Tuesday, March 3, 2020

J. W. Berghofer and Berghofer Pass, Mount Victoria

JW Berghofer (SHS 185)
During the 19th Century German-Australians constituted the largest non-British immigrant group in the colonies: over 4% in 1861. By comparison the Chinese, as the second-largest, came to 3.28%; the Italians as the third-largest made up only 0.21%, and the total migrant population of 48 other ethnic communities amounted to only 3.25%. Organised large-scale immigration started with the arrival in 1838 of groups of Lutheran farming communities from the eastern provinces of Prussia. Many were experienced vineyard workers and were welcomed in South Australia where they established communities in the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley, a small number even went into the desert to spread the Faith among the Indigenous people. 
A smaller wave in the wake of the failed German revolution of 1848 brought a different group of immigrants, including outspoken democrats and liberals dissatisfied with the lack of political reform in Germany who chose a country promising constitutional democracy and progress towards their ideal of a unified nation state. A third wave of German immigrants was part of the huge number of fortune-hunters who arrived during the gold rush years of the 1850s. When the goldfields were exhausted, many of the diggers and tradesmen of German origin took up farming in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.
Johannes Wilhelm Berghöfer was born in the village of Münchhausen in the province of Kurhessen, Germany in 1840. In 1855 he accompanied his mother Anna, née Althaus, and four siblings, as steerage passengers to New South Wales, there to join his father Wilhelm Christian Berghöfer (1806-1890). In 1853 Wilhelm had left Germany on board the ‘Triten’ sailing from Hamburg ahead of his family to prepare the way. They were seeking a new life and opportunities in Australia where four more children were born. William soon found work as a farm labourer in the Bankstown area where his family joined him.
By 1864 William had saved enough money to buy his own piece of land Road from the merchant, manufacturer and philanthropist Ebenezer Vickery (1827-1906), on Rocky Point near the Sydney suburb of Sans Souci, a place name with a German connection. Sans Souci takes its name from a grand house built on Rocky Point Road on land bought in 1853, by Thomas Holt (1811–1888), a wool merchant and politician, for his German wife. It was named after Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany, the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. 
In the 1850s English and Irish migrants had settled along the Rocky Point Road in Sydney’s south where the suburbs of Kogarah and Sans Souci, where they found fertile land and an access track to the City markets. German settlers also found land there, helping to turn the area into a great vegetable supplier for the expanding suburbs. Although coming from a staunch Lutheran background in Germany, the Berghofers joined the Anglican Church and became active in community affairs, attending the first Anglican service in the district in 1867.
William Berghofer became a successful and dedicated market gardener. His holdings occupied over 4 acres, he grew rhubarb, peas, potatoes and beans and his garden was typical of many others in the area, some of them worked by his devout and industrious German countrymen. He was a foundation member of the St Paul's Anglican Church at Kogarah and chairman of the committee that planned and established the church building in 1868-69. There were 45 children attending school in the church building, until the first separate school was established in 1876. He was also a prominent member of the Rocky Point Road Trust that managed repairs and construction contracts. William died on 31st May 1890 and was buried at St Paul's, Kogarah, the church he had helped to establish 21 years earlier.
William’s son Johannes Wilhelm anglicized his name to John William when he arrived in Australia and the family adopted the name Berghofer without the accent. The strong sixteen year old youth initially worked as a farm hand for a local landowner followed by a position as overseer of roadworks. In 1867 he married Katherine Spring (1850-1945) a girl from the Rhineland whose family farmed a small holding in nearby Rockdale. Following his marriage, John purchased land from his father and began farming on his own account, later acquiring more land from Ebenezer Vickery. 
John and Katherine Berghofer 1901 (courtesy Blue Mountains Historical Society)
 By 1874 John, now in his mid-thirties, had a growing family of four boys and a girl. When one of his brothers contracted a serious illness, he realised there was no local burial ground, so he campaigned for land to establish Kogarah Cemetery. In the same year he formed a committee for the establishment of a Public School.
