“The Land of Dhamury”
In the late 1800s a surveyor by the name of `John Green’ wrote extensively in his personal diaries about the Aboriginal people of Gympie and surrounding local areas just four years prior to the discovery of Gympie gold in Deep Creek Queensland by James Nash in 1867.
The following information, copied in its original form, was recorded before Europeans had settled in the area.
Located in the Gympie area Queensland.
From John Greens’ Notes - Saturday, 8th. June 1861. “During further conversation, it was revealed that they knew of the sign and that it belonged to the ancient clans of Kgippandingi. They were of Yuludara who were not marked, it was then that I learnt that their ancestors were taught the sign language of the ancient ones of Dhamuri - this name I remembered as mentioned by many others in the area and along the Mary. I found this all most unusual. I was able to record that these people were not in size a large clan group and numbering near one hundred but were scattered in the forests”.
Wednesday, 3rd. September, 1862
“I make further note that on this journey, we passed by the place near to the river where it joins the lake as shown to us on the last expedition by the Dhilumi Clan of the strange rock ruins and ...(unclear)... and I ventured then to visit the small ceremonial Dhurs at the place of the rock columns and ruins. It was an eerie place, but somewhat beautiful as the point jutted out into the lake, taking view of all directions, I make observation that no similar placement of rings were seen at the stone structure in the Valley of Wolvi. I refrained from entering the ancient site of the rings for I knew them to be special - I took to view the place and further observe the strange stone structures”.
No exact location was given of the structures but various drawings and copies of the hieroglyphic inscriptions and their translation exist.
“I report a strange incidence during this afternoon. There was an errie quietness over the land. The birds had fled. There was no movement of the leaves - not a ripple on the water. David I noted was ill at ease. he said the earth spirits were angry. A great roar sounded beneath our feet and the lands shook violently. Trees heaved upwards and downwards - falling in many directions. I fell upon the ground and could not move so violent was the ground shaking and sliding - one way, and then the next. I could not stand no matter my effort. The horses cried out in fear as they fell upon each other, trying to get upright and free all at the same time. It seemed like an eternity before it ceased. There was a hush as we quietened the horses and secured them further so that they would not escape in their fear. I was fortunate to have placed the camp on high ground for the lake waters had risen considerably, to a new shoreline of many feet and gained much depth of waters. New lakes had been formed as the waters rushed in taking all before them. The great shaking came again and we were thrown to the ground as jolt after jolt came forth from under the ground. Great waves rolled across the waters and crashed upon the shores. filling the waters with the trash and debris. More shaking occurred soon after, and again and again, until it was no more than rumbles in the ground. I take note that the lands have been changed, resembling nothing like it was when we first came.”
“The ground quake had indeed done its damage. I report that on seeking a way to the ancient stone structures and its columns by new routes, I found that all had been changed. The point had gone - there was nothing but waters. The structures have seemingly collapsed, shattered upon the ground, only then to be covered by the new levels of the lake waters. It was as though all had been taken from my view in reasoning, not to be seen again by the naked eye, though of rough estimation, where it had once been. Sadly, I am now unable to further record the symbols, once imprinted on their ancient stones. I give notice that I would have taken to estimate, that the structures would have been in their prime some 30 ft in height rising from four foot square bases of assembled block ...(unclear)... forms of a sand rock composition and the ... (incomplete) ...”
On the 26th September, 1860, Lieutenant Bligh took up 16 thousand acres of land, reaching at one part to a place called Point Elandra (or Illandra) on Lake Cootharaba he named his selection “Caroora”, and it’s thought that this name was also given to the mountain near the town of Pomona, and the spelling has been changed to “Cooroora”. In October 1860 William Hay took up another area of land near-by and called it “Cootharaba”. Neither of these selections was ever surveyed.
No maps exist of that area and the western shoreline of lake Cootharaba before the 1862 earthquake. The sight of the block ruins has not been located. Personal investigation of the area has led me to the conclusion, if the structures exist they’re under about 11 feet of mud.
7th May, 1863;- “Today, with David (the name he gave to the native boy Dhakkanguinni) and some of his clan, we came through the marsh and cedar country along a deep creek from the Mary River. it is not exactly one I would repeat due to the overbearing nature of the undergrowth. David said we had come to Dhamury which was a place to avoid. It came to my observance that the area was strewn with collections of rocks of a block appearance. In some occurrences, they were mounds with many hundreds of articles. On closer inspection, the rocks resembled those of a hand carved nature and of various composition and shapes. of particular note, I observed pieces of metal substances of which I did not know - I collected some for further observance but my companions became agitated”. “The place must have had some meaning - the natives refused to come much closer - I decided to leave the artefacts behind - they seemed much happier - I spent an hour and one half looking at the location. Two more similar experiences were met shortly afterward as we headed towards north and north-west David said the place had been a place of great evil and the great waters had washed it all away. It was then that I had a memory occurrence of a previous dictation about the Kgimpi area which need completion”.