DAVID FARRELL'S HOUSE. ROCKY HALL. C.1888

In 1843, Benjamin Boyd engaged two surveyors from Sydney to define a route from Boyd Town on Twofold Bay, to his station 'Bibbenluke' on the Monaro, then known as Maneroo. This route crossed the coastal ranges and proceeded through today's settlements of Towamba, Burragate and Rocky Hall, up the Big Jack Mountain to Cathcart on the Monaro. Construction of this road commenced in October 1843. This was to be the main route bringing future produce from Boyd's vast holdings there to the coast for shipment.
By the early 1860's, with Boyd just a memory, many large leases along this route had been sub-divided and the settlements of Burragate, Sturt (now Towamba), Pericoe, Rocky Hall and Kiah on the coast, attracted settlers as land became available. These pioneers set about with hand axe and crosscut saw, horse and bullock, clearing trees to widen the grass areas to grow crops for their livestock and build basic dwellings with the felled timber.
While the husband was clearing the land or away with horse and bullock teams, the role of the wife quickly became one of wide variation. Her realm spread over both house and farm. She was wife, mother, teacher, cook, dairy hand and farm worker. With the nearest hospital a day's buggy ride away, she became a skilled nurse and if necessary, midwife.
For their own survival these early settlers grew maize for stock feed and market, milked cows, fattened pigs, salted and smoked meat, made butter and bread and preserved fruit and vegetables from their gardens. They worked long and hard to survive in this remote south-east corner of New South Wales.


LINKS :


















EARLY DAYS IN THE TOWAMBA DISTRICT

'Morning Chronicle'
Wednesday 10 September 1845

Auckland, 50, acres, parish unnamed, at Yuglamah, on the Towamba River, between Maneroo and Twofold Bay. Upset price 1. per acre.

'The Sydney Morning Herald'
Thursday 3 May 1849
CROWN LANDS BROUGHT WITHIN THE SETTLED DISTRICTS.
(REQUIRING PAYMENT OF RENT FOR APPROVED SELECTIONS UNDER PRE-EMPTION.)
COUNTY OF AUCKLAND, DISTRICT OF MONARO.-Applicant, Boyd. Benjamin: No. of Lot:
1, 930 acres, parish of Kiah, at Mowwary; 2,1160 acres, parish of Kiah, near Mowwary;
3-6, 640 acres each ; 7,720 acres, parish of Kiah, on Towamba River;
8, 1120 acres, parish of Nullica, on Towamba River;
9, 1230 acres, parish of Kiah, on Towamba River ;
10, 11, 640 acres each ;
12, 1020 acres, parish of Kiah.

* From Granny McCarthy's bible. "William McCarthy born in London, March 17, 1820. His wife, Jean Craigie, born Strathaven, Scotland, January 2, (no year stated) married at Boydtown May 4, 1848. Eldest son born at Eden 27 March, 1849."
My mother born at Towamba, December 5, 1850.

Our grandfather was in charge of Towamba (Station) for Ben Boyd, as head stockman. We believe it was the only house there then, the remains of their old cottage was across the river opposite Bollman's. Old fruit trees there in our time in Towamba.

What lonely times for young folk from Sydney. Grannie often told us of the wild Blacks from the tablelands meeting the coastal tribes and holding corroborees on the flats where Bollman's farm was in our time. Grannie sat up all night and watched them while Grandfather was away with cattle to Boydtown, all the company she had was a tame Black Gin. Grannie, only 18 when she married.'
Source: Excerpt from a letter. Mrs. J. G. Stevenson writing to Mr. Bert Egan (former curator of Eden Killer Whale Museum) in 1958.

In 1848 William Walker Jnr. bought the run, Tuambo. Estimated area, thirty-five thousand two hundred acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, one thousand cattle and two thousand sheep. The area from Rocky Hall to the foot of Mount Imlay, to the Jingera Mountain and six miles down both sides of the Towamba River. It was an enormous sheep station, though some of the area was inaccessible mountainous land. It was known as 'Pussy Cat Station'. Some of the country consisted of rich grassy flats of fertile black soil.
Pussy Cat Station was later sold to Sir William Manning and Mr. Stiles for a cattle run. Early records show that this was one of the earliest settled areas in New South Wales.

December 14, 1859
'The Sydney Morning Herald'

NEW TOWN.
A site has been fixed upon for a town to be called Sturt, situated on the Towamba River, about fifteen miles from Eden, on the road from Monaro to Eden. Copies of the approved plan have been deposited at the Surveyor-General's office, in Sydney, and at the police office, Eden.


