Bridgewater (Cox Creek) - Early Newspaper Articles

The following are miscellaneous articles extracted by Reg Butler (Hahndorf Historian) from the following:

SA Gazette & Mining Journals - 1849;  Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles - 1854 to 1937;

Echunga District Council Minutes - 1853 to 1859;  Crafers District Council Minutes - 1859 to 1936;

SA Gazette & Mining Journal 14/4/1849

An extraordinary undertaking of the most promising character has been for some months maturing within the quietude of that part of the neighbouring forest which is intersected by Cox Creek.  GM Stephen Esqu, the proprietor off 500 acres in that vicinity, containing much valuable timber, vast masses of rich iron ore, and abundant wood fuel, having been advised by Mr Crockett, an eminent iron-master, and other practical gentlemen, to turn these treasures to account, did not hesitate to put forth his strength; and spiritedly purchased a sixty-horse steam-engine, which has been upon the spot.  This power, superadded to a considerable amount of water-power which is available throughout the year, will enable the people to be employed, and to be employed on Mrr Stephen’s establishment, to operate, extensively in the sawing and preparation of timber for local consumption, in the smelting and manufacture of iron and in rolling any quantity of the refined copper of the colony into sheets, for marine sheathing and other purposes.  We bate the strong smack it has of the Milner Estate puffery.

Forest Iron-Smelting and Steam-Sawing Works set up at Cox Creek in the late 1840s.  James Dunstan was foreman of the operation and looked after orders.  Interesting advertisement p 4.

The business was sold in 1852, as a result of bankruptcy.  Workshops, forge and every convenience for carrying on what must be evident to a capitalist, one of the most flourishing and profitable Timber trades in the colonies.

The creek runs with considerable force for great part of the year through the property, and could be applied to turn a powerful Water-Wheel.  Sections 1117, 1118, 1130, 1131, 1137 containing 464 acres altogether.  Register 16/9/1852.

The broad palings recently brought in from the more distant Tiers have been pronounced superior, upon the whole, to any imported from Tasmania.  The average breadth is rather more than 6”, the article is stout, and in point of durability we understand the SA palings are decidedly superior.  The price now readily obtainable is such as to warrant the expectation that supplies from the Tiers at the back of Mt Lofty range may eventually render importation unnecessary.

SA Gazette & Mining Journal 28/7/1849

John Chambers, blacksmith, of North Adelaide, states that about December or January 1848, in consequence of a message from Mr GM Stephen, he (Chambers) called upon Mr Stephen at his office in King William St.  Mr Stephen received him; expressed his astonishment that Chambers did not recognise in the individual into whose presence he was then ushered, Mr GM Stephen, the barrister-at-law.  Mr Stephen proceeded to inform Chambers that Captain Hindmarsh, the Governor of Heligoland, was Mr Stephen’s father-in-law, that Mr Mundy, the Colonial Secretary, was his brother-in-law; and that his brother was Chief Justice of NSW.  He then abruptly said ‘You have some sections at Cox Creek - will you sell them?’  Chambers replied ‘I have no intention of so doing; I bought them with the view of smelting the iron ore with which they abound’.  Mr Stephen rejoined, ‘It is not for the minerals I want them, but for a summer residence for Mrs Stephen’.  At last he wheedled a section out of Chambers, that Stephen should have it at the same price as Chambers paid for it, namely one pound per acre, paying Chambers 20% for the time he was out of his money; and that all minerals under the section should be reserved to Chambers.  Mr Stephen immediately thereupon paid Chambers £50 and took his written receipt.  Mr Stephen a few days after, saw Chambers, and told him that he had chosen the Section Numbered 1118.  Shortly after, a deed was prepared by Mr Stephen, which Chambers, without the intervention of any professional man on his part, signed.  This deed was signed under the impression on Chamber's Mind that it honestly carried out the agreement that he had made with Mr Stephen; that it secured to Chambers the minerals; but he has since learnt that he has been deceived, and that all the minerals as well as the surface passed to Mr Stephen.  Mr Stephen now refuses to give any information to Chambers’s attorneys, or to put matters right, but has brought an action of libel against him for asserting what he here solemnly repeats.

SA Gazette & Mining Journal 2/8/1849

We, in common with 99 out of every 100 men in the colony, believed; but certainly if Mr GM Stephen can authorise an explanation or contradiction, we shall be most ready to publish it in our next.

SA Gazette & Mining Journal 20/10/1849

A conflict of interest between the northern and southern Mt Barker District about the main line of the Mt Barker Road.

