Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), Sunday 26 April 1914, page 3

'

MOUNT
.A

VICTORIA
OF
STORIES

PASS
1

PLACE

GRUESOME
6

MEMORIES.!'
?

j

?

?

,

.

|

OF

CONVICT
world times

DAYS.

-

If should
gone

ever

certain seek
to

denizens visit
a

of

tbe

other in
so

spot that

where,

by,

they
as

tasted

of

cruelty
to
it
man

aptly
makes that Vic

described countless

'man's

inhumanity mourn,'
memories,

thousands

would
Mount

be

place
toria

haunting Western Road. the main Pass, on for a period Here, in the late twenties, and of of leg several subsequently, hordes years human ironed and manacled beings toiled day
of

the

task of road-making. arduous after day in their whilst Guarded at work by sentries with loaded at shelters rifles, attended to their miserable and stern custodians, same the even-fall by the little sleep they could under snatching what no with muzzles .same of the weapons, very natural the ambition very or beyond thought whilst little work possible, as of doing as one for the long such under escape1— it was of these that the dreary solitudes as conditions time were inhabited, and this locality at one a and many enacted, a here many tragedy was the stern discipline that was heart broke, under

keeping delayed

an

ever

vigilant watch

chance

of

enforced. When walking

the great between the Pass have been carved rock which that strength, it is seen out, literally by brute hard enough inch of it is solid iron-stone, every A whole tool. to turn the edge of the stoutest bodily, and the re removed has been mountain into the valley to form debris sultant thrown which of the giant causeway, foundation the To side. further to the pre the road carries and prevent the embankments the road serve but huge stone from formed sliding away, so been formed tresses, 70ft or 80ft in height, have

frowning

masses

up of

ciit stone, sur and dressed of with great blocks dwarf pillars with balustrade a by mounted feet. few every in the and fiction are strangely blended Fact

|

j

records of this gigantic undertaking when that stern soldier and disciplinarian, Major (after wards Sir Thomas) Mitchell, was in charge, and paid periodical visits to the mountains as the work progressed. There tales of are cruelty and oppression but these were common enough in the days of the 'System' stories of weird men dying under the lash, and exciting tales of
— —

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120362039

*

men dying under the lash, and exciting tales of of hairbreadth escapes in all prisoners, who. probability, died lingering deaths in some inac cessible part of the ranges, where they had fled. first : On a of the portion end the upper of the Pass, is there a sinister inscription, cut by un skilled hands, but plainly visible to this day. words on Only two the appear rock, 'Conrock
near

To

deal with cutting,

fact

nelly Escaped.''
and .successful

record of a daring of the gang, who, it seems, dodge about a dozen bul lets, and got clean but what away of became ' him never been eventually has ascertained. From contemporary records, with combined
a

It

is

escape to managed

of

one

some
man

it appears that this papers, notorious character, and at the of time the was ©scape in double working irons, being also closely marked by sentries. He watched his opportunity, and however, though heavily handicapped made a by his manacles, sudden dash and was out of sight in a moment. His with mates, overcome pride at the daring to of the man, decided record the feat in
was a

stray

official

so inscription the imperishable rock, and confirmation of history. mains, a curious

re
'

ghost,, Victoria most aud of the 'oldest by some or' It is in the form respectable inhabitants.' a and 'headless' this ghostly woman,' though seen has been for at some visitant not years, time it regularly that haunted one portion of the Pass known 'the Horse-shoe Bend.' Un as it by which fortunately its story and the means Mount vouched
Pass has also for
came

its

to

lose
are

the
both

most

important
The

part
last

of

its

anatomy

unknown.

was visitant sight of this unearthly the of driver the 'Fifties,' when coach, on a dark and stormy night in Winter, had the wits by; nearly frightened out of him figure, sudden the apparition of a shadowy the im its road crossed minus head, which as he was rounding mediately in front of him were' which bends. The horses, of the one

recorded in the Bathurst

and showed; reared at a walking pace, up of fright, but the figure vanished1 symptom The solitary: as almost quickly as it appeared. from roused inside, sleep by the passenger of the sudden stoppage coach, descended, and,; was in of the commotion, inquiring the cause he had but seen, formed by the driver of What of impatience one other than comment no made been disturbed by have his sleep should that

going
every

'

i

that Never since occurrence. a trivial on visitant the appeared has mysterious day is no to story or tradition there the Pass, and for of the ghost. the existence account At the foot of the Pass, and a short distance, sur space, to the right of the road, is a cleared mounds. sides on three rounded by irregular This is the original .site of the stockade, where, a large body ofi for of three years, upwards in tem at time night housed convicts were in rubble, set stones, of loose buildings porary house,' bark roofs. The Commandant's
such

i

and
or

having

bark
was

quarters,
the north

roofs. The Commandant's situated about a hundred
main

house,' yards

small a remains of a more substantial be seen, m:iy dwelling-place with in the solid: half-choked well, excavated a official The rock, close by. description of tbe of was the stockade, which published in one tallies with exactly the papers, early Sydney ton it appears as position of the encampment, The from day. 3 well is also mentioned, which plentiful obtained. was supply of water This has its story also place of sad memories of strange happenings, but the particulars are and the tale is only poorly authen meagre, very the to ticated. In brief, it refers experiences som-a on of some the spot rabbiters, camped and was effect that to the ago, years during the two nights of their sojourn, which happened to be sounds unaccountable bright moonlight, proceeded from the site of the old encampment, of men whilst the noise made march by a body ing, accompanied dis by the jangle of irons, was The tinctly heard. disturbances seemed always one to proceed were from particular spot, and but of muffled in a sort cadence, in only heard vestigation failed at all times to solve the mys some No tery. doubt simple explanation could the to account for be put forward noises, but, knowing the reputation the place had, and aware'' old-time convict of its identity as an stockade, in question always maintained the men that tha no sounds earthly causc3. proceeded from
to

of the
the

encampment,
the

swamp

dividing

two.

Here

,

MITCHELL'S

BRIDGE,

MT.

VICTORIA

PASS.

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