Author Archives: Merron Riddiford

Australia Day

Because of time restrictions, I’m not participating in the 2014 Australia Day Blogging Challenge.  Don’t despair, some great geneabloggers have written posts for the 2014 Australian Day Challenge, a Geneameme, C’Mon Aussie created by Pauline Cass of the Family History Across the Seas blog.

Instead, I will re-visit my 2012 and 2013 posts, Wealth for Toil – William Hadden and The Drover’s Wife

The 2012 Challenge was about occupations and the phrase “wealth for toil” from the Australian National Anthem.  “Toil” stood out for me and I chose to write about my gg grandfather, William Hadden of Cavendish, and his work of almost 70 years, at Mokanger Station.  Full Post

The following year threw up a new challenge and for 2013, the task was to write the story of my first ancestor to arrive in Australia.  I decided not to go with my ggg grandparents Thomas Gamble and Ellen Barry, both early arrivals, because I had told their stories on other occasions.  Instead I chose Sarah Hughes, another ggg grandmother, who I had suspected arrived in 1840.

Sarah married James Bishop in 1852 and after time in Mt Gambier and the goldfields of Ararat, they settled around Byaduk and later Macarthur.  Jim was a drover and my post explores life for the wives when their husbands were away for long periods on the road. I enjoyed writing this post and I have only now read again it for the first time in a year.  As I say in the post…pass the tissues please.  Full Post

WATTLE & WILDFLOWERS 1886,  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN13/11/86/SUPP http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253970

WATTLE & WILDFLOWERS 1886, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN13/11/86/SUPP http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/253970


Trove Tuesday – Halls Gap in Pictures

Since the Grampians and Halls Gap have been in the news this week, for the unfortunate reason of a bush fire, I thought this week for Trove Tuesday, we should visit this beautiful place in Victoria’s West.

Halls Gap particularly is a special place for me because Dad has lived there for almost 40 years.  So just as I grew up in Hamilton, I grew up in Halls Gap too.

Along with the history books I have collected about Halls Gap, I’ve collected newspaper articles found at Trove.  But I had never searched Trove for Halls Gap/Grampians photos.  Of course I wasn’t disappointed with the results and it was difficult to narrow down the photos to share.

The Rose series of postcards, held by the State Library of Victoria, are an ever reliable source for photos of Western Victoria and there was little doubt that I would find some great photos of Halls Gap among them.  It’s hard to date the Rose postcards as they are all dated 1920-1954, so most times it’s guess-work based on cars, dress and buildings.  Photos such as the following from Sundial Peak, looking over Halls Gap, is pretty well impossible to date.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no,. H32492/2391  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63933

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no,. H32492/2391 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63933

There were two photos of Halls Gap’s main street in the series, several years apart.  The General Store in the second photo, looking almost as it does today, is not in the first photo.  However, I think the first building on the right, with the Holiday House sign, still stands today.

MAIN STREET, HALLS GAP.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no,  H32492/8694 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/58172

MAIN STREET, HALLS GAP. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no, H32492/8694
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/58172

Despite the date range on the postcards being up to 1954, and correct me if I’m wrong, there is an EH Holden parked in the main street.  Holden produced the EH between 1963 and 1965.  There were also two petrol stations, today there is one.

MAIN STREET, HALLS GAP. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,  Image no. H32492/4136 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62227

MAIN STREET, HALLS GAP. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H32492/4136 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62227

The main street 2012.

Halls Gap

The Mountain Grand Guest House, built in 1944,  still stands today.  This is how I remember the Mountain Grand when I first went to Halls Gap in 1975, but it has changed somewhat over the years due to renovations.

MOUNTAIN GRAND GUEST HOUSE, HALLS GAP.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/7789  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60702

MOUNTAIN GRAND GUEST HOUSE, HALLS GAP. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/7789
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60702

FYANS VALLEY, HALLS GAP.  Image Courtesy of State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/2399  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63181

FYANS VALLEY, HALLS GAP. Image Courtesy of State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2399 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63181

 

IMG_0811 (800x523)

The Delleys Bridge, named after a pioneering family, welcomes visitors from the east into Halls Gap.  Since those first pioneers arrived in the valley, different bridges have spanned the Fyans Creek, one of the few access points into town, and now there is a modern bridge. The bridge in the photo is the style I’m most familiar with, except since the photo, it was widened and a pedestrian lane added.  Just beyond the bridge, a road runs of to the left.  Dad lived a few hundred metres down that road for many years and now still lives close by to the bridge.  I have been over the bridge, under the bridge and ridden nervous horses across, while fearing altercations with a cars and the long drop over the side.

