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State Library of NSW
Sir Thomas Mitchell diary, with comments on the discovery of gold, especially in the Bathurst district p.21851
Sunday, June 1 1851
We arrived without impediment at Emu Ferry about 2 ½ oCk PM. Found the approach stopped up with drays and carts, the ferry boat carrying only three drays or carts at a time – The sun had set before our team arrived – Then a restive horse in the cart just before us delayed us half an hour - when at length embarked in the punt, the puntman would take a fourth – and threatened to “rush” our horses if we did not take them on a line until he embarked the fourth cart, This I refused to do and he persisted in embarking it, however our horse fortunately stood quietly – and we got access without further hindrance. Stopt at the New Inn at Emu – a town planned by me many years before – Wrote to Major Russell suggesting a bridge of Boats to be put across the Nepean – for which passage by a bridge a private Bill for taking toll was proposed last Session of Council – A great encampment of people with drays & carts laden with stores surrounded the Inn and lined the road on both sides of the mountain pass – the past.
Monday, June 2nd 1851
Ascended the mountain Pass which Sir Richd Bourke called Mitchells Pass – many carts and drays were on their way- our light carts passed them all – Met a man returning who said he was returning to his work, that he did not think people were averaging 9 sh. a day. The people going towards the mining were in general in parties of 5 or 6 with a heavily laden cart which at steep places they pushed behind – A heavy wooden or iron cradle was to be seen on all of them – Some carts carried five or six of these . We found the road along the mountains tolerably good – but water along the first part was very scarce – We bought some at a public house for 6d a bucket – They said it was brought four miles. We reached the Weatherboard Inn at dusk. The horses rather distressed. I was somewhat disappointed to find the old bridge still in use and the road unaltered where I had marked out and shown to Capt Bull an important improvement in the line and new site for the bridge seven