Roads To Pittwater: The Mona Vale Road
At the other end, the Mona Vale/Rocklily end, the road was called the 'Lane Cove road' - simply because it was the 'road to Lane Cove'. It is important to remember that what we now call Mona Vale had a few names in the past - one being Turrimetta and Taramatta. The area was also known to be called 'Rocklily' or Rock Lily - some residents had 'Rock Lily' as the birth place on their birth certificates, even into 1910's.
On Friday afternoon, a party consisting of William Morgan, Jame Peiniiell, Joseph Waterhouse, Robert M'Intosh, and Jim Allen Jones, set out on horseback from Lane Cove, intending to proceed to Pittwater. They had proceeded about three miles along the by-road or foot-track, when Jones rode against an over hanging limb of a tree with such violence as to throw him from his horse, fracturing his skull. His companions conveyed him home, where he lingered until about six o'clock on Saturday morning, when he expired. Deceased was a tailor by trade, and until recently was a resident in Sydney.-Herald, Feb. 27. Sydney News. (1854, March 4). The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article686369
THE LANE COVE ROAD.
(BY CHARLES WHITHAM.)
How does the Lane Cove-road, the main thoroughfare of the North Shore districts, get its name? It never comes within sight of Lane Cove waters, and, except for a brief incursion, it scarcely enters the municipality of that name. Indeed, people who live along its northern end call it the Gordon-road, which seems more appropriate, for it does go through Gordon.
It is the oldest white man's road in the district, for it follows the track that was cut by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, of H.M.S. Supply, in 1789, from Blue's Point, along the ridge which affords the easiest route for the penetration of the North Shore region. Quite possibly, Ball followed up an aboriginal trail, of which there were many between Port Jackson and Broken Bay. The present North Shore railway to Hornsby follows nearly the same route as the Lane Cove-road and the rails are seldom far apart. Like the Military road of Mosman, its course is tortuous, and for the same reason the makers of those old trails avoided as far as possible the primal curse of man, and went round a big tree rather than undertake the labour of removing it.
For at least seventy years the road was a very rough one, not much more than a dray track through the big timber. When William McKeon, whose descendants are well known in Sydney to this day, went to Gordon (then known as Lane Cove Settlement) in 1845 there were only a few bark huts, occupied by timber-getters, along the track. In 1851, some money was appropriated by Parliament for improving the road, for we are told by the "Sydney Morning Herald" of May 1 that a meeting was held at the Old School, Lane Cove (where St. John's Church, Gordon now stands), to elect trustees to supervise the expenditure of the vote. Mr. Burgess was in the chair, and the trustees elected were Messrs. Geering, John Duffy, McKeon, R. Porter, Richard Hill, and H. Whittingham, all well-known names in the chronicles of Lane Cove, using the name in its earlier sense, as referring to all the country lying between St. Leonards and Wahroonga.
MAIL CARTS OF THE SIXTIES.
But the expenditure of a Government subsidy did not put the road into first-class order, for we read in Lepinstrier's book on Willoughby that in 1805, when the mail cart started from Chatswood for Blue's Point, it always carried an axe to cut away trees that might have fallen across the track. The fare was eighteen pence, and seats had to be booked a day previously. The road is in somewhat better condition now, for It Is recognised as one of the great arterial avenues leading out of Sydney, and very large sums have been, and are being, spent on it. It is not known as the Lane Cove-road until you go to the North Sydney Post-office. For the first three miles or so, the grade from the waterside is steep. A height of 210 feet is reached at St. Leonards, but from that point to Pymble the grades are easy. But from Pymble there is a steep series of grades to Pearce's Corner (630 feet), where the old Pennant Hills road is met, and the Lane Cove road loses its name. This corner, at the modern Wahroonga, was named after Aaron Pearce, one of the earliest settlers. Here beginneth the Peat's Ferry road.
The populous region now comprised in the municipalities of Willoughby and Lane Cove and Kuring-gai Shire was known in the early days of the colony as Lane Cove, because it was generally approached by the Lane Cove River, then navigable by small craft as far as, and beyond, Fidden's Wharf, near the present Killara. If you visit St Thomas' Graveyard in North Sydney you will see that the Archbolds, a well known Roseville family, are described as "of Clanville, Lane Cove." Clanville being the present Roseville neighbourhood.
