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District Council of Yorke Peninsula - History of Mount Rat
This eminence is 133.8 metres (439 feet) above sea level and was so named because of the large number of kangaroo rats that lived in the area*. *Wide Sails and Wheat Stacks. Page 38.
Because there was good underground water here, a small town having a school, hotel, post office developed.
*Wide Sails and Wheat Stacks. Page 38.
In the droughts of 1878 and 1886 the wells here supplied the farmers for miles around with water. As many as a hundred teams were seen queuing up for water and it was sold for 5 cents (sixpence) a bucketful*.
The little township that once stood at the intersection of the roads to Curramulka, Port Victoria and Minlaton, now no longer exists*. *Wide Sails and Wheat Stacks. Page 39.
As they travel along the Peninsula's highway, many people look at the ruins of what was once the Mt. Rat Hotel, about eight miles north or Minlaton, and wonder about its history. The Mt. Rat Hotel, so we are told, was built about 75 years ago by James Humberson, who was the first proprietor. In the days of wagons and horses it was a popular halting place for carters, and Mt. Rat was quite a busy little place. But quicker vehicles by-passed it. It is 25 years since it was used. At one time there was a Post Office at the hotel, too, and Mr. Humberson was the Postmaster. When he left, the Post Office was shifted to the school. Mr. James Allen Is thought to have been the last proprietor of the hoteL When Wauraltee School was burnt down some years ago, the Mt. Rat School was shifted to Wauraltee, and the Mt Rat scholars went to the school at Mt. Rat Wells, Now the school at the Wells has been closed, and the children travel to Minlaton to school by daily bus.
Mt. Rat Hotel had short life.
The records of the S.A. Licensing Court reveal that the old Mount Rat Hotel, the ruins of which are well-known to most Peninsula people, had a relatively short life. Plans for the erection were first filed by James Humberstone on December 14th. 1880, and the first licence was granted to the same name in March the next year.
It was renewed each year for the following' three years, but no application was made in 1885, nor is there any evidence that the licence was transferred else where. A short, but perhaps, merry life.
The Minlaton District Council, in research involved with the estabishment of another road-side grain stacking site near the ruins, brought these facts to light.
This brief history has been taken from the book
"St Benedict's Church MINLATON 1886 - 1986" by Dianna Cook
National Library ISBN 0 9590845 1 7
The Reverend J H Corvan conducted services every 3 weeks at Mt Rat in the home of Mr A Humberstone from 1876 until 1878 when the area came under the care of the SYP missioner based at Yorketown. From then until 1889, Mt Rat spent years being tended by missioners from the Northern or Southern areas. During 1889 the Reverend W A Clampett was in charge of the whole peninsula, and Mt Rat came under the care of Minlaton.
It was in December of 1897 that the Archdeacon George Dove opened and dedicated the church of St Raphael on land donated by Mr Clift. In 1904 the stone wall was erected in front of the church.
Some time after 1911 the church must have fell into disuse, as it was reopened by Archdeacon Bussell on 22nd October 1916.
On the 25th November 1945 Bishop Robin relicensed and rededicated the church, and it has been in constant use since then.
This, and 'The Striding Years', by the same author, are available.
Details can be obtained by emailing her here email@example.com
Mount Rat in the Newspapers:-
MOUNT RAT. Y .P., June 15.
Farming operations are nearly completed in this neighbourhood, the weather being all that can be desired. There will be an extensive area of land under crop this season. The young wheat looks remarkably strong and healthy, and if the season continues as it has begun there wll be a very large quantity of wheat to ship after harvest. In view of this a public meeting to to be held to-morrow for the purpose of considering what steps should be taken to have a jetty erected at Port Rickaby, which is about five miles from here. It will be a great boon to the settlers in this hundred if jetty accommodation is provided, and also a saving to the Government, as tho cost of a jetty would be considerably less than the construction and maintenance of a long line of main road, which would be required if the produce of the district bad to be taken to any other port. We are very fortunate with regard to our mails, having them now five times a week from Adelaide. We also have a mail to and from Pt. Victoria twice a week. Divine service is now conducted here every Sunday in a private room ; but we are to have a cbapel built at soon as possible. Those settlers who are fortunate enough to have a family of children are beginning to feel the want of a school in the neighbourhood ; but there does not appear to be any prospect of having one just at present.
August 28. This part of the country is looking beautiful just now, with healthy growing wheat in every direction. The last fine showers have done a great, deal of good, but we shall require more rain for the late crops.
The work of the agriculturist is indeed clearly seen here : the aspect is completely changed in the short period of eighteen months. Then there was nothin to be seen but kangaroos and mallee scrub; now you find for miles and miles of country small I structures built, yclept houses, with fences; very juvenile gardens, and thousands of acres of wheat crops; a telegraph line running down the main road ; a daily mail, with no fewer than three post offices, in this one Hundred of Wauraltee.
We have a chapel built here, where divine service is held every Sunday morning : Mr. Rowe. from Minlaton officiates at a private house every third Sunday afternoon : local preachers doing the work in his absence. There is also a private school being started ; but owing to the population being so scattered, it will be uphill work for some time to come. The work of clearing the roads is going on very fast in every direction, and the district looks as though destined to be very prosperous.
Oct. 1 The late beautiful rains, have been of unspeakable benefit to the crops in general in this district. I am sorry to say red rust is showing slightly in the early sown.
Captain Iverson, of the ketch 'Young Lion,' tried to give the inhabitants, a treat on Sept. 27th, by freighting his vessel with excursionists to Wauraltie Island ; but owing to a calm, could not make it in time to land the passengers and return to Port Victoria the same day ; so the pleasure-seekers had to be contented with a few hours spent drifting on the briney, in company with the soft strains of the Kilkerran Band which discoursed good music and allowed the younger of the company to trip "the light fantastic toe.'' A flat-bottomed small boat has been washed ashore at Port Rickaby now in the possesion of Mr. Rickaby, of that place. It is much water-worn, and had one scull in it, supposed to be a Norwegian punt.
October 30. We are having very boisterous squally weather. Red rust. I am glad to be able to say is not making much show as yet, but all the crops appear to be slightly touched with signs of it, and every farmer is anxiously watching for its dreaded spread, fearing the evil effects of this strange weather. Sometimes for a day or two it is as hot as the middle of summer; then a change comes as cold as the middle of a winter's day. The crops are looking as favorable as we can expect, most of the land being newly turned up, as there was little in comparison under crop about here last season. Since I last wrote we have been favored with Church of England services held at Mr. Humberston's, Mount Rat Post Office, last Sunday week. They are to be continued every third Sunday, therefore Divine Services will be held November 11, at half past two p.m. At the same place also choir service is established every Wednesday I evening. We sincerely hope the members of that Church will avail themselves of the opportunity offered so kindly to them. There are to be Anniversary Services held in connection with the Wauraltee Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday, November 11th, and a tea meeting on the following Tuesday afternoon We are to be favored with a jetty a Port Pickaby. The Surveyors are there now laying out a township and roads on both sides are being cleared, which will be a great boon to the surrounding districts. We expect a large quantity of wheat will find its way to that Port under such auspices as good roads, a jetty and a safe and good port so centrally situated.
MOUNT RAT, Y.P.,
November 13. Haymaking is now nearly finished in this district, and the hum of the reaper will soon be heard here.
The crops generally look well, although red rust has made its appearance in nearly every paddock. Nevertheless it does not appear to have done much if any injury. The wheat seems to be filling out remarkably well.
There will be a large quantity of grain to be shipped from here this season, and the farmers are looking anxiously forward to the erection of the Port Rickaby Jetty, which will then be the principal outlet for the produce of the district.
The anniversary services of the Wauraltee Wesleyan Chapel were held on Sunday, November 11, the Rev E. Kelly, of Maitland, being the officiating minister. On Monday the usual tea and public meetings were held, a large number of persons attending. The Rev. R. Kelly delivered his lecture on 'Music' before a large audience, Mr. F. J. Bradford, J.P., being the Chairman.
The Church of England service is now conducted once a month at the residence of Mr. J. A. Humberstone, Mount Rat, so that the spiritual wants of the settlers in this neighbourhood are well attended to.
The want of a public school is greatly and seriously felt, and there appears to be no prospect of getting one, although the number of children of a school going age is considerable.
Dec. 21 1877. Reaping has fully set in here, but as yet is is too soon to say what the yield will really be. I think red rust has made sad havock in most paddocks, although a favored few have escaped a sign of the rust. The steamer Glenelg makes her weekly trips to Poit Victoria, which will prove a great boon to the settlers about for miles round. We have heard with pleasure there is to be a vessel to load direct to England with wheat at Port Victoria. If true there will be very little trouble in providing sufficient to fill her, there being a large quantity ready for her when she puts in an appearance. The jetty also is nearly finished, so that loading will be easy work. I wonder some of the unemployed who have been working on the Mines do not try their hands at farm work. There are numbers of farmers around who are wanting more labor for the harvest.
MOUNT RAT, Y.P., December 15.
Reaping is the order of the day now in this neighbourhood, and the yield will be a fair average one, the rust not having done as much damage as was at one time anticipated.
Mr. T. Rickaby, agent for Messrs. J. Dunn and Co. at Port Rickaby, has received orders from the farmers for 9,000 bags this week, which looks as if there is to be a considerable quantity of wheat shipped from that port this season. The first load of wheat was delivered there yesterday, the sample being a good one—in fact, the sample will be good throughout this district, with two or three exceptions.
The steamer Glenelg comes round to this side of the Peninsula once a week now, which is a great convenience to the settlers generally.
Feb. 25th. The farmers seem, most of them, to be having a slight rest after their labors of getting in their harvest.
The want of rain is felt by all, so much time is being taken up by carting water for both household purposes and stock Some have to cart for upwards of ten miles distance, taking six strong horses every other day to carry eight hundred gallons at a time.
People living amongst all the luxuries of town life could scarcely realise the hardships and toil attached to farming life in the new areas. For the first five years I say five years, as we fondly hope by then to have easier times, and a good season or two, with plenty of the precious element on our own ground, in the many large expensive underground tanks which have built made, and as yet are empty. It as well to look upon the bright side of things, as surely these dry seasons must change for the better. I see by the papers there have been splendid rains in some parts of the colony, so hope "There is a good time coming for us."
There are some nasty, stinging, venomous flies about, one of them having stung an old lady named Johnson very severely. She is suffering now from the elfects although bitten several days ago. The insect or fly attacked her under her chin, and the place is greatly swollen and the pain intense.
A CORRESPONDENT from Mount Rat say-:
A most teriific bush fire is raging, it has made its way from Maitland. It broke out on the 1st Feb. It is taking Mount Rat now, and travelling in the direction of Curramulka. The air is dense with smoke. I am afraid it will do great damage, as the place is all settled by farmers. The wind is high.
MOUNT RAT, Y.P., April 2.
Ploughing is now in full swing in this locality, and sowing has been commenced in many places, although most of the farmers are waiting for more rain. There will be a very large area under wheat this season— fully a third more than last year.
We have not been favoured with a great quantity of rain as yet, not nearly so much as some other districts, according to the raingauge.
There does not appear to be much interest taken in political matters about here. Mr. R. D. Ross being the only candidate who has visited this end of the district, and his election is considered certain.
People are beginning to wonder when the jetty is to be erected at Port Rickaby, the money for which was voted last session. It it is not commenced soon it will not be completed in time for next harvest.
The whole of the wheat shipped this season bns been carted out to the boats by bullockdrays, which is a very awkward and unpleasant way of loading vessels, and makes a difference of fully 1d. a bushel to the farmers.
COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE. MOUNT RAT. Y.P. April 22.
The drought has now broken up. Heavy rains fell here last Thursday, and on Saturday night they commenced again, falling steadily all day yesterday. Nearly all the tanks and dams have been filled, and the feed has commenced to spring already. Many of the farmers in this district have a large quantity of seed sown, which will be greatly benefited by this timely downpour.
There is now every appearance of a most favourable season, both as regards cereal crops and grass. It is generally thought that on account of the rain keeping off for such a long period we are all the more likely to have a wet winter.
May 27th. I noticed a fine red ensignt flying at our worthy Postmaster's residence on the 24th instant, in honor of our gracious Majesty's natal day. Our Port Victoria friends got up a cricket match between themselves and Wauraltee Club. The Wauraltee gained the day. They finished up the holiday by a dinner and ball held at Host Mc Arthur's fine hotel, both terminated moat pleasantly.
Since then we have bad rough weather, much wind and little rain. We could do with a deal more of the latter. The early-sown crops want a downfall. The weather is still threatening. We have had for some time threatening weather, unfortunately for us, up to the present time with very small results as far as the much needed rain is concerned, very little having fallen during the month of May. It is to be devoutly hoped June month will be more favored.
The seeding in this district is nearly all finished and looking healthy, considering the dearth of rain.
Divine service was held at Mount Rat Post Office, as usual last Sunday, by the Rev Mr. Marshall, he having made arrangements for holding monthly services at Mr. Humberston's a on the last Sunday in every month. It was so well attended that the room in which it was being held was comfortably filled, proving the fact that the erection of a Church of England is much wanted ; but I fear that will not he practicable until we have a good harvest or two so we must rest content with the accommodation we have.
I must touch upon the health of this district, which is certainly wonderful. Inever hear of a single case of illness from month to month. I think it second to none in the colony for general good health.
May 27th. I noticed a fine red ensign flying at our worthy Postmaster's residence on the 24th instant, in honor of our gracious Majesty's natal day. Our Port Victoria friends got up a cricket match between themselves and Wauraltee Club. The Wauraltee gained the day. They finished up the holiday by a dinner and ball held at Host Mc Arthur's fine hotel. Both terminated most pleasantly.
Since then we have had rough weather, much wind and little rain. We could do with a deal more of the latter. The early-sown crops want a downfall. The weather is still threatening. We have had for some time threatening weather, unfortunately for us, up to the present time with very small results as far as the much needed rain is concerned, very little having fallen during the month of May. It is to be devoutly hoped June month will be more favored.
The seeding in this district is nearly all finished and looking healthy, considering the dearth of rain.
Divine service was held at Mount Rat Post Office as usual last Sunday, by the Rev. Mr. Marshal, he having made arrangements for holding monthly services at Mr. Humberston's on the last Sunday in every month. It was so well attended that the room in which it was being held was comfortably filled, proving the fact that the erection of a Church of England is much wanted ; but I fear that will not be practicable until we have a good harvest or two so we must rest content with the accommodation we have.
I must touch upon the health of this district, which is certainly wonderful. I never hear of a single case of illness from month to month. I think it second to none in the colony for general good health.
COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE. MOUNT RAT (Yorke's Peninsula), July 8.
News in this neighbourhood is rather scarce just now. The busy season is over, and therefore everything is quiet.
The crops generally are looking healthy : in some places they are covering the ground, but the late-sown ones are rather backward. If we have a continuance of the present favourable weather they will very shortly look as well as can be desired. During the last week we have had splendid weather — bright sunny days, with warm nights, the ground being well saturated by the late heavy rains. At present there is every appearance of a favourable season, the crops being far healthier and stronger than they were last year at this time, and as the area under cultivation is much larger there will be an immense quantity of wheat available for shipment in the Hundreds of Koolywurtie and Wauraltee next harvest.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P..
August 31. The crops in this locality are looking all that could be desired, and in some places the wheat is fully a foot in height. We have been favoured with a nice soaking rain which keeps everything in good growing order.
A memorial is now in course of signature for the construction of a tank at the junction of the main roads near the Mount Rat Post-Office, which, if granted, will be a very great boon to the settlers in the Hundreds of Koolywurtie and Wauraltee, and also to travellers. There is to be a ploughing match and show of stock, &c, at Minlaton on the 4th of September, and as there are some very handsome prizes offered in the different classes it will most likely prove a success.
Wauraltee, Sept. 23. The crops in and around this part of the country are looking very good and the farmers are jubilent. I do not think the hay crops will be heavy, as the wheat plant is short this season; but there is every sign of a good wheat yield unless there is blight or smut to take it from us.
The weather this winter has been everything the farmers could wish ; and all this month we have had warm sunshinny days, and a good soaking rain about once a week.
We are petitioning Government for a tank to be built at the junction of the Curramulka and Port Victoria, Maitland, and Minlaton roads. It is a thing much wanted, and will be a great boon to hundreds of travellers, as there is no getting water for man or beast on any of these roads for many weary miles; and as in all probability there will be an immense quantity of wheat carted to Port Victoria a Government tank will be much needed.
MOUNT RAT, Y.P.,
October 28. We have had some very warm weather here lately, but now there is every appearance of rain, which will do a vast amount of good, as the ground is getting rather dry.
Haymaking has been commonced in several places, but it is not general as yet. The crops in mostt places promise a fair yield, although there is a little red rust showing in place. I have heard of one crop of hay being sold a 4 pounds per acre, but as the quantity of hay consumed in this locality is not large there will not be many crops sold at that figure.
Great dissatisfaction is expressed on account of the refusal of the Council of Education to erect a schoolhouse, as the number of children of a school-going age in the vicinity is considerable and there is no school at present within ten miles.
A memorial was sent to the Government some months ago asking to have a tank constructed here, but as yet nothing more has been heard about it. No doubt it will be the same as in other places- built in time to lose all the next winter's rains.
Country Correspondence. MOUNT RAT,
January 2. We are getting extraordinary rough weather for this season of the year, intermingled now and again by a scorching hot day by way of a change. Christmas Day passed off quietly ; some holiday seekers going to Port Victoria; and some to Curramulka —the former place giving no particular attraction, as no sport's were provided, and the Captain of the Youngg Lion was unable to perform his promised trip to Wauraltee Island, through the weather being so boisterous. The visitors therefore had to be contented with a quiet stroll on the beach and jetty. Host McArthur did his best to supply the wants of his numerous guests. The latter mentioned locality offered any amount of attraction, in the way of atheletic sports and prizes to the value of thirty pounds. Everything seemed to go off thoroughly well, and the picturesque little townshin looked all alive with gaiety. Host Hill of Port Vincent, did a thriving trade in dispensing some of the good things of this life to the thirsty.
A nasty accident happened to a family, returning to Mount Rat in the evening, by a spring cart capsizing, and the whole party coming to mother earth. An old lady named Johnson had a narrow escape, she fell first, the others coming upon her. One of her wrists was put out of joint. She is now under Dr. Brown's treatment. The rest of ihe family got a severe shaking. New Year's Day took most of the folks to Maitland, the attraction of sports and a walking match, and the circus at night being enough to amuse a multitude.
SOUTHERN YORKE'S PENINSULA.
Gum Flat, March 4. An accident happened yesterday to Mr. Charles Smith, farmer, of Koolywurtie, who was thrown from his cart by the wheel passing over a stump, near Mount Rat. He had his leg broken. A steady rain fell all night.
GUM FLAT, March 4. Yesterday, while Mr. C. Smith, sen., butcher, of Spicer's Flat, was driving, his cart capsized over a stump between Mount Rat and Curramulka. His leg was broken above the ankle. He lay for some time with the leg under the cart before assistance arrived. Dr. Pieplar is attending Mr. Smith. The first steady rains fell last night, and light showers continue to fall.
GENERAL: Carting water - State Library of South Australia - B 53637
April 9th. The Government tank is progressing, and will be ready for holding water shortly that is if we are to be blessed with a fall of rain. The want of water at present is really sickening, teams are coming to the Mount Rat wells night and day. Some of them come a distance of nearly twenty miles, therefore, making it a difficult thing for the residents themselves to get anything like a supply, and they often have to stop at the wells all through the night waiting for the water to drain in by morning so as to get the chance of an early start with a full load of water. People say the Government tank should have been made larger as the necessities of the neighborhood are so great. The only thing to do will be for other places round about this locality to petition for other tanks, so as to take off the great drain there will otherwise be on this one. Some say that these Government tanks are only for the use of travelling cattle, but I know with the pressing want of water there is at present no lessee of a Government tank could prevent the people from taking the water to keep themselves from famishing.
The provisional school is getting on nicely and as the term of office of our present teacher will come to a close in three months time we shall urgently require a schoolhouse to be built, if only of a temporary sort, such as weather board, as now the school is established it would be a sin to allow it to drop, through the want of a dwelling for the teacher. I think it would be as well if there was a little less money spent in costly school structures about town, and a little more spent in these country places where the young are allowed to grow up in ignorance.
Farming is being pushed on vigorously and some of the farmers have already over a hundred acres sown and waiting for rain, as a little green feed would be very acceptable. Stock are looking miserable for want of feed, also for the want of water. If rain does not come soon it will be a serious calamity.
Last Sunday and Monday week the anniversary services of the Wauraltee chapel were held and were most successful, bringing the chapel out of debt and also giving the young people a pleasant reunion.
June 12th. In our news letter for this month, I fear there will not be much to interest the many who read your valuable paper. Our out-of-the-world place is so small, that were it not for the periodical nibble at the editorial elbow, it might even pass out of mind altogether. Rats won't always be still, and although the quietness that reisns up here would almost lead one to suppose that this one is dead, still like some of its larger neighbors it can turn up occasionally, and sires its own peculiar squnk, just to shew that there is a little life left in it.
The farmers in this district, for a wonder, seem to be well pleased with the aspect of things as they are at present. Most of them were fortunate enough to have their seeding done just before the rains began, and as a result, the crops are looking as though the most sanguine hopes of 20 bushels to the acre will be thoroughly realized next harvest. It is edifying to see the general air of contentment and satisfaction which is so prevalent among the farmers, hope seems to have thoroughly counterbalanced anxiety, and under its genial influence the cry of Barnaby Budge's raven seems to come quite natural to them. "never say die."
One of the most fruitful sources of quiet excitement for the last few months, has at last come to an end. The Government tank at the junction of the main road with those of Port Vincent and Port Victoria, is finished at last. The surface drains were cut last Saturday, and on Sunday a shower of twenty minutes duration, covered the bottom to a depth of six inches. This promises well I think for the rapid filling of the tank. Its holding capacity is equal to a little over 70.000 gallons, and I rather think that if this summer turns out to be as dry as the last, the aforesaid farmers will have reason to bless our much abused Government. I understand that several petitions for tanks have been sent in from surrounding districts, and there is some hope that there will be one constructed at Waraultee. Unless the work is begun pretty soon however, there will be small chance of it doing much good this year.
On the evening of Thursday the 3rd inst, there was a service held here in the Wesleyan chapel by the Rev. Mr. Dawson, who has just arrived from England to take charge of this circuit. The rev. gentleman discoursed with much earnestness, taking for his subject "peace" . There was a good congregation gathered to hear him and the general feeling, I believe, was one of satisfaction.
