Featured Image: ‘Pinkerton’s Track’ aka ‘The Great Ring-in’. The actual map was drawn by Alex Badior, a former school teacher at Moonan Flat. At the time he was living at ‘Glenrock Station’ before retiring to live in Cessnock.
All three Pinkerton Brothers (David, William, James) distributed mail along the ‘track’
(Reproduced by kind permission of Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society and ‘Pioneers of a Great Valley’)
William Pinkerton arrived aboard the ship ‘Lloyds’ on 4 September 1856 and married Elizabeth Dunbar (born in Scone) in 1863 at St Luke’s. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Dunbar who arrived with the Millers and his wife Elizabeth (nee Parsons) who lived at ‘Gum Flat’, Gundy. William was sponsored to Australia by William Dumaresq of St Aubins. William selected a ‘Conditional Purchase’ of 40 acres, near Gundy on 15 April 1862 and built ‘Gum Flat’, his family property. The farm was eventually resumed and ‘drowned’ when Glenbawn Dam was constructed. Like his brother David, William acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook twice weekly between 1869 and 1875 ‘to be conveyed on horseback’ with a stop at Gundy from 1875. At this time Gundy was a thriving village with three churches, a school, Literary Institute, two general stores, post office, hotel, baker, butcher, blacksmith and wheelwright. It would have been self-sufficient. William and Ann produced at least 11 registered children and there may have been two others? Both William and Ann survived well into their 70s and are buried in the Church of England cemetery in Scone.
James Pinkerton had married Mary MacCallum on 8 August 1844 at Barakell in Ireland and they had a family of nine children when they arrived in Australia in the early 1860s. James’ exact arrival date is unknown but Mary and the children arrived on the ‘Fairlie’ on 29 April 1863. James had come ahead of them and they settled in the Gundy district. James built a small cottage before acquiring ‘Tanborough’ on the Hunter River east of the village of Gundy under the ‘Conditional Purchase’ system which became the family home. Like his younger siblings before him James acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook in 1868. James was a renowned horseman and once at age 64 won a ‘challenge race’ between Moonan Brook and Scone when he may have substituted one pie bald mount for another fresh one? A ‘ring in’ at the races began very early! Both James (84 at Gundy) and Mary (90 at Moonan Flat) lived to a great age. Both are buried in the Gundy General Cemetery. James and Mary had eleven children. The Pinkerton dynasty is an expansive one in the Upper Hunter Valley and many direct descendants still call the district home.