Around 1870 John Berghofer decided to try his luck on the ‘diggings’ and travelled on foot with three companions to the Hill End and Gulgong goldfields. By then the easily accessible alluvial gold had be largely worked out and mining companies were formed to get at the deeper deposits. The group had little success and Berghofer found work as a carpenter and engineer while teaching Sunday school to the miners’ children. Returning after a few months, he resumed farming on the cabbage patch at Kogarah, but it was through this adventure that he first travelled over the Blue Mountains.
In 1876 while the Kogarah School was still being built, John Berghofer took up a position of considerable responsibility in the Kanimbla Valley, managing ‘Kanimbla’ station for his old benefactor Ebenezer Vickery. Vickery gave Berghofer full authority to deal with all matters at Kanimbla, which was a massive landholding by today’s standards, encompassing nearly the whole of the parish of Kanimbla including about 10,000 acres of freehold land and more under lease-hold.
Berghofer set to work with a will, first building his own homestead to accommodate his growing family, he then built a brick residence for Vickery as a summer resort. In 1878 he became a naturalized Australian citizen. Two daughters were born during this period which may have encouraged him to build a new schoolhouse for his own children and the dozen families of the Kanimbla Valley. Originally a half time school when founded in 1869, by 1882 Kanimbla School had reached the required minimum of 25 pupils to move from a half-time to a full-time public school later known as Duddawarra School.
Mount Victoria Inn 1887, named Rosenthal by Berghofer (PF 996)
The diligent and hardworking Berghofer prospered and in 1892 purchased a property in Little Hartley at the foot of Victoria pass, known as ‘The Foot of the Hill’. On the land stood an old semi-derelict coaching inn, the ‘Mount Victoria Inn’, built in 1839 by convict labour, for William Cummings of Bathurst and first licensed as the Crown and Horses Inn.  This he renovated and renamed 'Rosenthal' (Valley of the Roses) in memory of the old Berghofer homestead in Hessia, making it his family home. Around 1890 he purchased land in Montgomery Street, Mount Victoria and financed constructed of two semi-detached cottages for lease. The cottages, known as Larsen’s Cottages, were built by Neils (Peter) Larsen, father of poet Henry Lawson and ex-husband of feminist Louisa Lawson. It is said that the young Henry assisted his father with the house painting and may have briefly attended a local private school run by another German immigrant, Henry Rienits. 
By this time Berghofer had become a familiar figure in the settlement of Mount Victoria, where a small German expatriate community developed. Always well-dressed in a dark suit, bow tie and Homburg hat, he wore a top hat for special occasions and to church on Sundays. The Montgomery Street venture proved successful and he followed it with a general store with living accommodation on the corner of Selsdon Street, which was leased to store-keepers from 1912 to 1923. The accompanying residence known as Berghofer’s House was leased to tenants for much of the sixty years that Berghofer and later his widow owned it.
Berghofer’s primary residence after 1892 was 'Rosenthal', except for the period 1898 to 1903 when he returned to Kanimbla homestead as Vickery’s manager, by which time his family had grown to five sons and six daughters. He and his compatriots were also active in the affairs of the town: Charles Prott was the Mount Victoria postmaster and a crack rifle shot, winning the Queen’s Cup, his nickname was ‘Bismarck’, and Albert Kunz opened ‘The Ladies College’ in 1891. Henry Guenther Rienits was headmaster and founder of ‘The School’ a private boarding school for young gentlemen of good family, which opened in 1885. All were active members of the Mount Victoria Progress Association, Mount York Reserve Trust, Rifle Club, Town Band and Masonic Lodge. 
The Macquarie Obelisk 1980s (PF 182-1)
In 1900 Berghofer campaigned for the building of the Macquarie Obelisk at Mount York and developed a strong interest in Australian history. Later he accompanied his friend Frank Walker, president of the Royal Australian Historical Society, to the summit of Mount Blaxland, to confirm the track of the explorers who had opened the way for European expansion over the Blue Mountains in 1813. 
Berghofer in cart pointing to Mount Blaxland, 1913 (SHS 185)
In 1907 when the Shire of Blaxland was proclaimed, encompassing the area from Hartley to Lithgow, Berghofer was elected its first President and continued as an active member of the Shire council until 1916. The poor German peasant boy who had arrived in Sydney nearly 50 years before had come a long way.
Following a meeting in the Sydney Town Hall in October 1912 the State Governor, Lord Chelmsford, moved the first motion, “That arrangements be made to celebrate the centenary of the gallant efforts of Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson in crossing the then impenetrable and unassailable Blue Mountains in May, 1813, and thus assisting to develop the present magnificent pastoral and farming lands.” Mr. J. W. Berghofer seconded the motion, which was carried.
Crossing Centenary celebrations at Mount York 1913 (LS images)
