Ravine Lob's Hole Stories.
1860 - By the Lady Bird we have one day's later news from Victoria. We subjoin various points of interest. At the last meeting of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, the following resolution was proposed, but rejected, on the ground that the subject did not come within the province of the Chamber : — ' That this Chamber memorialise the Legislature, pointing out the expediency of passing, without delay, a Bill to simplify the transfer of real property.' A letter was read from Mr F Gisborne, Esq., representing the urgent necessity for the completion of the arrangements on the part of Government for telegraphic communication with Europe. The Secretary was instructed to communicate the views of the Chamber to the Government on the importance of immediate action being taken on the above question. Both the Argus and the Herald of the 4th have articles strongly urging the necessity of resuming assisted immigration to Victoria.
— The accounts received from Snowy River during the last few days have been so consistent,although coming through widely different channels, und so discouraging to intending visitors, that no further migration from our gold-fields need be feared for some months. On the contrary, very many is returning and resuming work at their old places.
This is said to be particularly the case where the only complaint now is about the scarcity of water again. The miners have all settled steadily to their work, abandoning for the present the idea of a trip to Kiandra, The prospects of the deep lead angle wood are described as splendid, and the permanence of this gold-field is therefore looked upon as more assured than when there was only surfacing to depend upon.
Washing up has been commenced by the claimholders on the upper part of the lead, and many of them are obtaining from 2 oz. to 4 oz. to the load, much of the inferior stuff being left until water is obtainable within a shorter distance than the Loddon. Lower down the run of gold has been struck at a depth of 80 feet, with the wash-dirt three feet thick, and very rich. As many a3 8 OZ3. were taken out of fire buckets of stuff off the bottom of one hole. In many of the claims very rich looking cement is also found before the true bottom is reached. A large quantity of wash dirt is said to be piled against winter, on different parts of the diggings, in the? Hope of water being then procurable. In the meantime a number of carts are kept constantly employed in taking stuff to the Loddon, and the yield from this is by no means falling off. The largest nuggets lately on view were one of 95 ozs., another of 77 oz?., and a third of 30 ozs. ; Of these the first and largest was taken from some cement raised in or close to one of the temporary streets. Some very rich stone has also been taken lately from one of the reefs — the American. The beat of this is supposed to contain somewhere about 20 ozs. To the ton, and the reef itself is four feet in thickness, both faces of it being thickly impregnated with gold.
Information has also been given of the discovery of copper ore; but as no right to mine this or other security to the discoverer can be granted by the warden, no particulars have been made known. SNOWY RIVER. — BEST ROUTE. [From the Letter of the Special Correspondent of the Ovens.
It is too late in the present season for any miners to visit these diggings in the hope of doing any good for themselves before the winter sets in, but not too late to take a run up and look about for their own guidance. We fear that many who are determined to try and winter on the ground will perish in the attempt, and are certain, should they survive, that they will have to endure great sufferings and hard ship*, without being able to compensate for these by successfully prosecuting their mining operations. Next spring will be the time for rushing the Snowy River, when, under better laws and more efficient management, we are morally convinced that the immense resources of the country will be profitably developed by thousands.
The Snowy River bids fair to become as large a gold-field as any in Victoria, and when its auriferous deposits shall have been traced into lower and milder regions than the present elevated plateau, will be as permanent initial attractions, always provided that the Government of the sister colony prove themselves equal to the situation. Without better law, without local self-government, and some kind of local courts of judicature, the Snowy River will linger on a wasteful and profitless existence.
With regard to the proper route from the Victorian side, it is a settled thing that the shortest and easiest road is the new bush track which turns off the main Sydney-road about 40 miles from Albury. It leads through Tumberumba to Paddy's River, and thence to the famous Lob's Hole.
The party with whom we travelled preferred the Murray River route as the pleasanter one, though about 20 miles longer. We followed the Murray from Mr. John Orr's station, about 17 miles from Albury, up to Gray's station, about 80 miles from the border town. There we turned off, and crossing a spur which forms one of the boundaries of the Manus River — a confluent of the Hurray — crossed that at Mear's station, and ascending the opposite range, followed the (track which winds along its eastern side until we reached its junction with the Tumberumba road at Paddy's River, about 40 miles from the rush. The Murray-road is fully 150 miles, while the Tumberumba Road is about 130 miles.
