During the late 1800s, access to Strathcedar and Mooral Creek was along a road carved out by early Mooral Creek settlers, the Fords.1 In time this road was used by many people moving into the district as the land was settled after the timber getters moved on. The original road followed the edge of the creeks and was rough and prone to flooding and bogging during wet weather. With more people came more pressure on the road.
In the early 1900s the road was reshaped by William (Bill) Betts, the owner of the largest dairy in the Mooral Creek area.2 Bill was married to Annie Ford and their dairy farm was used for cream production.3 The cream cans were transported by horse drawn vehicle along the Mooral Creek road to the factory at Wingham.
In the early 1900s, Bill and Annie became the owners of the first car in Mooral Creek. Due to the poor state of the road and so that Annie could drive the car to town, Bill organised for a new road along higher ground to be carved, away from the creek and to his farm.4 This road is the Mooral Creek Road of today.
Author: Robin Sheppard
1 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 20 March 1907, 3; NSW LRS Parish map of Marsh, Mooral Creek; NSW LRS Vol-Fol: 4403-197.
2 NSW LRS Vol-Fol: 5213-87; Ancestry.com.au, Sands Directories: Sydney and NSW, 1931-3.
3 NSW BDM, Marriage Index William Betts and Annie Ford, 1916, No. 4566.
4 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 21 May 1927, 2; Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW,19 Nov 1921, 4.