Our time machine next takes us to Moruya in 1871. Mullenderree now has its own Post Office, School, General Store and Hotel.
Francis Flanagan has died and his widow resides in a comfortable house on the property (which is still there now).
For the past 41 years the fertile Mullenderree Flats have been under constant cultivation with a large quantity of land currently growing maize. Potatoes, wheat, barley, oats and arrowroot are also being grown. There are vineyards and orchards as well as livestock. The small dairies are producing their own cheese and butter.
Steamers call to pick up the produce for the Sydney market but these can only come as far as the Heads as the river has silted up. The goods are being conveyed to and from the township by punts.
We are told at the Gulf (Nerrigundah) a gold field is producing considerable quantities of gold and the Mogo goldfield shows promise of being payable. There are also two silver mines only requiring capital to develop them. The granite quarries are said to be producing granite equal to any in the world.
After rowing across the river we begin a leisurely walk up Vulcan Street, passing the Coxon’s Adelaide Hotel with a garden overlooking the river. (The Adelaide Hotel of 2018 is on the same site.)
Next door is the nice little store of Mrs Tier. Looking across the road we see a block of wooden buildings, with the“Examiner” office, a watchmaker, butcher and blacksmith.
As we proceed up the street we come to Staunton’s Commercial Hotel (the site is now occupied by the Monarch Hotel) and Mr McKeon’s store and residence.
Further on is Emmott’s Beehive store (now Harris Scarfe). Crossing Queen Street we come to the Post and Telegraph Office busy with customers purchasing money orders as there is no bank in town. (The site is now a surf shop.)
On the other side of Vulcan Street is the wooden Catholic Church, Presbytery and Catholic school as well as the Court House and jail.
The Court House is very cramped and additional accommodation is urgently needed with no witness box or dock for the prisoners.
At the jail live the constable and his wife in two miserable rooms. There are two cells at the rear with large crevices admitting wind and rain.
We then turn west up Queen Street and pass Morris’ store, a butcher’s shop, Mrs Kenny’s immense weatherboard two-storey hotel, and a tailoring and hairdressing establishment.
On the corner of Queen and Page Streets is the residence of the Senior Sergeant (which is still there).
Turning left into Page Street on the right we see the beautiful granite Wesleyan Church.
Further along the street is the timber Church of England and teacher’s residence. School is also held in the church. There is no public school.
Nearby being built of granite is the parson’s residence. Both the Wesleyan Church and the new parsonage are the work of the talented stonemason Mr Ziegler. Behind the Wesleyan Church is the Moruya Lagoon (now drained and made into sporting fields). On the other side of the lagoon we can see a few buildings at Gundary, the largest being Ellison’s mill.
Moruya now has a population of 551, most of whom are very healthy so we find Dr Boot has time to attend to his farm, garden and orchard at Yarragee.
We accept an invitation to a horse ride to the Heads. It is a beautiful afternoon, and we ride along lanes, passing cottages and cultivated fields. At the Heads is the Pilot Station, a school (now relocated to the corner of Campbell and Evans Street) and a few houses forming the village of Newstead.
Proceeding eastward for about a half a mile we come to the top of the hill known as Toragy Point where we find the graves of some earlier settlers, including Captain Ross, who was the Pilot at the Pilot Station for many years.
The following morning we are invited to a picnic on the river at Pompey Point. The ladies are left to prepare the picnic while the rest of us are rowed across the river to see the famous Moruya granite quarry from which was obtained the granite for the pillars of the new GPO in Sydney and the pedestal of the Captain Cook statue in Hyde Park.
Brothers Joseph and John Flett Louttit own the quarry but it is presently leased by John Young, the contractor for the GPO. We see the tramway constructed to take the stone from the quarry to the water’s edge and meet Joseph and his wife Margaret. John is still recovering from injuries incurred when the stone for the Captain Cook statue was being loaded onto a ship for transport to Sydney.
We then return to the picnic and later walk to the top of the hill on the property of Mr Ziegler and Mr Ard. This property has another quarry and is a farm of about 1100 acres with a dairy and vineyards. We promise to return again soon.
The Historical Society has a Granite Lathe on display at the Museum of the type used to turn the GPO columns. More details can be found at http://www.mdhs.org.au/museum.html
The Moruya Pilot Station Log has been transcribed and can be downloaded from www.mdhs.org.au/pdfs/Ships and Shipwrecks/Moruya_Pilot_Station_Log.pdf