Were there too many people with bullock teams?
Was there competition?
HAROLD. Not really in my day. The bloke who lived there, I worked for him, see. But when Lou wanted me to go and draw the bark in, well I drew first what was close there, drew it out with a slide and Jack Beasley came along there one day and said, 'Is this where you got to?' and I had ten bullocks yoked and there was five different owners to them. Some belonged to Alexander's from Pericoe, some was my own, some belonged to the bloke that owned 'Two Creeks', Austy Sawers, some belonged to Bill Hyde and one belonged to my brother.
So your team belonged to different people.
HAROLD. To a lot of different people.
How old were you when you started doing that? Was it after you were married?
HAROLD. No. I was sixteen when I was drawing it out of there for Lou King. I started working for Sawers when I was fourteen, stripping bark and driving bullocks.
Was that the main industry out there?
HAROLD. In those days you trapped rabbits in the winter time and stripped wattle bark in the summer time and a few fellers cut sleepers. But it wasn't that many cutting sleepers until after the '39 fire. There were a lot of sleeper cutters on Indigo Mountain, (Pericoe) they come through from Victoria and some of them come from out here, Bendoc way. I know there were eleven or thirteen trucks carting sleepers from out there into Eden.
The bullocks...were they just ones that people reared themselves?
HAROLD. Well, Alexander's......see they were reared down on the dairy. He had share farmers doing the dairying. Dairy families. That's why they all had a big mob of kids so they'd have plenty of milkers. No milking machines. If I wanted some bullocks and I seen some of Alexander's was any good well I just took them and yoked them. 'Cause, working bullocks, you got more money for them than ones that weren't broken in. You could sell a team of bullocks to some feller who wanted a team.
Did you ever bother to use horses in a team?
HAROLD. I never did. But different people used horses, yes. Jim Beasley's horse team is there (pointing to a photograph).
Was that for a different reason or just that the person preferred.....
HAROLD. No. Some people were horse people and some were bullock people. You see, Dad had a bullock team and so I learned to drive bullocks. Well Jack Beasley's father, he was George Beasley and he had a horse team. After George died, Jack took the team over and he drew on the Eden Road there. Him and Jim Beasley.
So did you used to shoe the horses and bullocks youselves, or did someone else do it?
HAROLD. Well, Jack said he used to get Scanes (spelling) to do his. Frank Scanes. There was a blacksmith's shop somewhere there in Towamba.
*** Excerpt from Harold Farrell's interview in 'The Forgotten Corner Interviews'.
These articles cover a wide range of interesting features and locations on the Far South Coast generally south of Eden and inland to Bombala. They describe the district as it was then, (some place names are spelt differently) and today we are left to wonder at the changes.
(Accepted as) The arrival of the Governor-General,
Baron Northcote, 1907
Possibly Rocky Hall or Wyndham.
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
THE BORDER LAND: FROM GENOA TO EDEN.
In a former paper I described the country between Eden and Mallacutta Inlet (or the estuary of the Genoa River), as it appeared on my journey through it, on the 10th and 11th of December last, by Cochrane's Flat, and Robert Allen's, Merrimingo, and Genoa Station - a route that lies coastwise between the sea, on the one side, and Mount Imlay, and a southward line drawn thence, on the other.
I shall now give a short account of the district through which I rode on my homeward journey to Eden from Genoa Station (to which I returned on leaving the surveyor's camp at the Inlet). And as my road lay a good way inland - between Mount Imlay and the Monaro Mountains - I write of a different (western) tract of country from that (the eastern seaboard) previously described; and I think it will be shown that the Ovens Spectator had as little ground for branding the one as the other - that each is within the bounds of civilization, and the home of hardy, prosperous settlers, and not a terra incognita - however few the number of the present inhabitants, and wild the aspect of the land.
My first stage was to Stephenson's, at Wongarbel, - a distance of ten miles. The Genoa River was to my left, and ran close by (at starting); but it was soon lost sight of until I neared Stephenson's, and caught a glimpse, now and again, of the rocky flats and gravelly, beds, to which I alluded in the earlier paper as well adapted to salmon. At first, also, the line of country over which I passed was very hilly, rough, and stony - no dray road, now, but only bridle paths; - and about midway I found myself on a loft ridge from which the eye ranged over a vast extent of forest and mountain; but the soil and character of the country gradually improved to undulating grassy land. Two or three miles from Stephenson's there is a large, valuable flat, on which a herd of cattle was feeding (he keeps a small dairy); and in amongst these there were four emus stalking about, as if unconscious of the others' presence; but they would not allow my horse to come near them; as he descended the hill that overlooks the flat, they strode away, easily but swiftly, and were lost amid the timber that skirts it. The mountains stand about Stephenson's house, and, to most men, it would be a lonesome spot; but he had fixed his abode, and had healthful work to attend to; his children were around him, and plenty for them. What more need any man desire? But there was something in addition that is rarely met with in the "Bush". His garden was well stocked with vegetables, quince and apple trees; rarer still, with the gooseberry, raspberry, and currant, the rose, and other common, but not the less beautiful, flowers - an example worthy of imitation by other settlers in far more favoured districts; many of whom, though possessed of much larger means, and better facilities for surrounding their homes with suitable gardens, and securing to their families the comforts, enjoyments, and refinements which fruit, vegetables and flowers, raised and tended by their own hands, are sure to afford, affect to despise such influences, and to prefer the slough of the stockyard, or blackness of the sheep-pen, to the beauties, elegancies, and advantages which a garden can yield.
A further stretch of twelve miles brought me to Nangutha, the homestead of Mr. Weatherhead. From Stephenson's the road was very rough and steep, and the country poor and wild; but it grew better towards Yombla flat, a long, narrow, and winding strip covered with rich grass and clover; and thence to Nangutha it is open and grassy, but hilly. On Yombla flat were many well-bred and handsomely-marked cattle, the fattest and best I had seen since leaving Eden. Some of these were reserved for the Tasmanian market; for it is one of the peculiarities of Tasmania that it does not produce sufficient cattle for consumption by its own people, and has to import from New South Wales. Beyond the Flat was a range of mountains on the right; on the left a range of mountains; and Mr. Weatherhead's cottage (embosomed in roses and vines) was almost surrounded by a third, - all lofty, sweeping, and magnificent, a very Land of Mountains; and well did one of the inmates of that peaceful home exclaim, "We can never be solitary here, Sir, with mountains like these around us." The duties of a dairy station, on a very considerable scale, add to the enjoyments as well as to the usefulness of their lives, and preserve their intercourse with the Bay. A bullock dray can travel from Eden to Nangutha, though with difficulty; for the main road is about "as bad as bad can be;" and I believe a light waggonette did, on one occasion, accomplish the journey - but the experiment has never been repeated. That night I spent at Mr. Weatherhead's, - the shadows of the mountains about me, the perfume of flowers pervading my little room, and the wild cry of the curlew piercing the somber air; while the moon and stars looked down in silent majesty upon the poor dwellers of earth, their hopes, cares, and sorrows.
The next morning I started for Towamba. The first six miles of the bridle-way were over fairly grassed hills and hill sides; the next twelve along poor ridges, for the most part - with stray fern-trees peering out from sheltered nooks - but improving as one approaches the Free Selection of John Alexander, and thence, for the remaining six miles, I passed through the well-grassed and beautifully-undulating station of Towamba, the property of Sir William Manning. Here again, throughout the greater part of this day's journey, mountains were visible - sometimes on one side of the path, sometimes on the other, sometimes on both - now close at hand, then far distant.
The comfortable and hospitable homestead of Towamba is on the right bank of the river of the same name, but which (it will be remembered) becomes the "Kiah", before it falls into the sea, lower down at Twofold Bay. This, too, is a cattle station; and, together with the still more beautiful and valuable station of Canoona (situated in the Bega District, and belonging, principally, to the same proprietor), supplies the greater portion of the cattle that are annually exported for sale (from the Bay) to Tasmania. There are very few sheep to be found in any part of the border country south or south-west of Eden - not 200, I should say. It was at "Stephenson's", I think that my horse shied on seeing some "pets", the strangest objects he had met with for days past.
From Towamba to Eden is seventeen miles the river (which has to be crossed by the homestead) is here of a good width, and flows over a shingly bed. It is very shallow, except during a "fresh", or flood. There are some small farms on the right, and a "store" on the left; but when these signs of progress recede, a rough, ridgy and worthless country succeeds, with mountains on either hand, once more - old Imlay now rising amongst the rest; for I had almost completed, by this time, my circuit about him, and with it the tour of the Borderland - now rugged and wild, thinly peopled, and thickly timbered, mountainous, bleak, and lone; but capable of much improvement, very interesting, and the future home of a hardy race.
I cannot conclude without referring to the disgraceful condition of various portions of what professes to be a highway between Eden and Towamba, and to the shameful waste of public money upon them. In places, hill sides have been cut down, and the line of road been carried and formed at much expense along difficult passes; but, for want of proper drainage, in the first instance (which might easily have been provided), and of timely looking to afterwards either by the Government or local Trust (if there be one), the first heavy rains that came were allowed to run riot upon them - down or across as the case may be - every succeeding shower followed suit; immense ruts were thus hollowed out, and the route rendered almost impassable - its last state worse than the beginning, but hundreds of pounds sunk in the mud meanwhile. Will the time ever come when the whole Colony shall be divided into districts, the proprietors in those districts be obliged to make and keep in repair their own roads, and be allowed towards that object a share of the proceeds of the public lands sold within them - a moderate tax upon private lands supplying the deficiency? Our roads would be then properly formed, and properly attended to, when formed; and there would be a speedy end of the jobbery and neglect that now characterise the expenditure upon roads (in spite of all the efforts of the able and accomplished Engineer who has charge of them). There would also be an end of the Parliamentary "log-rolling", or clubbing for roads and other works, by which the honest government of this country is becoming an impossibility.
A jetting promontory and glimpse of the sea beyond were discerned some time before I reached the head of the Nelligan - here a narrow stony-bedded river. thence it is but a short distance to the salt Creek, to the hill-side that overhangs the Quarantine grounds, and to the township of Eden the neglected - but ever beautiful - Eden! deserted by many a lover, but still woed by the fresh winds and sparkling waters of the Bay that circles her with its arms, and is itself a peerless Haven.
14 July 1871
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
THE-BORDER LAND: FROM EDEN TO GENOA.
On the morning of the 10th December, '69, I started from Eden (Twofold Bay), on a visit to the Victorian Surveyors, who were commissioned to define the "Boundary line" between the two Colonies - from Capo Howe (which is our most southern limit) to Forest Hill (a spur of the Australian Alps), and who were encamped near to Mallacutta Inlet, which is also the estuary of the Genoa - a beautiful river that falls into the sea south of Cape Howe and of Gabo Island.
Eden is in the territory of New South Wales, about thirty-five miles north of Cape Howe, in a direct line, and, if not the most lovely seaport, certainly the most lovely site for a seaport, which it possesses; and Mallacutta Inlet is within the territory of Victoria, about eight miles south of the same Cape, by a direct line; but the road usually traversed between the two places is far from direct, and is about sixty miles in length. The route by which I intended to return was still less direct, and more inland. I had thus a considerable sweep of Border land before me - a circuit of nearly 140 miles that is seldom visited by the traveller, and has been the subject of much misconception and exaggeration. In a "description" of that and other portions of the Border country which appeared in the Ovens Spectator of November last, and "went the rounds of the Papers", it is stated: -
"Along a great portion of the boundary between Victoria and New South Wales, extending from Forest Hill to Cape Howe, there has never trod a European foot, as it is generally rugged and densely scrubby; but here and there miners and stockmen have pushed through, from one Colony to the other. For years past there has been a kind of neutral ground at these points, where claims are jumped with impunity, and thieves, cattle lifters, and loafers lead wandering lives, and carry on their depredations without fear of the law. ….. Beyond Twofold Bay, the country is terra incognito; nothing being known of it, except that it is cut up by rapid rivers, and precipitous ranges, and that it is extremely scrubby."
Now the fact is there is considerable and pretty constant intercourse over the Border lands of the two Colonies, from the point at which the "dividing line" cuts the Snowy River in its course into Gipps Land (not very far from Forest Hill) to where it intersects the head of the Genoa (a belt some sixty miles in length), especially in the neighbourhood of the Delegate and Bendoc mines and across the Borders from the place at which the "line" cuts the Genoa to Cape Howe (a distance of about forty miles), there is some communication it times; while as regards the district that is immediately the subject of this Paper, there is a fair dray road from Twofold Bay to Mallacutta Inlet - a route (as we have seen) extending through this "terra incognito" - and several homesteads by the way - a good deal of the country very open - and none of the four intervening rivers at all impassable under ordinary circumstances. But it was the same Newspaper that ignored Mr. Allan, the chief of the Survey party, and conferred its leadership upon a subordinate officer. Such are the materials that history is made of!
I was on horseback, and accompanied by one who knew the route; the morning warm and sunny - a summer morning in that delightful clime - and our horses eager for the road. In a few minutes after, leaving Eden we reached "Nixons Bower", passed its shades, and came out upon a tract of well timbered but otherwise valueless land, with patches of grass here and there; glimpses of Mount Imlay in front, towering to a height of 2900 feet; the Inner Bay on the left glistening in the early sun, and the surf breaking on the Quarantine ground; little birds twittering over-head, and the "coachman sounding his whistle and twanging his "lash".
The Salt Creek was soon crossed, and a track to the left brought us close to the entrance of the Nelligen, a sandy-bedded, bright-watered, short-coursed, and big-mouthed river, which we forded with some difficulty - the stream up to our saddle girths, but running leisurely into the Bay. Then, the beach at Boyd Town, and our horses dashed into a quick canter along the yellow sand, which the ebbing tide left bare - a canter that soon sprang into a gallop. Away, the hardy steeds! Stride for stride, and head and head; the foam flakes flying around us, and the wind whistling by! O, how the blood circles, and the brain is cleared, by such a gallop. On then! while we may; and still onward, on.
To our right, but partly concealed by the spreading bush and encroaching sand mounds, were the half-finished church, the long, pretentious dwelling-house, the tiny cottages, and tall store, built by Mr. Benjamin Boyd, shortly before his departure for the "Islands", from which he never returned - and all which buildings, with the exception of the dwelling house (now owned and occupied by another), have been deserted for years past, and are fast crumbling to decay.
Beyond the store, the Bay winds to "East Boyd", and "Boyd's Tower" - monuments equally striking, and equally mournful, of a bold conception marred by destiny. But our road lay to the right of the store, among "native" cherry trees, blue bells, and fringed violets, and by the banks of the Towamba or "Kiagh" - another but larger, longer, and very winding river, that falls into the Bay (a couple of miles above the "Town" ), and which we had to cross three times before reaching "Wheelan's", or "Cochrane's Flat", and twice afterwards - skirting at times the rude ill-cultivated farms that are occasionally to be met with along the river's banks, but in many of which blackened stumps appeared to be more carefully preserved than anything else, and the "cockatoo fences" neither ornamental nor useful - and keeping midway between the sea and grand old Imlay, but losing sight of each, ere long.
In the neighbourhood of East Boyd there are indications of copper - also below Mount Imlay, and gold has been found near the latter. (Clarke's Researches in the Southern Gold Fields.) But neither has been discovered in payable quantities.
At high tide the Kiagh is navigable by a boat for five or six miles from the Bay, and the sail along it's winding, wooded banks, is a very pretty one. Its estuary and lower part are favourite haunts of the pelican and swan, but they are "disturbed" too often to be easily approached. The upper part is well supplied with duck, and its neighbouring woods with pigeons and parrots. Kangaroos are numerous in the same vicinity, and a sportsman, or lover of Nature, might pass a pleasant week in it.
Ridges of timbered sandstone, or ranges of scrub, but none of them "precipitous", and rough wet flats succeeded, for several miles - the latter covered with "blady grass", rushes, or other coarse herbage; and the former with low bushes, gum trees, and "wattles".
