Ryan Well Historical Reserve protects and preserves an important aspect of the nineteenth century push into the Northern Territory. Located 129km north of Alice Springs, the well was hand-dug in 1889 to supply water to travellers and stock along the Overland Telegraph Line.
The well was named after Ned Ryan, a stonemason who became an expert at sinking wells. Make a stop along the Stuart Highway to read the detailed plaque beside the well, which describes the complex process of raising water and offers a glimpse into the early history of Central Australia.
Within the Reserve, the Glen Maggie homestead ruins reveal the way of life of pastoral settlers during the early 20th century. The Nicker family built the Glen Maggie sheep and cattle station near the well in 1914 and charged a small fee per head to draw water for travelling stock. By 1921 the homestead also served as a telegraph office and store. In 1932 it became well known as the last supply point for miners heading north-west to ‘The Granites’ gold rush.
The building was finally abandoned in 1935 and the Telegraph Office was moved north to Aileron Station.
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