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Charley's Creek in 1876

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Flooding; a bridge at Charleys Creek; a blasting accident

Here are some more newspaper aticles you might find interesting.

Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 - 1902), Saturday 5 August 1876, page 5

Travelling- Down


(from an occasional correspondent.)

As I was one of those who were homeward bound from the Upper Dawson during the late floods a few particulars in the form of notes by the way may not be uninteresting to your reader. I was between Juandah and Bandia stations when it commenced to rain on the 13th instant, and it continued increasing until I reached Bridge's Creek at noon on Saturday the 15th, during which time a fierce easterly gale prevailed. The torrents of rain soon filled the creeks, and when I crossed Bridge's Creek it was up to my horse's hips. My horse being fatigued I had to camp here for four days ere I could with safety resume my journey.

On Wednesday morning following under, I thought, a very favourable appearance of the sky, I was again in the saddle ; but, to my utter astonishment, I found before I was far on the road that I was entering a country that was far worse than any I had passed through.

Arriving at Charley's Creek I found the water very high, up even to the floor of the bridge. 1, however, managed to cross safely, when I found a number of drays camped loaded with wool for Dalby, and some of them embedded up to the bed. The drivers had their wives and children with them, and were indeed in a pitiful plight— no flour or meat in the camp, and no possibility of shifting for some weeks to come.

Starting from here next morning I found the Condamine was coming down ere I was far on the road, and the country in front of me I discovered to be one vast sheet of water caused by the back water of the river covering an area of miles. I tried to make my way to Campbell's camp, but found it impossible to get within four miles of that place. I here met with Mr. Frederick Curtis who told me that out of sixteen bullocks belonging to a drayman he had seen twelve of them swept away, and drowned before his eyes, and that he had great fear of the people at Campbell's Camp as the Condamine was rising higher than he had ever seen it before.

A little further on I came across a gentleman travelling with four horse and a van, and accompanied by his wife and two children. The four horses were carried away with the flood, and the unfortunate family were left in the midst of this sea of water without provisions and in a most dreadful plight. Mr. Curtis being well acquainted with the country managed to steer me safely across Jingi Jingi Creek, and took me as far as Coranga Creek not far from its junction with the Condamine. Here I camped for the night, mv companion leaving me as he had to reach Coble Coble, and leaving me to follow in his track.

After hobbling out my horse, I proceeded down the creek to look for the bridge, but could not get near to where it was, and found to my horror that the back water from the river was causing the creek to rise. I hastened back to my horses as soon as I could and drove them to higher ground, but before I could reach my camp again I was up to my waist in water, my swag was gone and I just managed to save my two saddles. The water continued extending until it nearly reached the hill I was standing on. Darkness now set in, and for hours I sat watching the commingling of the waters of various streams surrounding me, and with no means of escape if the high ground I was on became submerged. Toward morning, however, I noticed that the waters were receding, and by midday they had fallen sufficiently to enable me to resume my journey.

Following on Mr Curtis' track I crossed the creek at the washpool, and soon reached Coble Coble in safety. Here I was asked by a man who had been travelling with waggons for Messrs. Wienholt, with wool from the Warrego, to look at a place called " the Bend," near the boundary of the two runs, Coble and Jimbour, as he was afraid something had happened to them. I did so as near as I could, but saw nothing of them. The water at the point was very high, and I am almost certain the waggons have been washed away. I now made my way to the new railway line and followed it with difficulty into Dalby, my horses the whole way being up to their knees in mud and water. 1 went to the Jimbour Woolshed, and found the flood had been very high there—within about six inches of the last heavy flood, I found all the railway work at a standstill, and any number of men out of employment. The flood at Dalby was the highest known for twenty-five years.

Coming toward home I found the Gowrie Bridge had been damaged to a great extent, the side rail washed away, and some deplorable damage done to the approaches. Men were repairing it as I passed.

At all the water courses between here and Dalby fences are. washed away. At Spring Creek considerable damage has been done to the bridge known as McLaverty's the approaches being-.washed away, and traffic over it rendered un- safe.

The roads between here and Juandah are quite impassible for drays, and are likely to be so for some considerable time. Many stations on the Dawson are badly off for rations, and they will be closely pinched before supplies reach them. In Taroom I don't suppose there is a bag of flour among the whole of the inhabitants.


Toowoomba Chronicle 16/9/76 page 3

…. In part…

Mrs Jones tells me that Messrs Overend and Co. have expressed their intention of starting a brewery in connection with the railway extension for the purpose of supplying their employees with a cheap non-intoxicating beverage during the summer months, as they consider the present exhorbitant price of liquors is totally out of proportion to the wages at present received. The site of the brewery has not yet been decided on, but I hear it will be in the neighbourhood of Charley's Creek. Be where it may, this movement in the right direction will be a great boon to the many settlers in this district, who will find a ready market for their barley, which, in anticipation, is about to be cultivated in all directions.


Dalby Herald 23/12/1876

A man named Smith has been seriously injured while blasting rock on the railway at Charley's Creek, and it is feared he will lose his life.

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