I am glad to say that the provisional school up here in a highly flourishing condition. The teacher, Miss Humberstone, informs me that there are 27 children on the roll, and the average attendance is well upon 20. A petition signed by the parents of the children enroled was forwarded to the Education department last month, requesting that a wooden schoolhouse should be erected for the better and more comfortable accomodation of the children. Mrs Humberstone has been conducting the classes in the Wesleyan chapel hitherto, but it is feared that the of the place in winter will seriously interfere with the attendance, and it is hoped that in a short time, with a more comfortable schoolroom, the present success will be only an indication of the future. Mr. Humberstone, of the Post Office, has kindly offered to give the land required, so that all things seem favorable to the establishment of such a school.
Having omitted our last month's letter for lack of other news, I have to notice this month that on the Queen's birthday, the teacher kindly treated her scholars to a trip to the seaside. They all gathered at the Post Office at 10.30 a.m. and were driven to the beach, about five miles distant. Four hours were passed very happily, only interupted once or twice by heavy showers. Youthful spirits are not easily damped, however, although the dresses were, still the enjoyment was not greatly marred. The children were regaled with a plentiful supply of pies, cakes and tea, after which the waggons were again brought into requisition, and all were safely home before nightfall.
August 1. Nothing has transpired lately to mar the happy tranquility of this spot. The weather has been unexeeptionaily seasonable, fine rains and plenty of them, with warm sunshiny days now and again by way of a change, so that of course the crops are looking all that the most sanguine could desire. Our Government tank is full, and would have been were it twice the size it is, the fall for surface water being so good.
We have not been favored by any word from "Head Quarters" as to whether we are to have the boon wanted so badly for the growing population of Mt Rat. namely a "Wooden School-house" and as the old saying goes, "silence gives consent." We are still hoping our prayer will be heard.
August 2. The crops about here are looking splendid so far. We have been favoured with grand rains, and lately there has been some fine growing weather. It is quite time the Government built a school here.
There is an attendance of between twenty and thirty children, and the premises in which the school is conducted are quite inadequate for the requirements of both teacher and scholars. The tank constructed by the Government is holding well, and will prove a great boon to travellers; but it will be of little or no use to the settlers, as it is too small. The appointment of a Justice of tbe Peace in this neighbourhood would afford satisfaction to the inhabitants, as since the departure of Mr. F. Bradford they have frequently been put to great inconvenience.
October 8. Sunday School Anniversary Services were held at Wauraltee Chapel, on Sunday last. The Rev. T. E. Thomas preached morning and evening to crowded congregations. There was also a children service in the afternoon when the prizes were given. The following Monday afternoon they held a successful tea meeting and a pleasant evening was spent, and the sum of £8 was added to the funds which must have been very gratifying to those ladies who had so graciously and bountifully presided at the tables.
A lecture by the Rev. Mr. Reed of Yorke-Town was given in the Mt. Rat chapel, on Tuesday evening, I believe it was for the purpose of augmenting the to trust fund, which was well attended. The subject chosen for the evening being "Sketches on Women," which I should say by the amount of applause must have been very interesting.
The country around is looking all that the most sanguine could wish, the beneficial showers which we are being blessed with so constantly are doing great service, and if the weather continues for another month like the present, we may look forward to a really good harvest; and as the price of wheat is still looking up the farmers have cause to rejoice. They have every reason to hope to retrieve their fallen fortunes to which the last three years drought had doomed them. They are at present occupied in clearing and breaking up fresh land prior, to preparing for hay harvest which will soon be upon them.
MOUNT RAT. October 14.
The weather haa lately been all that could be desired— beautiful sunny days, with occasional nice showers. Vegetation of all kinds is growing rapidly, and ten wheat crops are looking really splendid : in fact the prospects of a good harvest were never so high in this locality. Black rust has shown in some of the crops and is very bad, though not general.
The Rev. W. Reid, of Yorketown, delivered a lecture in the Wesleyan Church here on the 7th inst to a large audience. The lecture was both amusing and instructive, and was thoroughly appreciated.
Fallowing is now the order of the day and the place is axsntning quite a different aspect, wheat and fallow ground taking the place of mallee, teatree, and blackgrass.
An enterprising man would find it to his advantage to start a wholesale storekeeping business at this place. A bootmaker would also be able to make a good business here.
November 11th. One of the most terrific thunder storms I have ever witnessed in this colony broke over us on Monday afternoon. The sky became overcast at about 2 p.m. and at 4 p.m. the rain descended in right earnest,, and in a few minutes there were actually rivers of water flowing. The thunder was terrific and the lightning blinding. The storm lasted about half an hour and then cooled down a bit, but did not stop for sometime longer; I expect to hear of some accidents through the excessive violence of the storm. Of course all the tanks are again filled to overflowing, which will gladden the hearts of the farmers as most of them will have sufficient water to carry them through the best part of the harvest, which up to the present time bids fair to be a splendid one. The wheat on most of the farms is looking clean and healthy and no signs of rust or blight. We have, therefore, every hope of a bountiful yield, and this splendid rain will help to fill out the grain.
Hay harvest is just commencing, of course this heavy storm will retard any further operations for some time, but that is of little conequence.
December 17. A man named Gregory was brought here from Mr. Reid's farm at Mount Rat yesterday, with three fingers severely lacerated through having met with an accident whilst managing a reaping machine. Dr. Ross Brown dressed the fingers, but advised the removal of Gregory to the Adelaide Hospital, as the nearest doctor was 23 miles distant, and it was probable that amputation might be required.
The weather is splendid for reaping. The average yield is estimated at 15 to 20 bushels per acre. Mr. Peter Howard has just reaped 17 bushels to the acre.
The grain appears to be of a superior quality. Tbe clerk of the Local Court has arrived, to the great satisfaction of the inhabitants.
Dec. 26. Christmas day has come and gone with all its good cheer, once more. This part of the country wore a deserted appearance yesterday. Not even the hum of the reaper was to be heard, to break the monotony of the scene. There being a most liberal supply of sports of all descriptions offered by the good folks of Curramulka in aid of their local cricket club, everyone from this and the surrounding parts of the district were off for a day's pleasure. The weather being truely lovely for out door sports, a most enjoyable day was spent. At the termination of the sports there was a large gathering of people in Mr. Luxmore's splendid wheat store, which was tastefully decorated and laid out for a public cricket club. There were at least a hundred who partook of the good things provided, and presided over by the young ladies of the place, who kindly gave their services for the occasion. After the tea was cleared the store was prepared for the evening's amusements,. which consisted of a musical and literary entertainment, got up by the young people of Carramulka and Port Vincent. The programme was well carried out, and a most enjoyable evening's entertainment terminated by a private dance, for those who had so kindly given their help through the day, which ended most pleasantly, everyone going home thoroughly tired out, and fully satisfied with their day's outing.
To-day (Friday) the weather has unfortunately changed and stopped the machines, or, otherwise, reaping should be in full swing. The average quantity to tbe acre is scarcely known yet, but the yield will not be heavy. The wheat, however, is a splendid sample and weighs well, and I think, as a general rule the farmers are well satisfied, only naturally anxious for the weather to permit them to save it quickly.
February 2, A it is with ajiiatrv; mpj£ dlgfem^gl so it is with this, i. e, a general disatisfaction with the yield o the wheat crops. Most of the farmers fondly hoped, and had every reason to believe their crops would turn out ten bushels to the acre, but I am sorry to say, with the combined effects of rough weather and black rust, very few will reap, more than seven to eight bushels, average. : That, with the low price of wheat (four shillings per bushel) makes the poor farmer look blue, having had three bad seasons before, he really needed a good one this year, but, as usual, has met with another blow.
Another source of annoyance is the late alteration in the time of the down mails which do not reach here until 10 p.m. instead of 11 a.m., thereby causing a great delay. Although our post master delivers letters at that late hour of the night, many of the residents diving at a distance cannot avail themselves of his kindness as Wapstraw in general has a decided objection to late hours, so that Saturday's mails are not procurable until Monday. I think I may say with truth that this change in the time of the mails has pleased no one, but there is a widespread feeling of dissatisfaction from one end to the other of the Peninsula.
We have heard nothing as yet of the erection of our long promised ''wooden schoolhouse," which Is required so greatly at the present time. Although the school should have been open since the Christmas holidays four weeks, there has been little or no attendance of children, thereby causing the teacher loss of time and salary. The iron building which has been used for the Schoolroom is too hot for the purpose, many days lately the themometer having reached 128 degrees ; that combined, with a floor so bad as to cause the children who have been in attendance sore eyes, it cannot be wondered at the parents refusing to send their little ones under such trying circumstances. It is a pity our wants are not better attended to. Surely if these wooden structures are made and promised us, we might naturally expect that those in power should take the trouble to see that they are erected.
MOUNT RAT (Wauraltee),
February 18. A general feeling of depression is being felt in the neighbourhood, owing to the very indifferent yield of wheat this season. Most of the farmers fondly hoped and had every reason to believe their crops would turn out ten bushels to the acre, but I am sorry to say that in consequence of bad weather and black rust very few of them will reap more than from seven to eight bushels as an average. That circumstance in connection with the low price of wheat makes the tiller of the soil discontented. Three bad seasons having been experienced a good return this harvest was really required, but unfortunately it has not been our lot.
The Government tank here is getting very low, there being such a drain on it. It is a pity it was not made larger, as the requirements for water are very great, but I am glad to say the dam appears to be holding well
Nothing has yet been heard about the erection of the long-promised ''wooden schoolhouse," and which is so greatly needed, there being no school but this between Minlaton and Maitland, a distance of thirty miles, every mile of which is occupied by settlers and their families. At present the school is being carried on in a small iron building kindly lent by the Wesleyans. Several times lately the glass has stood at 120° in the schoolroom, and that combined with the wretchedly bad floor has caused a good deal of sickness. It cannot he wondered at, then, that the attendance is bad. This result causes the teacher loss of time and salary. As long as the ridiculous system of payment by results in the newly settled districts is in vogue very few teachers will care to enter upon so precarious and unthankful a profession.
MOUNT RAT, April 20.
We have been having splendid rains for the last month in this part of the country; in fact, never has the like been known since the land has been under cultivation. The consequence is that the grass is springing up in all directions, and fodder will be procurable for the cattle. The plough, too, is fast burying the lately sprung-up weeds, thereby giving the farmer a much better chance of clean crops next season. Ploughing is being pushed on in every direction, and a much larger area will be under cultivation than last season; it is to be hoped, too, with better results.
We have not heard from the Government yet as to the erection of the long-expected wooden schoolhouse. The piece of land given by Mr. Humberstone is lying idle, although it has been pegged out and transferred to the Educational Department for over six months. The school is regularly attended by over twenty children, and yet our wants are neglected.
April 28. We have been favored with glorious rains for the last month. The grass if growing rapidly and the season promises to be one of the most favorable that we have had for some years past. Indeed, it is giving the hardly worked farmer heart, as there is every appearance of a better return for his labor than he has had in past years. The early rains have caused the weeds to grow quickly and the plough coming after has buried them, therefore the crops will have a better chance of being clean and free from weeds of all kinds than in the past year. There is also plenty of feed for cattle. We seem to be favored by a shower from every passing cloud, a thing we are quite unused to in this part of the country. Ploughing is being pushed on everywhere and seeding is progressing. There will be a much larger area of land under cultivation than last season.
We have had Mr. Buxgan down inspecting our Provisional school last week. There being an average attendance of over 20 children, he gives us great hopes of a wooden schoolhouse being erected immediately. He was much pleased with the general good management and the progress of the children.
DEATH FROM A KICK BY A HORSE.
Minlaton, July 19. The eldest son of Michael Quain, of Mount Rat, who was kicked by a horse a few weeks ago died yesterday. Much sympathy is felt for the parents, as hopes of his recovery were entertained up to Saturday last.
MOUNT RAT, July 20.
We are having the most delightful weather we have ever experienced on the Peninsula. So far, this seasonbids fair to be a grand successs, steady rains being succeeded by lovely sunshiny days, so that the young wheat plant looks green and healthy to a degree. The only thing to dispirit the farmer is the low figure of the wheat market.
Our long-promised schoolhouse is being erected on a pleasantly selected piece of ground close to the Mount Rat Post-Office, and when finished will be a great acquisition to the neighbourhood.
July 26. The weather is both rough and cold, with any amount of rain. Indeed, so far, this season bids fair to be a grand one for the Peninsula. The crops about here give promise to be better than they have ever been, they are so clean and healthy looking I hear lower down, about Minlaton, the frost has bitten them up a bit. But around the Mount we do not get such a large amount of frost.
Our scboolhouse is being erected and bids fair to be a great improvement to tbe appearance of the place. It is constructed of wood, prettily put together, consisting of a school-room to hold thirty children, with cast iron stands for desks a porch (or lobby) and two small living room's attached, with fire places in schoolroom and also in living room The land is to be securely fenced in with five wire fence all around. No one can complain of the Government as wasting one penny of money on these wooden buildings for they are simplicity itself and at the same time useful and comfortable without any cost expense. They are certainly an estimable boon to the country districts.
September 10th, 1880. On Friday last there was a branch of the Farmer's Association formed here, when the desired number of ten members were enrolled, and several more names were, proniised for the next meeting. Under the able management of Mr. Hugh McCallum, who has been elected chairman of this branch, I feel confident this will be a success.
The crops about here are in splendid condition owing to the abundant rains we have been favored with. Things have never worn such a bright aspect since this has been a farming district.
Miss Florence Humberstone, teacher of the public school at Mt Rat, gave her annual treat to her little charges on Friday last, when a tea was provided in the new Government schoolhouse. Cakes, buns, lollies, oranges, &c,, were consumed by the youngsters in alaiming quantities, the ill effects of which were soon dispelled by games of all sorts held in the school grounds. The children seemed to thoroughly enter into the general enjoyment. The pleasant day was terminated by music, their teacher presiding at the piano and leading the singing the little ones joining their voices with hers in perfect time and tune, and with the greatest delight expressed on their countenances, giving much pleasure to the parents, who were present on the occasion. The days sport termimted by all singing the National Anthem.
MOUNT RAT, Septembet 20.
A meeting of the farmers of this district was held at the Post-Offlce on Friday, September 17, for the purpose of forming a branch of the Farmers' Association, when tho ten members necessary for its establishment assisted, and were dnly enrolled as members, several additional names being promised for the nest conference. Under the chairmanship of Mr. H.
McCallum—the gentleman elected to the post—there, is no doubt that the affairs of the Association will be conducted with the energy and zeal which characterize him.
The healthy appearance of the crops engenders a sanguine spirit in the community, and that muchabused element, the weather, is now the subject of general encomiums.
Miss F. Humberstone, the able teacher of our public school, gave her annual treat to her numerous pupils on the atternoon of the same day. The uniform good humour which pervaded all showed how well this lady provided for their pleasures and bodily wants. The tea was followed by games, and afterwards all adjourned to the schoolroom, when the little ones sang, a few songs with wonderful precision and zeal.
MOUNT RAT, Y. P., October 23,
This quaintly named place is situated centrally between Moonta and Edithburgh, on the main road and Telegraph line. The nucleus of a town-ship is formed by a Post Office, Government, Tank and Schoolhouse, and a Wesleyan Chapel, all of which have been erected for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the settler; in this neighbour-hood. There is a great quantity of land under cultivation, and the crops are looking on the whole very healthy and free from weeds; the farmers expecting by the present aspect of affairs a better yield than they have had in former years, as the season, since the seed was sown, has been all that could be wished, to bring in a bountiful harvest, steady showers of rain and warm sunshine throughout the winter. The Government School-house is a neat little building; the schoolroom will accommodate thirty children, which is the number on the books, the average attendance being twenty. There are two dwelling rooms attached, and the building is well supplied with water tanks, and altogether is a creditable structure and a boon to the neighbourhood. A Farmers' Association has been formed styled the "Mount Rat Branch," the members of which hold their meetings in the new schoolroom; at their meeting held last week seven new members members were proposed and the business, of the evening passed through satisfactorily.
Hay harvest is approaching and I am glad to hear the farmers, as a rule, will be expecting a better result than last year. The crops about this neighborhood are, as a whole, far better than they have ever been before. I was much annoyed to see a report lately from a town reporter who writes in the daily papers to the effect that "The crops about Mount Rat an very poor as usual," which report is not correct as they are better than any to be seen between here and Edithburgh, taking in the Stansbury coutry. I have lately travelled all around that country and was surprised upon my return to see the wonderful improvement in the appearftnce of the crops about here. Several people have spoken about this subject to me, therefore I mention it in my month's letter as it is most unfair to a district for such erroneous remarks to be allowed to remain unnoticed. Now as a far this reporter left Curramulka for Minlaton, driving through a dense scrub, and did not pass within two miles of Mount Rat, neither did the go through any of the country under crop in that district.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P., November 15.
Yesterday Sunday bore quite a lively aspect for this little place, it being the anniversary services of the Wesleyan Chapel. In the morning and afternoon the services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Angwin, of Minlaton district. He gave his congregations in both instances most eloquent and instructive sermons. Mr. Barry, schoolmaster of Wauratta, also preached a very able sermon in the evening. The little iron building used for the chapel was crowded both afternoon and evening. We are having very boisterous weather. It has been blowing half a gale and raining much too heavily to please the farmers, who happen to be in the middle of haymaking. As to the coming harvest, I am glad to say the prospect is good— much better, in fact, than ever it has been before. Red rust it showing in several crops, but not to an alarming extent so far.
The anniversary services of the Wesleyan Church were held on Sunday, November 14, when the Rev. T. B. Angwin preached morning and afternoon, and Mr. Harry in the evening, to crowded congregations. On Monday evening Mr. Hardy, of Port Wakefield, spoke some words of wisdom and counsel to the young, and, coming from an aged and venerable gentleman, formed a most impressive scene that will not soon be forgotten. Mr. H. McCallum, who occupied the chair, said that all debts were paid, leaving a balance of £5 wherewith to ornament the building. Mr. Barnes addressed the meeting about " The early history of Mount Rat."
MOUNT RAT. Y. P.
December 20. Central Yorke's Peninsula is looking all that can be wished, but the farmers have commenced reaping with a somewhat anxious feeling with regard to the yield, as if life appeared in some cases near the coast to have attacked the crops very badly ; but inland, in the immediate neighborhood of Mount Rat, the fields are only slightly touched, and the sample of wheat is decidedly good. It is too early as yet to anticipate what the average yield will be.
We are having very warm days with beautifully cool evenings, as is usual on the Peninsula,—directly the sun sets a cool breeze springs up, which is very refreshing after the extreme heat of the day.
Our public school-broke up for the Christmas holidays on Friday the 17th instant, when the children enjoyed games, tea, and cake, and received, their prizes from the teacher before dispersing. The attendance has been very good throughout the past year.
The Mount Rat Branch Of the Farmers' Assosiation is progressing favorably, and numbers about twenty members, who meet once a month in the school-room, to discuss the business In hand.
Mr. J. A. Humberstone has filed, plans for a large hotel to be erected here, which will be a great convenience to the surrounding neighborhood, and this spot is naturally a stopping-place with five cross roads, at the junction of which is the Government Tank.
January 9th. 1881. We are experiencing a great change in the weather. A large quantity of rain has fallen. To those who were without water this change will be a boon, but it is to be devoutly hoped the wind will not increase in fury as at present it is high enough for grave fears that the wheat which is standing may be laid low. Those farmers who have been fortunate enough to have finished reaping may have cause to be thankful, but unfortunately this neighborhood was late reaping this season, and there is still a large area unreaped, although up to this time the weather has been everything the farmers could wish, and the stripper to be seen working from early morning until dark night. So far I think I am safe in venturing an opinion that the general average will be about eight bushels to the acre, at the rust has taken it in patches, but I am sorry to say some farmers near the coast have been heavy losers by the pest, to the tune of several hundred acres each.
March 21. Stubble burning is now the order of the day. Look wherever you like the place is on fire. The weather is still holding very dry. Ploughing is being carried on with vigour and on many of the farms there are now to be seen three and tour teams at once, so that a large area of country will be under cultivation again shortly. The Mount Rat hotel, is already commenced, and a street of allotments surveyed and ready for sale. It is a plucky undertaking of the proprietor in these bad times, and it is to be hoped he will meet with good support, as more accomodation has been for some time past urgently required in this part. Ere long I hope to see quite a thriving little township at Mount Rat. At present there is the Wesleyan Chapel, the Government tank and also the Government School-house, which is a neat little building, consequently we have already the nucleus of a township, it being so centrally situated, makes it a really first class opening for fresh enterprise.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P.,
March 21. The weather is still keeping very dry. A little rain would freshen the aspect of things in general, but is not particularly required just now. I see stubble-burning is the order of the day and the plough is bravely at work everywhere, consequently there will be a large area of land under cultivation this season. The place is assuming quite a lively appearance through the erection of the Mount Rat Hotel. The proprietor has already had surveyed a street of allotments, which when sold will be the township of Mount Rat. It is a plucky undertaking in these bad times, and it is to be hoped will meet with the support it deserves. Hooping-cough and bad eyes are prevalent to such a degree that the Government provisional school has had to be closed for the last fortnight.
May 2 nd. Our much talked of Hotel is progressing in its erection and the place is assuming quite a busy appearance. We are to have a blacksmith settled mongst us. I hear, shortly, Mr. Wall is who is at present doing business, at "The Wells" three miles from here on the Curramalka road has bought an allotment in our new Township of Mt. Rat and is going to build a dwelling house and blacksmith shop also: it ia to be hoped he will meet with the support of the surrounding Inhabitants.
A butcher and a good store are much needed here. It is to be hoped some business men will see fit to settle amongst us shortly.
The farmers are all hard at work getting their crops in and in some cases have nearly finished seeding, while others are afraid to venture until the rain has set in. Water is very scarce everywhere, so that everyone is looking with anxiety for the weather to change.
The elections have passsd off quietly, and as a rule most people seem satisfied with those members elected.
May 2. The weather is still very dry. We have had every appearance of rain several times within the last week, but our hopes have been blighted. Rain is much wanted, as all the tanks, both public and private, are dry, except the Government tank at this place, and at the rate the water is being used that will not hold out long. The farmers are all busy getting in their crops and have many hundred acres on each farm already sown and harrowed-in. Hence the rain is doubly wanted, as many fear their labours will be in vain if the much-desired downpour keeps off much longer.
— June 12. We hare been favored with splendid rains since last I wrote. The ground must be by thoroughly saturated ; the cold is intense ; influensa is prevelant, and whooping-cough is still about.
The attendance of the school both in this neighborhood and at Wauraltee has been materially affected by the continued presence of this disease, so as to make it a hard matter for the unfortunate teachers to live, as their salaries are regulated by the attendance of their pupils.