DELLEY'S BRIDGE, HALLS GAP.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H32492/6669 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/58616

DELLEY’S BRIDGE, HALLS GAP. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/6669 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/58616

Just over the mountain from Halls Gap is Lake Wartook and the Wartook Valley.  While Halls Gap remained untouched,this part of the Grampians suffered greatly in the fires last week and the level of damage is yet to be fully assessed.

LAKE WARTOOK, GRAMPIANS.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H32492/5317 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/59375

LAKE WARTOOK, GRAMPIANS. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/5317 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/59375

The last of the Rose postcards was a real surprise for me.  It is of the Halls Gap Bowling club that I didn’t know existed.  I’m guessing from the mountain range behind, it was located on the western side of the township. I will ask a couple of born and bred locals when next there exactly where the greens were.

HALLS GAP BOWLS CLUB. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/4224 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62069

HALLS GAP BOWLS CLUB. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/4224 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62069

The Victorian Railways collection, also held by the State Library of Victoria, is another great source of Western District town photos.  I just love this photo of the Pinnacle, a popular lookout at the top of the Wonderland Range.  The unfortunate part about this photo, is that is does not give you a feeling of how high up the lookout is.  Well, I’m suffering vertigo just looking at those brave trekkers.  Thankfully, the fence was later extended down the side of the lookout.

THE PINNACLE, HALLS GAP.  Image no. H91.50/1002  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/97372

THE PINNACLE, HALLS GAP. Image no. H91.50/1002 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/97372

I thought they were brave until I found this photo, before the fence.   The photo was dated 1910-1930, however I have found a newspaper article from 1918 that mentions the fence, so it must be closer to 1910.

The gentleman in the photo is not as daring as Halls Gap photographer, Gilbert Rogers (1880-1950).  A photo in Ida Stanton’s book Bridging the Gap: the history of Halls Gap from 1840 (1988) shows Gilbert hanging from a ledge below the Pinnacle, with his camera and tripod, capturing the best views of the mountains.  Crazy.

THE PINNACLE, HALLS GAP.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H84.461/488 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/51930

THE PINNACLE, HALLS GAP. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H84.461/488 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/51930

 

Not only do kangaroos and emus, call the Grampians their home, so to do deer, a legacy of the homesick gentry of the 19th century.  This sketch from 1881,  gives some clue as to how long they have roamed the mountains.

DEER IN THE GRAMPIANS.  Imprint by Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth,(1881) Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. A/S31/12/81/420 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/258236

DEER IN THE GRAMPIANS. Imprint by Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth,(1881) Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. A/S31/12/81/420 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/258236

These are deer in Dad’s backyard, descendants of those in the 1881 sketch.  Last Friday evening, with fires burning in the mountains three kilometres away, a stag ate fallen pears from one of Dad’s trees, oblivious.

014 (640x480)

The next series of photos are real treasures.  Again, they are held at the State Library of Victoria and are from a collection gathered by Richard Holdsworth.  The date range for the magic lantern slides is 1860-1930.

gramps1

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2012.90/51 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245940

THE GRAMPIANS. Image No. H2012.90/54.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245952

THE GRAMPIANS. Image No. H2012.90/54. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245952

 

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H2012.90/56 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245952

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2012.90/56 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245952

 

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H2012.90/50http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245959

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2012.90/50http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245959

Finally. one of the photographers.  Funnily enough the gentleman with the camera looks very much like my gg grandfather Richard Diwell, himself a keen photographer.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H2012.90/49 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245996

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2012.90/49 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/245996

Halls Gap is a busy tourist town, but the Grampians fire last week will bring financial strain to the businesses there, as did the 2006 fires that burned a lot closer to the township.  The town has now reopened to the public and it is business as usual, but with the fear created, thanks to sensational journalism that spread through social media, it will be hard work to get the word out that Halls Gap is safe. Now is the time to visit and support the wonderful people living there.