The first white settlers of this district were what the Americans call "lumberjacks." Sydney Town was a voracious consumer of building timber, which came chiefly from the big gum trees of Lane Cove. They were felled by the pioneers, sawn into planks, or hauled in the log to the various wharves on Lane Cove, and shipped to the city. When the bush was cleared, orchards and market gardens were planted. Here is an advertisement from the "Sydney Gazette" of May 5, 1804, only 16 years after the arrival of the First Fleet, showing that settlements had been formed In Lane Cove at a very early date -
Whereas public notice has heretofore been duly given, cautioning persons from committing acts of trespass upon the farms known as Watson's, Archer's, Ikin's, and Waitrel's, lying near to and about Lane Cove, now the property of James Willshire, notwithstanding which, a number of very fine sheoaks and other trees have been fell and removed, no labour and exspense will be spared In putting the law, In force against them.
The land agents who advertise properties for sale "In the Roseville-Pymble districts, describe their wares as choice, exclusive, and superior, but It was not ever thus. Lane Cove was a refuge for escaped convicts and bad men; sporting bloods went there to see cock fights and prize fights.' Stolen booty and unlawful liquors were cached in its thickets and caves.
This is, what the "Sydney Gazette" said in its leader of February 25, 1841:- -
"Lane Cove has long been noted as the resort, of disreputable people, and we do not hesitate to say that there should be a military post established there, to prevent smuggling and sly-grog selling. Sly-grog selling is carried on so openly at Lane Cove that can scarcely be said to deserve the name of 'sly.' Thieving is practised, the grog sellers being the receivers of stolen goods. If an active police magistrate were to visit this Infamous district frequently, we make no doubt that much would be done towards cleansing it of as great a set of ruffians as the colony holds."
The people of Killara and Gordon are not quite like that now.
THE LANE COVE ROAD. (1928, February 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16439308
LOST, stolen, or strayed from Stoney Creek, Lane Cove Road,—A bay horse, branded eJ9. £l reward. Apply—
Ominbus Proprietor, Lane Cove Road. LOST, stolen, or strayed from Stoney Creek, Lane Cove Road,—A bay horse, branded B. £1 reward. Apply— (1883, May 1). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 2323. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225725299
A meeting of the residents of Pittwater was held on Saturday evening at Bolton's Hotel, for the purpose of urging the Government to make the road from the Lagoon to Newport. Mr. Crawford, who was appointed chairman, in a neat speech, explained the object of the meeting and drew attention to state of the road which, in some parts was almost impassable, he stated that he was convinced it was only necessary to brine the matter under the notice of the Minister for Works to get the work done. After several forcible and appropriate speeches were made the following gentlemen were appointed to wait upon the Minister.— Messrs. M'Keon, Drs. Tebbut, O’Riley, James, and F. Smith. At the conclusion of the business a concert was given by a number of ladies and gentlemen, (visitors from Sydney), and a most enjoyable evening was spent. Pittwater Affairs. (1883, March 27).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107230268
TENDERS ACCEPTED.-The following tenders have been accepted : ... M'Gee and Brennan, Lane Cove road, £300 0s. D. Bailey, road Lane Cove to Pittwater, £543 18s. 7d. GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1887, July 30).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13652337
Yesterday Mr Howarth M L A , introduced a deputation of the residents of Pymble and St Ives to the Minister for Works to request that Telegraph-road in the Gordon district should be classed as a first class schedule road and should receive an annual vote. It was pointed out that the proposed increased expenditure would result in a corresponding decreased expenditure on Stoney Creek-road. The principal traffic to the Pymble station would be greatly benefited if the wishes of the deputation were granted.
The Minister, in reply, said he was not prepared to say that the relative value of Telegraph road was such as to entitle him to regard it as a main artery of traffic and to expend a large amount of money on it. The view taken by some of the superior officers of the department last year is that more money was spent in the North Shore district than its reasonable claims warranted. Also it had been pointed out that in a district in which the population was increasing and which was close to the great centres of population the residents might do something for themselves by way of incorporation. He could not promise to do anything for them until after the Estimates were passed. Then he would call for a further report. He would never schedule a road within 20 miles of Sydney unless it was a main artery of traffic. TELEGRAPH-ROAD, GORDON. (1898, November 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14183376
OVER THE LANE COVE RIVER.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir, Kindly permit me to correct a statement which occurs in your issue of tills morning. Under the heading "Over the Lane Cove River" are the statements, that till lately it was understood that the bridge (the proposed Lane Cove River bridge) was to be built lower down the river, either at Moubray-road or at Fuller's-road, the aldermen of Willoughby and Lane Cove having agreed In conference to leave to the department the final decision as to which of these two sites was the more desirable. But then the people of Pymble and thereabouts 'arrived' suddenly with a scheme for a bridge at the head of the navigable portion, of the river, and obtained something very like a promise from Mr. Lee."
