Batlow

BATLOW

Batlow East , - To Batlow West , - To Mr Puckey

EARLY HISTORY

First Run No.

This town was originally known as "Reedy Flat", it is situated across the mountain range on the west side of the Blowering Valley and is now on the main access road from Tumut to the Blowering Dam from the western side.

Batlow - The discovery of gold in the early 1850s at Adelong and in the Batlow Valley led to the establishment of a small settlement at Reedy Creek in 1854. The town was named after a Mr. Batlow, the surveyor who laid out the town's street plan. - (Ref- http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/nsw_names9.htm).

1856 - OUR GOLD FIELDS. - (From the Goulburn Chronicle.)

Adelong.-With the return of settled fine weather, these gold fields are reviving. We believe that the returns have never been so great in proportion to the population employed. About 150 men are at work on the old Adelong fields. Several applications for water privileges have lately been entertained by the Commissioner. E. Talbot is busily employed in cutting a race two and a quarter miles long, with water head for two sluices. The contract for cutting, we believe, is £70. Several parties have crossed the ridge into the main Adelong, and are very successful. As this creek is very extensive room for many hundreds is now provided. In Sharpe's Creek, a few parties are doing mode- rateing well, say about £10 per week per man; but water is getting scarce.

Reedy Flat.-A party of three men from the Ovens, Smedley, Dougherty, and another, have been very busy during the week in washing up the old stuff. Several hundred ounces have rewarded their laborious exertions. They have obtained the right of bringing water from the head of the Gilmore to the Reedy Flat, about six or eight miles, with water for three sluices. The contract for cutting is £250. The old hands now see the prize they have missed.

1856 - Tumberumba and Tarcutta.- About 100 men are at work here with varied success. We understand that an opportunity will be afforded to the miners in the Murrumbidgee district to rid themselves of their accumulated gold before the 31st December, by an armed escort as far as Goulburn.- (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 20 December 1856).

1885 - TUMUT, Thursday. Land Selections to-day:-

Patrick Geary, 170 acres, Wyangle;

Thomas Densón, 360, Bago;

Commercial Bank of Sydney, 100, Adjinbilly

A. D. J. Emery. 80, Batlow;

Robert Downing, 100, Hindmarsh;

John Giddos Little, 102 aerea 3 roods, Batlow;

George Woodbridge, 100, Courabyra;

Mathew Sawyer, 40, Yallowin. - (Ref- Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Saturday 8 August 1885).

1939 - House Destroyed - A serious fire occurred at the hamlet of Sharpe's Creek in the Adelong district on Tuesday night. The house of Mr. Ted Whitley was deatroyed, but other buildings were saved. It is understood that Mrs. Whitley left a candle burning whilst she went to another room to see her children. When she returned the place-was on fire. - (Ref- The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 31 January 1939).

Batlow is a town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, 775 m above sea level.[2] Batlow is well known for its apples. About 50 growers in the district supply 1.6 million cases of apples, or 10% of the Australian apple crop, to the Australian market. The district also produces cherries and stone fruit. The town's main landmark, the 'Big Apple',[3] stands testament to the orchards which have been vital to the town's economy for over 120 years. - (Ref link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batlow,_New_South_Wales)

History - Before European settlement the Wiradjuri people lived in the Batlow area. Hamilton Hume and William Hovell were the first Europeans to explore the area in 1824, en route to Port Phillip.

When gold was discovered in the area in 1854, a small settlement called Reedy Creek was established as a supply point and service centre for the mining area, and a Mr Batlow surveyed a townsite nearby.[4] The gold deposits were quickly exhausted, but farmers found the area better suited to a variety of crops, so the mining supply point was moved and the current township established around 1855. Reedy Flat Post Office opened on 1 August 1873 and was renamed Batlow in 1889.[5] Fruit trees and timber quickly became the main sources of income for the town, and in 1910 the townsite was gazetted.

In 1922, the first cool stores in New South Wales were constructed in the town. At the same time a railway was built from nearby Tumut. These developments facilitated the town's trade with Sydney and beyond. The district supplied troops with dehydrated fruit and vegetables during World War II.[6]- (Ref link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batlow,_New_South_Wales)

Geography - Batlow is located 94 km west of Canberra,[7] though, by highway is approximately 225 km due to the Great Dividing Range between them. The nearest city is Wagga, while three towns, Tumut (NE), Adelong (NW) and Tumbarumba are within 40 km (S).

