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Laying thb Foundation stone of the Finnis3 Bridge.

The railway now in course 01 construction between Strathalbyn and Middleton crosses the Finnish, about rnmwaj between each place at a considerable elevation. A very handsome bridve

Df three arcnes. tne piers wing 01 stone, ana tne irehes of brick, has been designed to cross the valley through which the stream runs. Apd as hu wdl be the greatest work of the kind yet attempted in the colony, the good people in the South determined to celebrate the commencement of the undertaking in & manner worthy of the work and of the occasion. The Commissioner of Public Work?, who has takeu considerable interest in the line, both in his public and private character, was invited to lay the foundation-stone cf the bridge, which ceremony took place on Tuesday, the 19th, under circumstances of considerable eclat. The Commissioner, accompanied by several gen tlemen, amongst whom were Messrs. Everard and Townsend, M.P.s, the. Surveyor-General, and not a few Ir.uies, left town on Monday morning for Strathalbjn in one of Cobb & Co.'s coaches, drawn by six handsome greys, and reached that improv ng township in the course of the afternoon. Other gentlemen travelled up later in the day by the mail, so that in the evening the two principal ratw, he Victoria and the Robin Hood, were pretty well rowded. Not the least important feature in the mprovements which Strathalbyn has of late years witnessed is the increised.coaifort and convenience which the hotels afford. About 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning the Ade aide visitors, which had been swelled by several additions, Btarted for the scene of action. Most of our readers know what a drive through the sandy scrub is, so we need not dwell at any length on the discomforts of such a journey. Happily the day was fine and cool. The spot where the bridge s to span the valley is really a beautiful one, and a lovely place had been chosen for the chief enter tainments of the day. A wide flit a little above Bowman's completely embesomed by pleasant hills was selected. On arriving at this place we found it all alive; A large number of persons were on the ground. Ladies, many of them in eques trian costume, added to the interest of the scene. The fine troop No. 1 of South Australian Cavalry was already going through their evolutions under the command of Major HiggitB, who was sup ported by Lieutenant Perryman aud Cornet Higgins, Dr. Todman, Surgeon to the troop, being also present The troop is a fine soldierly body of men, well mounted, and the manner in wnich they went through the various exercisra elicited the admiration of all who saw them. The presence of these red-coats gave interest and vivacity to the scene. A body of mounted police was also present Not the least important part of the proceed ngs was a luncheon, which was provided by Mr. Varcoe, of Goolwa, iu a spacious marquee, erected on the ground. About half-past 12 a pro cession, headed by the Coucordia Band from Adel aide, proceeded to the place where the foundations of the piers had already been commenced. The foundation-stone was a huge- block of sandstone oi fine quality, i feet 4 inches long. 2 feet 7 inches wide, and 2 feet deep. It bore oa its face the fol lowing inscription* cil k letters;-' Ibis. ttw«

wm laid by the Hoa Thomas Enelfoh, Connote sioner of Public Work*, on March 19, 1*67. George Ernest Hamilton, Resident Engineer; William Gidding*. Clerk of the Works; William McNamee. Contractor.' ? ? ? ? Mr. Hasiiltor, ad-!res»inc tho large assembly, aw. a bottle was to be deposited in a cavity of the stoue containing a document, a copy of which ha read as follows :-'This stone was laid on thelfltb. day of March. 1S67, in the vOth year of Ihe reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and irf thOUt ? ear of the foundation of the colony. Sir Dominick Daly, K.B., Governor; the Hon. T. English, Com missioner of Public Works: G. K Hamilton. Kesident Enaineer;W. GiddinRs, Clerk of* tha Works; W. McNamee, Contractor.' The stone, was then laid with the usual formalities by tha Commissioner of Public Works, who declared It to be well and truiv laid, and hoped the Great; Architect of the Universe would bless the under* taking, and prescrre the workmen engaged ia i from accident. The Commissioner then mounted the stone, and said the ceremony of the day nfl'onled a fitting opportunity for congratutatinsi tha people of the South on the progress which was being made in the construction of the railway, which would give facility cf communication ta those inland for bringing their produce to the sea board, (dear.) For many years this had been re quired, and the schema would be cinst.icrably ad vanced by the noble utructuro which would riso iu the spot where they stood. The work was of Im portance, not only to the residents in thu district thruu^h which the line would paf.°, hut to tha c jlony {generally. It was also n part of the greuc national work of railwajs which the I'overnineht were now undertaking. It was a link iu a chain which he hoped before long would unite North and South, East and West together. (Hear.) It would have an important influence in incrcv-ing tho Murray trade. They were proud of the no!;lo river, and it would bo to their interest to secure its trada to themselves as much as possible. In pist times they had been rather slow 111 making u*u of all llict advantages which the Murray offered them. (Hear. Now ho hoped they were determined to keep paca with other parts of the world, mid the work in which they were then engaged would aid them to do that. He would not detain them longer, but would conclude by asking them to give thtco hearty cheers for thu Queen. This request wai lustily responded to. Clio era were also given fur the Governor, tho Ens-ineer, ' the contractors and workmen, and tuoCouiuita* sioner of Public Works. The bridge will coiuist of three arches of £8 feet span each, the height from the water levl tct the rail will bu 46 feet. The total length of Uui structure will be KW feet. The pier ami almtmunta are of handsome stone and the arches of brick. The parapet will be of brick with stone dressings. The embankment U '.Mi feet each way, and con tains til.OOJcuMc yards of earth, which arc nearly

completed, xnc lounualiona were very bad. The Engineer had to go down 24 feet lulow tho ground level on the south side, mid thu work wai brought up partly with conctete ami partly witli stoue. The north foundati ins were irreimUr. ' In censcquence of the nature of the ground they had to bs constructed within cotl'er dann. The l-ridgo will he finished in about four montln. ami tha lino as far as the Finniss will bu ready lor opening should the rails arrive in eight or ninu moutlia. Tub Luxchbv-n. Soon after 2 o'clock a large company sat down to au elegant and substantial repast provided by Mr. Varcoe, who had nrraiiKeJ the tnbltM with great taste; Mr. B. F. Laurie, of Port KUiot, in tha chair, and Dr. Taylor in the vice-chair. It was estimated that at least 2J0 person- were present iji the marquee. Apologies were prcacntcil for thu absence of Captain Hart, Hon. J. lloilRltisi, Mr. Bright, M.P., Colonel Bi;-!'*, and other rdu tlemen who were unavoidably absent. Letters were aUo received excusing the absence of tho Chief Secretary, the Cominissioiur of Crown Lands, and the Attorney-General After tho substantial part of the entertainment was satis factorily disposed of, the toasls were given in quick succession, and tho Coiumissirincr.'o * Public Works aud party went on to G Johva.