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Culture and heritage

Henry Johnson (alias Harry Power) was one of several famous bushrangers who gained notoriety in the north-east during the gold rush of the 1860s.

Originally from Ireland, he spent "time" in Pentridge Prison in Melbourne for wounding a trooper after being confronted for horse stealing. He escaped from jail in February 1869 and in May held up a coach near Porepunkah. He then continued his "exploits" in the Ovens, Greta and Beechworth districts. There is a strong possibility that he also teamed up with young Ned Kelly in a later armed robbery. A reward was soon offered for information leading to his capture.

On 27 May 1870, Superintendents Nicholson and Hare, Sergeant Montford and aboriginal tracker Donald left Wangaratta and journeyed into the ranges near the head of the King River after receiving information about Power's hideout.

They came to an area that afforded excellent views of the surrounding country. This is believed to have been close to the site known as Power's Lookout Reserve. Nearby, they surprised Harry Power who was asleep in his bush shelter and arrested him. He is said to have offered his captors a cup of tea.

Harry Power was taken to Wangaratta on 5 June 1870 where a crowd of curious onlookers gathered. He was sent to trial at Beechworth General Session on 2nd August 1870.

Power was found guilty of four counts of robbery under arms and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He was released in February 1885 after serving his full sentence and is believed to have died in 1891.

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