This week Ian Campbell investigates Scottish-born entrepreneur, Ben Boyd who sailed the 25 metre Wanderer into Sydney in July 1842, soon after setting sail for Twofold Bay at Eden on the NSW Far South Coast following four steamers crammed with supplies down the coast.
Ian writes "Seeking his fortune, Boyd quickly established a network of pastoral properties spanning a landscape that took in the sea and the snow.
"He also took charge of coastal steamship operations linking the region with Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania, and was a player in Eden’s whaling industry.
"Part of his enterprise remains – the impressive Seahorse Inn. Construction started in 1843 using sandstone imported from Sydney and oak fixtures from England.
Boyd’s Tower on the southern shores of Twofold Bay is his other legacy. Constructed in 1847 the 23-metre-high lighthouse was intended to guide his fleet of ships home.
A number of challenges, not at least his overly ambitious plans and the financial depression of the time, combined to undo Boyd and he was declared bankrupt in 1848.
He left Eden on the Wanderer to restore his fortunes in the Californian Goldfields, but his treasure chest was never the same.
He was last seen in the Solomon Islands hunting for duck. Creditors came looking, but his body has never been found."
Ian's wonderful Podcast 12 and Video – Eden’s Wanderer Replica Project is now online for your listening pleasure. The Wanderer Replica Project was launched in 2014 by a group of locals with a love of Boyd’s story and skills in shipbuilding. Fundraising moves ahead, and so too does the ship building. I caught up with one of the committee members selling raffle tickets. Jon Gaul says apart from the historical and tourist interest the completed Wanderer will also offer youth training and development programs.