STURT declared a village 20/3/1885 ( Now Towamba village)

BURRAGATE declared a village 10/6/1881

WYNDHAM declared a village 1887

KIAH declared a village 1886



'The Sydney Morning Herald'
Saturday 6 October 1860
EDEN (at the Police Office) on MONDAY, 12th NOVEMBER -SUBURBAN LOTS. County of Auckland: 25 lots (2 acres to 3 acres 2 roods 25 perches) at Sturt, on the Towamba River, about 12 miles south westerly from Eden, parish of Towamba, allotments 1 to 6 of section 1, I to 8 of section 2, 1 to 7 of section 3, 1 to l of section 4. (Upset price, 3 per acre.)
TOWN LOTS County of Auckland : 26 lots (2 roods each) in the village of Sturt, parish of Towamba, allotments 1 to 10 of section 7, 1 to 3 and 8 to 10 of section 8,1 to 10 of section 9. (Upset price, 8 per acre.) See GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, NO. 177.

'The Sydney Morning Herald'
Monday 15 April 1861

That dreadful epidemic, diphtheria, has made its appearance in our midst. We have only yet heard of two cases, one an adult, the other a child; but we may naturally anticipate that it will spread. The population of Towamba is increasing, and if the Government could only be prevailed upon to render the road passable between that place and Eden, there is not a shadow of a doubt but that the township of Sturt would be a township indeed.

'The Moreton Bay Courier'
Thursday 3 January 1861
SURVEY REFORM.
Sir,- Resuming the subject of my last letter, I purpose somewhat to retrace my steps, by adducing the following facts, and drawing from the whole their natural inferences.
In laying out Bega, a township about 37 miles north-west of Twofold Bay, the chain was lengthened still more than at Eden, and so incorrectly were the bearings taken, that the rectangular form was not obtained in some of the sections.
At Sturt, a new township on the Towamba River, county of Auckland, there was the same irregularity in the form of the sections. Though correctly measured as regards the lengths of the town lots, there was one suburban section on the banks of the river, the inner side line of which should have been made 7 chains 80 links, so as to coincide with the town sections in a line with it, but not yet surveyed it was, however, measured eight chains, and although the surveyor was afterwards made fully aware of the mistake, he neither rectified nor acknowledged it but represented the section on the plan as having been marked out in strict accordance with the design.
I must here mention that neither at Eden, Sturt, nor I believe Bega was the theodolite ever used except for taking a few levels, although the reports which accompanied the plans stated that "the surveys were made by theodolite and circumferentor. "
In the survey of a pre emptive application for one hundred and sixty acres at Bondi, county of Auckland - a block twenty chains wide - the lines on either side were measured ten chains more than recorded on the plan. Thus the ground marked out actually contained twenty acres, or one eighth more than applied for, or supposed to be granted.
Besides these cases which I can speak to with certainty, from their having come under my own observation, I know one instance in which a lot of dairy farms were planned as though surveyed, and paid for without anything being done to them beyond cutting their numbers on the criner trees of the adjoining allotments.
I will now anticipate a query which will probably suggest itself to some of my readers - namely, How happens it that these errors have not been discovered by comparing the plans with the surveyor's field books? The answer is simply this first, that such a comparison is rarely, if ever made - at any rate, not before the land is sold , and even if it were, it would elicit nothing , as the originals were never sent to the Survey Office, but others concocted in their place, from the plans forwarded.
The defenders of the system will here meet me by asserting that though these errors may have been committed in a particular district, it by no means follows that they are at all general, or attributable to the system itself. That they are general I have not stated, nor do I even believe them to be so, inasmuch as I know very many surveys to be accurately and conscientiously carried out, and most members of the profession to be honorable and skilful men.
That I am justified in impeaching the efficiency of the system has, I think, been shown by the foregoing facts, which prove -
1st. That it fails to ensure accuracy ,
2nd. That errors continuing over a period of several years remained undiscovered and un-guarded against;
3rd. That surveyor's plans cannot of them-selves be relied upon as representing the work actually done,
4th. That when a glaring error became appa rrant, no systematic enquiry was made to accertain the cause;
5th. That such inaccuracies open up an end less field for future litigation;
6th. That the country was the loser of huge quantities of valuable land; and
7th. That from surveys, so conducted, it is impossible to compile any reliable register of the extent, features, and natural divisions of the country.
AN ADVOCATE FOR SURVEY REFORM.

The Manaro Mercury, and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser
Saturday 23 October 1880
Village Boundaries of Sturt

County of Auckland, parish of Towamba, area about 122 acres. Commencing on the north side of Towamba Street, at a point where the west side of Manning street meets that street; thence bounded on the west by the west side of Manning street bearing south to the south side of Genoa street; thence on the south by the south side of that street bearing east till it is intercepted by the south prolongation of the east side of the lane forming the east boundaries of allotments Nos. 4, 3, 2, and 1, of section 19; thence on the east by the east side of that lane and its prolongation passing through section No. 10 north to the north side of Towamba street aforesaid; and on the north by the north side of that , street west, to the point of commencement.
Suburban Boundaries of Sturt. County of Auckland, parish of Towamba, area about 260 acres. Commencing on the north bank of the Towamba River, at a point where the west side of Manning street meets that river ; thence bounded on part of the west by the west side of Manning street south to the south side of Thompson street; thence on the south by part of the south side of that street to the west side of Albert street; thence on the remainder of the west by part of the west side of that street south till it meets the north-westerly prolongation of the north-west side of a road forming the south- west boundaries of section Nos. 29 and 28; thence bounded on the north-west by that prolongation and the south-west side of that road south-easterly till it meets the prolongation of the north?-east side of a road forming the south-east boundary of section
No. 27; thence bounded on the south-east by that prolongation and the south-east side of that road north-easterly to the Towamba River aforesaid; and thence bounded by the river upwards, to the point of commencement. Note.- But exclusive of the town lands, the boundaries of which have been notified this day.

