Hunter Valley Settlers
Notes and Links1). Map showing area between Hunter and William's Rivers, N.S.W - National Library of Australia - Digital Collections
2). Rev. John Dunmore Lang described his visit to the district ,,,,,,, An historical and statistical account of N.S.W.
3). A description of the Durham Electorate from the Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales..... Embracing a north-eastern portion of the country of Durham and part of the county of Gloucester and bounded on the north by the range at at the head of the Allyn Paterson and Williams Rivers on the west by the Mount Royal Range and the range dividing the waters of Glendon Brook from those of the Paterson River to a point in a line with the eastern boundary of Gaggin's two thousand acres grant on the river Hunter and by that line and part of the eastern boundary of Gaggin's land to the northwest corner of Underwood's one thousand five hundred acres grant on the south by the north boundary of that land the west and north boundaries of J. Mitchell's eight hundred and eighty acres the west and south boundaries of Lamb's two thousand five hundred and sixty acres and the north boundary of W. C. Wentworth's one thousand and thirty-four acres to its north-east corner thence by a line south-easterly to the north-west corner of Nowland's three thousand eight hundred acres and by the north boundary of that land and the south boundary of J. P. Webber's two thousand and twenty acres and crossing the Paterson River to the south-west corner of W. Dunn's one thousand three hundred acres grant by the south boundary line of that grant to its south-east corner by a line thence easterly to the south-west corner of Hugh Torrens' two thousand acres and thence by the south boundary of that land to the north-west corner of Andrew Dixon's one thousand six hundred acres thence by the west and part of the south boundary of that land bearing south and east and part of the east boundary of Thomas Bartie's two thousand five hundred and sixty acres bearing south to a point due west from the south-west corner of A. Warren's twenty-four acres three roods twenty-seven perches thence by a line east and the south boundaries of that portion and T. Hayes' twenty-two acres thirty-two perches and the southern boundary of the village of Seaham easterly to the eastern side of Crescent-street village of Seaham thence by the eastern side of that street northerly to the Williams River by that river downwards to the north boundary of D. McLeod's one thousand acres thence by that north boundary easterly to the range forming the eastern watershed of the Williams River and thence by that range northerly and north-westerly to the range at the head of the Williams Allyn and Paterson Rivers aforesaid.'
4). An account of a trip by steamer from Newcastle to the Williams River was published in the Newcastle Morning Herald in 1878 ......
We had a most pleasant and enjoyable trip on Wednesday last, up the Hunter and Williams rivers, to the quite picturesque village of Clarence Town. By the invitation of our popular auctioneer, Mr. J. C. Bonarius, some twenty citizens availed themselves of the opportunity to accompany that gentleman to the town named, near which he was to dispose of Mr. D. Moynahan's estate. At 8.30 in the morning we left the Market Wharf, in that tight little craft the Perseverance, steamer, commanded by Mr. John Wilson, and soon the noisy, bustling smoky city of Newcastle was behind us. I propose mentioning briefly the different places passed on the route.
First, then, there was Stockton on the right, which every one knows, with its busy, industrious population, and the large, ship building yard of Captain O'Sullivan. Bullock Island faces this island, with its important government works in operation, and which is destined to play an important part in the progress of Newcastle. Adjoining it are the Port Waratah Smelting Works, in almost ceaseless work. Goat Island is the next in importance, and it is here the extensive oyster yards of Mr. Anderson are located. Moscheto Island faces this, entirely covered with tea tree bushes and monstrous man plagues, that would soon suck a mortal' vitals away.
The government dredge, Vulcan, was at works on the 'Flats' near the spot, and opposite is Fullerton Cove and Limeburners, the site of many a joyous picnic party. At this portion of the river are in numerable boats dredging for oysters, fishing ketches, etc., whilst lovely farms, all bearing evidence of the richness of the soil, stud the banks on either side.
We don't stay a moment, however, but steam swiftly on, and Tomago is soon made. Here are a goodly number of settler's homes; Mrs. W. Gordon has charge of the post office, and also owns a fine vineyard and orchard. Facing Tomago, and standing out in bold relief, is seen the fine residence of Jesse Gregson, Superintendent of the A. A. Company. It is situated on a hill, and commands an uninterrupted view of the surrounding country for miles. Luxuriant fields of lucerne, sorgum, potatoes, pumpkins, etc, greet the eye everywhere, and in the background of Tomago is seen 'Tomago House,' the residence of Mrs. Windeyer, mother of our late Attorney General, and one of our oldest Hunter River pioneers. Adjacent to this are the ruins of the old shipping wharf of the Tomago Coal Company,-which was a lively spot some twenty years ago. Here, also, are situated the tanks from which many of the vessels in port receive their supplies of fresh water.
