In March 2018, historians and other interested persons met at Wonnangatta to acknowledge the centenary of the famed and unsolved Wonnangatta Murders.
Wonnangatta is a rich source of cattle grazing history in Victoria.
It is known that Oliver Smith was probably the first permanent settler at Wonnangatta in 1870.
A partnership developed with the Bryce family in 1871 and that family eventually took over, developing their cattle herd and improving the Station.
In 1914, the Phillips and Ritchie from Delatite station at Mansfield purchased Wonnangatta. They purchased bullocks in Wodonga and walked them to Wonnangatta to fatten. They then walked them to Mansfield via Zeka spur, Macalister Springs, Mt Howitt. down the steep and dangerous Howitt Spur and along the Howqua River.
The grisly Wonnangatta murders in 1918 saw Phillips and Ritchie’s Wonnangatta manager, James Barclay, buried in a shallow grave beside the Home (Conglomerate) creek and the body of his cook, Bamford, discovered hidden under a pile of logs on the Howitt Plain. The Murders were never solved, and remain a mystery to this day.
After the murders Phillips and Ritchie sold out to the Allen Bros. of Jamieson and Darlingford about 1920 and the stock routes up the Howqua River and over the Great Divide continued to be used. Then an Alexandra syndicate owned Wonnangatta for a short time before selling to the Guys from Crooked River in 1934.
Unfortunately the Wonnangatta homestead was burnt to the ground in 1957 and only a small hut remains along with the cemetery and other remnants of the Station.
In 1971 the Guys sold to Bob Gilder of Licola and in 1988 the Victorian Labour Government paid Gilders out and closed down grazing on both the leasehold and freehold country. Until taken by the Government in 1988, Wonnangatta station was the most remote freehold cattle station in Victoria. It is now part of the Alpine National Park.