Trove Tuesday – Climate Change

Most of my Trove Tuesday posts come from articles spotted while I’m researching other topics.  This week’s article was above an article about “Mike” the Leopard, one of the stars in my last post, Elsie, Rupert…and Mike.

This article caught my eye because it is from one hundred years ago and it’s about climate change and as the temperature is expected to reach 40 degrees in the Western District today, it is timely . There was reason for concern about the climate in 1914, as most parts of Australia were experiencing a severe drought that continued into 1915.

climclim1clim2clim3clim4

Climate. (1914, February 27). The Independent (Deniliquin, NSW : 1901 - 1946), p. 4. Retrieved January 11, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102715750

Climate. (1914, February 27). The Independent (Deniliquin, NSW : 1901 – 1946), p. 4. Retrieved January 11, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102715750

 

MURRAY RIVER AT SWAN HILL DURING DROUGHT OF 1914. Image Courtesy of State Library of South Australia. http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/godson/2/02000/PRG1258_2_1918.htm

MURRAY RIVER AT SWAN HILL DURING DROUGHT OF 1914. Image Courtesy of State Library of South Australia. http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/godson/2/02000/PRG1258_2_1918.htm

In the year 1914 there were several articles about the big dry, including the following from the Sydney Morning Herald.

THE GREAT RIVERS. (1914, May 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15509742

THE GREAT RIVERS. (1914, May 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15509742

Most were scientific and dry, pardon the pun, and there were no others that mentioned a ruminating cow called Daisy.

I found many articles at Trove about climate change, going right back to the 1830s, but one worth reading is this article from the Brisbane Courier, March 15, 1865 – Effects of Colonisation on Climate.


Elsie, Rupert… and Mike.

So intrigued was I by the photo from the State Library of Victoria that accompanied my Trove Tuesday post this week, Leopard on the Loose, I just had to find out more about the photo.

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

It wasn’t too hard really.  Another search at Trove for “Leopard Hobart Zoo” uncovered the following article.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 – 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

You can read the full article on this link – Beauty and the Beast – but in short, the leopard was two-year old “Mike” hand reared by the Hobart Zoo’s curator’s daughter  Alison Reid had rescued the cub after his mother, an exhibit at the zoo, ate Mike’s brother, and she could not let him suffer the same fate.

So what happened to Mike after his photo with Alison?  While I couldn’t find anything specific about his life after 1930, the history of the Hobart Zoo, also known as the Beaumaris Zoo, gives some clue.  Beaumaris Zoo was originally a private zoo owned by Mrs Mary Grant Roberts.   After her death, the Hobart City Council took over the zoo and in 1923 it opened to the public.  During the 1920s the zoo expanded, bringing in animals from other Australian zoos and overseas,  but when the Depression hit, the zoo struggled throughout the 1930s until the Council closed it in 1937.  During those troubled times the last thylacine in captivity, died at the zoo in 1936.

Reports during the 1930s didn’t give Mike much hope. In 1932, a leopard and lion were destroyed to save money, although the newspaper report suggested they were older animals.  Other animals were also sold off to the circus, including Leopards.  So where Mike ended up is not clear.

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

While reading the 1930s articles,  I found that my research had gone full circle.  One article,from 1934, mentioned none other than radio stars Elsie Day and my 2nd cousin, 3 x removed, Rupert Alexander Hazell.  Rupert and Elsie had visited the zoo on an earlier trip to Tasmania and Elsie and Mike had their photo taken together.  The photo proved a hit back in England bringing publicity to the zoo and Tasmania.

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

After reading this article, I proceeded to add it to my “Rupert Hazell” list at Trove.  As I scrolled up, I realised I already had, 18 months ago when I was originally researching Rupert for the post, Everybody Happy.  When I originally found the photo of the leopard for the Trove Tuesday post, I didn’t think this is where I would end up.  If I only I could find the photo of Elsie and Mike.  I have tried the British Newspaper Archive with no success.

