Ruinous Flood in Fish River, William Balgowan flees for his life

This is about my third great grand father, William James Balgowan who had purchased the property at Dryburgh many years before. We visited the property in the mid 2000’s. If I am remembering correctly the farm buildings were swept away 3 times before someone had the sense to rebuild them further up the hill. Mr Hudson would be Robert Hudson his son-in-law. The Fish River is now called the Lachlan River, after the explorers and surveyors worked out that the Lachlan and Fish River’s were in fact, the same river.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954)
Tuesday 3 May 1870
Page 2 of 9
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954)
Wednesday 18 May 1870
Page 7 of 16

The same journal relates of this locality the most dis-tressing accounts :-

On Tuesday night last, the residents of Dryburgh observed the Fish River to be rising with fearful rapidity. The police stationed there, together with the families of Mr. William Balgowan, Mr. Hudson, and others, were compelled to fly to the neigh-bouring hills, and in doing so were caught by the advancing stream, but succeeded in reaching the high ground in safely. The flood-waters surrounded the various dwellings with such remarkable rapidity that the inmates were unable to remove a single article therefrom, except a tarpaulin. The police barracks has been swept away, and with it a quantity of ammunition, a number of fire-arms, and the wearing apparel of sergeant Harmer and constable Fox. Mr. Hudson and other settlers near have also sustained much damage to their houses and property ; the whole of their farm produce and implements have been carried away by the stream. But Mr. Balgowan is the most serious sufferer; he has lost his all – comprising 2000 bushels of wheat, a Large quantity of hay and oats, all his agricultu-ral implements, three bullock- drays, a new buggy, and various other valuables. His dwelling was swept away by the swiftly rolling torrent, together with his household furniture, books, papers, and other things which cannot be replaced. The whole of Reid’s Flat has been engulphed by the raging waters, which swept away the post-office (the residence of Dr. Lowe), Mr. Reid’s dwelling, and other houses situated on the low-lying lands adjacent to the turbulent stream. The damage done throughout the district is incalculable, and seems to be as wide-spread as it is ruinous.