As an old resident of this district— one who distinctly remembers the whole history of the bridge movement— I can assure you that the foregoing statements are Incorrect. Over 80 years ago the residents' of Gordon and Ryde agitated for the construction of a bridge across the river at a spot only a few yards from where it is now proposed to erect It. Repeatedly during the last 80 years has the agitation been revived by the residents of Gordon and Ryde, and during that time surveys have been made, estimates given, and even a sum of money put on the Estimates for carrying out the undertaking at the head of navigation. Many years after what may be called the commencement of the Pymble agitation it was suggested by the Willoughby Council (and old members of the council, such as Alderman Forsyth, will doubtless confirm my statements) that the building of the bridge at Fuller's-road would better serve the interests of Willoughby, and that an effort should be made to block the Gordon proposal.
Since then every effort made by the northern districts to have the work carried out— which has been repeatedly promised by Ministers of the Crown — has been opposed by our Willoughby friends, with the result that Willoughby, which, in the writer's opinion, does not require the bridge, is unable to get it, and Pymble cannot get it either.
Mr. Lee certainly, fully understood the question when he decided the bridge should be put at the head of navigation, and promised the residents that he: would have the work carried out at once. Chatswood, Willoughby, and Hunter's-Hill are well served, by the bridge at the Fig Tree. This bridge is approached by good roads both from Hunter's Hill and Willoughby, whilst to make roads and approaches to a bridge at Fuller's-road would probably cost six or seven thousand pounds. If, too, another bridge is required, surely it should be put half-way between Wahroonga and the present Fig Tree bridge, otherwise only the southern part of the districts will be served.
Moreover, all the main roads through Hunter's-hill, Ryde, Marsfield, Eastwood, Carlingford, etc., converge to the head of navigation, whilst on the other side of the river the road from Manly through French's Forest, from Pittwater, from Sugar Loaf, and from the head of Cowan all junction with Stoney Creek-road, which is a production of the main highway from Hunter's-Hill. From Fig Tree Bridge to where Fuller's-road junctions with the river is not much over two miles, and it would be unwise to place two bridges close to each other whilst all the rest of the river remained without bridge accommodation. Unless the Government is prepared to erect bridges at Intervals of two miles tile whole river length, then there is but one place for the bridge, and that to at the head of navigation. — Yours, etc., JAMES G. EDWARDS. "Killara," September 13. OVER THE LANE COVE RIVER. (1899, September 15). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article237194089
The need of putting part of the road from the Ryde district to the sea coast at Pittwater into repair was brought under the notice of the Minister for Works yesterday by residents of Ryde and neighbourhood. It was a main road and a military road at one time, and passed through Crown lands, and, with the opening of the bridge over the Lane Cove would have a considerable traffic. The Minister said the report of the officer was against the proposal. He would, in view of their re-presentations, look further into the matter. PITTWATER-ROAD. (1900, June 8). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229378260
NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT.
APPLICATIONS hating been made to bring the lands hereunder described under the provisions of the Heal Property Act, Certificates of Indefeasible Title will issue, unless Caveats be lodged in accordance with the Third Schedule to the said Act, on or before the date named opposite each case respectively.
No. 11,361. County of Cumberland, parish of Gordon, 9 acres 2 roods 26 ¾ perches, situated near Pymble, adjoining the properties of J. Terrey, — Ashdown, D. Stuart, and T. Brown,—is lot C of a subdivision of lot No. 5 of the Rosedale Estate, and part of 800 acres (portion No. 15 of parish) granted to Daniel Dering Mathew. NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT. (1901, December 13). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 9524. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226391586
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE. MANOUVERS BY THE LANCERS IN THE VICINITY OF NEWPORT.
The Sydney and Parramatta squadrons of the New South Wales Lancers were engaged on Saturday and part of yesterday in some interesting fluid operations in the neighbourhood of Rock Lily and Newport. The parade was also the last of the year.
The Sydney squadron, numbering 69, under Captain King, was as supposed to represent the advance party of an enemy which had landed at Bongan Bongan Beach, near the entrance to Broken Bay. The squadron left the city at 8.30 a.m., and bivouacked at 1 p.m. at Narrabeen. The landing party, by arrangement, commenced to make its dispositions at 2 p.m. from the Rock Lily Hotel, and the idea, was that the telegraph lines should be tapped in order to prevent reinforcements of the defending force coming from Hornsby.
