Tag Archives: Carisbrook

The Lay of the Last Miner

I was given this poem written by W. Robertson many years ago as my great great grandfather, (Glaud) Pender is mentioned by name.  The author wanders and reminisces about various early  mine sites in Victoria, Australia. It was originally published as an eight page booklet.  So far I haven’t found any more information or a source for it  but no doubt there is someone out there who can tell us more.

                 THE OLD MINER
or
THE LAY OF THE LAST MINER

Whilst strolling through Con Burrow’s “Home”,
‘Mong lone ones who had ceased to roam,
The eye was caught of miner old,
Who yearned to tell of days of gold.
I bid good cheer, well filled the pipe,
And asked of his adventurous life.
He halved his seat with thankful smile,
And, in response, in digger’s style,
Told of his life in district mines
From early to the latest times.
I noted how his eyes grew bright
In spite of age and locks snow-white;
While proud he held his head erect
As if he had naught to regret,
He started with a pleasure keen, –
A last rally, as will be seen;
He’d pondered oft those stirring times,
In Fifty-one, when but a lad,
At  “Hiscock’s”,  I remember dad
Excited got on finding gold,
And gave up care of shepherd’s fold;
He took me when from there he went
Up further north on golden scent.

We pitched our camp, hence Ballarat
Where gold was got from hill and flat.
They were the days when life was fast –
Mates came from shop, farm, bank and mast,
Chancing nuggets or a duffer:
Some made their piles – some but tucker.
He rushed “Canadian”, also “Eureka”,
And “Black Hill” did the gold seeker,
A rope, pick, dish, with windlass short,
Cradle and tub came as from naught.
Shanked it from ship did chums galore,
Sure on landing of fortunes store.
Good finds first were on shallow ground,
And following, each lead deeper down
To wet and drift on “Gum Tree Flat”,
We found all leads did steer for that.
The “Baker Hill” from “Oval” came,
At Humffray Street went west again;
It gave a nugget at the rise, –
“The “Wecome” – famous for its size.
“Gravel Pits” lead from “Loco” shed
Was traced down past the Fire Brigade,
Then on across the “Main” “Plank” road,
Where southern streams gave it their load.
This “Road” which was our favourite walk
Would history tell if it could talk.
Here with crinoline and flounces
The ladies came to share our ounces;
From then was firm foundation laid,
Of that which we’ve a city made.
We’ve ebbed and flowed, oft been in doubt –

I recall “The East” when luck was out,
Croakers arose – rock was ahead.
Still better north ! so rumour said:
Bendigo news gave gold fever.
I rolled my swag for the walk over;
Worked there a while, then Castlemaine,
When news from West moved me again;
Now on a coach – no more a walker –
Mates booked my seat on to Majorca.
Then my habit – craving for change –
Brought me to “Back Creek” o’er the range;
Easy won wash, good gold was got;
This place is now known as Talbot.
“Cobb” took us then on to Avoca;
Too quiet for me. – thanks for your smoke, sir;
Your weed is good.  Oh! you’re a gent –
Your coin will be carefully spent.
From Avoca to Ararat,
To “Canton Lead”, “Flint” and “Cathcart,”
I journeyed as a digger bold
Who knew all tricks that could be told.
The miners’ life, in their own way,
I lived and lived but for the day;
While luck was in I spent too free,
And thus I oft was “on the spree”.
To “Fiery Creek” I went full tear,
When tidings came of a rush there;
Beaufort was rich, and Raglan too;
We opened Chute, then Waterloo.
‘Twas overrun.  When Linton shone
I joined again the moving throng

To gullies rich and flats that feed
The “Edinburgh” and “Standard Lead”.
“Lucky Woman’s” gave all a thrill
When gold was struck on “Dreamer’s Hill”.
Times were good – we did not dally,
But worked from there to Happy Valley,
In deeper runs my mates then went,
Below basalt, sand, and cement.
We had “Morey”, a “Canterbrey,”
“Volunteers” with the “Waverley,”
But “British” miners beat the lot,
And made this place a noted spot.
We traced the lead down past the “Cleft”,
To Piggoreet right o’er a clift,
Where met we with the Smythe’s creek men,
‘Tween “Trunk” and “Horn” at “Try Again.”
Here was the “Devil’s Kitchen” famed –
Old-timers thought ‘twould ne’er be tamed;
But times do change – they tell me now
“There’s not enough to make a row.
Past “Golden”, “Belts”, “Gates,” “Streams,” and “Lakes,”
Where Pender, Webb, and Maughan were mates,
Through Newtown, up the Scarsdale run,
I worked my passage to Haddon,
And saw that township at its prime,
When no one drew the colour line,
While I was on my country tour,
Ballarat mates made good and sure;
Well paid for all their work they got
By tracing lead west under rock,

