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Saturday 2 August 1930, The Sydney Morning Herald

Wonderful Landscapes.


During a recent visit to Ebor I was much impressed with the possibilities of this part of the State as a tourist resort.

Ebor is 53 miles by road from Armidale, on the way to Grafton. The road is in excellent order in some parts, with the local shire council doing its best to improve the remainder, which is in fair condition; and when the council completes its work the whole trip will be most comfortable for motor driving.

Around Ebor and Guy Fawkes can be seen some of the most magnificent scenery in this State if not Australia. Through the placid little village of Ebor flows the river of the same name. It is never dry, and abounds with trout. It wends its way for about half a mile on one side of the township to the commencement of the wonderful Ebor Gorge. The two falls arc scenes of beauty, and in winter time are sometimes frozen, making a beautiful spectacle as they hang in huge icicles. The water from the Ebor eventually finds an outlet in the Clarence River. Around Ebor are various other streams-such as the Styx which are the trout fisherman’s paradise.


I had the pleasure of visiting Point Lookout, about ten miles from Ebor. As motor traffic cannot get to this beauty spot, our party did the trip by horseback on horses kindly supplied by the Turnbull family, of Kotupna station. Mr Thomas Turnbull was our guide and philosopher.

From Point Lookout, the highest peak in New England, being 5300 feet above sea level, a most expansive and wonderful panorama meets the eye. Although the day was not a particularly clear one, we were able to observe with (he naked eye the breakers rolling on to the beach at Macksville, about 40 miles away as the crow files. On a clear frosty day it is quite easy to see the boats that pass this beach.

To add to the beauty of the view, we had the mountain mist rising from one of the deep canyons on our left, while on our right the Bellinger and Nambucca rivers wended their way seawards.

The densely timbered country in the valleys below Point Lookout abound in brush turkey, lyre bird, wonga pigeons, and dingoes, to say nothing of death adders and other reptiles. In some parts there are many large cedar trees, but it is impossible to get them out to market.

The view, however, as regards expansiveness, ruggedness, and beauty, must compare more than favourably with views of a similar nature in any part of the Commonwealth. It reminded me of the Valley of the Thousand Hills, outside Durban, in South Africa. To anyone visiting Ebor or travelling from Armidale to Grafton, I unhesitatingly say, spend an hour and wander off the road to see the Ebor Falls, and if you can spare a day borrow or hire a horse and visit Point Lookout.

On the way to Ebor the tourist can also observe another wonderful view by going off the road for about a mile near Wollombi (sic) to see the famous gorge. Into this gorge the Wollombi River falls a distance of 1500 feet on one side, while on the other the Chandler River falls a similar distance.

Written by macalba

September 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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Fire at Ebor

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Saturday 13 November 1937, The Argus (Melbourne)



SYDNEY, Friday.

Frantic cries from a cat saved the lives of a family at Ebor, near Guyra, early this morning, when the home of Mr. Jack Cavanagh was destroyed by fire.

Cavanagh was awakened by a cat meowing loudly, and on investigation found the rear of the house in flames. The cat had been locked in the kitchen overnight by mistake, and as the flames spread the cat’s cries gave the alarm.

Cavanagh aroused his family and a youth who was staying at the house.

The building was destroyed.

Written by macalba

September 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

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Steady Rains Will Check Forest Fires

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Saturday 9 November 1946, The Sydney Morning Herald

ARMIDALE, Friday. – Steady rain which began to fall late this afternoon should check fires which have been raging through the Styx River State Forest.

The rain came from thunderstorms which extended over the northern end of the fire near Ebor and west as far as Armidale.

By 6.30 to-night no rain had fallen over the central section of the fire area and down the Big Hill from the Armidale-Kempsey Road.

Rain was threatening, however.

Forestry officials believe that at least 80,000 of the State forest’s total area of 100,000 acres will have been burned out by the fires.

This will not be a total loss, how ever, as many of the trees can be used for timber.

The Forestry Commission suffered its greatest loss in a rejuvenated area of 6,000 acres.

The Forestry Chief, Mr. R. B. Lawman, estimates that in this forest 75 per cent, of the total acreage of trees will die.

He assesses the total damage at £25,000.

Bushfires which have been raging in the area midway between Emmaville and Glen Innes have burnt out about 30,000 acres of pastoral and timber country.

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September 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm

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Coff’s Harbour: Railway and port

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Tuesday 3 April 1945, The Sydney Morning Herald

Coff’s Harbour Plan

Coff’s Harbour should be converted into a deep sea port and made the terminus of an east-west railway, according to Coff’s Harbour and District Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has issued a statement to show that the two projects are inseparable and essential to the proper development of the north of New South Wales. The complete rail and port scheme is estimated to cost £5 million.

The chamber speaks for what is potentially a complete economic unit comprising eight shires and including the coastal strip from Macksville to Woolgoolga, the Dorrigo, the tablelands, and the western slopes – 40,000 square miles, with a population of 77,000.

