A milestone mystery

On the edge of the Tregeagle district, the bottom of the Alstonville Plateau juts out southwards in a finger towards the flat land beyond. There are appealing views to the east, and those to the west are panoramic. This ridge is the route of Grennan Road, which soon turns to dirt, and for people in the know the roadside trees are one of the places around Lismore where the observant are likely to spot several koalas when they visit.

When the bottom of Grennan Road reaches a crossroads, going straight on takes you down Gollan Road. Hidden behind a thick curtain of fronds belonging to a powderpuff shrub, in the semi-darkness is a concrete roadside marker. This provides distances to nearby towns, in miles, as it predates the shift to metric in 1974.

Gollan Road marker top lightened

It is very strange that Gollan Road has this marker, given that today it is a short dead-end road, and a search of historical maps covering the local area (once part of the Parish of Meerschaum) seems to indicate that no through road ever continued south from here.

Obviously the L refers to Lismore and B to Ballina. C, with its figure of 13, is more puzzling. Gollan Road points approximately in the direction of Coraki, which is about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) in a direct line. Casino, which lies about 90 degrees towards the right compared to the direction of Gollan Road, is about 30 kilometres (19 miles), again as the crow flies.

Which place is C? Did the surveyors make a mistake with the distance? And which route did this mystery road take to its unknown destination?

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