Tag Archives: Fricke

Away from the Madding Crowd

Let’s have a look at this week’s suggestions from Sepia Saturday-

Running Away – in a nice sort of way           √ Check

Escaping the Crowd                                        √ Check

Off to the Beach – well, some of the time    √ Check

And to these add

Married for four months

What better reason for saddling up a pack horse, running away, escaping the crowd and heading off into the bush in the Otway Ranges of south west Victoria.

D8 Walking trip with horseFour months ago they were honeymooning in the snow at Mt Buffalo and now in January 1930 Charles and Vera Fricke are at the Fricke farm on Barham River Road at Apollo Bay ready for a few days bushwalking.

Mill- 1930 Walking trip Apollo Bay toPortCampbell

Timber Mill in the Otways, 1930

At one stage on their trip they  passed this timber  mill. Timber had long been a natural resource of the Otways.

Farmhouse Jan 1930 on Charles and Vera;s walking trip

In the Otways, 1930

They camped one night near this farmhouse and were able to buy meat and milk there.

D7  Jan 1930 walking trip

We have seen  Charles and Vera before boiling the billy for a cuppa on the beach  during this trip.

The extensive network of sealed roads had still to be developed so much of the trip would had been done on unsealed roads.

Aire River

Looking down on the Aire River valley

Overlooking the Aire River, and then a bridge over the Aire River. It is just a short river with good river flats for farming.

Aire River Jan 1930

A bridge over the Aire River

Getting closer to the ocean at Princeton, a small town a little further along the coast from the Aire River.

Princeton Jan 1930

Princeton 1930

And finally Port Campbell, another tiny coastal town.   The story is that they put the horse in the Police Paddock that night.   Unfortunately the paddock was only fenced on three sides, a swamp forming the fourth side.  The horse managed to make its way through the swamp during the night and disappeared and they had to ring home to Apollo Bay for someone to come and get them.

Port Campbell  1930 Walking trip Apollo Bay toPortCampbell

Port Campbell 1930

Port Campbell 1930 from Peterborough Road b

Port Campbell 1930

So  ended the bushwalking holiday in the Otway Ranges.  And nine months later ——————

More running away and escaping from crowds

in the links on this weeks Sepia Saturday

2014.08W.47

Apollo Bay Hula Dancers

 Four Ballet Dancers

In reply to Sepia Saturday’s suggestion of four ballet dancers I give you …….

Four Hula Dancers, with their partners, late 1920s

Apollo Bay Hula Dancers late 1920sThe couples from the left are

Ron Telford and Hazel Fricke

Fenton Dobson and an unknown lady

Mr and Mrs Smith

Unknown man and May Telford

I don’t know where the photo was taken but I believe the group is from Apollo Bay.  Hazel Fricke and May Telford are cousins and Ron Telford is their first cousin once removed. Apollo Bay people were very good at putting on amateur enertainments.

Hula Dancing was  popular as an entertainment in  the era and both the men and the women are dressed appropriately.  The grass skirt or palm leaf skirt has been replaced with either paper streamers or perhaps ribbon, though I suspect the quantity of  ribbon needed would have proved expensive.  All are wearing leis and the women headbands to represent a wreath of flowers.

I can’t decide if the small ukeleles the men are holding are real or imitation. I can’t find similar images.

Hula dancers 1883These hula dancers were photographed in 1883 and can be seen in a most interesting collection of historical hula dancer photos on A Polar Bear’s Tale blogspot

But if you really want to put a smile on your face then have a look at this video made by some students at the University of Hawaii . It  gives some history of the dance then a very easy to follow lesson in doing the hula.  Do  join in.  Guaranteed to make you happy and relaxed.

And more dancing related posts can be seen through the links on Sepia saturday

 

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

2014.03W.31

 

Fred and the Incident of the Flooded River

Here is a picture of three men on horseback.  The one on the right is Frederick William Fricke  (1870-1949). and towards the end of this post he will have a little trouble with a flooded river.  I will just call him Fred.  Why is he on horseback ?  Let me tell you something about him.

1913 on horseback in Gippsland.  Fred is on the right.

1913 on horseback in Gippsland.    Fred is on the right.