It is notorious that the most thickly populated and the best agricultural part of the province lies round Balhannah, Inverbrackie and Mt Charles.  It may not be equally well known, but it is the fact, that the settlers of Echunga and Macclesfield are one-third less in numbers, and do not possess half the available land of the first locality, while the ores from the valuable Reedy Creek must be sent by way of Balhannah.  Yet it is gravely put forward as a proposition that the interests of the colony would be best served by building a bridge at Warlands and leaving hundreds of drays to flounder through the mud as they best can!  This too is a shameful waste of public money …  The interests of the respective districts are inseparable, and for the benefit of all parties concerned, I would submit the following as the most practicable plan that can be adopted, namely - One main line from Crafers Inn to Mt Barker, adopting Nixon’s Line, which has already cost the colony thousands of pounds, but from which not one fraction of benefit has ever been derived, owing to its not being carried on to Hahndorf Bridge, where it was intended to join the old road.  This road can be finished at less cost than any other line, and possesses, besides, the additional advantage of being the most central and level that can be selected.

Having arrived at the township of Mt Barker, let it be laid out to the western flat adjoining the Macclesfield road beyond Mr Burrow’s section.  This road I am certain would not be more than a mile further for the settlers at Macclesfield and Strathalbyn …

But the most powerful argument in support of my view is, that no bridge would be required at Balhannah or elsewhere.  Without the slightest inconvenience, the road over the Hahndorf Bridge could be used by striking off the main line at Mr Gwynne’s section, the distance to the Balhannah people, along a hard leading range, not being more than half a mile further than by the present route.  -  A Settler at Nairne.

Hon Jacob Hagen and Mr Warland the publican wanted Hack’s Bridge rebuilt.  This would cost £1,700 in building a bridge at an out-of-the-way ford leading to a spot rejoicing in the euphonious name of Echunga.  Private individuals to agrandise themselves do not scruple to say that the public moneys of the province, should, without rhyme or reason, be employed forthwith in the prosecution of a scheme … in taking the road to localities where it is not at present required.  -  Whr

SA Weekly Dispatch 23/9/1854.

Nixon’s Road - This road, which has been marked out for a long time, has very recently been placed (as far as regards that position from the Mt Barker Road to Cox Creek, including the bridge) under the care of Messrs England and Coultard, contractors, of this city, and at the present begins to assume a tolerably finished appearance.  The road starts at a point on the Mt Barker Road, about four miles from Crafer’s Inn, and, continuing about two miles and a half, comes out by Hahndorf.  It is carried over Cox Creek by a substantial bridge with stone abutments, and a wooden platform of red and blue gum supported on five girders - one of the best bridges in the colony.

Throughout its entire length, the road will be constructed on such an easy level that a gig may be driven over it with safety, the fall being, on an average, not more than one foot in nineteen.  The road beyond Cox Creek has been contracted for, and will be completed in two months.  There is every prospect of a township being speedily established at Cox Creek, there being already one mill erected in the neighbourhood, which is nearly completed; and we understand that another is contemplated, to be moved by water-power, of which there is an abundant supply.  In addition to this, there are in course of erection several substantial stone buildings, one of which is the property of Mr Addison, of the Deanery, and will be occupied by him as an inn when it is completed.  The building will be most spacious, and well adapted to afford comfort and convenience to the wayfarer.

Adelaide Times 11/4/1855.

New road to Hahndorf completed by the autumn of 1855.

The old house of entertainment, The Deanery, is pulled down and a fine substantial building of stone has been erected by Mr Addison on the new line of road.  The new house is called The Bridgewater Hotel.  It is not quite completed in its interior fittings, but it is expected that it will be ready for the accommodation of all comers in about a month.

SA Register 5/5/1855

The road between Mountain Hut and Eagle’s Nest called ‘the devil’s elbow’, ‘stony pinch’, ‘teamster’s curse’, and ‘cut-throat hill’.  Detour now made to improve the incline for all vehicles.

SA Register Inquest at the Bridgewater Hotel.

Mrs Daws, the wife of the organist of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Pirie-St, died from injuries when a light cart upset in front of the Lion Mill (28/2/1857)

Register 6/11/1857

Lamprey found in Cox Creek in late 1857.  Came upstream from the Onkaparinga, which had long had this fish.  The lamprey attached themselves by the mouth to the banks of the creek.  A good place for people to catch this delicious food.

SA Register 6/1/1858

Miss Beyer, of the Bridgewater Hotel, christened the small dam which J Dunn’s workmen built across Cox Creek.  Called the Bridgewater Dam.  Adelaide visitors came to visit the new waterfall.  A mill to be built relying on both steam and water power.

