Tag Archives: Halls Gap

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.


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.


H is for…

If ever there was a time to enter the Gould Genealogy Family History Through the  Alphabet challenge, that time would be now.  “H” has a arrived.

When my descendants look back at my HISTORY, they will see the letter “H” recurring.

The marriage of Sarah Elizabeth HARMAN and Thomas HADDEN in 1904 brought together two of my “H”‘s.  They settled in HAMILTON and had a daughter, my nana Linda HENRIETTA HADDEN.

Thomas HADDEN & Sarah HARMAN

Sarah HARMAN was not the only one in her family to keep her initials after she married.  Her sister Ellen married a HANKS and she became Ellen HANKS of HARRIET Street HORSHAM.

HADDEN and HARMAN are two of the four main family names that make up the maternal side of my family.

HAMILTON too, features in my HISTORY.  Nana was born there and I was too.

Looking across Melville Oval, HAMILTON

I lived in HAMILTON for 18 years, the town that was formally called the Grange.  If that name had remained, my entry in this challenge may have been “G” for Grange, Gamble and the Grampians.

Nana’s middle name was HENRIETTA  which I used to find quite amusing.   Later I learnt that her name came from her great-aunt HENRIETTA HARMAN, an HONOURABLE lady but one, it would seem, with a lonely HEART.

Linda HENRIETTA HADDEN (left) & her younger sister, Enda

Another “H” which will go down as part of my HISTORY is HALLS GAP in the HEART of the Grampians.  Many HOLIDAYS were spent there and, at times, it has been a place I have called HOME.

HALLS GAP in the HEART of the Grampians

May my HISTORY also show that I liked HORSES.  It was HORSES in HAMILTON, HORSES in HALLS GAP and HORSES on HOLIDAYS in HALLS GAP, HORSES everywhere.

Finally, my HOBBIES include the HISTORY of  HADDEN, HALLS GAP, HAMILTON, HARMAN and, of course, HORSES.

HORSES in HALLS GAP

So, when I get over my obvious preference for the letters “M” and “R”, I can safely say “H” is one of my favourite letters as so much close to my HEART starts with “H”

***Apologies to the, HAZELDINE, HICKLETON, HODGINS,  HOLMES, HUNT and HURRELL families to whom I also have links.


Halls Gap’s Cherub

There is a special place in Halls Gap which I revisited recently.

Behind the Halls Gap caravan park and just beside a track leading to places with whimsical names such as Venus Baths and Wonderland Range, lies a stark reminder of  pioneering days in the little town.  Halls Gap has few visible reminders of its pioneering past, but  the lonely grave of baby Agnes Folkes, has seen most of the town’s history pass before it. Fire, flood and countless tourists have gone before Agnes.

John and Phoebe Foulkes (later to become Folkes), originally from Worcestershire, arrived in Victoria aboard the “Northumbria“, in 1853.  Ida Stanton, in her book Bridging the Gap, tells of John working as the ship’s carpenter and upon arrival, obtaining work making architraves and balustrades for the new Victorian Parliament House.  They had moved to the Grampians area by the end of the 1850s with son George born in 1858 at Moyston.

By 1870, John Folkes was operating a sawmill in Halls Gap.  The family home, made of logs, was close to the banks of the Stoney Creek.   By this time there were seven children with Phoebe giving birth to Agnes in April of that year at nearby Pleasant Creek.

After a dry autumn, the winter of 1870 saw the weather break.   Heavy rain fell across Victoria, flooding lakes, roads and rivers.  At times of heavy rain in the Grampians, water collects in the mountains, working down the many gullies and into small creeks which quickly become rivers.  One of those is the Stoney Creek.  With the winter rains of 1870, the creek had risen and was impassable as were others which had to be crossed to leave the town.  The following photo is of Stoney Creek close to Agnes’ grave.  Evidence of flash flooding in January this year is still present.

Stoney Creek, Halls Gap

Agnes fell ill with diphtheria that winter, but Pheobe and John could not get through to Stawell and the nearest  doctor.  Sadly, on July 30, 1870, Agnes passed away.  She was buried  close to the family home in a tiny wooden coffin made by her father.  A headstone was added, but a photo on the Museum Victoria website shows that at some time, the original headstone has been replaced with a more substantial grave.

Grave of Agnes Folkes, Halls Gap

Headstone of Agnes Folkes

After Agnes’ death, locals began to refer to the mountain peak behind her grave as “Cherubs Peak”, however it was later gazetted as “Mackeys Peak”, after a Government minister.

THE GRAMPIANS. (1909, December 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 5. Retrieved November 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10755530

One heartwarming aspect of the story is that not only have the children of  Halls Gap Primary School tended Agnes’ grave for almost one hundred years, they more recently lobbied the Victorian Government for the name to be changed back to “Cherub Peak”.  The name has now been gazetted as a historical name and a new sign  erected to explain the history of the grave.

Cherubs Peak

Sign near Agnes' grave

Agnes’ siblings grew up and married.  A brother and sister went on to marry children of other Halls Gap pioneering families.  Emily Pheobe Folkes married Edward Evans, while George Edward Folkes married Emma Launder Delley.  Edward and Emily Evans had a son Edward who married Geraldine D’Alton, from another pioneering family.  The names of Evans, Delley and D’Alton are still recognizable in the Gap today.  Would Agnes also have married into a well known Halls Gap family and forged her own piece of history?   Despite her short life, her grave and its reminder to visitors of  the town’s pioneering times, has seen baby Agnes make her mark on the history of Halls Gap.

With the recent arrival of “The Horsham Times” at Trove, I have been able to source this beautiful, almost haunting article originally published in “The Ballarat Courier” in 1909. The words of “H.B” will come to mind next time I visit Agnes.

In the Grampians. (1909, January 15). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72825768


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