We have for the last day or two been favored by the appearance of another comet, even more lovely than first. This last visitor is seen at a little before day-break in the east.
The wheat is just showing above the ground, making the country look fertile.
The Farmer's Association held their usual meeting in the schoolroom last Friday evening, when several matters pertaining to the welfare of the district were discussed, among which was the desirability of a J.P. being appointed. A commitee was formed to call a public meeting for the purpose of electing one, and to attend to other urgent matters, to benefit the youug township of Mount Rat. The hotel will shortly be ready for its roof, the walls being within three feet of their levels, also the material for the blacksmiths' house, and shop is on the ground and before they long will be an accomplished fact.
June 18. We have been favoured with a splendid downpont of rain. The ground is thoroughly saturated, and we are now having some nice warm sunshiny weather, which is causing the wheat and grass to spring up very fast, and with a healthy appearance. Most of the farmers have finished seeding, consequently they are in high glee on account of the splendid rains and seasonable weather. Already some are prophesying a good harvest.
Our schoolmistress has received instructions from the Education Department, informing her that they are thinking about shifting our school from its present position to Kooliwurtie, and the residents have decided to hold a public meeting to consider why this injustice should be inflicted upon them, and to take steps to secure our school, which is indispensable.
The branch of the Farmers' Association held a meeting on the 10th inst. Several matters of interest wore thoroughly discussed, amongst others certificates to farm servants, which were warmly supported, several farmers showing how they had been inconvenienced at harvest time through unprincipled and unaccomplished loafers. The Secretary distributed some Defiance wheat which he had obtained from Dr. Schomburgk.
There is some talk of the residents asking for a Justice of the Peace to be appointed for Mount Rat.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
The usual monthly meeting was held in the Mount Rat schoolroom on Friday, July 8. Mr. H. McCallum occupied the chair, and eleven other members were present. The Central Committee ashed the branch to appoint a delegate to act upon a committee to report upon agricultural implements shown at the forthcoming Exhibition. It was decided to send a delegate. The meeting also agreed to the certificate to farm labourers as printed. The Secretary laid on the table the past and present Land Acts; also the report of the Botanic Gardens, which he received from Dr. Schomburgk. A hearty vote of thanks was passed to the doctor for the report, and also for the Defiance wheat received from him, which was distributed at a previous meeting.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
Usual monthly meeting held August 6; a fair attendance of members present. Secretary read some extracts from a local paper re abolishing I the auction system of disposing of agricultural land in favour of classification and let; to be considered at next meeting. Resolved that this branch disapproves of the action of the Central Committee in altering the old rules without first laying before the branches a copy of proposed alteration for their consideration, and begs to call their attention to clause 15 of the old rules. The Chairman reported sometimes receiving notices of committee meetings after they bad been held, and that he had no vote by proxy. Great indignation was expressed at such treatment. A discussion here ensued as to the advisability or otherwise of forming a Central Committee on the Peninsula. It was pointed out that the wants of the Peninsula and the North were not at all alike. Resolved that the delegate confer with other Peninsula delegates re same. Mr. William Barnes, Secretary, was appointed delegate to act upon committee to inspect and report upon agricultural machinery and implemente at the Adelaide Exhibition. Two new members were balloted In.
August 22nd 1881. We have had a plentiful supply of rain since I last wrote. In fact all throughout this winter has been all that could be wished.
The crops are looking heathy and strong ; the farmers are jubilant, looking forward to a good harvest which they have every prospect of having.
The hotel is nearing completion and is a hand some building with every convenience for doing a good trade and is to be hoped the plucky proprietor will be amply rewarded for his enterprise as a good hostelry is much required in these parts.
Burton's Circus passed through lately, having been playing down the Peninsula.
Influenza is rife, the inmates of nearly every homestead having been attacked by it.
The Hotel at Mount Rat.
Which contains sixteen rooms (with a diningroom thirty feet long) is so far complete that it will be ready for licensing and occupation in a month. It is to be made one of the most comfortable hostelries on the Peninsula.
The Mount Rat Hotel.
We have had the opportunity of inspecting this newly completed building, which seems to be admirably adapted for its purpose, and to have special provisions for the comfort of guests. In a very short time it will be completely furnished and being at the junction of five roads will be found a very great convenience to the public.
MOUNT RAT, September 24.
We were visited on the night of the 30th by a very heavy hailstorm. In the morning the ground was covered with hail and ice; congealed pieces were picked up as much as three inches through, and a foot square. We are having some very seasonable weather now. The rain is very acceptable after the unseasonable weather which we had last week; we should like it a little heavier though. The crops about here are looking very healthy and more promising than they have done for many years past at this time. Grass is somewhat backward owing to the rain being so late. We cannot understand why the pieces of metal road which were made and finished some months ago have not been rolled. At present they are worse than useless. The new hotel is nearly completed. Our schoolmistress having resigned we hope to see a male in her place. There would be a larger attendance if we had a male teacher, as at present a number of senior scholars attend other schools in consequence of there being no male teacher here. We are badly in want of a J.P. at or near Mount Rat ; it is hoped that one will be appointed before long.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
Meeting held on Friday evening, September 30, Mr. H. McCallum in the chair. Correspondence—From Central Committee re the division of tbe colony into districts. The Chairman mentioned several reasons in favour of an affirmative answer, and this was duly proposed and seconded and carried. The Secretary gave his report as delegate on the Machinery Committee, for which he was accorded a hearty vote of thanks. The attention of the meeting was drawn to the fact that the reserve in the Hundred of Kooleywurtie was about to be surveyed. Several members remarked that it was the only place where farmers conld get posts and it was thought highly desirable that the scrub should be left for a reserve, as farmers in both hundreds were depending on it for fencing material. It was resolved that a memorial be drawn up and presented to tbe Commissioner of Crown Lands asking him not to have it surveyed, and the Secretary was instructed to write to the Commissioner notifying that the memorial wonld be sent.
Mount Rat, Y. P.
Oct. 24. Our new hotel is now opened and appears to be well patronised. It gives our new little township quite a lively appearance. The blacksmith, Mr. Wallace, is also commencing business in his new premises, and we have a baker settled amongst us.
The Weslsyans held their anniversary services last Sunday, when the Rev. Mr. Blacket preached to large congregations. A Tea Meeting if to take place during the week.
Rain is much wanted : the crops are not what we should like to see them through the drought.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
A meeting of this branch was held on December 2, Mr. H. McCallum being in the chair. Correspondence was received from the Central Committee asking for suggestion as to new rules; consideration deferred to next meeting. The election for officers resulted as follows:— Mr. H. McCallum as Chairman; Mr. A. McCallum and Mr. T. Marshall, Vice Chairmen ; Mr. W. Barnes, Secretary and Treasurer; and Mr. J. Sugg and Mr. S. Carter, Auditors. The advisability of having a direct road to Port Bickaby was discussed. It was considered that the farmers were fix great need of a road, as at present they had to go through private property. This caused a monopoly to exist, as all not selling to one buyer were compelled to drag round by the beach and through the sand. The benefits of change of seed wheat were discussed, and several members spoke on the benefits arising from sowing wheat on light soil which had been grown on heavy land, and vice versa. The Secretary was instructed to write to the Millicent Branch on the subject.
Feb 13 -There was a well attended meeting of the Farmers Association held on Feb. 16th at the Mt Rat Hotel when Mr. Carter read an interesting paper on the Principles of Agriculture, dwelling upon the principal substances found in what, allowing the farmer the most, profitable way of farming. Mr. Mc Callum Chairman thanked Mr. Carter for his paper and gave a few remarks in reference to the color of soils. He was of opinion that the blue land was better than the red land, but the best was certainly brown chocolate. His opinion was the same as that of Mr Sweet from Point Pearce, that mullinized gound proved the most profitable the farmer. This season when he got only three bushels to the acre of cleaned land he had reaped sixteen off his mulinized land. He was of opinion that burning the timber formed the best kind of manure obtainable. Mr. Alex Mc Callum called attention to the fact of a largely signed memorial to have a road made from Koolywurtie to Port Rickaby to break up the monopoly that exist at present in the wheat buying. Mr. Carter promised the members of the Mt. Rat branch to give them at some future time another paper upon the same subject, when he would exemplify his remarks by several experiments. After a vote of thanks from Sir. Leonardd, of the Port Victoria branch, to Mr Carter for his paper and also to the Chairman. Mc Callum, the meeting broke up.
The harvest is over and I am sorry to say with very poor results. What with the drought and the incessant gales we have experienced the yield was greatly below the expectations of the farmers. Water carting is the order of the day and rain is looked for with anxiety.
MEETING AT MOUNT RAT.
A public meeting was held at the Mount Rat Hotel on Friday, April 21, to consider the Land Act mid other matters in connection with the farming interest. Mr. S. Carter was voted to the chair, and stated that he was in favour of the land laws being amended, so as to allow interest instalments on all uncompleted purchases to go as part payment of the principal, the balance to be paid off at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum. Mr. H. McCallum was in favour of all interest instalments since 1879 going towards the principal. Under the present system it was get all you can out of the land and then shift. Mr. Pearce considered the Government had already acted very liberally in granting concessions, Mr. Stinchcomb thought if they got the second instalment to go towards the purchase it was as much as they were likely to get. Mr. Wedd endorsed Mr. McCallum's views that a time should be fixed from which the amended Act should take effect; he was in favour of the balance being paid off at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum. After a lengthy discussion Mr. McCallum proposed, and Mr. R. Wedd seconded—" That all instalments paid, or to be paid, since 1879, go towards the purchase, and the balance paid by annual instalments of 5 per cent, on the purchase price." This was carried unanimously. In the matter of seed wheat Mr. McCallum noticed that 29,600 bushels of seed wheat had been applied for. This was a very bad state of affairs. Mr. Pearce thought the Government could as well afford to help the farmers as to bring out emigrants. The Chairman was in favour of the idea put forward by the President of the Association (Mr. Miller) that a fund should be formed by all members of the Association subscribing say £1 per annum, from which distressed farmers could be assisted by way of loans. As to water supply, Mr. McCallum thought there would be no difficulty in getting an expression of feeling on this question. Every one of them had known and felt the inconvenience and loss occasioned by the present scarcity of water. A communication had been sent to Government from the Farmers' Association asking for more wells to be sunk. Farmers were coming from long distances to the Koolywurtie wells for water, and such was the smallness of the supply that some learns had to remain there all night and a greater part of the next day to get loaded. Mr. G. Wedd thought the five wells applied for would not be enough; that ten more wells would not be any too many. At this stage a letter was handed to the Chairman from the Surveyor-General granting the application. The announcement was received with cheers. With regard to the nearly impending Legislative Council elections.—Mr. McCallum said the Farmers' Association had taken this matter in hand and intended issuing a farmers' ticket. He proposed that further consideration of the question be deferred till the candidates are in the field. Seconded by Mr. R. Wedd, and carried. Mr. McCallum thought they ought to get a polling-booth at Mount Rat, as it was the centre of a large district. He proposed that an application be made for the same. Seconded by Mr. Stinchcomb and carried. It was resolved that an application be made to the Surveyor General to clear a road from the north-west corner of Section 49e, Wauraltee, to the south-west corner of Section 36s, Koolywurtie; also from the south-west corner of Section 75 to the east corner of the same section, Koolywurtie; and from the south west corner of Section 32 to the north-east corner of Section 54, Wauraltee. A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the proceedings.
May 8 Since I wrote last, we have had splendid rain and the country is looking green and fresh. All tanks and dams are full of water, giving every man you meet a different appearance; instead of the "woe-be-gone" look which was on one and all before the rain came, there ia a happy contented smile of pleasure. Once every one is hard at the plough getting all ground ready for seed at their disposal. There ia no doubt seeding will be late this year as it takes all the time for one team to cart water.
Our Provisional School is progressing well with a larger attendance than at any other in these parts.
The Mount Rat Branch of the Farmers' Association held their monthly meeting last week when three new members were admitted: The Secretary, Mr. Carter, read a letter from the Surveyor General authorising five more wells to be sunk at Koolywurtie, and one from the Crown Lands Office stating that instructions had been given to have the wells sunk, also a circular from the General Secretary inviting this branch to send in names for nomination fur the Legislative Council. The chairman read a newspaper correspondence from T. Rickby re memorial to the Government, for a road to Port Rickaby. Resolved on the motion of Mr. Pearce, seconded by Mr. Sugg. That the chairman vice chairman, and secretary be a committee to consider the statements made in Mr. Rickaby's letter, and to reply to the same through the newspapers. A resolution was also passed to draw up a testimonial to Mr. W. Barnes in recogniiion of his services as secretary for the Mt Rat Branch prior to his leaving the district and to be presented to him; Mr. Pearce to prepare the same.
We are still in want of a good general store here. It is strange that business men let such a site as this go begging particularly as the neighbourhood is all settled upon and already our little township can boast of a fine large hotel Government school, tank, blacksmith shop and Wcsleyan Chatel.
ROAD TO PORT RICKABY. TO THE EDITOR.
Sir — I see by a recent issue that the Mount Rat Farmers' Association have tried to contradict the statement in my letter to you on the above subject, but the memorial will show that I am not incorrect. Mr. T. C. Tonkin distinctly told the Commissioner in presenting the memorial that the only means of reaching Port Rickaby was by going through private property. They further say that I am incorrect in asserting that there are two natural roads clear. I now state distinctly they are cleared within half a mile by the Government, who did not consider there was any obstruction on the remainder of the roads. I deny the statement that my fences are buried by sand, as the sand is only a foot high at one panel. Further, it is no misstatement for me to say that two miles of metal must be laid down before one load of wheat can be carted over two miles of ploughed ground. The memorial itself will show that the different routes were altered after nearly all the signatures had been obtained. In answer to the question why farmers prefer going through my land, I can only say that my friends very often choose going through the dreaded patch of sand on the Government road. Mr. Rickaby had not forgotten to offer a road to the Government and 100 acres of land for the township, previous to any of the existent Government roads being cleared to the Port. I will not trouble you with any further remarks on this subject, but I hope the proposed road and the existing ones will be inspected at the direction of the Commissioner of Crown Lands before any unnecessary expenditure of public money is incurred. —
I am &c, THOMAS RICKABY. Port Rickaby, May 8, 1882.
GUM FLAT, June 13.
A sad fatal accident occurred at Mount Rat last night. Stanley, the eldest son of Mr. Thomas Reade, aged ten years, had been sent as usual with some cattle into one of the paddocks on the farm, and was returning home again when he fell from the horse, and retaining hold of the reins brought the horse down on top of him. He was picked up insensible, and having never regained consciousness died half an hour afterwards, Mr. Rickaby, J.P., held an enquiry this morning into the circumstances attending the accident, but after hearing the facts of the case did got consider an inquest necessary.
GUM FLAT, June 13. About sundown last evening a son of Mr. Thomas Reade, of Mount Rat, a lad between 10 and 11 years of age, was returning from his father's paddock, into which he had been driving' bullocks, when he slipped off his horse whilst at full gallop, and it is supposed was struck by the animal's hoofs. His neck was found to be broken when he was picked up. Under the circumstances it was not considered necessary to hold an inquest.
June 17 — A fatal accident happened here on Monday June 13, to a little boy aged ten years, the eldest son of Mr. Thomas Reade, of Mount Rat. When returning home the horse fell with him and killed him on the spot. He was buried on Wednesday at Minlaton, the funeral being largely attended.
We have been favored by heavy rains filling all tanks and dams in the neighborhood. It ia a great pity the Mount Rat Government tank ia so small, as the run for water being good would fill twenty of such. It seems sad to see so much water flowing away and no way of saving it, and the tank not half large enough to be of use to the place.
The farmers have pretty well all finished seeding for this season, and the wheat is coming up nicely.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P.
On Tuesday morning, July 4, Mr. Chamberlain Government surveyor, proceeded to Port Rickaby for the purpose of surveying a road to that place which has been agitated for by the surrounding farmers for some time past. There were no less than thirty-four farmers present who are interested in the said road, which alone should show the great necessity for the work in question to be carried on. It is to hoped that the Government will see fit to continue the road as far as the jetty at Port Rickaby.
August 28—We are having splendid weather, alternate rains, and sun-shiny warm days. The crops although backward through the late rains, are looking remarkably well and the farmers are jubilant accordingly.
The usual monthly meeting of the Farmer's Association was held last Friday. There was a good attendance, and some important matters relative to the district discessed.
Matthew Barnett has passed through and made many converts, but my opinion is that he would be doing more good to society at large by not keeping his audiences out so late at night, or in many cases, to the small hours of the morning, particularly, as so many young people of both sexes have to travel many miles to their homes after the chapel services are over, but I suppose he thinks ''The end justifies the means."
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
A special meating was held on Wednesday evening, October 4, for tbe purpose of meeting Mr. Venning; Mr. McCallum presided. Mr. Venning said be was much pleased to see such a large and influential meeting at Mount Rat, and could see the branch before long would be second to none in the country. To his mind the people who composed the greater industrial portion of the community should secure a universal Association of their own to advance their own interests and not to override any others. The aim of their discussions should be to discover tbe best mode of obtaining the largest crops at the least expense. Mr. Venning thanked the meeting for tholr hearing, and went on at some length to a similar effect to his address as previously given in the Register, and ended by thanking them for their attention—a compliment which was duly acknowledged by Mr. McCallum. Mr. Pearce made a few remarks on utilizing subsoil. He was of the opinlon that If all the hillock we see about and around the tanks and such-like places were spread on the land as a topdressing it would form a good manure, as we could not expect to he perpetually taking out of the soil and reluming nothing to it; and we should give onr attention to the best wheat to withstand rust. He had been experimenting a little this season upon several different kinds of wheat, but feared the hot winds of the last few weeks wonld spoil his scheme. As to the large amount of money leaving the colony for the importation of bacon, he thought before tbe breeding of pigs could be made a paying concern we must grow grasses to better feed pigs, as bis experience in bacon growing was certainly expensive. He found every pound of bacon he grew bad cost him 1s. 6a. per lb., which would not certainly pay. We did not give the subject of grasses sufficient attention. As to the land laws, they were not sufficiently liberal. Selectors should be allowed to go on the land for the first three years free, and the interest to go towards the principal. By those means trade would be benefited generally, and tradesmen wonld not suffer so much. If farmers kept books it would be a bar to the giving of false returns, which in some cases was now done. He found that breaking up the soil was the best method of procuring feed for stock ; wherever the native tussock was destroyed the grass grew well. Mr. John Leonard could endorse Mr. Pearce in his remarks about breaking up tbe land to procure grass. He had thought the land laws too hard, but then selectors were to blame for running the land up and then grumbling afterwards. As to the growing of pork, there were various methods of growing it. One of his neighbours conld grow bacon for twopence per pound. Mr. McCallum thought the land laws most be repealed, or before long there would he an exodus of farmers. Instead of paying 10 per cent, they should pay 6 per cent, and get good members to represent them. Mr. Carter said It there was not a change in the land laws the people wonld flock over the Border, where the laws were more liberal. At present the last drop of blood was being taken out of the hardworking, industrious farmer. He thought no payment should be made for three years, and the Government could make sure the applicant was a bona-flde farmer, with homes and implements to work the land. Mr. Tonkin thougnt the twine-binder would be the better implement, but was afraid it could not be made to pay under 15 bushels to the acre. Mr. A. McCallum thought that selectors who selected now would be in a much better position than those who selected six years ago, when there were no roads, no butchers' meat, and no comforts whatever. The fever was on now for selections in Victoria, and numbers would be leaving here shortly if the land Iaws were not altered. He thought the twine-binder would not pay under 15 bushels to the acre, but thought that it they put in less and worked the land well they would have better returns. The scratching over the soil would not pay the farmer. Deep ploughing paid bast Mr. Tonkin thought the exodus was through the bad crops, not the land laws. Mr. Venning had heard there were those present other than members of the branch, and he hoped they would all join that evening. Mr. Leonard congratulated Mr. Hugh McCallum upon the success of his branch of the Farmers' Association. He expected to see its numbers doubled before long. He hoped some good would accrue from Mr. Vennings visit. Mr. Hugh McCallum called for a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Venning, and that gentleman responded.
October 15—The weather forms the chief topic of the day, and certainly it is far from what the farmer would like to see, being too hot by far and no sign of rain. The ground is looking parched, as in the middle of summer, giving the wheat crops a dried up appearance which will materially lessen the average, if not spoil them altogether. A good fall of rain is much needed, some folks put it all down to the comet, which is a grand sight in the eastern sky, well worth getting up at three in the morning to see. Mr. Venning paid us a visit lately and a large number of farmers in the district went to meet him and discuss the farming interest. He gave ail interesting and instructive lecture, and a vote of thanks was given him for his visit.
November 13.—Since my last we have been favored by a good downpour of rain, which has filled all the tanks and done a deal of good to the country. The farmers are jubilant the rain coming in the right time to fill out the grain. Hay harvest has commenced, but of course the weather has stopped its progress. The Minlaton boys played the Mount Rat cricketers, last Saturday week, and beat them, but the Mount Rat boy's returned the match an Saturday, beating Minlaton boys, returning home with great eclat at being victorious in their first match with their newly acquired tools. Professor Rice is expected here on Tuesday night, and the Circus is also expected, so there is no dearth of amusement.
January 15.—We are having very seasonable weather for harvesting operations, and a week or two more of the same sort will enable the farmers to finish, and I think I may say with favorable results. We were favored last Saturday night by a visit from the Lynch family of Bell Ringers. They performed here to a full house, everyone remarking it to be the best entertainment ever given in these parts.
March 19.—There has been such a dearth of imformation that I have not written lately. Everything is quiet with the exception of several farmers having changed their places of abode, some leaving South Australia in disgust for pastures new. But although many farms have changed hands I find very few vacant, for as fast as one leaves there is someone to stop in and take the place of the other who vacated, therefore there is little fear of Mount Rat being a deserted village. Water is getting short on most farms and a lot of carting has to be done, although nothing like what has been in times gone bye. The Government tank is holding out well, but a little rain would be hailed with delight by many. We had a flying visit from the promoters of a company to buy a larger steamer — for the Peninsula trade, a thing much required, tha little "Ceres" being totally inadequate for the trade.
