Margaret and Merle are great granddaughters of Bartholomew Rush, who for 13 years was the licencee of this hotel during the 1850s and 1860s. Bart was quite a sportsman as were his sons and grandsons. He excelled at 400 yards and pigeon shooting and was regarded as the best by far in the colony, defeating would-be challengers. But its his exploits in running a frontier hotel and building a house or two and establishing Rush's apple orchards that gave him even more lasting renown. Some threads of the stories are certain fact but they are told today with plenty of embellishment that gives the colour that makes a story a good story!
Bartholomew tended to conceal the fact that his father, Michael Rush was a convict. But at the time of his conviction in 1820, he was the gardener and nurseryman at "Killadoon", Kildare, Ireland where he tended an excellent apple orchard. The walled garden and the brick nursery beds from the pre-1820s are still intact near Cellbridge, Ireland. Margaret has had the significant joy of locating them and standing at the nursery beds and in the apple storage house where her Great Great Grandfather Michael Rush once laboured.
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Photo taken in Mittagong NSW 2575, Australia
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