Merriwagga is one of the villages within Carrathool Shire, located between Goolgowi and Hillston. Merriwagga lays claim to be the very heart of Black Stump Country. Black Stump Hotel caters for the thirsts of local farmers and travellers alike. The hotel boasts the tallest bar in the Southern Hemisphere, standing a lofty 1.3 metres high. Local legend has it that the original publican built the bar this high, so that local ringers could ride their horses right up to the bar!
The village of Merriwagga was surveyed and gazetted in 1924, following the construction of the railway line from Griffith to Hillston. Merriwagga was a small service centre and social hub for the surrounding farms. The name Merriwagga is believed to have come from it being on the south west corner of the (then) vast Merri-Merrigal Station, and close to a local watering hole, the Wagga Tank.
A visit to the Black Stump Memorial will provide visitors with details of the gruesome tale that gave Black Stump Country its name. A bullocky passing through the area in 1886, left his wife Mrs Barbara Blain, to make camp for the night while he tended to his bullocks, the day was hot, windy and dusty, and while his wife prepared the evening meal, the campfire flared, causing her skirts to catch fire, and she was burnt to death. When people expressed their sympathy to the bullock, he simply said, “When I returned, my wife was dead, she looked just like a black stump.”