I found some interesting blogs with posts about Beaumaris Zoo if you would like to read more of the zoo’s history or would like to see some pictures of the abandoned zoo today:

Australasian Zoo & Circus Animals Historical Journal – Beaumaris Zoo (Hobart) Zoo Part 1 – The Legacy of Beaumaris

Simon Says – Tasmania V: Beaumaris Zoo


Trove Tuesday – Leopard on the Loose

In February 1914, an escapee from the Melbourne Zoo caused a “sensation” on the streets of Brunswick.  Yes, it is another animal story for Trove Tuesday and yes, it is another story with a sad ending.  But it is a story worth sharing and the article, from the Daily Herald of Adelaide goes into great detail about the incident.

It was the daughters of Zoo curator, Mr. D. Le Souef, who were first alerted to one of the zoo’s leopards on the loose in the early hours.  Despite their father’s attempts, the leopard jumped a fence and disappeared from sight.  The leopard was next seen in Barkley Street, Brunswick, at the home of young Miss Winnie Walters.

leo

leo1 leo2 leo2 leo3

leo4

BIG GAME. (1914, February 23). Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), p. 5. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105620933

Trove once again come through with a fantastic photo to go with the leopard story, and it comes from the State Library of Victoria.

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312


Trove Tuesday – New Year’s Eve

A week on and it is New Year’s Eve, so let’s go back to the towns of the Western District to see what was happening as year’s end, thanks to Trove.

A Warrnambool is a popular New Year’s Eve destination today and a little livelier than 1915.  After a tragic year, there was hope for better things in 1916.  Now we know that they did not come.  Sorry, this article is a little difficult to read in parts.

NEW YEAR'S EVE. (1916, January 3). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73865946

NEW YEAR’S EVE. (1916, January 3). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: DAILY.. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73865946

Just as Warrnambool had the local brass band playing, so did Coleraine.

Coleraine Albion. (1916, January 6). Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119606431

Coleraine Albion. (1916, January 6). Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119606431

Hamilton residents had an evening of outdoor silent films to enjoy on New Year’s Eve, 1915. There were also many activities to look forward to the following day, including several race meetings, with trains running from Hamilton.

Advertising. (1915, December 30). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 5. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408582

Advertising. (1915, December 30). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 5. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408582

Those who attended enjoyed New Year’s Eve pictures enjoyed the humorous “Josie’s Legacy”, the dramatic “Winthrop Diamonds” and an offering from Pathe’s Gazette.  Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Palmer accompanied the films with incidental music.

    OPEN-AIR ENTERTAINMENT. (1916, January 3). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408747

OPEN-AIR ENTERTAINMENT. (1916, January 3). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408747

The grassy hill within the Hamilton Botanic Gardens is a perfect place for an outdoor picture theatre.

HAMILTON BOTANICAL GARDENS

HAMILTON BOTANICAL GARDENS

Despite having a late night, Hamiltonians were up early on New Year’s Day to take part in the many activities available, such as the Winslow races, sports days and day trips to coastal towns.

NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS. (1916, January 3). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408772

NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS. (1916, January 3). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120408772

As 2013 draws to a close, may 2014 be a good year for you.  Happy New Year.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H99.166/327 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16626

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H99.166/327 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16626


Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to the last Passing of the Pioneers for 2013.  The obituaries include one belonging to a favourite Halls Gap pioneer of mine, Sophia D’Alton.  There is also a former convict and a man who saw Melbourne shortly after settlement.

For some holiday reading why not check out the earlier Passing of the Pioneers posts.  There are now 30 in total with hundreds of family names and some great stories.

William RENWICK - Died December 11, 1874 at Portland.  Born in Scotland around 1897, William Renwick left his native country around 1827 and sailed to Tasmania as an overseer of animals on a ship.  He continued his employment with the company after the voyage.  Around the early years of Melbourne’s settlement, when there were only three houses, William Renwick moved to the new colony.  He then moved on to Portland where he remained until his death.

Samuel HUTCHINSON - Died December 21, 1874 at Portland.  While his obituary doesn’t mention it, an article about the construction of the Steam Packet Inn, built by Samuel Hutchinson around 1841, reveals Samuel was a convict.  At the time of his departure for Portland from Tasmania, he had obtained his ticket of leave and was working as an overseer in a woodyard.   Samuel was listed as one of the purchasers of land in Portland in 1840.  His first wife, also a convict, passed away and he remarried.  At the time of his death he left a widow and six children.

