Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

A Handful of Shillings; Looking Back with Di Millar

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

A Handful of Shillings; Looking Back with Di Millar

Article excerpt

IN the 1870s Sir Edward Knox's Colonial Sugar Refining Company bought up large tracts of land on the Tweed River and in February 1878 the CSR Company announced it was prepared to lease land as farms ranging from 40 acres to 80 acres each for seven years.

For the first year farmers could work their land rent-free but in the second and third years the rental fee was ten shillings per acre, for years four and five rent was fifteen shillings and for years six and seven the farmers paid 20 shillings. Farmers were invited to inspect the land, which was shown to them by the appointed CSR Company agent W R Isaacs, who had taken up residence on the Tweed.

The CSR Company guaranteed to take all the sugar cane grown on the farms during the lease period and make allowances for clearing and other improvements required on the land that was now ready for ploughing.

The company supplied cottage accommodation and intended to operate a steamer along the Tweed River in order to open a market for maize and other produce.

A CSR sugar mill was constructed on the Tweed River bank at Condong where the first seasonal crush of cane started in August 1880. A steamer, the 199 ton Terranora under Captain Frederick Ives, carried cargo to and from the Tweed River.

In January 1890, an extensive land sale was held for what were described as 1825 acres of the richest agricultural land for sugar cane, maize and dairy farmers on the Tweed River.

The land had also been purchased before the erection of the mill but had been kept back from previous sales. It was subdivided into 25 farms varying in size from 30 acres to 220 acres located in the parishes of Murwillumbah, Condong, Tygalgah and Terranora and situated within easy reach of the Condong sugar mill.

Unfortunately the flat land stretching out around the sugar mill known as Condong plains was prone to periodic flooding by the Tweed River and large amounts remained swamp land. In March 1898 the whole of Condong Plains was submerged to a depth of several feet. …

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