Here and there the big trunk of a felled tree lay across the path - felled for the sake of the honey which had been accumulating in it, until the quick eye of a bushman detected the busy makers, buzzing around the cleft in which their treasure was concealed - and then it was doomed. A flock of cockatoos screamed on our left, and a "native dog" skulked in the distance. It was during this part of our journey that the sky suddenly darkened, and a cold wind came up from the south, then the mutterings of thunder were heard on the right - thunder low and distant at first; but louder and nearer, nearer and louder it grew, until the heavens seemed to be torn asunder by each crashing peal while the rain fell in sheets, mixed with cutting merciless hail, and both horses and men quailed under the lightning's flash. Numbed and dripping we reached "Robert Allen's" (twenty miles from Eden), about 11 o'clock, and were glad to stretch and warm ourselves before the log fire, to which we were kindly welcomed; while our horses plucked the sedge and rank grass that surrounded the hut or station.
But if ee were welcome, a visitor who immediately preceded us had a very different reception, and not undeservedly. An immense iguana had come out of the bush, attacked a hen upon her nest, drove her from it, and devoured the eggs upon which she was "sitting", but was observed by the dogs as it wriggled away, was caught, worried, and killed for its pains. I was told of a contest, not long before, between an iguana and an eaglehawk, in which, after a long struggle, the hawk pecked out the eyes of the other, and proved victorious.
The iguana makes war upon the eggs of all native birds, which it can reach either by crawling or climbing. A friend of mine, when travelling in New England, came upon two enormous ones, half buried in the carcass of a dead horse; and "they rose at him", as if about to tear him as well - as they probably would, had they given them a chance. But, as a general rule, the creature makes off, up a tree, into a hollow log, or under the scrub, whenever it is approached; and so much the better - for it has a very snappish mouth, and very "ugly" teeth, even to look at.
There was not from the banks of the "Kiagh" to the hut at which we were now resting - nor, indeed, to the banks of the Genoa - twenty-five miles farther on - was there a single patch of cultivation visible - all was waste bush and scrub; nor did we see one sheep; but some small mobs of ill-bred cattle were met with; and we heard of a Manaro squatter who had lately taken up a run in "Allen's" neighbourhood as a breeding station; but I do not think that this part will be much of a cattle district, for years at lease.
In a couple of hours we resumed our journey. the storm had subsided, the thunder rolled away, and the sun shone bright in the azure sky. Under foot was a good "bush road," that led through a scrubby and "coast-like" country, with a range of hills on the left, until we came to the river Womboyne, which is a rapid, prettily wooded, but narrow stream. Free selection upon its undulating and inviting banks has begun, and will extend. I should have liked to have followed its course to the sea at Green Cape, but time did not permit. The "dividing line" will intersect it somewhere about the point at which it is crossed in the route to the Genoa. We were, therefore, in Victorian territory when that point was passed; but I cannot say that I therefore observed any improvement in the appearance of the country, strange as the fact may appear to Victorians.
There is a deserted hut, with a fenced paddock around it, a little way beyond his river; and thence to the Genoa the character of the land may be best described as fairly timbered and peculiarly adapted to the haunt of the kangaroo; though we saw none, the time being unfavourable. (It is in the early morning, or late in the evening, that the kangaroo is generally met with in the bush.) Reaches of black mud, and marsh, and a long narrow flat, on which a herd of promising cattle was browsing, brought us within sight of the Genoa Peak (that rose to the left - square, stony and massive), and of other jagged mountains which lay five or six miles away. In three quarters of an hour afterwards, the lowing of cattle, the barking of dogs, and the voices of men apprising us that we were approaching the river Genoa, at "James Allen's" of Merrimingo, which (as I have said) is some twenty-five miles further south than "Robert Allen's".
The river Genoa takes its rise in the heights that border the Pass of Bundian or Bondi, on the borders of Manaro proper; one of the head streams rushes over a wall of granite 67 feet high, and forms the cataract of Windindingerree; its various streams unite a little above the Bondi station and are reinforced from the Nangutta ranges, upon the boundary line - from which the collected supplies are known as the Genoa. The river "falls" at a rapid rate, and runs in an almost direct line through the greater part of its course; and, flowing at no great distance from the homesteads of Nangutta and Wangarbel (of which I shall have something to say in another Paper), passes in its way to the sea between Marrimingo and Genoa Station (the property of the "Alexanders"). It is hemmed in by defiles and ranges, and bounds from level to level in its upper course; but in the lower it is a clear, bright river, with banks and islands thickly timbered, and expanding in places into lakes - broad sheets of water - between Merrimingo and Mallacutta Inlet, which (it will be remembered) falls into the Pacific. The Genoa is well stocked with fish - perch and bream, schnapper, guard fish, &c. At the time of my visit three or four hands were employed in taking and preserving them for sale in Manaro; and I know of few rivers better adapted for the habitat of the salmon, especially in the upper part of it, where there is a succession of "falls" and gravelly beds. Nor is there, perhaps, any other river in Australia which is so much frequented by wild swans and pelicans as the Genoa. I have been assured that from two to three hundred of these birds may be often seen upon it, at the same "reach", and time. I saw upwards of fifty on one spot upon the morning of the 11th December 1869.
Meanwhile we crossed it, the evening before, close by the Merrimingo stock yard, which was filled with fat cattle and calves. The river was there about thirty yards in width, about two feet in depth, and running leisurely, but at times its current is both fast and deep, and the Genoa is not exempt from floods. We took up our quarters for the night at Mrs. "Alexander's", on the southern side, where we were hospitably entertained and "slept the sleep that knew not breaking", until a late hour on the following morning. So much for a ride of forty-five miles on an Australian summer's day, through the Australian bush - a pure and healthful enjoyment within the reach of thousands who seldom or ever avail themselves of it.
My late companion left me here; and I had leisure in the morning to survey my quarters, which I found to be a good sized-cottage, having four or five apartments, with big fireplaces and deep ingles in two of them, a little garden in front, well stocked with roses and sunflowers, peas and cabbages, weeds and briars, paddocks to the left, in which an old "racer" was neighing, a tiny flat to the right, dotted with stumps, among which the station horses, cows and bullocks, geese and pigs were grazing in harmony; a field of corn beyond, and a hillside behind - with a very airy stable on it, in which I was shown two other "racers" therein training - a very Borderer's home, with all its adjuncts, and the ruling passion of our Australian youth strongly developed.
After breakfast I was again in the saddle. From Genoa station to Mallacutta camp the distance is about fifteen miles, and the road lay (for the most part) through a poor scrubby country, along the sides of hills, or up hill and down dale. But there is one large grazing flat, not far from the homestead and a smaller patch, about two miles nearer the Inlet, covered with dense ferns and rank herbage, from which a few fern trees reared their tall stems and graceful boughs. There was some big timber by the wayside; three or four small but ugly creeks to be crossed (after I left the main road, and took to a bridle path, as a "near cut"), and a couple of marshes. As I rode along, a pair of kangaroos peered at me through the scrub, batches of cattle scampered into the bush, and the bright river was occasionally seen, winding to the Inlet like a cord of silver.
The mention of cattle reminds me to state that the sooner the "dividing line" is determined and clearly marked out, so much the better for both Colonies. At present, the payment of rent for Crown lands to either Government, is an obligation as much "honoured in the breach as in the observance", by stock-owners and run-holders of the Border land.
Not by all of them by any means, but by some; and when either Government applies to them, the ready answer is, that "the run is within the territory of the other", and thus both are defrauded. Nor can crime be punished, justice be administered, or settlement promoted, so long as the boundary remains unascertained - fortunately the question has now been almost settled through the skill, energy, and zeal of Mr. Allan and his party.
It was noon when I reached the sandy track that lends to ' Delvlin's horse paddock - large, well grassed, and dotted with noble Apple trees - that borders the right bank of the estuary and soon afterwards I was in "the camp" - the camp of a Victorian officer, and courteous gentleman, whose labours are lightened, and whose tent is graced by the presence of a devoted and true -hearted partner. I need scarcely say, therefore, that the visit was, to me at least, a very pleasant and very happy one. The minutes sped into hours and the hours into days, as we strolled along the beach, over the furze above it, or on the shores of the neighbouring Inlet; gazed at the dark Cape beyond, or the white breakers that foamed between it and Gabo's rocks, talked about absent friends, and "dividing lines"; threw lines of a different kind, and caught no fish for our pains; or sat by the tent door, listening to the beat of the sea or watching the play of the moonbeams around the great trunk, and gnarled branches, of the giant Apple tree, that rose above us solemn and weird, and told of Ages past.
'Australian Town & Country' December 9, 1871
A TOUR TO THE SOUTH
A TRIP FROM EDEN TO NANGUTTA .
by Our Special Correspondent.
The Border Land, on the Southern coast of New South Wales, is as little known in some parts as the country about the sources of the Nile.
Considering the rugged character of the district and to the ordinary traveller the almost insurmountable difficulties of access, this can scarcely be wondered at. Passes, defiles, rocks, gullies, hilly and scrubby ground, present themselves in succession to the gaze of the stranger, and unless one has a guide it is utterly impossible to proceed with certainty. Yet far back in some of these wilds, bold and enterprising spirits 'over thirty years ago' found their way, and made homes for themselves and reared large families. To the residence and station of one of these pioneers, I resolved while on a visit to Eden recently, to take a trip and see the surrounding country. Good horses having been procured, the sun had scarcely begun to light up the top of huge Mount Imlay, which rose 3000 feet right before us, when we were in the saddle, and were proceeding under the shades of Rixon's Bower, a short distance from Eden. The first seventeen miles is easily described, along stony and pebbly ground, across gullies, and up watercourses; then over hills, along sidlings, relieved by an occasional oasis, in the form of a patch of rich pasture on an alluvial deposit, and all the time endeavouring to make a circuit of Mount Imlay. Soon after we came to the Towamba, or Kiah River, a fine broad stream, which flows into Twofold Bay. There are a few farms here, a store and post-office, and a good public school, the latter under the able management of Mr. Beer. On the right bank of the Towamba River, is the homestead of the Towamba Station, the property of C.T. Stiles and Co.
Towamba Homestead and bullock wagon.
The station has been cut up considerably by
free selectors, who have taken most of the
choice spots on the river banks, and the
population has so much increased that there
is a second erected on the station, a few
miles higher up, at a place called Burragate,
or Pussy Cat.
Being 'on pleasure bent', I diverged a little from the comfortable home station at Towamba, and visited Burragate. The school here is a half-time one, under the charge of Mr. G. D. Riley. It is constructed of sawn timber and shingled, and is a very neat little building. C. T. Stiles Esq., is the only member of the local board, and to him is mainly due the credit of erecting this school. There were sixteen children in attendance, including all on the roll. This is the only school that I have ever visited where the number in attendance was the same as the number on the roll. Though only opened a short time, the children were examined in grammar (including reading, parsing, and analysis) arithmetic and geography. They showed considerable proficiency in these branches; and taking into consideration the fact that they only get half-time instruction, they must be either remarkably intelligent, or the method of instruction must be very good, perhaps both. Besides their good writing, I must not forget to mention that other necessary parts of parental care, school discipline and the children 's welfare, had not been neglected. They were all neatly dressed, and wore boots, and all had clean faces and clean hands.
Under these favourable circumstances, I am tempted to give the names of a few of the scholars whose proficiency was worthy of mention. viz.: - O. Sherwin, W. Robinson, A. Binnie, Alice Sherwin, Sarah Robinson, and Elizabeth Hide.
JINGERA ROCK, BURRAGATE.
Photo K. Clery
A few miles from the school there is a grand
sight, worth a day's ride. It is a great
wall of rock, three miles east of Burragate,
and a mile from the Wyndham-road to the Monaro.
It forms part of the Jingery mountains, of
which Mount Imlay is the highest point. This
almost perpendicular wall of rock is calculated
to be 1300 feet high, and 900 feet wide.
About half way up there is a ledge; and from
the highest part there is a waterfall or
cascade, which falls on this ledge, where
there are four or five perfectly circular
wells, filled to the brim with water. The
depth of these wells must be very great,
for we tried to bottom them with saplings
twenty feet long, and did not succeed. There
are pipes in the stone, leading from this
ledge over to the next, at an equally great
depth below, where there is a second well
or couldron-shaped indenture in the rock.
At one end there is an outlet by which the
water escapes down the rocky precipice.
We returned to Towamba from here, passing several free selections on the road. From the station we had a long ride of twenty-four miles, through a country which was as changeable as the climate - summer in the morning and winter in the evening. Between ranges, along cattle tracks, through sterile country, and then wild passes, followed by well-grassed and undulating pastoral land, and at last arrived at an opening where the welcome sounds of human voices struck our ears. This is Nangutta station the property of Mr. Alexander Weatherhead - as bluff, yet genial, and hospitable an old gentleman as there is in the colony. Even before we had introduced ourselves, our horses were taken charge of, and we were welcomed to a comfortable and well-built house, surrounded by flowers and emblossomed in climbers. Such was the spot where Mr. Weatherhead has made his home. The years of toil attendant on the opening of this part of the country must have been very great, but the worthy owner is well repaid.
Nangutta is altogether 32,000 acres in extent, and is now a cattle station. The country is principally mountainous, and, therefore, only suitable for pastoral purposes. I was glad to notice the excellent breed of cattle on the station, which is in strange contrast to the mongrel breeds of some parts of the coast, with the exception of those at Towamba, which are mostly very fine. The view from Nangutta House is grand in the extreme. Lofty mountains clad in verdure, east west, north, and south, and winding valleys in the centre of which is a fine stream of water ever flowing, and yielding an abundant supply for the station. All these good things are calculated to make the life of the worthy proprietor and his family a happy one. The business of the station and personal attention to their herds relieve the solitude which might otherwise prevail among this pioneer family. Mr. Weatherhead has reared a goodly number of tall, strapping sons, and fine well-grown daughters; and they, one and all, inherit the same kindly feelings which characterise the father. They are just such people, in fact, as a gifted writer in a recent number of the Town and Country Journal described in the following beautiful lines: -
Strong and active, tough and tireless,
open-hearted kindly souled,
such as poets love to picture in the far off age of gold;
Such people as bring back to our minds the time: -
When our fancy fondly lingered in that past our soul reveres,
When man's life was nursed by nature into patriarchal years:
When the field, the forge, the study, claimed no life-exhausting toil,
And the sons of men lived simply - from the kindly-natured soil.
The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser
Wednesday 22 November 1882
DOWN TO TOWAMBA
The approaching sale of the Towamba Estate has induced many of the residents of this district to visit the place which has been brought so prominently before the notice of the public at large by placards, lithographs, and advertisements in the press all over the colony for the past month or two. The writer was fortunate in obtaining a seat on Friday last with a party who were journeying down to see the country; and the whole trip there and back was most enjoyable, giving great satisfaction to all the parties to the arrangement. A very fine team large roomy vehicle with a well known whip in charge, plenty of tobacco, plenty of racy conversation, and plenty of fine weather, nothing more was desired or asked for. The journey to Eden was without incident, further than that several other Bega teams joined in about Panbula, and made a good show into the Port, which was reached about five o'clock. Mr. Hopkins' hotel was quite full when the whole brigade was apportioned billets. After tea, as is usual in Eden, the conversation turned on the prospects of the Port; everybody seemed to be quite satisfied that the day is coming when Eden will be a tremendous place of business, the Port of all the southern portion of the colony, with a large transit trade, with large ships direct from home, and cargoes going straight to London, with a large intercolonial steam trade, and beautiful steamers coming and going to all the chief ports of the Australian group. No one, however, seemed to see how it all was to be brought about exactly, and after two hours' discussion of the subject we turned in a little after 10 o'clock, arranging beforehand for a very early breakfast in the morning, and corresponding early start. Six o'clock on Saturday morning saw us started for Towamba, distant eighteen miles. Getting immediately into a splendid timber country, the road for the greater portion of the way goes up and down the hills, just in the old track originally formed by the blacks. Some very fair cuttings have been made, but the road has not been shaped by any professional man, simply improved by the small yearly sum allowed by the government; but it is patent to anyone travelling along, that all the hills and hard portions of the road can be avoided, in fact a recent trial survey gives a very fair level road, much shorter than the present one, that can be made at a comparatively small cost. Two or three miles from the homestead a very fine view of the estate is obtained, and as the road comes down on to the Towamba River signs of civilisation present themselves- patches of grain, ploughed flat lands on the river bank, small grass paddocks and orchards, yards, outbuildings and houses; and after crossing the river, Towamba house is reached at 10 o'clock-three hours from Eden. We indulged in a second breakfast while the horses were being run in and yarded, as there was no likelihood of getting anything to eat before the re turn in the evening. The whole party, escorted by Mr. C. T. Stiles, set out at 11 o'clock to view the country-a very much larger job than most of them anticipated. Speaking for myself, it was the biggest lot of the kind that had presented itself for the past five years. Nine or ten thousand acres of country, no matter how level it may be, covers more ground than any outsider would have the slightest idea of, and the majority of the party were grateful when our guide and director turned on to Block 26, and made tracks for the homestead about 7 in the evening.