On the other side of the water again is Ash Island, on which the principal feature is she well kept farm of Mr. W. Milham. Passing quickly along on the left bank of the river still,, are the coal shoots of the Messrs Brown, and the Duckenfield steamer was loading coal underneath them.
Hexham township is soon visible from here, and also the old Hexham Hotel, and residence of Mr. John Hannell; whilst on the opposite bank is the Kenington estate, the property of Mr. Wm. Bowden, who owns some 2000 acres of fine agricultural and grazing land. Nearly facing this estate, is what used to be a stirring spot. We can remember it some twenty years ago as a flourishing boiling down establishment, from which hundreds of tons of tallow were sent regularly to market. Adjoining it is the old Alnwick estate, better known as Cock-a-dingy, and fronting it the famous Kinross estate, on which is situated Kinross House, the residence of John Windeyer, Esq, J.P., and a magnificent vineyard surrounds it. This estate adjoins Raymond Terrace, the chief town en route. It is a quiet, pretty, unassuming little spot, and although bristling with houses, hotels, churches, a stranger would never be impressed with the amount of business done.
On the left bank is Miller's Forest, which is chiefly devoted to farming purposes, and suffers severely in food times. We passed the barque W. C. Went worth here, it being towed to Clarence Town by the Pluto, tug, for the purpose of loading timber. We exchanged greetings with those on board, and the honest, hearty cheers of the occupants of each vessel had a pleasant effect as they echoed across the water. A short distance from here is the junction of the Hunter and Williams Rivers.
The Hunter takes a somewhat sudden turn and meanders around to the left, whilst the noble Williams keeps almost straight on its course. On the left bank, Nelson's Plains (the property of Mr. John Eales) stretches away for miles and the herds of cattle grazing quietly on each side, lift their heads for a moment to gaze on us as we snort by, and allow us an opportunity to admire their fine proportions and magnificent condition. On the right bank is a large well built sceptre looking brick house, standing out with a weird appearance, and instinctively strikes the visitor as being a 'white elephant.' We ask why. it was erected and are told it is called Roslyn House, on the estate bearing that name, belonging to the Bishop of Newcastle, and was years ago purchased by his lordship, with an idea of using it as a college for young men, which project was never put in force.
We scarcely know what to say of the trip up the Williams. It is, without doubt, one of the finest rivers in New South Wales. The scenery on every side is charming. Game, consisting of Red bills, plover, wild ducks, snipe, etc. etc., are in abundance everywhere, and scarcely attempt to fly from us, so tame are they. These remarks apply to the whole trip, which was pleasant in the extreme, and sharpened our appetites to an alarming extent; but, thanks to Mr. Bonarius, ample refreshments were on board.
Adjoining Roslyn, is the Irrawang estate, the property of Mrs. Roberts, of Penrith, and on the opposite bank, the Eskdale estate, Mr. Walter Scott's; Eagleton is on the right, and here is McPherson's ship-building establishment The hull of a new steamer was on the stocks, intended for the river trade, between this city and Clarence Town. On the right and left of us from here are a number of mountains frowning down, on either side, covered with dense foliage, and adding a some what romantic appearance to the situation. The Burrowl estate, property of the Messrs. Mossman, Brothers, is on the right bank of us here, and appears to be well looked after; while opposite is Mr. William Fisher's Brandon estate, which is mostly confined to grazing purposes. Seaham (an unassuming, but busy town, sometimes, we were told) is the next place of note, and here we stop a few minutes to allow Mr. Holmes, J.P., to disembark. At this site also is the celebrated Porphyry vineyard of the Messrs. Carmichael, whose wines, have become distinguished in the colonial markets. The next noticeable land mark is Brandy Hill, a towering mountain, around the base of which the river quietly finds its way; and, sheltered by it, on the opposite bank are several very neat vineyards and farms, the principal one of which is Mr. Irelands. - Newcastle Morning Herald 9 February 1878