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Ross reaches Central Mount Stuart
Title : Ross reaches Central Mount Stuart Ross reaches Central Mount Stuart
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Creator : Giles, Alfred, 1847?-1931
Source : Exploring in the 'seventies and the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line, p. 45
Place Of Creation : Adelaide?
Publisher : W.K. Thomas
Date of creation : 1926?
Format : Book
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John Ross, surveyor William Harvey and Alfred Giles rode to the top of the range of hills and saw ahead a mountain that Ross believed was Stuart's Central Mount Sturt (subsequently renamed Central Mount Stuart by the authorities). Recent rain in the area meant the creeks were running with water, and the grass was luxurious. Giles describes some of the other vegetation they passed through and notes that Ross set fire to the spinifex (porcupine grass). Earlier he had referred to the loss of their damper, and all their kit for mending saddles and saddlebags. These had fallen from pack bags torn by the dense scrub and the spinifex. By firing the spinifex Ross was making it easier for his men and horses to move.

John Ross was the leader of one of the exploration parties for the Overland Telegraph Line (OTL). This was a major undertaking by the South Australian government and was supervised by Charles Todd. The OTL when completed would run from Palmerston (Port Darwin) in the Northern Territory to Adelaide and would link to the undersea telegraph cable that came ashore at the northern port. This telegraph line, a single strand of copper wire spanning the continent, would link Australia to the world with swift communication where previously news from Europe was weeks old when it arrived by sea. The route the OTL would follow across the continent had only been explored a few years before by John McDouall Stuart, the first man to pass through the centre of the continent, reach the north coast and return alive.

Related names :

Giles, Alfred, 1847?-1931

Ross, John, 1817-1903

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

Coverage year : 1870
Place : Central Mount Stuart (NT)
Further reading :
Giles, Alfred, Exploring in the 'seventies and the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line Adelaide: Friends of the State Library of South Australia, 1995
Symes, G. W. Exploring in the MacDonnell Ranges, 1870-72 Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, S.A.Branch, Historical Division, 1960
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Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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