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Long Point – A lonely spot (1930).

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The Farmer and Settler (NSW), Saturday 13 September 1930

A Lonely Spot

JACK SEWELL (Long Point) – I live thirty six miles from Armidale. There we go once a month to do our shopping. Hillgrove is eighteen miles away. It was once a great gold-mining town, but now only the remains are left. The place I live at is called Long Point. I think the name of Out Back would have suited it better. There are only two families residing here. The next family is twelve miles away. Are we not isolated? All we hear is the whistle of the birds, and the howl of dingoes at night. This is what we see: Tree after tree, nearly too thickly timbered to walk through. Then we come to the falls, a most wonderful sight to gaze upon, and gently flowing at the bottom we find a winding river. This is where the wild ducks swim. The river is like the road we travel on, a separation between the trees. But, really, road is no name for it. It is only a bush track that winds in and out among the trees, and when I leave home and get to town I have a thousand pains or more from all the jolts and bumps.

The Farmer and Settler (NSW), Saturday 13 September 1930

Bush School Games

LAURIE SEWELL (Hillgrove). – There are only six children attending Long Point school, so we cannot play many games. My favourite game is cricket. It is so interesting, and is good exercise. Rounders is another game we play, and also red-rover, tip, crowning the base, and fruits and flowers. The best game of all is football. We play football with a tennis ball. The other games mentioned we play very seldom. It is nice and green where we play. Sometimes the sheep eat this green grass, then we have to go and play where it is dusty.

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June 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Hillgrove Water-power and Electric Company

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The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Saturday 10 February 1894

A BIG UNDERTAKING.

Sydney, February 9.

The Hillgrove and Armidale Water-power, and Electric Company having secured extensive water rights in the vicinity of Hillgrove to-day accepted the tender of the Crompton Electric Supply Company for carrying out an extensive electric plant, the motive power of which will be supplied from the Guyra River falls. The company will supply the Baker’s Creek and Eleanora gold mines, Hillgrove, with electricity for working the batteries, pumps, and concentrators, as well as supply the town of Hillgrove with electric lighting. The hydraulic plant will be supplied and erected by Mr. W. H. Palmer, of Melbourne. The electric plant will be one of the largest not only in the colonies, but also in the old country. The first cost will be £20,000.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wednesday 14 February 1894

ELECTRICITY BY WATER POWER.

Last week a contract was signed with the Crompton Electric Supply Company of Australia Limited, of which Mr. K H Buchanan, A.M.I.C.E., is manager, for the construction of an electric and hydraulic plant to transmit power from the Guyra River Falls to the Hillgrove mines, a distance of five miles. The dynamos at the falls will be driven by Felton wheels. A constant current of 1500 volts potential will be conveyed thence by three copper cables to the Baker’s Creek and Eleanora gold mines. The whole of the power required by those mines will be supplied in this manner and there will also be a small plant for giving electric lighting. The water rights were secured by the Hillgrove and Armidale Water-power Electric Company under an Act of Parliament. The work now about to be put in hand has been delayed by the financial troubles of the past year. The total cost of the work, both electric and hydraulic, will be about £20,000.

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW), Saturday 8 December 1894

Country Notes

At the spring show held in aid of the Hillgrove Cottage Hospital last week, Mr. Brain, the engineer supervising the works of the Crompton Electric and Hillgrove Water-power Electric Company, spared no expense and trouble to ensure successful lighting, which was certainly accomplished, lending a crowning effect to the dual interests under consideration. There was a large attendance from Uralla, Armidale, and surrounding districts. The proceeds for the two days amounted to £120.

Evening News (Sydney, NSW), Tuesday 3 December 1895

THE COURTS.

A Company Matter.

SECURITY FOR COSTS.