Mrs Ellen J. LLOYD – Died December  1915 at Hamilton.  Born in Waterford, Ireland around 1831, Ellen Lloyd arrived at Portland in 1849 and went to Violet Creek Estate near Yulecart to take up work.  She met her future husband there and they married in Hamilton in 1850.  They settled at Muddy Creek and raised a large family, with 11 children living at the time of her death.  Ellen moved to Strathkellar around 1906 to live with her daughter, Grace Munroe, and she resided there until her death.

Henry POTTER – Died December 4, 1916 at Hamilton.  Henry Potter was born in Norfolk, England around 1841 and travelled to Adelaide with his parents around 1854.  The family moved to Portland where Henry took up a plastering apprenticeship before entering into a building partnership with Mr T. Wyatt that lasted 40 years.  They first operated from Mt. Gambier then Portland, Melbourne and finally in 1874, Hamilton.  In his later years, Henry Potter worked as Clerk of Works on several buildings around Hamilton.  At time of his death he was the oldest affiliated member of the Grange Lodge.

Sophia D’ALTON – Died December 13, 1916 at Stawell.  I have a soft spot for Sophia and her twin sister, Henrietta, actually they intrigue me.  The D’Altons were Halls Gap pioneers and lived at “Glenbower” just out of Halls Gap, near Lake Bellfield.  I had read about the site of their former home, now overgrown with bush, and wanted to find it.  I asked an old local and was directed to the site. At the time the D’Altons lived there, there were several residences, but bush fires over the years destroyed them.  It is amazing to stand in such an isolated spot and imagine the goings on at “Glenbower” when the sisters lived there.  Henrietta was an acclaimed wildflower artist, and many of her artistic friends from Australia and abroad visited their Grampians home.  So bohemian.

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

FIRES IN THE GRAMPIANS. (1914, February 21). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 26. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89311608

Sophia and her sister were born in Kilkenny, Ireland around 1836.  In 1856, their widowed mother, the girls and other members of the D’Alton family came to Australia, settling first at Stawell before moving to “Glenbower”.  Sophia and her sister remained there until a few years before Sophia’s death when they moved back to Stawell.  The pioneers of the Halls Gap district were tough and they were faced with many perils from fire to flood.  “Glenbower”, while eventually burnt out, out a close call in 1914 when fires licked its walls.  This fire most likely the reason for the sister’s last move to Stawell.

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

OBITUARY. (1916, December 16). Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12949152

 

Isabella GORRIE – Died December 18, 1918 at Ararat.  Isabella Gorrie was an old resident of the Ararat district, having moved there with her parents when she was a girl. She taught at the local school and in 1878, she married Andrew Murray.

pp4

Family Notices. (1878, January 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 1. Retrieved December 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5916993

Isabella was a member of the Australian Women’s National League, a President of the local Red Cross branch and with the outbreak of WW1, she became the local representative of the Neglected Children’s Department.  Her brother Robert was the Town Clerk of Ararat for many years.

Richard Benson McGARVIE - Died December 19, 1938 at Camperdown.  Richard McGarvie arrived in the Pomberneit district, with his father  William in 1865.  Richard was a farmer until the 1920s when he moved into Camperdown.  Prior to that Richard he was an active community member of Pomberneit, as a member of the Victorian Mounted Rifles, the Pomberneit Rifle Club and the Camperdown Pastoral and Agricultural society.  He was a Councillor on the Heytesbury Shire and served as a committee member of the St James Church of England, Pomberneit.  He left a widow, Emma, and three sons and three daughters.

Mary SWAIN – Died December 19, 1941 at Camperdown.  Mary Swain was born in Port Fairy around 1860 but moved to Camperdown as a girl.  She married Joshua Beard and they had one son and a daughter.  Joshua helped build the railway between Camperdown and Timboon in the late 19th century and one of Mary’s dearest possessions was a photo of Joshua and a wagon laden with posts from that time.

James WILSON – Died December 25, 1944 at Portland.  James was born at The Lagoons, Lower Bridgewater in 1863 to John and Agnes Wilson, pioneers of the Bridgewater district.  In 1886, he married Priscilla Hollard.  James was a hairdresser and tobacconist in Portland and worked for Learmonth’s auctioning firm.  He ran a business in Melbourne for some time before returning to Portland in the late 1940s.  During his time in Portland, he attended the Methodist church and was member of the Sons of Temperance benefit society.  He and Priscilla did not have a family.

