Crossing The Karuah - Karuah, NSW, Australia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Grahame Cookie
S 32° 39.247 E 151° 58.078
56H E 403215 N 6386585
This History Sign is for the crossing of the Karuah River - pre-Bridge.
Waymark Code: WMXFVA
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Date Posted: 01/07/2018
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member CADS11
Views: 0

Mounted in a similar frame to the Ferry Master's Cottage sign, is this one that details the 'pre-Bridge' history of getting across the Karuah River. The text reads:

Crossing the Karuah
"Early in the 1900s John Oscar 'Pappa' Johnson ferried people across the river in a large rowboat. Around the time of World War 1, Johnson started operating a punt that was pulled across the river by a hand-wound winch. The crossing took 15 to 20 minutes in good conditions. Horses were tied to the punt and swam behind. Jack Dillon operated the punt from 1918 to 1923, during which time he built a hut near the riverfront.

"In about 1924 tenders were called for a motorised punt. The contract was awarded to G. A. Engel and Sons who built the punt at their slipway at Winda Woppa. The petrol engine was made by William Dalgleish's Karuah Engineering Works (K.E.W.). The river crossing now took only a few minutes.

"For a short period of time an operator named Don Lyall was in charge of the punt but Stroud Shire later called tenders for a more permanent operator. It was at this time (c. 1923) that George Neil became Ferry Master, a contract held for the next 26 years. Neil carried out a lot of maintenance to keep the ferry operating and there were many arguments about the size of the load, which could be taken on board. A new motorised punt was purchased and could take six motor vehicles or one timber lorry, with a maximum load of 14 tons. The last person to operate the punt was George Porter.

"In December 1957 the Karuah Punt was taken out of service after the Karuah Bridge was opened. Major maintenance work was undertaken on the punt at Winda Woppa (near Tea Gardens), it was transported to Seaham via the Tasman Sea, Newcastle Port and the Hunter and Williams Rivers. The punt operated on the Williams River providing access between Seaham and East Seaham, until the Jim Scott Bridge opened 1973."

"The above photo illustrates the last Karuah River crossing of the punt on December 14, 1957, when the Karuah Bridge was opened."
[A project of Karuah Tidy Towns, Parks, Reserves & Wetland Committee (September 2001)]

Visited: 0715, Friday, 11 November, 2016
Age/Event Date: 1900's; 1918; 1923; 1924; 1957; 1973

Type of Historic Marker: Plaque only

Type of Historic Marker if other: Text, with Photo

Historic Resources.:
Port Stephens Council

Related Website: Not listed

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