Like other quarries, Saunders used Clydesdale horses to pull blocks of stone to building sites: it was common – if awe-inspiring – to see timber jinkers haul huge loads through the streets.
In 1875 CSR began to build its Pyrmont refinery. The C. J. McCaffery haulage company followed and established its premises on what is now McCafferys Hill. The company was built on horse-power and a contract with CSR, which eventually absorbed it. By 1914, they had 152 horses pulling bulk sugar through the refinery complex, and taking refined and bagged sugar to wholesalers and retailers in the City. This extensive enterprise engaged many local families. Teams of horses straining up the Jones Street hill from the wharves were a striking sight, often photographed. In 1991 Laurie Vella recalled that the horses knew their way from wharf to stables, would complain by turning their heads if a load was not placed exactly in the middle of the tray, and could back up to the weighbridge with military precision.
In 1921 the McCaffery’s stables building was “the latest in stable accommodation from an engineering point of view”. The centre block housed a feed loft above ground floor accommodation. The wings housed the horse stalls. The central office was a two storey brick office and administration block flanked by a single storey garage wing on each side. However, in 1937 CSR began to purchase trucks. The last draft horse departed in 1955 and the depot was converted to a garage.
For more information, visit the Pyrmont History website.