Category Archives: Trove Tuesday

Trove Tuesday – The Oldest Man in Victoria

The intention for this week’s Trove Tuesday post was brevity.  But as often the way, as I investigated my chosen article further, I discovered a few twists and turns.

Mentioned last week, The Australasian has arrived at Trove and I’ve been searching for photos relevant to the Western District.  That is how I discovered Aaron Weller, the subject of a photo in The Australasian in 1897.

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

On July 24, 1897, The Australasian published an article and photograph of Aaron Weller, headlined “The Oldest Man in Victoria”.  A Mr George Baird had come across Aaron, living in the Balmoral area, listened to his story and took a photograph.  Aaron told George he was born in Wimbledon, England on August 11, 1790.  By the 1830s, he was in Tasmania where he worked for the Circular Head Company.  Later in the ’30s, aboard the “Henry” he sailed to Port Phillip, obtaining work as a shepherd with Phillip Rose at his pastoral run “Rosebrook”, near Horsham.  Mr Rose must have felt something for Aaron as, on a trip back to England, Phillip picked up Aaron’s birth certificate.  It was later destroyed in a fire at the “Rosebrook” homestead during Black Thursday, 1851.

After 1851, Aaron was working for Mr Robertson at his property “Mount Mitchell” near Lexton.  With the discovery of gold just south at Ballarat,  all the property’s labourers took off to try their luck, all except Aaron. He was content to stay on as a shepherd and besides, he was into his 60s.  He then headed across the Murray, continuing as a shepherd until he gained employment with Alex McIntosh at his property “Glendenning” near Balmoral where Aaron remained for 22 years.  After the death of Alex McIntosh,  Aaron moved to nearby “Rocklands “and even after he passed the age of 100, he was still chopping wood.

The digitised copy of the article is very faint but you can read it in full on the following link, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803  , but it concluded in this way:

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

THE OLDEST MAN IN VICTORIA. (1897, July 24). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 23. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139744803

So, that’s the story of Aaron Weller.  Well at least I thought it was, but I wanted to know how far past 107 Aaron had lived.  Now, the story becomes sad as Aaron only lived a short time after July 24, 1897, the date of his article’s publication.   The Balmoral correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator reported that almost to the hour the July 24 edition of The Australasian landed in Balmoral, the townspeople were bidding farewell to Aaron at the local cemetery.  According to his wishes, he was buried close to Alex McIntosh, the man who employed him for over 20 years and whom he held in such high regard.

After his death the Horsham Times remembered Aaron Weller through the reminisces of  “Rocklands” owner ,Mr Turnball.  Aaron had told him tales of the Duke of Wellington and Waterloo,  George III and William IV.  Maybe delirious in his last days, he claimed he was off to Melbourne to retrieve a sum of £40,000, the dividend of a £100 investment, money given to him by Angela Burdett-Coutts, a 19th English philanthropist  and her husband the Marquise of Westminster.

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Horsham Times. (1897, August 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73121416

The Australasian article, probably published without Aaron’s knowledge, was thought to have brought unwanted attention to him.  He had spent 60 years keeping to himself in Victoria, living a simple life with dogs as companions. But he’d been in the papers before,  when he turned 100 and again when he turned 106.  On that occasion, Mr Turnbull  held a celebration in Aaron’s honour    How much Aaron knew about The Australian article, which in no way mentioned his liking for a drink or his pipe, and the resultant public reaction, is unknown but reports after his death suggest he may have had some knowledge.   The Australian responded to his passing,

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TALK ON 'CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

TALK ON ‘CHANGS. (1897, August 7). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 32. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139745269

While they said they were not blaming the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) as such, they weren’t exactly shying away from the possibility.  Not so subtle was the Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), a Catholic newspaper that in 1942 merged with the Catholic Press to become the Catholic Weekly.  The Freeman’s Journal was not an official publication of the Catholic Church, but it offered news of a Catholic and Irish nature.

    ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

ACTA POPULI. (1897, September 18). Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932), p. 8. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115469610

If the article about Aaron had not been published, would he have lived for another year or two?  Or was his time up anyway?  Looking back at the concluding paragraph of the original article, Aaron was tiring.  Maybe, if the W.C.T.U. did write a letter to Aaron’s guardians, presumably the Turnballs. maybe they too could sense his weariness through his photo and words.

Aaron’s story was interesting.  Interesting enough to see what else could be found.  A search of Australian records at Ancestry.com.au revealed within the New South Wales and Tasmania Australia Convict Muster records (1806-1849),…Aaron Weller, assigned to Mr John Sinclair, 1833.  On to the English records and there was Aaron Weller in the Australian Convict Transport Register 1791-1868, convicted at Kent and sentenced to transportation for seven years.  His crime, listed in the England & Wales Criminal Registers, 1791-1892, was fraud.  Next, across to the Tasmania’s Heritage website and the convict index and there again was Aaron Weller,  transported aboard the Gilmour from London on November 27, 1831, arriving at Tasmania on March 22, 1832.