The matter of the Hillgrove and Armldale Water Power Electric Company, Limited, was before Mr. Justice Manning in equity jurisdiction to-day, on a petition by the Crompton Electric Supply Company of Australasia for a compulsory winding-up order. Messrs. A. H. Simpson and Langer Owen, instructed by Mr. W. G. Parish, appeared for the petitioners, and Messrs. Lingen and Wise, by Messrs. White and Wolstenholme, for E. W. Foxall, the voluntary liquidator of the Hillgrove Company, and for the company. The names of Messrs. White, W. H. Palmer, Foxall, Michellmore. and Professor Threlfall figure prominently in the petition. An application was made by the liquidator for an extension of time to file affidavits. Directions were given that the affidavits of Messrs. Palmer, White, Michelmore, Threlfall, and Foxall should be filed by the 10th instant, and all other affidavits by the 12th instant. The matter was then allowed to stand over to the 17th instant, to come on for hearing on that date, if the petitioners’ affidavits in reply were then filed. In the same matter application was made for security for costs on the part of the voluntary liquidator, on the ground that the Crompton Company was an English company. By consent £100 was ordered to be paid into court without prejudice to the right of the company to apply for further security if necessary.

The Canberra Times (ACT), Wednesday 30 April 1958

Visitor Studies History Of Hydro Schemes

Mr. J. Pinto, of Newcastle, accompanied by his wife, visited Canberra yesterday and spent much time in the Australian section of the National Library.

He located the record of a special Act of Parliament which gave permission for the setting up of a hydro-electric scheme at Hillgrove, near Armidale, in 1893.

Mr. Pinto said yesterday that this was the first hydro-electric scheme in the Southern Hemisphere.

It was established by Crompton and Company of England, and later taken over by his father, who ran it for 25 years.

The Act, which was assented to on March 10, 1893, enabled “the Hillgrove and Armidale Water-Power Electric Company to construct and maintain works and other appliances for the making, generating and transmitting of electricity, and the supplying the same to any city, town, mine, company or persons within the county of Sandon and the colony of New South Wales.”

Mr. Pinto said that the hydro-electric scheme which Launceston was claiming was the first, was established in 1895.

He will leave Canberra to-day on his way to visit the hydro-electric scheme in the Snowy Mountains.

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June 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Hauling antimony from the gorge (1926)

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The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser (NSW), Monday 6 December 1926

ENGINEERING FEAT

An engineering feat worthy of mention has just been accomplished by Messrs. C. Boundy and T. and W. Faint. A steel rope, weighing over three tons, and measuring 8909 feet has just been hung, and is now swinging from the highest point of Hillgrove gorge to within a quarter of a mile of the bottom. To tighten the rope, the services of T. Faint’s big tractor was requisitioned, that being the most difficult job. Now that the work has been completed, antimony, which has been lying at the bottom of the gorge, will be able to be hauled to the top.

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June 17, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Hillgrove. Passing of the Golden Days (1921).

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Tuesday 7 June 1921

HILLGROVE.

PASSING OF THE GOLDEN DAYS.

HISTORIC SPOT VISITED.

The city and country journalists who attended the recent New State Convention at Armidale were given opportunity by the Mayor of that city (Alderman Purkiss) of visiting the old mining township of Hillgrove. The 20 mlle journey across the undulating New England tableland was an invigorating experience. It is pastoral country along this eastward road, and there was ample evidence that the rabbits, disappearing for a time, have multiplied exceedingly. The road is lonely, with gum trees most of the way, and the evidences of civilisation that occur are not calculated to cheer. These are a burnt-out “pub” and a deserted house half hidden amidst a grove of dark-hued pines, which was a silent witness of an unsolved murder last year. A turn of the road discloses a deep gorge surmounted by rocky crags, and beyond are seen the shining iron roofs of Hillgrove. The town has seen better days. One does not need to be told that. It strikes the visitor immediately he scans the jumble of houses, humpies, and relics of departed masonry which make up so large a part of Hillgrove.

All is not lost, though, for the old Baker’s Creek mine is still being worked on tribute. The post-office and police station seem to be permanent reminders that Hillgrove was once a town throbbing with life and commercial activity, and that the pendulum may swing that way again. There are still two hotels in business, each on a corner facing one another across a nearly deserted street, and the other corner holds substantial foundations of a fellow-inn that has disappeared. There is a main store, of course, and another shop or two, while along the street are standards bearing electric wires for lighting. Children run about the streets happy in the knowledge that traffic interruptions are few. An old-timer and his wife sit in a little garden fronting a miner’s hut. One’s mind travelled to those of the old-timers weaving again the rich romance of the past. There is a single guardian of the law there where once worked and dwelt a clerk of petty sessions, warden sergeant, and two police. The single constable acts as warden’s clerk, warden’s bailiff, acting c.p.s., registrar of births, marriages, and deaths, and of the Small Debts Court, besides performing other occasional duties. Hillgrove once had a population of about three thousand, but to-day it would not exceed that many hundred. Everywhere in the town area there are brick fireplaces and chimneys standing curiously alone in vacant allotments.