SA Register 22/11/1858

A few specks of gold found.  Landlord August Beyer showed visitors some of the gold.

SA Register 30/11/1858

A Beyer died apparently of sunstroke (25/11/1858) in the gullies above the Government Farm on his way to Brownhill Creek and Adelaide.  Had been in the colony about 11 years and had taken over the Bridgewater Hotel about 12 months ago, when James Addison went to Adelaide.  Aged 53, ‘deeply lamented by his family and a large circle of friends’.

[A Beyer and his family arrived in the Pauline 1848, from Hamburg. Organist, storekeeper, publican.  Opened a general store on the corner of Pirie and Freeman (Gawler Pce) St.  Left this to his son when he went to live at the Bridgewater Hotel in 1857]

SA Register 11/2/1859

Great fire which stretched from the foot of Germantown Hill, near the Onkaparinga River, back to Crafers.  Burnt on the empty hills for a week before destroying much property at Cox Creek and Crafers on 6 Feb.

SA Register 15/4/1859

Severe frosts at Cox Creek.  Cut off great breadths of half-hardy esculents, such as French beans, scarlet runners, vegetable marrows etc.  One settlers lost a six-acre patch of potatoes, ‘excepting as far as pigs’ food is concerned’.  A smoke being created over a garden at daylight after a night of white frost greatly obviates the injury which would otherwise be sustained and is as serviceable a remedy in the case of vines in the spring as it is in the case of tender vegetables in the autumn.

SA Register 27/2/1860

A boy drowned in Dunn’s Dam.  He had been sailing in a packing case across the water, when he was overturned.

SA Register 26/3/1861

W Rounsevall had erected new stables half way between Crafers and Mr Gould’s.  An accident there shortly afterwards, when the horses wanted to turn in and the driver decided to go on.  Ground soft from recent rain and no one hurt when the Mt Barker mail coach capsised.

SA Register 9/1/1862

Woodhouse is built on Cox Creek, further up towards Mt Lofty.

SA Register 4/1/1865

Dunn & Son gave their usual annual dinner to Bridgewater Mill employees at the nearby Hotel.

The Advertiser 11/8/1866

Johnston’s flour mill at Cox Creek stopped work, ‘owing to the unfavourable state of the market’.

The Advertiser 27/10/1868 Bridgewater/Cox Creek

Samuel Sisson shot himself in a paddock adjoining his house garden.  He had lived in Bridgewater for 14 years and had worked for Dunn’s for some 7 years.  ‘He was a man of sober, temperate habits, and highly respected by everyone that knew him ...  He leaves a wife and four children.’

SA Register 3/8/1869

Mr Radford, of Bridgewater, also says that the frost at that place is harder than has been known for years past.  At the Bridgewater Hotel, the ice has been thick enough to bear a man on it, and yesterday they experienced the heaviest snow storm that has been seen for the last six years.

SA Register 17/8/1870

On 15 August, one of the most destructive floods seen for years swept away and completely destroyed the large dam lately constructed at great expense, by Messrs Dunn & Co, at Bridgewater Mills.  The old one, too, that has stood during 15 years is demolished.  In its course of destruction the flood carried off the Deanery, Bridgewater Garden, and Mill Bridges, all three being rendered useless.  Messrs Batt and Garland’s gardens have suffered most severely, everything, even to fruit trees nine or ten years old, being ruined, and such a wreck was never seen before.  The water rose to two feet over the Cox Creek Bridge, on the Mt Barker Road.

The Advertiser 18/11/1871

The escaped female lunatic .... was seen by some children making her way towards Bridgewater, along the old Mt Barker-road (just above the Sawmill-road) about 1.30pm.  Towards evening, she was captured and lodged in the Bridgewater Hotel for the night.  This morning, she was forwarded to town in a spring-cart under the care of a police-trooper who had been sent out in quest of her.

The Advertiser 2/1/1875

On the dam was a pair-oared boat, and many who had never seen such a thing in their lives were gratified with not only the sight, but the privilege of being rowed up and down the stream.  The skiff was kept on the move throughout the day until late in the evening ...  About 12o’clock, the Hon John Dunn called upon the party to muster on the green sward, bags being provided to prevent harm arising from the dampness of the ground.  Sandwiches, meat, pies and choice dainties were dealt out until all expressed themselves satisfied.  The picknickers, numbering about 300, then distributed themselves.  Some went to the wild dogs’ cave, others had a throw at Aunt Sally, others again inspected the mill, and those who believed in the manly game of cricket spent a couple of hours in that healthy exercise. ...  In the second storey [of the mill], a brisk game of football was played, and the band taking up their position in the first storey, assisted to enliven the proceedings.  As intimated by the Hon John Dunn in the morning, no intoxicating drink was introduced into the festivities.