On a recent trip to Mount Rat some of the inhabitants expressed their indignation and astonishment to as at the fact of Mount Rat having no telegraph communication, and it is indeed to be wondered why they should be without it in such a central place. A little perseverance in stirring up the matter will no doubt be the best and only way to a successful end. It was regretted that there was no Mr. Hussey in Mount Rat, but we will hope they will find an equally energetic substitute.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
This branch of the Farmers' Association held their monthly meeting on April 20. The Chairman (Mr. Alexander McCallum) read a letter from the Central Committee to the effect that they had sent several subscription-lists for collecting funds for the overdraft last year re seed wheat. Mr. Carter read correspondence from the Commissioner of Crown lands re Port Rickaby road, and also a letter from Mr. Beaglehole that the Government had offered £3 per acre to Mr. Rickaby, the present owner of the land required for the road in question, and that he would not accept their offer; and as the Government considered their offer to be a fair one they could not proceed with the road. There is a widespread feeling of indignation expressed all through the neighbourhood at this refusal of Mr. Rickaby, and the Chairman (Mr. McCallum) called the attention of the meeting to the fact that as it was to the advantage of Mr. Rickaby that the road should not be made against forty-nine signatures that the road should be made, the matter should not rest there. Mr. Tonkin said the making of this road was of too great an importance to the neighbourhood, and they must all work together until they got it. Mr. McCallum proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Beaglehole for bringing the matter forward, and that a letter bringing the matter forward, and that a letter should he sent to him accordingly, showing the facts of the case and urging him to further action in the matter. Mr. Leonard, J.P., seconded the proposal. It was the unanimous opinion that this road should he made. The meeting then discussed the best methods of pickling wheat, also the best method of fertilizing the land — if by giving it rest, or by manuring. The general feeling expressed was three years' rest was better than manure for this district, the land being light and sandy. Manure required more rain than we got as a usual thing, and was hard to be got, but that every farmer should save all manure made on the farm, and to use it as far as it would go. Mr. Crosier spoke upon the late tax upon cheques as excessive, and thought farmers should combine to take only gold for their wheat from the Banks and shortly the Banks would abolish such an excessive demand. Mr. Tidmarsh proposed Mr. T. C. Beade as a member, which was seconded and carried. After the minutes of the meeting were read the members retired.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
The monthly meeting of this branch of the Farmers' Association met on June 15. Mr. John Leonard, J.P., presided. It was proposed that this place should be made the polling place for the district, and that the amount collected in aid of the Seed-wheat Fund by this branch should be forwarded by cheque to the Secretary of the Central Committee, viz., £0 2s. 6d. Mr. Alex. McCallum proposed—" That all the members should see that their names weie inserted on the electoral roll for the next general election." Mr. Tonkin seconded. Mr. Gower should be written to on the subject. Carried. Mr. Hinchcomb brought forward a discussion upon the method of improving stock, which he was sorry to see so greatly deteriorating in this district; and he also brought a plant of lucerne which he had grown on his farm, showing bow luxuriantly that fodder-plant would grow in this part of the country, and also a splendid specimen of the fodder-plant called " Gold-millet," so fattening and good for cattle. It had grown during the dry months of October to December last a height of three feet eight inches. The general feeling of tbe meeting was that unless the farmers gave more attention to the growth of fodder there could be no improvement in their cattle, as the native grass was not sufficient to properly feed stuck. Mr. Hinchcomb thought that by growing these grasses they would throw back to the land tbe very chemicals required for the proper cultivation of the wheat-plant. After a lengthy discussion upon the benefit or otherwise of holding ploughing matches, the meeting closed.
At a meeting in connection with the Mount Rat branch of the Farmers' Association, held on Friday evening, July 20, Mr. Shuckcomb read the following paper upon the benefit of holding a farmers' market:—" The advantage of a market is that you can sell your stock or goods yourself and save Is. in the pound commission; and if you do not sell you let people know you have things for sale. If you have a good horse or cow for sale you have the advantage of selling early so that you may return home in good time; but if you put them up by auction as a rule the best is offered last, and if it is a good horse or cow you may sell it at a low price, but if you have one that is not of much use you may as well offer it, as most people think there is something wrong or you would not offer it for sale at a monthly sale. But at a market the man that wants to buy can ask the seller all he thinks proper about the faults of a horse or cow, and if he is a man who wishes to deal honestly and make the market a success he will tell the truth, or somewhere near it. It is no use for a man trying to cram his fellowman with lies, or he will soon be noticed, and people will deal cautiously with such a man; but at an auction you do not know who the cattle belong to until they are told; then perhaps the owner will not take a bill unless the amount is £20. If you offer your stock yourself at a market you can make your own arrangements, as very often in horned cattle a man does not want to buy £20 worth. If at auction the terms are a bill for £20, the man who puts in two or three fails to effect a sale because of the terms; at a market you may sell one or more, and offer the unsold ones at the next market. It often happens that a farmer has something to sell, but he knows it is no use offering it at a monthly sale. It may be pigs, for instance. Well, it would be only lost time to take a lot of pigs to a horse sale. But a market is a place to which you can take all kind of live stock and produce from a farm. If every farmer would take something it would soon become known as a place for buying, selling, and bartering. It is a wellknown fact that as there are a certain number of sellers so there are an equal number of buyers. There are a number of advantages in offering your things yourself at a market, besides the saving of one pound in twenty. It would suit a farmer who may have ten or twenty fat sheep and the butcher too to take this small draft and offer them at market. It would suit the butcher, because he would know when next market day would be, and he could take just what would keep him going till that time; or you could take a fat calf, or pigs, or poultry, dairy produce, or anything. Buyers and sellers have an equal chance. They can go all round the market and see how prices rule. By this means a man is more likely to get value for his money. At a sale you do not know—nor can any one tell you—what price the things will fetch till they are sold, nor can an auctioneer give you the price of anything till it has been offered. It often happens that at a sale a man will lose a good bargain through not being able to ascertain the price of all the stock offered before they are sold. Then let us have a market. Let us save all we can, let a few of our leading men start the market; they will find it a safe investment, and I feel sure it would benefit the whole district. The time of year is just coming when a large amount of stock of one sort and another changes hands, and therefore a most suitable time to start the market."—The Chairman called for a vote of thanks for Mr. Shuckcomb's interesting paper, and said he thought it would be a really good thing if such a market were established. There might be a little trouble at first to make a start, but eventually it would hold its own. A vote of thanks was then accorded to Mr. Shuckcomb for his paper.—Mr. Fehen wanted to know if there had been anything done with regard to getting the road made to Port Rickaby.—The Chairman thought the Government were ready to proceed with the work, but that they could not come to Mr. Rickaby's terms for severance, and Mr. Beaglehole had promised to do what he could in the matter. He (the chairman) thought a committee of local men should be appointed to attend to the matter and get the road proceeded with. The chairman then said for some time past a ploughing match had been talked of and as there were so many farmers and others present that evening he would like to take the opportunity of putting the matter to the meeting whether there should be a stump-jumping ploughing match held at Mount Rat this year.—Mr. Shuckcomb thought that a stump-jumping ploughing match would be a success if held at Mount Rat: and if a committe were formed he would tender his services to prepare a piece of ground suitable for the work, and he would subscribe £1 to the funds.— Mr. Emanuel Solomon was in favor of holding a match, and trusted the farmers would turn out well and make it a success. He would promise £1 also to the funds. A committee was forthwith elected to carry out the object in view.—lt was proposed by Mr. Shuckcomb, and seconded by Mr. E. Solomon —"That there should be a stump-jumping ploughing match held at Mount Rat." The motion was carried with acclamation.
Sept. 10th—The Mullenising Ploughing Match is be held here next Thursday, is the talk of the day, and is exciting quite a commotion in this usually quite spot ; but its not to be wondered at, when one thinks of the wonderful results and immense stride in cultivation this sort of plough has effected. Only taking this neighborhood for an instance, where there is a radius of thousands of acres of dense mallee scrub running from Mount Rat into Curramulka, which would only for this invention lie waste for many years, and indeed it would not be far out if we were to say for ever. As to clear this land in the old style "by grubbing the stumps" would be simple ruination for any farmer to attempt, the ground not being good enough for the outlay. But now with the stump jumping plough, all this country is being taken up by selectors and the result will be, where the scrub is now, there will be thousands of acres of waving corn in a few months time, it is not only good to the people but to the Government, as it brings them in capital through these otherwise waste lands for no one in their senses would have bought it. The crops are looking better than ever they have done, since this, part of the country has been formed, and with ordinary rains until the end of October there will in all probability be a grand harvest. It has so far been the wettest season ever experienced.
PLOUGHING MATCH AT MOUNT RAT.
Mount Rat. September 14. The first ploughing match held at Mount Rat proved a great success. The attendance was very large, great interest being manifested in the trial of the stump jumpers, in which there was great competition among the makers, Mr. Smith, of Ardrossan, taking first prize for four-furrow ; Mr. Tucker, of Curramulka, for three-furrow ; and Mr. Pearson, of Stansbury, third prize. Considerable implements were shown in harrows exhibited by Mr. Hardy, of Waraultie, who was awarded first prize. A concert was held in the evening at the Mount Rat Hotel, which was crowded, Mr. Leonard, J.P., in the chair. The proceeds exceeded the amount allotted for distribution, the nucleus of which will go towards forming a Society.
MOUNT RAT. November 12.
The weather for the past few days has been bleak and wintry, anything but good for hay making, which is in full swing, the farmers saying they have not had such a cut for years. It is to be hoped the rain will hold off to allow the stacking of it. The wheat is looking green and healthy, and the yield is expected— if the weather holds good for the next month— to be from ten to twenty bushels to the acre on most of the farms in the locality— a thing to be hailed with delight, as the general feeling was nothing over five bushels would ever be reaped at Mount Rat. There is a great dearth of farm hands. I should not be far out in saying if a shipload of good farm labourers were to come over the Gulf they would find situations for at least six months' work, as every other farmer you meet wants hands and cannot get them.
The weather is all that could be desired for haymaking and the yield is in all cases satisfactory. The farming community are very jubilaut upon the good prospects before them. Miss O. Mahoney the Provisional School teacher gave her scholars a treat recently and they returned the compliment by giving their friends a concert and reciting pieces on the occasion of the annual school treat day, last Tuesday; when the teacher gave prizes to the youngsters in the evening. The affair passed off with great eclat and the children spent a very enjoyable day and did their teacher credit by their display. The Mt. Rat branch of the Farmers' Association held a meeting in their Lodgeroom on Friday evening last.
Held at the Mount Rat Hotel on Friday evening, November 16. The Chairman, Mr. Alexander McCallum, said correspondence was to hand from the Central Committee respecting the pastoral country, but as they had not tbe time to fully ventilate the questions that evening he would merely read the several questions to the members. 1. Are you in favour of the land being cut up into blocks within 100 miles of the present selected country of the following sizes First, second, and third class, pastoral lands. 2. Are you in favour of the land being cut up in blocks of the following sizes First class, from 6,000 to 10,000 acres; second class, from 10,000 to 26,000 acres; third class, from 20,000 to 60,000 acres? 3. Are you in favour of a maximum being fixed—First class, 25,000 acres; second class,. 50,000 acres ; third class. 76,000 acres? 4. Are you in favour of the country being declared open for selection on leases for twenty-one years at fixed rentals— For first class, 1.5d. per acre; second, 1d. per acre third, .5d. per acre?". After reading these several questions it was decided to fully discuss the matter at a special meeting, as there were matters of importance to be settled—the meeting to be held next Friday fortnight; at which officers would be elected for the coming year and accounts settled. Proposed by Mr. Carter, seconded by Mr. Leonard— "That all members be asked to attend, and that Mr. Carter, the Secretary, be asked to attend to formally resign the Secretaryship and to give up the books, &c., so as to enable the new secretary to begin the year in a satisfactory manner." As Mr. Carter had virtually given them up (through his leaving the district) months ago they were working in the dark through the want of the books. Mr. Carter promised he would make it his business to attend the next meeting. He thought there were severe! members in arrears who should be asked to attend to pay up; £3 6s. had been forwarded to tbe Central Committee, and they had been written to some time ago for two dozen new rules, which had not been sent yet. Mr. H. McCallum proposed the branch should write again for them. Mr. Tidmarsh seconded ; carried. A letter from the late Secretary, Mr. William Barnes, was read; letter to be acknowledged, and testimonial to be forwarded to him with apology for not having attended to the matter before. A splendid sample of this year's Bearded Egyptian wheat was exhibited, the length of stalk being over six feet, grown near Mount Rat, on Mr. Clift's farm. The Chairman closed the meeting, honing to see a good number present at their next meeting; be was sorry to see so few present that evening, but expected haymaking had kept some of their members away.
MAGISTRATES' COURT - MINLATON.
Saturday, December 13. [Before Messrs. J. Ford and R. E. Hilton.]
Michael Kenny, farmer, of Mount Rat, who in July last was sentenced to be imprisoned for three months in the Adelaide Gaol for threatening to kill his wife, was charged on a warrant with assaulting and beating her on December 10. The proaecutrix stated that on the day mentioned prisoner said he was going to mend the fences in the paddock and asked her to accompany him. When they reached the paddock he said she should never go home alive, as he had brought her there to kill her. He then kicked her in the side and struck her on the head. He got a stick and waved it over her head, threatening her. He did not strike her with the stick. She was very much bruised. Was afraid of her life of prisoner. He had always illused her and she was afraid he would take her life. He had taken her to the paddocks on five previous occasions and beaten her. Bridget Manning, mother of prosecutrix, stated that she had several times seen the prisoner illuse his wife. On December 5 she was called out of bed to go to her daughter as prisoner was illtreating her, and on going to the house she found prosecutrix had taken refuge at Mr. Reed's. ' Prisoner followed her, took her home, dragged her in, and shut the door. Had seen the bruises on her daughter's side that morning. Did not know why prisoner illused his wife. He was not drunk whenever it occurred in her presence. John Manning, brother, and Margaret Manning, sister of prosecutrix, gave corroborative evidence, the former testifying to other threats used by the accused to his wife. On being asked whether he had any statement to make, prisoner said, 'I admit that I had a row with my wife on December 10, and that I shoved her as well as kicked her with the side of my boot.' Committed for trial.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P.
January 20. The weather has been the all absorbing topic of conversation since the holidays, and such variable weather has not been known or years. The farmers are having a hard time of it just now in gathering in the crops, as occasionally there have been as many as four or five changes in the wind and weather, during one day. The wheat is not all reaped yet, and in some places much has beaten down as well as beaten out, so that the farmers are quite justified in putting down their loss at fully a bushel to the acre; The general average about this part of the country. I think may be estimated at from eight to ten bushels, with a large plump grain. Much of the old land having become dirty, by wild oats the average is, of course, much less than it otherwise would have been.
MOUNT RAT BRANCH.
A meeting of the Mount Rat Branch was held at the Mount Rat Hotel on Friday, March 14. Mr. Leonard occupied the chair. The Chairman reported having seen Mr. Beaglehole, MP., re sheds for schools, and said that it had been decided to build a new school at Port Victoria. A deputation from the Association had waited on the Commissioner of Crown Lands, who admitted the necessity for fresh land legislation. The Chairman also intimated that it was decided to continue, making Gladstone the head-quarters of the Farmers Association. The Secretary reported that as the late Secretary had left office without leaving receipts for payments made, it was difficult for him to understand the financial condition of the branch. Mr. McCallum had seen the late Secretary, who had stated "all levies had been paid up to the end of the year." A discussion was initiated as to the best method of keeping mice from stacks of wheat. The Chairman intimated that he would read his paper, "Hints to Farmers," at the next meeting of the branch. Mr. Pearce thought the subject a good one. He thought if the subscription to the Association was less than as at present, say 10s. per year, there would be a much hrger number of members. He proposed that a public meeting be held here on the night of the nest farmers' meeting to discuss matters that would probably come before Parliament next session. Mr. Stinchcombe seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. Mr. Pearce aiso wished to know if the members of the branch had done as they promised to do last year—to make experiments as to the best method of pickling wheat, and if so, what had been the result of their labours? The Secretary (Mr. Tid-marsh) said he had heard of one member pickling his wheat with carbolic acid, and it was worse with smut than wheat pickled by any other process. Mr. Stinchcombe showed a fine specimen of the Darra wheat, grown by him on his farm near Mount Rat, which would go about twenty bushels to the acre. He had only purchased a quarter ounce of it, for which he paid 1s., and the first year he tried it, it was a failure, but the last year it had done well. He thought this seed re-quired acclimatizing. After some routine business had been dealt with the meeting terminated.
MOUNT RAT, March 24.
The weather is still dry. Water-carting is becoming general. The six wells, belonging to Government, made a year or two ago, are a source of comfort to many, who but for them would have to buy water at the Government Tank, but even from there a large quantity is being taken, and if rain does not come quickly it will be dry.
Farmers are still holding their wheat, and are hoping for a rise after the tilling season.
There will be a larger amount of land than ever under crop this season through mullenizing becoming so general, and local blacksmiths are kept busy making fresh ploughs, as the 'old plough' is going out of fashion and the stump-jumping is taking its place. To snch a pitch is mullenizing being carried on that in a few years' time the settlers will be crying out for wood for their fires, and Yorke'B Peninsula will be a field of wheat from one side to the other, instead of the dense scrub it was known to be.
The heat has been very trying for the last month, owing to the fires which are burning everywhere. At night the country is lit up from every point of the compass.
MOUNT RAT (Y.P.), May 5.
The weather is exceptionally fine, and the farmers, who are now engaged in sowing their land, are pleased at having such seasonable conditions for the work. The continued low state of the wheat market, is making business bad all through the district. We have been favoured with nice rains and the grass is beginning to show itself, causing the country to look much more pleasant than it did a month ago, when all was dried up and brown.
June 2.—The weather is exceptionally good for farming pursuits, and the crops early sown are showing up well and healthy. Tilling will be finished in this neighborhood by the end of this month. —I hear measles are raging amongst the young in Minlaton, but so far we have not been visited by the dread disease, or, in fact, any other, for I really think this is the most healthy place in the world. I expect it is the height and the water on both sides of us that has something to do with it. This branch of the Farmers' Association are to hold a public meeting to discuss some important matters, amongst them the dividing the Associations into various districts.
The weather has been magnificent lately, but we have been blessed with grand rains, heavier in fact than we have known in our time, it has caused the crops to assume a-healthy verdant appearance. Seeding has become a thing of the past. — The roads which are not macadamised are utterly impassable, but thanks to our Road Board, and to the untiring efforts on the part of the surveyor Mr Jones, we are favored with good roads in all important places of traffic, in fact I should not be far out if I stated that there is no place like Yorke's Peninsula out of the town of Adelaide for good roads, for which we have the Road Board to thank. Otherwise travelling would be very hard work this wet season.—The first meeting of the Farmers' Union was held at the Mt. Rat Hotel last Tuesday evening, there was a good attendance, the president Mr Hugh McCallum addressed the meeting remarking that he was pleased to see so many in the district taking an interest in the affair, and he would gladly take the names of new members and get them enrolled that evening, when several were proposed and seconded, and became members of the Union. The annual subscription was settled to be 5s a member. Correspondence was read and directed to be acknowledged, rules were also passed for the new club.—A stump-jumping ploughing match was arranged for this season, as last was such a success.
MOUNT RAT STUMP -JUMPING PLOUGHING MATCH & HORSE SHOW.
This event came off on Wednesday last, on the farm of Mr H. McCallum, Mount Rat, and owing to the fact that Mountt Rat and Minlaton had amalgamated, the combined effort was quite a success............................
Minlaton, August 13. The farst of the amalgamated stallion shows and ploughing matches, under the auspices of the Central Yorke's Peninsula Agricultural Society and Mount Rat ploughing match committee, took plane at Mount Rat to-day, and proved most successful. There was a large competition in the three-farrowed plough class, but owing to the hardness of the ground the four furrowed ploughs did not compete. Mr. Tucker, of Curramuika, took first prize for ploughing. There was a very good show of horse stock, especially draught entires. About five hundred people were on the ground during the day, and everything passed off without a hitch. The prizes, except for horse stcck, were paid on the ground.
We have had nasty rough weather for the past week with every indication of rain in abundance, but very little has fallen and what we have had has been of little use, as the north wind has dried up all the moisture directly it has fallen now. This is disheartening to the farmer, for the prospects of a good season may not be realised. So far the crops are not looking the worse, but without more rain at this time of the year, they will soon detoriate.—Father Lea, a Catholic priest from Mt. Barker, is on a visit through the district, and performed service here on Sunday to a large congregation for this place, which is so sparsely inhabited. He appears to be doing good work amongst the members of his own Church.
MOUNT RAT, September 24.
He have had glorious rains in this district, which have quite altered the general aspect of the country and the harvest prospects. In the early part of last week there was a feeling that we should have another failure of crops through want of moisture, but Bince then the tone has changed, and the hopeful appearance of the farmer is apparent.' The bright healthy green-looking crops give promise of a reasonable harvest if all goes well for the next month or two; indeed, it may be truly said that this timely downpour has been a godsend to the country at large.
October 6.—The usual monthly, meeting of the Farmers' Union took place on Friday last, when Mr. Stinchcombe read a paper upon 'The desirability of forming monthly Markets' here, and to try and amalgamate with Minlatan and Curramulka, and hold a market onces a month at alternate places named, that this being to centrally situated, surrounded by a good farming population, would secure its being a success if once started, as he would show how great a benefit it Would be to all interested both buyer and seller, as it would do away in the first place with the middle man. The auctioneer, who took so much away and brought nothing into the place. Then when produces were brought side by side, one could so much better see what one was buying. Buyer and seller would come more together than at the present system at monthly sales, and you could barter, also buy and sell both on the same day, aud that farmers' sons would by constant attendance at these markets, get a love for barter, and be more acute at business generally, thereby these market days would be like killing two birds with one stone. Eventually the sons would grow up enabled to take the place of their old fathers, and perhaps beat them at making bargains. It was a well-known fact grain farming would not pay alone, therefore we must turn our attention to other things, and when it became generally known there would be butter, eggs, vegetables, bacon for sale on a certain day at a known place, and he was sure there would be buyers for those articles, then there ware so many other things saleable, poultry, cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, every tradesman would be benefitted, for washing machines locally made could easily find a sale, and numerous other things that he could mention, if the scheme of his were once started, he guaranteed it would be boon to all interested. He had known large markets in the old country that had started in a very small way. They would laugh if he told them how small a way for literaly speaking in a case which came under his notice, a market which had assumed gigantic proportions, had first commenced with a solitary cheese, and a very few vegetables. Now if everyone present would only promise to bring one article once a month for 12 months, he would make sure this market he was urging them to promote would become a success, that was the way to make a beginning in practical way. The president, Mr. Hugh McCullum thanked Mr. Stinchcombe for his paper And eventually all present formed themselves into a committee to form a Monthly Market.—We have since last I wrote had splendid rains, which have changed the general aspect of affairs. The country is looking green and lovely, and a good harvest may be looked for if no unforeseen misfortune occurs —The school buildings both at Wauraltee and Mt Rat are being renovated and shelter-sheds built.—The Wauraltee Institute is nearly roofed and will be a great improvement to the place.
