The Manchester Reef, Chewton

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Most weeks, Katie and I spend time walking in the local bushland.

After I have shopped at the Wesley Hill market on Saturday mornings, we often go for a walk in the bushland around nearby Chewton.

During the latter half of the 1850s, what is now quiet bushland, was a mining and industrial landscape dotted with temporary settlements. It is common to see evidence of the activity of those times on our walks.

Some of the more well known historical sites such as the Manchester Reef have a sign but others are unmarked.

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This chimney and fireplace are the remains of a more substantial building. It sits on a raised platform and faces the remnants of a street.

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We walked down a track, crossed a gully and further on up a hill, began seeing the familiar waste heaps of a mine.

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The Manchester Reef site has a horizontal shaft…….

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‘No Katie, we are not going in that big, scary hole.’

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…. and a open cut mine where the top of the ridge was unzipped and the reef material scooped out.

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Katie has managed not to fall over any cliffs or get lost in any mines.

On Monday, 27th of June 1898, ‘The Argus’ newspaper reported on ‘The Gunpowder Outrage at Chewton’. The ‘Argus’ reported the attempt to injure the Chinese, Ah Lin, at Manchester Reef by placing a parcel of gunpowder in a crevice of his hut at daybreak on Wednesday morning. A man, James Barnes, was arrested.

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7 Responses

  1. What an interesting place you live in Margaret. I wonder if anyone ever looks for artifacts there? It looks sunny where you were walking. We have a few wan streaks of sunlight that make it past the clouds these days but it is mostly cloudy here at the moment. A pat for Katie and “good girl!” for not falling down the mines. Earl would be down the mine and we would need a rescue party 😉

    • Hi Fran, Yes I thought Earl would be the kind of dog who would be down a mine shaft exploring at a moment’s notice.

      There is a local artist who creates his work using found objects which he picks up locally or which people bring to him. Some of these objects have come from the bush.

      I think there are people who pick over sites looking for old bottles and other objects of interest.

      Then there are those using their metal detectors.

      We are getting some sunshine mixed with a hefty dose of cloud at present.

      • So long as it isn’t stinking hot yet is good 🙂

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to have a trusty companion along on these hikes? Kati looks “at the ready” for anything! What an interesting area… so much to investigate and wonder about. I love varied rock formations, layers and colors.

    • Hi Lori, Yes I am grateful for Katie’s canine companionship when I go walking in the bush. I have recently been studying some local maps and realised Katie and I have barely scratched the surface. There is so much yet to be explored.

      And yes, this is a rock lovers paradise.

  3. What a lovely little dog Katie looks. Do you feel a little safer with her by your side? Perhaps she would bark or be aggressive towards someone who might try to harm you? It’s something I’ve thought about in my area as there have been some assaults. As well as that aspect I think the companionship of a dog by your side would be very nice. I would have loved this walk with all the wonderful rocks and memories from days gone by. Very interesting, Margaret. May you continue your explorations for many years to come. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jane. I am sorry to learn there have been assaults in the some of the areas you frequent as these events colour the experience and sense of safety of others.
      Besides providing companionship, Katie usually barks if someone is approaching. The people we meet are often accompanied by their own dogs. They are usually happy to exchange pleasantries as we admire each other’s pet.

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