The Chronicle 30/12/1876

Towards night, sheet lightning was very vivid from the south, and about 3am on Tuesday morning, a severe storm broke over the Hills.  The peals of thunder were terrific, whilst the lightning was awfully grand.  The tempest subsiding, a gentle and steady downpour of rain followed, and was still descending at 7.30am.

SA Register 11/11/1879

But still more disastrous was the damage ... along the roads in the hills.  The mail drivers on these roads reported on their arrival in town that they were in some places almost covered with boughs and limbs of trees.  The Mt Barker coach was brought to a standstill no fewer than three times between the ten-mile post and the Mountain Hut, in consequence of the obstruction of timber ...

Mt Barker Courier 2/9/1881

Last Saturday was pay-day on the Nairne Railway works at Bridgewater, and as a natural consequence drunken brawls and riotous conduct were the order of the day; the police made some arrests and finally dispersed the mob, but not before they had effected considerable damage to the doors and windows of the Bridgewater Hotel.  On Monday, the row was continued, and fights in the main road were of frequent occurrence.  The police were again sent for and arrested three of the ringleaders, whom they chained up in the stable at the Half-way House Hotel for the night.

Mt Barker Courier 14/10/1881

Our neighbourhood is growing rapidly, one scarcely goes from one part of the district to the other, but he sees buildings of various kinds springing up, from the lordly mansion to the less pretentious cot of the gardener.  And in the vicinity of the Nairne Railway, between Crafers and Bridgewater, are little canvas towns containing a numerous roving population, here today and gone tomorrow, but, for the time, creating a bustling life where a short time ago nothing but dense scrub and brushwood were to be seen.

Mt Barker Courier 2/5/1885

Mr WB Orchard renovated the Bridgewater Hotel.

From the back balcony, which is very high above the ground as it slopes away to the creek, a very extensive view can be gained of the Railway together with Dunn’s dam and the bridge just below it.

Mt Barker Courier 25/9/1885

Bridgewater Cricket Club - It was decided to hold future meetings in Mr Radford’s shop, many members being of opinion that holding meetings at an hotel involved too much expense.

Mt Barker Courier 27/2/1891

On Saturday, the employes of Messrs Scrymgour & Sons, Adelaide, held their annual wayzgoose there.  The annual dinner for printers, whose chief food used to be a goose.  Wayzgoose literally stubble or fat goose.  Railways employees, Operative bootmakers, Sugar Company, Delmold’s paper warehouse, Adelaide and Suburban Carters’ Association.  Up to 2,000 picknickers a day at the height of the summer season at the turn of the century.

The Chronicle 20/11/1897

A discovery was made by a picnic party on Monday of the skeleton of a man lying in Dead-Man’s Gully at Bridgewater.  A large carving knife was in the right hand, and from the appearance it would seem that the throat had been cut.  The local police were at once informed, and on examination of the remains an outdoor patient’s order for the Adelaide Hospital was discovered bearing a name which has led the city authorities to believe that the deceased was a man who was admitted to the Destitute Asylum on 21 July of this year and who left the institution on 5 August ...

Mt Barker Courier 9/11/1900

On Saturday night, at Bridgewater, between the old mill and the Methodist Church, Mrs AJ Thomson, of Victoria Square, Adelaide, was assaulted and robbed of her purse.  When she passed the old mill, the same man met her, seized hold of her, and threw her to the ground.  She said In God’s name, tell me what you want!  Have you no mother, that you treat a woman like this?’

The man replied that he wanted her purse, and she, after a struggle, in which she was several times struck by her assailant, gave him her purse and money, which consisted of a £1-note and silver.

The robber boarded the train at Aldgate and cooly through (sic) the purse out of the carriage window between Mt Lofty and Mitcham.  Later, he used the money to buy drinks at the Mitcham Hotel.

Courier 2/8/1901

An extraordinary fall of snow occurred here on Saturday night and Sunday, and the view that met the eye of early-risers on Sunday morning was a sight to be long remembered.  The oldest inhabitant here - 50 years standing - does not remember ever seeing such a sight.  The hedges, fences and scrub were clothed with a thick covering, while the ground had a white carpet two or three inches deep, and in some places even more than that.  On taking a walk, one was met on all sides with boys and girls, and even men and women, who snowballed to their heart’s content.  The aged as well as the young seemed to thoroughly enjoy the fun, and not one resented the liberty taken by others in pelting them with snow.  On all sides, there were to be seen built up large snow men, while huge balls of snow were rolled up against fences and trees.

