from hereford cattle and eucalypt timber cut off the property.

There was a time when family members would drive the cattle from Drake to Collum Collum, making the two-day trip on horseback with an Aboriginal stockman running sweep to make sure none of the family were swept off their horses crossing the mighty Clarence.

And there were tales of John Hynes making the round trip to Tenterfield in his sulky by the light of the full moon to attend meetings of the show society, of which he was president.

It wasn't known whether the horse was allowed its head on the return trip, so John could sleep off the effects of those social gatherings.

The new owners, from South Australia, are keen to make a go of Oak Hollow and are just as excited about retaining its history.

Mike and his wife Dianne will retire to Ballina.


Sale for collectors

The clearance sale on January 25 will feature unusual items, including a sulky and tip dray, as well as cream cans, cedar meat safes, cast iron cooking gear (some of which is pictured), saddles and stockwhips and a host of equally intriguing items.

Full details from Ray White Rural Tenterfield on 6736 1136.

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