Through Curtis Street to Lydiard’s crest,
‘Cross Sturt and Dana, then south-west.
The “Frontage Scheme”, here they did try it –
It caused as much talk as “The Riot”.
In legal fees, it thousands cost,
Thus profits were to miners lost.
We since have found “The Block” was best –
A system that has stood the test.
Over western quartz the dirt was rich,
Here mining reached its highest pitch.
Who forgets the “Koh-i-noor” and “Band”?
The “Albion” or the “Hand in Hand”?
The “Inkerman”? – it gave great wealth,
But scoured a valley for itself.
From Newington it went out west,
Where in the Park, we’ll let it rest.
The main lead to the “Milkmaid” ran,
Past “Malakoff,” out to “Redan”,
‘Twas hurrah! for “St. George” and “Red Jacket”,
As through Sebas, they then did track it,
Right to the edge of “Plateau’s” rails,
Where “Cobblers” fed the “Prince of Wales”,
Past “Bonshaw” on to “Alstan’s” height,
Where Watson ruled with “Gulf” in sight.
There the “Scottish and the Cornish”
On Cambrian Hill lived with the Welsh;
Over a channel was Napoleon.
Which turned the lot east to the Durham;
From here the gold was thin and fine,
But where was crossed the “Eastern Line”;
Though Buninyong gave in its share,

The Durham sluices showed but fair.
Revival came to Creswick again;
“Australasians” call was “More Men!”
I heard, and left the “Chinese” town,
Scarce lost a shift – just there and down.
The lead got poor; you know, I wot,
Of disaster – that’s not forgot!
Awful! Awful! Depressed we were,
While “Spring Hill” continued like a flare,
Inviting all; all roads led there;
Miners re-met from everywhere.
Its shallow runs they gave good divs.
How money flowed in memory lives;
Still deeper down it kept its glory,
Through “De Murska” to “Ristori”.
Here Peacock, Brawn, and Leishman start –
I mean, of course, their mining part.
In Allendale I made my home,
Worked in the “Madame” and the “Lone”;
The crib-time of our life was here,
Where all were gay and of good cheer.
‘Twas “out of date” to have a tent;
The carpet bags to tip were sent;
Red shirts had gone, and moleskins vile;
Sac suits to order were the style.
We sorry were to leave this home
Again alluvial fields to roam.
Quartz ? Not me! I enjoyed too true
The alluvial life and mates I knew;
No quartz for me, with dusty slopes!
The graveyard of  digger’s hopes !
I had a turn at Rutherglen,

But lonely felt among new men.
Soon I was back to Carisbrook
To “Chalks”, “Pioneer”, then o’er to “Duke,”
And “Main Lead’s” mines, where Bryant says
The champions were of mining days.
Timor now waned, Alma had gone,
Craigie no more had “Napes” or “Kong”.
“Mt Mercer” then gave forth a call,
But proved the poorest of them all.
The Rokewood spurt – not worth a fig –
A shallow, sandy place to dig.
At Pitfield we had novel times,
The summer sun roasts as it shines;
Its bleak and windy clayey plains
Are churned to mud by winter’s rains;
But spite of that a lively run,
In huts and shanties there was fun;
The field was poor, and was my last;
Other diggings have gone down fast.
I, wage-earning, left, worked in the creek,
Till age warned me to give up the seek;
From then till now I’ve taken rest,
And followed mining from the press.

The “Mt William” rush was like a meteor –
A flash, then over, was its feature;
Rutherglen’s wound up, Creswick the same,
In Ballarat it lacks a name;
No money for Avoca’s “Stream”;
Tom Mitchell’s tried to “Ristor”(e),I read,
The fortunes of the Kingston lead;
The “Langi” field has been a dud,

“Cept where enriched by Cathcart’s flood;
They’ve failed the “Durham” to revive,
It seems we’ve lost the power to strive.
There’s miles of leads, both deep and wet,
Which for the future will be left.
We’ve enjoyed our pleasures to the dregs,
And put Australia on its legs,
Less fickle goods with gold does change;
Hence, no spurts in “Corner” or “Exchange”.
Ah! thus it seems the end is near
Of life and times I held so dear.

Good luck! to those who canny were,
And now enjoy their own armchair.

But, as for me, I’ve had my day,
I’m feeling faint – ’tis Nature’s way;
Evening’s near gone – give me your hand,
I feel that I no more will stand.
Remember me to miners all;
Tell them I’m paying my last call;
I fancy now two whistles blow –
That means but a short time to go.

