Floods & Fires
Glenelg & Wannon Region, South West Victoria, Australia

1847 Floods

  • Highest flood recorded since settlement in 1837. [ More information ]
    "The Glenelg throughout its whole course, but more especially below the junction of the Wannon, has been higher this winter than it has been previously known since its settlement. The floods have been chiefly occasioned by the heavy snow storms upon the Grampians and Victoria mountains. Mr. M'Kinlay's inn, erected at the ford, on the old road to Adelaide, has been flooded several feet deep."
    Source : "The Moreton Bay Courier" (Brisbane, Qld.) Saturday, 16th October 1847.
    "During the late immense flood in the Glenelg, a flock of sheep belonging to Henry Miller, Esq., consisting of about fourteen hundred ewes and lambs were swept away by a sudden rise of the river whilst depasturing upon its banks."
    Source : "The Sydney Morning Herald" (NSW) Saturday, 30th October 1847.

1851 Fires : "Black Thursday"

  • Thursday February 6th, 1851 became known as "Black Thursday" due to the severity of the bushfires that raged in Victoria.

1893-4 Floods

  • Highest flood recorded to that time since the town of Casterton was founded in 1846

1900 Carapook Fire

  • Fire broke out at Carapook and burnt towards Coleraine as reported in the West Wimmera Mail, Friday February 2nd, 1900.
  • Considerable damage was done to property and fodder supplies.
  • Newspaper Report

1901 Fires

  • February 6th, 1901, 50 years to the day after "Black Thursday" fires again raged in the district around Casterton.
  • Some of the large stations which were almost burnt out were "Clunie", Kadnook", Spring Valley" and "Mullagh".

1906 Flood

  • Sunday, July 21st, 1906 was the main day of the flood with the flood peak on Monday, July 22nd, 1906.
  • Four inches of rain were recorded on Saturday, July 20th, 1906 and it did not stop until raining until Monday night.
  • Glenelg River was two to three feet higher than the 1994 flood, which had been the highest since the founding of Casterton in 1846.
  • Significant stock losses and damage to buildings in the lower part of town.
  • Many rescues and lucky escapes for residents of Casterton.

1919 Carapook Fire

  • Fire broke out about 11:00 am, Friday February 15th, 1919 and burnt as far as "Merino Creek".
  • Considerable damage was done to property and fodder supplies.
  • Newspaper Report

1939 Fires : "Black Friday"

  • Friday January 13th, 1939 became known in Victoria as "Black Friday"
  • Lake Mundi, west of casterton was one of the worst hit areas in the Casterton district.
  • Albert McGINTY, 4 year old son of Ted and Mary McGINTY died from burns as he and his mother carrying his younger brother, Leslie tried to escape the fire at Lake Mundi, west of Casterton.

1946 Flood

  • Sunday March 17th, 1946 was remembered as "The Big Flood" in the Sandford and Casterton area.
  • 628 points of rain fell in four days, commencing Friday March 16th, 1946..
  • On the Saturday night the Glenelg River was rising at the rate of one foot per hour.
  • Major MITCHELL's monument on the Sandford Road south of Casterton was covered almost to the top.
  • Dramatic rescues at DALEY's farm resulted in the award of the Royal Humane Society's Siver Medal for bravery to the following mem of Casterton:
    • James Jerome "Gus" MURRAY, First Constable of Police
    • Andrew George PATTERSON, First Constable of Police
    • Victor Raymond ALDRIDGE, Truck Driver
    • Charles Lester NORRIS, Farmer
    • Albert James "Alby" BAUGH, Labourer
    • Edward J. OSBORNE, Merchant

1955 Fire at Langkoop & Poolaijelo : "Black Sunday"

  • The worst fire in the history of the Glenelg Shire started on January 2nd, 1955 in the Langkoop-Poolaijelo area and burnt 25 miles to the Glenelg River.
  • The heavy losses included six houses, 19,000 sheep, 230 cattle, 8 woolsheds and 6 motor vehicles.
  • Ivan STONE of Langkoop, lost his life while trying to save property.


  1. Shire of Glenelg Centenary 1863-1963
  2. Tales of Casterton by Jack Gorman
  3. Newspapers

Back to..

Casterton Main Page

Sandford Main Page

Casterton & District Historical Society