It would be out of place here to write critically of the country. All that can be said of it is this, that it went considerably beyond the expectations of the most sanguine. Beautiful undulating country, lightly timbered, with creeks of water abounding all over the estate, grasses of all descriptions plentiful in the different paddocks, and some of the grandest bullocks in the southern district in them.
One fellow, (a great big fellow) was quite pleased to see so many strangers visiting the place, and as we drew near gave a little bit of a roar, then a jump or two, and a twirl of his tail, and a small charge at one of the crowd; then stood still until we passed; and then another little roar, and a dance, and another charge, quite pleased to show off before so many strangers, until we left the paddock and got into block number eighteen. Eight o'clock saw the whole of the party seated about the verandah after tea, smoking and yarning, discussing the day's proceedings and the journey of the morrow, whilst the maid inside was using her best endeavours to provide sleeping accommodation for the rather large party who had invaded this usually quiet household. After so many hours' riding, none of the travellers stayed up late, and before 10 o'clock the whole house was quiet. Before five the next morning everybody was astir, breakfast was ready half-an-hour after, and at six o'clock the cavalcade started, with the Messrs. Stiles attending. The new town ship, which is being surveyed on the opposite side of the river to the house, was visited, and the old Monaro road, used by Boyd in the early days of the colony followed to Honeysuckle, passing, on the way, Blocks nine, ten, and twelve, together with the lands and residences of Messrs. Binnie and Keys. This land is thickly covered with wattle, now in full bloom, a grateful relief to the uniform colour of the foliage. An hour's spell and turning out of the horses at Mr. Prosser's at Honeysuckle was very acceptable to man and beast, for the heat was very great; then a quiet drive along the Big Jack Road into Panbula, (or "Pampula," as one of the old members of the party insisted on terming it) in time for dinner. Bega was reached a little after six o'clock, and one of the most enjoyable trips that has been made for some time back in the district came to an end.
It would be ungrateful to pass over without comment the very courteous attention the whole party received at the hands of Mr. Stiles, from the time of meeting him half-way on the road between Eden and Towamba, until he bade the company good bye on the north side of Block twelve. The whole of his establishment was placed at the disposal of the visitors with a freeness which disposed of restraint, and it will be a very long time before the writer forgets to speak with pleasure of the trip down to Towamba.
YOUNG D .
'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser'
Wednesday 29 November 1882
The Towamba sale came off yesterday most successfully, and brought together the largest number of buyers ever seen in Bega. The average was over £4 per acre. A few lots were passed in, but purchasers are treating for them privately. The late hour at which the sale was over precludes the possibility of an extended report till Saturday.
'Australian Town and Country Journal'
26 May 1883
BY "THE RAVEN."
TWOFOLD BAY AND THE EDEN DISTRICT.
THE road from Panbula to Eden, a distance of 12 miles, is not interesting with the exception of Greig's Flat, three miles from Panbula, where there are several small maize farms and a few orchards; the country passed en route, which is principally forest, shows few, if any, signs of settlement. A mile beyond Greig's Flat one has to ford the Salt Water Creek, after which an almost unbroken and monotonous stretch of uncleared forest land continues until the town ship of Eden is reached.
From a distance Eden gives one the idea of a town of no slight pretensions, the natural beauties of its locality and its numerous buildings, many of them large brick and stone edifices, combining to make a favourable first impression upon the stranger. Upon a closer inspection, however, if is found, alas, that many; I might even say the majority, of the aforesaid buildings are untenanted and rapidly falling into decay. (This, to a great extent, is explained by the fact of Eden having sprung into prominence, if not existence, during the great; rush to Kiandra in 1860, to which goldfield it was considered the best starting point.) At this time town allotments brought fabulous prices; the town boasted as many as 13 public-houses (now reduced to two), whilst thousands of people were living in tents. The rush, unfortunately, failed, and Eden suffered in consequence. From this fall it has never recovered, and is not likely to until the influence of the much-talked of railway is brought to bear.
Eden is 202 miles south of Sydney, and is situated on the north shore of Twofold Bay, so called from the fact of its being divided into two bays, by what is known as the Middle Head or Look-out Point. Of these two, however, only the South Bay is used for shipping purposes, and, as is well known, it forms one of the best harbours on the coast, possessing a first-class en trance and an immense extent of deep water.
The Tasmanian S.N. Co.'s steamers are supposed to call in weekly on their way to and from Tasmania, but, through press of trade in Hobart, have lately been very irregular. The I.S.N. Co.'s steamers make bi-weekly trips here. There are two places of worship in Eden, of the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic denominations respectively, a public school with an attendance of about 60 children, a court-house, and one or two stores, the principal of which is kept by Mr. S. Solomon.
One of the early residents of the Eden district was a Mr. Ben Boyd, who, by-the-bye, disappeared mysteriously and has never been heard of since; he owned a large tract of country, immediately to the north-west of the South Bay, and, in the hope of getting the road to Monaro to pass that way, he built a town there, opposite to where Eden now stands, called after himself Boydtown. He put up there a splendid hotel, stores, and a row of houses, which he christened "Jerusalem," for the use of the workmen employed in a large boiling-down establishment, which be carried on in the locality.
In order to keep back as much as possible the development of the then young town of Eden he bought allotments there, upon which no one was allowed to build. In spite of these precautions, however, Boydtown, with the exception of the hotel, which is now used as the private residence of Mr. Flavelle, the present owner of the property, is to-day in ruins and a town of the past. On the south head is the tower of a lighthouse, built at a great cost by Mr. Boyd; the stone for this was all procured from Pyrmont, but the lighthouse was never completed in consequence of some misunderstanding with the Government.
Curalo Lake, at the back of the beach of the north bay, is a pretty sheet of water about a mile long, by half a mile wide, and is generally liberally besprinkled with swans.
The district of Eden is bounded on the east by the Pacific, on the north by the Bega district, on the west by Monaro, and on the south by Victoria. The country, as a rule, is of rugged and brush-covered description, its geological formation being sandstone and granite. It is mainly devoted to stock-farming and fattening, large numbers of cattle being sent to Tasmania.
Sheep do not thrive here, and are besides subject to foot-rot. Dairying (butter and cheese) is now very much on the increase here, more especially in the neighbourhoods of Towamba, Wyndham, Burragate and Rocky Hall, where numerous small farms are to be met with. Maize and potatoes are cultivated to some extent, the former being largely used for feeding pigs, a great number of which are reared in the district. Many of these are turned into bacon, but I believe I am not far from the mark in saying that the majority are sent alive to Melbourne, in steamers that call in purposely for them; their bed, during the voyage, is usually on the top of the coals, a supply of maize being taken for feed. Hops have been tried on a small scale and succeed well, as do also English fruits.
The principal runs in the district are Towamba, held by Mr. C. T. Styles and Sir Wm. Manning; Wog-wog, by Messrs. Ramsay and Morehead; Nungatta, by Mr. Alex. Weatherhead; and Bondi, by the Bank of N. S. Wales. All of these are cattle stations, and each is over 35,000 acres in extent. A large amount of country on each has been secured by auction and conditional pur chase, but with the exception of that on Towamba the land is generally of a somewhat inferior description. The total extent of land secured in the Eden district is 75,000 acres. Its population is only 1550.
There are large quantities of fine serviceable timber in the district, the principal descriptions being woolly-butt and ironbark. Captain Nichol son, late of the schooner Ellen, has a sawmill at work, and another large one is in course of erection near Boydtown. Wattle is plentiful in the district, the collecting the bark of which gives a lucrative employment to many.
The two principal streams running into Twofold Bay are the Nullica and Towamba, or Kiah, rivers. The waters of the neighbourhood abound in oysters, in which a good trade is done with Sydney and Hobart, three individuals holding licenses.
One important industry of Twofold Bay is the exciting and lucrative (if lucky) employment of whaling, of which, unfortunately, I was too early to witness anything. The season commences about 1st June and finishes at the end of October, between these months being the period during which the "killers" take up their residence in the locality. Before proceeding further, how ever, it would be perhaps as well to give some idea what a "killer" is, and in what way it can influence the whaling season. A killer is a fish, which sometimes attains a length of 30ft, has a round head, with formidable teeth, a large dorsal fin, or, more correctly speaking, spike, often 6ft in height, and a tail like a whale. These fish are the best friends the whaler has, as they not only chase the whale, like a pack of dogs, into shallow water, leaving it an easy prey to him, but when one of these monsters is attached to a boat by means of a harpoon and rope, they materially retard its progress through the water. Upon a whale being despatched, this rapacious pack of hungry denizens of the ocean, take it to the bottom, where they generally keep it for 24 hours, and on the occasion of the capture of the first whale of the season, take care to leave remarkably little of it for their co-hunters on the surface of the water.
There are two descriptions of whales got here the "right" or black whale and the "humpback" the former will yield 10 tons or more of oil, worth some £30 a ton; the latter, which is by far the more common species here, will give from five to seven tons of oil of the same value. The bone of the right whale is more valuable than that of the humpback. For some reason, best known to themselves, the killers do not make a habit of tearing the right whale, but of simply eating out the tongue.
There is now only one whaling party at Eden, who have their "try" works (extracting the oil from the blubber) at the mouth of the Towamba river. There were formerly three or four, amongst whom there was great competition, the excitement at the approach of a whale being, I am told, something tremendous. Private signals to acquaint the members of the respective parties of the auspicious event were used, and a general rush to the boats took place. The most common weapon directed against the life of the whale here is the bomb, which is fired out of a small brass gun, and which explodes after a few seconds, sudden death being generally the result. A hand lance 5ft or 6ft long with a small line attached is also used; this is plunged into the body of the victim several times, being withdrawn by means of the line. The harpoons used are usually attached to a line from 60 to 109 fathoms long.
I cannot close this letter without expressing not only surprise, but regret, that one of the finest harbours in the southern hemisphere, as Twofold Bay certainly is, should to-day be almost unknown and, I might say, entirely unrecognised by the powers that be. Various reasons are ascribed for this. Would-be prophets, however, foretell a grand future for it, and even go so far as to say that, if federation becomes an accomplished fact. Eden stands a good chance of be coming the capital port.
June 28, 1884
'The Bega Standard and Candelo, Merimbula, Pambula, Eden, Wolumla, and General Advertiser'
Notes of a Journey from Bega to Genoa via. Towamba.
My object in writing a plain and unvarnished account of my trip to the above places, is, that having been interrogated by numerous intending selectors, I can in form a great many who are anxious to know, what sort of country it is - its capabilities for settlement, and if it is worth selecting. On these points I will give my opinion through the columns of your journal, as the STANDARD is, I can safely say without flattery, the only paper from Bega that finds its way into these remote and long-neglected parts, and the residents seem to be in blissful ignorance of the existence of another print in your rising and flourishing town. So much for the "preamble.'"-
I left home on the 25th ultimo, being Sunday, the day after Queen's Birthday, and at dinner time found myself at that snug little township of Candelo, whence the revelries of the previous day and night had not quite departed, and, were I to judge from the few gushing spirits notice able, the fastness of the rising generation is quite in keeping with, if not a shade in advance of, the progress of the town. However, I was well attended to at dinner by mine host Cochrane, whom I have known for years, and I can say he is as jolly now, and can laugh as loud, as the first day I saw him. No better man could be wished for to 'boss' a country hotel than this same Jem Cochrane. The country round the 'Vale' looks well, grass short, but sweet and green. The road to my destination goes through paddocks, Mr. J Collins jnr., Ryan's Swamp, lying on the left, where I noticed the milking cows were being fed with green stuff. On the right is Mr. T. McAuley's property, on which the hills look grand. Mr. McAuley has a nice and comfortable homestead, and is the owner of some 2000 and odd acres, all divided into paddocks, rung, and other wise generally improved. All this beautiful property, which will be a mine of wealth to the owner in a few years, has been obtained by honesty and hard work. At Bateman's Creek, at the back of Mr. Bower's farm, the first cutting on the Myrtle Creek road commences, and continues for some distance. Two creeks close to each other are very dangerous spots, and it is impossible to take any kind of vehicular conveyance over them. The cutting continues through Cook's paddock, but there is no sign of a culvert at any of the creeks, which, I think, is a mistake, as the road is practically useless and impassable for wheel traffic without them. The cutting stops in a very rough part of the road, and if the traveller keeps on he will find that it is necessary to retrace his steps some distance to make the old road. Without further mishap I arrived at Mr. Prosser's accommodation house, Honeysuckle. The house itself is externally a rather unpretentious one, but inside the traveller will find cleanliness, comfort, hospitality and moderate charges, which more than atone for any defects in the outside appearance. Mr. Hickey has a general store here, and Captain Nicholson's sawmill is in full work close at hand, and I am informed he is doing well. The 'skipper' was away in Sydney for medical treatment at the time of my visit. Next morning found me in the saddle bound for Towamba, distant from here about fifteen miles. For the first seven miles the country is poor and uninviting, but when that distance has been traversed there is a marked change in the soil, and you come to some good paddocks. Then past Burragate, leaving Binnie's to the left, you come to the pick of Towamba.
McPaul's farm is on the Perico Creek, and here a flourish ing dairy is carried on. It is a pity that the land offered by Mr. C. T. Stiles at auction, last year, was not sold, for I consider it equal in every respect to the Bega country for dairying and grazing purposes, being something like the best of Numbugga and Meringlo. On a portion of the 10,000 acres Mr. Stiles still holds I saw some Bibbenluke cows that, I was informed, had been sent down 'as poor as crows' about nine weeks previously, and plenty of them are now good ' beef.' The grass is plentiful, and as green as a wheat-field. Mr. Purnell, one of the dairy fanners, told me that he made three large kegs of butter per week from 45 cows last summer. Had that sale gone off there was a great future in store for Towamba. I may state that the land that is now being taken up by selectors is very inferior indeed, in fact, like every other place, the eyes have been picked out of Towamba. Settlement is going steadily ahead, and there are a few very energetic men who do the best they can for the locality, and they deserve great praise for the way in which they urge on the claims of the place. The roads are in a very bad state, and growls are the order of the day. From Perico, Mr. J. Alexander's, to Nangutta, Mr. Weatherhead's, is eighteen miles, and there is only a very indistinct bush track connecting the two. Until a dozen miles are passed the country is barren in the extreme, and would not feed a bandicoot; but six miles this side of Nangutta it is a great deal better. I was hospitably entertained at the latter place for the night. Mr. Weatherhead has about seven or eight thousand acres se cured on his run; and there are some good spots there yet, but a fair amount of capital is required to work them.