Excerpt from 'Bygone Days of Cathcart' by Laurie Platts 1989 (with permission)

Starting from scratch to make a living in the days of first settlement for the pioneer could not have been an easy road. No roads, no communication, no money, no markets.
The early pioneers' first shelters were mainly constructed of stringy bark and saplings. The bark would be removed from either the fallen tree after cutting into the lengths required or direct from the standing tree. The bark was cut with the axe with a sawtooth effect up the log, hit a few times with the back of the axe to loosen it from the wood, and then prised from the log using the blade of the axe as a lever. Care was taken not to straighten the bark too much to prevent it splitting. After removal it had the shape of the tree (pipe effect), which was filled with dry grass or fern and set alight. When the bark was hot which prevents splitting, it was straightened out with a weight placed on top for it to dry. From a good tree sheets of ten feet long by four or more feet wide were common. this was used for walls and roof, placed on a frame made of sapling rails with another on top to hold it together. Wooden pegs held these together, The fireplace at one end of the hut was usually made of round timber, with stone hobs at the back; it was a constant threat to fire burning the hut. Earth floors, doors and window shutters hinged with greenhide, split log table and stools, beds made of animal hides laces to rails with greenhide, on posts in the ground completed the dwelling.
Words cannot describe or give an adequate idea of the lack of comfort they endured for the first few years. Hygiene with their foodstuffs in summer was near impossible, with no cupboards and persistent flies depositing their maggots no matter how they tried to prevent it happening. Flour bags were a godsend in those days but really an inadequate commodity for the job. Cheese that was made was dipped in boiling whey to harden the outer crust to prevent the maggots penetrating the cheese. Heavy salting of butter and meats was used to help thwart the fly menace. Can you imagine how rancid butter could get with no refrigeration?
No bird or animal was safe, for it would end up in a stew for what else did they have to eat, until stock numbers built up or fruit trees grew. Later on, when fruits became available, many meals consisted only of bread and jams so pantry shelves were always stacked with homemade jams and preserves from every piece of fruit that could be procured. The jam jars had been made from an assortment of bottles with the neck cut off at the shoulder. The good housewife made these jars by heating an iron circle (made to the approximate size of the bottle) and by placing that ring over the bottle when the iron ring was red-hot and after holding the ring around the bottle for a short time, the bottle was then dropped in to cold water and the bottleneck would break off cleanly, leaving a good jar. The jam after being poured into the jar was sealed by pasting a brown paper cap over the top. In those early times iron spoons, were never used to stir jam while it was cooking because it spoiled the colour of the jam. To prevent the sugars and jams sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot, three or four sterilised silver coins were placed in the pot (half crowns).
The camp oven that could be hung on a hook over the fire served for cooking damper and bread, roasting meat and stews, plus every other dish that was cooked for the table. The camp oven would be the most adaptable utensil used in the bush for many decades and still can be found in use today.
Lighting was by candles and the old lantern but before this a discarded panikin half filled with mutton fat and a wick gave light at night. As time progressed the table lamp displaced the candle. These lights used kerosene, which came in four-gallon tins, two tins to a pine wooden case.
The kerosene tin was the most useful utensil the early settlers enjoyed. It was light in weight, adaptable and handy. It was used for everything from carting water, boiling clothes, making soap, feeding the calves etc. The box these tins came in was a sought after item used for furniture, stacked together for cupboards, shelving, stools and with a lid with greenhide hinges storing foodstuffs, clothing and any other contrivance people could think of.
EARLY WOMEN PIONEERS
We should remember and think about the hardship of the women in the life of the early pioneer for they deserve all the recognition that can be bestowed upon them, for in many cases their lives must have been sheer hell. They were expected to work from daylight to dark helping their husbands carve a home from the bush, as well as rearing a family, working many hours after dark. Cooking, mending, washing nappies (no disposables then) and playing the dutiful wife, submitting to the conjugal rights was expected by some men as their right no matter what her inclinations might be. They spent the larger part of their lives pregnant often with families of up to 20 with 12 to 15 children not an uncommon size, despite many miscarriages. It is no wonder many died young, or so many infants died at an early age. All this happened at first in a bark hut, with a dirt floor, cooking over an open fire with pots or camp oven. Think of the cold winter winds whistling through the cracks of the bark hut, almost as freely as on 'Taylor's Flat' or McLeay's runs. The women carried water from creek or spring for all household requirements. In sickness the lack of medical attention or remedies and the worry and heartbreak of many infants or loved ones weighed on early pioneer's minds. The very limited medicine chest containing Condy's Crystals that were used on septic wounds, snake bites etc., Quinine tablets or laudanurm for 'bush fever'. Epsom salts, the cure of all stomach complaints or castor oil, and for dysentery large quantities of Worcestershire sauce. Rum or whisky in quantities enough to kill the pain was the anesthetic for setting broken bones in rough wooden splints, and to stop bleeding, flour, which would cake around the wound. These good women were doctors, nurse or any other term you could apply to them for they administered to all the ills that befell their lot.
Another comfort we take for granted is the matchbox. These early folk, to light a fire were only one step in front of the Aboriginal for they did not have matches, but used a flint and steel to strike a spark (often a piece of quartz stone and a pocket knife.) Imagine in wet conditions lighting a fire. Matches did not arrive in Australia until the 1840s with wax matches many years later. The modern phrase 'Life was not meant to be easy' surely applied then.