Where are the houses they belonged to? Pulled down and re-erected in Armidale, say local inhabitants. Strangely enough, there is hardly a vacant house in the town, as they have all gone to supply the demand in Armidale.

But one cannot know Hillgrove without seeing the gorge and what remains of the mines half a mile beyond the town. The car drew up on the edge of this gigantic cleft in the mountains. There at one’s feet was this great chasm, its rocky, scrub-covered sides dropping almost sheer to a depth of nearly two thousand feet. The two sides of this gorge meet sharply at the bottom and form the basin of the creek below which are mining shafts. It was decided to descend to the creek level by a mine truck, which was filled by the 12 visitors. The truck is attached to an endless rope, and the descent at an angle of 43 degrees was not without its thrills. There was a bracing of the nerves and the tightening of footholds when the signal was given. It was as if one was being lowered over the edge of the world, and one hardly dared to think of what would happen if there was a weak strand in the wire rope. Once on solid ground an inspection of the stamp battery and other parts of tho gold-winning plant followed.

The Baker’s Creek mine is about 30 years old, and it is said to have paid nearly £300,000 in dividends. The shaft descends nearly 2000 feet below the bottom of the gorge, but there is difficulty with the inrush of water. It is worked by tributers, and there is said to be plenty of gold, but working costs are too great yet to allow of full development. No doubt when these can be reduced there will be a recrudescence of activity along the bed of Baker’s Creek. Hillgrove waits for that day for its rejuvenation. Unlike Wyalong and other old mining towns, it has no golden grain upon which to reconstruct its former prestige. The residents of Hillgrove, however, still treasure the thought that its golden day has not yet passed for ever.

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June 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

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Fire at Cooney Creek.

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Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Thursday 18 April 1895

HILLGROVE, Thursday. — Concerning the fire at Cooney Creek a few days ago, an inquest was commenced on Wednesday. Evidence went to show that Patrick Fury, who is under arrest, cut twenty cords of wood and stacked them on the side of the main road, the wood and an adjoining stack being then wilfully fired. It was alleged that Fury had threatened to burn the wood, and also to cut down the trees in an orchard, the property of the landlord of the Cooney Creek Hotel.

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 27 April 1895

An inquest was held at the Hillgrove Courthouse last week, before Mr. William Morgan, local coroner, and a jury of twelve, touching the cause of a lire at Cooney Creek. The evidence, as reported in the local paper, is to the effect that Francis Mulligan, sheep farmer, residing at Cooney Creek, employed a man named Patrick Fury at wood cutting, and paid him for nineteen cords. There was a slight dispute about a balance of 14s or 16s. This was settled on Mulligan paying 10s 6d,. and getting a receipt in full payment. This final payment was made on the morning of the 13th instant, and Fury left the Cooney Creek Hotel then, and seemed quite satisfied with the settlement. After having twenty or thirty drinks during the day at West Hillgrove (according to his own evidence), he returned to Mulligan’s hotel in the evening and wanted more drink, but Mr. Mulligan refused to serve him, and Fury, after wanting to fight a man named Curran, went home about 9 o’clock. In going home from the hotel Fury would have to pass the firewood which was burnt. Mr. Mulligan said that he never had any quarrel with Fury, neither had he ever heard the latter make any threats against him. Evidence was given by William Stoddart and Joseph Curran to the effect that they heard Fury say he would burn the wood when Mr. Mulligan paid him in full for it, and also that he would cut the trees down in Mr. Mulligan’s orchard. The fire was discovered by Stoddart and Curran shortly after 10 o’clock on the night of the 13th. Stoddart and Curran had about two cords of their firewood burnt. When Senior-sergeant Edwards went to see Fury on the following morning the latter, in answer to an inquiry, said, ‘They (meaning Stoddart and Curran) have burnt it themselves, and want to blame me for it.” When the jury examined the remaining wood on the morning of the inquest two lots of stringy bark were found against it ready for lighting. At the Hillgrove Court Patrick Fury was brought before Messrs. H. G. Wakeford and W. Morgan, on a charge of arson, and was committed for trial.

