Still Standing, Chewton
July 2, 2019

This old building has intrigued me for quite a while. I am sure that when it was in active use it served a variety of purposes over time.

There is a large opening at one end which has been roughly filled with granite stones. Below the opening there is old stone work, the remnants of a demolished structure.

I needed to reimagine the window and doors as new security hoarding was covering these features when I arrived to make this crayon drawing.

The land use around the building has altered dramatically since its construction. It is wedged between the clubrooms of the Chewton recreation reserve, the public toilets and new water tanks.

The fact the building is still standing demonstrates it holds some significance for the Chewton community.

Maldon Cemetery
June 16, 2019

Recently, I was standing at a lookout known as the Rock of Ages in the Nuggetty Ranges when I saw that Maldon’s cemetery lay at my feet. This provided the inspiration to visit the cemetery this sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Here is the view looking up to the Nuggetty Range.

Whilst I was admiring the view across to Mt. Tarrengower, I noticed a brick tower in the distance so I made my way across.

Just as I thought, it was a Chinese oven or burning tower used in Chinese funeral ceremonies. I was disappointed that all evidence of Chinese burials had disappeared unlike the Castlemaine cemetery.

The oven is listed by the National Trust which helps to ensure its preservation.

Locally, the main evidence of the Chinese presence on the goldfields is in the cemeteries as joss houses or temples were demolished years ago.

 

I like the memorials descendants have erected to their pioneering ancestors.

 

This headstone of an Irish family features a harp which I haven’t seen before.

The old sexton’s cottage stands at the entrance to the cemetery.

Fryerstown
August 3, 2018

Deep in the bush south of Chewton is the settlement of Fryerstown.

Fryerstown owes its existence to the discovery of gold in the early 1850s. At its height, Fryerstown had a population of 20,000 and all the services and facilities a thriving town required.

I have published a post about the Fryerstown cemetery in the past. This post focuses on the settlement itself. My photographs were taken over a period of some months.

First of all, a painting by renowned gold fields painter, S.T. Gill, of Fryers Creek as Fryerstown was known in 1852. The painting depicts the very early days when the town was being established.

The town may have had numerous shops, 25 hotels and 5 breweries in the 1850s and 60s, but today, this is Fryerstown central.

 

A sealed road connects Fryerstown with Chewton and Vaughan Springs.

Some of the substantial buildings have survived. The public hall had a library at the rear.

The All Saints Anglican Church and ………

…………old court house are now private homes.

This old house is well preserved.

There is no post office currently operating in Fryerstown. The mail is delivered via roadside delivery.

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Exterminate! Exterminate!

Small scale, local commerce.

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It is a while since the sports facilities were used. Katie inspects the cricket ground and the nets.

I couldn’t resist this photograph taken by Lyle Fowler in the late 1930s/early 1940s. There are a lot more trees in Fryerstown now.

Both of the historic items come from the collection of the State Library of Victoria.

Belleville, Dunolly
May 14, 2018

Belleville opened its gates and doors to the public on the weekend of 21 – 22 April 2018 as part of the Open Gardens, Victoria autumn season.

Situated in the small goldfields town of Dunolly, the residence was built in the mid 1860s by up and coming young business man, James Bell, who built a successful career in business, banking and local and state politics.

The current owners restored the house and redeveloped the garden in the early 2000s. The new garden is designed to be in harmony with the house, replicating some of the original layout where possible.

 

The old water cistern has been preserved………

…………and the new shed is built from materials recycled from an earlier shed.

The current owners have established a vegetable garden using wicking beds

………. and these rustic climbing towers for peas.

Fruit trees provide produce and shade on hot days.

Quinces and ………

……….. pomegranates are highly ornamental.

These pots are arranged near the detached building which was formerly the kitchen, bathroom and servants’ quarters. Detached kitchens were common as a safety measure. A fire in the kitchen could be contained and would not endanger the main house.

There are plantings of hardy lavender and perennials around the bird baths.

Unusually, this planter contains thyme another hardy plant.

The pond and covered walkway along this side of the house are cooling in summer.

The long walkway covered in ornamental grape vines is magnificent especially when it is decked with the colours of autumn.

