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Notes and Comments. (By 'Canmore.') Demand for Station Properties.

Recently there has been, as predicted in these columns, a keen demand for sta- tion, properties, particularly in regard to sheep holdings. The prices paid for

Western Australian wools at the local auctions and in the open markets abroad during the past two or three years have compelled attention to be drawn to this State, and pastoralists in the Eastern States have been forced to recognise this portion of the Commonwealth as a healthy competitor with those classes of wools which arc creating most attention among the world's buyers at the present time. The continued high .prices for wool and- the prospects for their con- tinuance, together with the propitious rains which have recently fallen, have combined to create an unusually brisk demand for Nor'-West and Murchison country, and just at the present moment buyers are in excess of sellers. The pro- perty departments of the various agents have been inuudated with inquiries, both locally and from the Eastern States, and several important sales have been effect- cd. Dalgety and Co.. Ltd.. have sold Artesian Station, situated in the Ex- mouth Gulf district, on behalf of Mr. C. E. Kelly, and the purchasers comprise several well-known sheep men who will carry on under the style of the Geralia Pastoral Co. Artesian Station com- prises 300,000 acres adjacent to Geralia Landing, and the purchasers take over 13.000 sheep with the property. The same company hare also acquired from Mr. Nat. Harper Gernlia Station, which comprises 244,000 acres, together with 12.000 sheep, and in future these two properties will be amalgamated and worked as one proposition. Marilla Station Sold. On account of Mr. J. A. Withnell, wno has not been enjoying good health lately, Dalgety and Co. have also sold Mardie Station to Mr. B. H. Sharpe, the pre- sent owner of Wooleen Station, in the Lower Murchison. Mardie has an area of 400,000 acres, which is particularly well improved, and the stock taken over comprises 33.000 sheep, 100 horses, and 100 head of cattle. The price paid is re- ported to be in the neighbourhood of £50,000. There is a lot of historic inter- est attaching to Mardie Station, which is situated at the mouth of the Fortescue River, as the settlement of this country took place either late in 1865, or early in the following year. The original pas- toral leases were taken up by Messrs. Simpson and MacIntosh, who arrived in Roebourne a part of the original   Denison Plains Pastoral Co., which fitted out and equipped the barque Warrier in Melbourne at that period. The cargo of live stock they brought with them com- prised 3,000 ewes.- a good number of cattle of the Hereford breed, a choice   selection: of thoroughbred horses, and a very highly, bred Arab stallion named Cockalain. which was subsequently . well known throughout the Nor-West as   'Cocky.'. The whole of this outfit was under the management of the late : Mr. Henry Broadhurst. The original destin-. ation of the shipment and company was Roebuck Bay, now know as Broome, and the intention was to settle a consider- able area of pastoral country known on the map as Denison Plains, which was discovered by that well-known explorer the late Augustus Gregory, who was for some years Surveyor General of Queens- land.' The Warrier, however, struck an succession of calms, and as the sheep commence to die through lack of water, somewhere off the Nor'-West Cape, it was decided to abandon the original in- tention, and land at the Port of Cos- sack, which, was then known ns Tien Tsin Harbour, and Nicol Bay. This course was followed after a fair proportion of   the sheep had been lost. Settlement at   Roebourne had just then commenced to trek to the-eastward, where stations had been started by Messrs. John Wellard and Shakespeare Hall at Jones's Creek and Andover on the Harding River. The Lockyers were also further up the river, and Messrs. Mount. Orkney and Smith's company from Victoria were waiting to get over to the De Grey River, where Mr. Walter Padbury had already started a station in 1863. Mr. John Withnell the father of Mr. James Withnell was then   at Sherlock; Messrs. Anderson. Grant. J. Elliot Richardson. A. R. Richardson   and John Edgar at Pyramid Station, and Viveash and Wilkinson wero at Inder noona. About a dozen members of the Denison Plains Company,' on the advice of Mr. John Withnell. decided to branch out to the westward to the Maitland River Plains,' the lower Fortescue and Robe Rivers, and on to the Ashburton. Among these were. Messrs. Simpson -and Macintosh, who; when: they reached the lower Fortescue; reckoned it was good enough and decided to squat on the Mardie Springs. This was the   stage for the formation of the   station, while a little further up the Fortescue Messrs. Robert and Duncan Fraser had started Balmoral station. After two or 1 three years of pioneering work Messrs. Simpson and Macintosh were joined in partnership by Mr. Mor- ton, who with his relation Mr. Macin- tosh, hailed from New Zealand, and they carried on Mardie, and gradually im- proved it until 1883. By this time they Had fenced about three paddocks, and had sunk several wells, which in those days were only equipped with a whip, fork and bucket. Despite this fact they worked the flock up to about 18,000, with some cattle and about 80? horses. Just at this stage the members of the Murray Squatting Comipany, comprising the late Mr. William Paterson, his bro- ther George Pryde Paterson, Mr.   