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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Story Behind The Springwood Macquarie Monument

Stan Bentley handing the Springwood Crest (designed by Norman Lindsay)
to T.A. Moroney.  Tom Hunter & Bruce Lincoln Jackson (rear) took part in the
ceremony.
In 1937, His Honour Judge Curlewis, the Hon. T.D. Mutch and Mr Surveyor J.F. Campbell. F.R.H.S., at the request of the Springwood Development League, visited Springwood to locate the site of the original Springwood Military Barracks and the spring after which Macquarie named Springwood in 1815.  They decided that the barracks were located adjacent to the residence of Mr W.G. Gibbs of Railway Parade (now Macquarie Road), Springwood and the spring was in Madeline Gully off Boomerang Road.
It was decided to erect monuments at both sites and Mr William Gibbs, retired Gulgong Shire Clerk, agreed to donate a small part of his land (9ft 1in.) to the Blue Mountains Shire Council for the Macquarie Monument in Railway Parade.  The deeds for this portion of land were duly forwarded by solicitors Lawson, Waldron, Edwards and Nicholls to the Council.
In March, 1939, members of the Royal Australian Historical Society, invited by the Blue Mountains Shire Council and the Springwood Development League, came to Springwood for the unveiling of the monument by their President, Mr K.R. Cramp.  Also present were Judge Backhouse, Mr Joseph Jackson, M.L.A., Cr W. Mathews , President of the Blue Mountains Shire Council and Crs A. Hodgson and B. Honeysett.  After the unveiling, the party enjoyed afternoon tea at the Royal Hotel and a trip to the Hawkesbury Lookout.
There was an immediate challenge to the accuracy of the inscription on the Monument’s tablet at the Royal Australian Historical Society’s meeting.  Mr W. L. Havard contended that it was not really known where Macquarie and his party had camped and that the Military Barracks were transferred from Glenbrook to Springwood in 1815 not 1816.  Mr Havard also felt it should have stated that Macquarie and not Macquarie and his party “named the place Spring Wood.”  Mr Cramp agreed that there were some inaccuracies but felt that they were of a minor nature but he said that “we do endeavour to convey to the public something of the historical significance of an event.”
Peter Chinn, in his book, The Thin Red and Blue Lines, said “the role of the Military was to ensure that travellers to the west had the written permission of the Governor, to guard government carts and provisions for Bathurst and to forward letters.”  Protection of the travelling public was another important responsibility.  There had never been any report of problems with the aborigines but there was concern that escaped convicts or bushrangers could cause trouble and the Barracks provided a safe overnight stopping place for the travellers.
The inscription on the tablet  reads:
“Governor Macquarie and his party camped here on their way to Bathurst on April 27, 1815, and named the place “Springwood”.  William Cox erected here a military depot early in 1816.  R.A.H.S, 1938.”
In May, 1965, the site of the Monument was chosen to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the naming of Springwood and the Springwood Historical Society accepted the Springwood Coat of Arms drawn by Norman Lindsay.
A Monument to mark the location of the spring was never erected.
Shirley Evans
REFERENCES
CHINN, Peter  The Thin Red and Blue Lines
Nepean Times   Various issues
Royal Australian Historical Society Annual Report, 1939
Springwood Historians  The Making of a Mountain Community:  a Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great to see some local history on blogs that can be put to good use by researchers. Thanks Springwood Historians.