Cobb & Co Heritage Trail Bathurst to Bourke
By Diane de St Hilaire Simmonds
The Gold Rush and Cobb & Co P.3
Photo at right is an old mud map of the Cobb & Co routes in the Mudgee region, courtesy of David Rutherford of the famous Cobb & Co Rutherford family.
Mudgee’s Cobb & Co Story
Denison Town,which had a Post Office and butcher combined, a hotel, with another hotel across the road. A police station was the other side of the cemetery. ‘King Lattimer’ is said to have owned the hotel. He had four daughters and was such a bad alcoholic he used to smash the tops off the bottles in his haste to down them, according to folklore. The daughters heights are marked on one of the walls of the house, and a bullet hole is in one of the doors. The slab stables have been pulled down now. They originally had a dance hall above them. The stables were used as a shearing shed before they were torn down as well. There is still the original water dome behind the present day house. When the tank was built, according to folklore, one of the three builders played the violin while the other two danced on the floor of the tank. It is said to hold 100,000 gallons. The original cemetery is also there, said to contain about 70 graves.
The Upper Botobolar people got their mail via Cooyal, the mailman carried the mail on horseback between Cooyal Post Office, which is still standing and used as a residence today, and Upper Botobolar twice a week. The postman rode over the hill, down past Kemp’s Valley and Kain’s Flat, collecting and delivering mail to all the mail boxes along the route.
The Sunday Times, December 19, 1920, p18 has stories of the Cobb & Co coaching days, including the story of the Mudgee to Wallerawang Mail Coach being stuck up at Aaron’s Pass, six miles from Cunningham’s Creek on May 29, 1874.
A P J
16 Oct 1900
12 Oct 1869
dau/Henry & Sarah
7 Oct 1869
son/Henry & Sarah
3 Nov 1878
dau/Henry & Sarah
2 May 1885
dau/George & Mary
11 Jun 1845
26 Oct 1844
son/James & Jane
10 May 1882
dau/John & Catherine; w/James; mother
SMH11/6/1845 On Sunday, the 8th instant, at his residence, Church-street, Parramatta, after a lingering illness of three years and six months, Mr. James Watsford, in his 58th year, twenty-four years coach proprietor in that town.
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Cobb & Co and the Gold Rush in the Mudgee region
A tourist trail CD and fully illustrated local history book soon available.
The incredible James Watsford descent of Mt York can still be seen today:
A very rough descent down Mt York
The road is incredibly rocky, with huge boulders lining the way.
It's a very long way from the top to the bottom and the drop over the cliff tops would be fatal.
No, not this way. The edge is too near.
Signs at the lookout today speak of the original steep road and Watsford's incredible descent.
One of the two original watering holes for the horses at the top of the descent. The two waterholes still remain today.
More of the rocky descent.