MAGISTRATES COURT, MINLATON.
Monday, November 3. Before Messrs T. Gregor and R. E. Hilton.; --Richard J. Carford was charged by J. A. Humberstone, landlord of the Mount Rat Hotel with assaulting him on October 29. Defendant pleaded guilty. It appeared from the evidence of complainant, which was corroborated by a man in his employ named Grabia, that the defendant, who was rather the worse for liquor, was in front of the bar of the hotel on the evening in question and making some remarks of an offensive character in reference to complainant, who requested him to desist. Defendant immediately struck complainant across the bar counter, and on the latter endeavoring to remove defendant from the premises he was twice struck in the face by him. Defendant was then prevented from again striking complainant by some persons who were present, but he continue to misconduct himself and create a great disturbance for at least two hours afterwards. Fined 10s., costs and witnesses expenses £210s. The same defendant was charged with making a disturbauce in the Mount Rat Hotel on October 29. The evidence was similar to that given in the preceding case. Fined 5s., costs £1.
Nov 16.—The weather has been all that could be desired for haymaking. I have heard no complaints as to the yield. There has been more cut than usual owing to the low price of wheat. Snakes are prevalent. The children of the Wauraltee school dispatched a large snake last week. Just before writing enormous one was making its way into an outhouse presumedly for accommodation for the night, and was providentially seen and killed. Indeed I may say they held the situation at the present time in everybody's household as the excitement of the hour, as it must be admitted it is not a pleasant feelins to know you are open to an encounter with such venomous reptiles at any moment. There was a public meeting held here last Friday evening, convened by advertisement by Mr Stinchcombe for the purpose of holding a farmers monthly market under the auspices of the Mount Rat Farmers' Union, it was decided to postpone the opening until the first Wednesday in February 1885, as the hay harvest was on, and the wheat will follow in about a fortnight with a great many farmers. There was a large committee formed for the purpose of working up the scheme which is considered to be a move in the right direction, as farmers will be enabled to buy and sell their own produce. I have not heard any complaints of red rust, and sincerely hope it will mercifully give this place the go-bye.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P.. November 10.
The weather has been all that could be desired for haymaking up to Friday last, when a change took place, and it has been as cold and tempestuous as the middle of winter. There has been a larger area of land cut this season than formally owing to the low price of wheat, which is frightening the farmers. If the figure does not increase wheat-farming will not prove a paying concern in South Australia. At present, owing to what I have stated, there is an exodus of surrounding farmers to Victoria.
Snakes are very numerous this season.
A public meeting was held here last Friday to discuss the holding of a monthly farmers' market at Mount Rat. The attendance was small owing to the rough dark night and it being the middle of hay harvest, therefore little business was done further than forming a committee to work the market and deciding upon the date of holding the first market.
December 14. The atmospheric disturbance has been felt badly here. For the last six days the weather has been worse than we ever experience at this time of the year. The storm on Saturday and Sunday must have done incalculable mischief to the new made haystacks and also the growing crops of wheat. I was informed that half the yield was already out of the ear and the ground is literaly bestrewed with grains of corn. Besides the rough wind has knocked the wheat down in some places so much that the machines will never reap it. High winds and blinding dust storms have now given place to heavy rain accompanied with wind since writing the above to show you to what an extent of damage this weather has caused, a Mr. Solomon has given me notice that the gale has unroofed his nearly made stone house completely, and dangerously hurt one of his men, the stones falling upon him.
January 19th.—This has been a most disastrous harvest crops which looked in November last to go at least ten bushels to the acre, have, through the unseasonable and tempestous weather, only turned out about half that yield of wheat, and even that little has been reaped under great difficulties. I know of one farmer about here, who has only reaped 200 acres out of 600, the storm having done such havoc, what was not knocked down was beat out.
We have been fortunate in getting a nice shelter shed to our Provisional School and likewise the inside has been comfortably papered and done up, with the youngsters will hall with delight when they reassemble after the holidays.
On Friday evening, February 13, a farewell dinner was given at the residence of Mr. T. C. Reade, Mount Rat, to Mr. Hugh McCallmn, chairman of the Mount Rat Farmers' Union, who is about to leave the district. About twenty-five gentlemen were present. The weather was somewhat against the gathering, a drizzling rain falling throughout the night; An excellent dinner was provided, and was done ample justice to. Mr. H. Stinchcombe presided, having on his right the guest of the evening, and Mr. Reade acted as croupier. The loyal and patriotic toasts having been honored, the vice-chairman proposed 'The health of the guest, Mr. H. McCallum.' He was sorry that their friend was going away, and he was sure that his loss would be Iteenly felt not only at Mount Rat but at Minlaton, where he had always been the moving spirit when anything for the public good required doing. He could assure Mr. McCallum that he would carry away with him the best wishes of all who had had the pleasure of being associated with hun, and he trusted that he might 'live long and prosper.' Mr. G. H. Tidmarsh having alluded to the many good actions performed by Mr. McCallum during his jesidence at Mount Rat, stated that their guest had so endeared himself to the residents that they were determined he should not leave without some expression of their feelings towards him. They deeply regretted his removal, but since he had determined to leave they had met to wish him bon voyage. They had embodied their feelings in an address, of which the following is the text: — 'To Mr. Hugh McCaJiiun, Mount Rat. — We, the undersigned, residents of Mount Rat, Minlaton, and surrounding districts have heard with deep regret of your intended departure from amongst us. We feel that we cannot allow our friendly relations to be severed without giving expression to the respect and good feeling we have always enter-. tained towards you. During the long time you have been dwelling in ' our midst you have gained the general goodwill, and by your efforts various local matters have been initiated, pushed on, and brought to successful issues. Whether as chairman of the Mount Rat Farmers' Union, as superintendent of the Sunday-school, as an energetic member of the Central' Yorke's Peninsula Agricultural Society, or as a private resident, you have shown a strong desire to do your best for the good of the district. We wish you and Mrs. McCallum and your family happiness and prosperity wherever you may be, and that a kind Providence may ever attend you.' The address was beautifully written by Mr. W. J. Loader, and was much admired. Mr. McCallum said he could not find words to express his feelings. He thought his friends at Mount Rat had overestimated what he had done. He had ever had the most friendly relations with the people of Mount Rat and elsewhere. He greatly regretted leaving Mount Rat, still his regretwas tempered by the knowledge that he was going home as it were. 'Just nine years ago lie and his brother came to Mount Rat. . It was then the home of the kangaroo, and lie supposed also of the kangaroo rat, hence its name. Since that time, in spite of many drawbacks, the place had gone ahead — roads and jetties had been made, schools and tanks had been built, societies and institutions of various kinds had been established. They had had much to contend with, but still they had to a certain extent been successful. He again thanked the company. They had come there that night at some personal inconvenience to themselves to do him honor, and he could not but feel gratefuL He trusted they would let him know through the papers how they were getting on. He would look anxiously for a report of the opening of the monthly market. He would give one toast, and he asked them to receive it as an expression' of his kindly feelings. It was 'Success to the future of Mount Rat and the district.1' He felt sure if the people -would pull together they would succeed. For what with a Fanners' Union in reality, a monthly market and a bacon-curing factory in -perspective, how could they fail. The chairman suitably responded. Others toasts followed, and the proceedings, which were enlivened by songs and recitations, terminated at an early hour.
March 7. The great event ot the last week was the opening of the Mount Rat Farmers' Monthly Market. Although not exactly a success, it was very fair for a beginning. There was a fair attendance, and also a good show of horses, cows, poultry, and dairy produce. The general opinion was that the producers made a mistake in placing too high a figure on most of the articles brought to market, not giving the dealer a chance of doing business. It is to be hoped this mistake will be rectified in the future, as many articles would have met with ready purchasers had it been otherwise. The weather has been exceedingly cold for this time of year. Ploughing has commenced.
April 27.—The weather has been most seasonable for farming operations lately, the farmers have fully availed themselves of it, and a large area of land is already under cultivation, mostly wheat as usual. —The general topic of conversation is the war scare. Some talk of putting in their crop and if war is declared, of going off and fighting for their country's good until the crop is ready to reap. Certainly from what we hear there is plenty of the warlike element lying dormant on the Peninsula, ready at a moment's notice to shine forth in all glory.—Sickness is marked by its absence, every one being in remarkably good health.—There is a general and wide spread dissatisfaction felt at the annoying alterations in the overland mail time-table. We are now unable to procure our letters and papers until a day later, causing great inconvenience, and as this is felt by one and all both up and down the Peninsula, a speedy return to the old time-table is devoutly wished for by the residents here and elsewhere in these districts.—We are likely to have a Church of England erected here, as Mr J A Humberstone has has offered a piece of land for the purpose and there are others quite ready to aid in the projected work.
MOUNT RAT. Y.P.. April 27.
The weather has been all that could be desired lately, and the farmers have taken advantage of it. A large area of land is already ploughed, and some farms are sown and harrowed in.
The general topic oi conversation is the war scare. Some talk of putting in their crops, and if war is declared of going off and fighting for the good of their country until the crop is ready to reap. Certainly, from what I hear, there is plenty of the warlike element on the Peninsula now.
Sickness is absent—everybody being in good health.
There is a general dissatisfaction felt at the annoying alteration in the overland mail time, which causes a delay in the delivery of mails from one day to the other, making it most inconvenient to answer letters by the return mail.
There is some talk of our having a Church of England erected. Mr. J. A. Humberstone has offered a piece of his land for the purpose, and there are others quite ready to give a helping hand.
The annual meeting of the above union was held in the Mount Rat Hotel on June 26, about forty members being: present. Mr. Tonkin took the chair. The income from all sources for the past year was shown to have been £8 11s. 6d., and expenditure £4 12s. 6d. Several members were proposed as President of the Union for the coming year. A ballot resulted in the election of Mr. Tonkin. The following were also appointed :— Messrs. Pearce and McCullum, Vice - Presidents ; Tidmarsh (re-elected), Secretary ; Marshall, Treasurer. Mr. Stinchcombe laid on the table a sample of guano from the neighbouring islands, which he stated could be delivered at Port Victoria for £3 3s. per ton. Mr. Leonard then read his promised paper on ' Other Sources of Income than Wheatgrowing.' He said— I will endeavour to bring before your notice this evening two or three sources of income other than wheat which are available to every farmer present. I strongly recommend every onepresent to prepare a piece of land and plant with almonds at once, as this is a tree that soon comes into bearing, and there is always a market for the nuts ; and, unlike many other fruits which require picking as soon as ripe, will, if you have not time to attend to them, hang on the tree for a week or two without detriment. I propose to-night to dwell more particularly upon almond culture — first, on account of its simplicity; and, secondly, to the very little expense attached to the formation of an almond grove. There is yet time, if you set about it immediately, to put in a few trees this year, say half an acre, which will take sixty trees if planted 19 feet apart. The cost of trees (Brandis almond) this season is 10s. per dozen, or 50s. for sufficient properly worked trees to plant half an acre of ground. To those who are not disposed to hurry themselves and get a few trees in at once I would say prepare a piece of ground in readiness for next year by carting on it what manure you have to spare, and then ploughing it deeply (the deeper the better) ; then put a good three-wire fence round it, and dig holes not Iess than 19 feet apart at your leisure. It will then be ready for planting, and all the better for being exposed to the air for a few months. I will now show that what I advocate is far more profitable than wheatgrowing. I see by a back number of the Garden and Field that an acre of almonds at Hackham has for years past realized from £14 to £20 per acre, and I have been credibly informed that 5 acres of the same fruit, nearly opposite the Heart and Hand, on the Southroad, brings the proprietor a yearly income of about £80. From these two cases I think I am fully justified in assuming the average return from an acre of almonds to be not less than £17; and, mind yon, the instances quoted are not the 'Brandis,' which I recommend for planting, but the ordinary kind, raised from seed, and in all probability are fully one-half of them hard shell. I see by the last week's Observer that at the East-End Market hard shell almonds are quoted at 3d. and soft shell from 6d. to 8d. per lb. You will see from this that had these old-established places been planted with nothing but the best sorts £25 per acre would have been a more probable return than £17 ; but for our present purpose let us take even the lowest price and compare it with the return from an acre of wheat. What is the result ? Why, a balance of between £15 and £16 per acre in favour of the almonds. I think, gentlemen, I have conclusively shown that it will pay you to cultivate other things besides wheat, and, although I promised to point out 'other sources of income,' I think this paper sufficiently long for one evening. I will, however, enumerate the following, viz., currant growing, olive-planting, bacon-curing, and poultry-farming, all of which, I believe, might be profitably entered upon on Yorke's Peninsula, and each of which is sufficient to occupy our attention for one night. A vote of thanks was passed to Mr, Leonard.
July 20.—The weather has been bitterly cold lately and heavy frosts at night, which have the effect of keeping the young wheat plant back in growth, but I think on the whole the crops although late are looking healthy. We have had nice rains and there is no dearth of water in the tanks.—There is great excitement, viz. 'mail alterations.' every township having its own particular put scheme. Minlaton wanting the overland mail done away with altogether and a water mail three times per week, which of course will not suit the townships north of that place, and I very much doubt if it vould even suit those few parties who are now advocating the change in Minlaton. If the powers that be could see their way clear to return to the old time-table, all would be benefitted, but as at present they try the temper of everyone, and causes a friction in each township, where in times past the mail service pleased all.—We have a wheelwright settled here lately and from appearances I think he will be kept well employed. —I hear there is a wide spread dissatisfaction concerning the dog discs, several having already lost the disc from the ring, in fact, the little bit of finery may be well enough for the canine breed to parade Rundle-street, but certainly is out of place and utterly unfit for bush purposes. Besides the workmanship is bad, in many the rings not being properly fastened, give way directly they are placed on the dog. I am thinking the poor J.Ps. will have more of their time taken up by this new regulation than they bargained for, as every owner of a dog who loses his disc must run off directly to the nearest justice before another can be procured, besides having to pay another shilling for a fresh one, so that the old saying of 'ever dog must have its day,' is being fully exemplified now.
August 24.—The weather is all that could be desired since our last. Splendid rains and fine sunshiny days following each other. Frost has not troubled us either, so that with a continuation of the like for another month will be the means of giving us a good crop in this neighborhood.—The monthly meeting of the Mt. Rat branch of the Farmers' Union took place at the local hotel on Friday last, when the secretary was asked to write to Professor Custance to give this place a visit and assist the Union. There was much dissatisfaction expressed at the refusal of the Surveyor-General to order the road to be cleared asked for by the branch at last meeting, from section No. 7, Wauraltee, to N.E. corner of section 202. The meeting thought that if they laid their grievances before the Surveyor again and asked for a lesser distance to be cleared, it might be sanctioned as it was not fair to the farmers who had bought land and made farms and built homesteads on land which was nothing but a dense scrub. Without this road being cleared they were in constant dread of accident through the teams having to go through this almost impassable road for their water supply and daily wants. Mr. McCallum strongly supported the idea. Mr. Pearce promised to read a paper at next meeting on " Sheep breeding."
August 31.—A fatal accident took place near the farm of Messrs Solomon Brothers, Wauraltee, on the evening of the 28th to a man named Samuel Parks, a single man, about 35 years old, who had charge of a loaded waggon belonging to the firm of Solomon Brothers. He was returning home with his waggon and had passed over the road which is very bad in parts. His load consisted of posts. He was found dead, lying across the wheel tracks of the waggon by Mr. E. Solomon about 8 o'clock p.m. The inquest was held at the Mount Rat Hotel on the 29th inst., John Leonard, Esq. J. P., coroner, and a verdict of accidental death accorded caused by the bolt of the shafts giving away, precipating the man from his stand in front of the waggon.
FATAL ACCIDENT AT MOUNT RAT.
On Friday night, August 2S, as Samuel Parkes, a waggoner in the employ of Mr. E. Solomon, was returning home with a load of posts, he fell off his waggon, and the wheel passing over him he was killed. On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held at the Mount Rat Hotel by Mr. J. C. Leonard, Mr. E. Newbold being foreman of the jury. Afterviewing the body, which was much disfigured by the wheel of the waggon, the following evidence was taken:—Ernest Watson said deceased came to his place yesterday for a load of posts a little after noon. Helped him to load. He then had his dinner, and left about half-past 1 o'clock p.m. He was quite sober then. He had no drink with him. William John Wallis, blacksmith, said deceased came to his shop shortly after 1 o'clock p.m. on the previous day. He said had felt very bad ; that he had met an old mate, and that they had had a lot of drink. He asked witness to take a drink from a bottle he took out of the waggon. Refused it. Shortly afterwards he returned to the shop with a bottle of beer, and again asked witness to drink, and he and his men took a drink from the bottle. Deceased was not sober, but seemed able to manage his team. There was no one with him. George Henry Swandale stated that he saw deceased go into the hotel, where he stayed a long time, and then returned to the blacksmith's. After the bottle had been drunk in the shop, deceased said "good bye," got on his waggon-shaft, and started his horses at a trot. Should say he was not sober by the way he walked, and not competent to manage his team. Francis Jolly, farmer, said he overtook the deceased on the previous day as he was picking up some posts that had fallen off his load. Tied his load for him, and they both got on the shafts. Called his attention to a loose bolt—the one that held the two shafts together. He said—" I know, it is all right." Witness got off at his gate. Deceased, seemed quite able to manage his team. The waggon was quite safe in spite of the bolt being loose. He had drink with him. It was not quite sundown then. Would have gone home with him had he not thought him capable of managing his team. Joseph Redding, farmer, said about 6 o'clock on the previous night he heard a waggon coming down the hill at a good trot. Listened to it going for about half a mile. The driver appeared to be talking to one of his horses, and seemed to want to calm it down. It was just getting dark. It was about a quarter of a mile from where he last heard the sound of the waggon to the place where the accident occurred. Heard from Mr. Solomon that an accident had happened. Went to tha spot, and found Swandale, Wilson, and Watson there. Deceased was lying, across the track covered with a bag. The hands were quite cold. Did not think a man in his sober senses would attempt to come down the hill without a skid. A skid would not always work, Emanuel Solomon, farmer, produced the rules observed on his farm. The 1st and 2nd provided that no intoxicating drink was to be brought on the farm, and any man going away and returning drunk would be discharged. Owing to the team not arriving home in proper time suspected the driver was stopping drinking, and started to look for him. When about two miles on the road saw tha waggon with the two pairs of shafts broken off. Saw the horses, and thought Parkes was with them. Went on a little further and found, him lying on the ground, stomach downwards. This was about half-past 8 o'clock p.m. Turned the body over and felt the pulse. He was quite dead. Sent a messenger to the police at Minlaton. Deceased had been drunk once before when in charge of a team. He got drink from the Mount Rat Hotel. I had frequently warned Mr. Humberstone not to supply intoxicated men with drink. Parkes was quite competent to have charge of a team when sober. When carting posts the team usually arrived at home about 4 o'clock p.m. The shaft horses were perfectly quiet. The waggon was capable of carrying four tons. Saw by the marks on the clothes that the wheel had passed over the body. The draught bar was broken. Could not say whether deceased fell before the shafts broke. Deceased had been in his employ about eight months. The sum of two pounds was due to him. Was certain he would have been able to escape the wheel had he been sober. James Alexander Humberstone, publican, deposed—Had known deceased about ten months. He called at his hotel on the previous morning. He had two glasses of beer and went away. In the afternoon he came again, and met a man who was his mate two years ago. They seemed, delighted to meet each other. Parkes called for two glasses of beer. During the time they were there they had four rounds. When going away Parkes ordered four bottles to be put up, two for his mate and two to take to the blacksmith's shop. It was about a quarter to 4 when he left. He did not appear the worse for drink. He returned to the hotel. After that he took two bottles with him for the blacksmith. He had no more drink himself. He was quite competent to manage his team when he left. He had been away about an hour when he returned for the two bottles. Thought he had gone home. He had nothing but beer at my house. He had six bottles altogether. In reply to Mr. Solomon witness said he had seen the printed rules of his farm. Mr. Solomon had warned him not to supply his men with drink. Was not aware that Parkes ever got drunk when in charge of a team before. Deceased owed witness about £2. Mounted-trooper Phelan stated that he got a doctor to accompany him to the scene of the accident. Found deceased lying across the road face upwards covered with a bag. Had the body removed to the hotel. The doctor pronounced life to be extinct. The coroner said the jury had to say how deceased came by his death. Evidently had he not been to the hotel he would have been alive at that moment. At the same time they had the sworn testimony of more than the landlord that he was quite capable of managing his team. The jury after a long consultation returned the following verdict. "We find that the deceased Samuel Parkes met his death through the bolt falling from the shaft of the waggon causing him to fall, he being under the influence of liquor at the time."
Sept. 27.—I am glad to be able to chroncle a grand change of weather. Heavy and good rains set in last Friday and on Saturday splendid rains fell which will do immense good to the growing crops, which were languishing for want of the precious element. Had not this change come there would have been little hope for any returns from this season's crops. As it is, hay will be at a premium, as the growth will be stunted and poor. The mullenized and looks by far the best. I had occasion to travel round the country as far as Ardossan through the Curramulka district, and was delighted to see some splendid growing crops, around about the twelve mile being particularly good, but I thought near Ardrossan they looked bad and poor.
Mount Rat, Y.P., November 28. Haymaking is the order of the day, but I think with poor results, as the crops are looking miserably thin. We have had no rain for many weeks, and the ground looks parched and dry. Water will be a scare commodity, and in fact it is so now. Farmers are in many cases carting already from the Government tanks and wells. Altogether the outlook is far from promising. Harvesting will be commenced shortly in this neighbourhood. I do not think red rust is so bad about here as in some other parts of the country.
January 4. Every one has settled down again to hard work, now the holidays are over. The weather has been hot in the extreme, in fact the most trying we have had for some years.
The crops are not turning out well. In many cases the appearance of the crop would go fully, 15 to 20 bushels and when cleaned and bagged has only turned out 6 to 7 bushels at the most. The grain is good in this neighbourhood. It is too early in the season to predict the average yield to the acre. There are a good many folds already stripped, and clening up is being proceeded with.
Januaiy 11.—We have experienced strange weather lately, in fact I may say the two extremes, from broiling hot to extreme cold. Trying weather indeed which has caused sickness and death amongst us.—Farmers are still busy harvesting and I am very sorry to say with poor results in most cases reaping not more than one bag to the acre and with many farmers under that yield,but the grain, as a rule is good, and a fine marketable article, which is more than can be said for most districts this year. The price is a little better than last year, but still the outlook for the farmer is not encouraging.— Water on many farms is very scarce and a deal of time is taken up by carting. On some of the farms near the coast the water in the cemented tanks and in the dams has gone completely salt and undrinkable for both stock and family use, caused, I think by the unusally dry season.