From Nangutta to Genoa is 24 miles, and the road is good, cuttings having been made and culverts put in by a bark firm from Melbourne. Wangerabell, Mr. W. Stevenson's, is 12 miles from Nangntta, and in Victoria. There is some fair country here, and numbers of selectors are on the run. The country is mostly timbered with box, with gritty ridges interspersed by flats. Mr. Stevenson has a great aversion to selectors whom be looks upon as his natural enemies. On the same day, 29th May, I got to Genoa and stayed at the residence of Mr. Robert Alexander for two nights. On the Genoa the flats are suitable for growing anything, but at present are all lying waste and idle ; hundreds of acres, as good as your best Bega flats, growing nothing but rushes and tussocks ten feet high. Mr. Alexander has eighty acres of flat, forty of which could be ploughed at once. Boats come up the river to these flats, land supplies and take away produce from the banks; the river abounds with fish. Mr. W. Allen has a nice residence and some very good land on the left bank of the Genoa River, on which maize is grown to a considerable extent. To any energetic men a fortune awaits them here; I do not consider the hills so good as reported, but when the timber is killed it may prove fair grazing land. Mr. Alexander will be most happy to show any intending selector, and he owns the run. He would like to see a large number settle down there, when the place would be bound to go ahead. There are not many of those good spots open for selection, but they could be rented very cheap. Mr. Harrison, of Twofold Bay, owns Howe Hill Station, and his steam craft will trade regularly up the river with timber, etc; I am also informed Mr. Dorrel, the wattle bark merchant, intends starting an extensive saw mill ; but what Genoa most requires is a number of practical agricultural farmers, as there is certainly a mine of wealth in these fine flats if only properly managed. Next day I proceeded from Genoa to Nellybarba, where Mr. McCloy, a Wollongong man, has selected. The country is patchy and bad throughout from there to Timbillica; Mr. Robert Alexander owns the latter place, and keeps the post office. From there to Doyle's on the Kiah River, which is only a continuation of the Towamba River; by following up tho river for about eight miles you could to Mr. Mitchell's at Towamba, which I reached after dark, having ridden that day, through very rough country, about fifty miles. From Genoa to the Bay (Eden) is forty-five miles by the road, which, I am told, is a fair one. Mr. Mitchell was most kind, as indeed are all the settlers. His place is in capital order, and shows that a large amount of industry has been bestowed on it. He has any amount of push in him, and grows corn and fattens pigs. Next day found me homeward bound for Bega, which I reached about sundown. WANDERER.
'Australian Town and Country Journal'
3 January 1891
New Year's Day.
PAST AND PRESENT.
OUR COUNTRY AS IT WAS, AND AS IT IS.
THE AUSTRALIAN METROPOLIS.
GLANCED AT FROM 1790 TO 1891.
New Year's Day, 1791, and the first day of 1891 are separated only by a hundred years of time, but how far are they apart when the interval is measured by the changes that have taken place. Pictures of New South Wales as it was and as it is, that accompany this article remind us what our advanced civilization makes us easily forget, the rapidity of our growth. An appropriate accompaniment to the series of illustrations, which so forcibly depicts our progress is the portraits and biographies of some of our very old residents. They are people who have grown up with the nation, who have helped to found it, and who can remember our Pilgrim Fathers. Last week we gave two of these people-Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Mobbs. The last mentioned of the two died only a few weeks ago, leaving behind her a host of descendants, numbering some hundred good Australians. This week our portraits include Mrs. Medhurst, doubtless the oldest living native of Sydney, now in her 91st year. The first day of the year has always in the history of Australia marked the beginning of twelve months of rapid progress, of a vigorous growth of all those institutions which go towards making a happy and prosperous nation. Australians do not mourn over the death of the old year-the dawning of the new one is too bright with hope for that. "Time to the nation as to the individual is nothing absolute; its duration depends on the rate of thought and feeling." This was said by a historian of intellectual progress in Europe, and it may be said with equal truth of Australia.
But if the duration of time to this nation be measured by its march on the road to nationality, then the truism that "time is nothing absolute" can be fittingly taken to be the moral of Australian history.
Without going so far back as the last century, there are plenty of strong contrasts to be obtained. …It has the appearance of a very indifferent bush township of the present day, and the picture is an accurate one, for it was taken from an old and valuable book, published at a time when the people could judge its truthfulness. On New Year's Day, 1800, Australia could boast of live stock: 39 horses, 72 mares, 188 bulls and oxen, 512 cows, 3189 hogs, 4721 sheep, and 2588 goats. Of land in cultivation: 6465 acres of wheat, 2302 of maize, 82 of barley, and 8 of oats. There were 9356 inhabitants in the settlement, out of which 6000 sup ported themselves. Says a writer of the period: "The Rocks, a part of the town of Sydney, is the general promenade for the dashing belles of the settlement; and the European women, it is observed, spare no expense in ornamenting their persons. The shops, where most of their decorations are purchased, are set out with much taste; and articles of female ornament and apparel are greedily purchased."
........It must not be supposed that Sydney was without public buildings at this time; but these were chiefly granaries, gaols, and barracks. The town of Parramatta was also a long way ahead of what it had been a few years before, for, in addition to granaries, barracks, new Government House, and a "neat thatched hut for the gardener," "a handsome church was erected 100ft in length, with a room, 20ft long, raised on stone pillars for a vestry or council room." …..It will be seen that the "handsome" church, which was completed in 1802, and called "the new church," was in a severely simple style of architecture. It was built of red brick. The church was long known as old St. John's, and its foundation was laid as far back as April 5, 1797. It was first used for divine service on April 10, 1803. The late Mrs. Mobbs of Parramatta, whose portrait was given last week, was married in it by the Rev. Samuel Marsden. ….The first part of the structure was begun in 1797. This was the old clock tower. The tower fell down in 1806, and was rebuilt of stone the same year. The church was opened in 1809 by the Rev. W. Cowper, who arrived in Australia in that year. This gentle man was father of the present Dean Cowper. The church was completed in 1803, and George III. presented it with a handsome altar service. The building remained unaltered until 1848, when the existing structure was begun at the rear of the old church….. the Female School of Industry situated at that time (1834) near where the Public Library now stands. …..St. James's Church, the oldest church now standing in Sydney. The Rev. Samuel Marsden preached the opening sermon in it on July 6, 1822. …..of St. James's Church (the School of Industry) are compared with Sydney in 1800, and those with Darling Harbor in 1790, are placed in comparison with King street on New Year's Eve, 1891, and Darling Harbor with a view of Sydney, then the rapidity of our growth may be to some extent realised.
......When the year 1834 opened Governor Bourke was considering new regulations regarding the assignment of convicts, which led to no little excitement and dissension among the population. Before the end of the year the first step had been taken towards the construction of Circular Quay. As a preliminary towards the beginning of this work it was suggested in the Legislative Council that a salary of £800 per annum should be guaranteed for five years for the payment of a competent civil engineer, the salary being granted as a means of inducing a competent person of that profession to come and settle in the colony, where hitherto no civil engineer had taken up his abode. The whole charge for the year was estimated at £132,790, and the ways and means at £147,344. Out of this revenue £120,000 was derived from the consumption of ardent spirits. They drank freely in those days, although they did not do much to celebrate the holiday. The advertisements in the papers of the time do not offer harbor excursions, and reduced or any other railway rates to pleasure resorts were not dreamt of. The only steamer advertised was the Tamar, running to Newcastle. Darling Harbor was, of course, greatly improved upon what our picture shows it to have been in 1790; but its waters must have been very different to what they are now, or this little item of news from a paper of the day would not have appeared: "Lieutenant Finch, of the 17th Regiment, was fined 5s for bathing in the waters of Darling Harbor." There were several bushranging exploits reported on the Parramatta-road in the January of that year, and there was a curious advertisement in the LONDON TIMES. It set forth that any lieutenants in the Royal navy under 45 years of age, with large families, could obtain a free passage to Sydney, New South Wales, on application to C. T., R.N., Post Office, Hythe, Kent. Who was C. T., R.N. Was he a kind of General Booth, with a scheme for the relief of half-pay naval officers by sending them to Australia; or was this a "plant," and C. T., R.N., a rogue?
Sydney in 1848 can be remembered by a good many of its citizens in 1891, yet many are the alterations and momentous the events which have come about since then. Taken from drawings made in that year, we give two illustrations of Twofold Bay. Boyd Town is on the south shore of Twofold Bay, and Eden on the north shore.
The latter township is the important one
nowadays, but it was Boyd Town in 1848 that
was the chief place. A particular interest
attaches to this port, as it was off Twofold
Bay that Captain Cook lay to on the night
of Friday, April 20, 1770, after having first
made the land of New South Wales in the neighborhood
of Cape Howe, sighting the Ram Head. The
town of Boyd was divided by the river Kiah
or Towamba, and the two portions were called
East Boyd and Boyd Town. Both towns were
named after their founder, Mr. B. Boyd. During
the year 1848 a lighthouse was erected on
the south head of East Boyd, and was then
considered the finest structure of its kind
in Australia. At that time the whaling industry,
since completely died out, was flourishing
at Twofold Bay; and Boyd Town was a busy
little township in consequence. Our illustrations
include a picture of whaling in Twofold Bay.
Sydney in 1848, although grown to a city,
was a long way behind what it is now, not
half a century later. Its population was
38,358, and out of 7109 houses in the city
1820 were of wood. At that time J. F. Josephson
held the office of Mayor, and he was the
sixth mayor since the incorporation of the
city in 1842 under the old act. It was 20
years before the foundation-stone of the
present handsome town hall was laid. The
newspapers, when the year opened were beginning
to look forward to steam communication with
England, which had not then become an established
fact. But the chief topics occupying the
public mind at the time were the proposed
constitution in view of Port Phillip becoming
a separate colony, and before the year ended
the transportation question and the contemplated
railway were subjects creating much excitement.
Twenty years later, in 1868, the estimated population of Sydney: was about 70,000, and including the suburbs, not more than 110,000. In another 10 years, 1878, the city population was estimated at 76,000, and including the suburbs, 135,000. But when the census of 1881 was taken it was found that the city proper numbered 99,670 persons, and the total population, including the suburbs, 220,427. When the census of 1891 is taken it will probably be found that the estimated population, 357,690, is considerably below the number. A glance at Sydney as it is to-day and as it was, reminds us what good use has been made of the years that have come and gone. The birth of each new year is full of cheerful promise in this new country, and is a fitting season for holiday making. With such delightful spots for outdoor enjoyment as are found round Sydney, its people ought indeed to take pleasure in their holiday. What more tempting scene than that on page 31, the park at Watson's Bay; or, not to go out of Sydney proper, the Botanical Gardens. Well may Australians make merry on New Year's Day ; and justly may they feel pride in the progress of their land, of which it may truly be said: Think'st thou existence dost depend on time? It doth, but actions are our epochs.
'Australian Town and Country Journal'
23 April 1892
The weather had now recovered its sunny temper, and the drive was most exhilarating as we fol- lowed centerally the course of the Coolumbooka Rivulet, ascending gradually towards the coast range. The village of Cathcart was passed 10 miles out, and a couple of miles further on our route diverged from the main road which descends the famous Tantawanglo Mountain to Candelo and Bega, while our destination was Eden, via Pambula. Turning therefore to the right we crossed some level country for about three miles, and then ascending a low gap we came suddenly upon a great gulf, into which we had to drop some 2000ft. The old road is very steep, but a new one with tolerably uniform grades makes the descent in about four miles. This new road had been blocked up by landslips after the recent heavy rains; but learning that it had been sufficiently cleared, and sending our escort ahead to give timely warning, we ventured upon it. It is a good piece of engineering work, but in its then state required steady nerves and a good brake to get down with safety. First a steep downward plunge, and then we curved away to the left, doubling back sharply at the heads of gullies, wheeling round projecting spurs, where the road would apparently end in space, ever downwards, a wall of rock on one hand and an unfenced precipice on the other. Here and there were the roadmen busily engaged in clearing away the huge boulders that had rolled down and, still left scarcely space to squeeze past, or making up embankments where the new soil had been carried away by the mountain torrents. No time to stop for any scenery, scarcely could even a glance be spared from the dangers of the road. But in half, an hour we were safely at the bottom of "Big Jack," where the road crosses the clear, sparkling stream which develops into the Towamba River, and where the road party had established their camp. Having come some 19 miles, we determined to camp ourselves for lunch and take some views, as it is a pretty spot. Many of the trees and bushes were wreathed with masses of white clematis. We exposed three plates, all of which, turned out well, and it was difficult to select the one for reproduction. On resuming, our journey, we ascended the opposite slope with the object of getting above the rocky gorge of the stream, and soon emerged in the valley, where the picturesque village of Rocky Hall is situated. Several good views could be obtained here, but as only one more plate was available for the day's work, they were passed by. We could not resist, however, the crossing of the Rocky Hall Creek, and decided that we must have that whatever we lost during the rest of the afternoon. Following the Towamba River for some distance through more open country, we crossed it by a bridge, and then turned away to the left over hills, following Madagah Creek, to Wyndham, where we stayed the night. Having arrived, we went for our usual stroll and climbed a mountain close at hand, whence we got a good panorama of the surrounding country, which is very wild and broken. We could look back on the course we had come, and before us was the rocky wall in which the new silver mines are situated.
The next morning we proceeded on our way towards Pambula, crossing the tributaries of the Towamba River and then the watershed between that and the Pambula rivulet, which we followed down. While at Wyndham we heard a good deal about the Whipstick silver mines, and after going about three miles we saw signs of the rush, pegs, and tents, and even wooden buildings being erected on each side of the road, in dense forest, for we had now entered the great coastal forest. Every turn in the road gave a fresh picture, till at last we stopped and photographed one "bit," the head of Whipstick Creek, looking in each direction. One of them is reproduced, and is a fair illustration of the forest country, through many a mile of which we afterwards travelled. Till now the morning had been cloudless, but soon after a sudden storm rolled up and put a stop to photography for the rest of the day, to our great regret, for we passed through some beautiful scenery. We had to content ourselves with admiring the wonderful variety of foliage and flowers, for this is the home of the wattle and other flowering undergrowth; and as we got lower we came on to sandstone country with bright-flowered epacris, and many other flowers to be found, in the neighborhood of Sydney, all glittering with the - to them - welcome shower bath. A pause in the rain enabled us to inspect one of the quartz-crushing mills belonging to the Pambula gold mines. But another shower corning on we were glad to take shelter, for lunch, at the "Roan Horse," on the opposite side of the valley to Pambula, where we were welcomed by the host as an old acquaintance from the west.
'Pambula Voice' October 27, 1893
ITS RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES
From our special reporter
Probably the great majority of our readers have never visited Towamba and are not aware of the vast extent of good grazing and agricultural lands in that locality. None but those who have paid a personal visit to the place can form a correct idea of what the district is. Our reporter recently had the pleasure of a hurried trip through 'the valley of the Towamba' and was agreeably surprised at the general character of the country and undoubted richness of the soil.
Right from Rocky Hall to Twofold Bay, rich flats and well grassed hills abound along the river's course in many places extending several miles back from the stream. Towamba is one of the very old settlements of the Colony. Many years ago it comprised an enormous sheep station owned by a Mr. Walker and was then known by the name of 'Pussy Cat'. The station afterwards became the property of Sir William Manning and Mr. Stiles and was changed into a cattle run. The last named gentlemen still hold a large area of land in the locality though much of the original holding has been subdivided and sold to settlers.
When settlement began to extend the Government had a township surveyed and laid out which is still known on the government maps and other documents as the village of Sturt. It is situated about fifteen miles from where the river empties into Twofold Bay on the southern side of the water course; but as yet the only building erected on the village site is the public school. Settlers made their homes below or above the Government site as well as on the opposite side of the stream; a store, post office and hotel have also been established there and the name of Towamba has been retained by the residents but as the good land extends far and wide - east and west and south - settlement has extended with it , hence we find the village of Burragate about nine miles to the west of Towamba, while Pericoe and Wog Wog, Timbillica, Bondi, Nangutta and other places all claim existence to the south, southwest and south east.
The district is at present utilized almost entirely by a dairying population who have managed to overcome the great obstacles which beset every district in the early stages of its history-vis., want of roads for access and egress, density of timber and scrub, the distance from which supplies have to be obtained and a thousand and one other inconveniences with which early pioneers are so familiar and which only the very sturdy and stout hearted usually survive.
