Settlements and Villages
This article outlines a brief history of Bucketty where early settlers arrived in around 1800. It discusses the significance of the Great North Road and the convict built monuments in the area. A true community was not established until 1972, but this article highlights two stories of earlier inhabitants relating to ‘Knight’s Arm’ and ‘Bucketty’s gold rush’. Knights Arm is named after the Knight family who bought the land in the Bucketty Valley and were the only settlers to build a house in Bucketty prior to 1972. Further information regarding the Knight Family is outlined within the article. Bucketty’s Gold Rush refers to case in the late 19th century when Charles Ramon-Khan made a living in Bucketty by digging for gold in the paddocks, which was not popular with local farmers.
2.01 Wollombi Township
This article discusses the establishment of Wollombi Township. The Great North Road was built through the area, and in 1831 Heneage Finch surveyed the area for subdivision of allotments. The town grew, and in 1840 St Michael’s Catholic Church had its foundations laid. Wheat growing was extensive in the area, and so a flour mill was established. This article discusses the needs of a growing population in Wollombi and some of the issues that were faced between 1831 and 1846.
2.02 Owen Devine
This article follows the story of Owen “old” Devine, who was a convict that arrived in NSW in 1801. He was soon assigned out to the Hawkesbury. In 1806 Devine and others were accused of stealing and later that year was reassigned. In 1811 he was sent to Newcastle where he probably worked as a lime-burner. In 1817 he married at St Phillip’s Church in Sydney. Devine bought a vessel and used it to transport cargo between Sydney and Newcastle, but in 1818 it was wrecked and he lost all his cargo. Devine claimed land and began supplying the Public Works at Windsor with lime. He was able to cultivate his land and grow wheat, and wrote a letter of thanks to Governor Macquarie in 1822.He died in 1824 of natural causes.
2.03 Who was Snodgrass?
This article briefly outlines the life of Kenneth Snodgrass (after whom the non-existent village of Snodgrass was named). He was born in Scotland and became a Captain, later receiving head wounds in the Peninsular War, which stayed with him all his life. Now unfit for service he was sent to Sydney and then Tasmania as Acting Governor. He retired to Raymond Terrace in 1853.
2.04 Great North Road, Five Dock
The waters of the Parramatta River were surveyed in 1788 for grants. However, these were cancelled and the area (6,600 acres) became Five Dock Farm, property of Dr John Harris. In 1836 the Farm was sold to Samuel Lyons, who built several roads, which prompted the sale of 133 lots. In the 1850s, the population at Five Dock increased due to the opening of a railway from Sydney to Parramatta, and the discovery of gold at Bathurst. Five Dock was declared a municipality in 1871.
2.05 Sawyer's Gully
The Great North Road was built c. 1829 at Sawyer’s Gully. Timber mills in this area prompted the development and the roads were serviced by Cobb & Co. Sawyer’s Gully also serviced the mining communities with timber, dairy, meat, fruit, vegetables and wine. This article outlines the story of the Findley family and their life in Sawyer’s Gully on the Great North Road.
2.06 Pit Saws
This article discusses how pit saws are used and how they were utilised along the Convict Trail. They were required for bridge construction and could be heard as a thumping noise. Wood that has been pit sawn is easily detected by the marks of the saw teeth.
2.07 Wiseman's Ferry: late 1830 to mid 1832
This article outlines the dynamics of Wisemans Ferry between 1830 and 1832. At this time, Solomon Wiseman owned the land there, where he had a house, out buildings and large sandstone inn. On the hillside there was the convict stockade. Solomon supplied food to the convicts and used this to exert authority. A high security Iron Gang was stationed at Wisemans Ferry and guarded by many soldiers, who left graffiti markings. The article further discusses the story of Solomon Wiseman and his dealings in the area.
2.08 Twelve Mile Hollow, Snodgrass Valley & Ten Mile Hollow
This article discusses a history of these valleys. The line of road did not go into this area, and it is unknown where the name ’Twelve Mile Hollow’ originated from. In 1829 Mitchell recommended to the Governor that the Ten Mile Hollow be named Snodgrass Valley to avoid confusion, but both names continued to be used on maps. Events that occurred around this area are further discussed in this article, as well as explanations of visible remains at Ten Mile Hollow.