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They Came to Murramarang

They Came to Murramarang: A History of Murramarang, Kioloa and Bawley Point OPEN ACCESS

Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    They Came to Murramarang
    Book Description:

    Bruce Hamon’s They Came to Murramarang, first published in 1994, provides a unique combination of local history and personal recollections from a writer who witnessed the transformation of the Murramarang region from the timber era to modern times. This new edition retains the original character of Bruce’s engaging prose with additional chapters relating to Bruce’s life, the writing of the book, the Indigenous history of the region and the transformation of the area since the book was written. The book has also been enhanced by the insertion of additional photographs.

    eISBN: 978-1-925022-75-9
    Subjects: Sociology, History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Alastair Greig

    They Came to Murramarangwas first published in 1994, providing the New South Wales South Coast villages of Bawley Point, Kioloa and the surrounding area with an authoritative history from colonial settlement through to the contemporary era. High demand for the book led to subsequent reprints in 1997 and 2001. Ongoing requests for reprints attest to its popularity, with readers ranging from residents within the district and holiday makers discovering the beauty of the area, to academics interested in the history of this once isolated part of the South Coast.

    In considering another reprint, two decades after its initial release,...

  2. PEOPLING THE LANDSCAPE (pp. xxvii-xxxii)
    Sue Feary

    Imagine a time, around 20,000 years ago. The landscape of Murramarang and Kioloa looks markedly different. Most noticeable is the absence of the ocean, which is not even visible in the distance, being about 120 metres lower than today and 14 kilometres further out. The climate is cold and dry and ocean water is captured in the massive polar ice caps. In place of the ocean there is a large rolling plain with rocky outcrops, ridges and hills, covered in forest and bush, and providing sustenance for Australia’s grazing megafauna — giant kangaroos, wombats and diprotodons.

    Around this time, a geological...

  3. The Aborigines¹ are believed to have been on the South Coast of New South Wales for at least 20,000 years, judging from dating of carbon found in a cave near Burrill Lake. It is hard to get such a number of years into perspective. A thousand generations? A hundred times the duration of white settlement? We are not used to such scales of time. It is short as geologists measure time, but it is long enough to include the peak of the most recent ice age, when sea levels were lower by up to 100 metres. The shore would have...

  4. The first two settlers at Murramarang were Sydney Stephen and William Turney Morris.½I am still amazed at the speed with which they selected and occupied their blocks. Land fever, indeed! Both arrived in the colony in 1828, a scant 40 years after the first settlement. Yet before the end of that year, both had selected blocks at Murramarang, and Stephen at least sent men and stock to start work on his block in January 1829.

    Stephen was a member of a noted legal family, and his father, Mr Justice Stephen, and younger brother, Alfred Stephen, were already in the...

  5. After Carr’s death in 1854, the property — 5,340 acres, or 2,163 ha, from Kioloa almost to Bawley Point — was purchased by Yates and Evans for £5,874.¹ The Evans family dominated the local scene till at least 1910.² A simplified Evans family tree is given on page 25. It shows only those who owned the land, or who lived and worked in the area. Many other family members would have lived at Murramarang House as children. (See also Table 1, Chapter 2.) I have used I, II, etc., to separate people with the same given names.

    We start with John Evans...

  6. Timber was always important in the district. The buildings and fences put up by Stephen must have used local timber, but we have no details, except for the brief mention of ‘seventy to eighty thousand [super?] feet sawed Timber’ when the property was offered for sale in 1838 (see Chapter 2). A substantial timber industry did not start until the first mill at Kioloa, around 1884.

    A speculative link with the earlier days might be the name ‘Logpaddock’ for the headland south of Bawley Point now called ‘Juwin’. My father always used the earlier name, often abbreviated to ‘Log’. There...

  7. The turn of the century was a time of change: roads extended and improved; deliveries from stores in Milton and Ulladulla began; dependence on ships for supplies declined; the ships were changing from sail to steam; schools were established. But the 1890s were depression years, and many families suffered great hardship.

    The history of the schools in the area (and in fact in the whole Milton–Ulladulla district) has been given in detail by McAndrew.¹ The difficulties and expense of providing schooling in developing areas led to many different arrangements, which seem quaint by modern standards.² Thus we find provisional...

  8. Ships provided the earliest connection between Sydney and South Coast ports. It was a tenuous lifeline, at the mercy of the weather at open places like Bawley Point and Kioloa, but it did not require the large outlay of time or capital needed for roads and bridges.

    We have few details of the earliest ships that might have served Murramarang. Presumably many also served ports further south. These are graphically described by Gibbney as ‘a mosquito fleet of sailing craft ranging from cutters of seven or eight tons to barques, brigs and top-sail schooners of seventy or eighty tons’.¹ They...

  9. This chapter gives my earliest memories of Bawley Point. My parents (Les and Alma Hamon) moved to Bawley Point around Easter 1918, when I was less than a year old. I lived at Bawley during all my primary school years (1925–1930). My parents continued to live there after 1930, although I saw less of the place, being a boarder at St Patrick’s College, Goulburn, 1931–1935, and then a student at Sydney University, 1936–1940. My father, who was born and reared in Milton, worked initially in the sawmill, and we lived in one of the houses that had...

  10. At Kioloa there have been two families named Moore, though they were not there at the same time.

    The earlier family was that of Robert William Stebbings Moore (1885–1951). Robert was born in New Zealand, the third child of Frederick Stebbings Moore, and came to Australia in 1892 with his parents. Frederick worked in the Nelligen sawmill in the late 1890s.

    Robert served an apprenticeship in engineering and blacksmithing at Morts Dock, Sydney, then joined H. McKenzie Ltd. In 1908 he was at Kioloa, presumably to set up McKenzie’s mill, which started operating a few years later. His wife-to-be,...

  11. A very important event in the area in recent years was undoubtedly Joy London’s gift of 860 acres at Kioloa to The Australian National University. The deeds of this land, the ‘Home Block’ (block E on Map 1), were handed over on 1 March 1975, and the property then became known as the Edith and Joy London Foundation. This generous gift was Joy’s way of honouring her mother, and particularly her mother’s wish that the property be preserved as nearly as possible in its present state instead of following the usual path of subdivision.² The property had been the home...

  12. Alastair Greig and Sue Feary

    Bruce Hamon’s book,They Came to Murramarang, provides a vivid account of the isolation that communities at Murramarang experienced over much of their post-settlement history, as well as the impact made by various forms of industry, communication and transportation in linking the area to the rest of the state, the nation and the world. The time that has elapsed since Bruce published the book in 1994 presents an opportunity to reflect on the pace of contemporary change in the area and the likely nature of future development.

    Bruce’s history of the area was published following a decade of significant population...