A remarkably large pig was killed here last week by Mr G Rudd.  The animal, which attracted a great deal of attention from residents, when dressed turned the scales at 509lb, and was considered the largest pig killed in the district for some considerable time.  Many attempts were made to guess the weight of the animal, and the figures quoted ranged from 400lb up to 525lb.

Courier 14/11/1902

Bridgewater is becoming a very popular resort of pleasure-seekers from the city, and on Monday, over 1,400 passengers arrived here by train and about 600 by road.  The gullies and hillsides were besieged by the visitors, who spent the day in gathering wild flowers and ferns, and all seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

Very boisterous weather has been experienced here today, trees being uprooted and all moveable chattels being whisked about by the wind.  A little rain fell this afternoon.

Chronicle 18/8/1906

The public meeting held on Monday evening to receive the report of the new school committee and other business affecting the welfare of the township, was largely attended.  It was unanimously decided to secure if possible the present schoolroom as an institute and circulating library.  A committee of management was appointed.  The new bridge lately constructed by the Government was referred to and the opinion was expressed that matters generally in the vicinity had begun a foreward movement.

Chronicle 19/10/1907

The new school, reflecting the greatest credit upon the Education Department, erected upon a good elevation close to the railway and township, is one of the best in the state, and a great acquisition, not only to the district, but to summer visitors, whose children during the hot weather can now enjoy the beauties of the hills and also good educational advantages.

Chronicle 13/6/1908

Arbor Day was celebrated at the local school today (1 June).  After lessons suitable for the occasion, the children, with the help of Mr Rudd (Chairman of the Board of Advice), planted 26 trees, consisting of American elms, cork elms, English oaks and poplar.

Chronicle 13/1/1938

Fred Dunn, grandson of John Dunn Senr.

The wheel was made in Aberdeen, and has a diameter of 35’ and weighs 25 tons.  Very few know that the water flowed away through a drain under the creek, joining it again near where the main road bridge now stands.  The drain is still there, but the entrance is overgrown.

I can go back to 67 years ago, when there was more than one attraction near the wheel.  One was a bank of huge white strawberries.  We used to look at the wheel and then look at the strawberries.  On the other side of the race there were cherry trees.  As the strawberries were sometimes not quite ripe, and the trees bore cooking cherries, mother was sometimes puzzled as to why we were making wry faces when we came home.

Chronicle 15/8/1940

‘No trumps’ wanted to know if Bridgewater was named after Bridgewater in England.  Well, yes it was, and if I remember rightly, it was my grandfather who named it that.  It was known as Cox’s Creek until then.

My grandfather’s old home still stands and is well preserved with people living in it.  He called it ‘Hutton Cottage’ after Hutton in England, and the house and land are still owned by my brother. ...  I have a good collection of presed orchids I collected while living at Bridgewater.  They are very pretty, and have retained their colour well.  During the month of October, Bridgewater used to be just a mass of yellow broom and wild wallflowers, but so much of the land has been sold and, of course, cleared, with houses built on it, that much of its natural beauty has disappeared.

Chronicle 13/1/1933

South Australian 15/5/1849 p 2.

William Giles: It was almost a miracle to go twenty times to Mt Barker without an accident...

Samuel Stocks Junr: He did not hesitate to say they [roads to Mt Barker] were formed without the slightest pretence to engineering skill.  No attempt was made to carry them properly along a range of hills, but they sloped and ran sideways, in this position (holding a book in a way which pretty justly represented those roads).

South Australlian 1/6/1849

We take this opportunity to direct attention to a remarkable instance of negligence on the part of the Engineer department.  An excellent road, about four miles, between Crafers Inn and Cox Creek, made some years ago, enabled the traveller to avoid the worst part of the track to Mt Barker.  Through sheer neglect, the drains through which the mountain streamlets passed choked up, and these have made breaches in the road, which render it impassable.  An expenditure of hundreds of pounds is thus rendered useless, and the old track is again the wretched medium of communication.

South Australian 30/11/1849

The steam engine of 60-hp, for driving the circular and vertical saws, is now in full operation (though the chimney is only hald the height originally intended) and everything is found to work sweetly.  The amount of work which one of the circular saws is capable of performing, was tried with the watch on Wednesday, in presence of some visitors, and it was found that a foot of quartering was sawn in less than a second, making its performance in a working day of 10 hours, upwards of 36,,000 feet, running measure.  This is the first of the kind established in the colony.  It is an immense undertaking, and we fell highly delighted at being able to announce the successful commencement of the operations.  As we intend visiting the works shortly, we shall have the pleasure in a future number of fully describing them.