THE UNRAVELLING OF A LONG KEPT SECRET
Research by Pat Raymond (Research Officer at the Pambula Genealogy Society)
Article from 'The Valley Genealogist' by Pat Raymond

For how long can a secret be kept? In this case, 152 years!
For many, many years descendants of three local families have searched and tried to find out on what vessel their ancestor had come. They knew approximately the year of arrival and that the three men, Robert Turbet, James Love and George Martin had sailed on the one vessel, but all searches had drawn a blank. It was quite by accident that last year I cam across the following letter which appeared in Film No 2681 Bench of Magistrates, Eden.

" From - Police Office Eden,
11th December, 1849
To - The Principal,
Superintendent of Convicts
Sir, In reply to your letter of the 30th ultimo requesting information as to the accommodation that can be procured at Eden or Boyd Town for fifty or sixty men whom it was in contemplation to forward to Twofold Bay on the arrival of the next convict ship. We have the honor to inform you that Messrs Layton & Co. have placed at our disposal the buildings at Boyd Town formerly occupied by the immigrants per 'Bermondsey', and have further undertaken to ration them according to the scale specified in your communications referred to, at the rate of eight pence per diem for each male, and seven pence per diem for each female.
2. At present there is no building at Eden suitable for the reception of these men and we are therefore disposed to recommend that the offer of Messrs Layton & Co. be accepted, altho some inconvenience will doubtly arise in the Superintendence of the prisoners from the fact of the parties under whose care they will be placed being stationed at Eden.
3. The Police Force at the disposal of the Eden Bench consists of a Chief Constable and four Ordinary Constables, the former with two Ordinary Constables is located at Eden, the other two are stationed at Panbula, but will be ordered to remove to Eden as soon as we receive intimation of the arrival of the prisoners.
We have the honor
For the Bench - Signed H.H. Massie J.P."

As I was unaware of the arrival into our area of a group of convicts of this number, the search was on for more information. I learnt that the Adelaide was the last of the convict ships to arrive in New South Wales and that when it docked in Sydney on 24 December, 1849 there were 259 male convicts on board, 40 having already disembarked at Hobart. On the 2nd January 1850, fifty of these convicts under the supervision of Lieutenant Isdell, two soldiers from the 99th Regiment and three constables, boarded the coastal steamer Shamrock bound for Twofold Bay. These convicts had been awarded their Tickets of Leave on the 30th December, 1849 and were assigned to the Broulee District, of which in those early days, Eden was a part.
Ben Boyd had earlier departed from Boydtown so the buildings were now being leased by Edward Layton of Layton & Co. and arrangements were made for these 50 convicts to be housed at this site. At this time Anthony Falkner was the Landlord of the Seahorse Hotel and the exiles were housed in the workers' huts at the back of the Store.
Mr. Bagnal was the overseer of these men and, because of his good management, no behavioural problems were encountered. As there was no suitable accommodation for Mr. Bagnal to reside at Boydtown, each day James McDonnell, the licensed waterman at Eden, would ferry him back and forwards from Eden. The whole aim of these convicts being sent en masse to Twofold Bay was for them to relieve the shortage of labourers on the coastal area as well as up on the Monaro. As employment was found, they moved away from Twofold Bay to start their lives afresh.
To date I have only been able to confirm the names of 25 of these 50 convicts and they are listed below.

James Case Convicted Gloucester 7 years
Jas Clarke Convicted Lancaster 10 years
Harry Cone/Henry Cane Convicted Stafford 7 years
Joseph Crofts Convicted Northampton 7 years
William Falconer Convicted Scotland 10 years
William Haswell Convicted Scotland 7 years
Robert Hazelgrove Convicted Suffolk 7 years
William Hill Convicted Surrey 10 years
Alex R. Hunter/Henry A. Hunter Convicted Scotland 7 years
Wm Johnson Convicted Northumberland 10 years
George Jones Convicted Middlesex 10 years
James Key Convicted Norfolk 10 years
George Law Convicted Stafford 7 years
George Lee Convicted Monmouth 10 years
James Love Convicted Middlesex 7 years
Daniel McHag/McKay Convicted Scotland 10 years
George Martin * See 'Obituaries' Convicted Lancaster 10 years
Reuben Packer Convicted Gloucester 7 years
Frederick Powell Convicted Central Criminal Court 10 years
Jno Reid Convicted Middlesex 10 years
Will Riley Convicted Stafford 7 years
James Shanly/Shanley Convicted Central Criminal Court 10 years
Henry Taylor Convicted Brecon 7 years
Robert Turbet Convicted Scotland 10 years
Joseph Worland Convicted Cambridge 7 years

Possibly Charles Bailey, Edward George Brotherton, John Coates, George Morris and William Scott also were among the men who arrived at Twofold Bay on board the 'Shamrock'.