After all of that, I couldn’t find the age of the said convict, Aaron Weller.  If it was Aaron of Balmoral, he would have been 41 at the time of his departure from England.  I did find one other Aaron Weller, and of Kent, in the UK Land Tax Redemption Records from 1798, eight years after Aaron’s birth.

Back to Trove, and I searched for Aaron Weller through the 1830s and, looking to confirm some of Aaron’s story, I searched for the Henry, the ship Aaron said he sailed aboard to Victoria.  Despite not having any ages to match up Aaron, the results of my two searches found something that may get me a little closer to confirming Aaron Weller, of Balmoral came to the Australia as a convict.  In May 1836, convict Aaron Weller, only three years into his seven-year term, was granted a ticket of leave.  Coincidentally, on July 15, 1836, the Henry, Balmoral Aaron’s ship, sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip.

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

Classified Advertising. (1836, May 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4176331

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241

SHIP NEWS. (1836, July 16). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65950241


Trove Tuesday – The Australasian

Editions of The Australasian Melbourne (1864-1946) began arriving at Trove in early January and since there has been five further updates.  On my first search of the paper, and there are still many issues “coming soon”, I was pleased to find many articles, with photos, that are of interest to me.

The Australasian grew out of the  Weekly Argus (1855), Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News (1857), Yeoman and Australian Acclimatiser (1861), with the first issue published on October 1, 1864.  Later,  Bells Life in Victoria and the Australasian Sketcher (1873) merged with The Australasian.  Sold as a “town and country” paper,  it includes plenty of news from Western District towns.  The Australasian became the Australasian Post in 1946.

There was one photo I was keen to get access to from The Australasian, that of “Bewsall”, the home of Robert Stapylton Bree of Hamilton.  I have searched everywhere for a photo of the house which no longer exists,  but I had seen one in Don Garden’s book, “Hamilton, A Western District History” (1984), sourced, including others in the book, from The Australasian.  Well, the photo of “Bewsall” is now available and you can see it below.

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

The following photo is of Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street, published in 1903.  The Christ Church steeple is in view as well as the black face of the Hamilton Post Office clock, later changed to white.

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

IN AND AROUND HAMILTON, INLAND METROPOLIS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 26. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684186

Influence from Bells Life in Victoria,  a  sports newspaper, is present in The Australasian, which has some great sporting photos, including the following from the 1902 Hamilton Golf Tournament.

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

HAMILTON GOLF MEETING. (1902, August 9). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139129326

As I page through the many illustrated articles from The Australasian, I can see that there are still many more articles with photos to come from the Hamilton district.  Thank you Trove, for once again providing us with such a wonderful newspaper.


Trove Tuesday – Hong Sip of Cavendish

One of the great things about the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, is that you just never know what is going to turn up.

Over the weekend, Emma posted photos of some old Hamilton Spectators dated Saturday March 11, 1876,  They were a found in the roof of Emma’s house that is undergoing renovations.  One of the photos was of the Dundas Shire Rate valuations for the South Riding.  On the list were my Haddens.  Emma posted a photo of the entire list for and there was another name that caught my interest,  Hong Sip.  I mentioned to the group I would find out more about him and headed to Trove, the first place I go when there are history queries in the group.  As usual I got a result.

In 1869, Hong Sip, a cook, married local girl Margaret Moran.  The Cavendish correspondent was unsure of the name of Hong Sip’s bride, but unlike him, I have access to Marriage records courtesy of Ancestry.  He did however write a lovely account of the occasion and displayed a very optimistic outlook about the acceptance of Interracial marriages.

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

Just to follow-up, I also found this reference to Hong Sip, know as John, after his death in 1885.

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

 


Trove Tuesday – Beasts of Burden

While researching my great great uncle Reuben Edward Harman for the Harman family history I’m writing, I’ve been scouring Trove for everything I can find on the 13th Light Horse Regiment, with whom Reuben served during WW1.  Letters to home from the boys in the trenches are a great way to get a feel for their war experience.  Daily routines, the sights and smells and mentions of other soldiers, either from the same battalion or from the same hometown, can all help our understanding of how our family members spent their time in the armed forces during wartime.

The following extract from a letter by Sergent A.Louis. Dardel of Batesford Victoria, caught my eye because it mentions the donkeys that worked so hard for the Australian troops, and those of other countries, carting supplies and injured soldiers over the rough terrain of ANZAC Cove.  The 13th LHR were at Gallipoli, minus their horses.  They were kept back in  Egypt because the Turkish terrain was not considered suitable for them.  The nimble donkeys were their substitutes.

SERGT. A. L. DARDEL. (1915, December 4). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 - 1918), p. 8. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130708312

SERGT. A. L. DARDEL. (1915, December 4). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 – 1918), p. 8. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130708312

There had to be photos of the WW1 donkeys, so I searched Trove and found many photos from various sources including the Australian War Memorial and the State Library of Victoria.  The following are selection of those.

