Bridges to the KimberleyIHP0324
In 1895, Joe Bridge and his family along with 1,200 head of cattle leave the gulf country of Northern Queensland for the newly acclaimed Kimberley region of Western Australia. A bold undertaking in itself, they are soon deserted by their four stockmen when deciding their goal as unachievable. By themselves and in the middle of nowhere, it was lucky for Joe his family were made of sterner stuff, with none more so than his 10-year-old daughter Mabel, now insisting she take control of their four in-hand wagon and gun, leaving her father free to try and manage their stock by himself. Through extremes of weather and numerous other dangerous situations, this help being essential to the success of their near two-year journey, with her father naming their new holding ‘Mabel Downs’ in honour of her effort. Heart-warming accounts of this historical journey also reveal a common respect between this small family and indigenous inhabitants encountered along the way, crucial to their overall success.
"Drovers knew they tackled this route at their own peril,” wrote Mary Durack in her book Kings in Grass Castles.
“Some died and some lost all their stock but those that got through go down among the legends of the land.” Excerpt from the story ‘A Girl of Ten in a Man’s Country’ by Suzy Baldwin, from the book Unsung Heroes and Heroines of Australia.
Known as ‘Mabel of the Outback’, she is described by Jack Absalom in one of his TV documentaries as a “true jewel of the Kimberley” and a “legend of the country.”
Dimensions:US Trade (152 x 228 mm)
Pages: 598 pgs