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Larmer's Survey of the Wool Road, 1840

The text shown below is a transcription of James Larmer's report to the Surveyor General. The report was written in long-hand and every attempt has been made to faithfully reproduce it here - spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. The report finishes with an estimate of the costs to make the road.


Braidwood
August 3rd 1840

Sir

In conformity with the instructions contained in your letter no 40/197 of 27th May last - I proceeded to Narriga and Surveyed the country from thence to Jervis Bay.

Having convinced myself that a road by Narriga would be circuitous - I commenced marking a new line from the Braidwood road about three miles and a half South of Narriga and from thence in a North Easterly direction across the Beulee forest land to the crossing place on the Enrick River (called by the Natives "Beulee").

With respect to the crossing place on the road to Ulladulla - and the rocky ascent East of it - and that at Beulee now Surveyed there can be but one opinion, the former is almost inaccessible and much too far to the Eastward - whereas the latter is generally passable and the ascent from it easy and gradual, on about 1 in 17 one in seventeen - until the road reaches a rocky pass where some labour will be necessary in making a sideling of about (450) four hundred and fifty yards. From this a broad and flat rocky range - (the trifling descent on which is almost imperceptible) leads to near Boolija Creek shown on the map at C.D. - where about 100 one hundred yards of shallow cutting will again be necessary in making a sideling - the road from thence continued to Boolija Creek across which a small platform or Bridge of about 20 twenty feet in width must be constructed and another of the same dimensions on Tianjara Creek. From Tianjara Creek we proceed along a broad and flat range to a rocky gap - where another sideling must be made of about 250 two hundred and fifty yards in length - from this we proceed down a range which below the gap is rather steep or about 1 in 15 one in fifteen - beyond this the descent is gradual until it reaches the termination near a Station of Mr Campbell's called Jeriwongola - where a fourth sideling must be made of about 100 one hundred yards in length - the creek below this is generally passable and as the crossing place is good a bridge is unnecessary. About half a mile East of Jeriwongola the road ascends a range of about (1 in 15) one in fifteen where a fifth and last sideling will be necessary of about 130 one hundred and thirty yards in length . Having reached the top of this which is broad and firm the road continues to Wandandian Creek where a bridge has been thrown across but a part of which has disappeared by a late flood.

From Jeriwongola to Jervis Bay a foot path has for some time been in existence which may be made passable for Drays with a trifling expense and labour - there are however bends in the path that may be avoided particularly at Wandandian Creek - here as at other places heavy timber is abundant and Bridges may be constructed without much labour or difficulty.

As the public are sometimes put to inconvenience in consequence of there being no stopping or resting places on the main Roads - I beg to suggest that a Reserve may be made North of the Beulee crossing place - a second at Yarrook Flat - a third at Boolija or Tianjara Creek - a fourth on the East of Jeriwongola Creek - and a fifth at a stockyard near the Burre Werre River where water and grass may be obtained in abundance.

In conclusion I beg to add that on so great an extent of Road less obstructions and difficulties in the formation could not be met on any other line of Road of the same extent in the Colony - and from enquiries I have made both from whites and Aboriginals and from my own observations I am fully convinced that it would be impossible to discover a more practicable line than the one now Surveyed. On the North it is a bold and continuous range but totally unfit for Drays to pass down to the Coast - and on the South numerous deep rocky gullies that are impassable. A plan showing the proposed Road with an Estimate of the probable expense of the undertaking I now do myself the honour to transmit herewith.


NB (1) a note on this letter says "Laid before the Executive Council 31 August 1840 Minute No 40/13 - G3" and initialled "W.M.P".
NB (2) Burre Werre River. presumably this is Bherwerre (modern spelling) River and today known as Tomerong Creek.


Probable Cost of clearing a road from the Enrick or Beulee River near Narriga to Jervis Bay
- a distance of about 36½ thirty six miles and a half.

Clearing the Road 33 thirty three feet wide - 820 eight hundred and twenty chains long or 1804 yards -
from the Enrick to the cutting at C.D. west of Boolija Creek
41 acres at £5 per acre
205
From the cutting at C.D. to the Rocky Gap at E.F. - 33 feet wide - 730 chains or 1606 yards
36 ½ acres at £2 per acre
73
From the gap at E.F. to the flat at Jeriwongola 320 chains - 704 yards -
16 acres at £5 per acre
80
From the cutting at I.J. East of Jeriwongola to Jervis Bay 1060 chains 23,320 yards
53 acres at £2 per acre
106
Three platforms or small bridges at £10 each 30
Cutting 5 five sidelings - 1030 yards in length 200
Cost of tools - wear and tear on drays and salaries to overseers 300
£ 994

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