MAGISTRATES COURT, MINLATON.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17 1886. [Before Messrs W. H. Quartlv, J.P., and T. H. Manuel, J. P.]
Francis Jolly, of Mount Rat, farmter, was charged by John David Rickaby with unlawfully and designedly falsely pretending that he would deliver to him (the said informant.) 60 bushels of wheat of the value of £10 12s. 9eL by means of which false pretence Jolly had obtained that amount. John David Rickaby said on the 8th December Mrs. Jolly sold for her husband 60 bushels of wheat at 3s. 6.5d. per bushel, which amouuted to £10 12s. 9d., this was in compliance with a form of agreement to a former transaction, this was the second draft they got. It was in compliance to the agreement made on 25th December. After that date Mrs. Jolly came down to me and got a certain amount of money. The amount drawn was in favor of Mr. Jolly, and was advanced for 60 bushels of wheat, on condition that the wheat was to be delivered when I required it. None of that wheat had been delivered to me. I sent word to my father to tell Jolly to deliver the wheat I had bought from him. I have reasonable grounds for believing that the wheat I should have received has been taken to another place. I received a message from a friend in Port Victoria to that effect. I told my father who said he had found a certain quantity of wheat which he should have received, had been feloniously carried to Port Victoria. I then asked him to accompany me to Jolly's farm, to see what was left out of the swindle. I went with my father and saw bags scattered about close to Jolly's house. My father asked me to take charge of them and count them. I sent them away with my father's wagon to Port Rickaby. At the chaff heaps I found 29 bags cleaned up. Remember my father asking Mrs. Jolly where is my share of the wheat. She said m the paddock. Mrs. Jolly mentioned that morning that a certain quantity of wheat had gone to Port Victoria. I am aware that Jolly is working a farm' on halves with my father. I am also aware that it is Jolly's agreement to deliver half the crop grown on that farm at Port Rickaby. Jolly has not delivered any wheat, my father has delivered wheat to me, but in his own name. I saw it loaded from Jolly's farm "so called." Have been all round the farm, and do not, think that there was another bag or bushel to be found on it at the 'time. Francis Jolly, farmer of Mount Rat deposed. I do not know what quantity of wheat has been taken away from the farm. I have never been out to the heap since it was reaped. I put two men on cleaning when I left I suppose they have been clearing up ever since as far as I knoft. I received the money stated by Mr. Rickaby. I did not dehyer the wheat. Was working on halves with Mr. T. Rickaby to-whom I have to give half the cleaned wheat. Thought 1 should have enough wheat to pay Mr. John Rickaby after paying my half share to ,Mr. T. Rickaby. Committed for trial. There were two other informations against the same prisoner, laid by the prosecutor for similar offences,- both of which were dismissed.
Ploughing is general in this part but the trouble at present is the water-carting, taking up so much time and horse flesh. Water is so scarce that I hear there are as many as one hundred teams daily going for the precious element to the Mount Rat wells, some of which are from a distance of sixteen miles. Owing to the great pull on these wells the water is becoming very low indeed, in some cases teams have to pay a visit to three wells before their tank is full. These wells, 20 in number, are being cleaned out, and a subscription is being made to defray the cost. There is much sickness about supposed to be caused from the impure, water but my own impression is that these people who are constantly carting water, are not careful that their own tanks are properly cleaned and purified at stated times which must be required, as the constant useage of such tanks must cause a lot of dirt and impurities to settle at the bottom, which are daily being shaken and mixed with the water tasted by the families themselves as well as their farm stock. Now if this suggestion of mine only causes one or two familes to properly see to the state of their two and four hundred gallon tanks, I feel sure it will be the means of averting diseases and death amongst us. I would earnestly advise the people to boil the water before drinking it at this season of the year, when it is so scarce. This part of the country is not alone in its want of water, as I was travelling lately from here to Balaklava and found every one of the government dams completely dry, until my arrival at a place called Clinton dam, a distance of 42 miles where the tired thirsty horses could procure a good drink, the dam having about two feet of water in it, and from thence to a place called Whitwater not a drop to be met. All farmers having to cart from this one dam, which if rain does not fall shortly will be also dry, so that there will probably be a water famine on the Peninsula from midway to north. The lower end has a good supply from wells. I was astonished to meet with so many splendid dams ready for water, on my journey, both government and private. I heard of 15s. being given for a tank of water at Port Victoria, as the supply has to be carted so far. People living around Adelaide have no idea what trials and hardships their country cousins have to put up with. There has been quite an exodus of families leaving for Victoria.
MARCH 18. Mr. Joseph Redding, farmer, of Mount Rat, and his family of eight children have been stricken down by typhoid fever, and have been for some time in the Wallaroo Hospital. The eldest boy has succumbed to the disease, and a telegram was received last Saturday from the hospital to the effect that the eldest daughter, aged about 15 years, was not expected to recover, and that all the other children with the father were, in a critical state. Since then I have heard that they are all slightly better.
March 22. There was considerable dissatisfaction shown at the meeting of the Union last Friday nigbt when it became known that the Conservator of Water had only given the Union permission to control three wells at Mount Rat instead of the whole twenty asked for. The Union asked the Government for the control of all the wells, and promised to clean them out and keep them in order. For this purpose a subscription was raised from all those catting water, so that there might be no delay in having them cleaned out and purified from all the filth which had been accumulating for years, and was causing sickness and death amongst the people who were obliged to use the water. These twenty wells are merely holes sunk about 6 to 12 feet deep, situated in the reserve at Mount Rat, and being uncovered are open to pigs, poultry, and sheep. At the present time a family are suffering in the Wallaroo Hospital from, typhoid fever, and two of the members have succumbed to the disease, supposed to have been brought on by drinking the water from these polluted waterholes, which I know have not had any cleaning done to them since this part was inhabited, a period of about ten years. It is to be hoped the 'powers that be' will see their way clear, to alter their derision, and give the wells over to those who for their own sakes will see they are kept from pollution.
We have bad an excitement lately in this quiet neighbourhood. A young lady, who had lately come over from Adelaide to reside here, left her residence near the seabeach for a walk, and eventually lost herself, and after walking until completely done up she had to lie down under a bush until daylight. A search party of about a dozen neighbours fortunately came across th wanderer, and had her safely conveyed home.
We had another J.P, added to the list for this district gazetted last week, but l hear he is to leave this neighbourhood in a few days, This is the second time a similar thing has happened,
March 22. In my last letter I mentioned that one family had been stricken with typhoid fever, and that one had died. The eldest daughter has since died, and I have heard that one of the rest is in a dangerous condition ; but as they are all in the Wallaroo Hospital I cannot get reliable information. I have written to Dr. Whittell to ask if he can give any satisfactory reason as to the cause of the fever, and whether the water from the wells was the source of the outbreak, as Dr. Elphick says it was. No other person, however, has been stricken with the disease, and quite 1,000 individuals use the water from these wells.
Typhoid Fever at Mount Rat. —
The following report was forwarded by the Inspector :—" I have the honour to report that according to instructions I proceeded to Mount Rat. I arrived there by coach from Maitland at 7.30 a.m. this date (March 27). Shortly afterwards I saw Mr. Pearce, who informed me that he had received the printed instructions for the prevention of typhoid fever which had been sent to him from the office, and that he bad distributed them. I next proceeded to Mr. E. Soloman's residence. 6 miles from Mount Rat, and from that gentleman I obtained the following particulars. The details agree with the reports of Drs. Elphick aid Gosse, published last week. I next went to Brereton's house, and inspected the premises. The house is a new atone building of two rooms; it stands on an elevation in a dense mallee scrub, and there are no other houses within 3 miles; the eurroundings were in a good sanitary condition. On enquiry Brereton stated that excreta matter was taken a short distance from the house and 'thrown away.' Mr. Soloman informed me that he had disinfected the house and burned a pair of palliasses which were in a filthy state. Brereton and his family had used water from wells on the reserve. Milk is not used. I then proceeded to the house of Joseph Redding, where this man and his nine children had been stricken with typhoid; two cases proved fatal, viz., Charles Redding, aged 16, and his sister Alice, aged 18. Redding and seven children are now in the Wallaroo Hospital. The dwelling is roughly constructed of stones and clay. There are two rooms, and in one of these, which is 15 x 12 feet and 10 feet high, eight persons slept. The sanitary condition of this room is very bad. There are three beds in it, which almost completely fill the room, leaving no space for fresh air. There is one small window, and when this is closed there is no ventilation. The beds were also in a dirty and unwholesome state. There is no privy accommodation. I next examined the wells on the reserve from which this family obtained their supplies of drinking water. These wells, twenty in all, are 10 to 12 feet deep. They appear to be fed by springs, but in rainy weather surface water would be washed into them. They are quite unprotected at the mouths, and there is nothing to prevent impurities getting into them. Cows, horses, and pigs were at large on the reserve, which is unfenced. At the present time over eighty families obtain their drinking water from these wells, some carting it 12 and 14 miles. Within the last fortnight the whole of these wells have been cleansed, and large quantities of offensive deposit taken out of tnem. It is only in an extraordinarily dry season like the present that water from these wells is used. In an ordinary wet season the settlers have sufficient water for domestic requirements. Mount Rat is 177 miles from Adelaide (via Moonta) on the main road between Maitland and Minlaton. The township consists of one public-house, school, blacksmith's shop, and one or two dwelling-houses. The sanitary condition of the place is good." Orders to be issued for the abatement of nuisances noted in the report, and for the cleansing and dis infection of the house.
April. 5. The first rain since the last hay harvest fell on Saturday, when it was thought for a certainty that the drought had broken up for this season, and a downpour was expected.
Very little felI however, and it is again dry. Warter-carting must be resumed. It is becoming no uncommon occurrencs for teams to be eight hours at the Mount Rat Wells before they can get their tanks filled.
Fortunately no further cases of typhoid have broken-out, and with ordinary care and cleanness there should be no fear of an outbreak of this disease as this part of the province is noted for the salubrity of its climate.
Now that the Government are going to make more provision for storing water on the Peninsula, this spot would be the right place to make a large tank, beside the one here already which is far too small for the requirements of the district. The fall here is the best on the Peninsula. Any quantity of water could be stored here in winter.
The long drought broke up on Saturday, April 3, when ominous clouds were to be seen coming over the gulf, and we earnestly hoped for a downpour : of the precious fluid, but the wind changed and very little rain fell on the Peninsula. Consequently the army of water carters must resume their daily avocation as usual. This is most disheartening, as the season is advancing, and tilling should be in-full swing.—I see by the ''Observer" of the 3rd inst. that printed instructions for the prevention of typhoid fever have been sent to Mr. Pearce, but I have not heard of any of them having been distributed amongst the farmers of this district as yet. Fortunately there are no fresh outbreaks of the terrible disease, and l think with ordinary cleanliness and sanitary care, there need be no fear of any, as this part of South Australia is reckoned to be first rate for its salubrious climate, and should be the last place on earth for fever breeding. With a proper water supply it should take the palm for healthfulness, being both high and dry.
TYPHOID FEVER AT MOUNT RAT.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE WALLAROO TRUBUTE.
Sir.—I noticed in a recent number of tbe Chronicle a report of the proceedings of the Central Board of Health, in which the Inspector who visited my place attributed the outbreak of typhoid fever at Mount Rat to the unclean condition of my premises. I deny that there is any truth in the statement that my place was dirty, or that bad smells existed. That it was untidy is quite possible, and when explained, I think any one will own that there was ample excuse for it. On 21st. Feb. my wife brought-my son. daughter and myself, a distance of 53 miles, to Wallaroo Hospital, She returned on the 22nd. On the 26th she brought two sons and a daughter up, and returned on the 28th. On the 2nd of March she had to go to Wallaroo again with a son and daughter, returning on the 3rd. She and again telegraphed for on the 5th, and returned again on the 7th. She was telegraphed for again on the I3th, and had to remain at Wallaroo for a week, and this was repeated again on the 25th of March. The inspector's visit was paid on the 27th, and the public can judge of the condition that any place was likely to be in after such trouble, in which the dangerous nature of the disease prevented our getting assistance from neighbors which might have been extended under ordinary circumstances. I maintain that the fever was caused through our drinking the water from the Mount Rat wells. My son brought a 200-gallon tank from one of the wells that had not been drawn from, as there was a rush at all the other wells, and this may account for my family being attacked with fever. But, although the Central Board does not seem to be aware of it their are others in the district who have had typhoid. But in many instances persons who have been carting from these wells have been doing so only for their stock, having had tank water for domestic use. I was not so fortunate, and further than this was not aware of the fact that the water had been taken from an unused well until it was too late. I may say that these wells are crowded round by sheep, and in some of them dead carcases have been found. But although frequent complaints have been made concerning them in the past they had all been cleaned before the Inspector of the Local Board of Health inspected them. Had a proper inspection been made before it might have been of some use, but now it is like locking the stable after the horse has been stolen. I much regret that such an unfeeling report should have been written to add to my great trouble, and I deny the correctness of the statements and leave the public to judge between them and my own.—
COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE. MOUNT RAT.
April 21. A meeting of the members of the Church of England was convened by the Rev. W. D. Lilburne on Tuesday evening, April 20, at the Mount Rat Hotel, for the purpose, of considering the advisabilty or building a Church in the neighbourhood, There wag a small attendance, therefore nothing definite could be done, but the feeling of the meeting favoured Mount Rat as a site for a building if there be one erected. A site has been promised in the surveyed township by Mr. J. A, Humberstone. Mr. McKenzie has promised to put up the walls and put the roof on if materials were found him for the purpose. The meeting was adjourned till June 6.
I am sorry to say we have not as yet been favored by our fair modicum of rain about this neighbourhood. There are many calling out, for the precious fluid, not having had a fall sufficient for domestic purposes, and are still carting water. The ground has not received a thorough soaking, but still, I see the crops, are making an appearance above the ground, and in most cases seeding is all but over for this season.—The weather is cold but bright with sunny days.
MOUNT RAT (Y.P.), May 31.
The want of rain is becoming a serious question. Farming operations are nearly over for the season. Unless we have more rain the newly sown ground will malt, and the results will be of a serious nature to all concerned. The fall of rain so far has been of benefit to only a few places on the Peninsula, Maitland getting the best share and Mount Rat scarcely any, so that feed and water are wanting. Many farmers are still crating water. Stock looks wretched, and all business is at a standstill. We have been fortunate in securing the services of a male teacher, Mr. Cowling having been appointed to the public school here.
July 17th.—The country is looking most deplorable. We have had scarcely any rain to do any good to the wheat crops, consequently there is nothing but ploughed land to be seen in every direction — no feed for horses nor cattle and you meet with long dismal faces where ever you go. The outlook is disheartening in the extreme, as without more rain there will be no harvest and the stock must die.—Our local school master has opened a night school for young men and boys, which is being availed of, and will help to wile away the winter evenings, and do good to those who profit by the teacher's kindness.—Our local blacksmith took his departure from here lately, so that there will be a vacancy in that line.—Kangaroo hunting is the order of the day. The marsupials have become very numerous and troublesome as we have no feed to spare for them.
August 15.—Since my last we have had fine rains, a little nearly every day. The crops are improving, but are still short, and with a continuation of this seasonable weather we have every chance of a fair yield at harvest time. I do not think we have been blessed with nearly the fall that other places have had. We have no water in the Government tanks, and several farmers are, I am sorry to say, water carting now._—The Farmers' Union held their usual monthly meeting on Friday last. There was a small attendance, owing doubtless to the rough weather.—We are anxiously waiting to hear when we are to have a change in the mail arrangements. It is generally considered that if a mail leaves Mount Rat for Yorketown to meet the upper mail, it will suit most people concerned, but at present there is great dissatisfaction.
September 12.—The Mt. Rat Farmers Union met as usual last Friday evening, when Mr. Eastwood read a paper on " Some points in successful farmers," which pleased the members present, who gave Mr. Eastwood a hearty vote of thanks.—We have been favored with lovely seasonable weather lately, bringing the wheat crops and feed on nicely, but the general feeling is that the winter rains came too late by a month to ensure our having good yields this season, but of course there is no certainty, as with nice showery weather for the next two months we may be better off than we expect.
September 3. Great dissatisfaction is being manifested here respecting the way in which the wells on the reserve are being used. The water is being contaminated by pigs and sheep which are allowed to roam over the reserve. The fever which broke out last year is directly attributed to the filthy state of the water, caused by pigs and sheep. The owners of the animals have not recognised the protest sent by the Farmers' Union, and in Consequence the Board of Health will be apprised of the circumstances, —We are anxious to know what is intended to be done respecting the re-establishment of the mail service through the centre of the Peninsula. If the community further south had been more united in the matter the tri-weekly mail from Yorketown to Moonta would sill be running. If it is not possible to have a mail to Moonta direct there seems no reason whatever that one should not run from here to Yorketown. At present, in order to reach Minlaton (only 10 miles distant) a circuit of between 30 and 40 miles has to be made.
The weather is now the all absorbing topic of conversation, for upon it depends our prospects, as the next two months will either mar or make our harvest. At the present time the outlook is disheartening to the farmer, as the wheat is barely covering the ground, and there is not a good crop to be seen for miles and miles around, which is not the fault of the ground, but our rainfall has been slight as compared to other places, and a prevalence of northern and east winds, so that if we do have a slight fall of rain a high wind somes up and dries the moisture, and the rain is so partial. It holds a good prospect at times for a heavy fall and all at once clears away, and we are again disappointed. We have had none of the fine rains that I see the north country has been getting, in fact to get a crop at all we shall require some heavy showers to neutralize the bad effects of the hot and dry winds. Most farmers here have fortunately caught water in their tanks for present use. The feed is coming on nicely, but is short for the time of the year. The blow-flies are a pest, being in swarms everywhere.
Octobers. 5. The Mount Rat wells are situated on the Government reserve, about midway between Mount Rat and Curramulka, which at this point forms the southern or lower end of that splendid strip of country known as Yorke valley. The wells are 21 in number, and on account or their shallow depth (from 7 to 12 feet), and their almost inexhaustible supply of water, they are of the utmost importance to settlers throughout the central parts of the peninsula. For several years much annoyance has been caused by the way in which sheep and other stock have been allowed to run over the reserve. Many meetings have been held in various parts of the district with a view to bring about a better state of things, and it is now currently reported that the Government will have the wells fenced in immediately and put up a lease of them for sale by auction. Should this prove a fact it will ensure a wholesome supply of water, and will end a subject that has been discussed for years.
October 18. An accident, which fortunately was unattended with very serious results, occurred on Friday afternoon, at a spot about five miles from this place. Mrs. Humberstone, of the Mount Rat Hotel, accompanied by her son, a lad of 17, was driving to Maitland and when this side of Urania, young Humberstone alighted to open a gate leading to a farm house near the main road. Whilst he was thus engaged the ponies moved forward, and Mrs. Humberstone, who was sitting in the back seat, in trying to reach the reins was thrown out with considerable force through the buggy colliding with the gate post. The lady had a narrow escape from being run over, but beyond receiving a few bruises on the hands and face, she escaped unhurt. The lad made a gallant attempt to catch the ponies, and in doing so he got his leg slightly injured, but in spite of this mishap he kept on the chase, and caught the runaways after they had gone about a quarter of a mile. The pole of the buggy was smashed, and the harness considerably damaged.
October 22nd.—The weather has been stormy for the last few days with nice showers, which will do inestimable good to the country, which was fast becoming dry and miserable looking. The crops are backward but will improve now with anything like ordinary weather.—Mrs. Humberston, of Mount Rat, had a nasty accident last week, by being thrown out of a buggy while proceeding to Maitland. Her son, losing hold of the reins, the pair of horses became unmanagable and bolted, ultimately coming in contact with a post, throwing the unfortunate occupant many yards off on to some rails. Mrs. Humberstone sustained severe bruises and a dislocated finger, and has been laid up since through the shock to tbe system, but is slowly recovering. The horses got away, breaking the pole and harness and front of the buggy.
November 2. Dogs of late have made sad havoc amongst the sheep. One farmer had 13 worried in one night, and a day or two after the flock broke into a wheat paddock, whereby 36 more perished. — A good deal of annoyance has been occasioned of late owing to the non-arrival of the mail from Stansbury at the proper time. The coach arrived 18 hours late a few days ago, caused by a breakdown in the steamer.
November 9. The wheat paddocks around are still very backward, the growth being short and thin. Most farmers will have very little hay and less wheat. The plains land, unless it has a lot of rain, does not seem (at all events in this district) to produce anything like a fair crop. One farmer is so disgusted with one of his paddocks, which was well ploughed and broken up, that he has turned in his stock to eat down the crop.
Nov. 16th.—We are now in the midst of hay making, but I am sorry to report that the yield is very light. Some paddocks are not worth cutting, and as a consequence the cattle are turned in to eat down what little there is. This sad result is owing to the fact that the seed was put in very late in the season and very little rain falling since, the growth has been stunted. Snakes are very plentiful this season, and a few days ago one of these unwelcome reptiles, measuring about four feet in length, tried to effect an entrance into our local school, causing no little consternation by getting under the floor, from which, after a deal of coaxing, it was eventually dislodged and dispatched. A few days previous to that another was killed, which, when stretched at full length, measured nearly five feet. Whew! -
December 20, 1886.—I have delayed my letter this month hoping to be able to chronicle that rain had fallen, but I am sorry to say we have had none, and the crops now would not be much benefitted were we to have a fall, as they are ripe and ready for the strippers. I am afraid we shall have a poor yield this season, but the wonder is we have any at all with the modicum of rain we have been blessed with. All through the winter and up to the present time has been unprecedented. There has been very little water caught in the dams, so the poor farmer has a sorry time of it before him, what with poor crops and the low price of wheat, combined with water carting also having to pay dearly for it—is disheartening enough to damp the ardour of the most energetic of our long suffering wap straw.—We had a stupid hoax, perpetrated upon us most cruelly last week, that a reef bearing gold in large pieces had been discovered close to Port Victoria, and that a company was forming to work the same, thereby brightening our otherwise dismal prospects. The only good we derived out of the rumor, which turned out to be without the slightest truth, was that we were not the only disappointed ones. As visitors from a long distance arrived on the scene, only to go back disappointed, if not wiser men.