Last year the 1,600 square miles of coastal strip produced:-Butter, £479,808; bananas, £300,000; tomatoes, £100,000; beans and peas, £12,000. Since 1912 the unimproved capital value of Dorrigo Shire has doubled. In 1910 there were only 18 timber mills operating in the whole district. To-day there are, 109; yet the resources of the area have scarcely been tapped. Dorrigo plateau alone produces 25 million cubic feet of timber a year. Beyond Dorrigo a vast area is cut off from markets by prohibitive transport costs.


These forests, water power, mineral wealth, and the rich soil of Ebor and Guyra, remain undeveloped, while the great wool industry of New England needs direct rail communication and port storage facilities at Coff’s Harbour.

After a Parliamentary Works Committee had recommended that the best means of communication between the tablelands and the coast were a railway from Coff’s Harbour through Dorrigo to Guyra a bill was passed to authorise work on that project in 1929.

The Chamber of Commerce maintains that this project could be continued as a post-war work.

Dealing with claims of Coff’s Harbour to recognition as a deep-sea port, the chamber points out that when a plan for a port at Coff’s Harbour with a depth of 40ft of water, to cost £439,000, was prepared, the Under- secretary for Public Works, Mr. Hanna, said the smaller scheme proposed actually formed portion of the work necessary for a deep-sea port, although the smaller scheme was considered adequate for many years to come.

£900,000 SPENT

The total tonnage from Coff’s Harbour in 1939 was 64,781 tons. Nearly £900,000 has already been spent on the port.

The Chamber of Commerce advocates completion of the rail connection to Guyra, thence to Inverell and Ashford, with a 25 miles branch line to Billy’s Creek, as the first part of a scheme. The second part provides for a triple basin at Coff’s Harbour, the central basin being the present harbour, deepened to provide anchor age, and equipped with facilities to discharge and load very large vessels. Coastal vessels could be anchored in the northern basin while large ships would lie in the southern basin, which would also protect the central basin from southerlies. All three harbour entrances would lie 1,000ft wide.

Written by macalba

July 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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Murder by arsenic

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Saturday 20 September 1930, The Sydney Morning Herald

Farm Worker's Death.


At the conclusion of evidence at the inquest concerning the death of Otto Ernest Thomas Mowle, farm worker, to-day, the Coroner (Mr. W. L. Elliott) found that Mowle died in the Armidale and New England Hospital on July 28 from the effects of arsenic which was feloniously administered to him on or about July 16, at “The Laurels,” Ebor, by Dorothy Lena May McCoy, formerly Layton, and that McCoy had feloniously and maliciously murdered Mowle.

McCoy was committed for trial at the circuit court, Tamworth, on October 14.

Two nurses, Norma McCarthy and Clara McCarthy stated in evidence to-day that Mowle complained to them of being poisoned.

Edward James Doak, farmer, residing near Armidale, said that he occupied the bed next to Mowle in hospital, and heard him tell Mrs. Donoghue, his sister, that he had had some tea, and that it had a nasty taste. He also heard Mowle say: “The stuff she was giving me was trying to kill me quicker.”

Detective Geldart detailed an interview he had with Dorothy Lena May McCoy, at Hillgrove. He took a statement from her, and then said that it did not agree with statements he had taken from relative at Ebor. He said to her: “We have been told that your uncle (Mowle) made a statement in hospital, in which he said that you, Dorrie Layton, poisoned him.” Mrs. McCoy remained silent for from three to five minutes, said witness, and then Detective-Sergeant Allmond, who was present, read her extract from a statement. Mrs. McCoy admitted that she had attended Mowle from the time he took ill until his removal to hospital. She declined to believe that Mowle had said that she had poisoned him. Witness said that in reply to further questions, Mrs. McCoy said that she now knew that if Mowle had died a natural death she would have benefited by £1500 under an insurance policy. Witness said that he had since been told by insurance companies that the policy was valueless.

Alice Elizabeth Sarah Donoghue, sister of Mowle, said that when she visited her brother in hospital, he said: “I have got poisoned.” She said: “By the love of God, Mick (meaning deceased) how?” He said: “In a drink of tea.” She said: “Who gave it to you?” and he replied: “Dorrie Layton.” She said: “What for?” and he replied: “I know.” Witness said that Mowle’s eyes filled with tears, and he could not speak any more. She told the doctor, but he said that he could not find poison.

Witness was cross-examined by Mr. C. L. Mackenzie, who watched the proceedings for Mrs. McCoy. Witness emphatically denied that she had given arsenic to deceased.

Mrs. McCoy did not give evidence. Application for bail was refused.

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May 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

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Lighthouse – Banks – School – Post office

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Wednesday 2 August 1911, The Sydney Morning Herald


For the future all the supplies for the South
Solitary Island Lighthouse are to be sent from
Coff's Harbour, owing to the bad bar at the  
Bellinger. Recently the lighthouse-keepers
and their families have had rather a bad time.

DORRIGO, Tuesday

A branch of the Bank of Australasia was
opened here this morning.

A branch of the City Bank was opened at
Ebor on Saturday.