The Blue Mountains Centenary Committee organising committee was established with Mr. Frank Walker, president of the Royal Australian Historical Society as presidential chair and Berghofer among the vice presidents, with Henry Rienits as organising secretary. The Celebrations focused on Mount York and began with a vice-regal banquet in Mount Victoria on 28 May 1913, at which Berghofer was hailed as ‘the father of the celebration movement’ and recognised as the force behind the memorial pavilion at Mount York, unveiled later that day. Such was the crowning day in John William Berghofer’s public career, he was now 73 years old and it had been a full and eventful life with a distinguished career in community service. Nobody could have doubted his patriotic spirit, although at times he may have been seen as somewhat hardheaded and persistent. But clouds were gathering on the horizon.
Mount York Monument (PF 193-1)
By 1914 over 100,000 Germans were living in Australia, comprising around 2% of the population of five million. They were a well-established and generally well-liked community. However with the rising tension between the British and German Empires this began to change and German-Australian communities throughout the country found themselves the subject of suspicion and animosity. When war broke out in August 1914 that changed to outright hostility. Australia was rife with war fever and ordinary citizens were keen for ways to get involved, to ‘do their bit’. The sinking of the German light Cruiser SMS Emden by the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney in the Cocos Islands was one of Australia’s first actions of the war and excited the nation. The event created hysteria about possible German naval attack, immediately establishing cultural and national divisions within the community.
Within a week of the declaration of war, German and Austro-Hungarian residents of Australia were forced to register with the police. A fear of possible German-Australian 'conflicted loyalties' led to several regulations under the War Precautions Act 1914, such as forbidding German-Australians to leave Australia or send money overseas. These immigrants, naturalised subjects and Australian-born people rapidly moved in the Australian consciousness from 'our Germans' to 'enemy aliens'.
As the war progressed and propaganda about the 'Hun' German continued, the pressures on German-Australians increased. Many lost their jobs or found their communities no longer safe. Internment without charge or trial was implemented around Australia. By 1918 nearly 7 000 men, women and children were interned by the Australian Government. Some were interned voluntarily after they were no longer able to support their families; others were German settlers deported from former German colonies in the Pacific; others still were working class men who had been born in Australia to a German father or grandfather. The aim of internment was to protect Australians and the Australian war effort from 'disaffected and disloyal' 'enemy aliens'.
In NSW the principal place of internment was Holsworthy Military Camp where between 5000 and 6000 men were detained. Women and children of German and Austrian descent, detained by the British in Asia, were interned at Bourke and later Molonglo near Canberra. Former gaols were also used. Men were interned at Berrima Gaol (constructed in the 1840s) and Trial Bay Gaol (constructed 1886). Others were carefully watched by the police and neighbours. Germans lost their jobs or had their business destroyed. Some voluntarily went into camps so their wives and children could survive on a government allowance. At the end of the War, 6150 internees from NSW were deported back to Germany on various ships, in a Government-backed form of ethnic cleansing.
It was not only people who suffered. Dachshunds were routinely kicked or stoned to death in the streets of England and similarly treated in Australia. Owners of Dachshunds that dared venture out into public risked being assaulted and labeled as German sympathizers, or having their pet ripped from their arms to be kicked and stomped to death in front of them. Under such duress, the Dachshund population of the Allied world crashed during the Great War. In Chicago a frightened breeder; after being harassed and tormented by overzealous patriots and self-proclaimed spy catchers, is said to have gone home and shot every Dachshund in his kennel rather than face further reprisal. In 1913, 217 Dachshunds were registered in Britain; in 1919, none. In the United States the poor Dachshund went from one of the ten most popular breeds in 1913 to being represented by 12 survivors in 1919.
The Great War had provided a welcome opportunity to realise one of Prime Minister Billy Hughes’ long-held aims, namely “the eradication of German influences from the trade of all parts of the Empire”. This was to be achieved by diverting “trade from enemy to Empire”, as Hughes put it.