The Parramatta, squadron of Lancers was ordered to find out the strength of the enemy that had landed at Bongan Bongan Beach. According to the plan of operations the road via the Spit was held to be untenable, so that the detachment had to proceed via Pymble. The Parramatta men mustered 72, and were under the command of Captain Mackenzie. They left Parramatta at 8a.m. and reached Tumble-down Dick, near Pymble, in time for lunch. Lieutenant-Colonel James Burns, officer-commanding, accompanied them, and at Pymble Brigadier-General Finn, Major A. P. Luscombe, D.A. Q.M.G., and Lieutenant Macartney, A.D.C., joined the party with a view to witnessing the manouvres.
A start was made at 2 p.m. from Tumbledown Dickto ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy, and very rough country was encountered, but trooper's and horses got over the ground capitally. The enemy's landing party not having time apparently to achieve its object, its officer-commanding threw out a line of outposts extending from the Rock Lily Hotel to a little point near Newport. Shortly alter 3 p.m. the Parramatta squadron got into touch with the outposts about two miles from the hotel, and after some good work on both sides the evening's advance guard, according to the prearranged plan, was driven back to the reserve near the beach.
Owing to this reverse and the weather becoming thick and stormy the landing party was supposed to be unable to re-embark by boats on board of the cruisers, consequently a position was taken up on Bongan Head. In this phase of the operations, however, the Sydney squadron no longer represented the enemy, but joined the Parramatta men. The enemy's position on Bongan Head was represented by eight canvas targets, which had been erected under the supervision of Major M. Hilliard, D.S.O., and Captain P. C. Timothy. Four of these were located about 500 yards from the main road and the other f our about 900 yards distant, but the ranges were unknown to those who subsequently took part in the firing. It was decided that the attack on this position should be made shortly after daybreak on the following day by the entire body of Lancers representing the home force.
The two squadrons a little after 5 p.m. reached Mr. George Brock's Mona Vale estate, where Captain Timothy had arranged with the owner for the whole force to bivouac for the night. The troops were here joined by Colonel H. D. Mackenzie, A.A.G., Captain J. Purves, and Captain J. S. Brunton, the two latter travelling by motor car. The Lancers band also came down by a coach provided by the officers, who also contributed the commissariat supplies.
The State Commandant addressed the officers and N.C.O's. during the evening, and said that he was well pleased generally with the tactics, intelligence, and conduct of the troops. The men had shown their efficiency as skilled horsemen in very rough country, and he complimented them on their mobility. The outpost work was creditably performed, but at times rather humid. After tea a camp-fire concert was held, in which the band figured conspicuously, and Mr. Brock' rendered valuable assistance. A boxing bout between two amateur champions, Troopers Parbury and R. Baker, proved exciting, as were also some smart singlestick tourneys.
At daybreak yesterday the reveille sounded, and the Lancers at 5.45 a.m. were on the way to attack the enemy's position, indicated by the canvas targets on Bongan Head, forty rounds of ball cartridge were fired per man in the attack, which was at unknown distances. The shooting was good. One target had about 200 hits on it. The weakness of the attack, according to Brigadier-General Finn, lay in the fact that the men were too prone to expose themselves and rush forward in large numbers instead of in twos and threes. These were defects apparent in all sham fights, however, and only corrected by a taste of the " Real thing."
The troops returned to camp at 8.16. After morning "stables " a bathing parade was held, in which nearly every Lancer participated on his horse. Mr. Brock was thanked for his kindness in quartering the forces, and route march was then taken via the Spit for the Sydney Squadron and via Pymble for the- Parramatta men. - The Sydney detachment reached the city in the afternoon. MILITARY INTELLIGENCE. (1902, December 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14521240
For more information see: http://www.lancers.org.au/
MILITARY. LANCERS' STAFF RIDE.
On Monday last the Sydney Squadron of Lancers returned from a three days' staff ride in the vicinity of Pittwater. The work was undertaken on a tactical scheme connected with the landing of an enemy, the whole being under the command and supervision of Lieutenant M'Mahon. Organised as a complete regiment, the squadron left Sydney about 9 a.m. on Saturday, on a rapid march on Bay View, two squadrons travelling via Gordon and Tumbledown Dick Mountain, and two via Manly and Narrabeen, the advanced parties, by means of signalling communication, coming simultaneously into touch with each other in the scrub behind Rocklily. All ranks had duties of a higher nature than their existing rank, particular attention being paid to the issue of written orders, the forwarding of reports, and sketches In the field. Tents were not taken, the intention being to camp in the open, but owing to the wet weather, the men were billeted in one of Mr. Brock, of Mona Vale's, buildings, the 90 horses being picketed in the rear. MILITARY. (1906, October 4). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14828169
Photo: sections from 1905 Parish Map of Narrabeen showing railway dotted line - that was rejected - and 'The Sugarloaf - this section at Terrey Hills part of map also shows 'James Terrey & Philip Spies' owning section of 640 acres previously held by Obadiah Terrey - Below map was Proclaimed April 22nd 1886:
A LITTLE KNOWN BEAUTY SPOT.