Another track from the Sydney Road exists, which is about equally long with the Murray route, and unites with the main track about four miles on this side of Lob's Hole. All three are practicable for drays j the last, however, is the easiest, but not farther than Lob's Hole itself. This romantic, batvulgarly-named spot is impassable except to man and beast.
A wheeled vehicle of any kind has never yet succeeded in reaching the opposite side. Drays have been brought to the bottom, but up the other ascent no team has yet successfully adventured. It would take Steam of 40 bullocks to drag an empty dray up some of the severe pinches, but any number would not draw it along the abrupt precipitous guide lines at various parts of the track.
The coaches would have left the Victorian diggings here, with one exception, deposited their passengers on this side of Lob's Hole. The exception in question was a coach belonging to Jessica. Main & Baldock, which was driven to tfifeVTonitft, abd-thence avoiding Lob's Hole to the diggings. This is a' considerably greater; distance, W is by po meaBS an easy track. II fc known as Mandleson's. The coach with four, horseses left Chiltern on the 13th of March, and reached Kidd's public-house, on the Snowy Star, on the second Thursday, bang ; the first and by coach from either quarter.
The ranges through which the Murray flows' occasionally widen out in huge thickly-timbered flats, and then again narrow into gorges, the hills on either side not being more than a quarter of a mile apart. Frequently these hills wear a conical shape, wooded to the summit; at others they are bold crags of coarse granite, without a sign of herbage upon them. Turning the angle of a range, a long bend of the river is opened, the water flowing through green banks or rushing rapidly over sparkling gravel, or rippling against huge limbs and branches of trees that have fallen from either side, and affording a picture gladdening to the eye of an artist, and awakening the heart of every man to the beauties of nature. All such scenery we left behind us on quitting the Murray, to find it reproduced on a more magnificent scale at Lob's Hole. - (Ref- South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839-1900) Monday 9 April 1860).
1908 - Federal Correspondence. - Mr AUSTIN Chapman has been pressing the Postal Department to increase the mail service between Queanbeyan and Brindabella to three times weekly. The secretary to the Postal Department writes him as follows :-
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 18th inst,, further respecting the desire that the mail service between Brindahella and Queanbeyan be increased to three times a week, and to inform you the matter will receive further attention.
1 You will again be advised in due course. Kiandra-Lobb's Hole mail matter is having attention at the hands of Mr. Austin Chapman who has made representations to the Postal Department on advice received by Messrs, B. and O. Harris of Kiandra. N.S.W., to the effect that the twice a week mail service between Kiandra and Lobb's Hole is to be discontinued as from the end of the present month, and to inform you that the Deputy Postmaster-General, Sydney, is being asked, by wire, for a report in connection with the matter.
You will be further advised in due course. Mr. Austin Chapman is advised as follows by the secretary tb the Postal Department: -With reference to the letter you recently presented from Mr. M. McDonald, Kiandra, N.S.W., and previous correspondence, relative to the desired erection of a telephone line between Kiandra and Queanbeyan, in which letter he stated that he, Messrs. Bridle, W. Webb and Franklin, propose to erect a private line to Queanbheyan, and asked if this Department would construct the line to the boundary of that town; also to a letter from Mr. H. E. Bridle, of Brindabulla, via Queanbeyan. in which he stated he would guarantee that the work of construction of the desired line from Queanbeyan to Brindabella could be done for £200, etc., I have the honor to inform you inquiry has been made, and to forward herewith, for your information, copy of a report received fromn the Deputy Postminntor General, Sydney, in regard to the matter. The report states:-
The Department would erect and maintain the part of the line betwoon the Queanbeyan exchange, and a point two miles distant, and would charge an annual fee of £10 7s, as follows: License foe for private line, 7s; first two miles of Government line and exchange service for one place, £4; fees for three extra places connecting to exchange. £10 7s. The fees named would be divided equally between the four parties connected, and the amount payable by each would be £2 lls 9d per annum.
