Community

Life on the Richmond in the Early Days

WHEN Jacob Flick and his bride, Mary, arrived at Lismore Station in 1855 after a long voyage from England they must have had some misgivings.

Many years later their son, William, wrote of the life they encountered. Jacob was a vine dresser but was set to work cutting down trees for the boiling-down works at the Station.

Cattle prices at the time were low and cattle were killed on site and boiled down for tallow, which was bringing a good price. Hides were also selling well.

The young couple lived in a slab hut with an open fireplace outside on which Mary prepared meals. It was a lonely existence for the young bride, and sometimes frightening.

The surrounding scrub was dense and one could easily get lost there.

The trees were massive, tall, and vine-entangled. Very little light penetrated the darkness. The early cedar cutters had cut rough tracks through the scrub.

The cedar tree is about the only deciduous native tree in Australia and can easily be distinguished from a distance when its leaves turn brown.

Cedar cutters would cut the tracks from one tree to the next when these trees were spotted.

There was much wildlife in the scrub and an amazing number of birds.

Apparently the noise of the birds was almost deafening, especially at dawn. There was no possibility of sleeping in after they started their morning chorus!

There were patches of native grass within this great mass of trees.

Some said they were caused by a different soil type, others that the Aboriginals had deliberately burnt patches to encourage kangaroos to graze and so make hunting easier.

The larger patches of grass were a boon to bullock drivers who used them to feed their animals.

Many of these places have kept their original names such as Calico Grass, Chilcotts Grass, and Lagoon Grass.

Local historian, Dr Brett Stubbs, has made a detailed study of the grasses.

Each of these natural grass patches or plains was often separated by creeks which fed into the main river system. There were larger grasslands at East Lismore and Gundurimba.

Although there was a loneliness in the surroundings there was also a great beauty, with the light shimmering on the trees, the thousands of animals, and the vast array of birds with beautiful plumage.

Echoes could travel over a vast distance and a man's voice could be heard for miles. No doubt this was a good thing if one became lost in the bush!

Cedar was floated down the streams to Lismore where it was loaded on to sailing vessels.

Saw mills were built and some of the timber was cut into flitches for easier transport. Ships could not sail all the way up the River but were towed by a tug in convoys.

Initially the tug was rowed but later steam tugs were used. William Flick states that he had seen the tug boat "Challenge" rowing six vessels up the river at the one time, each fastened to the other by a strong line.

It was a wonderful sight to see the ships passing through the scrub challenging the natural forest with their own forest of masts and yards.

Sometimes an overhanging tree hit a mast and the mast would crumble. If this happened a tree was cut down and used to patch the mast until it could be replaced in Sydney.

The "Saucy Jack", a Nicoll's ship, survived with a spar cut by Jacob Flick.

Supplies, including such things as flour and sugar, were dependent on these vessels and sometimes there were shortages. To survive, settlers had to be inventive, and adaptive, in those days!



How to judge a winning bull at Casino's Cattle Competition

James Dockrill from Clovass handles the winner on the day Flemington Like A Cat at the Cattle Competition at Casino Beef Week.

High prices and big bulls at Casino's Cattle Comp

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!