I’ve made my way to Grudgery on the Bedgerabong road about 30 kms west of Forbes and it really is a one word town, that’s it one word, on a wooden sign, “GRUDGERY”. There is not much you can say about “GRUDGERY” – there are no cafes, shops, motels, pubs or petrol stations, so just one word “GRUDGERY”
The farmland hereabouts is flat to slightly undulating with many areas planted with lucerne and clover for stock feed.
The Lachlan River runs through many of the properties, with some wonderful river bends and water holes surrounded by dozens of old river gum trees.
Edward Francois Barbe, from Paris and my Great, Great Grandmother Mary Jane Peacock are in the nearby area known as Carrawobitty. By now they have eight children Edward Francis Barbe Peacock born 1866 at Carrawobitty, Phillip Barbe born 15/10/1867 at Carrawobitty, Esther Louise Barbe born 4/4/1871 at Forbes, William Barbe born 30/10/1873 at Grudgery, Charlotte Jane Barbe born 30/1/1875 at Carrawobitty, Martha Marian Barbe born 17/2/1876 at Carrawobitty, Arthur James Barbe born 10/10/1877 at Forbes.
William Barbe born on the 30/10/1873 at Grudgery is to become my Great Grandfather on my father’s father’s side. He married Catherine Victoria Stanley who is my Great Grandmother on my father’s father’s side . The above photo was taken on their wedding day.
Squint your eyes closed, listen to the birds and the sounds of the bush and take yourself back to 1877. Let your imagination have its way and feel you are in the olden days and you are witnessing a sunny autumn day on the Bedgerabong Road. Perhaps this is what happened.
The sound of travellers on the road outside the Barbe holding interrupts the activities of the Barbe children. They run to the edge of the road to see what’s happening.
It is William and Harriet Hodges arriving with their wagonette and on horse back. The Hodges are with their twelve children including Ellen, then aged 14, my Great Grandmother on my father’s mother’s side. The family has walked 200 kms all the way from Bathurst to settle in Grudgery at Bedgerabong on the Lachlan River.
The original Hodges home and farm at Grudgery, Bedgerabong.
William and Harriet will spend the rest of their lives at Bedgerabong where they buy a farm and build and manage the Grudgery Hotel which is known as the “Carriers Arms”. The hotel also provided services to the passengers and supplied the horses for the Cobb & Co coach company mail change from Forbes to Condobolin. Their children will become landowners in the area and their descendants still live there today.
The Hodges house in better times.
The Cobb & Co monument outside the location of the Grudgery Hotel.
A very old photograph of the Carriers Arms hotel at Grudgery.
William and Harriet are buried in the Grudgery Private Cemetery on the banks of the Lachlan River behind where the Grudgery Hotel was located. My next place of call is Bedegabong, 5 kms further down the road.