Darkness comes on; night shift draws nigh;
The air is bad . . . good-bye . . . good-b —.

W. ROBERTSON    Ballarat East.

What made me remember this poem was an interesting series of posts in  the Carisbrook Historical Facebook Group about the belt buckles the men used to wear  and which people find in these old mining areas.  The ornamentation on the buckles highlights the diversity of people who followed the gold diggings.

Put belt buckles into the Search Box and you will get a ovely selection of photos and comments.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436750269909379/

The following  Cricket belt buckle was found in the ruins of an old miners hut near Castlemaine, with many Chinese coins beside it.  You can find the full details about it here.

 

Unnamed, Anonymous: Who Are You ?

1509-250This week Sepia Saturday , for their 300th birthday, provided us with this image of some unidentified people from The Age of Uncertainty blog here and  here.  It has long been one of my favourite blogs to visit, enjoying the topics he chooses and the way he writes.

This 2.4 x 2.9 cm photo was taken by Charlie Farr, Maryborough. On the back it states that YOUR PHOTO can be done SAME STYLE as this for 2s. per dozen, or send along the PHOTO., your ADDRESS and Postal Note or Stamps for 2s. 3d., and we will forward you one dozen, also the original photo.

And for my 101st post to this group I have chosen this unidentified photo from our extended family collection.  It was taken by photographer Charlie Farr  in High Street,  Maryborough,  in Central Victoria,  between 1893 and 1906.  It possibly has connections with nearby Carisbrook, and a link to the  names  Fricke, Aston or  Peet and their many connections.

To see  what other people saw in this week’s theme photo visit this week’s Sepia Saturday.

 

A baby in Adelaide in 1869

My contribution to Sepia Saturday this week, with its request for mother and baby photos is this carte de visite presenting  John Henry Baynham Bosley  born in Adelaide 6th June 1869 and sitting on the knee of his mother Corah.

ManWoman3chnAdelaideThis photographer changed the information on the back of his cards from time to time and this allows us to date this photo to  1869 – 1870.

BackOfManWoman3chnAlso in the photo is Thomas George Dufty Bosley. born October 1867,  sitting on his father’s knee, with Eliza Bosley born 1864 standing between her parents. There had been another daughter Annie but she had died. These children are my grandfather’s cousins.

The father in the photo is Thomas Bosley who came from Coleford in Gloucestershire and he was the older brother of my great grandmother Eliza Fricke We have seen her before in Tea Time with Bikes , at home in Newland St Coleford and as the mother of the bride in  the Bride was Eliza.

But we have also met  the toddler Thomas George on the right of the photo when he was older  in Men in Aprons – Potters   When this Tom Jr. was nine years old he began work at Hindmarsh Pottery  as an apprentice  to his Uncle George, now his stepfather.   His job was to weigh up the clay and prepare the balls for “throwing”.

Thomas and Corah had six children before Thomas died in 1873, three months before his sixth child was born.  Corah who was still in her twenties  then married Thomas’s younger brother George and had six more children.

This photo was in the possession of Eliza Fricke (nee Bosley), when she died.  She lived in Carisbrook, Victoria and her two brothers in Adelaide, South Australia.  Eliza Fricke’s two Bosley brothers are the only Adelaide connection discovered in the family ,  No one has said that this is a photo of Thomas and Corah Bosley and their children but my identification is based upon the  fact of Eliza Fricke’s two brothers living in Adelaide , the dating of the photo from recorded identifications used on the back of the carte de visite, and the order and ages of the children.

Another carte de visite from Adelaide dated at 1874 – 5 is this photo which I believe is the younger brother George, the second husband to Corah. He was a prominent potter in Adelaide at that time.

T.Duryea   Artist   Photographer No 57872 Carte de visite believed to 1874-5

I am quite confident with my deductions;  Until someone proves me wrong.

More Mums and Bubs and other bits and pieces are to found on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

 

Tea Time – with Bikes

The Place – Park Farm near Carisbrook in Central Victoria, home of the Fricke family

The occasion – Afternoon Tea

The Time – Probably between 1900 and 1913
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And the people – there is only one that I can be fairly sure about and that is Eliza Fricke (nee Bosley) (1843-1913) and she is the left hand lady, in black, of the group of three seated in the centre of the photo.

Eliza is the hostess and has brought a nice small table and chairs on to the verandah.  Another lady in a dark dress is seated to the right, She could be a friend but more likely to be  a relation from the  Fricke, Aston, Peet, Williams, Attwood, Thomas families who lived in the district. . A younger third guest sits between these two ladies, identified as the third cyclist by her ‘”uniform” of dark skirt and light-coloured blouse.  The other two cyclists are holding their bikes.