In 1916 the NSW Labor Government enacted the Naturalized Subjects Franchise Act which stipulated that ‘any naturalized British subject of enemy origin shall be incapable of sitting or voting in the Legislative Assembly, the Municipality of Sydney and any Council or Shire’. The act also deprived such naturalized subjects of the right to vote, to officiate as a JP and from holding a publican’s licence. It directly targeted two men, one was John Berghofer. In the NSW parliament it was opposed by Hon. JP Fitzgerald MLA who described it as ‘an act of cruelty directed at Councilor Berghofer, a faithful and loyal citizen’, and that ‘a considerable amount of cruelty would here be perpetuated in the case of Councillor Berghofer’, ‘I refuse to be a party to persecute a few helpless old men’.
The other helpless old man also caught up in the anti-German hysteria was Charles Lindeman, originally ‘Lindermann’, (1859-1931) who was removed from his position on Katoomba Council by the same Act. He was forced to sell his guesthouse and dairy in Leura and spent the last fifteen years of his life in obscurity. Thanks to local historian Jim Smith, Lindeman's name has been rescued by the rediscovery and restoration of the historic walking track that he surveyed and built: Lindeman Pass at Wentworth Falls. But that is another story.
Blue Mountains Identities 1890 (PF 147).
Charles Prott is back row end left, Henry Rienits is back row end right.
Henry Rienits closed his boys’ school which never reopened, it was offered to the government as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers in 1915 and in 1920 it was being used for meetings of the Mount Victoria Progress Association. But not wishing to be outdone, he also had a pass named after him, probably before the War. Rienits Pass appears in a 1919 tourist map of Mount Victoria and connects Pulpit rock at the southern end of Kanimbla Valley Road with Ross Cave via the top of the Mount Victoria escarpment. Rienits and his wife Kate lived at ‘The Lindens’ in Montgomery Street, the linden tree being of great significance in Germanic mythology, and was a keen amateur geologist. He donated minerals, rocks and fossils to the NSW Dept. of Mines and taught geology to his pupils at The School. In 1903 he prospected for coal in Victoria Creek, driving a tunnel into the hillside which was later exploited by his son Oswald.
While Charles William Prott had been naturalised in Sydney on 18 August 1903, making him a British subject, it would appear that he never lost his German accent. To save himself some trouble, Prott told anyone who asked that he was from Belgium. Rather than evoking the usual anti-German sentiment, he was seen as some sort of hero. Things began to unravel when the Belgian Consul in Sydney heard of these claims through people wanting to ascertain their accuracy. The Department of External Affairs was contacted in February 1916 seeking clarification of his status. The truth came out although it is not clear as to the actual impact on Protts life. There is no indication that the Belgian Consul actually pursued the subject any further.
Twenty two ratepayers petitioned Cr. Berghofer to resign his seat in the Blaxland Shire Council but he resisted. In reply he stated that he was naturalized in 1878, and his home and family were here. He held a number of public positions and defied any man to say he had spoken or acted disloyally. He had lived in Australia for practically a lifetime and reared a large family, many of whom were married to Australians. He had worked hard, cleared the bush, and used his strength and ability for the good of the country. Until the Government said he was not fit to hold the position, he would remain in it.
But it was not to be, the Naturalized Subjects Franchise Act finally forced John Berghofer's resignation from the Blaxland Shire Council, and public pressure even made him anglicize the name of his home to ‘Rosedale’. Ironically Berghofer's youngest son Lewis George Berghofer, was fighting with the AIF in France at the same time - although under the assumed name of George Bridge. Two nephews who also bore the Berghofer name had enlisted under assumed names. In fact some 18,000 German-Australian soldiers fought with the Australian Imperial Force against their ancestral homeland. Local sentiment however was not entirely against Berghofer as the Daily Telegraph reported:
DISFRANCHISEMENT. . CASE OF CR. BERGHOFER. LITHGOW, Wednesday. — As the result of the passing of the Aliens Disfranchisement Bill, Mr. J. W. Berghofer, Little Hartley, and representative of C Riding in the Blaxland Shire, has been disfranchised. Mr. Berghofer, who has had a long and honorable career as a Councillor, has been notified to this effect by the shire clerk. At Friday's meeting, the Council will be asked to fix the date for the election of a successor. Mr. Berghofer would have attended the meeting, but he has fractured his ankle as the result of which he will be confined to his house for some time. Sympathy will he extended to the veteran colonist, who has been in Australia for 60 years. He has proved himself a capable citizen— one who has done more towards the development of the country than most men.
Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW: 1883 - 1930), Thursday 4 May 1916, page 4

