Corowa and Wahgunyah owe their existence to the enterprise and diligence of John Foord, who with John Crisp, took up land on the southern side of the river, known as the Wahgunyah Run. Foord became a storekeeper, bridge builder, flour miller, transport owner and town planner....quite an industrious man you might say!
Corowa also played a crucial role in shaping Australian democracy when in 1893, the People’s Convention was held which provided the catalyst for the first fledgling steps towards nationhood and Federation. Corowa has since garnered the title of the ‘Birthplace of Federation’.
Explaining and detailing this path to Federation is a major exhibit in the Federation Museum which is located in a building itself over 100 years old.
To learn more about Federation, visit the Federation Museum, Corowa.
Corowa’s rich history is on ample display with captivating historic buildings including the Corowa Courthouse and the Oddfellow’s Hall, where the People’s Convention actually took place. The best way to explore Corowa’s rich history and heritage is via the self-guided historic walk. Remember to stop and read the signs adjacent to significant buildings and the storyboards located at the Corowa Civic Centre and Sanger Street which bring to life the history and unique links to Federation.
Tom Roberts an Australian artist also played a significant role in Corowa making a name for itself with the connection between the township and the famous painting ‘Shearing of the Rams’.
In spring 1888, he arranged with the family of his sister-in-law to visit the Corowa area during which he made 70 – 80 sketches at a local station shearing woolshed.
Roberts later returned in 1889, which was when he finished his famous painting, ‘Shearing the Rams’
A replica shearing shed has since built and is located in Redlands Hill Reserve, on Tom Roberts Road north of Corowa and a few hundred metres from the site of the original shearing shed which is open to the public for visitors.
Visit the Federation Museum to find out more about Tom Roberts and his two most famous Corowa paintings, “Shearing the Rams” and “A Break Away”.
Also having a major impact on Corowa’s history in famous artworks, was Tommy McCrae a local Aboriginal artist who was known for documenting the arrival of Europeans and Chinese during the Rutherglen goldfield rush and more.
Prints of Tommy’s original artworks are on display and Corowa’s Federation Museum.