The remaining  younger person,  dressed in white and standing behind the chair is possibly not a visitor.  Of Eliza’s  daughters, Eliza married in 1901 and Tilly married in 1903.  So possibly this last person could be Tilly if the picture was taken before 1903 and assuming Tilly was still living at home

But then there is the boy standing at the back. If he is Eliza’s grandson then he would have been born in 1891 (I think this is too early), 1896 or 1904.  In which case if the lady in white is his mother then he was born 1896 and is visiting from Melbourne.  Or if born in 1904 then his mother lives 22 km away in Newstead and the time of the photo would be closer to 1913.  Just how old is that boy ?

My guess is that he was born 1904.  If he was born 1896 then there should also be two little girls in the photo.

This photo shows that more blinds have been added to the house since a previous photo

This week’s  post is following the theme of bikes as suggested by Sepia Saturday, the place where you will find links to many similar posts.

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At Home in Newland St, Coleford

This week I begin with an  postcard which is showing its age at 111 years  and which has some identifying printing on the front, though no message has been written in the conveniently placed blank space.

postcard of newland stIt tells us that it is a photo of Newland St in Coleford, on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

The printing at the end  also tells us that it is one of The Wrench Series of postcards and also has the name  Arthur J. Bright,  Coleford.  Arthur Bright was the Editor of The Dean Forest Guardian.

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney tells us about the Wrench Series.

One of the first picture postcard companies which offered British views was set up by a 17 year old teenager Evelyn Wrench. His idea for the company, Messrs. Wrench and Co., began while on holiday in Germany with his parents in 1900.

On the left is the Baptist Church  and at the far end of the street you can get a glimpse of the clock tower standing in the Market Place at the crossroads at the centre of the town. Originally it was part of an octagonal church.  These can be seen on this section of an 1840 tithe map of Coleford

map newland stThe postcard was in the possession of my great aunt whose mother Eliza Bosley  had come to Australia from Coleford in 1863 and the image was provided to me by a second cousin.  The card had been posted in Coleford in 1904 to a Mrs Ambery  in Williamstown.  Friend or relation, I do not know at this stage, but with the help of some clues from Mark  Dodd I now have a reasonable explanation of  how it came to shift from Williamstown, a suburb of Melbourne, to Eliza Fricke in the mid-Victorian town  of Carisbrook.

postcard of newland st 1904 - bqackWhen Eliza was young and living in Coleford her maternal aunt Amelia Baynham and her husband Stephen Aston, living at Five Acres, just to the north of Coleford, had a lodger.   It was 1851 and the lodger was William Ambery, a year younger than their son Edward Aston.  Eliza would have known these two young men. After all Edward Aston was her cousin.  Both boys were to marry and together with their wives emigrated to Adelaide in 1855 on the John Banks.  Then both families either together or separately moved over to Carisbrook in Victoria. Edward Aston was to remain in Carisbrook but William and Mary moved on after a while. 

Meanwhile Eliza grew up, lost both her parents and with two younger sisters came out to Carisbrook  in 1863 to be reunited with  Edward and his wife Ann, and William and his wife Mary.  And so  it stands to reason that Mary, later on living  in Williamstown, would  pass on to Eliza a picture of “the street where you lived” which had been sent to Mary – Newland St, Coleford. There is still the question in my mind as to whether or not William Ambery could have been related to his hosts, Stephen and Amelia Aston.

Here is a  similar view of Newland St  taken by my sister in 1986 with someone sitting on the front fence of the Baptist Church, taken before I knew of the postcard’s existence.NewlandSt1986And why is this particular view of Newland St of interest to me ?  It is because of this next photo which is the house where  Eliza Bosley lived  in Coleford before coming to Australia and it was somewhere opposite the Baptist Church.   Presumably that is Eliza or one of her sisters in front of the house.

ColefordHouseTwo vertical groups of three windows, with the uppermost being slightly smaller.  Could this building  possibly be the same white  house, in the centre of the 1986 photo, with a single doorway replacing the original two doors.  It is opposite the Baptist Church,   Or is it just my imagination.

As for William and Mary Ambery, William had joined the Victorian Railways and was a train examiner at Castlemaine, then after an illness moved to Williamstown and opened a woodyard,  in Douglas Parade. He was also elected a Councillor on the Williamstown Council. (Trove)

And so my story comes full circle beginning with a postcard arriving for Mrs Ambery in Douglas Parade,  Williamstown.

Meanwhile, over at Sepia Saturday   people are posting about courtrooms and all things legal, or anything else which takes their fancy.