Fred was brought up on a farm in Central Victoria.  Whereas two older brothers stayed on the land he went into the Victorian Public Service and started off on the bottom rung,  Then in 1913 he and two others were appointed by the Government to be the initial members of the Country Roads Board.  This had been set up to identify the arterial roads in Victoria, to plan their construction and maintenance, a strong central authority to  ensure consistent standards across the state.

Inspecting the remote Dargo Road in a chauffeur driven car, also in 1913.

Inspecting the remote Dargo Road in a chauffeur driven car, also in 1913.

So off they set, by horseback and by car, to inspect Victoria.  The three of them gradually endorsed construction contracts and by 1917 had produced a map of Victoria identifying  what they considered to be the necessary arterial and main roads.

Athe 1917 Coutry Roads Board Map of Victoria identifying the shires, the main roads and the railways.

The 1917 Country Roads Board Map of Victoria identifying the shires, the main roads and the railways.

As time went on there were few changes in the membership of the board.  Originally Calder, McCormack and Fricke in 1913,  by 1935 McCormack had become the Chairman with members Fricke and Calloway.  Fricke was to become Chairman in 1938.

So at the beginning of May in 1935 it was raining.  At Warburton the Yarra River was rising rapidly,  isolating the small township, flooding houses and driving the residents to higher ground.  The river rose 10 feet in 12 hours and washed away two bridges above the town. .  Downstream through Melbourne the river had been rising at 4 inches per hour.and in East Kew the river was nearly a mile wide.

So what were the three CRB members doing in Warbuton.  Two days after the flooding started they were in Warburton to inspect the damage done to roads and bridges. Fred, Chairman McCormack  and two locals were crossing the river on a temporary punt at Hazelwood Road, between Warburton and East Warburton.  The rope which was used to pull the punt back and forwards became slack and suddenly the floodwaters poured over the upstream side of the punt, drenching the occupants. The punt was bouyed with empty oil drums and fortunately the rope didn’t break so that they were able to recover and pull the punt to the far side, with nothing worse than a fright and a soaking.  A walk back towards Warburton brought our bedraggled men to a footbridge over the river and they were able to make their way to the comfort of the Warburton Chalet where they spent the night before returning home the next day.

Warburton Chalet

Warburton Chalet

Q:  Were they initially expecting to spend the night and so had a suitcase with a change of clothes or did they have to spend the night wrapped up in towels while their clothes dried.  And would a man in 1935 pack a spare suit in his suitcase if he was only going away for the night.  Quite puzzling  !

And before you wander off to view some other flood stories on Sepia Saturday, a few pictures of and early Warbuton,  overlooked by the Donna Buang Range.  There is a pause button, lower central, on each photo, if you want to inspect any photo more closely.

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2014.03W.21

Holidays with Father

Suitcases are our theme for this week. It was impossible to go on holiday without a suitcase. Sometimes it even came in handy as a seat,

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABarbara and Charles Fricke c1940 holidaying at Hastings, a small town on Westernport Bay in Victoria,  They were staying with Charles’s sister on an orchard, a couple of miles out of town. I suspect that Barbara was being left here on her own for a holiday. as I don’t think she would be going travelling with those muddy shoes !

F3 Travelling 1943 - Copy

Barbara and Charles Fricke again in 1943, this time walking down a street in the centre of Melbourne with a smaller suitcase while Charles sucks on his cigarette though a cigarette holder

Barbara is wearing a mixture of clothes.  Remember it is wartime and clothes coupons were issued for the purchase of clothes.  So… there is a navy blue hat – at least one hat was needed  for wearing to church.  Under the coat is a navy blue school uniform topped  with a hand-knitted russet coloured cardigan with a knitted tie at the neckline  to turn it into a going-out outfit.

I had always thought of the rationing in Australia as being due to shortages but apparently the reasons were more complex.  It’s also a bit embarrassing to  even think about it when you think of the severe rationing in Britain.

Australian Clothing Coupons from World War II.

Australian Clothing Coupons from World War II.

The Australian War Memorial Web site tells us …..