The present generation of dairy men and settlers handicapped as they are on every hand and beset with troubles which are quite big enough - know comparatively little except by tradition of what their forefathers have gone through however, they are comfortable and contented- as much so as most people. One of the great characteristics of the residents of the Towamba district is their hospitality towards each other as well as towards visitors.
Roughly estimated there are upwards of fifty families engaged in dairying pursuits in the vicinity of Towamba, Burragate, Wog Wog and Pericoe. The country is abundantly watered by the rivers and creeks which abound in the locality and also by springs, indeed from every hillside the water oozes out in may places and serves in lew of irrigation. The dairies vary in size and from 50 to 200 cows are kept on different holdings in proportion to the size of the runs. The land is hilly and soil in most places is black and grading down to a light sandy loam, in parts very stony but not thickly timbered. Wattles thrive excellently and almost every settler has his patch of trimmed wattles in various stages of growth. Natural grasses alone are to be found, no English grasses have yet been introduced nor are they required.
The common Chinese gardener does not appear to have yet found a rest for the sole of his foot in the neighbourhood and consequently the people have their own vegetable gardens. Many go in for a little cultivation such as potatoes, maize, lucerne and other grasses and peas, which later are used for winter fodder. The different holdings range in area from several hundred to several thousand acres and of course are worked according to the enterprise and capacity of the holders. A portion of the larger runs has been utilized for fattening stock for the markets but the price recently is so unremunerative that to use a common phrase ' the game is not worth the candle' and in consequence the dairying facilities are being extended and the herd of milkers increased.
Nearly every resident has his own piggery adjoining the dairy and in most instances the pigs are just fattened and sent to market while a few make their pigs into bacon. The people kill their own meat and are independent in many ways with regard to food supplies. Though the bulk of the dairy men do not stick to the old style 'setting' and 'skimming' the milk many of them are convinced that they are far behind the times and are promising themselves that as soon as possible they will introduce the more perfect and less laborious system available by means of modern machinery appliances. A few of the more enterprising class have already secured separators for their dairies and have proved the great advantage to be derived from them.
'Pambula Voice' November 3, 1893.
THE TOWAMBA DISTRICT,
ITS RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES Cont.
by our special reporter
We have no doubt that an important future is in store for this portion of our district. Its resources are permanent and capable of extensive development in many directions. The village of Towamba is situated 18 miles south west and about 30 miles from Pambula either via Eden or Wyndham by road though in a direct line it is scarcely 20 miles. Eden is the port for the district and a wagon runs regularly between the port and the settlement bringing stores for the people and taking away their produce.
Residents of Towamba have one advantage over many of the coast districts, it has regular communication with the market. The splendid harbour of Twofold Bay being accessible in every kind of weather. Some of the dairy men have their own conveyances for running their butter and cheese to market. A little inconvenience is caused in times of flood when the river becomes very swift and dangerous but as a rule it goes down quickly. In addition to its vast and almost unlimited dairy capabilities gold has been found in payable quantities in various parts of the Towamba district and a large area of land is held by the government as a gold field reserve.
During the present year a police barracks has been established at Towamba and though the institution has been classed by many as a 'white elephant' we find that there are ample reasons to justify the actions of the authorities in making such a provision. In outlying districts like where the population is so scattered, evil disposed persons can do an immense amount of mischief and carry on with impunity the pursuit of nefarious practices which are at once checked if not entirely abolished by the presence of one of Her Majesty's representatives. A large percentage of the business which is dealt with by the Bench at the nearest court of petty sessions comes from this neighbourhood and it is not improbable that ere long a court house will also be brought into existence at Towamba.
Some of the roads in the locality are in fair order but others are simply impassable and it is a standing disgrace to our government that in these days of progress settlers are allowed to labour under such disadvantages as are here experienced by many for want of a few pounds judiciously spent on the roads. The disgrace is emphasised by the fact that in some of these places where a considerable amount of traffic is necessary the treasury coffers benefit to the extend of hundreds of pounds annually from the surrounding holdings while not a single penny is spent in return to assist the settlers. One government road in the vicinity cannot be traversed at all - that from Burragate to Pericoe- and one of the residents kindly allows the use of a track through his private lands for traffic otherwise it would be necessary to go twice the distance. If some of our parliamentary representatives were sentenced to a few months compulsory residence in a district like Towamba and had to travel these so called roads frequently during that time they would doubtless try to do a little more for the worthy pioneers who are the backbone and sinew of the country.
One of the most important parts of the district is that known as Burragate. It is from 8 to 10 miles west of Towamba and not far from Wyndham. Here several well known Pambula identities have made a home. The remains of an old wool shed are to be seen on the Burragate Reserve which was in use over 50 years ago when that locality was a sheep run under the name of 'Pussy Cat'.
One of the first properties of interest when entering the district from the direction of Pambula is a nice little holding owned by Mr. W. J. Tweedie, our well known townsman. He has about 400 acres of splendid dairying land and has recently been effecting considerable improvements on the property in the line of clearing and building. A new dairy has just been erected and is now getting into full swing under the management of Mr. Charles Peisley also well known about Pambula. The property is a good one and Mr. Tweedie deserves credit for the manner in which he is utilizing it to the best advantage.
Mr. George Keys is the next enterprising selector and his valuable holding of about 1000 acres joins the one above mentioned. Hitherto, Mr keys went in chiefly for breeding sheep but he has recently turned his attention to dairying with satisfactory results, the latter proving the more profitable business of the two. A discovery of gold was made on this property some time ago and kept a number of men at work for several months.
Another dairy of some 500 acres leased by Mr. H. Grant from Mr. J. Robinson Snr., adjoins that of Mr. Keys while Messers D. and J. Binnie are also large property holders at Burragate. Mr. D. Binnie has one of the best dairy herds in the colony and he shows good judgement in this respect by going in almost exclusively for Jersey cattle which are proving themselves the best for dairy purposes. Mr. Binnie has recently purchased a new separator and is procuring steam appliances to facilitate dairy work. Mr Albert Binnie has a compact little dairy farm at Burragate from which, by careful manipulation, he has succeeded in producing 300 lbs of butter in one week from the milk of 37 cows. This shows what can be done on a small area and should encourage those who are not fortunate enough to possess large holdings.
A portion of the Burragate reserve was recently offered for sale by the Crown Lands agent at Eden in small lots suitable for building purposes and most of the blocks were eagerly secured by district residents who know the value of the land and who see that the place has a future before it. At present the 'village' consists only of one house, that of Mr. Samuel Shipway. Being centrally situated Mr. Shipway has started business on a small scale and also manages the local post or receiving office which was recently granted on the petition of the residents. A provisional school is likely to be opened in the vicinity shortly as there are some 26 children of school age within a reasonable distance of the place. 'Lyndhurst' the home and property of the popular Mr. John Martin. Jnr, J.P. is situated at Burragate. A description of Mr. Martin's place will probably appear in our next issue.
Dunblane with Janco Homestead in foreground.
Photo courtesy J. Caldwell. No date
Janco is another important part of the district.
It is owned almost entirely by the brothers
Binnie and includes a very large area of
good dairy land which is fully utilised.
The old homestead is situated on Janco Creek
and is still occupied by Mrs. Binnie, relict
of one of the oldest and most successful
pioneers of the district. Several of the
sons reside on different parts of the estate
and all are engaged in the common pursuit
of dairying. the brothers Binnie and includes
a very large area of good dairy land which
is fully utilised. The old homestead is situated
on Janco Creek and is still occupied by Mrs.
Binnie, relict of one of the oldest and most
successful pioneers of the district. Several
of the sons reside on different parts of
the estate and all are engaged in the common
pursuit of dairying.
Pericoe also occupies a foremost position in the district's environments. Settlers in this neighbourhood include Mr. John Alexander (whose property we propose again alluding to) Mr. James A. Love, Mr. William Ryan, Mr. A.C. Stubbs, Mr. F. Ramsey, Mr. W. Watson, Mr. T. P. Shelley, Mr. A .Bennett, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Robert Gordon (son of Mr. Simon Gordon. J.P. of Lochiel) and others. Mr. Love, though deprived of one of his arms, successfully manages an area of about 2000 acres.
In and around Towamba and down the river to what is known as the Kiah, a large number of settlers reside amongst whom may be mentioned, Messers Edmund Mitchell, E. T. Mitchell, J. T. Mitchell, R. H. Haselgrove, W. H. Harris, John Ryan, Alexander Binnie, William Clements, S. Chamberlain, W. J. Beasley, Robert Binnie, R. Higgins, John Prendergast, C. J. Roberts, H. Kraanstuyver, W. and John Robinson Jnr., G. Young, Andrew Binnie, G. Robinson and others, few of whose places our reporter was able to visit. The district is certainly a rich one and its resources and capabilities afford a strong argument in favour of the proposed railway route from Bombala to Twofold Bay via Bondi and Towamba. Before concluding we must again refer to the wide spread hospitality of the people residing in this growing district which is made none the less genuine because it is so general. We shall look forward with pleasure to another opportunity of visiting Towamba and its surroundings.
(Owing to the unavoidable brevity of our reporter's visit, possibly some of the information is not as full and complete as could be wished. We shall be glad to correct any mis statements that may have been made through lack of particulars.)
|Granny Binnie. 'Janco', Burragate
|'Janco' Homestead. Burragate. No date.|
'Pambula Voice' November 10, 1893
'LYNDHURST' AND PERICOE
Genial owner of 'Lyndhurst' is almost a native of Pambula being the son of that much respected townsman Mr. John Martin. Mr. Martin Jnr., was formerly a prominent businessman in our town. Preferring a quiet country life he decided some four years ago to remove to Burragate which was just being thrown open to selection about that time. He was aware of the inconveniences and hardships which all beginners have to endure but did not allow these things to discourage him, being fortunate enough to secure a good block of land, Mr. Martin built himself a comfortable home and settled down to work in earnest. His place is about two and a half miles from Pambula and some ten miles from Wyndham and the Burragate or Towamba River flows through the property. 'Lyndhurst' comprises nearly four thousand acres of land and is admirably adapted for dairying pursuits. Some two hundred milch cows are kept on the estate and Mr. Martin has recently started a second dairy on the opposite side of the river. The owner's residence is pleasantly situated on a slight elevation a few hundred yards from the dairy. It is snugly and comfortably built and is surrounded on three sides by a beautiful flower garden containing an innumerable variety of rare and lovely flowers and shrubs. Mrs. Martin, who is a daughter of the late Mr. C. H. Baddeley of Pambula, is at home among the flowers and takes great interest in beautifying the place. A nice vegetable garden is situated a short distance from the house and contains some excellent samples of vegetables. This department, as well as all the farming operations on the estate, is in charge of Mr. J. Richards, a man of considerable experience in such matters and under whose supervision, the best results can always be relied on.
Several acres have been planted out with fruit trees and will doubtless form a splendid orchard in a few years time. A paddock of lucerne near the river is thriving wonderfully and two acres of peas, sown as an experiment promise a good yield.
The 'Lyndhurst' factory brand of butter has won a name for itself in the market. The dairy is built with a view to general comfort and each bale has a gate in front of it through which the cow passes as soon as she is milked thus making room for the next one. Mr. Martin informs us that he believes girls are the best workers on a dairy being of a kind disposition and not fond of idling. A short distance from the yards is the pig paddock while the factory is close at hand standing on the upper side of the hill. A permanent supply of water is obtained for the factory from a well about one hundred and thirty yards distant by means of one of Gould's double action force pumps which is capable of supplying six hundred gallons per hour and can be worked by a boy. Among Mr. Martin's dairy herd we noticed a handsome Ayrshire cow which was imported from New Zealand and has been at 'Lyndhurst' for some three years. She has yielded as much as 60lbs of milk per day. There was also another Ayrshire cow which was purchased for eighty guineas when a calf and was bred by Mr. Cadell of Oran Park. At present Mr. Martin is going in for Jersey stock and has a splendid young bull of that breed recently purchased from W. Wren esq., manager of the far famed 'Kameruka' Estate near Candelo. The utmost cleanliness is to be observed in every part of the establishment. The factory contains a de Laval separator capable of treating one hundred and fifty gallons of milk per hour and all the necessary machinery and appliances for work in such a large establishment including a churn turned by steam and a hand butter worker. A vertical boiler is used and is erected some short distance from the engine and plant. A saw bench stands in an adjacent shed where a circular saw is worked from the factory and cuts up all the wood for the engine as well as for household use. Steam pipes and taps are laid on where ever necessary, everything being handy and convenient. The whole of Mr. Martin's plant was purchased by Messers Waugh and Josephson of Sussex Street, Sydney and has given the owner entire satisfaction.
The soil on the estate is a rich black loam. A quantity of poultry, a few horses chiefly for home use and a small flock of sheep are kept. The comfort of the employees is well looked after.
'Lyndhurst' is a very valuable property and reflects great credit on the owner considering the comparatively short time he has resided upon it. Both Mr. & Mrs. Martin are deservedly popular for their widespread kindness and hospitality.
At Pericoe, or that portion of it owned by Mr. John Alexander, is about eight miles from Burragate and the same distance from Towamba in a southerly direction. The property is hilly but the hills are not so high or steep as in other parts of the district while the timber is more plentiful. Mr. Alexander is of that genial class of gentleman with whom one feels at home almost at first sight. He is the son of one of the pioneers of the district, his father in company of another, having been the first to discover the good lands for settlement away to the south and west, some sixty years ago. Mr. Alexander's property extends over an area of about six thousand acres and is utilised as a dairy and also for breeding and fattening purposes. The plant of the factory is the most complete and extensive one to be found throughout the whole district and eclipses many of the large factories around Bega and elsewhere. A six horsepower horizontal boiler and engine works the one hundred and fifty gallon separator but a three hundred gallon separator is just being introduced. The dairy herd consists of over two hundred cows. All the most modern appliances and conveniences are used in connection with Mr. Alexander's factory consequently the product, butter, is always of the best quality. A large number of pigs are reared on the place and shipped regularly to market from Eden. An extensive crop of wattles was growing on portion of the run but recently they seem to have taken a kind of blight and are dying off rapidly meaning a loss to the owner of several hundred pounds. About forty acres of land are under cultivation this year yielding an excellent crop of peas which grow to great advantage and make a splendid food both for pigs and cattle. A nice vegetable garden is laid out on the banks of the Pericoe Creek where a plentiful supply of good vegetables is always obtainable. Mr. & Mrs. Alexander have lived at Pericoe for about thirty years and have a large family most of whom remain at home and assist in carrying on the dairy and other work. A private tutor is engaged for the benefit of the younger children and judging from samples of their work which were shown our reporter they are making good progress and have all the facilities obtainable at a public school. One of the most interesting and useful contrivances on Mr. Alexander's estate is the water supply which is simply perfect. An hydraulic ram is placed in the creek stream about four hundred yards from the house and brings a permanent supply of water right to the doors. The ram is worked by the action of the water running into it. It is capable of driving water up an incline at a grade of one foot in five. Several tanks are kept at the house and are always full and running over. While pipes are fixed in the kitchen, the bathroom, garden, dairy and wherever necessary, at any of which you only have to turn the tap to let the water run, the whole thing is simplicity itself and it is a wonder that these rams are not more frequently seen being such a great convenience especially on a large dairy where a quantity of water is always necessary. At Mr. Alexander's place, as elsewhere, hospitality is one of the great characteristics and our reporter will not soon forget his visit to the Towamba district.
'Pambula Voice' February 22, 1900
Mr Oliver, Commissioner for the Federal Capital site, came to Eden last week and after inspecting the harbour he started on a second visit to Bombala, via Towamba and Bondi, accompanied by the Secretary of the Eden Progress Association. (Mr Phillips).
April 1, 1903
'Australian Town and Country Journal'
Southern New South Wales.
(BY "ST. MAGNUS.")
