Alexandra Times at KellyGang 3/12/1869
THE SURROUNDING DISTRICTS
(From our Special Reporter)
Having given my horse and myself a comfortable night's rest at Dobb's Imperial Hotel, where. the best refreshments are provided for man and beast. I took another stroll round the quiet township of Jamieson. The County Court and Court of Mines were being held that day, but there was no business of any consequence to dispose of. The principal case was an appeal from Warden Akehurst's decision in the Mysterious claim at Alexandra. This had brought three lawyers from Alexandra, and as those gentlemen do , not travel long distances without being well paid, somebody must find the money for taking them all the way to Jamieson to transact business which could be more easily and much less expense ? ? ? ? ? ? at these Courts, is highly spoken of by the legal profession, and although it is difficult to show him the other side when once he has formed an opinion, still his verdicts are admitted to he invariably in accordance with law and evidence.
The storekeepers' in Jamieson grumble about the dullness of business, but what of that? Storekeepers always do grumble and they are generally loudest in their complaint when they are doing their best business. It is a habit they have. The stores, however are well filled, and no doubt they have occasionally a few customers, although I did not see any.
After lunch I started for
Everybody knows Mansfield. Some people say the place ought to be called Rowetown, because the inhabitants all row in one boat. The distance from Jamieson to Mansfield is about 22 miles, and with the exception of the last 6 miles, the road is as rough and bad as any road need be, and no amount, of money can ever make the road a good one. If the distance from Melbourne to Jamieson via, Mansfield were no more than the road via Yea and Alexandra, this 22 miles of rough country would of itself be sufficient to send the traffic along the latter road, but when a saving of 50 miles is effected, then there can be no doubt as to which is the best route ? to me it is a matter of surprise that the passenger coaches should not have taken the Valley of the Goulburn, instead of the circuitous route by Longwood and Mansfield.
There is, however, an immediate prospect of a change as soon as the bridge over the Goulburn, at the Howqua Junction, has been erected. However, I am wandering from my subject, and will now return to Mansfield. The inhabitants of Mansfield consider themselves '"the people." To make room for the population which they have been expecting to settle there for the past 10 or 12 years, the streets have been made four chains wide. Lately, however, it has been suggested that a belt of timber should be planted in the centre of the principal thoroughfare. In addition to the proposed belt of timber, there might be with advantage a kitchen garden in front of each house without inconvenience to the public traffic.
The Shire Council is a most energetic body. They have sent more deputations to Melbourne, to wait on members of the Executive Council than any other local government in Victoria. The result is, that they have obtained more money, established more Courts of Law, and got more J.P.'s appointed than any other district. When a Minister passes through their territory they have a deputation to wait on him with an address, setting forth that "they are the people." They get promises of everything the Government can grant, and should Power, the bushranger, be caught within their boundary, it is intended to have him hanged on the top of Mount Battery, and after that a deputation will be sent to Melbourne to get a hangman appointed for the district, because "they are the people."
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