BY FRANK WALKER.
A little known stretch of country is that lying between the upper portion of the Milson's Point railway line and the district of Rocklily, Newport, Bayview, etc. The track that gives access from Gordon to Rocklily, passing through the rustic village of St. Ives, is known as the Pittwater-road, and has been in existence for some years, in a more or less neglected condition. Now, however, the authorities are bestirring themselves, and though in places there are stretches of deep sand to negotiate, and in others abrupt and dangerous descents, the major portion of the road is suitable for light traffic, and as the surface is further improved, this road will become more and more popular with tourists. There are views from different portions of the route, which for beauty and extensiveness even excel the Blue Mountains. The road passes through great forests, whose delicious coolness, even on the hottest day, is something: to look back upon with delight, whilst from the summits, of the more elevated plateaus the eye takes in an extent of country which to the west presents a succession of rolling hills and isolated mountain peaks as far as the eye can reach, and lo the east, the smiling landscape is bordered by the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, the gleam of yellow seabeaches, with their silvery line of surf, standing out pure and white against the background of blue. Already the wild flowers art: breaking forth into bloom. The lovely epacris, or native heath, abounds in this region, and in the proper season must fill this well favoured locality with a blaze of glory. The handsome grevillia, or spider plant, with its deep red and silver-grey blossoms, may be found everywhere, and late though the season was when the writer visited this district, myriads of Christmas bells were still in bloom, and the numerous Dilwynnia family, with their variegated flowers of red and yellow, formed oases of colour amongst the grass.
About midway between Gordon and Rocklily the road winds up the side of a high mountain, locally known as 'Tumbledown Dick,' the views from every bend, being superb. Here would be the place for a fine, up-to-date residential hotel, which would be convenient to the city, would be surrounded by charming scenery, and whose inmates would derive the benefit to be obtained from the pure mountain air, without undergoing the preliminary toil and fatigue of a long railway journey. A few hundred pounds spent on the road would, enable a swift motor-car service to be initiated between this locality and Manly, Narrabeen, or Rocklily, and irrespective of the future, when, without doubt, accommodation houses will be built along this route, the whole extent of the road from Gordon to its terminus at Rocklily or Narrabeen would make an ideal tourist route, and amply justify the money spent in making the road fit for traffic. As to the name of this mountain, 'Tumble-down Dick,' it is high time that such nomenclature of beauty spots should be done away with, and as a suggestion the writer would offer the name of 'Mount Cook,' or 'Cook's Plateau,' as a tribute to the great navigator, whose eyes no doubt rested upon this elevated spot in his memorable passage up the coast in the year 1770. The whole of this region to the west is practically unexplored, a greater part of it being bounded by the area known as the Kuring-gai Chase, and it only awaits development, in the shape of good roads, to make of it a desirable place, where the city merchant could establish his country home, and though almost in touch with the metropolis find himself surrounded by all that is health-giving and enchanting in Nature. A LITTLE KNOWN BEAUTY SPOT. (1909, May 19). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 22. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164292811
Photo: Stoney Creek Road near Gordon, 19 May 1906 – photo by Frank Walker. RAHS states; Unidentified man with bicycle on Stoney Creek Road, near Gordon. Possibly Frank Walker's cycling companion Richard Rowell. From negative in Mitchell Library Frank Walker Collection ON 150, Item 161
The plan for a train to Pittwater persists:
TURNED DOWN. A SUGGESTED RAILWAY. GORDON TO PITTWATER.
In ten years time you might have a chance: to-day you have none. This in effect was the reply made yesterday by the Minister for Works to a deputation which waited upon him with a request that he would favourably entertain the building of a railway from the North Shore line in the neighbourhood of Gordon or Pymble across to Pittwater with Broken Bay as the final objective. The deputation lacked nothing in numbers. There was a strong representation of the Kuringai and Warringah Shire Councils, of the Kuringai Ratepayers' Association, and of the Pittwater Progress Association It was introduced by Mr. Wade who with Dr Arthur emphasised the advantages to be derived from the construction of the proposed line. Dr Arthur enlarged on the advantages of throwing open for settlement country that from the standpoint of hygiene lacked nothing. It would be an ideal district he said for testing the Government scheme for erecting workmen’s homes. The land lay from 600 to 700 feet above sea level the surroundings were most picturesque and it lent itself well to drainage and sanitation. Since Sydney was increasing at such an enormous rate people would be driven more and more Into the Suburbs and he thought It would be a pity to compel them to seek homes along the low lying parts served by the Western line or along the shores of Botany Bay when such elevated and beautiful country as that lying between the North Shore line, and the ocean could be made accessible.
