Alexandra Times at KellyGang 26/4/1872
As the nearest and best road to the great North-Eastern Railway is a matter of the greatest importance to the inhabitants of the Goulburn Valley, we made a personal inspection last week, and now give the result of our observations. The road from Alexandra to Yea has been so often travailed by everybody in this part of the world, that nothing used be paid about this part of the journey beyond that which has been repeatedly said before that there is much room for improvement, especially near the approaches to Sloan's punt, and some parts about Cathkin. When these improvements have been made, no ride or drive through any gentleman's park could be surrounded with more pleasing prospects or charming variety. The Josephine Hill and Cottons Pinch afford fine opportunities for feasting the eyes on thousands of hills, on which sheep, cattle, and horses luxuriate and fatten, whilst the winding course of the Goulburn can be traced for miles, and the smoke seen rising from the chimneys of the 42nd Clause men, who have erected homes for themselves and their families where formerly no thing was seen but sheep and kangaroos.
This journey from Alexandra to Yea can be accomplished on horse back in three hours comfortably; but for the traveller on foot Yea will be the half way house, and those who do not care about riding or driving at a greater pace than four miles per hour, will make the first day's journey at this comfortable little quiet grazing, agricultural, and mining township, which, by the way, was a township before most of our pretentious centres of population were ever dreamt of. There will be found abundant accommodation for man and beast of the very best quality.
After passing along the old Broadford road eight miles, about half a mile beyond Hamilton's white gate the Tallarook road turns off sharp to the right. This is the proposed new road which the Yea Road Board has been doing battle for some time past. Four miles further on King Parrot Creek crosses the path. Over this there is a fine bridge being erect by the Yea Road Board, at a cost of about £1300. The Broadford Road Board, it is said, intend to cut the bridge down after it is erected. They will not allow the road to be made on two miles of their territory which lies immediately beyond the bridge. This, however, is only talk, and cutting down bridges may be a more expensive matter than erecting them. However, there is no getting rid of the fact, that this portion of the Broadford territory is a difficulty that must be got over before the road can be put in good working order, as there are some sidelings to be cut.
A few miles further on the road lies principally along the banks of the Goulburn, and presents many water scenes which are not to be surpassed in Victoria, by the water channels, lagoons, and breaks along the banks of the river, arouse the suspicion that when the Goulburn waters become fretted with winter rains, that the proposed Tallarook road will be rather difficult to find at several places without the use of a boat and sounding line. However, those who have advocated the road are confident that it will be available for traffic all the year round. This is a question that may be left to time to develop, as there are few who have travelled the road during winter. At present no one could wish for a better road, and any person can drive along in a buggy even now at the rate of eight miles air hour.The distance from Yea to Tallarook is said to be 25 miles, but our informant puts it down at 27. As, however, a. road always appears longer the first time one travels over it, especially alone; this may account for the difference in the estimate of the distance.
Tallarook is by no means a busy or interesting place. It consists of two hotels, two stores, two blacksmiths' forges, a police station, and a number of tumble-down, miserable looking huts of slabs and bark The inhabitants generally are a very slow class of individuals of the older times, who allow events to come and go without any interference on their part. The Railway Hotel is a substantial, good brick building, and should the traffic of the Goulburn flow towards Tallarook will be a valuable property, as it is situated nearly opposite the proposed station. The proprietor, in the mean time, intends to run a conveyance from his house to Schoolhouse Line, to meet the up and down trains. With the exception of the proprietor of this hotel, the Tallarookites seem not to know or care much about the traffic of the Upper Goulburn, and should it ultimately bring a flood of prosperity upon them, they will have no occasion to congratulate themselves on their own efforts in the matter. The Yea Board have selected the road, and are determined to carry it through, independently of the indifference of the inhabitants of Tallarook, all of whom will be greatly benefitted by it.
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