Each time I visit Armidale I always head straight to the bookshops to see if there are any new local history publications. Last week I was not disappointed.
Bob Harden's book European Settlement & Pastoralism at Kunderang Upper Macleay River, 1840-1960 was on the shelf. I always go straight to the index and look up the Armidale families who have connections to my husband's extended family. A quick inspection discovered Brennan, Waters, Dawson, Sewell and Bell. I parted with $64.99 and purchased the 430 A4 page hardcover book.
Bob stated that his objectives were "to provide a coherent account of European settlement and pastoralism at Kunderang in the upper Macleay River, with particular emphasis on who the settlers were, how they lived and how they carried out their pastoral endeavours" (p. 10)
He has definitely achieved his objectives. The book has been meticulously researched and is a wonderful history of the gorge country. Each landholder's connection to the area is discussed and referenced in detail and a map has been produced for each family detailing the location of their leases and purchases.
My only disappointment is that the areas of Enmore and Long Point fall outside the specific area researched in the book.