Dunolly and District

02 October, 2016

October 2 #OnThisDay in #Dunolly & District #History





1865 Detective Secretan was appointed the first detective to Dunolly due to the thefts and bashings during the gold rush.

1891 Influenza in many areas but in Eddington it claimed a life of Thomas Ryan.


1928 The Fair in aid of St John’s Church of England raised more than 100 pounds, the Hospital Ball, after expenses, raised 85 pounds for the hospital.

1928 The Dunolly State School children gave an entertainment in aid of the funds for the Shrine of Remembrance and raised 28 pounds.

1928 Jimmy Ah Jook, the last Chinese of the district, died at the age of 94 years.

1929 IN the Dunolly Police Court George McMillan was fined 2 pounds for having tied a tin to a horses tail.

1953 The Soil Conservation Authority competition winners were announced with Mr and Mrs Gray of Bet Bet being one of the many winners in the district who won the Hanslow Cup.

26 September, 2016

September 26 On This Day in Dunolly & District History



1856 Horse-stealing seems on the increase. I do not think that there is much horse-stealing from Dunolly, but I think there are many horses stolen from other districts to carry people to the rush, and these horses are generally turned adrift when the people arrive at their destination.
Stores are very plentiful in fact the place is completely gutted with every description. Potatoes are a drug at £16 per ton, double rose Cork butter scarcely worth 1s. 4d. per lb., and cheese not to be disposed of at any price. The sacrifices of stores, in some instances that have come under my notice, have been fearful. I know of one party that brought a load of general stores from Castlemaine, rather than submit to such a ruinous sacrifice, sent them back again to Castlemaine.
I regret I cannot give you a geographical description of the place : but it is surrounded with high ranges, such as Castlemaine, Bendigo, &c., and which the practical digger says is a good indication. I have not the slightest doubt that it may be a good diggings, and would be, for a tenth of the population ; but unless a very large field is opened up, and that soon, thousands will be compelled to leave. I should estimate the population at 70,000. I have been at a great deal of trouble to ascertain the number as nearly as possible ; but it is impossible to get it correctly. There are others that believe the population is 100,000, and some even more. The way I make my calculation is this : I count the tents in the most thickly populated gullies, and average four persons to each tent, and then allow so many for back gullies. & c.


 1883 This morning the body of Mr G. MEwan,an old resident, and one who has held a good position in the town, was found in the Dunolly reservoir. Last night he received news that his brother had been killed at the Ballarat Cattle-yards. This sad news, to a mind already suffering from depression, is supposed to have upset his reason, and led to the rash act. Additional regret is felt owing to the drowning having occurred in the water supply for the town.

 1897 A parade and choral service in connection with the local Prince Alfred Lodge was held with a number of brethren from Tarnagulla, Timor, Maryborough, etc, joining in the parade. Beautiful weather ensured that the attendance was large and the hall was packed, with addresses on charity from the various but united brotherhood. The collection was in aid of the Ladies Benevolent Society which raised 10 pounds.

 1936 Susso workers went onto old diggings for material for road surface when one of them found the colour of gold and a search found several more specks. The men have spent all day with dishes but no further luck.

25 September, 2016

September 25 On This Day in Dunolly & District History



1893 Mr Sheehan introduced electric light in the Dunolly Flour Mill.

 1874 Rails for the train line were laid up against the Dunolly Railway Station ready to open the line the following week.


 1878 Mr Gilliland, manager of the Bank of Victoria, passed away at his desk at work.


 1885 The Gov of Vic approved of rifle clubs in various districts including the Dunolly Rifle Club through the Defence Dept and the Minister of Defence F.T Sargood.


 1890 Sparks from the train engine caused a fire on the Inglewood train; no injuries but some damage to the carriages.


 1888 Accidental death of porter Francis Grace at the Dunolly Railway station.


 1901 Annual Laancoorie charity sports day held, 2000 people, takings on the gate over 50 pounds, with a great many races held during lovely weather.


 1904 DUNOLLY A disturbance occurred at the house of James M'Kew, on the out skirts of the town, resulting in the owner being so badly handled that he bad to be taken to the hospital for treatment. M'Kew, Jas. Carwickham and a foreigner known as "Big Peter' had been drinking at the house during the day, and a quarrel ensued between "Big Peter"' and Carwickham. M'Kew went between them to separate them, when Carwickham felled him with a blow from a heavy-walking stick. While the victim was lying on the ground his assailant treated him brutally, and the police were sent for. M'Kew had to have four stitches inserted in an ugly wound on the top of the head; his lip was cut, his nose injured, and his body bruised. He was not allowed to leave the hospital. The same night Carwickham was arrested and lodged in the watch house on a charge of assault.


 1916 FLOODS AT DUNOLLY, . DUNOLLY. Monday. Rain set in last Thursday night, and since then a fall of 544 points has been registered. This is the longest spell of rain remembered and all the low-lying ground is submerged. Considerable damage has been done to gardens, and a number of fences have been washed away. As far as crops are concerned it cannot yet be stated to the damage done, a great number being still under water. In numerous parts the grass is covered with a coating of slum. So far no report has been received of loss of stock. For the first time since its inception no school was held yesterday in the Metho- dist Sunday School, owing tn the flooded condition of the roads and surrounding country.


2005 Rheola Wing completed at Dunolly Hospital.

24 September, 2016

September 24 On This Day in Dunolly & District History

1856 DUNOLLY.
This being the largest goldfield in the colony— if the number of miners constitute the greatness of a field—your readers will be anxious to hear some- thing on mining matters. Its great extent, with the absence of a gold receiving office (shame on the Government), renders the task of giving re- liable information very difficult ; but during the past week new finds have been very few. Holes in the fifty-feet wet sinking (but few indeed) have touched gold, but being wet, it will be some time ere it be ascertained as being worthy of the name of a lead, or patches here and there. Parties were not a little astonished a day or two ago at our bottoming claims at twenty and twenty-five feet, dry ground, in the middle of the fifty-feet wet sink- ing! Some of this shallow ground yielded good prospects. The rush now is nearly down to the Burnt Creek. Much gold "must" be the result of so much labor, if it even lie in patches " few and far between." But I am still of opinion the present population must find an outlet from this field—it cannot support them ; and the greatness of the final crash is every day increased by numerous arrivals.
A peremptory rule should be introduced into the new code compelling openings to be left every few hundred yards in streets on the goldfields, for general traffic. Here, one street is two miles long ; it runs parallel with the creek, and betwixt it and a large portion of the diggings the stores are close to each other, as if ground were as dear as in Melbourne, and only by them can a carter find a "right of way. " This causes much inconvenience, and should be avoided in all future rushes. It is not too late for the Local Court to add such a rule to their code.
Our creek is nearly dried up. If miners would join hands and build some half-dozen dams, they might catch enough water this season yet to carry them well into summer ; its want will ultimately banish them from this field. Such dams could be made in a day or two if parties combined with a will, really paternal Government might deem it good policy to attend to such matters.
The activity of our few police here is most praise-worthy. There are only ten or a dozen, and on Monday fourteen prisoners were tried for various light-fingered offences. This is only the beginning.— Herald.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

September 24th, 1856.
We of Dunolly appear about to commence taking a part in the all-absorbing matter of the day— electioneering. Mr M'Donogh was announced by the bellman to express his political opinions at the Golden Age Hotel this evening. I should think he might as well spare himself the trouble, for, as you said the other day, the Loddon is too full already." But the " ubiquitous " M'Donogh must create some excitement, and what period so happy as the present?
The portion of the diggings attracting most attention just now is that known as the Wet Diggings. Sinking is going on very briskly, and shepherding does not seem to prevail quite so much as formerly. In wandering yesterday through this lead, I examined some of the washing stuff and discovered gold pretty freely here and there. The richest stuff appears to be a sort of brown cement, something like that at Epsom, in your neighborhood. I should say the stuff I looked at would average an ounce to the tub.
The lead appears to have divided into two distinct runs ; the one following a ridge, on which the sinking is shallow, (about 24 to 30 feet) and the other to the left, following the flat. The former holes are nearly dry, and I was informed by one party he obtained 4 ozs. from the bottom of his hole, the washing stuff running 18 inches or two feet thick. Several holes immediately round him, forming a cluster, are also paying. The peculiarity of the ground seems to be, that there is a patch of very large quartz boulders in this spot, while in shicer ground the stones run much smaller. The washing stuff is the strangest I ever saw, being in digger phraseology termed " mullock," a conglomerate of sand, pipeclay, slate, and immense stones, jumbled up together— stuff, indeed, which it is next to impossible to puddle at all properly. The other run, branching off to the left, is very wet, and to make it worse, the most shepherding prevails here. Some, however, are persevering, and seem determined to see the bottom by some means.
I think these parties who battle thus with all difficulties, should have some privilege if in bottoming they meet with any gold, they should be allowed a larger claim. I was speaking with one of the parties who sunk first and prospected some of this new ground. He said that not only had he no double claim, but his single claim was infringed on ; he had been to the Commissioner and he had promised several times to settle it,but had not fulfilled his word.
A claim is being sunk in the road, at present used as a thoroughfare in front of a store. A lead is supposed to run here ; this hole will in a measure test the fact.
Some parties I know who have tried sinking for a long time who went into an old hole, and obtained a very good prospect. The only plan seems to be here to drive out all the ground.
Two rushes have taken place in the ranges towards Jones's Creek. I cannot, however, hear of any brilliant results.
I heard of a nice specimen being found at Jones's Creek, two pounds weight. The gold in the quartz seems to be heavy when it is struck, but severely tries the patience and pocket before it does turn up.
Those who are thinking of paying a visit to Dunolly, must come prepared with pluck to enter into the wet sinking, for that seems to be the principal attraction here. Those who don't like this sort of work, had better stay where they are.
Amusements are still on the increase, and the rival bells with their respective criers— who do the best to cry one another down— quite an amusement in itself.
A theatre is in course of erection nearly opposite the Criterion Hotel, in which the Montezuma Company, from Ballaarat, are to appear on Monday next. Messrs. Leeman and Gibson, of Bendigo notoriety ; are engaged at Elliot's Hotel, and from the applause and frequent encores that greet them they are as great favorites here as at the old Shamrock.
Weather cold and uncomfortable. Business dull, considering the population.

 1865 Phillip Chauncey , District Surveyor, and his wife, Susan, had a son.

1899 A SUSPICIOUS DEATH. DUNOLLY, Sunday. An inquest was begun at the hospital to- day before Mr. Leader, P.M., and a jury concerning the death of Edward Wilson, otherwise Benson, who died on Saturday from a fracture of the spine received at Bealiba on August 10. Mr. J H. Wolfenden, L.R.C.S., resident surgeon of the Dunolly Hospital, deposed that considerable violence must have been used to cause the fracture, as deceased was a powerful young man. Mr. J. Cookson, M.B., gave evidence that the cause of death was septic absorption, the result of paralysis through a fracture of the spine. The coroner adjourned the inquest, till next Saturday.

 1920 Passengers on the Mildura train were delayed at Dunolly for over two hours as the cylinder of the steam engine blew out, word was sent to Maryborough but it took two hours to reach Dunolly.

23 September, 2016

September 23 On This Day in Dunolly & District History



1856 This place is still adding to its numbers in place of standing still, but while this is the case, during the course of last week numerous parties have broken up and left, not finding the prospect of'deep-sinking to suit their finances. On the whole, however, there has been two arrivals for one departure, and though there are many shicers, my individual experience cannnot name any other place than Bendigo where the blanks have been so few.Not a few have got nuggets, which will secure them for the time to come, unless, as has been frequently the case, what has been got with such comparative ease is allowed' to slip through their fingers with a sang froid only generally ascribed to Frenchmen and the seafaring community.In a previous letter I gave a hint to those in authority who might have aided the cause of religion and morality by obtaining the services of gospel preachers, and thus promoted virtuous conduct infinitely more than by speechifying at political meetings or quarrelling on - the subject of State Aid to Religion, about which such a difference of opinion exists — though there is none that the example of a few worthy clergymen would have the most beneficial results.We live in a land of anomalies. Hundreds of letters were dispatched from this place on Sunday,to overtake the mail leaving on the 25th instant,but surely it would not he unworthy the notice of the Executive Government to lay down a general rule that when the population of any place on the gold-fields remained for a stated time at a given number, not under 10,000, the settlers might have a right to obtain a post-office establishment, or at least a sub-office, for their accommodation — no greater boon could be conferred. In like manner, though it may be desirable to have an escort for the secure conveyance of the precious metal, it may he well doubted if its present route by way of the Avoca is not absurd, seeing that a recent escort conveyed only 1 1/2 oz., bringing 3s. 9d. of revenue, while the two branches of the banks here are sending down to Maryborough weekly sum that would pay a duty of £1000.A man of the name of Holmes was detected last week breaking into a store here, and seized.Some of the witnesses were examined by the magistrate on Monday, and had to attend at the sessions at Carisbrook 0n Tuesday, where, however, the man got off owing to the evidence being incomplete. I mention the occurrence to show that though in some departments there may be great tardiness, it does not pervade the whole. I shall in my next endeavour to give you a fair approximation to the truth of the widely different calculations as to the numbers congregated here and the future prospects of these diggings, which to those who can afford to bide their time the general impression is decidedly favorable, hut so many thousands have come with the hope that they were to acquire the yellow stuff without the usual toil and labour, that thousands of them will doubtless have to lull back on their previous avocations in the old places, discontented at their want of luck here.



 1889 The Dunolly train left the tracks as it passed the Inglewood train at the Arnold-bridge station.

 1908 Eddington races were held on the Recreation Reserve.

 1919 Honor tablets are being awarded to the Borough of Dunolly and the Borough of Inglewood. .The first-mentioned will also receive the first Australian coat of arms in bronze 'to surmount the tablet, " being the first to secure double its quota.

 1934 Cycling road race from Dunolly to Moliagul and back to Dunolly 18 miles placings 1st G.Davies, 2 P. Raven, 3 E.Thomas. 
Time 53.33 won by two lengths.

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