|The above photograph was take around 1960|
Excerpts from newspaper articles and 'Hoof Beats & Whip Cracks from the Past' by Wilf Ingram 1981.
(Although Wilf lived in the area most of his life, his memories are from his point of view and some spelling of place names, locations and rivers vary from today. But this does not detract from the information contained in his book. Editor)
The harvesting of timber and the roading system of the forest is under direct control of Forestry Office of Eden, Bega and Bombala, and the sawmills are operated near the town now with mechanisation.
In the old days of horse and bullock teams, the saw mill would be on a creek in the heart of a good patch of tall timber, the workers' huts around the benches and power plants.
From the times I mentioned in the 1930s, the dole was a mere pittance compared to the present times of the '80s. In the 1930s, the dole was a ticket to purchase rations at a store and butchers, not a money handout as now. so the times change in 50 years of change. The Social Services of course, paid the stores for your rations.
Rockton is another area I can recall to mid some of the folk we knew at Rockton, or Bondi, on the way to Bombala when we lived at Nungatta. James Egan's home was on the roadside at the junction of the Towamba and Cann Valley Roads. Jim was a pleasant, cheerful bachelor who would always put the kettle on for a caller or passer-by.
The school was burned down at Rockton, all the children had grown up there. Others were the Kimbers, Flanagans, Finnigans, Brownlies, Ken and John McCole who always mustered cattle with dogs to help. Billy Kimber had the mail contract for many years, to deliver mail to Nungatta. It was only recently that I've met Bill, and we were recalling old times. They were all pioneers, these people, all able to make a living from the land and those times of heavy rabbit plagues and low prices for wool and cattle. The wattle bark giving a good return for labour spent on stripping and moving the bags and bundles to market. Dingos were troublesome around these settled areas and baiting and trapping were the methods of destruction to keep them out of the sheep paddocks. Neighbourly help was a thing of the bushies country days of the sixties.
The Yambulla mines are a separate story, a much discussed event by all the old miners and workers on the big crushers as if it was reef gold, had to be blasted and brought from the shafts in tons to the crushing plant on the creek and river, The old township had only the fireplace of the hotel when I last saw it thirty years ago. There are many old shafts on the old spine cock pit near the peak of Mount Poole.
The primary school at Yambulla was taken by Bullock team - by Bill Love and Alby Brotherton, then to Mount Mahratta and then finally back to Bombala Primary School as a classroom.
Most of the work at Nungatta was rabbit destruction, by packs of dogs, any breed, and pick and shovel. Dig out burrows and then exciting chases with the dogs to catch the stray rabbits that were out of the burrows. We mustered the sheep for drenching and the cows for branding the calves, then drafting out the bullocks for their trip to Traralgon to be fattened for the market in Newmarket. Horses were grain fed and hay and chaff was grown in the homestead paddocks and chaffed up at the shed near the stables.
I remember when the depression hit hard and I lost my job as the staff had to be reduced so I returned home to Towamba and Pericoe and went trapping rabbits for the skins. The one buyer, Mr. W.N.Stone of Eden and in the summer, wattle bark stripping for the tanning trade. Snigging the bundles of bark by horse and slide, to the bark bin for chopping by axe then to be filled in the bags to be taken by the old International and Maple Leaf trucks and Ally Harris's Reo Speed Waggon to Eden wharf, to be taken to the Farmers and Graziers Market to be sold to the tanners. Later on, to James Hardy's bark crusher mill at Eden wharf, who took it as so many pounds per tonne in the bundle, so we only had one lot of freight to pay to Eden and that gave us a a few more quid.
POST AND TELEGRAPH OFFICES
There were numerous little post and telegraph offices in the Towamba-Pericoe area, many of them long forgotten. One was at Pericoe and another at Yambulla. The Pericoe office was on Mr. William Ryan senior's land. Mr Ryan had three sons, Mersey, Joe and William. The branch line wire went to Yambulla over Ryan's Hill, along the roadside on poles most of the way and the rest of the distance on trees. The Pericoe office opened in 1889 and Yambulla in 1900.