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And the sign said ….. Bootmaker

The Aston family of Carisbrook in Central Victoria has been well documented by its descendants and others, particularly as their blind daughter Tilly was so well known.  But this week I chose this photo to represent Sepia Saturday’s Theme of “Signs” as we can see Edward Aston’s sign of Bootmaker on his place of business (and home)  in the 1870s.

Aston ShopStanding in front of the shop in Simpson St, Carisbrook, are Sophie (b1862) and William (b1860) with their parents Ann and Edward Aston, some time in the 1870s. Ann and Edward had eight children, the youngest being Matilda, born in 1873.  When Tilly (Matilda)  was seven she became blind but was an inspiration as she overcame her difficulties and became well known as an author and teacher , and establishing organizations which were later to become the Victorian Braille Library and Vision Australia. An Electorate in Melbourne for the Federal Parliament is named Aston in honour of Tilly.

At the side we have an early example of a photobomber – I don’t know who she is  !

I am interested in this family as when my great-grandmother Eliza Bosley arrived from Coleford in Gloucestershire she stated when she landed in Melbourne that she was travelling to her Uncle Edward Aston in Carisbrook.

In fact Edward was not Eliza’s uncle but her cousin – their mothers were sisters.

Back in Gloucestershire there had been four  Baynham  sisters. Any of the following names which are underlined are people known to have lived in Carisbrook.

Amelia Baynham  b 1808 became Edward Aston’s mother

Ann Baynham b 1815 became Eliza Bosley’s mother (my great grandmother)

Charlotte Baynham b 1812 married Samuel Attwood  and Charlotte herself came to Carisbrook, the only one of the sisters to do so,  She was Charlotte Amelia Attwood’s mother and Charlotte Amelia married Frederick Eager who, prior to their marriage had been a partner with W.R.Smith in the shop  from the  photo lower down.

 Frances, Baynham b 1819  married William Thomas.

There is always a mystery, an unresolved issue with my ancestors.  In this case Tilly Aston had said in her Memoirs that her father, Edward Aston,  had come to Carisbrook in 1857  because he already had an uncle in Carisbrook. Originally Edward and Ann had  spent 2 years in South Australia before coming to Carisbrook, so who was the uncle ?

I think it most likely that it was someone on his Father’s side of the family, either Samuel Attwood  or William Thomas.  In the 1856 Electoral Roll for Carisbrook where is a William Thomas living at nearby Alma, who is on the Roll as he is the possessor of a Miner’s Right. And there is plenty of evidence of a Samuel Attwood with a nursery at Carisbrook. As yet I have found nothing similar on his mother’s side of the family.

Or was Edward just using the term Uncle in a creative way as Eliza did when arriving in Australia.

As with all family history research there is always room for the next person to continue the research.

Store

F. Eager, connected to the cousins by marriage, was a founding partner of the W.R.Smith shop.

A theme like Signs leads to infinite varieties of interpretation – serious, historical, humorous.  Check out what other Sepians have found through the links on Sepia Saturday.

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And the Bride was …..Eliza

I don’t think any Saturday Sepians will have trouble coming up with a nice wedding photo to satisfy this week’s theme.  My choice is the 1901 wedding of Eliza Fricke and Robert Butler  in Central Victoria.  They married at Christ Church in Maryborough then this photo was taken in  the garden of the bride’s home, Park Farm  in Carisbrook.

The wedding of Eliza Fricke and Robert Butler in 1902

The wedding of Eliza Fricke and Robert Butler in 1901

I have Eliza’s granddaughters to thanks for this lovely photo of the two families.    Let’s look at the bride’s relations in the photo.

Ann Eliza Fricke 1873The Bride, Eliza Fricke, born in 1873, grew up at Park Farm in Carisbrook and married to shift a few miles down the road to become the wife of a butcher and farmer at Newstead. She was the seventh child of eight surviving children and we have seen her before playing croquet in the front garden of her home while her father watched on.

 

George Alfred Fricke 1867

Alfred Fricke , born in 1867. was the oldest boy and  is seen sitting next to the bride.  As his father had died in 1899 Alfred escorted his sister down the aisle for her wedding..  He now owned Park Farm and wasn’t to marry for another 10 years.   We have seen him before with guests in the garden of Park Farm

 

 

. Eliza Fricke (Bosley) 1843 Eliza Fricke, nee Bosley, the mother of the bride, is sitting next to the bridegroom    Eliza Bosley had come to Australia from Coleford in Gloucestershire in 1863  with two of her sisters.  Both of her parents were dead and she  came to Carisbrook as she had a cousin Edward Aston living there.  There was also another cousin Charlotte Eager and the cousins kept the school well supllied with pupils.