Ruth GALE – Died December 5, 1949 at Portland.  Ruth Gale was born in Portland around 1863 and attend Hill’s School at West Portland.  Ruth was a dressmaker and learnt her trade from Mrs Trickey of Portland.  Around 1889, she married Angus Martin and they moved around the state, residing at several different towns, before moving back to Portland around 1942.


Trove Tuesday – Christmas Eve

What could I share for a Christmas Eve Trove Tuesday?  Something Christmassy of course.  With many new Western District newspapers now at Trove, I thought I would see what was happening on Christmas Eve in the towns that missed out on a mention in the Christmas posts from the previous two years.  The year was 1915 and country was suffering with WW1 and drought .

Coleraine put on the usual Christmas Eve of last minute shopping and the Coleraine Brass Band.

Coleraine Albion. (1915, December 30). Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119606385

Coleraine Albion. (1915, December 30). Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119606385

COLERAINE.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/2813 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63071

COLERAINE. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2813 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63071

Business was brisk at Casterton and the Casterton Times took the opportunity to rib the pessimists of the district, who I can only imagine had predicted doom for Christmas trading given the events of the time.

Casterton News. (1915, December 23). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74767421

Casterton News. (1915, December 23). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74767421

HENTY STREET, CASTERTON.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/2770  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63173

HENTY STREET, CASTERTON. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2770
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63173

Because of electricity restrictions due to the war, some of the shop displays could not be highlighted as well as earlier years.

Castern News Printed Monday and Tuesday Evenings. (1915, December 30). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74767457

Castern News Printed Monday and Tuesday Evenings. (1915, December 30). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74767457

You would be hard pressed to find most of these goods in a shop in Penshurst these days, but in 1915, Chesswas’ had it all.

Advertising. (1915, December 18). Penshurst Free Press (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119562126

Advertising. (1915, December 18). Penshurst Free Press (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119562126

For those in Hamilton, if a buggy shaft broke or a horse lost a shoe over Christmas, shanks’ pony would have had to suffice until January 3rd when the coachbuilders, farriers and blacksmiths of the town resumed after their well earned Christmas break.

Advertising. (1915, December 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120407611

Advertising. (1915, December 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120407611

To finish this Christmas Eve Trove Tuesday post, may I say Merry Christmas to all of you, I greatly appreciated your continued support.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no.  H82.96/168 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/110126

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H82.96/168 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/110126


Nellie Bligh’s Dog’s Eyes

Unfortunately for those hoping to read about poor afflicted Nellie Bligh with the eyes of a dog, I’m sorry, this post is not about Nellie, but my cryptic title will become more obvious as you read on.  This post is actually about Hamilton and the wonderful Facebook group, “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria” that has flourished over the past few months.

You may remember my post, A Pleasant Distraction, about the group I had started.   At that time there were 1100 members.  Today we have 1930 members with 2000 achievable by the end of the year.  There are now over 1200 photos and countless posts and comments.

In my earlier post I mentioned we had brought together a post-WW2 social history of Hamilton, but two months later, the time range has gone back, and we now have history from the 19th century also.  A favourite series of photos was of the many beautiful homes and homesteads in and around Hamilton today.  It was amazing the number of stories that came out about those properties and I intend to write a future post about just that.

At times we have despaired at what has been lost, accepting that in some cases progress marches on but in other cases, questioned the rationale of earlier city leaders.

FORMER FACADE OF THE HAMILTON TOWN HALL, BROWN STREET.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

FORMER FACADE OF THE HAMILTON TOWN HALL, BROWN STREET. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

The group has posts on everything from the Fire Brigade to Brass, Pipe and Rock Bands, businesses and transport, schools and sport from hockey to horse racing.  We have ventured out to the towns surrounding Hamilton such as Casterton, Cavendish and Dunkeld.  There are members that have lived in these places but attended school in Hamilton, while those that lived in Hamilton are familiar with the towns, because of  family, friends or sport.

Photos definitely help get the discussion going.  An example is this photo of the Hamilton pool during the height of summer.  It evoked many memories because anyone who went to the pool during  the 1960s and ’70s, and to a lesser extent the 1980s (the diving boards were removed by then), would remember it exactly as the photo depicts. The stories flowed and there are now 175 comments and 267 “likes” to date.  Thank you to Judy Forrest for allowing me to share this classic photo.

