What is significant?
The memorial dedicated to Major Mitchell is located approximately 7 kilometers from Harrow, on the Harrow - Balmoral Road. It is constructed from local stone, laid in rough courses and takes the common form of a tapering cairn, square at the base. There is a white marble plaque which marks Mitchell's passage between what are now the townships of Harrow and Balmoral. Major Mitchell passed nearby this place at the beginning of August 1836, following the Glenelg River downstream. He stated in his journal "The country on its banks was, as far as I could see, the finest imaginable, either for sheep and cattle or for cultivation".
Monuments and memorials to commemorate Major Mitchell's epic 1836 journey can be found in many locations throughout south western Victoria. The Major crossed Victoria's northern and western plains, found a European settlement already established at Portland, and returned to New South Wales to give a glowing account of the rich land of 'Australia Felix'. One hundred years later, local communities at points along his former route engaged enthusiastically in a bout of centennial monument building. After war memorials, the Mitchell monuments are the most common form of public commemoration in the region.
How is it significant?
The Major Mitchell Monument near Harrow is of historical significance to the community of Harrow and the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
The Major Mitchell Monument is of historical significance because it commemorates the very beginning of European interest in, occupation of and subsequent exploitation of the further Western District. It is example of the way in which Major Mitchell is revered as a person of extreme importance within the community. It is typical example of the stone obelisks which were erected throughout Victoria in the first half of the nineteenth century to commemorate Major Mitchell's exploration.
The memorial is constructed from local stone, laid in rough courses and takes the common form of a tapering cairn which is 4.5m high and 2.3m square at the base. The cairn is set on a plinth which is 2.6m square The top of the cairn is slightly tapered. There is a white marble plaque which marks Mitchell's passage between what are now the townships of Harrow and Balmoral.