Remembering Territory Families : The Katherine

Building bridges
Emungalan, north of the Katherine River
'A three-course meal...'
Pre-War Katherine - a battler's point of view
The White Russians
'The Katherine Express'
World War II - frontline
Growing the Katherine - the Tapp family

The Katherine

The town of Katherine, often called The Kath-er-ine by the locals, is located on the banks of the great Katherine River. This river can rise nearly 20m in the Wet, creating flooding in the town but also, over millennia, the scenic gorge in nearby Nitmiluk National Park.

Nitmiluk is the Jawoyn name for Katherine Gorge. Nitmiluk National Park is Aboriginal land but open to visitors and contains many rock art sites, and other sites of cultural significance to Jawoyn Aboriginal people. The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service, under the guidance of the traditional owners through the Nitmiluk National Park Board, administers the Park.

The original Overland Telegraph Repeater Station was located at Knott’s Crossing. Springvale Homestead originally managed by Alfred Giles, who worked on the Line, is the oldest original homestead in the Territory dating back to 1879.

Before a bridge was built across the Katherine River, a small town called Emungalan was located on the northern side. In 1923 construction on the Katherine railway bridge began which was completed in 1926. Most of the residents of Emungalan then moved to the southern side of the river where the town of Katherine now stands.

During the war, the Australian Army set up two hospitals there as well as Katherine Area Headquarters. On 22 March 1942 Katherine was bombed by Japanese aircraft and one man killed.

The land around Katherine is very fertile and has been used extensively for agriculture, including the growing of fruit and vegetables, in the pre- and post-war periods.

Most famously of all, Jeannie Gunn popularized the region in the iconic novel if the Northern Territory, We of the Never Never. The grave of her husband, Aeneas or the ‘Maluka’, who died after of malaria in 1903, remains at nearby Elsey Cemetery close to Elsey Station.

Collection's Items (Sorted by Title in Ascending order): 1 to 20 of 24
PreviewIssue DateTitleOther titleAuthor(s)
PH0025-0003.tif.jpg-Alfred Giles and family-Foelsche, P. (Paul), 1831-1914 Request Copy
katherine_express_MacFarlane.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009Arriving in Katherine 1950-MacFarlane, Peg Request Copy
PH0268-0019.tif.jpg-Billiard room-- Request Copy
building_bridges.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009Building bridges-Allcorn, William Request Copy
PH0224-0004.tif.jpg1-Jan-1930Car outside George Lim's store in Katherine-- Request Copy
emungalan_chong-fong.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009Emungalan, north of the Katherine River-Chong-Fong, Allan Request Copy
1-Jan-1945Family-- Request Copy
growing_thekatherine.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009Growing the Katherine - the Tapp family-Tapp Coutts, Toni Request Copy
10810.JPG.jpg-Hotel-- Request Copy
39305.JPG.jpg1-Feb-1960Katherine-- Request Copy
katherine_express_Pascoe.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009'The Katherine Express'-Pascoe, Nadia Request Copy
PH0233-0020.tif.jpg1-Jan-1926Katherine railway bridge-Fletcher, V. Request Copy
PH0546-0025.tif.jpg1-Dec-1941McGinness Family-- Request Copy
21709.JPG.jpg-Nursing sisters-- Request Copy
31542.JPG.jpg1-Jan-1940Peanut farmer-Pole, Charlie Request Copy
prewar_katherine.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009PreWar Katherine - a battler's point of view-Nixon, Bert Request Copy
4_8image1Telegram.tif.jpg1-Jan-2009Received telegram-- Request Copy
35676.JPG.jpg-Sign-- Request Copy
41754.JPG.jpg-Street-- Request Copy
three_course_meal.pdf.jpg1-Jan-2009A three-course meal�'-Mahony, Kath Request Copy
Collection's Items (Sorted by Title in Ascending order): 1 to 20 of 24