In the years following the Great War, John Berghofer withdrew from public life, living quietly at his home in Little Hartley which he again referred to as ‘Rosenthal’. Until, on a cool, blustery day in April 1927 in the drizzling rain, the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, visited the memorial compound at Mount York on their return from a trip to Jenolan Caves. Both John Berghofer and Henry Reinits were presented to the royal visitors. The occasion was organised by Henry’s daughter Annie, referred to as Miss Rienits in a contemporary account. Of his three daughters she was the only one unmarried in 1927 and in fact never married.

As Berghofer shook hands with British royalty, did the old man appreciate the deep irony of this brief meeting with the Duke of York? It was well known that the future king had descended from German nobility: he was the great-grandson of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his great-grandmother was Queen Victoria, daughter of the Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
The Duke and Duchess of York at Mount York 1927 (PF 2074-1)
The Duchess of York’s words were recorded in a contemporary newspaper with a variation of his name which provides a clue that Berghofer retained the original German pronunciation and an extra year was added to his age at the time:

‘A Wonderful Road’
When John William Berghoefer, 88 year old pioneer and ‘Father of Mount Victoria,’ was introduced to the Duchess of York, the octogenarian had a heart storm. Her words as he took her hand were, ‘Oh Mr. Berghofer, what a wonderful road you have made over these rugged mountains!’

Was the royal recognition enough to wash away the years of persecution? Did he think back on his long life of service to his adopted country and, looking down at his calloused hands, whisper to himself “Ich habe sehr gearbeitet schwer” (I have worked so hard) and feel some final vindication?

John Berghofer died some two months later, aged 87 and was buried in the family plot in Mount Victoria cemetery.​ His wife Katherine survived him by 18 years, dying in 1945 at the age of 95 and is buried next to her husband. Today, his legacy is visible in the explorers’ obelisk and centenary monument at Mount York, his home ‘Rosedale’, the store in Selsdon Street and the rental cottages that he built. Let us now turn to the other monument that bears his name.
Berghofer Pass from the walking tack (photo: John Merriman)
Berghofer Pass
In the early years the 20th Century motor cars were having a tough time climbing the steep Victoria Pass, in some cases requiring horses to assist them. Hotels and guest houses east of Mount Victoria, in Blackheath, Katoomba and Leura, as well as the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath, however, saw the opportunity afforded by the new faster and more comfortable means of transport and began offering one day motor coach tours to Jenolan Caves.