 

James Bell

Stone Cottage, Specimen Gully, Barkers Creek
February 22, 2018

This is my interpretation of the stone cottage near the place in Specimen Gully where gold was first discovered in the Mount Alexander district.

I found making this charcoal drawing quite challenging as the cottage wouldn’t fit on the A4 page. I also found depicting the texture of the stonewalls difficult.

I found my eye kept being drawn to the trees which surrounded the cottage so I paid a bit of attention to them.

 

 

 

Specimen Gully, Barkers Creek
February 16, 2018

The discovery of gold in 1851 resulted in the gold rush to the Mount Alexander gold fields.

This cairn was erected near the site of the discovery of gold by three shepherds and a bullock driver. Specimen Gully was on land owned by Dr. William Barker who ran sheep on a large property since the early 1840s.

On the site is an old, crumbling cottage which was once the home of the John Worley mentioned on the plaque.

Bella Donna lilies dot the goldfields where there were once gardens. There are a number of these hardy survivors around the cottage. As you can see, neither rich garden soil nor regular watering are required for showy blooms.

The cottage and the cairn were built of locally mined slate. The cottage was extended at least once.

These ‘looking through’ shots are for you, Enivea.

Charcoal View of the Barkers Creek Viaduct
October 19, 2017

 

When I was out admiring the Barkers Creek Viaduct near Harcourt, I enriched the experience by making this charcoal drawing.

I find whilst I am drawing, the saying that the more you look, the more you see is very true.

It was very pleasant sitting in the sun whilst communing with the viaduct.

 

Barkers Creek Viaduct, Harcourt
October 2, 2017

One of the local landmarks in Harcourt is this viaduct over Barkers Creek. Like its much grander cousin in Malmsbury, it was built in 1859 to 1860 as part of the construction of the railway between Melbourne and the Murray River – a significant piece of nation building at the time.

The viaduct was built of granite quarried from nearby Mount Alexander. German stonemasons constructed the viaduct which is typical of the Victorian era when there was great pride in public infrastructure. The viaduct shows fine design and craftsmanship. It has a simple beauty.

This is how the viaduct looked when it was first built. I didn’t realise at first that there is a man lying on the grass.

I didn’t realise Katie is in this photograph until I uploaded it.

Like the one at Malmsbury, the Barkers Creek viaduct is in active service with trains travelling across it at regular intervals on their journeys between Melbourne, Bendigo and Echuca.

The early photograph is from the collection at the State Library. The photographer was from Morris, Alfred and Co. 1860.

The Southern Grampians
September 18, 2017

Recently, I travelled to Dunkeld situated at the southern end of the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) for a week’s holiday. The Grampians, especially the northern part of the national park, are a popular destination for holiday makers.

Dunkeld is a small township dominated by three peaks – Mount Sturgeon, Mount Abrupt and The Piccaninny. As its name implies, The Piccaninny is the smallest of the three peaks and has a walking trail graded as easy.

Here are two views looking out across the Grampians which I admired as I ambled up the Piccaninny on Monday, the 11th of September.

 

I was attracted by the different colours on this rock during my walk.

 

Tuesday, the 12th of September, was wet in the morning but cleared in the afternoon, so I could take a walk from my accommodation to the Dunkeld park.  The park includes an arboretum, reservoir and an old timber mill.

 

 

 

The park boasted this wonderful, old red river gum.

 

I was intrigued by the ornate portico of the Dunkeld Post Office building. However, the bright sunshine of Wednesday morning had turned to deluges of rain by the time I drove to Cavendish, another small township in the district.

This bovine beauty is located outside the cafe where I had lunch in Cavendish.

The Malmsbury Viaduct – Now and Then
September 6, 2017

I have been trawling through the digital images held by the State Library of Victoria searching for early photographs relating to posts I have published previously.

In 2016, I published a post about the Malmsbury viaduct which was completed in 1860 as part of the railway construction linking Melbourne to Echuca on the Murray River. The solidly constructed bluestone bridge crossing the Coliban River has stood the test of time and looks as good as new.

This old photograph was taken by Alfred Morris and Co. in the 1860s.

The rawness of the cleared countryside is now days softened by the mature trees in the background and the plantings in the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens in the foreground.