Archive for the ‘Eden’ Category

William John Moorhead arrived in Australia in September 1864. His immigration was sponsored by his brother Thomas Moorhead who was a sawmill owner at Eden. William probably lived in Eden for a time, later living in the Numbugga district before purchasing a dairy farm near Wolumla probably in the late 1870s. In a letter to his half-sister in 1881 he states that “thru much endeavour we now have 85 dairy cattle at Wolumla…”

William purchased his deceased uncle’s property at Frogs Hollow near Bega. The property was called ‘Moorlands’. By 1895 he was a registered NSW grazier at the property ‘Wanatta’. Why did he call his property ‘Wanatta’?  It seems likely that he named it after the name of the ship he came out to Australia in 1864! The ship was called the ‘Wanatta‘.

William went on to become a notable local being elected the first President of Imlay Shire. Unfortunately, on 10 March 1915 he was found dead on the roadside near the foot of Jigamy Hill between Eden and Pambula. He had a fractured skull and his neck was broken. It is thought that his horse bolted for some reason and he fell hitting his head.

Source: Research by William John Moorhead’s descendent Marjorie McGovern.


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'World War One: the War Years' local history calendar 2015

World War One: the War Years local history calendar 2015

The 2015 local history calendar was launched today by Mayor Michael
Britten at Bega library. The theme of the calendar is ‘World War One: the War Years’.

The 2015 calendar is very special and no doubt will resonate with many people as we head into the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and the ANZAC experience. Over the next three to four years Australia will commemorate various World War One milestones, marking 100 years since Australia’s involvement in World War One. Nearly 200 men from our region lost their lives in World War One and this 2015 calendar contributes towards creating a record of our region’s past during those tumultuous World War One years.

Towns and villages throughout Australia focused on raising money to support the war effort through subscriptions to government war loans.

One of the photographs in the calendar shows the Bega Honour Flag awarded in recognition of the town’s contribution to the Seventh War Loan in 1918. Bega doubled its quota of 10,000 pounds and was awarded the coveted distinction of adding three bars and a star to their flag which can be seen in the photograph. H.M Blomfield was Mayor of Bega during the war years and instrumental in raising funds. In recognition of his patriotic drive his name was inscribed onto the flag.

Finding suitable photographs for this year’s calendar was challenging and would not have been possible without the support of the Bega Valley Historical Society and the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

The calendar is available for purchase at Eden, Merimbula, Bega and Bermagui libraries at a cost of $8.80.

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Despite the fact that the government department responsible had decided to erect a post and telegraph building in Eden in 1885, there were conflicting opinions about the best site. 

Eden Post Office

Eventually though the building went ahead on the corner of Mitchell and Imlay Streets. According to the “Eden Post Office History”  produced by the Historical Officer, Australia Post, this building was first occupied in 1891. 

Additions to the building were made over the next 10 years or so.

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It appears that the first Post Office established in the Valley was at Eden in 1847.  Although there was possibly an earlier one opened at Boydtown in 1844.

The opening of a Post Office often marked a township as having a viable status and locations of Post Offices could be hotly contested. Post Offices and the mail were, after all, the only link with the outside world.

Residents would petition the Post Master General requesting the establishment of a Post Office for their town with explanations as to why an office was required. These records of petitions and correspondence provide invaluable insight into the prevailing social conditions. Petitioners signed their name, often giving their address and occupation so these records can prove to be another source of family history information. As part of the petition a likely candidate for the position of postmaster was offered with supporting information. These candidates were often the local schoolteacher or owner of the general store.

Especially in the early establishment of an office,

The Bega Library has a set of local Post Office histories. These were produced by the Historical Officer of Australia Post in the 1970s and are based on primary records such as petitions and correpondence.  Histories are available for the Post Offices at Eden, Bega, Lower Towamba, Quaama, Candelo, Tathra Road, Kameruka, Bemboka, and Tanja.

The histories also include some information on the establishment of local Telegraph Offices and Telephone Exchanges.

Picture Australia includes historic photographs of many local post offices http://www.pictureaustralia.org/index.html

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You can read wonderful descriptions of land for sale in the NSW Government Gazettes from the 19th Century.  The Bega Library has an index to the gazettes on cd-rom.

The 1850 gazette notes several town lots of land for sale in Eden and ‘Panbula’  including price per acre, typically £8.

In the 1844 NSW Government Gazette, reference is made to a land purchase by James Boyd of Lot 2, Eden; an area of 2 roods. The land deed was dated 29 February 1844 (a leap year!).

Government gazettes provide a huge range of information of value to local and family historians. The first gazettes were produced whenNSW was still a penal colony so early notices make interesting reading. Other notices relate to employment within the colonial administration and of course land notices are prevalent. Other information included in the gazettes relate to bankruptcy, licencing and intestacy notices.

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For the Imlay Shire Council meeting of 18 March 1960, the Health Inspector, J. I. Livingston, noted in his report that there had been two positive cases of tuberculosis in Eden within the previous two months. In addition, there were five suspect cases. O

One of the positive cases and four of the suspect cases involved school children resulting in some public concern.

Apparently during the 1950s and 1960s, Eden received a five-yearly tuberculosis clinic visit. These visits involved x-rays as well as skin tests. Prior to this Council meeting in March 1960, a clinic had visited Eden in 1956.

On Mr Livingston’s recommendation, Councillors Russell and Fleming put forward a motion that Council write a letter to the Secretary, Board of Health, requesting that Eden be included in the 1960/61 tuberculosis survey. This motion was carried and Council also resolved that the Member for Monaro, J.W. Seiffert, be asked to take up the matter further with the Minister for Health. Specifically, the Council requested that a special unit be sent to Eden “in the near future” or “perhaps it would be possible for arrangements to be made for the school children of Eden to be checked at the Bega District Hospital by local doctors at the Government’s expense.”

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