Surveyor Thomas Mitchell had designed and built Victoria Pass in 1842, using convict labour, for horse, foot and coach traffic. This route replaced several early attempts to find a descent of the western escarpment from Mount York, including William Cox’s original 1815 road. Following the arrival of the railway to Mt Victoria in 1868, the infant Blue Mountains tourism industry in the upper Mountains began to develop itineraries taking in scenic views, waterfalls, and lookouts. With the opening of a direct road to Jenolan Caves in 1882, the Mount Victoria hotels had looked to gain a share of the lucrative tourist market by offering daily coach trips to the ‘far-famed Fish River caves’ as Jenolan was then known. The coach trip however, could be eventful as a newspaper remarked.

The Victoria, or Mitchell Pass has a grade of 1 in 8 and was well known to the old-time travellers, in the days when the famous coaching firm of Cobb and Co. ruled supreme. The drivers of those coaches when they came to this hill, then known as 'One Tree Hill' from an enormous gum tree that graced the pinnacle, used to say, with gentle pleasantry, "Will the gentlemen passengers please walk up this little pinch?" Then they drove off at a good pace for a mile and half, allowing the tired passengers a chance to 'stretch their legs,' as they humorously phrased it, when in reality it was a long, steep walk, especially on a hot day. Wiping the large beads of perspiration from their brows with big coloured handkerchiefs, and wringing them out, the passengers would storm sarcastic blessings on the driver until they again met the coach. At Perry's Hotel, the present site of the Mount Victoria Post Office, all would alight, with parched throats, and the unanimous cry of 'Ave a drink.'
Evening News, Sydney, Saturday 30 December 1911

So as the horse gave way to the motor car in the early 20th Century, the steep road remained just as much a problem for the early vehicles.
Tour car departing Mount Victoria for Jenolan Caves 1926 (LS images)
John Berghofer had business interests in the town and was not a man to sit idly by when a problem demanded a solution. He rose to the occasion and in 1906 rediscovered a ground survey of an alternate route made 20 years earlier. This was an easier grade from skirted Victoria Pass crossing Mount York road and passing below Mitchell’s famous stone causeway with its massive convict built abutments, to emerge near the foot of the descent. His search was recorded in a contemporary account.

