A vision realised
Charles Ledgers' 19th century vision for an expansive alpaca wool industry was a long time coming.
It is widely believed that the first alpacas imported to Australia were brought from South America by Charles Ledger. They arrived on the 'Salvadora' in December 1858.
One year later Charles Ledger sent one of the first alpacas born in NSW to the Australian Museum. Ledger had arranged to have it 'stuffed' before sending it to the museum. It was Charles Ledger's firm belief that "at some future period when this country be teaming with Alpacas & exporting abundance of its' Wool that this little animal will be looked upon with great interest accompanied with wonderment, that such great ends could ever be attained from such small beginnings". His vision did partially come to fruition though not for another 130 years, as the alpaca wool industry did not blossom til the 1980's.
Charles Ledger's alpaca was mounted and displayed in the museum for many years. Unfortunately it is no longer in the collection.
He died in 1905 at 'Mimosa Cottage', Elswick St, Leichhardt, Sydney. He is buried in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney.
The Australian Alpaca Association hold an annual Alpaca showed named after Charles, The Charles Ledger Alpaca Show in the southern highlands of New South Wales.