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Road Robbery

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (4)

JUNE 1873 - MOGO

Mr James Veitch, son of Mrs Veitch, storekeeper of Mogo was robbed by two men while travelling on the road between Moruya and Mogo with his horse and a pack horse. Mr Veitch seized an opportunity to ride away, and although he heard a gunshot after him, he rode the horse at a gallop until he reached Mogo. A bullet-hole was later found in his coat flap. It was general knowledge that Mr Veitch was in the habit of selling his gold at Moruya.

Below is one of the stores of Mogo.

On Roads

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (1)



An editorial in the Sydney Monitor stated ‘Roads to Batemans Bay, and to Twofold Bay are, we admit, of the greatest importance but not more so than keeping the road in good repair to Windsor, Bathurst, &c. And the Government cannot do everything at once. New roads should be carried on with vigour in dry weather. But after rains, let the old roads be repaired in preference”.


An editorial in The Sydney Monitor called for a road to be built to Batemans Bay. It stated that Batemans Bay is a more central port for Argyle (the area around Goulburn) than Jervis Bay despite the fact that it better served the Colonial Secretary, Mr Macleay’s, estate in Batemans Bay.



The Government approved expenditure for the maintenance of roads in the district; Nowra to Batemans Bay, 90 miles, £630; Batemans Bay to Moruya, 17 miles, £170.


In a Letter to the Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, a traveller complained of his travels on the Clyde Mountain Road from Braidwood to Nelligen, and urged the residents of Nelligen to make a good road a priority: “A good road is their only hope against ruin from the Goulburn rail”. He also admired the foresight of Nelligen proprietors “in adopting a temporary style of architecture”, and opined that Nelligen would grow smaller and “that eighteen months will close its existence “ if a better road was not built on the Clyde Mountain. “The beauties of the Clyde road alone won’t maintain a steamer”, he concluded.



After six weeks of heavy rain in the region, there was major damage to most roads, including that between Nelligen and Braidwood. This led to disruption of mail and steamer traffic.

Clarke Brothers Captured

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (1)


The Sydney Morning Herald reported the capture of the Clarke Brothers gang of Bushrangers near Braidwood. Thomas and John Clarke were later held overnight at Nelligen, chained to a tree that was to become known as the “Bushranger’s Tree”, before their transfer by steamer from Nelligen to Sydney. They were tried on the 13th May 1867. Both were hanged in Darlinghurst Gaol on 25th June 1867.

New Courthouse at Batemans Bay

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (2)


The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Public Works Department had accepted the tender of Mr W J Brown for the construction of a new Court House and Police Lock Up at Batemans Bay at a cost of £916. The building was to be weatherboard with a galvanised iron roof. Located on the corner of Orient Street and Beach Road, it originally comprised a Court Room, living quarters for the Police, and a cell and stable. The building was occupied until 1988 when Police were relocated while a new Police Station and Court House were built on the same site. The old Police Station and Courthouse building was donated to the Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society, and currently forms the Old Courthouse Museum in Museum Place, Batemans Bay. 










Casey's Beach - 1952

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Caseys Beach, named after one of the early pioneer families of the area just south of Batehaven, and directly bordering Beach Road, was first opened to motor vehicles during World War I. In January 1917, the Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal reported that the Batemans Bay Progress Association was constructing a rough road to Caseys Beach from Batehaven in the hope of promoting tourism. The surf at Caseys Beach was described as ‘’magnificent’’. In 1929, the same newspaper reported that Batemans Bay was becoming a great area for campers, and that a ‘’fine road’’ had been constructed through Caseys Beach, all the way the present day Surf Beach. The photograph of Caseys Beach, below, was taken from observation Point in 1952. Does anyone recall the boat shed at the southern end of Caseys Beach?


Posted on January 16, 2017 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Do you recall any “shark stories’’ you’ve heard about the early days of the Clyde River? Newspaper reports from the early 1900’s of the Clyde River and Batemans Bay often referred to instances of shark sightings or close escapes from shark attack, and the river thought to be ‘’shark infested’’. Both Nelligen and Batemans Bay at different times had netted swimming baths to allow people to swim without fear of sharks. One particular report, in the Australian Town and Country Journal of 23 March 1901 reported on an organised shark fishing expedition in Batemans Bay. The party of fisherman was captained by Mr Milton, the pilot of the punt across the Clyde River at Batemans Bay. A photograph was taken of the victorious party of men on their return from the expedition, and appeared in the newspaper. In all the men caught 11 Grey Nurse sharks in just under two hours, averaging around 3 metres in length and just under 2 metres around the girth. The sharks produced nearly 40 litres of oil and 11.3 kg of shark fins. The shark fishing was said to have afforded the men, a “very exciting sport’’.


Posted on December 12, 2016 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Does anyone remember Empire Day and “Cracker Night”? Queen Victoria’s birthday was 24 May, and after her death in 1901, Empire Day was established to honour her, and also to remind everyone that they formed part of the British Empire. Flags were flown, and there were countless receptions and gatherings with speeches, street marches and parades. There was also “Cracker Night” where everyone: adults and children, families and communities, gathered together for a bonfire and to let off crackers. Many weeks may have been spent building the bonfires in backyards or on vacant land or street lots from all types of combustible materials. A night everyone would gather for the lighting of the bonfire, making sure that all crackers were safely kept away from the heat of the fire and that children were standing a safe distance from the fireworks. Matches and lighted candles were on hand for the lighting of crackers, usually by the dads or older men in the group, amid gasps of delight as the fireworks were set alight. Backyards were illuminated by “Roman Candles” and countless “Mount Vesuvius”, skyrockets were launched from empty milk or beer bottles, and “Catherine Wheels” nailed to fences for best effect. Strings of “Tom Thumbs” and “Bungers” were let off to loud squeals and were particularly loved by young boys. The sale of fireworks to the public was banned in most states of Australia in the 1980’s and the beloved “Cracker Night” was no more. Our photo above is from Empire Day celebrations in Nelligen in 1910.

25th Anniversary of the Clyde River bridge

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Does anyone recall the celebrations in 1981 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Clyde River Bridge? The bridge across the Clyde River at Batemans Bay was officially opened on 21 November 1956, and local organisations are currently planning a Bridge Birthday Bash to mark the 60th Anniversary over the weekend of 19-21 November 2016. More information on that at

The Clyde River Bridge was designed as a truss bridge with a central span lifted by counter-weighted cables suspended from the two towers. The centre span is lifted on demand to allow ships and boats to pass underneath with clearance for shipping being 20 metres above high water level. On 25 November 1981, the Clyde River Bridge Party was held to mark the 25th Anniversary of the opening. The festivities that year were also marking the official opening of the Batemans Bay By-Pass of the Princes Highway, and the reconstructed Beach Road to Batehaven. The Canberra Times reported on 8 November 1981 that the planned celebrations were to be held along Clyde Street, which had formerly been part of the Princes Highway. The road was closed to traffic and filled with street stalls, costumed vendors, minstrels, chocolate wheels. During the day there was a procession of floats, a fishing competition, free cruises around the Bay, and historical exhibits. In the evening a dance was held at the Batemans Bay Bowling Closed, and people were encouraged to wear period costume.