A Glance At Eden's Rich History TimeLine
From the early habitation of the Tharwa people of the Yuin Nation, through European settlement up to today, Eden’s affinity with the ocean is deep. Whales, whaling and fishing have played a large part in the development of the town. The Greenseas fish cannery was a major industry for 40 years in Eden.
Killer whales have been key players in the history of whaling starting with the Tharwa, 6,000 years ago, and ending with the Davidson whaling family. The Orcas are now returning to Eden and are part of the whale watching attractions. Eden, in Twofold Bay, was designated a town in 1843 by Sir George Gipps, Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia. George Gipps was Private Secretary to George Eden, Earl of Auckland, Governor-General of India from 1836 to 1842 and he had been First Lord of the Admiralty.
During Bass and Flinders voyage to establish a route to Van Diemen’s Land, they sought shelter in Twofold Bay during adverse winds and took the opportunity to survey the
area and named Twofold Bay.
Below is an excerpt from Matthew Flinders’ journal recording what was most likely the first contact between local aboriginals and Europeans.
“In order to make some profit of this foul wind, Mr. Bass landed early next morning to examine the country, whilst I went with Mr. Simpson to commence a survey of Two-fold Bay. In the way from Snug Cove, through the wood, to the long northern beach, where I proposed to measure a baseline, our attention was suddenly called by the screams of three women, who took up their children and ran off in great consternation. Soon afterward a man made his appearance. He was of middle age, unarmed, except with a whaddie, or wooden scimitar, and came up to us seemingly with careless confidence. We made much of him, and gave him some biscuit; and he in return presented us with a piece of gristly fat, probably of a whale. This I tasted; but watching an opportunity to spit it out when he should not be looking, I perceived him doing precisely the same thing with our biscuit, whose taste was probably no more agreeable to him than his whale was to me. Walking onward with us to the long beach, our new acquaintance picked up from the grass a long wooden spear, pointed with a bone; but this he hid a little further on, making signs that he should take it on his return. The commencement of our trigonometrical operations was seen by him with indifference, if not contempt; and he quitted us, apparently satisfied that, from people who could thus occupy themselves seriously, there was nothing to be apprehended.”
On Monday last arrived the Sloop Contest, from the Southward, with the Detachment onboard all well. In Two-fold Bay Mr. Draffin went on shore, accompanied by the Master of the vessel, attended by Mongoul, a native of Sydney. Shortly after landing, they were surrounded by a numerous body of the natives of that quarter, who were particularly civil to the small party, and especially so to Mongoul.
In the evening he was left onshore at his own request; two soldiers remaining also among the natives, who had formed an encampment near the beach; but shortly after, owing to some sudden misunderstanding, three spears were darted at Mongoul, but were dexterously avoided. The soldiers in order to intimidate them fired over their heads and induced them to retreat precipitately. They re-appeared the next morning, and renewed their courtesy, but with much caution, and as if intent upon some mischievous design. The first opportunity that offered they found means to carry off a knapsack with its whole contents, and immediately all disappeared.
They were pursued, however, with every expedition, and followed by their tracts thro' the Brush to the distance of 12 to 14 miles before they were overtaken; when being discovered dressed in the clothing taken from the knapsack, and dancing, they were instantly closed with, but taking to their spears, and other offensive weapons, rendered it necessary to fire upon them one was killed, the others followed the party back to their boats, annoying the with spears at every opportunity, which they continued to do until the whole were embarked.
“SHIP NEWS.” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW: 1803 – 1842) 22 Jul 1804
On Thursday three persons who left the Cove with three others in a whaleboat: about three weeks ago for King’s Island under the direction of Mr. Joseph Murrell, came in overland from
Botany Bay with the unpleasant information of the crew being assaulted by the natives at Jervis Bay, and Mr. Murrell dangerously wounded in the back by a spear.
The account given by these people is as follows; That everywhere along the coast the natives wore a menacing appearance, and manifested a wish to attack them: that upon making Two-fold Bay they perceived a small group round a fire, who greeted them in a very friendly tone; trusting in which they landed, and proceeded with buckets towards a watering place, but before they reached which, a flight of spears was thrown without mischief; but being speedily succeeded by a second, one of the weapons, most dangerously barbed, lodged in Mr, Murrell’s side, which was transpierced; and as the whole of the barb appeared, it was broken off and readily extracted. They made to the boat, leaving their inhuman assailants to express their joy of the barbarous event by re-echoed peals of mirth, were soon out of their reach. The travelers next set down on a small neighboring island.
The morning following, four natives visited them, and having begged a jacket or two, left four boys as the hostage of their return with fish; but heedless of its consequence, these wretches soon returned accompanied by a vast number of others armed in their canoes, and a determination was formed to resist their landing. The blacks in consequence commenced a new assault with their spears, which were answered with muskets, and at length retreated with the loss of two killed, besides several being wounded. They returned the same day from the back of the island unperceived; and in increased numbers taking the little party by surprise, they were obliged to take precipitately to their boat as the only means of preservation : but leaving their provision and necessaries, upon which they left their adversaries voraciously regaling. Unable to proceed for their destination they reversed their course, but could only reach Botany Bay, on account of contrary wind, and have there received from the owner every comfort and assistance.
“SYDNEY.” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW: 1803 – 1842) 27 Oct 1805
The sealer ‘George’ was holed by rocks in Twofold Bay and sent a small boat on to Sydney for help.
The schooner Unity, traveling to Van Dieman’s Land, lay two days in Twofold Bay; where four of her people landed with a small boat on the south-side to go shooting at an extensive lagoon, where they had to convey their boat about 100 yards overland. As they accomplished this, they found themselves hemmed in by several hundred natives, who immediately attacked them with spears. The small party had only two muskets, one of which was in a much-impaired state. By discharging only occasionally at natives that advance nearer than others, the Unity party succeeded in crossing to the sea-shore with their boat.
A number of the spears thrown struck the vehicle, and were frequently supposed by the people to have passed through the bodies of each other; but no less miraculously than fortunately, they reached the sea-side without a wound, and thence escaped.
“Sydney” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW: 1803 – 1842) 19 Sep 1812
Bridal trail constructed down Brown Mountain.
The Australian botanist, Allan Cunningham landed at Snug Cove so that he could collect botanical specimens.
First recorded shipment of wattle bark from Twofold Bay:
31 May – while seeking shelter from bad weather at Twofold Bay the schooner Mary, carrying a valuable cargo, worth nearly £3000, was wrecked. No lives were lost but the ship and its cargo was lost and the survivors, Captain Richard Heaney, his wife and crew were attacked by the local natives and compelled to travel overland to Sydney
Brown Mountain Trail became “Postman’s Track”.
The schooner ‘Sophia’ sought shelter in Twofold Bay but was driven ashore and lost.