A. R. Richardson, Mr. Hamlet Cornish and Mr. S. R. L. Elliott, who had in 1880 established the first sheep station on the Fitzroy River in West Kimberley, sold out their interests in 1883 to Mr. Games. Mr. A. R. Richardson had made a spe- cial voyage up from Fremantle to hand over to Mr. Alex Forrest as agent for Mr. Games, and on his return journey he stopped at Cossack, as he was then in- terested in Pyramid station as a partner with his brother and Mr. John Edgar. While in the district he learned that Messrs. Simpson and Macintosh were offering Mardie for sale, and he inspect- ed the station on behalf of the Murray Squatting Company in company with Mr. Sam. Elliott. They got an offer, of the property, and finally purchased it for' £24.000. with 18,000 sheep, and the whole of 'the plant and improvements. The Murray Squatting Company carried on Mardie for ten years, when Messrs. William and George Paterson sold out. chiefly to Messrs. A. R. Richardson and Sam. Elliott, and in 1897 they were join- ed by Mr.H. O.Timms, who is now liv-   ing in the Gnowangerup district. This partnership carried on the station until 1912 fencing in and subdividing nearly all the country, increasing the wells and installing over 3O windmills. They also   built the present homestead before they sold to Mr. James Withnell, who made further improvements, and at one stage shore over 40,000 sheep. Importations of Rams. There have been several important shipments of merino rams from the East- ern States during the past few weeks, and the majority of these have gone to the Xor'-West to serve on the stations. One hundred flock- rains from Koonoona have gone to Muccan, -and sheep from the same stud, which were procured at high prices, have gone to Mr. George Gooch's stud at Bacton, and. Mr. Alec. Grant's Yanget estate, near Geraldton. Mr. Gooch went, to South Australia to make a personal selection, and lie landed ' ten rams from the Zealandia, which arrived on Wednesday! These are all rams which must have a very important in- fluence on the Bacton stud, as there is, no shrewder judge of the requirements of the State than Mr. Gooch. Mr. Alec. Grant's consignment from Koonoona consisted of 82 stud rams, and it is stated that he paid something in the neighbourhood of £1,500 for the lot. These sheep were specially selected for Mr. Grant by Mr. Chris. Rowan, of Geraldton, and were purchased through Dalgety and Co. During their stay at Fremantle they were inspected by a number of sheep breeders, who were in the city at the time, and they were much admired. It is also Mr. Grant's inten- tion to import in July 1.500 stud ewes from Koonona, and it is evident from this that it is Mr. Grant's intention to capture a good slice of the Xorth-West ram trade. \vb,ich at. present goes to the Eastern States. Shorthorns for the Nor' -West. Two classically bred 'Shorthorn bulls ?were landed 'this week a-t Fremantle from Sydney, and will be skipped north to the Margaret Downs Pastoral Company, on the Fitzroy River, T-Vest Kimberley. as soon as -the weather is more favourable. In the meantime they are undergoing four inoculations as a preventive tick fever. They are bot.'li red bulls of great lenghh and exceptional substance, and. as they were placed second and t.hird at the Sydney Show, some i-lea may be formed of their quality. Matilda's Royal Duke 4th. a very deep rod with unbroken colour, was calved in July. WJO. and is by Lindenow Duke of Derrimut 52nd from Matilda's Royal Duchess, a cow ufaich -was .sired, by- ILindestow. Duke el

Derrimut 40th. while the pedigree throughout includes the most fashionable blood exhibited at the Royal shows of the Eastern Stales for years past. This bull was bred by Messrs. Dugdale and Creber, of Tregothnan, Victoria. ? The other bull. Cornstalk, is also a rich red. but carries a little white, and was bred ?bv Mr. Harry. U Austin at fch Ehvah, Ilav. Xew Sowth AVales. It was calved in August, 1S20. and was got by Zarctan Duke of Derrimut ISfch from Cornflower 2nd a daughter of Lindenow Duke of Derrimut 40th. They are two of the best bulk imported into the -State, and it is reer«ttable that they did not arrive later in the vear. when they might have been exhibited at the Royal Show at Clare mom The Margaret Downs Pastoral Company have established a 1iigh repu- tation foV the quality of their cattle, and these additions to the station stud should have a powerful influence on their future breeding.