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May 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

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Accused committed for trial (part 3 of 3)

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The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Friday 1 April 1921

HILLGROVE ROBBERY.

Accused Committed for Trial.

HILLGROVE, Thursday

At the police court yesterday, Jack McCarthy Woodburn, aged 26, laborer, of West Australia, was charged with breaking and entering the Hillgrove Post Office on or about the 19th March, and stealing cash, stamps and cheques to the value of £181/14/11.

Mr. A. A. Russell, acting postmaster, stated that on the 18th inst. he was on duty at the Post Office until 10 p.m. He balanced everything before leaving the office. The safe in the office contained postal notes, cash, cheques, stamps, war saving certificates, etc , valued at £358/15/4. When leaving the office he securely locked all doors and windows, also tried all the drawers and the safe. Then he went to the hotel where he boarded. Next morning, about 7.30, Constable Kennedy came into his room and showed him a broken cash box, also a few postage stamps. They went to the Post Office, and found the front door locked, but the back door of the office open. The middle window had been forced open. The iron safe was laying on its side on the stand with the door blown open — apparently forced open by an explosion. Pieces of a fuse and gelatine were laying close by. All the drawers in the office with the exception of two had been forced open. Later, Mr. Postal Inspector Woolett and witness made an examination to ascertain what was missing and found a shortage of £181/11/11. A pair of rubber gloves shown were also the property of the department. Before locking up the cash witness took the number of all the notes with the exception of three, and the numbers of the notes produced agreed with his record with the exception of one. There was also a registered packet missing from the safe.

To the accused: There is only one note which I cannot identify.

Constable Kennedy, police officer, at Hillgrove, said that on the morning of the 19th inst. he found the empty cash box, also the few postage stamps, 3d and 1d on a vacant piece of land near Faint’s garage. He took them to the Sydney Hotel, where Mr. Russell was staying. They then went, to the Post Office and found the premises in the condition as explained by the previous witness. Lying of the floor was one crowbar, one 8lb hammer, one coal chisel, one file, one axe head, and three damaged mail bags. The whole office appeared to have been ransacked.

Chas. Rowe, miner, employed at the New Baker’s Creek Mine, remembered conversing with the accused at the mine on the 18th inst. about 2 p.m. Near by was a box containing explosives. He left the mine about 3 p.m. Next day he returned to the mine, and at about 9.30 a.m., after having heard something, he went to his box and found missing 4½ plugs of gelatine, one plug of gelatine dynamite, 10 or 12 feet of fuse, and about 50 detonators.

Victor Adamson, engine driver at the Baker’s Creek tram line, said he saw the accused and conversed with him in the engine shed on the 18th inst. He lowered him down the tram line to the mine. Witness recognised the hammer and other tools produced as the property of the company.

William Peters, residing at Hillgrove, and living within 20 yards of the Post Office, said he remembered the night of the 18th inst. He was in his house in bed and heard something which sounded like an explosion at about halt past eleven or twelve o’clock. The sound appeared to come from the direction of the Post Office. Following this sound he heard what sounded like hammering. About an hour later he heard another explosion. After this noise he got out of bed and went to the fence adjoining the Post Office, looked over the fence, but could hear no sound nor see any light. Just before 2 o’clock he heard a third explosion.

Cornelius Faint, car driver, Hillgrove, said that on the 18th inst. the accused came to him between 10 and 11 a.m. at his home and inquired if he was a car driver. Witness said, “Can I get a car to Armidale?” Witness asked, “What time?” He replied, “Between 9 and 10 tonight.” Witness replied that he could. He did not see him again until next morning, when he came to witness’s house and stated that he wanted to go to Armidale. Witness asked him if he knew what time it was. He replied “No.” Witness informed him that it was 2.30 a.m. ‘”Oh!” he said, “it’s worth £3 to you.” He paid witness then with the notes he produced. Witness knew one by the mark he put on it before giving it to the police. He then drove him to Armidale.

Daniel Aiting, a motor car proprietor, of Armidale, said at 4.30 on the 19th he received a telephone call. In reply to his question, “McCarthy” was the name given. He got in his car, went to the Post Office, and then saw accused. He said, “Did you call to take me to Glen Innes?” Witness replied “Yes.” They then drove to Bradbury’s hotel for his bag and then went on to Glen Innes to Tattersall’s Hotel. The accused left the rubber gloves shown to witness on the seat of the car. He paid witness £7 before getting to Glen Innes — £5 and two singles. When returning to Armidale the sergeant of police at Guyra told witness something and he handed him the notes he got from the accused. He did not take the numbers.