About 300 navvies employed on the Hergott Railway, have returned to their homes for the Christmas holidays. Judginging by some seen on the railway line on Wednesday, they would have done better to have remained where they are.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir—In reference to G. Gerber's remarks re divining-rod I may state that I made no error, but he told myself as well as others that the rod would not work for salt water. He said as the rod worked in my hands so it would in any one else's who has the knack of holding it. I notice Mr. Penberthy alludes to the same parties as myself. Mr. Williams told me that Mr. Gerber made the same tale to him—that the rod would not work for salt water. Now, I know this man's word is to be relied on, as is also Mr. Kerr's. Mr. Kerr told me the same as before stated in Mr. Penberthy's letter. Perhaps Mr. Gerber thinks he has found out a mare's nest. A man with a grain of common sense knows if he goes to sea level he will get salt water. I think the best way to test the rod is for Mr. Gerber to make a contraot for a lump sum, have a well sunk, and no water no cash. This will prove what the rod is made of.
We the undersigned certify that Mr. Gerber said the rod will not work for salt Water.
E. Solomon, Farmer, Mount Rat.
W. Smith, in employ of E. Solomon, J. B, Redding, Farmer, Mount Rat.
[We have received a separate note to the same effect from Mr. Redding. -Ed.]
January 18, 1887—The weather at the beginning of last week was the hottest ever experienced in this part of the country, in fact many farmers had to quit the field for several hours during the middle of the day, feeling it unsafe to work, but we experienced a great change during Friday last, and at night had the heaviest thunderstorm ever known, it fairly shook the buildings, much rain fell but little or no damage was done. I am sorry to say the harvest will be the worst harvest ever reaped, being a little over a bushel and a half to the acre. The grain is shrivelled in some cases, and mostly dirty. Most farmers will not reap the seed sown, and many hundreds of acres the strippers could not reap at all.
Jan 21.—We hare a new visitant showing in our heavens in the form of a fine comet, which shows itself from about 8 to 10 p.m. in the S.W. The nucleus is not visible, but the tail shows well.—We have had some very rough weather lately, which retarded harvesting operations for a few days, but we have had some nice warm days for reaping this week, which will enable the farmers to finish. I am sorry to say the results this season will be bad : indeed, in most cases not returning the seed sown.
January 22, The difficulty which the residents have labored under for a longtime past as regards mail communication through the central parts of the Peninsula is, to some extent, to be got over by a mail which will run from Mount Rat to Minlaton three times a, week, returning in time to catch the up mail from Stansbury to Port Victoria.— The comet has been visible low down in the south-west heavens for some evening's past.— We had a very heavy thunderstorm last week, culminating fora time in a perfect-deluge, filling nearly all the tanks and dams, which were getting rather low.
FARMING NEWS. Mount Rat,
January 22. Harvest operations in this district are now nearly completed, but I am sorry to chronicle that the result is far from satisfactory. This is beyond doubt the worst season that this part of the Peninsula has ever experienced since the time that wheat cultivation was first commenced. The very dry weather that prevailed during seeding time, and the lack of rain during the latter part of the year, were the causes of this sad state of things. On some farms barely the seed has been reaped, while on others the yield has been almost a total failure. On one farm, where a struggling widow has worked hard, only eight bags were taken off 200 acres. As showing how scarcer money is, I may mention that at a sale which took place a few miles away from here a short time since a very good horse and a set of harness were sold for a pound, and at the same sale a reaper in good order was knocked down for £2 12s. 6d. It is to be hoped that those of our farmers who have the heart to try another year will have a much better reward for their pains than that which they have reaped for the two past seasons.
Mount Rat, February 8. Reaping and cleaning up are now things of the past, and an estimate of the yield may be calculated. Notwithstanding the large acreage of new mullenized land, the crops in the hundreds of Wauraltie and Koolywurtie will not exceed two bushels an acre. At Port Rickaby, where there have been usually from 12,000 to 14,000 bags shipped, the quantity this season has not exceeded 4,000 bags. Taking all things into consideration the results are disheartening, and it is hoped to be that the Government will deal leniently with those who are in arrears with their rents.
February 14. Another piece of bungling has been committed with our mail service by the s.s. Ceres detention at Stansbury. The steamer should have taken our mails over last Saturday, but to our great disgust they are now at Stansbury Post-Office, and must lie there until to-morrow midday, when the steamer is to start. All business arrangements have thereby been upset. It really seems as if the powers that be are doing their best to provoke the unfortunate inhabitants of Yorke's Peninsula. The mail which was to ran as we expected and desired between Monnt Rat and Minlaton began a while ago by the bags being made up from Minlaton to Mount Rat, instead of vice versa as was needed to enable the letters from the north end to go down to Minlaton, and then return in the evening to meet the mail arriving at Mount Rat, and thence on to Port Victoria the same evening. It is an injustice to all those living out of the Stansbury district to allow the mail steamer to serve us so badly.
MOUNT RAT. March 7.
No more water-carting for this season, I am thankful to say. We nave had a splendid thunderstorm, with heavy rain. The whole of this part of the conntry was literally deluged for about three hours yesterday. It began about 3 and ended about 6 p.m. After a thorough brickfielder the clouds of dust were something to be remembered.
MOUNT RAT, March 8.
Early on Sunday morning a heavy gale, carrying clouds of dust, set in and continued till the afternoon, when a violent thunderstorm came up from the west, culminating for a short time in a perfect deluge. From accounts it seems that very little rain fell north of here, and a short distance south the fall was also slight.
MOUNT RAT, APRIL 9.
Ploughing has been general in various parts of the district for some time past, but several farmers have been holding back awaiting rain, in order to destroy the weeds as much as possible.—For a lengthy period tbe weather hag been exceptionally hot and dry, but a beneficial change set in last night, culminating in a steady downpour of rain, —The tri-weekly mail from here to Minlaton is proving a very great convenience.
April 13.—We felt a distinct shock of earthquake on Sunday morning, shaking the buildings, and at Port Victoria a still greater vibration was felt, some of the town folks jumping from their beds. —Ploughing is being proceeded with, and a good extent of ground is sown already. It is to be hoped we shall soon have a good downpour, but really we are beginning to loose all heart, as this part of the country apears to be doomed to dry seasons. —The usual monthly meeting of the Farmers' Union took place last Friday, but through the small attendance little business could be done.
MOUNT RAT, April 18.
A shower or two fell lately, but no rain to speak of. The country is very parched.
We had a slight shock of earthquake about 1 a.m. on Sunday. The houses shook perceptibly. At Port Victoria the shock must have been stronger, as some people left their beds in alarm.
A considerable quantity of land is ready for seed and a deal more for the plough as soon as weeds have taken root, but owing to the want of rain seeding operations must be delayed.
Several vacated farms have been lately taken up again by fresh hands, so that our population is increasing.
MOUNT RAT, May 10.
During the past ten days this district; has been favored with some very heavy showers, so that seeding is now being proceeded with all over this and the adjacent hundreds. Dams and tanks are pretty well repleted, thus doing away with water carting from the reserve wells. For a considerable period the road between this place and Curramulka has been sadly in need of repairs, and the matter is now being attended to by the road board, whose men are at present engaged in filling in ruts and cutting drains to carry off the floodwaters.— Several residents who left this neighborhood for Teetulpa a short time ago have just returned from the goldfield, of which they report favorably, though the results of their visit have not been altogether of a lucrative character.
May 16.- Rain, nothing but rain, has been the cry here lately. We have been favored with a splendid downpour every day from the lst inst. A gentle continuous shower, which the farmer delights to see, and sunshine and: warm weather combined, makes this month a month to be remembered in this Jubilee year. The whole face of the country is fertile already, and the wheat which was sown before the rain is now up, and looking wonderfully healthy ; in fact it grows like magic proving that our soil only needs rain to grow, almost anything. The farmers are in high spirits, as they see a chance of retrieving their fallen fortunes through the failure of the harvestsof the last three years owing to the drought. Every available horse is working, and every moment is being used by them in putting in what crop they can manage to sow. All dams and tanks are full to overflowing, and the country is flooded, the oldest settlers never experiencing such a wet May combined with sunshine.
MOUNT RAT, May 24,
The weather for some time past has bees very favorable for farming operations, so that ploughing and seeding are being carried on with great activity throughout the district. The rainfall during the present month has been remarkably abundant, and as a consequence the young wheat is making a strong; and vigorous growth, presenting a more forward aspect than it did two months later last year.
This has been a most trying season as regards the rearing of stock, or even keeping the cattla alive. The last hay harvest was such a lamentable failure that only a few farmers were able to build anything at all like a fair sized-stack, the result being that horses and cows have been more than half starved, and in some cases have perished entirely.— One day last week a mishap occurred to the mail coach shortly after leaving this place on its way to Port Victoria. It appears that one of the horses became somewhat restive, and was not brought under control until it had succeeded in smashing the front part of the vehicle, necessitating the driver carrying the mails thence on horseback. Strange to say, on its return trip another slight accident happened when near the same spot. The leading horse of a 'unicorn' team got disengaged from tha others and bolted up the Maitland road at a tremendous rate of speed, and was not secured until some time had elapsed.
Mount Rat, June 21. Feed is getting more plentiful, and the youug wheat is making good growth. A very particular fall of rain occurred in this district a few days ago, At Mount Rat the weather was clear and calm, but over the 'Trig' hill, about a mile distant, a perfect deluge descended, causing a stream 6 feet in width to come down the roadway.
IN THE COUNTRY.
Mount Rat, June 21. The scholars attending the local school, with their parents and friends, were treated, to a picnic on Friday last. Several vehicles well filled wended their way to a pleasant spot near Wauraltee Beach, where various sports were indulged in and ample justice done to a quantity of good things provided for the occasion.
COUNTRY NEWS. MOUNT RAT. JUNE 21.
A number of men in the employ of the road board have been engaged for some time past at the junction opposite the hotel, when a very dangerous crossing has existed for a long period. It is expected that the work will be finished at the close of the present week, and when completed it will be a decided improvement.
The weather for some considerable time past has been very favorable for farming operations, so that seeding is pretty well advanced on most farms, whilst on others it is entirely accomplished. — Iast Saturday week a very strange atmospheric occurrence took place here. About one o'clock a very heavy cloud was noticed just over the hill, known as the "Trig," and in a few minutes a stream of water fully six feet in width came rushing down, whilst over the hamlet here the sky was comparatively clear.—A great improvement is being made at the intersection of the roads opposite the hotel. About eight chains of new roads are being formed at a spot that has been considerably dangerous to vehicle traffic.—The children attending the local school had their annual treat on Friday last. The weather was delightfully pleasant, and about forty children, parents and friends, wended their way to a picturesque spot near the sea side, where various sports were indulged in, and ample justice done to a quantity of good things provided for the occasion.
July 24.—The weather is still all that could be desired. So far this is the grandest season we have had on the Peninsula, and the crops are progressing well, the young plant shooting out and looking strong and healthy. Last year this time the paddocks were bare, whilst now I am thankful to say the feed is splendid and all stock improves rapidly.—There have been some jubilee trees planted in the school ground this week. They will have every chance of taking root nicely. We have lost our schoolmaster, and a female teacher has taken his place.
July 25. The weather continues all that could be desired for agricultural purposes, although it proves very bad for trade, being much too wet for any but those who are really obliged to travel to venture far from their fireside. The crops are coming on wonderfully, and feed is plentiful, while there is more water stored in both dams and reservoirs than has ever bees known before.
MOUNT RAT, July 25.
There has been a general transplanting in connection with our school, both as regards trees from the Forest Department and the master, who has been removed elsewhere. A female teacher has been appointed in his place, as the poor attendance necessitated the school being reduced from the public to provisional class.
Mount Rat, November 4.
The weather yesterday at noon underwent a violent change. A heavy thunderstorm occurred aooompanied by rain in torrents, never ceasing all night. Farmers who had begun building haystacks must pull them to pieces to save them. The wind is blowing fiercely, and the oat crops will probably be all down before morning.
Mount Rat (Y.P.), November 5.
The run continues (6 p.m.), and we expect a drenching night of it. Large fields of fresh-cut hay are spoiling. This fall of rain has continued with but little interruption for two days and two nights.
MINLATON, April 22, Mr. J, R. Redding, farmer, of Mount Rat, celebrated his silver wedding last evening at the Mount Rat Hotel. About 130 friends attended and the festivities were kept up until the email hours.
The weather is beautiful and grass is springing rapidly. Ploughing operations are active.
The rise in the price of wheat is giving great satisfaction.
COUNTRY TELEGRAMS. MINLATON, January 21.
The overland mail was half an hour late to-day, owing to an accident at Mount Rat. The driver (Bignell) was jammed against a fence and sustained several bruises.
A LOST CHILD FOUND.
Minlaton, November 30. — A child, aged 4 years, named Clift, was lost from its home at Mount Rat all day Friday, and the police and a search party went out. The child was taken home by Thomas Brown, a farmer, of Koolywurtie, where it had wandered. Tho little one could not give its name, but it was eventually identified by the fur cap it wore. The child had wandered from eight to ten miles.
MINLATON. August 2. A young man, named Edward Quain, aged 18 years, from Mount Rat, died rather suddenly on Thursday last, after a week's illness. It is understood that no medical attendance was procured, there being no doctor nearer than Yorketown or Maitland, which serves to illustrate the unfortunate arrangements, having no medical man in Minlaton, the centre of such a large area.
The committee of the Yorke's Peninsula Coursing Club notify that the date of their meeting, advertised to be run on July 26, has been altered to Wednesday, August 2. Coursing men are reminded nominations for the Central Yorke's Peninsula Coursing Club meeting, to be run on the 26th inst on Mr C. H. Clasohm's and adjoining lands, muse be in the hands of the Secretary, Mr J. W. Edwards, Maitland, by 5 p.m. on Saturday, 22nd inst. A 32 all-aged stake is to be run, and, providing the stake fills, the prizeB will be :—Winner, £H ; runner up, £6 ; two dogs £2 each , four dogs, £1 each.
A stake for 24 dogs, with a first prize of £7 10a, was run on Mr H. Tonkin's farm, Mount Rat, last week, and was won by Mr T, Croser's Sneaker, with Mr C. Dahl's Lurline as runner up.
A general meeting of members of the Moonta Coursing Club ia to be held at the Royal Hotel on Wednesday evening next.
November 9. Mr. Lock, of Mount Rat, was brought in to Minlaton on Monday evening to Dr. Hart for attendance, he having met with an accident while handling a revolver, which accidentally went off, the bullet entering the shoulder. Under the care of the doctor, he is doing welL Had the bullet entered a little lower, the result would probably have been fatal.
A wedding took place at the Mount Rat Anglican Church on April 18, when Miss Ida Reade, second daughter of Mr T. C. Reade, of Floraville, Mount Rat, and niece of Mr H. Y. Sparks, manager of the South Australian Laud Company, was united in matrimony to Mr Caleb Illman, of Wauraltee. The church was nicely decorated for the occasion, and was well filled with guests and friends. The Rev Mr Bleby, of Yorketown, united the happy pair. After the ceremony the guests were entertained by Mr and Mrs Reade at a sumptuous wedding breakfast at Floraville, some 60 partaking thereof. The bride, who Was dressed in figured si k, with train and veil, was conducted to the altar by her father, and attended by four bridesmaids, also dressed very prettily. They were Miss Ethel Reade (sister bf the bride). Miss Ethel Newton (cousin), Miss Flora Reade (sister), and Miss S. Iilman. The bridegroom was attended by four of his gentlemen friends, the chief being Mr Harold Reade (brother of the bride). In the evening a party was given in the Wauraltee Institute to the young friends of the bride and bridegroom, when fully 120 put in an appearance and spent an enjoyable evening.
A PIONEER PASSES.
MURAT BAY, April 25.-On Sunday Robert Watson, an old and respected resi-dent of the hundred of Goode, passed away at the age of 82. The deceased had been a colonist of 56 years. He was born in Cambridgeshire, England, and came to South Australia in the ship Lismine. He first went to Echunga, and thence to the Fin-niss, where he spent 10 years in farming. Leaving the Finniss he next removed to Mount Rat, Yorke Peninsula, where an-other 27 years of his life was spent in ag-riculture. Mr. Watson took a keen in-terest in horses, and especially in draughts, and introduced some good stock to the Peninsula. His wife died eight years ago, and his last seven years here were spent with his sons at Murat Bay. Prior to his final illness the deceased had hardly known a day's indisposition, and until a few days ago was up and about and apparently in good health. Seven sons and three daughters survive, namely, Messrs. E. A., and E. W., H. A. and A. W. Watson, of Murat Bay; H. Watson, Minlacowie; F. Watson, Morgas; Chas. Watson, Mrs. E. Golding, and Mrs. A. J. Stone, of Stirling West; and Mrs. Meyer Harp, of Curramulka, Yorke Peninsula. There are 47 grandchildren.
The Water Finder at Mount Rat.
We have been shown splendid samples of bore water secured at Mount Rat, by the well known Peninsula water finder, Mr S. C. Crawford. There were two samples— the first, which had been tested to contain only three-eighths of an ounce of solid matter to the gallon was reached at a depth of 260 feet on Mr H. A. Gift's farm at Mount Rat. The second sample was even fresher, and contained only a quarter of an ounce of solid matter to the gallon. This was struck at 194 feet on Messrs Clift Bros., section in the same district. Both bores were sunk through Cambrian limestone formation. The water is quite fit for all domestic purposes, and was equal to anything yet found on the Peninsula. Both these bores were sub-artesian and the engine failed to pump the supply down, which was equal to 40,000 gallons a day. Messrs Clift Bros, are to be congratulated on their enterprise. In April Mr Crawford sunk a bore at Mr A. Poole's farm at Curramulka. Salt water yielding a ounces of solid matter' was struck at 280 feet, whilst at a depth of 416 feet a fine supply of fresh water was met. This was an excellent stock water and was preferred by them to the rain water. Recently Mr Crawford struck a good supply of water at a depth of 125 feet on Mr Jas, Short's farm at Port Julia, which is situated about 4 miles from the coast line of St. Vincent Gulf. Mr Crawford had a great difficulty here—the water was on a quicksand bottom, and he had a good deal of trouble with the pumps. He said that when he placed his pipes another foot lower they became choked with sand. When the pumps got well into the work the water came up as though being taken out of a large tank.
Mount Rat Wells.
On Friday, August 7, the school children assembled for the annual celebration of Arbor Day. The Board of Advice was represented by Mr H. Reade. Twelve trees were planted in the school grouud. Quite a number of the trees of former Arbor Days are growing up sturdy and strong, like wise the children that planted them. A sports committee, consisting of Messrs H. Wedding, J. Hampton and H. Clift carried out a good programme of races and games. After a children's tea and free tea for adults, games were indulged in until 9 p.m.; this was followed by a dance and supper for the elder ones. There are 14 children attending the school which is in charge of Miss Harris.
A Popular Pioneer. MR. J. C. TONKIN.
Perhaps one of the most popular pioneer farmers in the Central Yorke's Peninsula district is Mr J. C. Tonkin, of Fairfield farm, Mount Rat. Mr. Tonkin is hale and hearty and a jolly good fellow, and a few facts of his early experiences will be interesting. He hails from Cornwall, and was born in 1844. Five years later he came with his parents to South Australia and for a short time at the Reedbeds near Adelaide. In 1850 the family went to reside at Yankalilla. In 1876 Mr Tonkin came to reside on the Peninsula where he now owns about 3,000 acres. Water is conserved in stone tanks sunk at various points on the property and comprise five tanks of a capacity of 10,000 each and one holding 108,000. When Mr Tonkin first settled in the district he had to cart goods from Stansbury, Galvanised iron was £36 per ton and timber was proportionately high. The land was heavily timbered and stony. Grubbing was done with horse and bullock teams and all ploughing with set ploughs. Kangaroos were very destructive to the crops, ordinary wire fences were no good to prevent them roaming the paddocks, very high brush fences were necessary to keep them back, as many as 700 had been seen at one time on the homestead block. Hay had to be carted from Yorke Valley (Maitland) and cost £5 a ton, at that time it was largely composed of black grass and almost useless. Seed wheat was also obtained at Yorke Valley at 5/- per bushel and was very smutty— in fact it practically ruined the first crop which only returned two bushels per acre. The rainfall registered only six or seven inches, and water for stock had to be carted ten miles, the wells only yielded salt water. Mr Tonkin did fairly well before the advent of super, the seventh crop being the most successful. Meat was of poor quality, dear and very scarce, the price paid was 6d. to 7d. per lb. The first wheat was shipped at Port Rickaby—the buyer being Mr Rickaby—and had to be loaded on to vessels with cargo boats. Before the advent of super the Mount Rat district was only good for three or four bushels, since then, with perhaps the exception of this season, the yield has been 25 and 30 bushels per acre. Mr Tonkin is now spending the evening of his life in quiet retirement on his farm property, and having entered the swelling ranks of motorists he is enabled without much exertion to keep in touch with the members of his family and his host of friends on the various parts of the Peninsula.
Social at Mount Rat.
On Monday June 12, the residents ot Mount Rat assembled in the schoolroom to bid farewell to Private A. H. Wedding who was shortly leaving for the front. The speakers referred to the good qualities of the young soldier, and hoped that he would do his best to maintain the good reputation the Australian boys had won. They wished him Godspeed and a victorious return. Private Wedding suitably responded' The Mount Rat Knitting Club presented him with a pair of socks; about 3o/- was also collected and presented to him. The school children and others rendered songs and recitations, supper was handed round, and games and a few dances were indulged in. A very enjoyable evening was brought to a close by singingthe National Anthem Auld-lang-Syne, and He's a Jolly Good Fellow.
Trench Comforts for Our Boys.
The members of the Mount Rat Sock Club are still working to provide comforts for our boys In the trenches- They sent away during last year I08 pairs of knitted socks, 18 pairs mittens, 15 Balaklava caps, and 25 scarves. The members have received many letters from soldiers thanking them for their thoughtfufness.
A MOTOR TRIP.
A correspondent writes:— On Sunday last a party of coursing enthusiasts with a number of dogs journeyed to Mt. Rat for a day's outing after 'puss' but as she was informed of the intended visit she made herself scarce with the result that only one was caught. As the sports had gone to a place a few miles from nowhere it was necessary for them to take lunch, and as two or three of them became hungry before the rest, they made a search through the various bags to see who had the best, and unearthed a 'find,' but let it sleep till the return journey when it was brought light to and passed round without the knowledge. When they at the end of the first stage the return journey where some of the party got off, one of them, a genial sportsman, failed to recognise his own bag, owing to the absence of the 'embrocation' which had been taken for the dogs.
ANOTHER TRACTOR DEMONSTRATION.