The Rev. Paul Clipsham president of the Kuringai Shire Council said the country lying between Gordon-Pymble on the one side and Narrabeen-Mona Vale on the other rivaled In its beauty anything to be seen on the Blue Mountains. He had not the slightest doubt that if the line were constructed it would develop an enormous passenger traffic. A line 17 miles long would open up the district well and seeing that there are no engineering difficulties to be overcome, he did not think It would be an expensive line to build. Apart from that it would greatly enhance the use of Crown lands through which the railway would pass. In all probability it would pay almost from the start. It would run through St Ives one of the most thriving fruit growing districts in the state. It would carry heavy consignments of fruit to Sydney and doubtless when communication with Broken Bay was opened up much of the fish supply of Sydney would be carried by It.
Messrs Ralston (president of the Warringah Shire Council) Griffiths, T. W. Taylor, Jones (secretary Pittwater Association) and R D Brown also addressed the Minister In Support of the railway project.
It was pointed out that Broken Bay would play an important part in any scheme of defence and that under these circumstances the Defence Department of the Commonwealth might be prepared to contribute to the cost of the maintenance of the line.
The Minister for Works said one of the stock arguments used by advocates of railway projects was the bearing the line would have upon defence. His business was to build lines not for defence purposes but for the development of the country. If however, there was anything in the suggestion that the Defence Department would pay part of the cost of a line to Broken Bay he would of course go carefully into the matter. He did not need to be told anything about the beauties of the country through which the proposed line would pass. He knew the country and it was the most beautiful country he had ever seen. It was to Australia what the Riviera was to Southern Europe. But he could not give the deputation a very encouraging reply. In time the railway would he made but he could not see his way to regard it as one of pressing necessity. Apart from that it would be enormously costly. The North Shore line cost £55 300 per mile and on that basis it would cost over a million to build the 20 miles to Broken Bay or if the line stopped at Mona Vale the cost would run to three quarters of a million. That was an enormous sum to spend to open up even so beautiful a district as the one in question. It would be a very fine thing for the landowners of the district whose property would be enormously increased in value. The State would get little out of it seeing that barely 1 ½ miles of the line would pass through Crown land. If the railway were justified on other grounds he would not object to making the fortunes of the landowners of the district.
But it was not Justified seeing the larger areas of unoccupied land to which the North Shore line gave access. Within 1 ½ miles of Wahroonga station alone there were hundreds of acres of primeval bush and the same thing applied to other stations along the line. The land was being held by owners, waiting for fancy prices. That land must be settled before the line to Pittwater could be considered. It was the policy of the government to spend what money it could get in building railway to open up wheat and agricultural country.
That was obviously more urgent work than building a railway into residential country which already had a railway on one side and would have an electrical tramway on though other side. It was proposed to have the electric tram service extended to Mona Vale. The line would be built off the road and In order to secure a speedy service the stopping place would be at Intervals of quarter or half mile. For quite a number of years that is all the residents could expect to get. The railway would come some day. Perhaps if the deputation waited upon the Minister 10 years from now they would probably get a more encouraging answer than he was able to give. TURNED DOWN. (1911, November 21).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15290696
Photo: Gordon Railway Station, in the Upper North Shore of Sydney in 1907, courtesy State Library of NSW
Mona Vale: looking E from top of Tumble Down Dick Hill. Date: 8/1939. Government Printing Office 1 - 27008, courtesy the State Library of NSW.
MANLY TO BAY VIEW—A POPULAR EASTER RESORT BY ROAD
1. On the Narrabeen Lagoon. 2. View from Sheepstation Hill, looking south. 3. Bay View. 4. a dip in the surf at Narrabeen. 5. Near Long Reef. 6. Approaching Narrabeen. 7. One of the creeks.
The distance from Manly to Bay View is about 15 miles. The road is by the Narrabeen-road past Rocklily. A proposal to put down a tram line is now being considered, and a member of the ministry was recently driven over the country, which in many parts is remarkably picturesque.