The fees quoted would cover 1,000 effective calls from each lessee during each half year. For calls beyond that number the charges would be : 1,000 to 2,000, id for 2; 2,000 to 3,000, ld for 3 ; upwards of 3,000, ld for 4. 'Telegrams received from or to be despatched to any other Telegraphl office would be transmitted over the private wire without charge beyond the ordinary telegrnh ' rates. Messages for delivery at Queanbeyan, and messages handed in at the Post Office for transmission to the lessee, would have to be paid for at the rate of 3d each. The applicants would have to supply and maintain the telephone at each place to the satisfaction of the Postmaster General; and would also have to erect and maintain the portion of the line between their places and the points mentioned. Where this portion would cross or traverse any public road, track, or public places, substantial poles would have to be erected, and the wire, which should not be less than No. 10 galvanized iron (2001ba per mile) must be affixed to them with proper pins and insulators, similar or equal to those used on Government telegraph lines and be at least eighteen feet from the highest part of the roadway, etc. If the line is to be erected on any private land other than that owned by the applicants, it will be necessary for tile permission of the owner, or owners, of such private land to be obtained and forwarded to the Deputy Postmastor General, Sydney. A parish map showing the proposed route of the private part of the line should also be for warded; this map to show all private and public lands land roads.
The Postmaster General reserves the right to erect all privato lines within the boundaries of any railway line, municipality, township, or village, or along any public road. Immiodiatoly the Department's terms are accepted and the necessary agreements completed then Govornment portion of the line could be at once put in hand.
Forms of application are forwarded for completion by the parties concerned. It is assumed in the foregoing that the line tile residents are at present erecting is intended to be used as a private party line. If it is intended that it should be utilised as a public telephone line, the conditions as regard public lines erected and maintained by the persons requiring same, would apply. (Vide Part xviii telephoneio regulations), and in this case the line within the town boundary would also have to be erected by the Department. With reference to the points raised by Mr. Bridle relative to reducing the cost of construction of the proposed line, it is presumed that the proposed alteration of route and other points raised need not, in view of the later decision of the residents to themseelves erect tile line, be now considered.
Mr. Austin Chapman is advised as follows by the Secretary to the Postal Departmlent : -I have the honor to ackn6wledge the receipt of your communuication of the 19th March, covering a letter received by you from Mr. B. G. Kelly, Kiandra, Captain's Flat, N.S.W, respecting the desire that telephonic communicnation be extended from J.Tingera to Captain's Flat. Tile matter will receive consideration, and you will be further advised in due course.- (Ref- Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1907 - 1915)(about) Previous issue Friday 27 March 1908),
1920 - Mr. John Cheney, jun., owner of the Opossum Plains station, who arrived at Wagga on Friday, tells a pathetic story of the lonely death of a drover and his horses in the mountains about Kiandra. It appears that Mr. Cheney, who is a large sheepowner, and knows every inch of the mountain country, where he depastures sheep every summer, decided to move a couple of mobs of his sheep from Kiandra. On August 11 he started with 3,000 sheep, accompanied by Mr. Michael Shanley, 63 years of age. They took the sheep to Lob's Hole, a distance of ten miles, in four days. Snow was thick everywhere, and barrels had to be drawn through the snow to make a track for the sheep. Every creek had to be bridged, and at one place a dray was placed in the bed of the creek and planks set down for the sheep to cross on.
On the afternoon of arrival at Lob's Hole Mr.Shanley started back for Kiandra, intending to go on to Adaminaby, and Mr. Cheney proposed returning next morning to move another mob to Cooma. Four feet of snow fell at Kiandra over- night, and Mrs. Foeram walked four miles through the snow from Ravine to warn Mr. Cheney that a message from Kiandra by telephone stated that the snow was too deep for a start to be made.
As no news was received of Mr. Shanley a party was organised, and set out on snow shoes tosearch the drifts. After three days the party found a huge hole in a drift about 20 ft deep. With difficulty the snow was cleared away, and Mr. Shanley and two horses were found at the bottom frozen to death. - (Ref- The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931) Wednesday 25 August 1920).