The country which I wish to describe is that lying between Eden and the Victorian, border, and southward to Cape Howe. It is a country but little known to the average inhabitant of New South Wales. It has many advantages over the sun-dried and waterless interior, and some disadvantages compared with many other coastal or tableland regions. Nevertheless, it is a delectable country to live in, and possesses natural ad vantages all its own. It possesses a fairly large area of good land, an abundance of wood and water, rich mineral resources, chiefly gold and silver, is generally elevated tableland, and a magnificent and salubrious climate. In Twofold Bay it possesses a fine port, which, if the various governments of this country had acted on, its interests at large ought now to have been an entrepot for Monaro and the whole southern district. Had Twofold Bay been made the terminus of a great southern railway forty years ago, Eden might now have been a large town, with its ship ping and docks, and all the appurtenances of civilisation, where thousands of people might have made a living. It is a capacious and safe harbour, and the cattle, wool, and hides of Monaro, and wheat of a portion of Riverina, and minerals and timber of the mountains, might have been shipped here to all parts of the world. In like manner it might have been the seat of a large import trade for transport to the interior. But the governments with which Australia has been blessed have seen nothing of this - nothing but their own selfish aims, which ultimately must be defeated.
A large town and a large trade would not have been the only result of a wise and farseeing policy, but the country would have been occupied and cultivated, and its manifold resources developed, and there would have been life and happiness. Instead of such a picture we have nothing, or next to nothing, and yet our so-called states men will deliver long harangues about what they have done. They have done nothing but mismanage and blunder, and they must go down to the grave unhonoured and unregretted, not to be mentioned but with a sneer of derision. The country has great possibilities. It abounds in timber, which may be reckoned as one of its readiest and most easily reached resources, which, under happier auspices might have been cut and sent to Broken Hill and elsewhere. Instead, the timber is obtained from America, while our own is ruthlessly destroyed or left standing, and still the doctrine of our politicians is protection. The country also abounds in rivers and creeks, whose waters might be saved and applied to irrigate the land; but the waters are allowed to run into the sea, although we have been propounding far-fetched schemes of irrigation for the past 20 years. But these schemes have not been planned for places where the water exists, and where it might be easily saved and placed upon the adjacent land. Many of the irrigation schemes put forward have been proposed for places where water does not exist, and where, if it did exist, it would have to be run hundreds of miles through canals to the land it was intended to irrigate.
Through the Towamba Valley, 20 miles from Eden, there runs a beautiful river, and the water could be saved by weirs or reservoirs, and run upon the valley lands, which consist of deep, rich, loamy soil, and immense crops of maize, sorghum, and lucerne could be grown, and rich and remunerative harvests might be garnered. The Kiah River runs through a valley which yields rich maize crops, which, in fair or good seasons, average about 60 bushels per acre; but in dry seasons the land requires irrigation. The water might be saved and raised from the river by any of the means known to irrigationists. These valleys, as well as others in the country, will grow excellent fruit, potatoes, and pumpkins. The land is equ ally valuable for dairying or horse breeding. For cattle-rearing the country has been used years and years ago, and for this purpose it is well adapted. As the rich lands are surrounded by extensive ranges, wide extents of less valuable pasturage is available.
The country is remarkable for the number of peaks which form pictures in the landscape, such as Mount Imlay (2900ft high), Mount Wolumla (2220ft high), Mount Poole, Mount Mungalla, and a number of others. The mountains and ranges are densely wooded, affording food and shelter to numbers of wild animals. The kangaroo was once very plentiful, and wallabies, hares, etc., still are to be found, but the kangaroo has been pretty well hunted to death. The choicest portion of the country has been long occupied, but there are still areas of land, mostly swamp country, which, if cleared and drained, would be considered fair soil in the more settled districts, but here is scarcely looked at. Since the outbreak of the Yambulla diggings, the country is becoming better known. Numbers of strangers are visiting tho district, and each one carries away information of some kind, either good, bad, or indifferent, and spreads the reports abroad. Towamba and Yambulla are the furthest southern towns on the New South Wales side of the border, and they are merely hamlets, though they promise to grow larger. Yambulla will probably be a permanent field, and the gold is scattered over a considerable area, and doubtless it will spread south to the ocean, and west into Victoria. At present the centre of the gold field is about 15 miles west of Green Cape. North ward to Burragate, Pambula, and Wolumla, the formation is all of the same character, and is well known to be mineral bearing, but some of the fields are very elusive and patchy. The good land all yields splendid crops of farm produce, and the creeks flow in ordinary seasons.
There is a scattering of population on all the good land, though in my opinion there is much more land that would yield crops if cleared and cultivated. This country, as well as all the coastal tablelands, will one day form the chief centre of irrigation, for here water is most abundant, most easily conserved, and most easily and profitably applied to the soil. The land will employ thousands of men, and yield sustenance to men of small means, who form the bulk of the population in every country. Most undoubtedly, the section of the country to which I refer will prosper some day, but the time has not yet come. I have said little of the town of Eden, for though well situated, its resources are lying dormant, and it has but few inhabitants. It was larger 40 years ago than to-day; it has had a long Rip Van Winkle sleep, and is still slumbering peacefully.
December 16, 1905
THE FEDERAL CAPITAL SITE.
AN IMPORTANT REPORT
The Minister of Home Affairs circulated to-day a report, dated October 26, by Mr. C. R. Scrivener, a district surveyor, giving technical descriptions of areas of different sizes in the neighborhood of Dalgety, together with a recommendation as to the area which, in his opinion, is desirable as the Commonwealth territory. Mr. Scrivener regards an area of 630 square miles, embracing such a length of the Snowy River and its tributaries as will give a good water supply, as the irreducible minimum for a city site, but, he says, he would not hesitate to suggest as the most desirable area 1,550 square miles embracing the whole catchment area of the Snowy River.
All the boundaries of these areas are fully described. The general description of the means of access to the sea from Dalgety is as follows:-"Commencing at Dalgety and following the course of the Blackburn Creek, the Matong Creek, the Delegate and Bombala Rivers, and the Maharatta Creek, then Crossing the main coast range near Bondi, and following generally the course of Wog Wog Creek, and the Towamba River to the shore line of Twofold Bay. Thence by that shore line northerly to Eden.
March 21, 1908
'The Bega Budget'
The Eden Show.
The annual Eden Show was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, beautiful weather prevailing both days. The ground is prettily situated about a mile from the town, and the general appointments are quite as good as one could expect in connection with so young a society. It was the writer's first visit to an Eden Show, and the general opinion was that the display was not quite equal to some previous years. Certainly, there were a very great number of classes against which the legend 'no entry' had to be written. The most notable amongst these was 'cheese.' It makes funny reading to say that a South Coast show was held without an exhibit of this commodity being on view. But although Eden is the 'south-coastest' of the South Coast, the farmers do not go in for the manufacture of cheese, and producers at a distance evidently did not think it worthwhile sending along exhibits. Of course, popular interest was centred principally in the ring events, but the Budget considers that in point of commercial and national importance, a jumping, trotting, or lady driving contest is not 'in it' with prime butter, maize, cattle, pigs, vegetable, or fruit exhibits. All these latter represent national progress, wealth, and stability, while in too many cases the ring is the place where the pothunter or per son who follows 'the game' is mostly in evidence. These remarks apply to every show in the State, and while this paper appreciates the attractiveness of the ring events, it refuses to place them on a pedestal far above those sections which stand for national progress and greatness. In cattle the en tries were only medium, and the animals, as a rule, did not represent that peerless class of animal (especially in the Jersey and Shorthorn sections) for which the South Coast is famed A couple of fine Guernsey bulls were shown and attracted considerable attention. So far, this breed has not grown in much favor with dairy men, but then the Jersey, to which this breed is closely allied 'hung fire' for a long time. In pigs, the display, though not large, was of the finest quality, every animal being a champion, and infinitely superior to anything appearing at the other coastal shows. This section was quite a feature of the show, representing as it does, one of the industries that has not received that close and general attention it deserves. The present price of pigs, bacon, and hams, show the great possibilities in pig raising. Mr. J. T. Mitchell of Lower Towamba, stood almost alone in this section, and his Berk shire, and Tamworth-Berkshire crosses were perfect animals. Farm Produce was another section which showed the splendid capabilities of the country in and around Eden.
The display was splendid, and one would be pretty safe in saying that better samples of maize could not be got together in any other locality in the Commonwealth. Mr. J. T. Mitchell carried off first prize, while Mr. Kelly was second with an exhibit which only an ex pert could separate from the one carrying the blue card. Of course, there were those who had better samples at home, but the Budget has no time for the man who is too weary to bring his exhibit under the critical eye of the judge. Potatoes, pumpkins, and other staple products were well represented, and sustained the good reputation of the Eden and contiguous districts. A collection of vegetables shown by Mr. Longhurst was much admired, and showed what can be done by intense and intelligent cultivation. The entries in poultry were very small, no less than 19 classes being entirely neglected, while in the few remaining classes competition was not keen. Fruit and Flowers made a fair display, but the Bud get thinks the exhibits, as a rule, were not quite up to the capabilities of the districts represented. Household Items was a section that induced keen competition, thanks to the industry and enter prise of the ladies. The exhibits were well got up, and, in many in stances, the judge must have had some difficulty in placing the winner. The Needlework section was well filled up and attracted considerable attention. The exhibits were of a very high order of merit, and it is doubtful if any South Coast show had such a fine display. Fine Arts did not encourage much competition, although some of the exhibits were very meritorious. In Writing, the young people made a good show, and the copy books were a credit to the schools of the surrounding districts. In the Industrial section, Mr. S. H. Pearce carried off the blue for single buggy and sulky with exhibits which would have taken a lot of beating anywhere.
August 30, 1918
'The Bombala Times'
A Sketch of Settlement in East Gippsland.
By Wanderer, for the 'Bombala Times.'
Eastern Gippsland will never become a prosperous agricultural district. The areas of suitable land are too small and too isolated. If we except the Cann Valley, Genoa, and Wangrabelle, there is comparatively little else that could be successfully cultivated. In the first place that locality was mainly banned to the settler under some Endowment Act; this, coupled with the policy of the Lands Department, seemed rather to aim at stifling settlement than fostering it. There are many spots where from twenty to, say, forty acres of fine alluvial soil could be utilised; but where the whole might have sustained one settler the Department granted up to one-half of the good land and forced the settler to accept the balance of his holding on the sides of rugged useless hills. Yet there is, I believe, a good deal of fairly good land unexploited on the lower portions of the Thuara River. As regards the above exceptions the chief products are corn, cattle, and pigs. Dairying is carried on to a limited extent. The climatic and soil conditions, existent and possible, are ideal for that industry; still the accursed stranglehold of want of transport facilities has erected an almost impassable barrier. Even the corn that is grown -its quantity and quality per acre is equal to that of Orbost- has to be carried out on four legs, i.e., fat pigs. It does not pay on any other basis. One enterprising settler at Cann River had a tobacco plantation, which returned a profit of nearly £90 per acre. Right up this river settlement extends until, not far from the New South Wales border, the last outpost is seen - the last fort where a stout heart battled bravely against the rough boulders of adverse fortune flung in his path by a negligent government. The same state of affairs exists in the Genoa Valley, except that water carriage is possible during some seasons. Many years ago a route for a railway line was surveyed somewhere up the Cann Valley - just where it ends only the surveyors and wood-nymphs know. It was said to be a good grade on which the cost of building a line would be comparatively little. That must have been twenty odd years ago. The route still remains, but the railway has not eventuated. About 1907 the Government authorised the expenditure of £15,000 towards exhuming the old road that ran from Marlow towards the sunrise. After a vast amount of work a good grade was found and the road, or most of it, made. The route was not so picturesque as the old pack horse track, but, my certes, it was like a bowling-green. This new work began at Dead Horse Creek, which was more mellifluous than its name seemed to infer; it passed south of Club Terrace and reached Cann River Hotel after joining the old Marlow road. From thence it wended easterly over the Drummer Mountains and various watercourses until it fizzled out a few miles short of Genoa. Now it has been completed to that settlement, where a fine high bridge spans the river. This stream was always the bugbear to motorists, not a few of whom left their cars soaking in the water for a few hours. The road has been pro longed to Gypsy Point wharf, and a branch is being cleared so that cars might travel direct to the silver lights of the Mallacoota Lakes. About the same time the western end was completed to Orbost, thus linking up with the railway. From Cann River Hotel a branch of this road runs northerly up the valley. It extends as far a Chandler's Creek, a distance of five miles from the New South Wales border. So far as made it is a gem of a road so far as not made it is a devil of a track. On the New South Wales side a fine road has been constructed from the plateau to Egan's, Rockton, thence, easterly towards Towamba. A road continues from Egan's to the border, about nine miles. That nine miles ranges from a fair to a superlatively rotten track; from the border to Chandler's Creek - well, it is infinitely worse. After that the going is splendid. So it will be seen that only fourteen miles of bad road preclude all possibility of vehicular traffic between two sections of country that are more or less dependent on one another for particular products. The Victorian Government has promised to run the road to the border if the Mother State will complete its nine miles. The matter has been the subject of innumerable inspections by officials as well as of discussions at conferences; yet the road remains as bad as ever. The expenses for travelling, etc., already incurred would have done a considerable portion of the road. It is a great pity that this confine of past insularity cannot be swept away. It is a barrier to progress. The only practicable route is via Orbost and Bonang. It is impossible to estimate the timber resources of this mountainous region; and to study the giants for even a short time is to risk a ' skyscraper ' neck. Millions of pounds' worth of timber could be procured without detriment to the forests. The quality and quantity are both beyond ordinary timber values. Yet to get it out would cost a mint of money. Why? Because a short sighted government declines to provide transport facilities. There is sufficient timber of a suitable kind to build all Australia's ships so urgently required; sufficient palings could be procured to fence the ' Cabbage State '; while the possible supply of shingles would cause the inconvenience, consequent on the short age of roofing iron, to hide its corrugated head. Blackwood, lightwood, honeysuckle, casuarinas, hickory, acacias and wild cherry abound. These timbers are unsurpassable for cabinet work, having a fine grain that takes a splendid polish. There is not only the economic view of the question, but also the subsidiary one of the tourist aspect, which will be dealt with in next article.
September 24, 1920
'The Bombala Times'
Bombala as a Mineral District
(Written for the "Bombala Times" by the late Charles Harper.)