1. On the Narrabeen Lagoon.
2. View from Sheepstation Hill, looking south.
3. Bay View.
4. A dip in the surf at Narrabeen.
5. Near Long Reef.
6. Approaching Narrabeen.
7. One of the creeks.MANLY TO BAY VIEW—A POPULAR EASTER RESORT BY ROAD. (1900, April 14). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 878. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165297416
Image No.: c071950005 Box 17, Albums of William Joseph Macpherson - Bay View, courtesy State Library of NSW and Macpherson Family.
NB: these are photographs by William Joseph Macpherson (Wharriewood - Warriewood) - visit: The Macphersons of Wharriewood and Narrabeen: the photo albums of William Joseph Macpherson
It was not a matter of surprise when it was announced that Mr. W.H. McKeown had passed away on Sunday morning last. He had attained the goodly age of 91 years, and was gathered at last as a shock of corn fully ripe. He was a real father in our Methodist Israel, and his story deserves to be more fully told. He was buried on Tuesday last in the Waverley Cemetery. For the present we content ourselves with a journalist's tribute as it appeared in the 'Daily Telegraph' of Tuesday, June 11th.
THE PASSING OF A PIONEER. In the death of Mr. William Henry McKeown, sen., there has passed away one of the oldest colonists of the State, and one of the pioneers of the North Sydney district. His reminiscences of the early days in what was then called the Lane Cove district were always interesting, and the contribution he made to the material and moral welfare of the neighbourhood such as to deserve honourable mention.
THE LATE MR. W. H. McKEOWN. [photo]
Mr. McKeown arrived in Sydney early in the year 1840, being then a lad of 19 years of age. He came from Ireland, and brought with him the sturdy qualities of the typical North of Ireland stock. His early attempts at finding a footing in Australia were associated with the care of 'Government men,' an employment from which he shrank, and which he speedily gave up. One temporary job succeeded another, in which his self-reliance and power of adaptation were tested and developed.
About the year 1845 he accepted an engagement in connection with a newly-planted orangery in what is now called Pymble, and thither, with his young wife, he removed. Crossing from Sydney to the northside of the harbour, he found there was no made road to what was then the distant bush. He had to find his way through a dense forest, simply following dray tracks through the bush. A few bark huts at intervals along the way, the abodes of sawyers and wood getters, were the only signs of occupation of the territory where now stand the thriving suburbs of North Sydney, Chatswood, Roseville, Lindfield, and Gordon. Arrived at Pymble, there was a house licensed to sell beer only, an old wooden church, which served also as a school, and a public-house, where all sorts of drink, were sold. A gang or two of 'Government men' were employed hereabout, and timber-getting as the principal occupation. Orcharding on a small scale was also being attempted.
For over half a century Mr. McKeown lived in the district, and witnessed its emergence from the primitive conditions in which he found it to one of the most popular and thriving of all the environs of the city of Sydney. The record of his personal struggles interesting enough to form the subject of a popular autobiography. The path of the early settler was beset with many difficulties. Droughts were interspersed with terrific hailstorms, the latter of which occasionally stripped the orchards and rendered them comparatively unproductive for years. Labour troubles even then in evidence although unions and strikes had not been invented. The discovery of gold caused a stampede to the west of the Blue Mountains, labourers, clerks, shop-keepers, and even lawyers forsook their wonted employ to find their El Dorado at the Turon and Tambaroora. Mr. McKeown sufficiently caught the fever to take two trips across the mountains, but it was rather as a chartered driver in charge of organised parties, under contract for a consideration, than as a gold-seeker on his own account. He never believed in sudden roads to wealth, and never found one for himself. From the first Mr. McKeown was interested in the religious welfare of the district, and laboured personally earnestly to promote it.
An old stone building stands on the Gordon-road, in Gordon, now as a store, which was the first substantial edifice for public worship erected north of North Sydney. It was built in the early fifties, at a cost of £850, and served also as a schoolroom, with master's quarters attached. For many years this was known as "Lane Cove" Chapel, and was served by ministers from the York-street Methodist Church, and by local preachers, of whom Mr. McKeown soon became one. The debt on it fell principally on its promoter's shoulders, and quaint are the tales he used to tell of the devices resorted to to meet the interest and reduce the debt. Zeal and self-denial eventually overcame all difficulties. 'Revivals' were frequent, and delighted the heart of the earnest man who was set upon the spiritual welfare of his neighbours. As population increased and spread, other 'chapels' were built at Willoughby, Hornsby, Pittwater, and other places, these being the pioneer places of worship in their respective neighbourhoods.