James Clarke was a resident of Bega in 1859.
Joseph Crofts married Ann Davis in 1859 at Eden and in 1862 he was working at Bibbenluke.
William Falconer married Agnes McClung in 1851 and by 1855 he was a carpenter at Bombala.
William Johnson worked at Bibbenluke in 1853.
James Love lived at Eden and Towamba. He carried the mail between Towamba and Nangutta,after which he took up farming and died at Pambula in 1906.
Daniel McKay was employed on Aston Station, Bombala district in 1850 , and in 1851 employed by Mr. Robertson at Pambula.
George Martin lived his life at Towamba and reached the grand age of 104 years. (See 'Obituaries')
James Maxwell was a Sheepwasher at Bibbenluke in 1851.
Reuben Packer was a shepherd at Bibbenluke in 1853, a labourer residing at Bega in 1863, in 1867 was at Numbugga and by 1872 was working at Gourlay, Kameruka.
Frederick Powell married Mary Ann Hagerty at Eden in 1853. In 1859 he was working at Bibbenluke and in that same year returned to Mitchell St., Eden.
Robert Turbet married Mary Peacock in 1852 at Sydney. In the mid 1850s he was the Eden Customs boatman and in 1860 he applied for a publican's licence for the Scottish Chief at Wyndham. He died in 1894 at Wyndham.
Joseph Worland married Ann Crawford in 1852 at Bombala and by 1853 he was working at Bibbenluke as a cook and shearer. He died at Numeralla in 1898.
James Love, George Martin and Robert Turbet remained for the rest of their days in the Towamba/Eden/Wyndham area. It would appear that the three of them joined ranks and decided to withhold the truth about their past history of arriving at our shores as convicts. James apparently loved to tell the tale to anyone who would listen about how Ben Boyd's sloop with 6 guns aboard used to periodically trade between California and Twofold Bay and that he at one time had worked for him. However, Boyd had already departed Boydtown sometime in 1849 prior to the arrival of the exiles on board the Shamrock. Boyd was never to return again and by January 1850 he was on his way to Tahiti heading towards San Francisco. Obviously James' path had never crossed Ben Boyd's. George Martin's obituary stated "George was of a roving disposition. He followed the sea for many years on vessels trading to Russia, Denmark, America, Japan and China. Finally he became imbued with the idea of emigrating to Australia and on Christmas Day in the year 1849 he arrived in Sydney Harbour." No hint there of arriving as a convict! So James, George and Robert, who were highly respected pioneers of our area, succeeded in hiding their past from their descendants for 152 years.
Information from:
Eden Bench Book & Letter Files - Film No. 2681
Empire of Straw by Tom Mead
Sheep & Shepherds: Sheepwashers & Shearers on Bibbenluke 1851-1867
Imlay Magnet
and Pambula Voice.

'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser'
4 October 1882

The New Country,
Towamba and Genoa Rivers

Although for years there has been a scattered population between Eden and the mouth of the Genoa River, few, beyond those whom business has taken into this region, know much of a part of country that may be de scribed as "new." In view of the approaching opening up of the Towamba estate the following notes of Genoa may not be uninteresting:-
The "Genoa" River has its origin at Bondi, flows pretty well due south and empties into the sea in Victorian territory. In rainy seasons the stream soon rises, rapidly flows, and quickly subsides. The country round about is of varied character, and sparsely settled. Here and there are patches of rich brush land, and plenty of scope for making grazing farms, though the work of clearing will operate against profitable settlement for some time to come. Heavy timber costs money to get rid of it, and the creation of grassy pad docks is, as at some parts of the Tanja country, a work that time must be asked to aid in. We notice settlement is gradually progressing below Eden, and thence to the Victorian border and across into the adjoining country. Some of the settlers have been located there for years. At the mouth of the Genoa River is Mr. Robert Devlin, who pegs away his bachelor life, and gives his celibate attention to raising some fine horse stock. Devlin's heavy greys are known in Bega, a fine draft having been sold here about eight years ago. A similar lot would now command 50 per cent, higher prices in this market. Mr. Devlin belongs to the Victorian side, and has a freehold of 75 acres, with practically unlimited run.
Fourteen miles up the river, and 8 miles from the boundary, on the Victorian side, is Mr. J. Alexander's "Genoa" of 142 acres, consisting of some of the richest land fit to grow anything, from potatoes to maize and tobacco. Schooners can come up to within five miles of "Genoa," the loading place being at Gipsy Point, so called in honor of Mrs. Barclay's ill-fated schooner that was the first vessel to open up communication with the interior about eleven years ago. Two regular traders bring stores from Melbourne -the schooners "Julius," about 70 tons, and "Gippslander" 40 tons. These vessels make fortnightly trips. At regular periods the "Martha," a fine craft of 300 tons, puts in an appearance, and, like the other vessels goes back laden with bark principally. This article has commanded grand prices in Melbourne, going in free of duty, selling chopped, in bags, up to ?6 per ton. The freight charged by these vessels is 35s. per ton. Adjoining Mr. Alexander, is his brother Robert, having 320 acres. Just across the river is Mr. Robert Allan, who has 200 acres of N.S. Wales land and vis a vis on the Victorian side, is Mr. William Allan with 320 acres, and an extensive run known as "Merrimingle.'' Ten miles higher towards Bondi comes Mr. Stevenson, of Wangerable, in Victoria. There is yet open to selection along the Genoa, both in Victoria and N. S. Wales a large quantity of unoccupied country. People from this side have been deterred from prospecting by the bad road between Eden and Kiah, but this has received some attention from Road Superintendents, and can and will be robbed of its terrors by side-cut tings. From Kiah to the mouth of the Genoa is a stretch of fairly level country, along which, even now, a buggy can be easily driven, as has already been done by Mr. Curtis, and by one or two others. More settlers are required. At present only 19 children can be mustered; the great want is a school, and with the advent of one or two extra families a provisional school could be started.

