HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

16 October 2015

Camping De luxe

Illawarra Mercury - 1919

29 years before the S.S. Merimbula went ashore and drew the attention of Sydney people to the little known coastal resort of Currarong,   it was best known by Shoalhaven locals as a great camping and fishing spot,  the township was small and isolated,  the early roads were rough and took many hours to travel from Nowra.

1919 - Despite the Local Clive Shire Councils opposition, Henry Halloran a local land developer paid for and constructed a new road to Currarong and Culburra, the Shire Council then agreed it was a great thing for the area and tourism,  Mr Halloran wished they had made their minds up earlier and avoided the many delays.

Mr Halloran had grand visions for the area. He tried in vein for many years to see his dream of a new modern city, A city he would name “St Vincent's City, ” an area from Crookhaven River to the shores of Jervis Bay,  encompassing Lake Woollumboola.

St Vincent’s City.
Suburbs will extend from Crookhaven to the northern shores of Jervis Bay.  It will be traversed by a railway, having numerous stations for the convenience of the residents yet to settle there.   Provision has been made for industrial, commercial, educational, and residential areas, for a national park, racecourse, and recreation reserves, and due attention has been given to the details suggested by modern town-planning ideas.  Even Lake Wollumboola will be connected by a canal with Jervis Bay, and possibly ship-building on a huge scale will be conducted there in the sweet by and bye.

One group from Wollongong took advantage of the area, and often camped on the shores at Abraham’s Bosom,  they produced and published a paper called the “Abraham Bosom Times” and from reading one of their stories,   they certainly made the most of their stay.

During the Easter holidays a party of gentlemen from Wollongong camped at Abrahams Bosom, Jervis Bay, and camp life was evidently short of many discomforts,  judging by the accounts published in the "Abraham's Bosom Times," a daily record of the camp life which has been printed and published.

The dining tent was illuminated with acetylene light,  and two cooks served up the camp fare in most appetising form.  The days passed to hurriedly for the campers,  who wiled the time in fishing,  shooting,  and robbing wild bees nests,  from forest giants,  which had to be felled before honey could be procured.  In one instant the gad and drill was requisitioned in order to secure honey from the nests amongst the rocks,  but the venture did not prove a success.

Abraham’s Bosom is a beautiful area now part of the Jervis Bay National Park,  it has spectacular scenery, clear blue water, sea caves, clean beaches and hidden coves,  anyone who hasn’t been to the area should take the time to visit this beautiful part of our coast.

While your there visit the scattered remains of the S.S Merimbula now strewn across the rocks ,  and wonder what it must have been like for the passengers and crew to suddenly find themselves thrust unceremoniously upon the reef in the cold inky blackness.

Continue reading about the S.S. Merimbula.
Meaning:  Gad - A pointed tool, such as a spike or chisel, used for breaking rock or ore.

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