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Riverton  South Australia

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Nomadic NSW sheepherders and their flocks were the first to settle in the fertile Gilbert Valley 100km north of Adelaide, but it was the bullockies driving their teams to haul copper-laden wagons from the Burra mines who opened up this country. At the peak of the copper run, 1200 men and 8000 bullocks worked the route to Adelaide and it wasn’t long before inn-keepers and blacksmiths set up shop at the regular camp sites. Bolstered by the rail link from Adelaide to Burra, many of these camps grew into villages. One, Riverton, is now the largest town in the Gilbert Valley. The development from humpy town to a major rural centre is traced in buildings such as the 1870s railway station, an outstanding example of colonial architecture. The station is used as a tearooms and gallery and renovated, ensuite railway carriages offer visitors a singular form of accommodation. The station still bears the scars of a moment of infamy in March, 1921 - bullet holes left when the Member of Parliament for Broken Hill, Percy Brookfield, was shot and killed trying to disarm a gunman who was terrorising dining room customers.

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