These photographs are part of a collection recently donated to CSU Regional Archives by Mr Bruce Mathew. WF Mathew owned “Hill View”, a farm located on the Coolamon Road, which found itself adjoining the new Wagga Experiment Farm orchard and vineyard in the early 1890s.
“The site of the Farm, on Crown land in the Parish of North Wagga, including part of the North Wagga Common … was dedicated in October 1892. The Farm covered 2000 acres. It occupied a virgin site. There were no buildings, no fences, no water. The most prominent features of the landscape were the Two Sisters hills. The boundary on the southern side continued in a line from what is today the eastern access to the winery, across the hill to the Pine Gully Road. The eastern boundary was the travelling stock reserve on what is now the Coolamon Road. The land was no better than, if as good as, the majority of neighbouring districts, and in the days of selection had been passed over.”
– Sutherland, June (1996) “From Farm Boys to PhDs: Agricultural Education at Wagga Wagga, 1896-1996” Charles Sturt University
John Coleman was appointed as the first (and only) Superintendent of the Wagga Experiment Farm in January 1892. He was charged with getting the land ready for use as a new experiment farms and farm school, which would work in conjunction with the brand new Hawkesbury Agricultural College. His wife and daughter came with him to Wagga, making their home in the nearby Estella homestead. The Colemans left Wagga in October 1895 to start up the Bathurst Experiment Farm. George Valder took over as the first Manager of the Wagga Experiment Farm and it was under his watch that the first students arrived in 1896.