If only the river could talk, the stories it would tell.
Scores of people stretch their legs on the Wollondilly River walkway every day, not necessarily thinking about the points of interest along the way.
All that will change thanks to an initiative by the city's three Rotary Clubs - Goulburn, Goulburn Mulwaree and Goulburn Argyle to install signs detailing the area's history along the every growing track.
Goulburn Rotary past presidents Neil Penning and Justin Kell addressed councillors about the idea at their meeting on Tuesday.
Six one-metre high aluminium frames will be installed at six points along the walkway. These are, in order of progression: Marsden Weir; 'Harvey's hole,' at the end of Albert Street, Kerr's Market Garden (near Albert Street); the site of the old Gibson Street tannery; 'The Rock' - an old swimming hole near Bellevue Street; and Goodhew Street, acknowledging the contribution of former Goulburn mayor Arthur Goodhew.
Mr Penning said the concept had been three years in the planning and involved a great deal of research, ably assisted by Goulburn Library's local studies officer, Fran O'Flynn.
"We saw it as a terrific project," Mr Penning said.
"Everywhere you go (around town) there's signage for points of interest so this just complements that work.
"...It will get people interested in our history and maybe asking a few questions and arguing. Rivers associated with early history are always interesting and there's so much (heritage) associated with the Wollondilly."
Like Arthur Goodhew for instance. The former Goulburn Mayor (1927-29 and 1944) donated land to the city for nearby Goodhew Park. Mr Penning described the Englishman as a "super shrewd" person who moved to Goulburn and established a wholesale nursery in Goodhew Street. Remnants of two of his unique Japanese trees with sweeping foliage are visible near the walkway.
Goodhew met an untimely death in 1950 after being hit by a car while crossing Auburn Street to attend a council meeting at the old Town Hall.
Then there was Gillespie's Tannery, opened in 1918 to churn out leather for Gillespie's Boot factory in Auburn Street. It closed in 1926 and the building became a woolstore. The structure was demolished in the early 2000s.
At 'The Rock,' people like accomplished local swimmer Brian Mills trained and hundreds of others cooled off in summer. A little further along, 'Harvey's hole' was another popular swimming spot. It was named after Henry Harvey who had one of several market gardens along the riverbank. Goulburn man John Kerr also had one until supermarkets drove him out.
The clubs have spent $3000 on the signs, crafted by Studio 4. They will be installed by the end of August. More are planned as the walkway is extended.
"We see it as an ongoing project for the community and tourists. It will be a memorable walk for people," Mr Kell said.
Mayor Bob Kirk praised it as a marvelous project, while Cr Leah Ferrara hoped the signs wouldn't be defaced.
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