14 Jan 1812 - first public water mill

#OnThisDay 14 January 1812 Governor Macquarie opened the first public water mill in the Colony. The water mill was built by former convict Thomas West on land at Barcom Glen, between Wooloomooloo and Sydney Common and was used to grind grain. The mill operated for about 20 years after which time the water supply proved to be inadequate. 

In December 1813, Thomas West received a Conditional Pardon and a Cow for erecting the water mill.

Show/hide transcript of the General Order regarding West's Conditional Pardon)

Government and General Order

Secretary’s Office Sydney

Saturday 25th December 1813

His Excellency the Governor has been Pleased to Grant unto Thomas West, who came to this Colony a
Convict for Life, in the ship Earl Cornwallis, in the year 1801, a
Conditional Pardon in consideration of his general good conduct and Character for Sobriety
and Industry, and also in Consideration of his having lately erected a
Water Mill for the Grinding of Grain at Barcom Glen, within one mile and
a half of the Town of Sydney, being the first Water Mill ever erected in the
immediate Vicinity of this Town : And as a further Mark of the Governor’s
Approbation of the Conduct of the said Thomas West, His Excellency has been
pleased to make him a Donation of a Cow from the Government Herds

By Command of His Excellency

The Governor


J.T Campbell Secretary


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