WANDERERS COMPANY DAM WALK
The Weddin Wanderers’ August walk on Sunday August 20 was a walk past the Company Dam and northwards through various fire trails in the catchment of approximately 260 hectares (640 acres).
Nine interested walkers enjoyed the walk, a beautiful sunny morning following a big frost.
While passing the dam a colourful history of the dam was read to the walkers which appeared in The Grenfell Record in January, 1973 and is worthwhile placing in The Record again.
“The Company Dam has a history dating back to 1867 when the dam was constructed to supply water to mineral claims and crushers in the area. The water was specifically for the Main Lead and Star Gully claims and for crushers to be constructed near the water supply.
On March 15, 1867 the “Grenfell Water Company” was formed and that well known man of the goldfields throughout NSW, Thomas De Courcay Browne was appointed manager.
The Government Gazette of April 5, 1867 recorded that the nominal capital of this company was 750 pounds with power to increase to 1,000 pounds and the amount paid to date being 44 pounds.
The “Mining Record” of June 29, 1867 reported that the dam was completed at that time.
The dam had an embankment 400ft long, 12ft wide at the top of the wall and an estimated capacity of 10 million gallons. At that time it was claimed by the “Record” to be one of the most capacious dams for mining in the colony.
Soon after its construction there were three batteries set up near the dam to treat ore from the reef mines. These consisted of 2 x 20 head stampers and 1 x 10 head stamper and represented the biggest concentration of batteries in Grenfell.
These were shifted in the early 1880’s or late 70’s and the “Progress Association” that was formed in 1873 began to campaign to have the Company Dam used as a water supply.
A government inspector outlined a scheme for a supply from Star Gully but Council felt that this as going to cost 6,000 pounds, against repairs to Company’s Dam costing 300 pounds.
Then a good rain stopped all worry about water supplies and nothing was done about either dam.
The coming of the Railway in 1901 led to work being done on the Company’s Dam to supply water to the steam engines and the Railways Department took the dam over”
The whole area is now controlled by the Crown. Watch this space for information on the group’s September walk.