The sale of Towamba,(Station) and its breaking up into smaller holdings will draw attention to all the surrounding country, and we shall eventually find a large and thriving population in what has, so far, been almost a terra incognita.

'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser'
25 November 1882

Information. - For the last time: "Towamba"; perhaps you may have seen the name in the papers? Perhaps you will not see so much "Towamba" again, at least for a few months after next Tuesday, when Rixon and Macleod intend to give away Towamba to the highest bidder. But before business begins on Tuesday, some "phizz" has to be opened, and General Sir E. Suttle is to marshal an attack on Tell-the-Karver at the school of Arts entrenchments. Noon for the hospitality; a brief hour, and then "Gentlemen, the terms and conditions of sale are etc," The next we shall hear of Towamba will be in connection with the T. Hotel, the T. School of Arts, the T. Store, the T. Jockey Club, and may be the "Towamba Gazette." Without joke, a large settlement about Towamba is only a work of time, and we expect not a few people know as much about this as we can tell them, and will try to back their belief at the sale on Tuesday.


'Pambula Voice' July 7, 1893
PERICOE
Pericoe is geographically speaking still in the same place and your own have very little to chronicle. Mrs. Ryan from the Post Office is now in Candelo, very unwell and has been attended by Dr. Meeke for six weeks. Much sympathy is felt for on account of her kindness and stirling worth.

Group on veranda at Dunblane, Burragate - c.1930-36
Third from left - possibly Alexander Binnie, third from right - Alfred Sylvester Richards.
Others possibly: - (extreme right sitting) John Kenneth Richards, Harold Binnie.
Lady second from left possibly Veronica Agnes Richards

Alfred Sylvester Richards (R) and Mr. Binnie on the veranda at Dunblane. c.1930-36
Clarence Binnie
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
Clarence Binnie in football outfit
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
L-R: Mollie Binnie, Clarrie Binnie, Albert Binnie
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum


Same date
JANCHO
Mr. Targett and family intend leaving here shortly, I am informed, and intends residing at Tantawanglo. For ten years he has been located here and a vacuum will be caused by his removal that will be hard to fill. The weather around here has been behaving itself fairly well and everything else is very quiet thus depriving a poor correspondent of anything to scribble about.

'Pambula Voice' July 7, 1893
BURRAGATE
* I am informed that a receiving office has been granted here. It is to be in charge of Mr. Samuel Shipway who has been a resident for some time. This will supply a long felt want and be a great convenience to residents.
* Numerous articles have been missing here lately. One neighbour losing two turkeys, another a keg of butter from the dairy and another victim had the line stripped of clothes. These things are lost but no doubt some thief discovers them and he will probably be bought to light ere long.
* Mr. Shipway has now started a general store and saves the public many a mile for formerly the nearest stores were Wyndham and Towamba being upwards of seven miles away.

Unknown group.
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date


'Pambula Voice' October 13, 1893.
BURRAGATE
At Eden on the 29th of last month 57 allotments of the Burragate township were offered for sale and about 22 were sold at upset price, the rest being passed in. The purchasers were Mr. John Martin, Mr. David Binnie, Mr. S. Shipway and Mrs. Starkie.
* Mr. John Robinson Jr., has a ewe in his possession that has given birth to triplets and all are doing well.
* Mrs. John Parker gave birth to twins daughters on October 1st.
* The river, owing to the welcome rains last week, has been fairly high and almost uncrossable for a few days.
* We are not behind in floriculture. A primrose in full bloom at Mrs. Shipway's almost defies competition either here or in the old land and the garden of Mrs. John Martin under the assistance of Mr. John Richard presents a very pleasing and attractive appearance.