Any observant person travelling from Pambula up the Big Jack road to Cathcart must, be surprised at the valley of the Mataganah River the principal head of the Towamba River, discharging into Twofold Bay near the foot of the Big Jack mountain, by an almost perpendicular wall, 2,000 feet above the bottom of the valley to the tableland. It must be evident that the small and confined watershed as at present existing, could never have excavated such a deep valley by erosion by water; but on closer examination it is found to be the termination of an immense basaltic lava flow, extending over 60 miles, towards Cooma through Cathcart, Archer's Flat, High Lake, part of Burnima, nearly the whole of the Bibbenluke original run, widening out northerly to past Nimmitabel, Beard's Lakes, Mt. Cooper, northerly across the McLaughlin River to Boco, and westerly including Duke's Springs and joining lakes, the Dog Kennel, Bobundra, and on to Cooma; and is of various widths between the sedimentary and granitic rocks it is bounded by. There is evidence that prior to the outburst, of volcanic activity, the greater part of the northern and eastern part of the county of Wellesley was drained by the Mataganah or Towamba River to Twofold Bay on the coast, and by the closing of this outlet our present drainage system was forced by a very roundabout way along the lines of the least resistance, cutting a channel for itself to the Snowy River, as an outlet to the ocean. It must be conceived that the surface configuration and physical features existing to-day are nothing like they were when the subterranean fires ceased erupting. The probabilities are that the surface was hundreds of feet higher than it is, to-day, and that the planing off by denudation, during aeons of time, carried away all the lighter materials, leaving the heavier materials behind ; which accounts for the extraordinary and enormous amount of loose stones now spread over the surface of this area. Modern science teaches us that in the earlier stages of our planet's existence, the moon was so much nearer the earth than it is how. At the present day our meteorologists measure the rainfall by points- that is, the hundredth part of an inch. If they existed in the earlier stages their unit' of measurement would probably be feet, or even yards, instead of points. And it further teaches us that the denuding and transporting power was infinitely greater than now. A river of to day, with a flow of six feet in depth, would develop a vast power of erosion and transportation, but if the river rose to a depth of twelve feet its power of transportation would be increased sixty-seven times, and so on in proportion, ad infinitum. We can easily imagine what the river systems were like in the days of yards of rainfall, and it must be remembered that those days of abnormal rainfall and high tides, did not cease suddenly, but by slow gradations, during untold ages of time. There are several high conical hills in this area, which are by some people considered points of eruption, such as Mt. Cooper, Bungee Peak, and the Haystack mounds existing, but they are not. They acquire their shape by denudation, by atmospheric influence planing off the softer materials, covering the harder matter of their interior, thus assuming, the shape of cones. The main points of eruption now existing, dotted about this basaltic area, are the small lakes, which are the bottoms of the old craters, the surrounding material washed into the original cavity, or denuded and carried away, which I think proves their great antiquity of dormancy, and it is only a question of time when they will cease to be apparent. It is very probable that some of my readers may ask, "What has all this to do with the district's mineral resources?" It has a very important bearing on that subject, especially upon its gold-bearing probabilities. Let us suppose that by some miraculous power to instantly remove all traces of the volcanic outbursts, and open to our vision as it appeared before the great Titanic disturbance took place, we would find a very different configuration of the whole area; different drain age system, and physical features. We would see rivers flowing in quite different directions to what they are now, one of much greater magnitude, which had remained undisturbed for aeons of time prior to the basaltic outburst, and conveying the material to their main channels. These waterways, during the period of abnormal rain would develop immense disintegrating power upon the sands and gravel brought down from the higher levels, under such conditions that any metal-bearing heavy rocks and gravels would be reduced to fine sand; the gold would remain, as its specific gravity would resist removal excepting it was rolled in a ball of clay, when it might be carried for miles before the clay dissolved.
20 March, 1923
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
TOURING THE SOUTH.
EDEN TO BOMBALA. PARLIAMENTARY TRIP.
(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORROSPONDENT)
The party spent Sunday at Eden. During the morning, while the majority of the party rested, a few of the younger and more enthusiastic members made an excursion to Boydtown, on the southern shores of Twofold Bay. When Boydtown was established by Benjamin Boyd In 1843 it was imagined by him that it would eventually become one of the largest cities in Australia. Boyd's dream has not yet been realised. The only buildings so far reared are those built by himself. With the establishment of the Twofold Bay Development League Boyd's dream is again obsessing j the minds of those who believe In this far South Coast district, and who look forward to the time when Twofold Bay will become the flourishing tort for which nature had so, admirably adapted it. Twofold Bay has an area of six and one-eighth square miles, nearly half of which has a depth of upwards of 24ft. By the construction of breakwaters the whole of this area could be converted into an extremely safe harbour. It is not necessary, however, that a single penny should be spent upon it in order that it may be utilised, for as it now stands the arm of the bay In the vicinity of East Boydtown affords complete protection to shipping from all weather. As a proof of this it is stated that 13 vessels, including some of considerable tonnage, have sheltered in this spot at one time in comparatively calm water while outside raged a howling southerly gale.
On Sunday afternoon all members of the party were the guests of Mr. Logan, the president of the Twofold Bay Development League, at afternoon tea. In order to reach Mr. Logan's home it was necessary to cross over to the southern side of Twofold Bay by motor launch. Mr. Logan, who was formerly a squatter on the southern tableland between Bombala and Delegate, has resided at Twofold Bay for the past 14 years. His beautiful home is of a type to be met with, perhaps, nowhere else in Australia. The interior resembled in many ways an ancient Scottish hunting lodge. In the grounds are the jawbones of a 97ft whale caught in front of Mr. Logan's residence some years ago.
Shortly after 9 o'clock this morning the party left Eden for Bombala. At Towamba inspection was made of a site in the valley of the Towamba River, where it is proposed by the Twofold Bay Development League that a dam should be constructed for the storage of water to supply the Eden of the future. The site selected is at a point where two smaller streams junction with the larger Towamba River, and is some 380 ft above sea level. It would be necessary to construct a pipe line of 16 miles to, connect with Eden. Following upon the Inspection the visitors were entertained at morning tea in the Towamba School of Arts by the townspeople. Councillor Dackie's welcome was responded to by Mr. Ball, Minster for Works. Conspicuous amongst the residents of Towamba was Mr. George Martin, who has been in the district for 73 years. He is 103 years of age, and appears to be as hale and hearty as many men at 70.
A short stop was made at Wyndham for luncheon. Leaving here the party then proceeded to the foot of the Big Jack Mountain, where a site for a second, storage dam In the proposed Eden water supply scheme was examined. The Towamba River, at this point enters into a gorge, averaging about one and a half mile in width. The mountains upon either side rise 2000ft above the river bed. A wall built across the mouth of this gorge would impound an enormous quantity of water by forming a lake some five square miles In extent. Granite for the necessary masonry is to be had on the spot.
Ascending Big Jack Mountain a desirable change was soon felt in the temperature. Reaching the tablelands a rapid run was made over an excellent road, via Cathcart and Bibbenluke to Bombala, the detour through Bibbenluke being made to allow the party to see the famous Bibbenluke Station, one of the finest properties on the Monaro. When about a mile out of Bombala, the fleet of cars conveying the party, ran into a thunder storm. It was not until the party had reached Bombala, however, that the full fury of the storm was experienced. For about 20 minutes the rain fell in torrents, flooding the main street to the depth of a couple of inches. This is the first heavy rain which has been experienced in Bombala for months. A banquet is being tendered to the party to-night. To-morrow an inspection will be made of the proposed dam sites for the Snowy River hydro-electric scheme at Jindabyne.
February 15, 1924
'The Farmer and Settler'
Immense Resources Awaiting Development.
By H. P. Wellings
It is an undeniable fact that the centralisation policy, which Australia has for so long adopted in regard both to industries and population, is responsible for the neglect that has been experienced in ports like Twofold Bay and Port Stephens.
Twofold Bay is situated on the eastern coast of Australia, about half way between Sydney and Melbourne. It offers advantages as a deep-sea port that is second only to Port Jackson. In point of fact, Twofold Bay has an advantage even over Port Jackson, in that Twofold Bay allows of the pas- sage of vessels of any tonnage, whereas Port Jackson allows of the passage of vessels only under a certain tonnage. Its safety as a port of refuge has been admitted for well over half a century. Sufficient safe anchorage is available at the present time for a large fleet of deep-draught vessels. East Boyd Bay (or South Bay) is a large sheet of water completely landlocked, and carries both deep water and spaciousness. The situation of Twofold Bay is unique, and its fore shores lend themselves to the erection of suitable wharfage accommodation, stores, etc. It is a deep-sea port, carrying up to fourteen fathoms at the entrance, and up to four fathoms in shore, thus making it a very attractive harbour.
As a manufacturing centre, Twofold Bay offers many advantages that are not generally recognised. An excellent and adequate supply of fresh water is easily obtainable by means of the installation, at a very moderate cost, of a pumping station on the upper reaches of the Towamba River. This river empties into Twofold Bay, where it is commonly known as the 'Kiah ' River. Suitable areas of land, very conveniently situated, and adjacent to the Bay, are still unallocated, and these would make good factory sites. Whatever rail connection is provided in the future, between the Victorian and the New South Wales railway systems and the port of Twofold Bay, must necessarily skirt the bay, and touch also at East Boyd bay. Thus, these factory sites, would have the added and undoubted advantage of proximity to the rails. Raw materials would thus be handled at a medium of cost, and manufactured goods could be despatched in the same economical manner. The first requirement of a factory is raw material, and proximity to raw material is essential to its economical operation. Eastern Riverina, Monaro, the coastal area - generally known as 'the far south coast'- and Eastern Gippsland (Victoria), all hold stores of raw materials, Those areas also include tracts of country, capable of producing immense quantities of primary products, in addition to the existing timber resources, which are practically unestimated, but are certainly of great value. Among the materials and products that are obtainable in this section of the Commonwealth, the following are worthy of notice: - Limestone, Gold, Silver, Copper, Tin, Lead, Molybdenite, Building Stone, Clays (suitable for all classes of Brickmaking and Pottery), Timber, in vast quantities, and suitable for the manufacture of "paper-pulp", cheese, Butter, Cream, Beef, Wool, Mutton, Bacon, Maize, Oats, Wheat, Barley, Lucerne, Root Crops, Fruit, etc., etc, Eastern Gippsland is famous for its Maize and bean Crops. Excellent Fishing Grounds have been proved off Twofold Bay. All these products are available, and by the development of the district their utilisation in greater quantity will be assured.
The Timber Asset.
Timber has been exported from here to India, China and, before the war, to Germany. Hardwood railway sleepers are being cut to-day, and shipped from the bay. The timber trade has been in existence for some years, but has been principally confined to railway sleepers and "transomes" but no doubt sufficient and suitable timber exists to warrant its use in many other forms. For instance, 'Mountain Ash ' is reputed to be excellent timber for handles; it exists in very great quantity in the immediate vicinity, of Twofold Bay. As an indication of the timbers that are to be found in the vicinity of the bay, the following may be mentioned: - Blackbutt, Stringy-bark, Wollybutt, Mountain Ash, Peppermint, Blood wood, Eucalyptus, Iron Bark, White Cedar, Sassifrass, Honeysuckle, Needle wood, Cherry, Water Gum, Wattle, Hickory, Ti-tree, Beachberry, Swamp Mahogany, Grey Box. Saw mills have from time to time been in operation on the foreshores of the bay, but only local requirements have been catered for. The Forestry Commissioners have two plantations here, and on one of these areas "Pinus Insignus' is being tried. Its success or otherwise has not yet been determined. A large area of the south eastern portion of New South Wales, and also of far-eastern Gippsland (Victoria) are set apart as state forest areas. A recent bulletin issued by the In stitute of Science and Industry deals with the manufacture of 'paper-pulp' from the Australian-Timbers. Investigations made by that Institute indicate that the 'coast ash' ('Silver- top,' of Victoria, one of the eucalypts) is eminently suitable for this purpose. The bulletin itself is printed upon paper made from a combination of pulps comprising the following: - 60- per cent of chemical pulp from Australian Eucalypts; 80-per .cent of imported chemical pulp; 10-per cent of waste paper. The investigations further revealed that supplies of this 'coast ash' exist in the extreme south-eastern portion of New South Wales, near the Victorian Border. Commenting upon the possibility of a successful establishment of the 'pulping' industry, the following statement is found in this bulletin: -
" A suitable site for the erection of a 'pulping' plant would be found at Eden (Twofold Bay), and a factor of added importance in connection with this proposal, in that in the event of the industry being established successfully on a small scale near Eden, it could probably be extended if, and when, the resources of far-east Victoria were lapped by railway communication to the south, and when a suggested hydro-electric Scheme on the Snowy River is developed." The hydro-electric proposals for the Snowy River are the outcome of investigations that were made by the Public Works Department of the New South Wales Government, and the report issued by that department, by the Chief Electrical Engineer, contains much interesting matter. A summary of this report indicates that the waters of the Snowy River may be developed in such a manner that some £50,000 horse power could be secured. As a preliminary scheme, it is suggested that by an expenditure of £1,500,000, the necessary plant and works could be provided, whereby 30,000, k.w, would be secured. This current could be subsequently delivered at the port of Twofold Bay, at less than one-fifth of a penny per. unit. The distance from the proposed genera ting stations at Paupong to Twofold Bay is about eighty miles. It is further stated in this report, that by further development of the waters of this river upwards of 250,000-horsepower could be secured and that the production cost would be reduced considerably below the cost of the preliminary scheme. It is a reasonable argument that by providing such a cheap power at this port; the existence of such attractive shipping accommodation; the possibility of provision of adequate shipping facilities; the abundant supply of fresh water, which can be taken from the Towamba River; the unallotted lands in such admirable position adjacent to the port; the possibilities of raw materials; the possibilities for the establishment of industries at the port; the undeveloped resources of this portion of the Commonwealth, commercial enterprise should find attractions to the port of Twofold Bay, and especially in view of the admitted neccessity for decentralisation both of industries and population.
18 February, 1928
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
EDEN TO BOMBALA.
An Unknown Highway.
To many of the touring public, the main roads connecting the southern tablelands with the coast are well known. The "Big Jack" (Bombala-Merlmbula), Tantawangalo (Bombala-Candolo), Brown Mountain (Nimmitabel Bega), Araluen Mountain (Braidwood-Moruya), Clyde Mountain (Braidwood-Bateman's Bay), are nil patronised by a large section of the travelling public. Each has its disadvantages. The Big Jack is short but very steep. Woe betide the unfortunate motorist who neglects to keep his radiator replenished. An average rise of 1000 feet per mile, or one in five, will cause the most seasoned radiator to blow off steam. Tantawangalo is like a swltchback - a long and steady rise, a comparatively sharp descent, and another rise, with baby switchbacks to vary the monotony. But it is of an easier grade than Big Jack, though the local councils do not keep the surface in the same state of repair as that of the former. Next along the coast comes the Brown Mountain. Famous for its tree ferns, its view from the Solid Cutting (literally a cutting through a solid granite cliff), and its length, its grade is probably the best of all. Seven and a half miles of sheer pulling, certainly well graded and surfaced, tries the patience of the most phlegmatic.
From Brown Mountain along the coast to Moruya, a distance of some 85 miles, neither Providence nor the skill of man has provided more than a bridle track down the mountain side. Out from Moruya to Araluen there winds a road, but such a road. For many miles two baby Citroens would have their work cut out to pass each other, while a snake suffering from an acute attack of convulsions has nothing on it for twists and turns. But the surface is good, and the scenery along the Deua River beautiful and ever changing.
Araluen, once famous as a gold producer, has almost ceased to exist, though the valley now provides good fattening for cattle. Then comes the mountain. Short and sharp, nearly as severe a pull as Big Jack, but wide and well-surfaced, its ascent brings the traveller to within a few miles of Braidwood. Last of all comes the Clyde Mountain. Steep in places, and longer, it provides a much better grade than Araluen, or, in fact, any except Brown Mountain, while the combination of river and mountain scenery is superb. For miles, after leaving Nelligen, the Clyde River is followed, ever growing smaller and receding into the distance, but ever providing some fresh change.
BEN BOYD'S CATTLE TRACK.
It is not, however, of those five main high-ways that I wish to write, but of one that is unknown save to an occasional enthusiastic explorer, and yet which provides a top gear road from Eden to Bombala, even though one climbs 3000 feet in the process. I refer to the old route down which came Ben Boyd's cattle in the 'Forties, and up which went many a miner to the Kiandra diggings in the 'Seventies. It leads through Towamba, Perico, Nungatta, and Rockton right into Bombala, and the ordinary six-cylinder car can do the whole Journey of 70 miles without changing gear. That, in itself, is a recommendation to many a driver. Even on a day following two inches of rain the surface was hard and dry.
Leaving Eden, 18 miles of well-graded road brings the traveller out at Towamba. For 14 miles the road has followed a spur of the Jingera mountains, rising slowly and then falling gently. Suddenly the forest is left behind, and gives place to a little river cheerfully battling its way to the sea over stretches of white sand and granite boulders. Along its banks are innumerable willows. The flats are covered with crops of lucerne and maize. A village nestling round a wooden church and soldiers' memorial gives quite an old world air. The valley, with its river, crops, and willows, ringed round by an unbroken forest, with away in the distance Indigo Mountain, and the Monaro Ranges silhouetted against the sky in the most, glorious shades of blue and purple, make up a picture of surpassing loveliness. An official photographer from the Tourist Bureau, who has for 14 years of his life travelled in search of scenic beauties, had to confess that the view of the Towamba valley, seen from the edge of the Jingeras, was the most attractive in his experience.
