MOSSY POINT is located between the pristine Tomaga River and Candlagan Creek.
Once part of the Batemans Bay to Moruya grand drive it has been bypassed and is often overlooked by visitors rushing along George Bass Drive. If only they knew of the little gem that lies to the east.
The Mossy Point Headland is on the south side of the Tomago River where you will find a boat ramp, the sheds of a local kayak and bicycle hire company and the anchor memorial , the village of Mossy Point is a secluded spot comprising mostly residential houses some of which are available for holiday rentals through the local real estate agents.
In 1999 Greta Allen started an art space in one of the rear rooms of what is now called The Mossy Cafe. This grew into The ARTery , a gallery and collective of local artists and a must visit when in Mossy Point
The name "Mossy Point" was adopted to re-name it from Connells Point when the Postmaster General’s Department requested the name of Connells Point changed, to stop confusion with Connells Point in Sydney. It was first decided in 1940 to rename the place after Cone Rock which most locals then called The Mossy Point, although some called it Mossy Rock or The Chinaman’s Hat after the large cone-shaped rock at the end of the breakwater which extends from the rivermouth. The name was changed in 1946.
The Field Book of surveyor James Florance, compiled in 1828, speaks of Tomahgan River and Cundalgah Creek. In the 1940s-1970s The Creek used to be known as Candlecut or Candlegut Creek (an alternative spelling of the aboriginal word that gave Florance “Cundalgah”) but it has been more often called Candlagan since the 1980s.
Connells Point was originally named after an interesting local identity. Folk-lore has it that he was a sort of layabout bushranging, beachcombing squatter who lived in the area in the 1850s and is understood to have made the original selection however no one as yet has found Connell's title suggesting that he might have been a squatter or an overseer managing a property for someone else.
Connells Point had been grazing land for about 50 years but this came to an end in about 1927 when it was was sub-divided into 361 building blocks.
The Mossy Point Anchor.
In the 1960s a community group was formed following a suggestion by Mr Marsden (Commander RANR) Hordern of Mossy Point, and as recommended by him a fund was opened for the anchor's preservation and the erection of a monument. Quite a few added to the fund, with some contributing liberally. The idea of dedicating the anchor as a monument to Captain Cook's voyage of discovery up the coast and the part that ships played in the development of the region had the community's full support. However, they were amazed when Eurobodalla Council held a totally unannounced ceremony and dedicated the monument without inviting any of the community.
The local community at the time included Admiral Sir Roy Dowling Chief of the Naval Staff, Commodore John Stocker, and Commander Ben Barwood who along with other locals were thoroughly antagonised. To make matters worse, the plaque read:
"This anchor believed to be from the 'Scotia' of 52 tons wrecked off this point in 1884, was erected to commemorate the Bi-Centenary of Captain Cook's historic voyage of discovery along the N.S.W. coastline, passing Mossy Point on this day 200 years ago."
The anchor is a 1.5 tonne piece, the Scotia was 52 tonnes. The anchor and chain would have caused a considerable list and as well, the Scotia sank off Kiama in 1889.
Some long-term locals, who had been around at the time remembered that the anchor was brought from Sydney and placed in The River around 1912 by Cook's Timber Mill as an aid to navigation. It carried a buoy and was used to swing and warp the small vessels using the port to load timber, potatoes and cheese and to bring in supplies for the Bimbimbie mines. It was also used by the punt which took timber and produce to ships anchored at the entrance.
A revised plaque was put in place on 1 October 1982.
The anchor was not a part of Batemans Bay nor Moruya. It is one of the few physical pieces that we have which recall the unique and independent history of the banks of the Tomaga River.
Jeannie Stewart lived at The Point until she was a teenager, leaving in around 1950. She caught many fish near the anchor, in 2010 she recalled it being just downstream of the boat ramp. Others recall that about a foot (30cm) of the anchor showed at low tide.
John Barling's late father Ambrose told him that he saw a clipper ship incident that led to its anchor being left on the rocks by the River, and that a few years later an attempt to pull another vessel off the sand on the northern side of the river resulted in the anchor being pulled into the River, where it stayed until it was recovered for the memorial.
And just to confuse the issue a little more, there were in fact two anchors in the river, in the 1950s the smaller one was taken for use by one of the punts crossing the Clyde River at Batemans Bay.
In the 1950s and 1960s milk was not pasteurised, it was bought “loose” and carried home in a suitable container, usually a billy. It was quite normal to see a car approaching with an arm, hand and billy of milk out the driver's window – no-one wanted to slosh and spill milk inside their car. For a while the Reid brothers brought milk to the Broulee side of the footbridge and rang a bell, people would take their billies to them and buy milk.
Back then there was just a footbridge connecting Mossy Point and Broulee.
There were at least three footbridges, second and third were further upstream from the first. The last one was just downstream of today's road bridge that opened in 1966.
The footbridges were built like the jetties on The River, although the first one had piers that leaned in at the top. The second (built about 1947-48) had no handrails. The third, built in the early 1950s had a wire fence instead of a handrail to be rebuilt with a proper wooden handrail after much of it was washed away in a flood. Locals used to re-nail the boards down when they came loose, which was fairly often while Jim Pike used to daringly ride his motorbike across it to and from work.
History sourced from Broulee Bay Folklore