A working demonstration of the famous Case 15/27 Kerosene Farm and General Purpose Tractor, manufactured by the J. I. .Case Threshing Machine Co., was given on the farm of Mr. J. C. Gersch, Mount Rat, on Wednesday last. The reputation the Case Tractor has established for efficiency attracted a large gathering of farmers interested in the possibilities of the tractor on the farm. At the demonstration the Case 15/27 fulled the combined load of a 16-furrow twin plough and three heavy harrows comfortably on top gear, which Mr. Gersch stated was the work of 16 horses. As the result of the demonstration, Mr Gersch immediately bought a 15/27 Case Tractor. We are informed that six 15/27 Case Tractors were sold in that district during last week, and intending buyers can obtain full particulars of the performance of the Case on South Australian farms from the Commonwealth Agricultural Service Engineers, Ltd., who are sole agents for Case Power Farming Machinery.
CURRAMULKA. A HORSE ATTACKED BY BEES,
On Saturday last whilst Mr. H. Y. Reade. of Mount Rat, was engaged in shoeing a horse the animal became fractious and stamped over some nearby cases containing a swarm of bees which immediately swarmed on the horse. Fortunately Mr. Reade managed to untie the horse and it galloptd madlv about dragging the rope ; it rushed into the stable and rubbing against other horses, and they soon started similar antics. Mr. Reade whilst endeav to beat off the bees with his hat, was soon stung upon the patch of his head where hair was scanty. The blue bag was soon brought in to action and proved an effective cure, but the horse had gained much condition by the following morning.
ARBOR DAY AT MOUNT RAT.
On Friday, Aug 15, the Mount Rat School held its annual Arbor Day in pleasant weather. After trees were planted by the children the remainder of the afternoon was spent in games and races. Each child secured a prize, including the "also rans." Tea was served in Mr. Gersch's barn (kindly lent for tbe occasion). In the evening the children gave a concert in the schoolroom, which was daintily decorated. Mr. W. Dorey acted as chairman, and addresses were given by Messrs. J. G. Gersch and G. Clift, who congratulated the teacher (Miss Sundberg) on the manner in which she had prepared the children. A vote of thanks was passed to Messrs. Tucker and Trehearne for their kindness in giving the sweets. After the concert games and dances were indulged in by the children until supper-time, when the adults took command. Mr. J. G. Gersch supplied the music and Mr. EL Gersch acted as M.C.
MOVING A HEAVY LOAD.
Photo of a Brockway truck owned by Mr. Gersch of Mount Rat.
Photo of Building up a large haystack at Mr. A. R. Gersch's farm Mount Rat.
Photo of View taken on Mr. A. R. Gersch's farm at Mount Rat, where haymaking' is in progress.
LOSSES OF FARMER. Bad Seasons Blamed.
A deficiency of £1,151 7/9 was reported by the Accountant in the Insolvency Court today, in the estate of Benjamin Albert Thiele, farmer, of Mount Rat, who appeared before Judge Paine. The Accountant stated that the liabilities were £1,907 10/3, and the assets £756 2/6. Insolvent complained that bad seasons had been the cause lof his difficulties, but in 1925 he admitted he was in a bad way. From that year to the present time, however, he had not apparently appreciated the necessity of making some form of record of his affairs to enable him to review his position.
His trading account showed purches amounting to approximately £10,000, which represented about £3,384 as purchases on credit. Yet insolvent kept no record of these transactions. Insolvent dealt in properties, and was not in a position to ascertain any loss or profit on his deals. The causes of insolvency were losses on sheep deals and losses on sale of properties. Insolvent appeared to have only a hazy recollection of his transactions, and was unable to render as much assistance and information as could reasonably be expected of him. The hearing was adjourned for a fortnight to allow insolvent to be examined in chambers.
PINNED UNDER A MOTOR CAR.
When a motor car, which Mr. W. Rechner was driving from Mount Rat to Port Victoria on Sunday afternoon, overturned about a mile from the port, Mr. Rechner was pinned beneath it and was unable to extricate himself. He was taken to the Maitland Hospital by Mr. M. Willis. The bursting of a front tyre was though to be responsible for the overturning of the vehicle.
SOCIAL NOTES. A LONG AND EVENTFUL CAREER. Mr. T. C. Reade.
Such a varied career as that of Mr. Thomas Charles Reade, who will celebrate his 83rd birthday on Monday next, is unusual, even in the ranks ranks of Australia's pioneers. Born at Congleton, England, Mr. Reade came to South Aus tralia in 1847 with his parents, who settled in what is now North Adelaide. He was educated at Whinham College, but at the age of 14 felt the call of the sea, and for the next eight years he served as a sailor on various windjammers, including the Empress Engene, the vessel on which he first came to Australia. During his travels he circumnavigated the world and visited many of the great ports. At the age of 22 he tired of sea life and returned to South Australia. He was married in 1871 to Miss Flora Sparks. He joined the railways and was fireman on the first train to drive through to the Burra, when the line was opened. When the Yorke Peninsula was opened for selection in 1876 he secured two blocks near Mount Rat, which he farmed for 31 years, experiencing considerable difficulty until the benefits of superphosphates were realised. Mr. Reade has been a lifelong member of the Church of England, and did much towards the foundation of St. Raphael's Church at Mount Rat in 1880. He assisted to conduct Sunday-schools at Minlaton, Currumulka, and Port Victoria, and was also a lay reader. His first wife died in 1901, and in 1907 he married the widow of Mr. W. G. Turner, and retired. He is at present living at Seaview-road, Henley Beach, and enjoys excellent health.
GOVERNMENT ABANDON WATER RESERVES.
At the Minlaton District Conncil meeting a letter was received from the Poblic Works Department, advising tbat it was the in intention of the Department to abandon any water conservation reserves not taken over by the Council, and remove the appliances therefrom. The Clerk of the Conncil (Mr. E. R. Crocker) supplied the following list:—Wells adjoining Section 135, Curammulka (not leased); well in Curammulka Township (lease to Minlaton District Council) expires June 30, 1932; Tank at Port Rickaby, Hundred of Koolywurtie, leased expires December 31, 1948; Tank at Mount Rat, leased to S. J. Lock, expires June 30, 1941. The Council resolved to take over Curammulka Well, Port Rickaby Tank and Mount Rat Tank.
OBITUARY. The Late Mr. J. C. Gersch.
Widespread regret at the loss sustained by the community and sincere sympathy for the bereaved ones was expressed all over Yorke Peninsula when it became known that Mr. J. C. Giersch, of Mount Rat, had passed away on August 18 at the age of 59 years. Mr. Gerseh had undergone a minor operation in the Curramulka Hospital, and was making splendid progress, when heart trouble developed and his condition became very serious. The Rev. L. Presser conducted the funeral service at the house, and also at the graveside at South Kilkerran, where a huge concourse, among which were people from as far south as Warooka to the other side of Maitland, had assembled to pay their last respects to the deceased gentleman. The late Mr. Johann Charles Gersch was born at St. Kitts, near Tanunda, on March 7, 1873. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Andreas Gersch, and came to Yorke Peninsula in the 1877 with his parents and younger brothers. Mr. Gersch senior was one of the earliest selectors of land in the Urania district. He worked with his father until the age of 21 years, when he married Miss Marie Emily Wundersiiz, whose parents were pioneer farmers in the Maitland district. Mr. Gersch took up land at Mount Rat in 1894, which he had farmed until the time of his death, together with a holding in the Urania district. It had been his intention to retire after next harvest to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Always practical and progressive, Mr. Gersch kept abreast of the times in the matter of farming machinery, etc., and was not slow in realising the advantages of utilising tractor power and motor transport in addition to horse teams. Evidence of his farsightedness and attention to detail is to be found in the palatial residence which he designed and had built as long ago as 1914, replete with every modern convenience. Mr. Gersch was a keen student and lover of animals, and his skill in treating their ailments created a considerable demand for his services in that direction. Although of late years much of his farm work was done by mechanical means, he still retained his affection for the horse, and was a bree-der of good draught types. He was widely known for his ability as a diviner, both water and mineral, and was an ardent supporter of all honest attempts to find oil on Yorke Peninsula. The late Mr. Gersch took a great interest in the public life and welfare of the community. He was a member of the District Council of Minlaton for some time, and was an active and enthusiastic member of the C.Y.P. Agricultural Society for many years, holding the positions of Section Secretary, member of the Executive Committee, Vice-President and President at various periods. Practical support in the way of exhibits for the shows and manual help when improvements to the ground or buildings were contemplated, could always be relied upon. Arbor Day at the Mount Rat School invariably meant the utilising of the barn and other out-buildings at the Gersch homestead, and many successful functions have been held under their hospitable roofs. As a tribute of respect to the deceased the Koolywurtie Arbor Day celebrations, which were to be held on the Friday afternoon and evening, also a concert and dance at Urania, were postponed. Mr. Gersch also took a keen interest in church matters, and although residing 18 miles from his place of worship, he and his wife were among its most regular at tendants. The deceased leaves a widow, one son (Mr. Ron Gersch of Urania), six daughters (Mesdames H. E. Davies, Urania; F. J. Giles, Norton's Summit; W. C. Helmsley, Mount Rat; I. Hogarth, Snowtown; and Misses Linda and Rita Gersch, of Mount Rat) and seven grandchildren.
Death Of Mr. J. C. Gersch.
Mr. Johann Charles Gersch, of Mount Rat, who died at the Curramulka Hospital recently, was born at St. Kitts, near Tanunda, on March 7, 1873. Four years later he went with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Andreas Gersch, to Yorke Peninsula, where his father was one of the earliest settlers in the Urania district. At the age of 21 he married Miss Marie Emily Wundersitz, whose parents were pioneer farmers in the Maitland district. In 1894 Mr. Gersch took up land at Mount Rat, which he farmed, together with a holding in the Urania district, until his death. He took a keen interest in public affairs, and was a member of the District Council of Minlaton for some time. He was also an active member of the Central Yorke Peninsula Agricultural Society for many years, holding the positions of secretary, member of the executive, vice-president, and president at various periods. He leaves a widow, one son, Mr. Ronald Gersch, of Urania, and six daughters — Mesdames E Davies (of Urania), F.J. Giles of Norton's Summit), W. C. Helmsley (of Mount Rat), L. Hogarth (of Snowtown), and Misses Linda and Rieta Gersch, of Mount Rat.
Mount Rat Wells.
The Minlaton District Council, at the meeting on Monday, May 8, resolved that the minute relating to ploughing at Mount Rat Wells be rescinded and that Mr. Hemsley's offer to plough a fire-break each year and attend to same be accepted.
CURRAMULKA. 21st BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.
Mr. and Mrs. G. Clift, of Mount Rat, entertained about a hundred friends and relatives at their residence recently to celebrate the coming of age of their eldest daughter Alice. The evening was devoted to dancing in one spacious room and bridge in another. Mr. Lockyer, of Curramulka, congratulated Miss Clift on attaining her majority, wishing her every happiness in the future. Messrs. A. May, G. and L. Clift and Mrs. H. Davies also spoke, to which Mr. Kenneth Thomas responded. The guest of the evening then lit the 21 candles and cut the two-story birthday cake. She was the recipient of many beautiful gifts, including a gold key brooch from her mother. Excellent music was supplied by Messrs. Murray Clift, J. J. Cook and A. Lafsky. "For She's a jolly good fellow'' and ''Auld Lang Syne'' brought a very happy evening to a close.
Big Stubble Fire
On Wednesday morning Mr. R. Markall, who resides near Mt. Rat, with the assistance of seven men, burnt the stubble on his property on Section 7, Hundred of Wauraltee. It was a good burn and everything appeared to be safe, until a fire suddenly started on an unused road adjoining the property. It quickty spread into Mrs. Emma Ross' paddock and burnt 30 acres of stubble, and then continued to H. G. Reade's paddocks, where about a mile of fencing was destroyed. From there it spread to Gersch's recently-sold property, where 30 bags of barley, all stubble and a mile of fencing was destroyed. There were from 300 to 400 men on the spot helping to stop the fire from spreading, to whom Mr. Markall and other owners give their thanks for the kind assistance.
Mount Rat Wells.
Messrs. Clift and Murch have applied to the Minlaton District Council for lease of a portion of the Park Lands at Mount Rat Wells for grazing purposes. The Council decided to defer the matter for discussion at the next official Ratepayers Meeting
Messrs. Roy Pointon, E. R. Pointon and J. T. Sparrow applied to have closed certain roads leading from the Wells. The matter is to be referred to the Lands Department for approval.
Road Signs Wanted.
The Curramulka Vigilance Committee has applied to the Minlaton District Council for the following road signs to be erected at Mt. Rat Corner:—To Curramulka 8-m, Pt, Vincent 20-M : To Maitland 18-m, Minlaton 10-m: To Port Victoria 12-m. A sign was also requested for erection at Curramulka:—To Adelaide 132-m. The Council decided to take up the matter with the Highways and Local Government Department.
The marriage of Gweneth, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. Redding, of Mount Rat, to Roy, youngest son of Mr. and the late Mrs. W. Stubberfleld, of St. Vincent, was solemnised by the Rev. H. H. Harley, of Minlaton. at St. Raphael's Church of England, Mount Rat. The bride wore a frock of tulle lace mounted on cream taffeta, with skirt fully flared from the waistline, and merging into a long train. The full bodice was finished at the neck with collar and spray of orange blossom. A tulle veil was held in position with orange blossom. After the ceremony a reception was held In the Curramulka Hall. For travelling, the bride wore a brown frock, trimmed with gold sequins, a fur choker, with brown hat and accessories. Mr. and Mrs. Stubberfleld's future home will be at Strathalbyn.
SYMBOLIC OF CHANGING WAYS.
Photo of crumbling Mount Rat Hotel.
The silence which shrouds the old Mount Rat hotel, out from Urania, is in strange contrast to the noisy revelry that woke the echoes years ago when the hotel was a popular rendezvous with teamsters on the long trek. Only a few walls remain today, but green kalsomine clings stubbornly to the ruins as though it would retain something of the hotel's gaudy past. Opposite is the Government tank, where thirsty horses drank.
WAURALTEE STRAWBERRY FETE.
The Mount Rat Anglican Church held their annual strawberry fete in the Wauraltee Institute. The function, which was quite a success, was opened by Mrs. F. H. Hauser, of Minlaton. Dining the afternoon musical and elocutionary items were given by Mesdames David, Manthorpe, Davies, Robertson, Roeger and Miss Dawn Bagshaw. Those helping on the various stalls were:— Strawberries and ice cream, Mesdatnes R. Gersch, H. C. Illman, Miss Rita Gersch; work, Mesdames J. Cook. J. Hardy, Miss Redding; cake and produce, Mesdames S. Newbold, D. Redding, and Misses Pearson and Kuhl; sweets, Miss D. Cook; afternoon tea, Mesdames F. Redding, R. Wapper, Miss Wakelin. A biscuit competition was won by Mrs. G. Baass, and other competitions by Mr. W. Wehr (cushion), and Miss Rhonda Wilson (goose).
On Saturday, March 1, a surprise farewell party was tendered to Mrs. R. S. Wapper, (who is leaving the district), by a number of her personal friends at the home of Mrs. S. G. Wapper, Mount Rat, when a happy afternoon was spent. Items were given by Misses Mary Glacken and Margaret and Kathleen Mahar. A competition was won by Mrs. W. Redding, and a dainty afternoon tea was served. A presentation of stainless cutlery was made to the guest of honour, who suitably responded. Mrs. Wapper has been a member of the Mount Rat School Committee, and was a very active helper with affairs in connection with the School and Church. She will be greatly missed.
MOUNT RAT. A FAREWELL GATHERING.
On Wednesday, May 20, the members of the Mt. Rat Church Guild invited Miss G. Blythman and a few friends to the monthly meeting held at the home of Mrs S. G. Newbold. Miss Blythman is leaving here to reside at Sandilands. A most pleasant and enjoyable afternoon was spent. At the conclusion of afternoon tea, Mrs R. Gersch with a few well-chosen words made a small presentation, and referred to the willing help our guest had always given the Mt. Rat Church and Guild, being a regular attendant at Guild meetings. Miss Blythman feelingly responded. A competition held during the afternoon was won by Miss Doreen Redding.
A School Effort
Empire Day was celebrated at Mount Rat on May 22. An afternoon arranged by the teacher (Miss R. Parkins) was opened by the Chairman of the School Committee (Mr. O. Bittner), and items were given by the children. A well laden stall did brisk business. An excellent afternoon tea was provided by the ladies for the small sum of sixpence. A competition was won by Miss D. Redding. The teacher was able to announce that the Schools' Patriotic Fund would benefit to the extent of p5/7/5 by this small effort.
Visit of Minister of Education
On May 27 the Mount Rat School was favored with a visit from the Minister of Education (Hon. S. W. Jeffries, MP;. Mr H. C. Hosking, Mr. C. S. Hincks, M P., and Mr. Richards. Interest was taken in the children's work, and the teacher was complimented on the standard of the children in such a small school. A vote of thanks to the visitors was moved by Mr. S. G Newbold and seconded by Mr. O Bittner. The Minister of Education gave the children a half-holiday.
MOUNT RAT. SILVER WEDDING.
While Mr and Mrs Syd. Newbold were sitting quietly by the fire on Friday, July 31, recalling the happenings of 25 years ago, 30 members of St. Raphael's Church, Mount Rat, were waiting to surprise them. At a signal given by Mr Ron Gersch, they all joined in singing a welcome and were, of course, invited to enter. After congratulations had been extended to the much surprised and blushing couple, Mrs Newbold was given a silver spray to wear on her frock and Mr Newbold a silver buttonhole. The gathering then enjoyed progressive euchre, which lasted until 10 p.m. and resulted in the Rev. and Mrs H. J. C. Hughes being declared the winners.
Mrs Hughes then sang "Friend o' Mine," and Miss Doreen Redding arranged a knowledge contest which caused a huge amount of fun. Mr Syd. Newbold was the winner.
A very dainty supper was served by the visiting ladies, and Mrs F. Redding presented the happy couple with a very lovely iced cake — her own work. During supper Mr Ron Gersch made an eloquent speech, in which he referred to the sterling qualities of the guests of honor and to their popularity in the district. He expressed regret that Private and Mrs Lyall Newbold were unable to be present, and asked Reverend Hughes to make a presentation of a case of salad spoons and servers. Mr Hughes added his congratulations and good wishes, and was supported in his remarks by Mr Dick Markall.
Mr Newbold feelingly responded, and all joined in singing "For they are jolly good fellows." Long after their friends had departed, Mr and Mrs Newbold sat talking of the happy evening which, although past, would remain ever in their memory.
"Let happy memories spring to life again Linked in the fetters of a silver chain.
At the invitaion of the members of the St Raphael's Church, Mount Rat, Mr. and Mrs H. C. Illman and family were rendered a social evening at the home of Mr and Mis Sid NewboId prior to their departure for Minlaton. A very pleasant time was spent. Winrtis for the bridge were Mrs Shortridge and Mr S Cook, and for the enchre Mr and Mrs L Redding. The splendid items given by Mrs Shortidge were very much appieciaied, The Rev. Pavne Croston made presentations on behalf of the Church members and the Ladies' Guild. Messrs R Markall and Sid Newbold also spoke wishing the guests happiness and success in their new home. Mr and Mrs Illman both suitably responded. A dainty supper was served and "Auld Lang Syne" brought a happy evening to a close.
More Early Teachers.
Thursday 28 February 1946, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove
DEAR ELEANOR BARBOUR— I also am one interested in the early teachers of Yorke Peninsula like 'YP Native.' I well remember Mr. Carter, onetime head teacher of the Edithburgh State School. While he was head teacher there, he was also captain of the Yorketown Contingent of the Mounted Rifles, of which I was a member at that time. If I remember rightly, Mr. Kruger was a corporal and Mr. Carter's son Horace, was our bugler boy. After Mr. Carter retired from the Education Department he took on farming on a holding known as 'Downing's' in the very early days of wheatgrowing on the peninsula. That property is about three miles from Mount Rat, where in the early eighties of the last century Miss Florrie Humberstone was the teacher, and I was one of her pupils. Mr. Humberstone, her father, was the proprietor of the hotel there. I well remember seeing the stone, &c, being carted to build the hotel, which consisted of 14 rooms, now demolished.
I was just wondering if any of my schoolmates of those days are living, and if perhaps one of them could send me the words of the song we used to sing at the old Mount Rat school. The song began with the words, 'Oh, where are my schoolmates gone?' Going back as far as 1879, the first year I attended a school, a Mrs. Spinkston was the teacher, and we had to pay from threepence to sixpence per week according to the age of the child. The school building was near the main road, about six or seven miles from Minlaton. The property was later owned by the late Mr. Thos. Rickaby. I wonder if any of the old scholars of that little school are still living, and where? I quite enjoy reading the letters written to the pages from many parts of Australia. -I have been in many different parts of all the States, and at the present time I am enjoying the beautiful scenery of Mount Gambier. Best of luck and cheerio to all interested in your columns. - E. A. WATSON, Dalby, Queensland.
Recently when Mr. N. Page, of Goodwood Road, Goodwood, had left the main road at the old Mt. Rat Hotel, and was driving his lorry along the Curratnulka road, he suddenly felt impelled to stop the lorry and get out. Doing so he was horrified to find the vehicle in flames, and five minutes after he had left it the cabin was burning fiercely. A head wind had driven the smell and heat of the fire away from the cabin. The lorry was loaded with confectionery, including Easter eggs, for Port Vincent, and was insured but its load wasn't. Mr. Page went to Mr E. Hansen's farm for help. Fortunately, Mr. Hausen had, the previous day. filled a 2,000 gallon tank with water. They towed this tank by tractor to the burning lorry and soon had it out. Mr. Page stayed the night with Mr and Mrs Hausen.
Mr. George Clift, a well known resident of Mount Rat, recently celebrated his 80th birthday. His equally well - known brother. Mr Lewis Clift, is 78. Together they did all the bag - sewing for their considerable harvest after the last reaping.
Mount Rat Grain Site.
A letter from the Chairman of the Barley Board (Mr. Tomlinson) was received, expressing appreciation of Council's offer to assist with the demolition of the old Mount Rat hotel and levelling work associated with the new slacking site.
The Board advised that it as ready to do the work on mouse proofing and was sure that the facilities would be appreciated by all growers in the vicinity.
Mount Rat hotel ruins.
A small pile of stones is all that's left of one of the Peninsula's oldest landmarks, the Mount Rat hotel ruins. But the old gives way to the new with benefit for most particularly for six, farmers who have paddocks of not less than 100 acres within five chains of the stacking site to rise in place of the old hotel. They are Messrs. K. Burner. K. Reade, J. Mahar, J Tonkin, E. Ross and J Glacken.