The Towamba office, opened in 1870, was on "Elmlea", the Martin property, near where the road crossed the river to the village of Sturt before continuing on to Pericoe and Yambulla. The road to Wog Wog, via Letts Mountain and on to Baelcoola and Nungatta Station (Carbethon) was the mail route. the telegraph line went more directly from Pericoe over the Indigo Range to Baelcoola and Carbethon, where the line branched at the Figurehead on the roadside. One branch went to Baelcoola and Rockton, the other to Carbethon along Love's Road, to Nungatta homestead.
ROADS AND TRACKS
The road or track from Towamba to Yambulla went past Hartneady's store, climbed the hill to Ben Beasley's place, along the ridge to the Manning block, through Gordon's "Mount Pleasant" property and then went to join the road from Pericoe at Ryan's Hill on to Yambulla through Snob's Flat, over Faulkiner's Creek, Pint Pot Creek and Indigo Creek to Yambulla township on the hillside.
One track went from Yambulla to the Wallagaraugh River, further south; another went through the bush to Wangarabell, over the border in Victoria.
The Rockton post office and telegraph office was formerly know as Bondi or Bundi. This was the property of Captain John Stevenson, who was buried there close to the graves of some other people. The captain's grave has a headstone so it is readily found.
In 1921 Michael Flanagan, a pioneer and resident of Rockton, brought mail to Nungatta from Rockton. He was Irish, as his name might suggest, and was a native of Dublin. Jim Brownlie carried mail from Bombala to Rockton twice a week with horse and junker, as also did a Mr. Veldt later on. Then a Mr. Kimber did the job, but drove a car.
After Osbornes bought Nungatta from Dunbar and Napier, the mail service was dropped, as being unprofitable.
The earliest track out of Nungatta was southward via Wangrabelle, across the Genore River, eastward to the coast near the Wingan River; then westward to the Thurra and the Cann Rivers. From there the trail went through to Orbost along the south coast of Gippsland. That was the track Hutton followed when droving the cattle, and the drovers came back. That was in 1841.
Time marches on and old landmarks are forgotten, among them the little bush schools around the Pericoe, Letts Creek and Yambulla areas.
Pericoe school was on the property of John Alexander, who gave a two acre grant to the Education Department of N.S.W. before Federation came into being. Afterward the family had to rent if back for grazing when the school was burned down and the Department secured a small site from Mr. William Ryan senior on a peppercorn rental. The school house was near the Pericoe Hall, also on Mr. Ryan's land, near the junction of Yambulla Road with the Pericoe-Rockton Road.
Letts Creek school was close to the roadside at the creek crossing on Pericoe-Letts Mountain-Wog Wog Road. There were dairy farms along the roads in those days and dairymen's children had a chance to learn the 3 R's. The building was brought to Pericoe when the school there was destroyed by fire.
When mining ceased at the Yambulla gold mining settlement, the local school was moved to Mahratta, on the Monaro. It was taken there on a bullock team by Bill Love, helped by Alby Brotherton of Saucy Creek.
The pine trees at Pericoe and the bottle surrounds of flower beds at Yambulla are the only reminders of those historic sites.
Burragate school house is now a private residence. The school building was taken away, and the post office, dance hall and School of Arts remain only as memories among old residents.
Wog Wog butter factory was on Mr. Moorhead's riverside property.
About 20 children attended the Rockton school and the teacher there was Mr. Os Evans. It was his first school but by no means his last. Over the years he taught at many schools, imparting knowledge to pupils at Tanja, Brogo, Mogilla, Stoney Creek (four miles out of Bega) and Palestine, near Eden, amongst others. He celebrated his 87th birthday anniversary on March 12, 1982.
Rocky Hall butter factory was near Cowbail Creek, on Mr. Connolly's land. The butter factory at Towamba was on land owned by Mr. Charles Roberts senior.
