- News of the day
BOWEN WOODEN JETTY.
On 12th April 1865, the anniversary of the foundation of the town four years previously, the ceremony of driving the first pile was performed.
The day was fine and the bay lively with shipping, there being two mail steamers, the s.s. Amy and several craft of various tonnage all gathered to give dignity to the proceedings.
Mrs. P. Pinnock, the wife of Bowen’s first P.M., occupied the position of honour in the presence of Francis Clarke, first Mayor of Bowen, and Messrs. P. Pinnock, J. Brady, J. Hall-Scott, W.P. Cuthbert, J.A. McLeod. G.R. Forbes, F. Kilner, Captain Pym, J.W. Greaves, T. Small, W. Seaward. Jameson, W. Clarke, E. Reid, W.H. Carter. E. Reid and many others.
Bumpers of champagne were drunk to the success of the undertaking, three hearty cheers were given, and the steamers fired a salute.
The piles were of ironbark with copper and the planking of blue gum. Length was 980 yards, the outer end 24x62 feet, with landing steps at each side. The stem is 24 feet between hand rails. About 500 piles were used and the work occupied about 16 months. The depth of water at the outer end was 12 feet at low water. The Jetty was provided with a tramway of 3 feet 6 inches gauge to facilitate the transfer of cargo. The contractor was Mr. William Walton and Mr. J. Brady, Engineer of Harbours and Rivers, supervised the work.
There had been a great deal of local feeling as to where the jetty was to be placed. It was stated that at Dalrymple Point six feet of water existed at 400 feet, ten feet at 1400 feet, 12 feet at 1500 feet, and twelve to fifteen feet at 1800 feet north of the point, but the need for a roadway 3000 feet in length to connect the town with the Point settled the matter in favour of the present site, although there the water ebbs to 600 feet and at 2000 feet there is only 10 feet of water and at 2500 feet only 12 feet of water.
Had Dalrymple Point been chosen and connected with a roadway in 1865, followed by a railway connection, a lot of money expended in jetty building, maintenance and dredging would have been saved, and the town beach might have been a place of beauty instead of the unsightly appearance it now presents.