About four months ago a new Public school
was erected at Moggs Swamp (near Glen In-
nes) but so far it has not been opened, owing
to the Education Department not supplying a

In consequence of a complaint lodged by the
municipal council, two officers from the Postal
Department recently visited Glen Innes to
inquire into the inadequate accommodation
and staff at the post-office.

Written by macalba

April 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

Flooded Creeks And Blocked Roads

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Saturday 24 June 1950, The Sydney Morning Herald

Flooded Creeks And Blocked Roads Handicap Wide Area

Apart from the main flood areas, many other parts of the State are struggling to get back to normal after the heavy rains of the last fortnight.

Below are detailed reports from “Herald” correspondents:


Heavy rains have swollen rivers and disrupted communications east of Armidale

The Kempsey-Armidale Road is blocked by landslides and many outlying properties are isolated.

The heaviest rains have fallen on the eastern escarpment and the Snowy Ranges.

The Chandler River yesterday afternoon was the highest ever recorded and was still rising at the Chandler Bridge, on the Wollomombi-Ebor road, 25 miles east of Armidale.

The Macleay River at Comara was 26 feet 9 inches and still rising.

Ebor, at the top of the Snowy Ranges, reported that all small creeks were in heavy flood with snow falling and very heavy rain. Ebor Creek was about to break its banks. Ebor recorded 325 points of rain from 9am to 4.30 p.m. yesterday.

Other rainfall figures for 24 hours were:—Guy Fawkes, 310; Yooroonah, 400; George’s Creek area, 320; and Jeogla, 324 points.


The higher reaches of the Nambucca River were in full flood yesterday afternoon and widespread flooding of down-river areas seemed likely.

At Macksville last night the river was 6ft 6in above normal and still rising.

The entire Central North Coast was blacked out for most of the night.

Fierce winds of gale force and torrential rain on iron roofs made speech almost inaudible.

Practically every town and village in the shire is isolated. A bus with nine passengers and mail, has been marooned since Thursday afternoon between two flooded creeks near Missabotti, six miles from Bowraville.

Large areas of low land around Macksville are under water and the Pacific Highway is blocked by the flooded Warrell Creek six miles south of Macksville.

Long stretches of the highway between Macksville and Nambucca Heads are expected to be under water by to-day.

At Bowraville, nine miles above Macksville, the Bowra River rose 14 feet in 24 hours and at 3 .m. yesterday was 26 feet above normal and still rising.

Bowraville Bridge on the main road to Macksville is eight feet under water and Bowraville is isolated Bowraville his had 13½ inches in a week.

Taylor’s Arm, the other main tributary of the Nambucca, was 28 feet above normal at 3 p.m. yesterday, a rise of 11 feet in 24 hours, and was still rising a foot an hour.


Heavy rain caused the Hunter River to rise again at Maitland yesterday but police believe further floods are unlikely unless rain continues in the Upper Hunter reaches.

Rail services from Newcastle to High Street Station, Maitland, were resumed yesterday.

North bound passengers were transhipped at High Street and taken by road to Farley Station, three and a quarter miles from Maitland. The line north of Farley can take traffic.

Maitland station is still under three feet of water and it will be at least four days before the floodwater recedes.

The road from Newcastle to Maitland is still blocked by more than two feet of water at Hexham and East Maitland.

Floodwaters receded from the main business section at Raymond Terrace yesterday but many homes are still under water.

At Morpeth the receding Hunter revealed 10 inches of mud in some houses.


Tenterfield is isolated because all roads are impassable after the five inches of rain which fell yesterday.

Tenterfield Creek, which is usually only 20 yards wide, was 500 yards across yesterday afternoon.

Police said there was no flood danger at Tenterfield because the town is on high ground and the rain got away quickly.

Written by macalba

April 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm

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New Guyra – Ebor road open

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Friday 13 May 1938, The Sydney Morning Herald


The construction of the new Guyra-Ebor
road, which connects the New England High-
way at Guyra with the Armldale-Grafton road
near Ebor, is now complete, with the excep-
tion of two very short sections, advises the
N.R.M.A. touring department. The road has
been opened to traffic, but care should be
exercised by drivers at creek and river cross-
ings, as in most instances side tracks and
temporary bridges are still in use, pending
the completion of the new structures. The
new road, which is about 50 miles long, pro-
vides another cross country route from the  
tablelands to the coast, and takes the travel-
ler through Aberfoyle, opening up a stretch
of attractive country.

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March 25, 2010 at 6:02 am

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Construction begun on Guyra to Ebor road

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Friday 1 May 1936, The Sydney Morning Herald


The N.R.M.A. touring department has been
advised by the Department of Main Roads
that work has begun on the construction of
a road from Guyra to the main Wollomombie-
Grafton road at Ebor. From Guyra to Ebor
is a distance of about 50 miles. When this
work is completed another route will be
opened up from the northern tablelands to the
coast. The new road passes through Aber-

Written by macalba

March 24, 2010 at 6:06 am

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