 

Charles Frederic Fricke 1869

Seated on the ground at the right of the photo is Eliza’s brother Charles Fricke, born in 1869.  He now owned the other Fricke farm at Apollo Bay and would marry in tthree years time.  He is my grandfather.

 

 

Matilda Louise Fricke 1877

Seated on the ground at the left side is the youngest of the family, Matilda Louise,  born in 1877 and known as Tilly. She married in 1903  to F,W. Wangman and went to live in Melbourne.

 

 

Frederick Thomas Albert Fricke 1872In the back row  behind the bridegroom is Eliza’s brother  Albert , born 1872.  He had already been married for 3 years.  He started work with the Lands Department in Melbourne, later represented  the Victorian Government in the USA encouraging immigration to the irrigation areas of Victoria.  He was theri Representative for Victoria at the opening of the Panama Canal and finally became Head of the Lands Department in Victoria.

 

Not present that day were another brother and two sisters.  The rest of the people in the photo are Butler relations.

Meanwhile part of Eliza’s life was the Butcher’s van and a visit from a a niece, Enid Fricke, from Apollo Bay, one of many visits between the two families. Before the days of Health and Safety Regulations the butchers did their own slaughtering on the farm then travelled around  selling the meat.

Then from the oldest wedding photo in my family collection to the latest in 2014.  This time it is of the newly married couple with the bridegroom’s family in the shade of some gum trees in the middle of a paddock  on the Bellarine Peninsula.  Grandma is happily clutching grandson’s arm.

Full Family Group 2014You are now invited to  join in more weddings through the links in Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

The Big Apple – in Carisbrook

Note: Before starting I want to say that I mostly use the spelling Bismark but many sources say Bismarck or say that one is the synonym if the other,

And now for a different kind of Family History Tree,  My great-grandfather Freidrich Eberhardt Fricke  emigrated from the village of Gros Mahner in Hannover.  He became a farmer at Carisbrook in Central Victoria.

Freidrich Eberhardt Fricke

Freidrich Eberhardt Fricke

One day on the goldfields at nearby Harrison’s Hill he found an apple core which he took home and planted the seeds which grew into a beautiful apple tree with very large  apples  and he called it the Bismark Seedling Apple.

Wax model in the Museum of Victoria made in 1875  from an apple grown on  F.E.Fricke's Bismark apple tree

Wax model in the Museum of Victoria made in 1875  from an apple grown on F.E.Fricke’s Bismark apple tree

My first port of call was in 1985 at the Museum of Melbourne and this is a wax model of  one of Mr Fricke’s apples which he  sent to the Museum  in 1875  Just look at the size of it.  It is described as  “a winter fruiting, cooking apple and is a very large, yellow-skinned apple with just a slight red blush.  It appears to be about eight times the volume of a Golden Delicious apple.  It was used for cooking and export.”   (See Note 1)

On page 245 of “Victoria and its Metropolis – Past and Present”, Vol 11,published in 1888 it says ” The celebrated Bismark apple, a seedling, was first grown in Mr. Fricke’s garden; the tree is twenty-five years old and its fruit is shown in the Melbourne Museum “.

And a newspaper obituary notice dated Oct 6th, 1899, believed to be from a Maryborough paper, says – “One day he picked up on the diggings an apple core which he took home and planted.  The seedling which grew was never grafted but it produced a magnificent apple, which in honor of the late Prince Bismark, was given the name under which it is now known. ”

To add to these facts which I discovered  last century 🙂  I can now add this newspaper article from  1893 which I found recently.   An overseas news column in the Australasian  told about  London’s Great Crystal Palace National Co-operative Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Show then it went on to tell how  the Curator of the Royal Horticultural Gardens in Victoria had written to The Journal of Horticulture in England with information about the Bismarck Apple. (See note 2)  This is as close as I can get to F,Fricke writing the letter himself.

bismakr apple - neilsen's comments .Due to the wonders of the internet I was able to look through the 1893 publications of the Journal mentioned but cannot find that the information Mr Neilson gave them about the origins of the apple was passed on to the members of the Society.

These days if you go to Google for information on the Bismark/Bismarck apple you can’t really find anyone willing to commit as to the origins of the apple. They give you the choice of New Zealand or Tasmania or Clarkson of Carisbrook or Fricke of Carisbrook.  Remember the childhood game of passing a whispered message down a line of people and how the message would get distorted. And so it goes on in Google. Nowhere can I find any mention of someone in Tasmania or New Zealand actually growing the first tree. Just speculation, speculation.

c1863  F.E.Fricke grew the first Bismark apple tree from either a seed or a seedling found  on  the Harrison Hill diggings near his farm.

Mr Benjamin Clarkson, a nurseryman, later got cuttings from the tree so that he could graft them and raise trees for sale.

