5 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

was so steep that drays

was so steep that drays were frequently stuck in it and had to be unloaded in order to extricate them 2 . To meet these demands the Provincial Council decided that the responsibility for organising, planning, and implementing their requests was properly the function of local communities who understood their needs and priorities better than central government. So in 1863 Road Districts controlled by elected boards were established 3 . These included the West Lincoln Road District, soon renamed Springs Road District, with headquarters at Springston, and the East Lincoln Road District, later the Lincoln Road District, based at Prebbleton. The two districts were separated by Lincoln Coal and Tramway Road, now known as Boundary Road, which ran from Lincoln to Rolleston. From Rolleston the Springs District boundary followed the Great South Road to the Selwyn River, down that river to Lake Ellesmere and along the lake to the Halswell River. The 23. Samuel Dening Glyde, first clerk and surveyor to Springs Road Board. Courtesy Corporation of Norwood, Payneham and St. Peters, South Australia boundary then followed the Halswell upstream to the junction of River Road and the Lincoln- Tai Tapu Road and from there to Edward Street, East Belt and James Street to the Coal and Tramway Road. For the next twenty four years most matters of local governance were controlled by the road boards under the general supervision of the provincial government. The first Springs Road Board was elected at the Weeden’s [Weedons] Hotel on January 25 1864. Richard Bethell, George Ffitch, Thomas Pannett, W.J. Walters and James Robert were the first members; Richard Bethell was elected chairman 4 . The board appointed as its first surveyor and clerk the energetic Samuel Dening Glyde who also worked in the same capacity for the Lincoln Road Board. He worked tirelessly for the wider district until he left for South Australia in 1871 64

where he was active in local and state politics. The discovery of gold took him to Western Australia where he died in Perth of typhoid fever on 27 January 1898 aged 54 and was buried in the Congregational Cemetery in East Perth twelve days later 5 . The most pressing matters for the Board’s attention were those of roading and drainage. Most roads had been surveyed, but many were unformed, and on some work could only proceed when surrounding swamplands had been drained. Progress was slow, and often frustrating, and as late as 1873 the Lincoln Road Board agreed to the formation of the upper part of the Coal Tramway Road provided that the Springs Road Board would form that part of the road between Lincoln School and Springs Track 6 . Once a road was formed, maintenance became a continuing drain on road board resources. Sometimes the Board was frustrated by the intransigence of its ratepayers. Some farmers would erect fences across a road and would remove them only when threatened that desired road works would not proceed unless the fences were taken down. Gorse, used to provide living fences, was often a problem, and as late as 1881 the Springs Road Board had to deal with gorse which spread onto a road from an adjacent property. In the early days of settlement some weeds were a recurring and seemingly insurmountable problem. Watercress was one of these and it grew so luxuriantly that it threatened to block streams and rivers such as the L1 and the L2, as it sometimes does today. By 1870 the situation was so serious that at a meeting in Lincoln it was resolved that since these two drained much of the Springs District to the benefit of most of its residents, the cost of keeping them free of cress should be met from the rates 7 . Thistles too, were a major nuisance and these, with gorse, were the subject of Provincial Council ordinances designed to control their spread. In the drier areas sorrel also was a major problem and in one instance an accusation of malicious scattering of sorrel seed onto a ploughed paddock at Templeton resulted in a conviction and sentence of hard labour, a verdict quashed on an appeal based on the incompetence of the police investigation. Wandering stock were always a nuisance to the road boards and to farmers, especially in the earlier days of settlement when there were few pounds, fences were not always secure, and the runs were being broken up by free holders. FitzGerald found himself in hot water when a number of his cattle broke through a fence enclosing 200 acres bought out of the Springs Run by a Mr Guild, and who had planted some of it in oats. The cattle destroyed the crop and when FitzGerald refused 65

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