Vincentia

South Huskisson (now Vincentia). The wool ships of Jervis Bay belong to an early historic period of settlement of the area (1838-1858). The Wool Rd was privately funded by many of the landholders along the route between Vincentia and Nerriga, the only government assistance being the loan of overseers and 70 convicts. The road was surveyed in 1839 and the work commenced from both ends in February 1841, by July the new road stretched 25 miles inland and was completed by October, that's only 8 months of pick and shovel labour through virgin territory. With the road allowing movement of wool and other products from the Yarralumla and Braidwood areas along an existing road joining the new road at Nerriga and then to Jervis Bay. Edward Deas Thomson subdivided his unprofitable farmland to form the private township of South Huskisson, the township grew to 15 hotels, blacksmith's shops and many other trading places including a brothel in Church Street.

The barque, Cygnet and the steamer, Sophia Jane, at the wharf at South Huskisson, in January 1843

When the bullock train arrived, the jinkers loaded with wool were backed to the water, the bales were loaded into small boats and taken out to the moored ships. In 1842 a successful meeting raised money to build a wharf, some of the hewn sandstone blocks from the wharf area still visible at low tide near the Holden St boat ramp. No plans or sketches of this wharf were ever located. Violet Park in the adjacent area was used for grazing of bullock teams. Many ships called into Jervis Bay, "Sophia Jane" 156 ton the first steamship to operate in Australian waters was the most active running to Sydney twice monthly. Most ships loaded 200 bales of wool and other products in a day in good weather, back cargo from Sydney was fresh vegetables and wattle bark used for tanning. A drought started the decline in Jervis Bay traffic and pressure to government's by Sydney wool merchants, businessmen along the Melbourne Rd and the developers of the Twofold Bay saw the end of the Jervis Bay wool trade. South Huskisson being a private development obtained no assistance from the government of the day, some shipping continued but by 1858 the settlement was virtually deserted. The Wool Rd still exists now called Trunk Rd 92 and is the subject of much pressure to both Federal and State Governments for funds for its rehabilitation.

[back to jervis bay in depth]