Crossing the river by a low level bridge at Towamba, the road leads on to Perico, a further seven miles, and is excellent all the way. On either side is pasture land, and good land, too, gradually being put under sheep. At Perico the forest is entered again. Great groves of mountain ash and messmate, with here and there a patch of stringybark, lend an air of solemnity. Straight and tall are the trees, and only patches of sunlight illumine the road. Here the treefern grows to perfection, with every sort of moss. Ever and anon comes a little creek, always with a good hard bottom. One has climbed old Indigo Mountain and is down the other side before it is realised that it is a mountain, though the altitude is over 1500 feet. So easy is the grade.
At its foot lies Nungatta, selected in the 'thirties by old William Weatherhead, and now the property of the Napiers. The history of its development is one of the romances of the South Coast. From Perico to Nungatta is 10 miles, and a further 10 of mostly forest track (but good withal) brings one out on to the King's Highway at Bondi, now called Rockton, a scattered settlement 20 miles from Bombala. It is a route worth while for any motorist who wishes to get off the beaten track. No klaxon disturbs the chattering of innumerable flocks of cockatoos, parakeets, pigeons, and other birds. If camping out is part of the proceedings, every creek issues an invitation, while rainbow and mountain trout are found in many pools Kangaroos are often seen, while the fast vanishing bear still slumbers peacefully among the trees. If time presses, the whole run through - either Bombala-Eden or Eden-Bombala - can be done in five hours. It is five hours well spent.
'Magnet' February 21, 1931
THE BUNDIAN WATERFALL
Where is the Bundian waterfall? Probably not many people are aware that this is, or could be, readily made accessible from Bombala and Eden with a little advertisement, easily be made a leading attraction of the district. Then the hills which constitute the watershed of the stream which precipitated over a wall of granite, forming the cataract of Windindingerree would doubtless be a fine though rugged field of exploration and the stream itself might serve as a source of hydro-electric power. A well known authority thus describes the locality." The Pass of Bundian is forded by the defiles collecting the headwaters of the Jenoa of which the northern is guarded by the heights of Coonbulico, Wallagarra, Nangutta and Ekalun and the southern by the spur of Biliganea which precipitates the stream collected to the north, southward of the Pass over a wall of granite 67 feet high and which forms a cataract of Windindingerree. These waters unite a little above the Station of Bundian (which is Bondi) being in vertical decent below the Pass, 1,173 feet and falling at the rate of 234 feet per mile and after reinforcement from the Nangutta Ranges just upon the boundary line the collected supplies are known as the Jenoa which passes away to the south-east and meets salt water at Malagoota after falling (in direct measurement from the plain of slope) about 50 feet per mile."
Monaro-Eden people could with advantage to their mutual interest take steps to investigate the possibility of turning to account one of the fine, natural features of the district and popularise it as an attraction to nature-loving tourists.
'Magnet' April 11, 1931
OVER THE TOP
On the morning of Monday the 16th of March, a party consisting of Messers A. L. & R. Mitchell, Booth and R. Phillipps set out from Lower Towamba on an expedition to the top of Mt. Imlay. Describing the trip, one of the party writes, "Splashing across the river on horseback we immediately commenced to ascend the ridge which runs from the top of the mountain in a northerly direction, down to the river. Scattered farms with their green fields of maize come into view with the river winding its way like a silver ribbon disappearing here and there behind steep bluffs and creeping again into sight further away towards the distant dots that are the homesteads of Kiah farmers. After a few miles of steady (perhaps too steady) walk, the stranger's first impression is that the track has turned into a jumble of broken rocks with bushes and logs thrown in to make the going easier. Here, I thought, is where we get off. But mistakes will fortunately occur so we proceed on our way again thankful that our horses are equipped with four wheel brakes. Safely negotiating the declivitous slope, we ascend again coming across several places where Man has prospected in search of precious metals. In one place, carved faces stare impassively from the buttresses of trees, their weather-beaten countenances reminiscent of former visitors speaking eloquently of years of solitude through cloud and sunshine. Leaving the horses about 5 miles from our starting point, we commenced the steeper portion of the climb on foot. The ridge we ascend, plainly visible from Eden, is a huge upflung ridge resembling an inverted V, the apex of which is for, the most part, scarcely 5 feet wide. The slopes below us drop steeply for hundreds of feet. On the eastern side they are clothed with trees and ferns. On the western side with trees and boulders. Higher up we catch a glimpse of Eden and a turn of the head brings the Towamba valley into view but then a little later we turn to view Eden again. A cloud has crept in. Pink streamers far below that reach out to enfold the planks of the mountain while the parent cloud swoops majestically over the top blocking out everything with its mist of damp grey. Nevertheless, we climb on to the summit and after resting prepare to refresh ourselves after our labours. While the billy is boiling we post up evidence of our having been on the spot and read some of those who preceded us there. Having taken several photographs of each other at the cairn to furnish portable proof of the success of our climb we start on the return journey but not before altering the geography of the mountain slightly by indulging in a fascinating pastime of hurling huge rocks down the slopes to go crashing and roaring out of sight and sound into the gloomy depths of unseen gorges beneath us."
'Magnet' March 7, 1934
'WHIPSTICK', HOW IT GOT ITS NAME.
The little town of Whipstick, once famous for its bismuth and molybdenite mines, received its name from the teamsters who used to camp there on the trip from Monaro to the seaboard with the Monaro wool clip. It was here that they cut their whip handles, for the place was famous for its young mountain ash, stringy bark and she oak trees. The teamsters called the young trees whipsticks.
Possibly 'Magnet' article. No date.
The chart, surveyed by Navigation Lieutenant J. T. Gowlland of the Royal Navy, includes soundings of the coastline taken right out to the Continental Shelf, safe anchorages for shipping and hazards such as bombora's and rocks and the degree of swell it took them to break dangerously.
The chart has come to light after being sent to the area by a descendant of Captain J. T. Nicholson, the master and owner of the "Ellen", a schooner which frequented local waters. Captain Nicholson was born at Berwick on Tweed (England) on July 18, 1820.
Another startling discovery after viewing the chart is a small town situated roughly between Mt.Imlay and Egan's Peak charted as Sturt. The village of Sturt was quite large by comparison to the towns of Panbula and Merimbula, and situated adjacent to the Towamba, or Waler River as it was also known.
January 19, 1935
EARLY HISTORY ( of Kameruka) The history of this interesting settlement dates back to 1851, when the Two-fold Bay Pastoral Association was formed to take up six stations extending from the coast to the Monaro, and which included Kameruka and Towamba, the combined area of which totalled 400,000 acres. The members of this association were Messrs. John Edye Manning, William M. Manning, James A. L. Manning, Robert and Edwin Tooth, Thomas Mort, and John Croft. The Monaro properties were sold in the early 'fifties, but the association continued in existence until 1861, when James Manning bought Kameruka and Towamba, and tried to hold them with the assistance of a few local stockmen and employees in order to conform to the requirements of the recently enacted Land Act.
In 1862 Kameruka was purchased by Mr. Frederick Tooth, the sale being one of the biggest transfers ever undertaken in the State. Mr. George E. Ward, who joined the staff of Kameruka Estate in 1862, in his diaries, records the fact that at the time of purchase the property was stocked with 10,000 Shorthorn cattle, com- prising every size, age, and colour. Practically all the cattle were wild, and thousands had never been yarded. Six thousand wild horses were running with them, which, besides being useless, were a serious obstacle to handling the cattle. The sight of a man on horseback was sufficient to send a mob crashing through the scrub, and would disturb a whole 10-mile front.
The work of mustering presented great difficulties, and necessitated the building of trap-yards at intervals of five miles right around the estate. Six expert rifle men were employed to destroy as many as possible of the wild horses. A mob of 200 quiet cattle was employed as a decoy, and with the assistance of skilful out riders was driven into the wild mobs, and the whole mob forced section by section into the trap-yards, while the expert marksmen gave the impossible ones their quietus.
'Magnet' April 27, 1935
Mr. W. N. Stone informs us that the late Mr. W. R. Newton, formerly of Nadgie, and whose death at Sydney we recorded in a recent issue, was the first man in New South Wales to export 'possum skins to London. The trade, begun in a small way, became so extensive and lucrative that ultimately the extinction of the 'possum seemed probable and protection was rigidly enforced.
'Magnet' February 16, 1935
Kiah Reservoir Site
The storage capacity of the site for a reservoir at Kiah River, and the adjacent water shed over which a water licence has been granted to Australian Paper Manufacturers LTD., is 300,000,000 gallons. This quantity even if unreplenished by rain, would, it is estimated, provide a half yearly supply of water for wood pulping operations and factory requirements at East Boyd.
'Magnet' March 9, 1935
BEN BOYD'S LAND
Near New Buildings' Bridge
Apropos of a paragraph in last issue of the 'Magnet', Mr. H. P. Wellings writes re Boyd's block near Rocky Hall; Wells' Gazetteer 1848 refers to this as follows:
"Brierley, a village in New South Wales on Kiah River, Parish Yeuglina, County Auckland, 28 miles from Boyd Town; chiefly resorted to as a resting place for the drays, stock, etc., of the Menaroo county en route to and from Boyd Town, Twofold Bay."
The above description was given to the publishers of Wells' Gazetteer by Boyd's officers at Boyd Town and the incorrect spelling of the parish Yeuglina for Yugilmah is an instance of many errors in that publication. The stream known today as the Towamba River was in the '40's more generally spoken of as the Kiah.
'Magnet' March 9, 1935
* It maybe of interest to note that some of the foundation blocks of a house that for many years stood on a block of land owned by Benjamin Boyd are still to be seen by New Buildings Bridge on the Wyndham to Big Jack Mountain Road. The land referred to which is still known as 'Boyd's Block' and is now owned by Mr. Boland was used as a stopping place for stock travelling from Boyd's Monaro Station properties to Boydtown in the '40's of last century and the house was a camping place for his drovers. The building is well remembered by many of the older residents of Wyndham and Rocky Hall. The building was situated about 400 yards on the Bombala side of the bridge and on the northern side of the road.
'Magnet' November 2, 1935
A GEM OF THE SOUTH
For fertility, the Kiah river flats are famous. That they are equal to the best alluvial lands to be found elsewhere in Australia is well known but of what it cost the pioneers and present land holders to bring them to their present stage of productivity, few people acquainted with the conditions under which settlement took place and has been maintained, have any but the faintest conception. In recent years with improved accessibility the settlers' farming aims and methods have been revolutionised and great as the resultant improvement has been, this district will with a few more years of progress, become still more famous as a field of primary production and be rightfully regarded as a peerless Gem of the South.
It was with the object of ascertaining by personal observation, something of the progress achieved by the farmers of Kiah within the last few years. At the writer accepting an invitation to see and judge for himself, set out one fine morning recently on a brief tour of inspection of the constructed portion of the Kiah to Lower Towamba developmental road and the adjacent farming lands.
A brisk and refreshing spin from Eden under the skillful pilotage of a resident of the district to be visited, took us along the Princes' Highway that skirts the southern shore of the inner bay and then crosses the Nullica River whose placid waters glinting in the sunlight flowed slowly and reflectively to the sea. Following the main road along the boundary of what was formerly Ben Boyd's Estate and thence through bushland brightened by a colourful display of floral beauty, we soon arrived at Kiah where at the foot of the hill beyond the Post Office, a turnoff to the right transferred one to the developmental road about which so much has been written of late that to make detailed reference to it would be superfluous.
One point of interest that the visitor may reasonably be invited not to overlook is Nicholson's Glen so called in compliment to Cr. A.I. Nicholson, President of Imlay Shire, when the road which it adjoins was made.
New arrivals will note with approval that the road keeps on a fairly high level on a good grade well away from the river, leaving to be improved and worked in conjunction with adjoining alluvial flats, large areas of good hillside land below the roadside fences.
The first expanse of impressive view of nearby farm improvement is that presented as one approaches the holding of Mr. James McMahon Senior, whose father was one of the first pioneers to take up land in that locality. There, in a spacious paddock, whose pasturage was a luxurious sward of emerald green, grazed contentedly a herd of well conditioned milking cows; in other fields were growing crops of young lucerne and maize; while on the hillside slope that reaches to the road, a splendid stand of artificial grasses grown up from seed, six months sown, bore indisputable testimony to the previously unsuspected value of these slopes for grazing purposes.
For long stretches further along the road, the lack of hillside clearing proved a bar to seeing much of adjoining and adjacent farms but from the distance all seems spic and span, good proof of up-to-datedness.
Traversing the road along which were evidences of constructional work in progress we reached the Box Cutting and here the car was halted. On foot we followed the partially completed work and on through the bush to the farm owned and at present managed by its practical and enterprising proprietor Mr. A.L. Mitchell. Here at close quarters, one could see and judge the quality of the soil and the extent of the great improvement which despite the past and present isolation, has been wrought upon this and similar holdings, in one of the paddocks was grown by Mr. Mitchell, the 140 bushels of the acre crop, that gained for him the coastal championship. This land had been growing maize for over thirty years without the application of an ounce of artificial manure.
Diverted from its former exclusive task of growing maize which fattened pigs that walked weary miles to market, the farm is now essentially a first class dairy farm and as such is one of which its owner is justifiably proud. His herd of Jerseys, highly productive as they are, is being steadily improved by selection and test with the object of making it ultimately nothing short of the best.
While there was much to admire and appreciate, one could not avoid being painfully impressed by the fact that the cream from Mr. Mitchell's farm has to be conveyed by cart dragged over the sand and gravel of the river bed for a distance of two and a half miles, then a further two or three miles through a bush track before an outlet to the main road is reached at Lower Towamba. Other farmers have almost similar experiences. Can one wonder at the discontent of isolated folk with the slowness of the work of pushing through the remainder of the thirteen and a half miles of road commenced five years ago? One has but to know the conditions under which these farmers, with infinite courage and patience, have laboured through several decades to feel that everything possible should be done to help them get their road completed within the next twelve months.
Returning to the car, we made a brief visit to the farm of Mr. & Mrs. M.D. Doyle whose cheery welcome made one feel that here was homeliness and content. A large scope of flat land pasturage and lucerne, awaiting the return of a numerous herd of dairy cows alternately depastured on an up-the-river farm worked by Mr. M. McMasters, afforded ample evidence of the productiveness of this fine property on which, by the way, an area of valuable swamp land has been reclaimed by drainage to the river.
The time at our disposal being short, we moved on to the home of Mr. James McMahon, arriving there in time to partake of a refreshing repast dispensed by Miss Eileen McMahon who proved an ideal hostess of a numerous company of friends. A close inspection of Mr.McMahon's farm established the fact that its first appearance, as seen from the road, was the very reverse of deceitful, and that on the other hand, proximity lent greater enchantment than did distance to the view. Like Mr. Mitchell, Mr. McMahon is bent on herd improvement and though he has more than trebled the number of his milking cows, he seeks nothing but the best. Discussion with out host on almost every phase of farming revealed that Kiah farmers are taking a remarkably keen interest in the theory and practice of agriculture and dairying. Towards this desirable result, the advice and information imparted by agricultural and dairying instructors have admittedly contributed to an appreciable degree and it may be hoped that such help will continue to be given and availed of. In pleasing converse, the time passed all too quickly and regretting the shortness of our stay, and that we were unable to include in our itinerary, visits to other homesteads, we said goodbye to our hospitable friends and set a homeward course. Before leaving Kiah, however, we obtained a glimpse of Mr. Goward's farm and a view of the roadside portion of the farm of Mr. J.N. Harris who also has provided an object lesson of the value of hillside clearing. Visits to other farms will, the writer hopes, be a pleasure that he will experience in the not far distant future. Space limitation precludes more than this brief reference to a trip that was in every way enjoyable. It was a trip, that though it did not enable one to make contact with all the riverside dwellers, made one feel that in the industry, energy and intelligence of these progressive people, the whole district has an asset of the highest value. One hopes that with the completion of the road, they will achieve and enjoy - as they merit - complete enduring success.