Joseph Whalley died October 1881.  He worked on the old Cox Creek timber mills and later was gardener on the Woodhouse Estate)

For the Bridgewater centenary, Mr AR Downer offered to supply trees and shrubs to landscape the township.  Offer accepted and voluntary labour grubbed blackberries and carted away rocks.  Gardens feature of grotto and pool.  Became a temptation for visitors to pick the blooms ‘had a good bunch of erica and veronica in her arms’ 1937.  Improvements Balls in the Institute - the room decorated like a very elaborate garden.  Fox Movietone cameramen from Melbourne filmed the gardens, on a sightseeing excursion through the Hills.  Later made into a feature newsreel. Garden parties at Arbury Park to raise money for the village landscape scheme.

Centenary celebrations 1936 - village fair opened by Lady Bonython on the village green.  Greasy pig chase, tossing the caber, husband-beating, putting the weight.  Lady Bonython was a cousin to Mr AR Downer.  She asked that people get rid of unsightly advertisements on buildings etc.  GS Fowler was treasurer for the village fair.  HH Shannon MP worked hard for the town.  SA Railways Band played free for the afternoon.  Officials dressed in early Victorian costume.

Courier 23/12/1937

When Mr E Cleaver of the Bridgewater Poultry Settlement was driving home on Friday last, his horse dropped dead on the roadway.

Sir John Morphett’s father was a partner in the firm of Wesse, Dendy & Morphett, Chancery Lane, London.

V popular place for blackberry pickers.  Some thought to have started bushfires.

Cox Creek gardens used to be irrigated using watering cans and tossing water from the stream using a scoop.

Trees cut down along Carey Gully Road in 1939 - a great outcry, with photos of the despoiled road and the uncut Deanery road in contrast. News 20/7/1939.

MRG 6 1/1  Echunga District Council Minutes

3/12/1853  -  The Chairman stated that the boundary of the District near Crafers was already engaging the attention of the Survey Dept, and that the land near Spencer’s old hut was being surveyed, and if any new line of road is to be investigated, there is no time to lose.  Decision to be adjourned until the next meeting.

4/2/1854  -  The Chairman to draw the attention of the Central Road Board to the Bridge at the Cattle Company Creek near Warlands, and the Hill adjacent thereto, also to the required repairs near the new bridge, to the flat near the Devil’s Elbow, and to the creek running through the same and to other places on the road to Crafers.

18/2/1854  -  The Central Road Board had received the Chairman very cordially, agreed to his proposals, and had sent a surveyor to examine and report upon the road at their next meeting.

The Chairman is requested to continue his attention to this business.

Depasturing licence granted to Christian Jaensch, German butcher …

4/3/1854  -  The Chairman reported that he had attended the meeting of Central Road Board held on 23 Feb and that a survey of the main road through the district was now being made.

21/10/1854  -  The Chairman was requested to draw the attention of the Central Road Board to the Main Road near the Cattle Company Bridge, and to name an instance of another bullock having been killed there last evening.

19/5/1855  -  The Chairman called the attention of the Council to the fact that in consequence of the extreme delay in the formation of the new main line of road between Gum Flat near Warland’s and Nixon’s Quarries, the district road leading from Echunga to Hahndorf had virtually become a main line - and was seriously damaged by the increased traffic thereon.

1/9/1855  -  The Chairman reported that he had received information from the Ranger that a stone quarry had been opened at Cox Creek by parties not resident in the District and that in consequence of this information he had written to the Crown Land Commission requesting information in such cases.  He had had a reply to the effect that the Council had no power to interfere in the matter, but that if any case of the kind were reported to him, he would take such steps as the circumstances required …

13/9/1855  -  The Chairman also reported that the cutting of Schultz’s Hill, Hahndorf road, was in progress and that the other authorised works were finished.

191/11/1855  -  The Chairman reported that … the portion of the main road lately abandoned near Hahndorf never formed any part of the main line of road as gazetted by the Road Board, and of course was under the control of the Council.

8/9/1856  -  Hawkins wanted to transfer his Crafers hotel licence to John Dean of Nairne.6

6/10/1856  -  Hardeman Flat at Echunga mentioned.

14/12/1857  -  David Johns stood surety for August Beyer to take over the Bridgewater Hotel.

