This interpretive sign was placed in position near the plaque celebrating the centenary of the opening of the railway line through Taplan, south east of Loxton in eastern South Australia. (Click to enlarge the image.)
The Taplan area in the Murray Mallee region of my state is a predominantly cereal growing area, supplemented by sheep and cattle. The opening of the railway line in 1913 accelerated the growth of the town and the surrounding farms. Its introduction meant quick access to markets for the products produced, as well as easy transport of farming supplies needed.
When I was growing up on my father’s farm in the 1950s and 60s, the town was still a busy community. Every day on my way to school and home again I would walk past this very spot where these signs now stand. The school was a one room, one teacher rural school with about 30 children attending. It closed many years ago and the few children left in the community now go to school in Loxton by bus.
The interpretive sign shown in the photo below shows an aerial photo of Taplan taken in the 1960s. It shows my father’s farm homestead in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Our farm is shown as the cleared land in the lower part of the photo – of course, this was only a small portion of the whole farm which stretched several miles in either direction east and west of the town, and about a mile to the south, some 2000 acres in all.
Last week I drove to my old home town of Loxton in the Riverland district of South Australia. I grew up on a farm a few miles south east of the town and later moved into the town itself for a few years. I attended the local Loxton High School in the early 1960s. I visit the town from time to time to visit family. My parents used to live there (until they passed away) and now a brother of mine and two sisters-in-law still live there.
Last week I attended the funeral of the mother of a school friend of mine. After the funeral I visited one of my sisters-in-law for the afternoon. Before heading home I did a little birding down by the River Murray.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
Next time I visit I must take more photos around this beautiful river town.