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Bushrangers at Overland Corner

Local tradition has it that a bushranger and his band roamed the area around Overland Corner stealing cattle. One story claims that the gang came to Overland Corner and, after stopping at the police station to take the precaution of locking the police in the cells, retired to the Overland Corner Hotel. It is said that the leader of the gang rode his horse right into the bar. Before leaving he is claimed to have carved his name onto the pub’s wall, but no trace of his signature shows today.

Just who this notorious bushranger was is a matter of debate. Some say he was Captain Moonlite, a well-educated man from a good family who formerly worked as a lay preacher and civil engineer. Others claim the bushranger to be Captain Starlight, originally the name of a Queensland cattle rustler which was then used by several bushrangers after it was popularised in Rolf Boldrewood’s novel, Robbery under arms. The Brand family of Overland Corner: the history and family tree of William and Sarah Brand and their descendants states that around 1884 the bushranger Frank Pearson, who used the alias Starlight, was in the district.

In 1967 when the National Trust purchased the Overland Corner Hotel for restoration, an open day was held featuring the re-enactment of a stagecoach hold-up by a bushranging gang. The leader of the gang was Captain Starlight.

Further reading

Woolmer, George. Overland Corner: a history of Overland Corner and its hotel, Barmera, [SA]: G. Woolmer: Barmera Branch of the National Trust of South Australia, 1986.

Links

The Berri Barmera Council: Overland Corner Attractions

Lara Station, Overland Corner

National Museum of Australia: Exhibitions: Outlawed! See: Explore the Outlaws: Frank Pearson


Thousands flock to ‘Corner for open day

Bushrangers hold up Corner Coach


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