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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Beginning - Springwood

From Our Correspondent

Thursday, 21st June 1832 – It is said that the military barracks recently erected on the mountain road at Springwood and the  Weather-boarded Hut (or more properly speaking, “Jamison Vale”) from which the detachments have lately been withdrawn, will shortly be put up for public sale. The buildings, their position and appurtenances render them peculiarly well-adapted for road-side inns or public-houses, and being regular and old-established halting places will no doubt be sought after with avidity.  Another great consideration in favour  of their eligibility is the certainty that the line of road between Springwood and Mount Victoria can never be changed from its present course. From the latter, where the new road commences, the work proceeds rapidly, and it will be well worth the while of two or three enterprising persons to bear in mind the extraordinary advantages which naturally accrue from the establishment of the first houses of accommodation.  The old line has always been deficient thereof; between Collet’s and Bathurst, a distance of 50 miles, there is not one licensed house.  The traffic between the Capital and Bathurst is daily increasing; and when the route of travellers is made uniform by the completion  of one good road, no doubt can exist of the success of such speculation.

This appeared in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Tuesday 26 June 1832 on page 3. The article is interesting because there was acceptance even then that the course of the road could not be altered.  In fact, the present alignment of the Great Western Highway - over the Blue Mountains - varies little from those early roads and even the railway follows the same course.  Also, it would seem that Wentworth Falls had been known as Jamison Vale perhaps in honour of Sir John Jamison who accompanied Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his party on a tour of inspection of the new road in April 1815. 

Springwood encampment 1815 - Painting J.W. Lewin
Others in the party were:
Jno. Thos. Campbell, Esqr. Secry.
Captain H.C. Antill, Major of Brigade
Lieut. Jno. Watts, Aide de Camp
William Redfern Esquire., Assistant Surgeon
William Cox Esquire., JP
Jno. Oxley Esquire, Surveyor General
Mr. Jas. Meehan, Deputy Surveyor General
Mr. Geo. W. Evans, Deputy Surveyor
Mr. J.W. Lewin, Painter & Naturalist

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