'Pambula Voice' October 20th, 1893.
TOWAMBA
* The butcher shop opened some time ago by Mr. T. Hite, not proving a success, that gentleman is turning the building into a hall which will be a great acquisition to the township, no public hall of any kind having existed here hitherto.

TOWAMBA HALL.
Photo K. Clery.

Sawers Family
No date.

Mr & Mrs Percy Sawers
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date
Peter Sawers
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date
Jack Sawers
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date
Alice Sawers
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date
Walter Sawers (second from left, back row). The rest, unknown.
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
No Date
Unknown family.
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum.
No date
Unknown family.
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum.
No date


WILLIAM CHARLES RYAN AND HELENA RYAN (nee KERR).
BURRAGATE
.
No date. Photo courtesy M. McMahon.

Small girl on left is Gladys De Costa, later Mrs Wallace Grant.
Older girl is Maude Elizabeth Robinson, b.1-11-1889, later Mrs Charles Rayner.
Girl to right is Annie Ivy Robinson, b.30-4-1894 later Mrs Charles Gilbert Ryan (known as Gilbert)
Boy at back is William John Lawrence Robinson (Lawrie) b.1891, killed 19-7-1916 in France.

No Date. Photo courtesy Barry Ryan
Back: William Charles Ryan, James Sherwin
Front: Mrs William Charles Ryan nee Helena Kerr, Mrs Henry Kraanstuyver nee Anne Robinson,
Mrs Alexander Binnie nee Sarah Robinson

Anne Robinson b. 6-5-1861 at Wog Wog
Sarah Robinson b. 11-7-1865
James Sherwin b. 29-5-1862


Photo courtesy Barry Ryan

Mrs. Henry Kraanstuyver nee Anne Robinson owned Long Flat Farm,
New Buildings near Wyndham, was the first white child born in Burragate.

James Sherwin who lived at the western end of New Building Bridge
is said to have been the first white boy child born in Burragate.
Information courtesy Barry Ryan.




Back: Alby Hunt
Front: Ellie Brotherton, Alby Brotherton,
Myrtle Hunt or Brotherton,
Willie Brotherton.
Mr & Mrs Joe McCaffery and family.
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
Bill and Lizzie Love
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum
Mrs. Julin
Jean McPaul Collection,
Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date
Gus Julin
Jean McPaul Collection,
Eden Killer Whale Museum
No date


'Pambula Voice' November 10, 1893
TOWAMBA
* Our little township is still "alive and well". Some very hot days were experienced last week but all the crops in the neighbourhood are looking well while there are an abundance of grass and oil - no, I mean butter.
* Mr. Woods of Boyd Town was here last Friday night and delivered an address on various subjects from a protective standpoint. It is understood this gentleman has an ambition to represent the electorate in parliament. His meeting held at the Towamba Hotel was large and influential.
* We are having a change in the Post Office at Towamba. Mr. George Martin, Postmaster here for many years past has resigned his office and is being succeeded by Mr. S. Martin J. P.. The retiring officer has been here for nearly a quarter of a century and has always retained the name of being a courteous and obliging gentleman. His son and successor, Mr. S. Martin has been identified with the Post Office for some fifteen years so that the management will still be in the hands of one who is well known in the locality. It is rumoured that a Money Order Office and Savings Bank is to be established at Towamba. Several new buildings are going up in the township and neighbourhood and Mr. Hite's Lyceum Hall is nearing completion.

'Pambula Voice' January 19, 1894.
TOWAMBA
That unwelcome epidemic, measles, still exists in our locality especially in the neighbourhood of Pericoe. In some instances the dairy work has been seriously retarded through several of the milking hands being all down at one time with the complaint. Grass is everywhere plentiful, growing crops would benefit by a short spell of fine weather.

DISTRICT LETTERS
TOWAMBA
Newspaper unknown
March 19, 1913
Wedding bells! silver bells! What a world of melody their chimes foretells. At any rate, a nice wedding was celebrated at the local Church of England on 16th March, Rev. Hurst officiating. The happy couple were Edward Umback and Charlotte Keevers. May their happiness continue.
The country looks well, and a slight improvement is in evidence as to cream supplied to factory. The corn crops got knocked about a good deal during the late storm, which, by the way, was nothing like so severe as you experienced over your way.
Our gold mine is at present quiescent, as timbering and general fitting up are going on. Certainly some splendid specimens have been taken out of the solid. I should say, from what I have seen, the reef is certainly worth trying. But development work is monstrously expensive.
An epidemic of whooping cough is with us and extends from Wangrabelle to here. The Towamba school has 24 children absent from this cause, and the confounded thing lasts so long.
Our roads are beginning to trouble us some, and complaints are heard from the travelling public. How absurd it is to expect one man to maintain possibly 15 miles of road which has hardly a yard of metal from one end to the other. Go across to Victoria and you will see hundreds of miles of the same thing from same cause.
Dr. Clouston's decision to stay with us yet awhile appears to have given considerable satisfaction.