All the farmers round about had herds of English Dairy Shorthorns. Calves were bucket-reared and grew into steers, 3 year-old and 6 year-old bullocks. The bullocks brought £1 per head per year of growth; thus 3 years-old were worth £3 , 6 and 7 years-old were worth £6 and £7.
Hibburds owned the Stockyard Hotel first. It was near Joe Underhill's store on the roadside at Rocky Hall. It was the last pub before the steep pull up Big Jack Mountain.
Fire destroyed the Towamba Hotel in 1915. The owner, Sam Martin, a very vigorous old Englishman, lived to the great age of 107 years. He died at Towamba and was buried in the cemetery there. Before leaving England, while just a lad, he had the pleasure of seeing the first train steam into London Station. "Brocky" Martin was said to be a native of Manchester. (see Obituaries)
A FLOOD-TIME EPISODE
We had flood rains at Pericoe in February 1956 and were getting cattle rounded up for a store cattle sale at Burragate saleyards on March 3. Storm, rain and sunshine, the creeks and rivers flooded and rising fast and only the decking of the low-level bridge across Towamba River visible.
The usual way to Burragate was across several properties including Sheepskin, crossing first the Wog Wog River and then the Towamba River, three miles from Burragate. The full distance, eleven miles, had to be done in a rush from daylight to eleven o'clock, but with the rivers full to overflowing we gave it a bye and decided to travel the 15 miles via Towamba village, crossing the bridge just below the south bank. We had a mob of 100 head of mixed cattle; Herefords, cows calves, bullocks and two-year-old steers.
I was in charge and had with me Les Love and Arthur Beasley. We took the mob to a paddock on the Wednesday afternoon, to be ready as early as possible to hit the road.
We were doing well at first, but the Pericoe cattle would not go onto the bridge so the wise old boys said they would have to swim the river. Usually they crossed the creek on a culvert near Pericoe but the river was a different proposition. However, we knew we could get them across and we had two good dogs.
We reached the river at midday. The bridge was only just clear of the water, which was about 90 yards wide, so we put Arthur in the lead. We kept the dogs behind. Les, on the right side, and I on the left side got the whips going. The dogs began heeling and barking and we got the mob started. We got across in remarkably quick time without being seen by a solitary person until we dismounted at the old "pinkie" shop. (Towamba Wine Saloon) Here we had a couple of dry sherries and a shout all round. After that we felt capable of taking 1000 head across Niagara Falls. We paddocked the mob so they could have a rest and feed before going the rest of the way. That night we took to the blankets early.
Rising early and breakfasting, we had the mob on the road by seven o'clock, moving steadily toward Burragate, six miles distant. At 9.15 am we had them in the saleyard and drafted into their various grades - cows and calves, the big bullocks and 2-year-old steers, while the bull that Arthur had charge of was penned, roped around the horns, and tethered to a heavy corner post.
At 10 am, our share in the proceedings was finished and the local Red Cross ladies brought us very welcome tea and sandwiches which they laid out on a table before us. We had to tell them the story of why we had chosen to come across the river at Towamba instead of by the usual cross-country route.
Big Alf Tasker reckoned he knew we would have to come by the bridge, as the river at Sheepskin crossing was too swift; but he did not see us pass his place in the morning.
Old Jack Farrell, the yard man, said it was the first time a mob had been drafted without him having something to do with it. He was delighted and from that time onward always called us "The Wild Men".
The tributaries of the Genore River are the Boondi River heading at Rockton; the White Rock River; and Nungatta Creek, In his book "The Overlander", published in 1926, E.J.Brady referred to the "Ginoa" river. "Ginoa", he said, was an Aboriginal word meaning "Good-bye". Today, Genore, Ginoa and Boondi are spelt Genoa and Bondi, but these are not the original spellings or pronunciations.