Five years ago Mr. Berghofer, a gentleman of considerable influence in Blue Mountains circles, and then president of the Blaxland Shire Council, gave the matter his serious attention. Having heard of the survey made by Mr. Gee, after a very strenuous search, crawling on hands and knees around the sheer face of the cliff, he at last located the surveyor's marks and urged upon the Government the great advantage of making the road along this new path, especially so with the enormous increase of traffic that was going along the Bathurst Road. He was successful in inducing Mr. Lee, the then Minister for Works, to favourably consider the matter and it is entirely due to Mr. Berghofer's pioneering efforts that travellers will have this new road, deservedly named Berghofer Pass. (ibid.)
Berghofer Pass under construction (courtesy Blue Mountains Historical Society)
Construction commenced in 1907 and continued for five years with several interruptions due to finding constraints. When the new pass opening in February 1912 it became immediately popular with regular use by traffic until the early 1920s, when grade improvements to Victoria Pass and the advent of more powerful motor cars made it redundant. Although of a gentler grade, it had sharp curves that followed the contours, and the numerous embankments and culverts required constant maintenance, it was officially closed to traffic in 1949. Today it is signposted and used as a walking track. The original road extended much further that the present one and included what is now known as Berghofer Drive, as well as part of St George Parade and also a small section of Mount York Road. 
One of the fine stone culverts (photo: John Merriman)
In addition to the many fine stonework walls and culverts formed during construction of the pass, a water trough for horses and travelling stock was carved into the sandstone near the halfway mark. The horse trough is supplemented with a small, lower receptacle at the right height for dogs. Both are filled by natural seepage from the rock and remain a source of drinking water for native birds, bush animals, and thirsty walkers.
The Berghofer inscription showing the deeper lettering
after restoration (photo: John Merriman)
A direct physical reminder of the opprobrium to which Berghofer was subjected lies along the bottom section of the old road where an inscription: ‘Berghofer Pass 1909 S. 75 M. B. 49 M’ i.e. Sydney 75 miles, Bathurst 49 miles, is proudly inscribed high on the rock wall just below the fine stone arched culvert which crosses a small rainforest creek. Keen eyed observers will note that Berghofer's name appears deeper than the other lettering. In 1915 when the Coo-ee March from Gilgandra to Sydney was ascending the Pass, some eager recruits, incensed by the sight of a German name, smashed it from the cliff face before passing on to Sydney and their uncertain fate in the Hellfire of the Western Front, many never to return. It is likely that a more systematic removal was carried out at a later date by the Shire Council.
The name Berghofer Pass was also changed to Victoria Pass by resolution of Blue Mountains Shire Council, with the present Victoria Pass reverting to its earlier name of Mitchell’s Pass. This has led to some confusion as Blaxland Shire Council apparently never assented to any such change.
The 2013 Coo-ee March re-enactment followed the same route but with less concern for the name above their heads. The inscription was restored shortly before Berghofer’s death by Blue Mountains Shire Council, a gesture which gave him ‘intense satisfaction’. Bergman asserts that it was restored by his old friend Henry Dalziell in 1954, this may refer to renewal of part or whole of the inscription. In 1990 a memorial brass plaque was erected on the Pass by proud John Berghofer descendants, some of whom travelled from Germany for the occasion.
The horse trough with smaller dog bowl (photo: John Merriman)
Berghofer Pass remains an easy, graded walking track open to the public, shady and cool in summer with the tinkle of dripping water over moss-covered stone and the sounds of echoing birdsong. At any time of year it has magnificent views over the Hartley Valley, and the quiet visitor may even hear the faint tramp of boots as the original Coo-ee recruits march into history, perhaps softly singing ‘Tipperary’. Its usefulness as a road is now long past but it remains a monument to its builder, a man of singular vision and boundless energy. A man whose dress and manners marked his as subtly different  from those around him, but whose misfortune was that his native tongue marked him as an enemy, and resulted in shameful treatment by his adopted land.

·       Bergman, George. (1954). John William Berghofer, the life of a Blue Mountains pioneer. Lithgow & District Historical Society.
·       Fox, Brian. (2006). Blue Mountains Geographical Dictionary. Bathurst, the author.
·       Fox, Brian. (2019). Upper Blue Mountains Bush Walking Club Greater Blue Mountains National Park – Blue Mountains National Park- Berghofer Pass -Monday 19th August 2019 -Track Notes
·       Innes, Paul. (2005). Johannes (John) Berghofer and Berghofer’s Pass.
·       Jack, Ian. (2000). Blue Mountains Heritage Inventory.
·       Low, John. (1998). The Mount Victoria Inn and John William Berghofer.  Pictorial Memories Blue Mountains. Kingsclear Press.
·       Low, John. (2019). Travelling to Wonderland: the emergence of coach services to Jenolan Caves in the pre-motor era. Blue Mountains History Journal, issue 9.
·       Morrison, Don. (1994). Characters of the Post 1813, History of Hartley Valley.
·       Rickwood, Peter C and Joan E Steele. (2019). Henri Rienits, amateur geologist and principal of The School at Mount Victoria, 2019. Blue Mountains History Journal, issue 9.
·       Smith, Jim. (1990). The Blue Mountains mystery track: Lindeman Pass. Winmalee, Three Sisters Productions,
·       Smith, Jim. (1983). Bushwalkabout: One stockman and his dog. Blue Mountains Gazette.

John Merriman 2020.

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