A dangerous and deceptive mix of dung and water lurked about on the corner of Elgin and West streets, Maitland in 1848.
It was a waterhole which had been so filled with manure that it resembled a large dung-heap.
The moment a heavy body was placed on its surface it would yield and it quickly took a person with it, deeper and deeper they would sink, with no possibility of extracting oneself without help.
There had been seven accidents in a week at the waterhole and while help was at hand for those people, it was not the case for a seven-year-old orphan boy James McCarten on August 16, 1848.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Dec. 7, 2013.