The Timbillica and Wallagaraugh are on the south side of the divide that is a ridge stretching from Indigo Mountain eastward to the coast at Bittangabee. As the late Tom Doyle once told me: "You can follow it through and never cross water, for you're on a watershed". The south flow of water around Mt. Imlay and Mt. Poole comes from the big creeds - Falkiner's, Snob's, Imlay, Boggy, Pint Pot and Yambulla Creek at the old township. These combine to make up the river at Wallagaraugh which hits Mallacoota Lake on the north side of Gipsy Point.
Other creeks on the south side of the Timbillica and Weatherhead Creek and Allan Brook Creek. The Forestry Commission (now State Forests) has roads through this area now and bridges over the creeks and rivers, which, at time of writing (early October, 1981) are their driest in forty years of white occupation and mismanagement.
Towamba Valley's river system is made up from the Towamba River that starts at the Coal Hole on the escarpment of Big Jack Mountain in the Rocky Hall area. The main tributaries on the north slopes are the Mataganah, Scotchy's, Jingera and Stoney Creeks, joining up near Towamba. On the south side the Wog Wog River connects with the Towamba River from the south are Pericoe and Camping Ground Creeks, while Back Creek joins near Log Farm. Numerous smaller streams, including Stanley's Creek, add their quota until the river empties into the Pacific Ocean's briny waters at Whale Beach, know locally as Kiah Beach. Old maps show the river behind a long sand dune back of Whale Beach as Kyerr Inlet.
BUTTER AND CHEESE MAKING
Butter and cheese making on a large scale from the Pericoe Station managed by John Alexander and his family - six sons, seven daughters. John's wife was formerly a Miss Smith, of Pambula. Sons were Ted, who left early in the piece to go to Queensland, Robert ("Bo") who ran the "Hayfield" farm, Sydney, the "Bonnie Doon" property, Percy, the "One Mile", Eden had "Fairview", and Alf had the "home" dairy. Daughters were; Sarah, Annie, Mamie, Barbara, Ada, Dot and Queenie.
Most of the old-timers from Towamba and Pericoe have passed away but the old butter factory in the house yard at Pericoe has stood up to the elements these may years. The iron brands for branding the words "Pericoe Creamery" on butter kegs were there with the wooden churn and the cream vats. The circular butter pressing table bore testimony to their use and the big separator had a pulley on it for attachment of belts to the wood-fired boiler engine which was anchored to a huge block of wood.
As a member of the Binnie family once remarked: "Pericoe was always an excellent property and, even with the damage done by invading rabbits, all the soil wasn't washed down the river." He said, "I've often seen five powerful horses hooked up to a big dray loaded with kegs of butter, heading for Eden. At some places along the way horses and dray seemed to be sinking in the soft greasy clay. When the Eden wharf was reached the butter would be unloaded at the I. & S.C.S.N. Co's (Illawarra & South Coast Steam Navigation Co.) shed, where the agent, Mr. Carey Downton, had it put aboard the coastal steamer bound for Sydney and the city market." (Mr. Downton, a retired sea captain, had a farm, "Gooyan", back of Narrabarba and behind Mt. Imlay, but it was too isolated and far from town, so the family went back to Sydney and once more the captain took up his seafaring life. Some years went by, and life in the city was adversley affecting the children's health. Captain Downton decided that Eden's mild climate would be beneficial. He was appointed the I.S.N. Co's agent and for some time lived on The Lookout, but later purchased the "St. Audrie's " land and made that his home.
Pericoe factory was one of the earliest in this southern corner - well before a butter factory was set up at Towamba.
One could truly say that five tons of butter per week were sent from Pericoe Station in kegs ("kags" to many folk) per steamer to Sydney. Pericoe, 5000 acres in all, was noted for its productive capability. The cheese factory was further down the creek, and the amount produced from the big herd of Dairy Shorthorns was amazing.
Many a draft of big Shorthorn bullocks in prime condition was despatched by road to various selling centres long before the days of diesel-powered truck transport arrived. Bullocks were driven steadily so that, when finally sold, they had not lost any condition. I can recall seeing a draft of Pericoe bullocks at Nungatta Station in 1922 and if I said that they were as big as horses no on would believe me, but it was true nevertheless. Two enormous roan bullocks held the record dressed weight of over 1000 pounds each at the butchery where they were slaughtered.
Alexander Binnie junior never failed to extol the productive capability of Pericoe Station. His "Log Farm" was on the south side of Towamba River, opposite Clements' "Model Farm" on the north side of the river.
In 1951 Harold Binnie, son of David Binnie of the well-known "Dunblane" farm at Burragate, said, "There's seven or eight hundred acres of Pericoe that will grow all the feed and hay necessary to keep anyone busy and give them a comfortable income.
Peter Imlay was the first man to own Towamba. Later on it was transferred to Benjamin Boyd and, when Boyd disappeared on one of the Pacific islands, Stiles bought it from the Boyd estate. The Weatherheads bought it from Stiles and Alexander Weatherhead made the whole property freehold. After the 1914-18 War was over, Towamba Station was cut up into three soldier settlement blocks. Two sons of Alexander Brownlie senior - Bill and Richie - each got a block and the other block - the most westerly - went to Arthur Warne.
WILLIAM NICHOLSON STONE
The rabbit came to Pericoe in 1904. Jack Hartneady was training Alf Alexander in preparation for a foot race against a man named Bennett. Foot running was much in vogue at the time. Alf was fast and took his training seriously. Practising close to home one afternoon he saw strange animals too small to be hares but somewhat similar. He told Hartneady, saying: "If they're what I think they are we're in for big trouble". Hartneady went out and shot two which he identified as rabbits. Ere long Brer Rabbit had displaced the hare and became a menace to stockowners by digging in and breeding like mad. Poisoners and trappers made big money at times from the sale of rabbit skins, but land owners had to wire-net their properties in an often vain attempt to keep the pest at bay.
W.N.Stone was a licensed wool, hides and skin buyer at Eden and, formerly, at Bombala, where he spent his early years. He was born at Bong Bong, but with his father, Richard, and mother Susannah, moved to the southern Monaro. As a young man he was in business at Bombala, buying wool and hides with Frank Dawson.
Billy, as he was known to one and all, was a fine old chap with us youngsters and he would tell and show us how to skin animals and how to stretch bunnies' skins on wire bows. He came along regularly on Thursdays to buy whatever we had on hand that was in his line of business. He had a wonderful sense of humour and exuded goodfellowship. No one in his right mind could resist doing business with Billy Stone for he was fair and scrupulously honest in all his dealings.
He was a big, heavy man, near 16 stone in weight, yet, as a stripling in his early years he was no mean athlete. My father, Robert Ingram, knew him well when he was around Bombala.
The almost unknown part of W.N.'s life was that, in his early twenties, in the late 1800s, he was an excellent runner, that being a very popular sport long before organised football and cricket took over in a big way.
At the Bombala Oddfellows' Easter Monday sports and picnic, Billy Stone, Tom Ford, John Bruce and John Brindle the half-cast, competed in the big sprint race. Brindle won three heats against Ford and three times the judges awarded the race to Ford. There was racism even in those days.
THE GEORGE ARNOLDS
A great pastry cook, George Arnold served his apprenticeship under his mother's tuition at Bombala before marrying and coming to Towamba, where he managed the hotel for the Martin families. From there, after the hotel was burnt down, he went to Pericoe Station and worked for Alf Alexander for close on forty years.
He was a prodigious worker in the dairy and at other times would tackle whatever task was to hand. His wife and family helped. George and Sarah Arnold had twelve children. I went to school at Pericoe with the two youngest, Frank and Eva. Frank was a fine tennis player and cricketer. He and I were both members of the local tennis club.