Accused was asked if he had any thing to say, and replied “No.” He was committed for trial at Armidale Circuit Court on April 20, 1921.

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May 7, 2013 at 8:26 am

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Stamps, gelignite, and revolvers (part 2 of 3)

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The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Tuesday 22 March 1921

HILLGROVE CASE.

YOUNG MAN BEFORE THE COURT.

What the Police Found.

STAMPS, GELIGNITE AND REVOLVERS.

GLEN INNES, Thursday.

At the local police court this morning before Mr W. S Perry, Jack McCarthy Woodburn was charged with having stolen from the Hillgrove Post Office postal notes, stamps and money, to the value of £200.

Defendant, a young man about 26 years of age, well groomed, appeared unconcerned during the court proceedings.

Sergeant McGrath stated that about 1.30 p.m on the 19th instant, in company with Constables Stewart and Cumming he went to No. 12 room at Tattersall’s Hotel where he saw defendant lying on a bed. Witness inquired his name. Defendant replied “McCarthy”. In reply to witness defendant said he had come from Armidale that morning by car. Witness asked when he arrived at Armidale and he replied “by train from Sydney last Wednesday.” “Have you ever been in Hillgrove?” asked witness” “No never”, replied defendant. Constable Stewart asked “Isn’t your name Woodburn.” Defendant replied in the negative. “What is it all about anyhow?” asked defendant. ‘The Post Office at Hillgrove,” witness replied ”was broken into last night, and a quantity of stamps and money stolen.” Witness asked defendant if the bag in the room belonged to him. He replied “yes.” The bag was then opened by Constable Stewart, who said “it’s all-right Sergeant; he has all the stamps and paraphernalia here.” Defendant was taken to the lockup and when formally charged replied “right.” Drawing an automatic revolver from the bag witness asked where did you get this?” Defendant replied, “I got it from a friend of mine yesterday.” The Sergeant said, “where did you get all these stamps in your bag.” Defendant replied, “I got them from the same friend, at the same time.” Witness said “there are several plugs of gelignite, a fuse and detonators in the bag. Where did you get them?” Defendant replied “I bought them in Sydney. I have often to use them at my work as a carpenter.” The portmanteau was further examined and was found to contain an automatic revolver loaded in two chambers, an extra revolver magazine, 13 revolver cartridges, two coils of fuse, a box of detonators, 23 sticks of gelignite, two sticks of blasting gelignite, one stick of dynamite, a file, a gelignite piercer, 12 Chub lock keys, a lady’s pocket knife and a mouth organ. There was also an envelope addressed to the Postmaster at Hillgrove, containing stamps to the value of £5/11/7. A second envelope was found to contain stamps to the value of £1/1. There were also in the bag 270 stamps at 1/, 180 at 9d, 290 at 6d, 240 at 5d, 440 at 3d, 120 at 2½d 1302 at 1½d, 938 at 1d, 1163 at 2d, 556 at 1d, 4768 at 2d, 1219 at a half-penny, representing a total value of £112/4/10. Witness said “Do you still say you got these things from your friends?” Defendant replied “I’ll say nothing, I will take my gruel.” On searching defendant at the lockup witness found £4/10 on him.

Constable Stewart said he charged defendant and said “Is it correct you went to Hillgrove last Friday?” Defendant replied “Yes.” “How many shots did you put in the safe?” witness asked, and defendant replied “One.” In reply to witness defendant said he did it between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock. “Did you have a car waiting for you?” witness asked, and defendant replied “No, I pulled the mail driver out of bed and he drove me to Armidale.” Further questioned defendant said “I had a mate.” He followed on behind on a motor cycle.” Witness said “You paid Mackenzie and Sons £4/3 on Saturday for clothing. You also paid £2/10 to Mrs. Turnbull for board in advance. Is that right?” Defendant replied ‘That is correct.” “What did you pay for the car from Armidale to here?” asked witness. Defendant replied, “£6; my mate gave me the money to pay for board and car.”

Defendant refused to give witness a signed statement.

Defendant was remanded to Hillgrove and intimated that he did not wish to apply for bail.

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May 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

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