2/8/1858  -  John Dunn & Son applied by letter for permission to straighten the channel, remove some loose stones from the bed of Cox Creek, which runs through the Government Reserve adjoining Section 1141.  The Clerk stated that Mr Dunn had met him on the ground and pointed out the alterations he wished to make.  The work proposed by Mr Dunn would neighter alter the course of the water, nor injure anyone, although it would be of advantage to himself.  Application granted.

21/2/1859  -  A letter was received from the Crafers DC asking for aid in rebuilding a log bridge at Cox Creek, destroyed by the late bushfires.  The Council agreed to join in the expense of rebuilding the bridge, as the centre of the road was the District boundary, and requested the Clerk to communicate with the Chairman of the Crafers DC and make the necessary arrangements with him.

9/3/1859  -  The Clerk reported that he had seen the Chairman of the Crafers DC respecting the Bridge at Cox Creek destroyed by the late bushfire.  As the road was absolutely impassable without the bridge, the Crafers DC had invited tenders for a newe bridge before he had any opportunity of communicating with them on the subject.  The Bridge is finished and he had inspected the work since its completion.  He thought the work well and cheaply done and had promised that half of the cost viz £2/7/6 should be paid by the Echunga DC.  Approved.

18/4/1859  -  A letter was read from the Crafers DC asking whether the Echunga DC would be willing to assist in replacing the boundary road at Cox Creek.  Clerk to reply that at the present time, the Council were not in possession of funds for the purpose.

Crafers DC minutes MRG 23 1/1

Mr Davies was the Chairman when the Cox Creek bridge was rebuilt.

25/7/1859  -  David Johns chosen as Cox Creek Special Constable.  He would not take an oath of office, and the Council had to enquire whether they could take an affirmation.  David Johns Council Chairman in the 1860s.

Davies & Bruce the place where the Crafers DC assessment book available for perusal at Cox Creek.  Clerk also came there to collect rates.

4/6/1860  -  Some fences incorrectly placed. Notices to be placed on the old Mt Barker Road, cautioning people against damaging watertables and obstructing the road.

18/6/1860  -  Mr RD Hanson asked about closure of roads at Cox Creek; he wanted to buy closed roads, where applicable.

31/8/1861  -  John Ashhurst made a special constable.

7/7/1862  -  Charles Barton became an auditor.  Davies from the store chosen as well.  Barton Council Chairman in 1865.

6/9/1862  -  Zebulon Batt given permission to use the Government Reserve at the Deanery to get in and out of his property.

18/7/1863  -  Noah Nichols chosen special constable.

4/2/1865  -  That Mr Barton be authorised th take the necessary steps to have the creek at the Old Deanery surveyed for the erectioin of a bridge - and that Mr Dixon be communicated withy - as to undertaking that duty.  Mr Burton statted that private subscriptions to the extent of £7 were promised towards the cost. Tenders to be called.

4/2/1865  -  Only Miford had contracted for a bridge - £97/10/-.  Council decided to investigate making a ford.  Ask Echunga DC for £20 to assist in the work.

14/2/1865  -  Fresh tenders to be called for the old Deanery Bridge.  Milford’s tender too high.

4/3/1865  -  Dixon’s application to build bridge in the Deanery for £80 to be accepted.

Echunga DC approved £10 towards the bridge.  The Chairman promised ‘that he would urge them to a further contribution’.

25/3/1865  -  Mr Dixon wanted to lay pylons on planks on the ground.  Council insisted on piles being sunk into the ground.  Mr Dixon also wanted the bridge to be 20’ further downstream from the existing site.

6/5/1865  -  Charles Barton appointed Council Clerk at an annual salary of £20.  A month later, he resigned and J Milford appointed instead.

29/7/1869  -  Samuel Sisson appointed special constable.

8/8/1866  -  William Clark made Cox Creek special constable.

3/4/1867   -  to get silt cleaned out from under the old Deanery Bridge.  Joseph Welfare got the contract.

So and so many days’ work on the Ridge road approved from time to time.

9/3/1868  -  1st reference to Bridgewater in the Crafers DC minutes.  £1 to Martin Crane for a road repair.

Notes for stumps in the road at Cox Creek to be grubbed. John Welfare did the grubbing.

29/6/1868  -  Mr Justice Hanson asked for exchange of roads.  Agreed to Mr Hanson’s terms.

14/12/1869  -  Thistles growing thick on the old Deanery reserve.

Saw Mill Road in Cox Creek valley.

8/7/1872  -  John Ashhurst and John Welfare elected auditors.  Quite often one or both of the auditors came from Cox Creek.  Samuel Davie the school teacher very popular from the 1870s on.

12/9/1872  -  Clerk to speak to Mr Gwatkins and ask him to call round by the junction of Ridge Rd and Mt Barker Road, and caution all persons leaving wood and loaded drays on the road, once or twice a week.

10/10/1872  -  Letter from Dunn & Co and Mr Ashhurst asking for repairs to road through Section 1134.

Ridge Road for Old Mt Barker Road in 1860s & 1870s.  Lion Mill Road common during that time as well.

24/4/1873  -  The entrance to the road on the hill with Lions Mill Road was very dangerous and required a few pannells of fence.  Mr Barton to get same done.

Apparently no one on Batt’s property immediately after he left for Pt Gawler and many thistles grew there in the meantime.

5/6/1873  -  Martin Kain took on the job of putting up the fence to make the road junction safer.  17/6.

31/7/1873  -  Old Deanery bridge closed to traffic and a ford made beside instead.  J Hunter made the ford for £6.

8/1/1874  -  John Burnett’s tender for £16 accepted to repair the Old Deanery Bridge by 6/2/1874.  Some contract times were extended because of wet weather making it difficult to complete in the specified time.

13/5/1875  -  Complaint in the Advertiser re the cleanliness of Samuel Davie’s school at Stirling.

28/8/1879  -  G & J Downer retained to fight Council’s case re trees on Ridge Road. £1/16/-.

23/6/1881  -  Copies of the assessment to be left at Dunn’s mill for ratepayers to examine.

17/11/1881  -  Cr John Brodie reported that Lea & Co storekeepers have erected a wooden building on the reserve at Bridgewater for the purpose of a store.  Resolved that the Clerk write and inform them that they will have to pay a weekly rental of 4/- to commence from the time of their occupying the land.  Rent to be paid weekly.

1/12/1881  -  Letter received from Lea & Co complaining that the rent charged for reserve at Bridgewater is to (sic) high.  Clerk to reply that the Council adhere to their former decision.

27/7/1882  -  Meeting of Echunga and Mitcham ratepayers who will come into Crafers DC.  Meeting to be held on Thursday evening, 10 August 1882 at 7.30pm.

25 for and 14 against making the Crafers district larger.

24/8/1872  -  The Clerk to write to the contractor of the Nairne Railway requesting that the holes in the Bridgewater road near Lea & Co’s store be filled up at once.

27/9/1883  -  That the Clerk give AG Lea & Co notice to pay up arrears of rent of store on the reserve, Bridgewater, or legal proceedings will be taken.

1/11/1883  -  Letter received from Mr ES Wigg re Lea & Co Store at Bridgewater and asking that it should be removed at once, so that the road can be completed it being dangerous.  Clerk to reply that notgice will be given him to remove it.

Telegram received from Mr Mais Engineer-in-Chief, asking the Council to get Lea and Co’s store removed at once.  Clerk to reply that one week’s notice will be given to remove it.

Resolved that the Clerk give Lea & Co one week notice to remove stone off reserve at Bridgewater, or the stone will be removed at their expense by the Council.

Resolved that the former minute be recinded and that the Clerk take steps to putg the Bailiff in possession of the store belonging to Lea & Co on the Reserve at Bridgewater, for rent in arrears.

Resolved that the Clerk give Messrs Baillie, Davies & Wishart seven days’ notice to pay account due for royalty of stone taken out of the Reserve Quarry, Aldgate, or legal proceedings to be taken.  Mr von Doussa of Mt Barker to proceed against the firm.

HE Downer lived in the Crafers DC.

Is Hunby really Whibley? Thomas Whibley.

8/4/1924  -  Ratepayer complaints that Bridgewater Park Trust removing trees unnecessarily when making footpaths through the bushland.  Council to issue warning that trees not to be removed indiscriminately.

7/10/1925  -  Approval for a two-roomed cottage at Bridgewater - wood and iron and asbestos, lined with fibrous plaster and asbestos.  Rooms 12 x 10 each.

15/7/1935  -  Letter from AR Downer complaining that the road from the Deanery Bridge to his place was in dreadful repair.  Heavy carting to his house was now finished.  Many people making bad remarks about the road.

Mrs EA Beckett left in poor circumstances after her husband died.  She received a free bed in the Stirling hospital for her sick son.

In the depression, people had been in the habit of coming from outside of the district to sell food at roadside stalls at Bridgewater.  Council asked that this practice stop.

29/4/1936  -  A bushfire had been in the Mt George area and Bridgewater Park.