1917 Daily Chronicle January 15 -- letter
Sir. -- With reference to the article which appeared in your issue of
the 11th instant relative to the lake near Moneague -- about the year 1864 there was a flood from which a similar lake was
formed stretching from Unity Valley, River Head, Rio Ho and Walton. It covered
hundreds of the acres of land. On an average, the lake was 20 to 30 feet deep
and with a breadth in some places of about an eighth of a mile, in other parts 40 or 50 feet.
The greatest depth in this large expanse of water was at Flash’s Ground on Walton property where unfortunately
the young daughter of the headmaster, Mr. Mais, was drowned while bathing.
The whole length of the lake must have been fully three miles. Mr. Mais, the Headmaster, was instrumental in procuring by subscription a boat which
could carry about six persons. It was called The Lady of the Lake and we many
times went out boating in her.
There was an influx of wild ducks, many of which other boys and
myself used to shoot. These ducks were of the large grey-belly type. On one occasion I found a nest with some 10 eggs. They [sic]
were also snipe, plovers, pea doves, white wings, and blue pigeons to be found feeding on the property.
In the course of time the lake dispersed but it appeared again
about the year 1874, but I don't think in such large proportion as before mention.
The Doctor who attended the school thought when the lake dispersed
there would be much sickness caused by the malaria arising therefrom, but this did not happen; there was no sickness whatever
in the neighborhood.
A fine picture might be taken from the top of Mount Diablo looking
down on the lake with the driving fog and the sudden appearance of the sun shining on the water, as I saw it in the year 1874. It was a glorious panorama.
I am, etc.,
JAMES A. MARSHALL.
3 Norman Crescent,
13th January 1917.