This photo was taken before the Gallipoli landing.  The donkeys were purchased on Lemnos en route to Gallipoli travelling aboard the HMT Ascot.

DONKEYS ABOARD THE HMT ASCOT EN ROUTE TO GALLIPOLI, APRIL 1915 P05927.011.002http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05927.011.002

DONKEYS ABOARD THE HMT ASCOT EN ROUTE TO GALLIPOLI, APRIL 1915 P05927.011.002http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05927.011.002

This little donkey is the closest I could find to the donkey laden with water bottles mentioned in Sargent Dardel’s letter.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.  Image No.  P01116.009 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.009

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image No. P01116.009 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.009

No, this is not John Simpson.  In fact it is Pte. Richard Alexander Henderson, a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, leading the donkey.  Later in the war he received a Military Medal.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no.  P03136.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03136.001

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P03136.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03136.001

Just as the letter suggests, there was some time out for the donkeys.

DONKEYS AT GALLIPOLI.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H83.103/218 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43371

DONKEYS AT GALLIPOLI. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H83.103/218 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43371

Donkeys were also used to pull carts.

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.  Image no. P01116.043 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.043

Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P01116.043 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.043

As we draw closer to the centenary of WW1, when we take time to remember those that fought for our country, we should also remember the animals that made the task easier, donkeys, horses and dogs.  They had no choice in being there and not only did many lose their lives, they also worked under extreme conditions.

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no, P02282.012 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02282.012

Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no, P02282.012 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02282.012


Trove Tuesday – Dear Cinderella

Back in the 1910s, the Leader newspaper, a weekly town and country paper published by The Age, ran a column for children called “Dear Cinderella”.  The letters, mostly written by country children, tell much about life during those times as seen through the eyes of a child.  I have selected a few of the letters to share this Trove Tuesday, with a couple from the Western District,

While many children wrote letters to Cinderella, only a handful were published each week.  Therefore the children often mentioned the number of times they had previously written, hoping Cinderella would finally pick them.  Most times she gave a short reply as she did with Lawrence McCartin of Leongatha.  Lawrence had told of the burnt bush around his home and about school life.  Cinderella then ticked him off for not giving his age.

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Val Ringberg of Omeo also wrote of fires and some new phonograph records.

CINDERELLA'S MENAGERIE. (1914, May 16). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 59. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89309559

CINDERELLA’S MENAGERIE. (1914, May 16). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 59. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89309559

 

In the following group of letters, Edith O’Neil gave a great description of the shops in Koondrook in 1914, including five fruit and lollie shops with another lollie shop under construction.  You can never have enough lollie shops.

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The following letter from Nickolas (sic) Dix, takes us right into the countryside that Major Thomas Mitchell called Australia Felix.  Nicholas lived at Davos Farm at Wurt Wurt Koort near Merino.

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

CORRESPONDENCE. (1914, June 13). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 58. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89313857

 

Nicholas wrote about the Wurt Wurt Koort School he attended and his father’s other farm at Strathkellar, near Hamilton.

Because Nicholas’ family lived in the area largely focused on by Daryl Povey”s site Glenelg & Wannon Settlers and Settlement, I thought it worth a search for the Dix family and I found them.  Nicholas was the son of James Nicholas Dix and Margaret Theresa Doyle and was born in Casterton in 1903, one of 14 children. Something interesting I found was that Nicholas’ younger brother was Anthony Strathkellar Dix, named after the location of the other Dix farm.

Even more interesting was that when young Nicholas grew up, he joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1918 and by WW2 he was a Chief Petty Officer and recipient of a Distinguished Service Medal (D.S.M.).  Thank you Daryl for the extra information about Nicholas.  Back to Trove, and I found a photo of Nicholas Dix.  It’s not a clear photo of him, but we can see the little boy from the Western District who wrote to Cinderella in 1914, 30 years later as a 41-year-old Naval Officer.

FLINDERS NAVAL DEPOT—school for sailors. (1944, September 16). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 17. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47502246

FLINDERS NAVAL DEPOT—school for sailors. (1944, September 16). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 17. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47502246

 

Back to the “Dear Cinderella” letters and I love this one from Ellen Bourcher.  She writes about her favourite names for dogs, cats, calves and ponies.

CORRESPONDENCE. (1915, June 19). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 55 Edition: WEEKLY. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91366815

CORRESPONDENCE. (1915, June 19). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 55 Edition: WEEKLY. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91366815

 

Cinderella wrote a longer reply than most, for Annie Hackett of Poowong.  She wondered how the children managed the three mile walk to school after rain, such as that experienced by Cinderella’s daughter during a visit to Poowong.  (first I knew Cinderella had a daughter).

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These charming letters are well worth reading with most found with a search at Trove of “Dear Cinderella”.  If you include a town name, you can narrow the search down.


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.

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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.

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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.


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