George loved to help with local dances and his contribution was the baking of up to 24 dozen jam tarts - his speciality - for the suppers at these functions. When fifty or sixty hungry dancers sat down to big suppers which formed a break in proceedings. the tarts were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
The old Arnold couple were noted for their hospitality and their greeting, if there was anyone riding or driving past, was always: "Come in and have dinner with us". There wasn't a chance of getting past without offending them, and they loved a yarn. Grand people!
HOME AND HOSPITAL
On the "Hayfield" farm of Robert ("Bo") Alexander a home and maternity hospital combined was built. There were many people around in those times, what with the Towamba and Yambulla populations, and Mrs Alexander was a trained obstetric nurse. Unfortunately she died before the hospital could be put to the use for which it had been designed. Their two children were very young when their mother died, but Mrs Alexander's sister took them and reared them until they grew up. The hospital had been splendidly designed and could have accommodated quite a number of patients.
PERICOE AND THE ALEXANDERS
Pericoe Station was bounded on the eastern side by the properties of Joe Ryan and Jim McPaul, and Pericoe Creek was the boundary for most of the way - only three-quarters of a mile to the Towamba River.
Talking to a friend recently about my early associations with Pericoe Station and the Alexander families reminds me of that fine old lady Mrs Alf Alexander and the magnificent meals she produced and served up to us who were working there. Her midday meals were of the good old style of potatoes and other vegetables boiled and baked; meats baked, fried and roasted - delicious beef and mutton, with lashings of wonderful gravy. For sweets we had baked milk pudding, plum pudding boiled or steamed, with white sauce; boiled custard, rice boiled in milk, preserved peaches or red plums, stewed apples with cream and luscious home made ice cream. That was how the good lady pampered us almost every weekday and we went home for our suppers.
When shearing was on she had five extra men to feed beside her own family. There were two shearers, a presser and musterer (myself), the classer and the boy on the broom, who also penned the sheep.
Breakfasts were: hot meat and vegetables, with as much bread, butter and jam as you wished. Morning tea was home-made biscuits and hot scones filled with butter and afternoon tea at three o'clock was the same.
Dipping sheep at Pericoe Station was always a time for hard work and rough jokes. Fifteen hundred sheep were mustered and put through the 40 foot long concrete channel. Sheep had to swim through the dip and were pushed under twice along the way; this was to submerge their heads and kill the lice and keds, guaranteeing them a year-long immunity.
A team of five men or boys was on hand to put the animals through and replenish their "bath" water. The only idle time was when the welcome "cuppa" and plenty of hot buttered scones came to revive flagging spirits.
Two men with ducking sticks pushed sheep under and kept them from getting too crowded; then helped them up the steps to a concrete draining pen.
In the forcing pens and the pen at the start of the dip the big wethers with horns like billy goats were real nasty customers. To handle them one had to side-step like a toreador, tackle, then fling them into the dip quickly. A mighty splash would bring water flying over the ducker, who received it with suitable verbal accompaniment. (The brand of sheep dip used in those days was mostly 'Coopers Dip' and was a yellow powder containing arsenic. Editor)
The Pericoe sheep and cattle run was bounded in the north by Wog Wog River; in the west by Indigo Range; in the south by Wallagaraugh River. Numerous creeks included Letts Creek, Pericoe Creek, White Gum and Snob's Flat Creeks, Boggy Tree Creek, Falkiner's Creek, Imlay Creek, Pint Pot Creek, Slide Creek and Peach Tree Creek. A very well-watered area.
Prominent hills in the region were Ryan's Hill, Millpost or Pericoe Trig Station, Rocky Knob above Love's Valley, Driscoll's Peak overlooking Snob's Flat and Boggy Creek. Mount Poole overlooked the old Yambulla gold diggings.
Snob's Flat was a roughly one square mile piece of territory and took its name from a happening may years ago when a man named Snob (or Snobb?) decided to take a short-cut and lop some miles off the distance between Nungatta and Towamba. When crossing this flat he noticed a big mob of wild horses and cattle feeding there. Arriving at Towamba he passed the word to Charlie Roberts senior and "Old Man" Bridle. Next morning they went out and rounded up the mob, which they brought in to Towamba. It was natural that after this the name "Snob's Flat" gained common acceptance.