Ham pool

But, it’s a humble pie that has been most popular.   Actually, it was a photo of a tray of pies from Kings Bakery, Hamilton. Established in 1916. Kings still operate in Hamilton.  Many ex-Hamiltonians  had mentioned how much they would like a Kings pie again.  Those still in Hamilton responded, and have almost daily, posted photos of the said pies. “Pie Wars” is on.  From my point of view photos of cream cakes entering the battle was pleasing and a King’s cream bun will be a must next time I’m in Hamilton.  (Photos will ensue)

The ongoing pie discussions takes nothing away from the group as it is the mix of history, memories and casual banter between members, that has created a wonderful place for Hamilton people, past and present, to come together and I am proud that the group has evolved in such a way.

On a personal note, the group’s popularity has brought some attention my way, resulting in an appearance in a regular column in the Hamilton Spectator, “Where Are They Now”.  Having read many of these columns over the years, I find it hard to place myself among the well-known former Hamiltonians that have graced the column before me. Also, I continue to find people with links to my family which is great and like others I have rekindled old acquaintances and made many new ones.

Early next year a reunion has been arranged in Brisbane  and will be a great event as many former Hamilton residents now live in Queensland.  The logistics of getting King’s pies to Brisbane is already being considered.  We also hope to see a “Back to Hamilton” sometime in the next few years.

Because of the group’s growth,  I now have two co-administrators to keep an eye on things when I can’t.  Tim and Tony have contributed greatly to the group and I really must thank them for the time they have put in.  And a big thank you to all the group members who have embraced it and have made such positive contributions.  The many photos that people have so willingly shared has been overwhelming, especially the many treasured family photos. I may have started the group, but Hamiltonians near and far have made it what it is now.

Now, have you worked out the title yet?

You can read the “Where Are They Now” article on this link Hamilton Spectator, December 17, 2013(click on the >> at the right hand side of PDF toolbar to rotate the article).


A Simpler Time

An old photo album has a way of taking you back to a time when everything was simpler.  As life today gets busier, there are aspects of those times that would be welcome again.  Christmas is one of those.  Braving the shops near Christmas, I’m always amazed at the frenzy. The real meaning of Christmas is forgotten with the need to meet expectations or to compete with others high on shopper’s lists.

The following photos  take me back to a time when Christmas was simple and special.  It was around 1950 when Mum was a little girl living in Ballarat.  The first two photos are of my grandfather Bill Gamble and Mum at a special time, Christmas tree day.  Not a purple or blue tree, or a highly coiffed real tree, but one plucked from the side of the road, carefully selected to fill the home with Christmas joy.  While there was a plastic Christmas tree in my house while growing up,  I do remember similar pine Christmas trees we had a school, tall, often stooped and adorned with paper chains and lanterns.

My grandparents both rode bikes, their only form of transport then, and my grandfather had a nifty little trailer to go on the back, perfect for carting a Christmas tree…or taking a little girl for a ride.

0076 (2)

 

llllll

The following photos were taken in Hamilton at the home of Nana’s brother, Bill Hadden on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day the following year.  My grandparents lived in Ballarat, but their families lived in Hamilton.  Given the family didn’t have a car then, I asked Mum how they would have travelled to Hamilton.  She suspects they went by train.  How did the trike get to Hamilton, I asked?  She didn’t know…maybe Santa made a special delivery.  Of course, I had to ask how they got the trike back to Ballarat.  Again she didn’t know.  Now I’ve got her wondering.

This is Mum, with her cousin Norma and a special visitor.

0089Norma and Nana’s sister, Rosie Miller (nee Hadden)

0091

What more could little girls want for Christmas other than a trike or a pram and doll.

oooNow a photo from when I was growing up in the 1970s, not as uncomplicated as the days before television but it was still an unpretentious time.  The year was 1975 and the occasion was the annual Grade 2 Nativity play, a Christmas staple for those taught by Miss Coffey.  Not a fancy costume in sight, but rather tea towels and dressing gowns sufficed. (I was a shepherd).

NativityHere’s to simpler times.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 156 other followers

%d bloggers like this: