The Best Business Sites in Town

In 1902, the real estate agency Holmes, Wickham, and Co. received instruction to sell by auction a subdivision belonging to J. E. Spurr in Germanton (now known as Holbrook). On the 14th of March, the day prior to the sale, The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express reported that Germanton was quickly developing, and that this […]

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Pulling Down to Pick Up

Two kilometres south of the town of Berry, on Broughton Creek in Dharawal Country, is a peaceful boat ramp. Today, when standing at this serene spot, it is hard to imagine the scene over one hundred years ago when the busy Berry Wharf was operated from here, by the Scottish-born settler David Berry (1795-1889). The […]

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Clanging of the Locks

brassy-coloured, metal padlock

Tough voices, heavy footsteps, and the clang of brass padlocks on iron bolts echoed around the cold stone walls and floors of the cell blocks, day after day. ‘I often think of the clanging of the locks. If an inmate wanted something, he would usually get the lock and bang it on the bolt to […]

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The Sleeper Cutter’s Mark

Paul Vonthien (1871–1945) the owner of this marking hammer, was one of twelve children born in Jindera to Carl (1833–1908) and Helene Vonthien (née Lindner 1834–1878). Paul was to follow his brother Carl Heinrich (Harry) to the Western Australia gold-fields in the mid–1890s, and stayed on after Carl died in Fremantle in 1895. After a […]

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Carried Away

Sparks flew as the blacksmith pounded his hammer against this iron spike, red hot and just pulled out of the forge. After tapering the short rod to a point, he hammered the top to form a dog head-like projection. Then he marked the head with ‘W W / C C’, the initials of the West […]

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An Enduring Mystery

When visiting the white sandy beaches around Wreck Bay on the NSW South Coast in the 1920s-30s, beachgoers  must have been surprised by the curious sight of small, brightly coloured, earthenware tiles half-buried in the dry sand. Their once sharp edges slowly made smooth by the action of the waves. Hundreds of tiles, or perhaps thousands, […]

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