The countryside around Batlow is a plateau of rolling hills, just under 1000 m in altitude. Being on the western edge of the Great Dividing Range, Batlow receives much of the precipitation that has not fallen further west, an average of 1300 mm per year. Little or no rain is received from ocean to the east, due to the large distances and the Great Dividing Range. The cold winters combined with the higher rainfall and good soils make an excellent apple growing climate. However, in 2006, Batlow experienced the most severe downturn in rainfall in New South Wales, receiving only 392 mm of rain that year. [8) - (Ref link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batlow,_New_South_Wales)

1911 - BATLOW EXHIBET. - The Batlow farmers have placed in Messrs. Anderson and Co.'s window an exhibit of farm produce grown in their neighbourhood, consisting of potatoes, oats, maize, fruit, and vegetables. The produce has all been grown under-natural conditions, without fertilisation or irrigation. The farmers in this rich dis- trict are greatly hampered in sending pro- duce to market by reason of the freight from the district to the railway station, which averages £1 per ton. The nearest railway station is Gilmore Siding, but as no weigh- bridge exists there all the produce must be carted to Tumut, a distance of 20 miles, as the Government owns over 60,000 acres in this part. If it constructed a railway first, and sold the land afterwards the proceeds should help to pay for the cost of the line. It is a pity that, the natural conditions of such a district cannot be fully utilised, es- pecially if the power suitable for an electric railway is going to waste. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Monday 1 May 1911).

Substantial apple growing and timber town.

Located 443km south west of Sydney and 725m above sea level, Batlow is set in the beautiful low-lying mountains of the New South Wales south-west slopes. The town is surrounded by orchards and in recent years it has become famous as one of Australia's premier producers of apples, pears, cherries, numerous varieties of berries and stone fruits.

Prior to European settlement the Wiradjuri Aborigines lived in the area. The first Europeans to pass through the district were Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824 on their journey to Port Phillip Bay. A few years later, in the early 1830s, Thomas Boyd settled at Windowie, a property north of the town.

The discovery of gold in the early 1850s at Adelong and in the Batlow Valley led to the establishment of a small settlement at Reedy Creek in 1854. The town was named after a Mr. Batlow, the surveyor who laid out the town's street plan. The primary function of the settlement was to service the surrounding gold mining area. Out of this settlement grew the town of Batlow.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-factsheet/batlow-20081113-5ywt.html#ixzz1P530C8A9 -(Ref- http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-factsheet/batlow-20081113-5ywt.html)

1908 - BATLOW. - Mr. Oliver C. Barberie writes:- I have had several Inquiries as to the location of Batlow, and other matters. For tho Information of your readers, I may state it is 20 miles from Tumut, 18 from Adelong, and 15 from Gilmore, the nearest railway station. Its elevation is 2500ft above sea level. The average rain- fall is 50 inches; water for Irrigation is avail- able from miners' races. One of these is 30 miles long. The gold-mining industry is about done, and the races and dams are being used in many cases to irrigate crops; but for trees it is not needed. Snow falls at times, but this is favourable to growth of English fruits, pota- toes, oats, etc. Sharp frosts occur, but do not affect fruit yields as much as in warmer places. The Bago forest reserve is not thrown open yet for selection, but steps will be taken to have it cut up into suitable blocks. A railway survey is now being made of a line from Adelong to Tumbarumba, and it would seem that this is part of the plan, as in Dorrigo developments. However, there is land available, in addition to the Bago reserve, but not in large blocks. It is very difficult to get rid of timber in its green state, but when ringbarked and the scrub kept down for a while it is comparatively easy. Goats (especially Angoras) are a great help to keep down the latter, and are preferable to sheep at the start, which destroy all the suckers, even peppermint. Most of the soil is volcanic, and very friable, and even at the depth of 3ft the elements essential to fruit trees are almost as good as on the surface. In most of the dig- gers' excavations a depth of red soil of 6ft or 8ft is common. This must be the reason why old fruit trees bear so well. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Thursday 25 June 1908).

1911 - FRUIT-GROWING POSSIBILITIES. BATLOW'S FERTILITY. - Giving evidence before the Public Works Committee yesterday on the proposal to construct a railway from Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba, Mr. £5. Cabloan, contractor, of Mosman, said he know Batlow welL He had orchards at Yass, but one his sons desiring to go on the land he determined to select a good locality. Accordingly he visited Tasmania and South Australia; but when he returned to this State and inspected the Batlow district he purchased a place within half an hour. Within the last two or three years about 500 acres bad been planted In orchard-apples and pears and in three years these trees would produce 150,000 cases of fruit at least, and the fruit would be fit for export at present Tasmania was exporting about 900,000 cases each season.

If railway communication was provided the Batlow district would go ahead by leaps and bounds. The people of Tumberumba, he considered, should go by rail through Batlow, as it was 60 miles nearer to Sydney. He knew of no place in Australia with such great possibilities in the way of apple and potato growing as the Batlow district. The rainfall was good, and a man could make from £150 to £200 a year with about 10 acres out of orchard or potato growing.

He believed the Mount Horeb proposal or its alternative would serve the country better than the line between Wagga Wagga and Tumberumba or a line between Wagga Wagga and Humula. It was the most beautiful district in Australia, and it was a sin to let it remain locked up. He knew that apples from that district shipped to Germany brought as much as 24s a case at auction, and this "year in London they realised from ISs to 20s per case. In regard to freight, he could land fruit from there on the P. and O. steamer in Sydney 2d per case cheaper than was done in Hobart, mainly because timber for cases was not so dear, and there was a good local supply. A gentleman from Washington, U.S.,

some time ago visited this State for the purpose of inquiring into the prospects of the apple industry. He expressed himself as delighted with Australian grown apples, and, the witness continued, "I took him up to Batlow, and on examining the district he remarked, you've got one of the grandest countries in the world for growing apples, but one of the worst countries to Rat out of he ever saw. He went to Tasmania, and started in the Industry there. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 26 May 1911).

1919 - BATLOW SOLDIERS' SETTLEMENT - Good progress continues to be made with the soldiers' settlement at Batlow, and some of the blocks that have been taken up are in a forward state. Cottages have been erected for the settlers, and these are comfortable in design, and quite in advance of the homes usually occupied by pioneers.

Altogether 10 blocks have been taken up, and it is expected that the others will soon be occupied. The soil is eminently suitable for fruitgrowing, anti the fruit trees that have been planted out are growing' well. There will be further acres put under trees this winter.

The value of the settlement for vegetable growing has been emphasised by the success of at least one holder, who has had good crops, and was vorv successful at the recent Batlow Show. This settlemnnt is one that has presented all the difficulties of the pioneer in the land to he cleared, and the winning of a compétence in do bush. The country is heavily covoivil with some of the best of our rommTo'iil timbers, such as mountain ash and messmate. Many of tho forp«t ..("Ms hnvo benn felled, und the trnntcq flrnwn to the ralll, where they hnve been sawn into weatherboards tor the building of tho soldiers' dwellings. These homes have, shingle roofs split from the trees in the vicinity. ' Such roofs give a decidedly neat and home-l|ke finish to the cottages, quite in' contrast to galvanised iron. While many of the blocks ¡have been notted in, the dividing fences of the paddocks for cultivation havo been en- closed in split paling fences. This entalla 1 a good deal of labour, but also shows tho I determination of the settlers to. make the best of tho material at hand, as wire .netting is very costly and not over plentiful. The .district is already noted for tho value of its fruit, such as apples and pears. What is wanted, however, is railway communication, and the sooner the proposed line from Gilmore, on the Cootamundra Tumut line, is built, so much the better will it be for the district.' It is only by means of a railway that it can be developed to its fullest extent, and it would lead to tho opening up of < j a most fertile corner of the State. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 21 June 1919).

1923 - LIGHTING OF BATLOW. - Mr. O. C. Barberie writes as follows from Lavender Bay:-In your issue of yesterday (Monday) a statement appeared about a co- operative company lighting the township of Batlow from power obtained from a water race the miners cut years ago. Batlow has been lighted from this source for many years. The late Mr. R. N. Timmis used the water pressure and laid down a plant driven by a Pelton wheel, also a storage battery. It was for his own personal use. In time the whole township was lit up by it. Mrs. Timmis has been carrying it on since his death, and it is this that the co-operative company is taking over. When Batlow was in the running as a Federal capital site the immense power going to waste, where Gilmore Creek has a fall of over 1000 feet in three miles, was brought under the notice of experts. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 9 March 1923).

1933 - MAN DROWNED. BATLOW Friday. - On his periodic inspection of the electric power race, Mr. Frazer, the assistant cool store engineer, discovered the body of John Genese, The man had been drowned in the race. Little is known of the dead man, who was a recluse. He had no social contact with the people of the district, but he had been here for many years, presumably living by fossicking for gold in local creeks. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 9 December 1933).

This report is submitted in good faith. All endeavors have been made to make all entries authentic and correct. For any corrections and additional valuable information, maps and photos you may have please contact

John Stephenson (Mobile 0431 481 451) Ex West Blowering Resident, now living in Wollongong, NSW. Australia.

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