14th July 1860 a notice appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald announcing that The Alpine Pioneer and Kiandra
Advertiser would soon be published
by Thomas Garrett at Kiandra and Russell's. The paper had a dramatic beginning
in August 1860, after its presses were hauled to Kiandra through the snow on
the backs of Chinese coolies. The dray contracted to carry the machinery was
stranded by heavy snow on the far side of Russell's. Chinese carriers
contracted by the Celestial Transport Company (Principal William Templeton)
carried the disassembled presses, weighing a total of 4,400 pounds, the
fourteen miles to Kiandra over a period of only ten hours.
The Alpine Pioneer was then
published twice weekly for the next 8 months. On 21 March 1861, due to falling
numbers on the gold field, the paper announced it was ceasing publication in
Kiandra. The presses were moved to Cooma, where it became the Monaro
Mercury, the predecessor to
Cooma's current local newspaper, the Cooma Monaro Express.
Only 16 issues of The Alpine Pioneer have survived. These date from the issue of 24 August until the
issue 28 December 1860. Copies are held by the Mitchell Library in Sydney, and
the National Library (Canberra) and the Cooma Monaro Historical Society on
The pages displayed below (in chronological order) have been chosen to give a
sample of the material that can be found in the paper.
Some items of special interest include:
24 August 1860
Court Report - the failure of the Sunday Selling and Sly Grog
selling cases against Luke Reilly and A C Croy, and the imprisonment of William
Templeton (illegally at large - ie broke Ticket of Leave conditions)
9 October 1860
Court Report - the Moo Choo case of spurious gold
12 October 1860
Mining Matters on Kiandra - the letter from J.E.G.
27 November 1860
The editorial and latest information on the Crack-em-back
Rush, and the Dawes vs Detective Lyons case in the Court Report.
14 December 1860
The Mining Report, and the subsequent pages with
advertisements about Tredbo & Crack-em-back and the announcement of Boxing
28 December 1860
New Years' Day Sports!!! and Hurrah for the Races!!
(Material on this page prepared by Hugh Capel)
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