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Berghofer Pass 1909 | by JC Merriman
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Berghofer Pass 1909

"S (Sydney) 75 M (miles), B (Bathurst) 49 M (miles)" The restored section where the name was removed is clearly different and deeper in the rock.

 

John William Berghofer, originally Johannes Wilhelm Berghöfer, was born in Munchhausen, Hessia, Germany in 1840, arrived in Australia 1855, died 1927 and is buried in Mount Victoria cemetery. After trying his luck on the gold fields he settled in the Kanimbla Valley in 1875 and in 1903 took over the old Mount Victoria Inn at Little Hartley which he renamed Rosenthal. He became active in local politics and served as chairman of the Mount Victoria Progress Association, Alderman and President of Blaxland Shire Council and initiated the 1913 Centenary celebrations of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains.

 

He advocated the development of the pass which bears his name, as an alternative easier grade for motor vehicles to Mitchell's Victoria Pass. Constructed between 1907-1912 but opened to traffic in 1909, it was the main western descent of the Blue Mountains until around 1920 when more powerful vehicles and road improvements to Victoria Pass saw that route gain in popularity. Berghofer's Pass was closed to traffic in 1934 and is now a very pleasant, easy-grade walking track.

 

As part of the wave of nationalism fostered by The Anti-German League during the First World War, Berghofer was forced to change the name of his house and inn from Rosenthal to Rosedale and his name was removed from the cliff on the pass and restored in 1955 by his friend Henry Dalziell. His son George volunteered for military service and served in the 1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1918.

 

Also caught up in the anti-German hysteria was Charles Lindeman, originally Lindermann, (1859-1931) who was removed from his position on Katoomba Council by special legislation passed in the NSW parliament and directed solely at Lindeman and Berghofer. He was forced to sell his guesthouse and dairy and spent the last 15 years of his life in obscurity. Thanks to local historian Jim Smith, Lindeman's name has been rescued by the rediscovery and restoration of the historic walking track which he surveyed and built, The Lindeman Pass at Wentworth Falls. But that is another story...

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Taken on January 11, 2009