1873 Mr Clarkson took apples from his grafted tree to the Seedling Fruit Committee of the Horticultural Society of Victoria who officially named it Prince Bismark.

1875  F.E.Fricke gave one of his Bismarck apples to the Museum of Victoria so that a wax model could be made.

I plodded away on this story  before internet information was available.  I  couldn’t find a living tree.   But in 1993  after appealing through a newspaper  I found one in Central Victoria, about 38 km south-west of Carisbrook, a 50 year old tree which was a direct descendant of F.E.Fricke’s tree and  I was able to get some sample fruit and take some photos.

 

then like my great grandfather I sent some to the museum.

Melbourne Age, 16 Aug 1993

Melbourne Age, 16 Aug 1993

This was from an article in the Melbourne Age by John Lahey titled “Images of Forgotten Fruit”. and showing Liza Dale with some of the wax models.

From article by John Lahey on Images of Forgotten Fruit in the Melbourne Age, 16 Aug, 1993.

From article by John Lahey on Images of Forgotten Fruit in the Melbourne Age, 16 Aug, 1993.

Are there two different Bismark Apples ?

In these photos I have moved copies of the scales onto the apples.

1.  On the left is the present  photo of the Fricke Apple on the Museum of Victoria website.  The scale 2 cm per block, making the apple nearly 130 mm wide.  The Museum say 1230 mm

2.  On the right is a photo from The National Fruit Collection  in the UK showing a Bismarck apple at a scale  of 1 cm per block (It has 5  cm written at the end of the 5 blocks) making the apple nearly 90 mm wide.  Their notes say 92 cm wide.

3. From John Bultitude: Apples, A Guide  In 1992 Burnley to the Identification of International Varieties, 1983, MacMillan Press Ltd, London

79 mm wide and 67 mm high

Surely two different apples.  This question is also asked in the Apple Database of the Heritage and Rare Fruit  Network     This was brought up  in an interesting correspondence with Neil Barraclough in those early days of research.

It now needs some unbiased person with the right  botanical and research skills, and the time, to try and solve the question of the origins of this Bismark apple and hopefully give F.E.Fricke his five minutes of fame as the person who first grew the tree, followed by Clarkson as the first person to then propagate it for sale.

Note 1   : I have nothing but praise for the sharing nature of the people at the Museum of Victoria, in particular for the Information supplied in 1985  by M.L.Hallet, then Curator of Rural Science, Museum of Victoria and in 1993 by Liza Dale, then Curator of Primary Production in the Scienceworks section of the museum.

Note 2.   The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), Saturday 7 October 1893, page 11, Notes from Other Lands

Links:

The National Fruit Collection – Bismarck

The Museum of Victoria – Bismark

The Heritage and Rare Fruit Network

This week Sepia Saturday let us choose for ourselves what we would like to write about.  So while I had been waiting for fruit, apples, food, eating, enormous things, mysteries or wax models to be given us as a theme, now I have to wait no longer and can wax to my heart’s content about wax models in this week’s post.   In the meantime I hope we are never given fruit, apples, food, eating, enormous things, mysteries or wax models as our theme as I have no other photos which would fit the bill.

Now it’s time to see what other Sepian Saturday members have found in their un-themable collections as shown in the links at Sepia Saturday.

2014.06W.20

 

 

Why we need a Garden

Different people find different  reasons and uses for a garden. There might have been a few green thumbs in our family but not much interesting evidence shows up as an accessory in family photos.  In this photo it would appear there are some roses in the front garden of Park Farm at Carisbrook in Central Victoria, a spiky sort of bush and a gumtree in the background

Park Farm gardenBut of more interest is what went on in that small patch of lawn between the roses and the house.

Park Farm

Park Farm, Carisbrook

Behind the roses was a patch of lawn where croquet could be played.  You can see the hoops and the mallets.   Seated at the centre of the group is Freidrich Eberhard Fricke (1838 – 1899), surrounded by three daughters and three grandchildren,   From the year of his death and the age of the children the photo would seem to have been taken in 1898 or 1899

Freidrich is the grandson of  Johann Fricke who was written about in Blessing the New House in Vallstedt in 1811

  • Freidrich  came to Australia  with an older brother in 1854
  • Oral history says that when the two of them were making their way north from Melbourne with a horse and dray they passed the troopers returning from the Eureka incident at Ballarat,
  • He and his wife had 9 children, only one of whom died young.
  • He was a farmer at Park Farm, Carisbrook.
  • Oral history says he and his brother had a milk run and wore calfskin waistcoats
  • He was the uncle of poor Henry Fricke who was killed in a train accident in a previous post.
  • Had a term as Shire President
  • Grew an apple tree from  seed which produced apples over 11 cm in diameter. A few trees which are descendants of this tree still exist.
  •  He won prizes at agricultural shows for walnuts, a cow and calf, a two year old heifer, a Roller, 20  bushels of seed wheat,  and  cooking apples,  And that was just  at Carisbrook in 1869.

