A small hand-drawn ferry was operated across the Macdonald River, New South Wales by Alexander Books in the 1860s. The ferry crossing was on the main route to the Hunter Valley via St Albans. After crossing the Hawkesbury River at Wisemans Ferry, the road took what is now the Great North Road travelling up Devines Hill and then down the Shepherds Gully track to the Macdonald River at Books Ferry. After crossing the river by punt, the road continued on the southern side of the river and crossed the river again upon reaching the town of St Albans. The service continued until the 1940s when the ferry was replaced by a bridge in 1948. The bridge was subsequently washed away in a flood and never replaced.
Notes regarding places along the Macdonald River written by Owen Earle.
Ferry crossing from Portion 1, Parish of Wonga, County of Hunter granted to John Wilson comprising 60 acres across the Macdonald River to the track on the other side of the river in Parish of St Albans, County of Northumberland.
Letter received by Colo Shire Council from Mr. H. S. Patterson enclosing a statement of claim for loss, damages etc in connection with his Lacre motor lorry which was being conveyed by the Books’ Ferry punt across the McDonald River, such punt having sunk with the lorry on December 12 last (1918). Mr Patterson was claiming the amount of £324-9-6.
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