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  • Writer's pictureRose Parsons

Rachel Chisholm, early pioneer of Molesworth Station

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

Rachel arrived at Molesworth in1942 after a long, wearing trip by horse and buggy. One wonders what ran through her mind as she traversed numerous river crossings and slept under a horse covers with her husband Bill at the uninhabited Langridge Homestead. A taste of the adventurous life to come for the young bride.

Rachel stoically described the Molesworth homestead as "bare boards, minimal furniture, and no curtains". The first meal they would have was a rabbit stew with prunes and rice made by the young rabbiters who were staying there, that was all they had in the larder!

When they arrived, there was no running water so Bill Chisholm filled a kerosene can up with water, climbed up on the roof, found a hole and poured the water down so Rachel could have a shower!

"I was a good plain cook" quoted Rachel. "Sometimes I listened to Aunt Daisy, but we only had the little wee radios"

"My sister and I wrote to each other for 22 years, it was something to look forward to in the mail truck".

Rachel Chisholm; and subsequent manager's wives, made massive contributions toward the success of the station by making the Molesworth a home for both visitors and workers.

In 1979 Rachel was awarded the QSM for her contribution to Molesworth station. The hills leading up to Barefell Pass were later named Rachel Range

Above left, Rachel works at the classic Shacklock coal range, top right, the Molesworth Homestead, bottom right Rachel, Bill and son Bruce.

Want to learn more about the Molesworth and its early settlers? Learn more about joining us on a Molesworth tour.

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