As long as strength lasted Mr. McKeown continued his voluntary labours as a lay preacher, and at the time of his death he was probably the oldest local preacher in Methodism in Australia. Apart from his special interest in Church matters, Mr. McKeown was a good citizen in respect of the interest lie took in the social and material welfare of the district. He introduced new and improved methods of fruit culture. As a poultry-raiser he showed what could be done by special strains adapted for egg-production or for table use. He set a high standard of commercial morality, and when on one occasion he assigned his estate — mainly through the failure of others to meet their engagements to him — he subsequently paid most of his creditors in full, although under no legal obligation to do so. He was an ardent politician, and took a keen interest in public affairs right up to the last. In the, days when candidates were openly nominated on nomination day, he was frequently chosen to 'propose' a candidate from the hustings, and. his local influence was such that his candidate usually topped the poll. For a period he served as an alderman in the City Council, when he was carrying on business as a wood and coal and fruit merchant in Sydney. More than once he was asked to stand for' Parliament, but he could never be persuaded to become a candidate. His house was ever a 'centre' of kindly hospitality, and the record of those who have sat at his table or slept under his roof at Roseville, Pymble, where he resided for over half a century, would be interesting as including ecclesiastics of all Churches, politicians of all hues, and commercial men from all the States and from over the seas. Since 1880 the North Sydney district has witnessed a wonderful development, and has become one of the most popular of all the residential areas of the metropolis. The Milson's Point-Hornsby railway line, has been the principal factor in bringing this about, and in securing the construction of the line Mr. McKeown took a leading part. Public meetings and deputations were organised by him, in conjunction with a few others, and successive Ministries were importuned until the work was put in hand, and at length carried to completion by the extension right to Milson's Point. With this the veteran's public work seemed to come to an end, and shortly after attaining his80th year he removed from the scene of his half century's labour to reside in quietude at Summer-hill. On leaving, he was made the recipient of several demonstrations evincing the esteem and appreciation entertained for him and his wife (who survives him)by the residents among whom they had lived so long and usefully. A family of 10 children and between 50 and 60 grandchildren, with several great-grandchildren, is the best legacy the venerable pioneer has left to the State. His sons are Rev. R. McKeown, of Waverley; Mr. G. M. McKeown, of Wagga Wagga Experiment Farm; Mr. J. McKeown, of the Civil Ambulance Corps; Mr. W. H. McKeown, of Ashfield; and Mr. E. McKeown, of Belford. His sons-in-law are Rev. G.M'Intosh, of Chatswood; Mr. J. G. Edwards, of Kil-ara; Mr. W. Benson, of Waverley; Rev. J. E. Carruthers of Lindfield; and Mr. H. Hazlett, of Summer-hill. THE LATE W.H. McKEOWN. (1912, June 15). The Methodist(Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155458683
Less Than an Hour from the G.P.O.
Sydney Beauty Spots for Afternoon Picnics
Mona Vale Public School Plants 140 Trees In Three Streets
ONE hundred and forty Bottle Brush trees were planted at Mona Vale on August 11, when Arbor Day was celebrated at Mona Vale School.
The trees were planted in Narrabeen, Waratah and Park streets, which surround the school, at which 148 students have become tree wardens.
The tree planting was arranged by the schoolmaster, Mr. Daly with the co-operation of the Parents and Citizens' Association. ;
- The P. &. C. and school children bought most of the treelings from the Forestry Department, the Department giving the remainder.
Mr. Daly addressed the gathering of children, parents and visitors, after which Mr., Austin, inspector of schools, Mr. Asian; M.L.A., and Mr. Watson, of the Naturalist: Society, addressed the large gathering.
All spoke of the great value of trees to the individual, the community, and the nation, and urged the growing, care, and protection of trees.
Trees were living things of beauty and great usefulness, and every effort should be made to save them from damage and destruction, the speakers said.
The young trees were distributed among the visitors, children and members of the Parents and Citizens' Association who moved to positions in the three streets where the treelings were planted.
Other visitors included members of the N.S.W. Town Planning Association (Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Ford), the president of Warringah Shire Council(Mr. R. Kent),- a member of the Forestry Advisory Committee (Mr.Turner), the secretary of Pittwater R.S.L. (Mr. Bimsan), Mrs. Ingleton, representing the Mona Vale Community League, and Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Collins.
The president of the P. and C. Association (Mrs. K. Batten) assisted by the secretary (Mrs. O. Anderson)entertained the visitors at lunch, while the school children provided a bright concert programme, which included Master Ted Budge's vocal solo, "Trees."
Visitors paid tributes to the school staff, P. and C. members, and all who assisted in the tree planting and entertainment. MONA VALVE SCHOOL PLANTS 140 TREES IN 3 STREETS. (1950, August 25). The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105713567