Newspaper unknown
April 7, 1913
TOWAMBA
The weather is very unsettled here; yesterday a drizzling rain fell, but not enough to do any good. The growth in the grass is slow, considering the advantage it has had by the steady moderate heat that followed the recent rains.
The mine on the ridge above Ferny Flat is making decided progress. The shaft is now timbered, a windlass erected, fall, etc., for making work convenient. The further they go down the better the gold is showing in the stone and is quite promising enough to be given a trial.
Constable Glomer has returned to his post in Towamba after an absence of a few weeks, during which time he was stationed at Eden while Constable Chaney was away.
Mr. Walter Roberts, who has been living in Queensland for some years, has returned on a visit to Towamba.
Mr. T. Evans, who was blacksmith here for some time, has left with his wife for Bendoc where he will take up his residence.
An effort is being made to procure a music teacher, as a good many are desirous of learning should the opportunity offer.
The whooping cough that has been prevalent here for some time is now showing signs of leaving and many of the ailing children have returned to school, plainly well on the mend. It is to be hoped that those who are suffering from a lingering attack will recover before the winter sets in, as the contrary would mean a hard struggle through the cold weather, and perhaps result in serious lung trouble.
A football match is to be played at an early date between the school boys of Wyndham and Towamba, Burragate and Lower Towamba combined.
The corn is ripening fairly quickly, and anxious farmers are earnestly hoping that frosts will keep off for a few weeks longer.

Newspaper unknown
October 4, 1913
TOWAMBA
Nearly 6 inches of rain within 21 days! The country is verdant, stock are looking well, and the cream cans show a marked increase. Most of the farmers have their ground ploughed and are ready for planting. Of course they are three weeks early, but I hear several of our more progressive farmers talking of cross ploughing.
Mr. C. W. Roberts and family are with us again. Some five years ago they rented their farm to Mr. Wm. Beasley and went up north as far as Toowoomba, where, to all accounts, they have had a fairly good time. One daughter married while there. We are given to understand that Mr. And Mrs. Roberts contemplate residing in Eden, Mr. Roberts' health being anything but good.
Mr. Wm. Arnold, who has been Mr. Robinson's managing assistant in the store business for some years, is leaving for Sydney in a few days. Mr. Arnold, by his cheerful, kindly disposition and keen attention to business has made himself most deservedly popular, and earnest expressions of regret are heard on all sides at his decision. Bill is a keen sport and under more favourable conditions will be a good cricketer and footballer. Most certainly he will be a loss to Towamba.
The Church of England people rolled up in numbers a fortnight ago. Painting the church was the order of the day. The building now looks quite a credit to those gentlemen who gave their time to so good a service. Mr. B. Beasley supplied the timber to fence the ground, and then by arrangement erected the fence. The ladies also gave a hand and prepared a lunch for the workers, and everything passed off happily.
Mr. G. Martin is going to build a new hotel. A good deal of timber is already on the ground. This is a move in the right direction, and will certainly be a boon to the travelling public, the present site not being as convenient as could be desired.
With the exception of Mr. McWilliam none of the parliamentarian aspirants have been here. Politics to date are not exciting. The rush for the spoils is not close enough, I suppose.

LYNDHURST, BURRAGATE.
Photo K. Clery

Unknown newspaper
1975
MEMORIES OF BURRAGATE
News of the termination of the public telephone service to Burragate has been of a special interest to Mrs. Florence Hill of Rockhampton.
Mrs. Hill recalled in a letter to Mr. Ted Ryan that her father Mr. Sam Shipway was Postmaster at Burragate at a salary of 48 pound per annum, paid quarterly.
She was educated at Burragate Public School and received her sixth class certificate from Inspector Durie when less than 10 years of age. Until Mrs. Hill was 13 she often taught the younger classes. There were 60 children at the school and only one teacher.
In 1909 she began to help her father in the Post Office and was "assistant" Postmistress. Her father's cheque was paid quarterly so this meant 12 pound each three months.
When 'Big Hill' gold mine opened up and was worked by a syndicate from Melbourne, business at the Post Office increased considerably.
The mine manager was Mr. Eades who lived with his wife in Mr. Tom Dawson's house.
Mrs. Hill said that business became so good that her father was given an increase in salary to 168 pound per annum.
The office hours were from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm six days a week.
The only other days except Sunday when the office was closed were Christmas day and Good Friday but if Christmas day happened to be on a mail day the office had to be open for one hour.
Mrs. Hill said her family had a shop at Burragate and her brothers Alfred and Frank worked the Robinson farm. Alfred later joined the NSW Mounted Police and retired to live at Moss Vale where he died seven years ago aged 80.
The Hill family sold out at Burragate and left there on June 21, 1913.
Mrs. Hill would be glad to know if any of the 'originals' still live at Burragate and mentions families she knew; Keevers, Hyde, Tindall, De Costa, and Stewart.
Mrs Hill asked about the School of Arts, the 'Lyndhurst' homestead and said she hopes to go back to the place where she was born.