The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 4 January 1851: NORTHERN ROADS

The Maitland Mercury… Saturday 4 January 1851,

farmers of former years a toast was often given
at their social meetings, with “good road« to
ready markets.” In Australia, whatever meed
of praise our markets deserve, the roads are
entitled to far less. Still, bit by bit improve-
ments are effecting-the formidable Liverpool
Ranges of the Hunter, for instance, have lost
the terror of their name, and the road is now
cleared of timber, so that the pass, compara-
tively, may be gone over easily. Still greater
improvements have been made in the Munbie
Range ; over the worst gullies well constructed
bridges facilitate the traveller’s progress, and
these bridges have resisted the force of every
impetuous mountain torrent much better than
some of our Sydney erections. The Devil’s
Pinch and Ben Lomond both would require their
turns on the mending line, more especially as a
new and very practicable route to Grafton, on
the Clarence River, traced out by Mr. Duncan,
the active occupier of Glen Elgin, on Macleay
River, and Mr. Hook, the intelligent super-
intendent to Mr. Burgess, Yarrowford, will now
open an easy and far shorter road from the dis-
trict, by North Ben Lomond, to the nearest sea
port than was ever gone over before. If this  line were cleared of fallen timber, and a sharp pinch or two reduced, the people from Dundee
or Beardy Plains might drive gig in tandem all
the way in perfect safety, with the advantage of
one-half the distance by the present road from Dundee, and one-third shorter to the other stations ; indeed the old road via Newton Boyd and Broad Meadow out-Herods Herod. According to the report of an eye-witness who had
crossed the Grampian Mountains of Scotland in
ten different places, the worst of them was n0
turnpike certainly, but practicable, when com-
pared to the rugged rout of mountain tops and
steep acclivities, for a space of thirty miles,
which distinguish this dangerous and difficult
track, for road it must not be termed, beyond all
others. It is understood that au application
will be made to the government for some pecu-
niary aid to clear this much wanted line of communication. The distance from Armidale to Grafton will then be only about 180 miles at
farthest, and as the new steamer will be soon
expected from Britain for the Clarence River
trade, this part of the country, hitherto little
known, would then be opened up to colonial
enterprise, as nothing so much tends to develop
the resources of any district as good roads,
and naught farther retards than bad roads.
The Press, Jan. 1.

INTERESTING READING FROM 1850 WHEN IN  2008 THE ROAD FROM GRAFTON TO GLEN INNES IS CLOSED. NEVERTHELESS – IT IS WILD COUNTRY TO THIS DAY AND SURELY WOULD HAVE BEEN WILDER WHEN THE KENDALLS WERE THERE. APP 1848-1852. WITH Access to the NLA ONLINE HISTORIC NEWSPAPERS some holes are being filled in – historically and informationally if not on the actual roads. There is frequent mention of Basil’s Brother Joseph sailing the coastal routes . This would expand the possibilities of as to how the family travelled to and from the Clarence and Illawarra.


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