And he took some relaxation sitting on the lawn in the middle of his garden with its roses and spiky tress.

If we move on to the next generation the garden  was also a good place to record the arrival of visitors.  Freidrich’s eldest son Alfred had taken over the farm.  Here he is on the right of the photo.

PICT0071On the left is the third son, Fred, who we met before when he had a dunking in the flooded Yarra River.  Doing well in his Government job, Fred was on a visit to his brother on  the farm where he grew up.  Once again we can see some of the lawn and those spiky palm (?) trees which were plentiful in the garden,  They look as though they would be sharp.  I’m guessing that someone will tell me what they are  !

It looks as though Alfred hadn’t  got dressed up for his visitors.  I wonder if he knew they were coming.  Remember last year we  had the use of braces as one of our themes.  In Defending Australia with Braces I wrote about how the braces were also used to thread through loops on underpants  I think  we can see an example of this with the top of Alfred’s white undergarment  rolled up at the top of his trousers.  He looks so happy.  I only remember him with his failed memory thinking that I was his sister-in-law, my grandmother.

PICT0069And another photo on the same day, with more of the garden showing,. At the moment I am sure enough to name the ladies. I need to do some consulting.

Some beautiful gardens can be seen through the links on Sepia Saturday

2014.04W.02

 

Danger on the Roads

Danger – always present in varying degrees but rarely thought about.

Being alive is dangerous

Crossing the road is dangerous

Driving a car is dangerous

And a hundred years ago driving a horse and buggy could be dangerous.

Here is  a photo taken on the occasion of the wedding of Garnet Waldemar Fricke and Ida Kirk at Maryborough in 1923.  There was someone missing from the wedding.

The wedding of Garnet Fricke and Ida Kirk at Maryborough in 1923

The wedding of Garnett Fricke and Ida Kirk at Maryborough in 1923

The bridegroom, Waldemar Garnett Fricke  ( 1881-1940) was the baby of his family and the eldest of the family had been a brother Charles Frederick Henry Fricke, born in 1865.

But one day in October 1911 Henry was trotting along  Bucknall Street in Carisbrook , in Central Victoria, driving his horse and buggy with Mr Bruhn, a former Mayor and a butcher, as his passenger,  Garnett was a farmer and the pair of them had been visiting Mr Bruhn’s farm.  They came to a railway crossing which was about 100 yards from the Railway Station and were looking at the Melbourne bound train which was standing at the station. But they failed to notice that the train from Melbourne, travelling in the opposite direction, was nearly upon them until it was too late.

Newspaper reports tell how the train crashed into them.  Bruhn was thrown over the fence of the railway line and was cut about the face and bruised on the chest.  Henry was thrown under the train and had his legs nearly severed.  He died a few hours later after having been taken to the Maryborough Hospital.

A prze winning horse and buggy from the State Library of South Australia

A pr1ze winning horse and buggy from the State Library of South Australia

This is an example of a four wheeled buggy used in Australia

In November the coroner  heard from witnesses who gave conflicting evidence about the train’s whisle being sounded.  He brought in a verdict of death by the culpable neglect of the driver and the fireman  who were charged with manslaughter and  were sent for trial.

Then in December  a Nolle Prosequi was issued, i.e. the case of manslaughter would not go ahead possibly because of the difficulty of proving the case.  I believe this is not the same as an acquittal and the case could have been re-opened in the future.

The now unusee Carisbrook Railway station as seen from near the Nucknall St crossing.

The now unused Carisbrook Railway station as seen from near the Bucknall St crossing.

You can see how it was a single line track but originally there was a short piece of parallel track so that two trains could pass.  On the day of the accident one train was in the station waiting for the other to pass.

Another view of the station platform but this time looking towards Bucknall St

Another view of the station platform but this time looking towards the Bucknall St  crossing.

A Goole Map showing the raiway line running from bottom letft to top right and crossed by Bucknall  St to the right of the image.

A Google Map showing the railway line running from bottom left to top right and crossed by Bucknall St to the right of the image.

You can see the two railway buildings, one each side of the line, towards the bottom left of the image.  The platform is the upper building.

 

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A cautionary tale for any era.   Don’t allow yourself to be distracted when driving. It’s too dangerous.

Now I’m off to see who else has been living dangerously in the danger-themed week at Sepia Saturday

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