NUNGATTA - DUNBAR AND NAPIER
I was nine years old in May 1924 when the partnership of Dunbar and Napier bought Nungatta Station. Mr Napier and family moved to Nungatta from Traralgon in Victoria to get the fences and property into shape for the cattle Mr Napier had gone to collect from the Northern Tablelands around Glen Innes and Tenterfield. The Hereford cows were the nucleus of the first breeding herd in the south.
The cattle were walked from near the Queensland border to Nungatta in about four months - a mob of around 600, mostly cows in calf; some 400 head to be the breeding herd on the property.
In the following summer of 1925 Mr Dunbar again left Nungatta for another mob, this time taking two men beside himself, with covered waggon and six horses, and their destination was Texas, the small town astride the Queensland border. He brought 600 head of store Hereford and Hereford-Shorthorn bullocks, returning, as on the previous trip, through Wellington and Bathurst on the west side of the Dividing Range. He always picked up help along the way. Beside himself, the others were Les Hagen, Norman McLean (the two he started out with), Dick French and "Goondiwindi" Dick whose surname I have forgotten.
They had five new horses - two greys with white stars; Starlight, a creamy draught; also Texas, an outlaw from the Texan area; and Dandy, a hunter from Wellington. Dandy afterward won the water jump at Melbourne Royal Show in 1925 with a leap of 31 feet 11½ inches, a record that was unbeaten for about thirty years. Dandy crashed at a hurdle in the Traralgon Show and as a result Dunbar was killed. He was only 32 years of age and was unmarried.
That second mob of cattle was walked on to Bairnsdale from Nungatta for the early August sale. From Nungatta to Bairnsdale the drovers were Dunbar (boss), Norman (waggon boy), Robert Ingram, Les Hayes and "Brickie" Farrell. It was a wet, boggy trip all the way - floods in the Snowy and other Gippsland rivers. On the home trip of 14 days Dad got back early in August after being away eight weeks. Those were the times when big droving trips were commonplace and cattle were walked across country from State to State, and Victorians got their Hereford cattle for fattening and breeding.
There was a post and telegraph office, "Carbethon", at Nungatta (no subscribers) established in 1916 and it was a real boon to people travelling through from Genoa-side as it obviated the necessity of going some miles out of their way to ring up from Towamba when they were heading up to the tableland through Mila.
Up to the time I was eleven years of age I had been getting my schooling at Nungatta through the correspondence method. The weekly mail arrived in a horse-and-jinker conveyance and Michael Flanagan was our mailman. The mail from Bombala to Mila where Michael waited to bring it on to us, came (again in a horse-and-jinker) and Jim Brownlie was mailman on that section.
"NUNGA" TO THE ABORIGINES
Was it the early morning sunlight reflecting back from the cliff faces that moved the early Aborigines who lived there to speak of "Nunga", "the day", centuries before the white man came to old Nungatta and established there a big cattle station? Certain it was that Aborigines in this fine territory abounding in all forms of wild life would never have been short of food for the tribe. Nungatta was for them a land of plenty.
During recent times people from the coast near Eden have travelled to Nungatta cattle run on historical missions, as it was the last home of Alexander Weatherhead, who was buried there in the cemetery of his own family. He died in 1901. His wife and four children predeceased him.
Now, about the cliffs; I have seen the morning sunrise bring out all the colours on them. Nungatta cliffs are romantic, grim and aloof. As the light changes, so do they change - from towering and forbidding to benign and understanding. I have seen the shades at Midday and used them as a dinner-time signal. I have seen them blotted out with heavy rain and occasional snow storm, and those old cliffs have helped me to a philosophy that whatever changes and how much or how little rain we receive, those hills, mountains and rocky cliffs will be there until the Judgment Day.