Old South Grafton
in the 1880s

This map was originally published by Grafton Print in a booklet to commemorate the centenary in 1967 of South Grafton's Anglican church. The map, based upon information supplied at that time by a 90-year-old man named Allan Friar, represents South Grafton in the 1880s. There are many significant elements of information in this map. Here are some of the things that interested me most:

There is a big accent on bullock teams:

  • Explanatory text: "Bullock teams took supplies from boats to the Tablelands via Glen Innes."
  • Two central zones in town are marked "Bullock teams rested here".
  • Curiously, the road towards the future bridge is described as a bullock track.

There is a big accent on river activities:

  • Punt approach.
  • Approach for ferry boats at the end of Skinner Street. What is the distinction between the punt and ferry boats? Would "ferry boats" designate the so-called river boats that travelled up and down the Clarence?
  • Existence of McKittrick's wharf (and nearby bulk store) and the traces of a government wharf (and nearby police station), no doubt for coastal vessels.
  • Boat shed (Morrow) in Wharf Street.

There is a big accent on activities involving horses:

  • Three blacksmiths: P Roberts (Spring Street), Morrissey (Skinner Street) and Onslow (Wharf Street, also a wheelwright).
  • Two livery stables: Gole (spelling?, corner of Skinner and Ryan Streets) and J O'Keefe (Skinner Street, probably a relative of mine).
  • Saddlery shop: Lowe (Skinner Street).

Wharf Street (not Skinner Street) is marked as the main street of the town.

Five hotels: Royal, Walker's, Tattersall's, Australia and Post Office. Who were their clients?

Three butchers: Tom Hutching, Kelly and Bratson.

Three churches: Roman Catholic, Church of England and Presbyterian.

Two private schools: Nelson and Miss Morrow. Were they denominational? Curiously, Nelson is also the name of the headmaster of the public school.

The existence of Cowan's Creek seems to have necessitated a bridge in Skinner Street.

A building that I do not recall: the Assembly Hall in Through Street.

Rural setting: Hawthorne's saleyards in the middle of town, and a vast south-east zone labelled "scrub".

The properties or residences of only three citizens are indicated: Bawden's estate, G T McKittrick and Adam Hawthorn(e).