“Rationing regulations for food and clothing were gazetted on 14 May 1942. Rationing was introduced to manage shortages and control civilian consumption. It aimed to curb inflation, reduce total consumer spending, and limit impending shortages of essential goods. The broad reasoning behind the introduction of rationing was to ensure the equitable distribution of food and clothing. It was also hoped that a cut on consumer spending would lead to an increase in savings, which in turn could be invested in war loans.

Australians were never as short of food nor rationed as heavily as civilians in the United Kingdom. Rationing was enforced by the use of coupons and was limited to clothing, tea, sugar, butter, and meat. From time to time, eggs and milk were also rationed under a system of priority for vulnerable groups during periods of shortage.”

Go to Sepia Saturday for more links to people’s adventures with their suitcases.

2014.01W.18 (1)

ctoria, south-east of the capital Melbourne.

Honeymoon in the Snow – 1929

Last week I was sweltering in a bushfire story and this week Sepia Saturday has suggested we look for our snowy photos.  So I will go to the Mount Buffalo Chalet in the Australian Alps in Victoria in the winter of 1929 and this time let the pretty pictures tell the story.

Mt Buffalo Chalet Aug 1929The Mt Buffalo Chalet is a guest house which was built in 1910 and was run by the Victorian Railways. Unfortunately it was burnt down in 2006.

Arriving or Departing Mt Buffalo 1929Take the steam train to Wangaratta,  bus along the Ovens River valley to Porpunkah then up the mountainside to the grand old dame.  Well swept of snow.

Mt Buffalo Sled - Charles Vera 1929The honeymooners, Charles and Vera Fricke (nee Tansey) from Castlemaine.

Holidaymakers (inc Vera centre) 1929Time to make some new friends.  Vera second from left, back row.

Mountain Hut Mt Buffalo 1929Stop off at a hut for a cuppa.  Notice in these photos how the women are all wearing jodhpurs.   They were fashionable wear at the time and not just for horse-riding.

Snowman Charles Vera Mt Buffalo 1929Time to build a snowman.Vera skiing 3 Aug 1929

Or to practice this increasingly popular hobby of skiingMt Buffalo Skiing Aug 1929

And admire the dramatic landscape.

On another matter I recently read the book Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller.  At one stage it was discussing whether conserving old properties was the right thing to do or whether conservation destroyed the spirit of the people who had lived there, I don’t necessarily agree with that but I can appreciate the point they were making and have written a little about it elsewhere, illustrating with an example from my family’s past.

Journey to the Stone Country – Alex Miller and Ideas on Conservation 

2014.01W.06Click on Sepia Saturday to find links to more Snow Stories.

Bushfire Weather 1898 Style – Red Tuesday

As I have no close connections with this week’s Sepia Saturday theme of people involved in the First World War, and know very little about them anyway, I hadn’t intended to do a post this week  But the  maximum temperature in Geelong today was 45 ° C,and the last three days were 41°, 42° and 45° (106, 107, 113F),  so  it seems like a good time to  continue with the story about Charles Fricke Snr. which I started  in Attached to a Moustache. and which  I ended by saying …..

But in 1898 the bushfires came through and destroyed everything.  It was time to start all over again. But that’s another story.

.I have told this story in other places but I doubt that other Sepians have seen it.

Just like this week nearly one hundred and sixteen years ago each issue of  the Geelong Advertiser was reporting on bushfires, whether they were in Tasmania, Gippsland , the Grampians or closer to home.  The dry weather had brought swarms of locusts through the area and by February 1, 1898, Beech Forest was described as being ablaze, just one of the many fires that had been devastating the Otway Ranges.  For two days Colac had been enveloped in smoke, turning day into night.

 The Otway Forest was fast coming into prominence as a tourist resort.  Distinguished visitors to the various small communities were reported, as were the Balls and Sports Days. On Tuesday, February 8, 1898, the Gosney and Cawood houses were full of visitors at Apollo Bay. It wasn’t a particularly hot morning, but the wind was gusty. When the wind swung to the north the burning off which had been  started by the Beech Forrest settlers got out of control and headed towards Apollo Bay.

 About 11.30 in the morning Charles Fricke Snr. was helping his next door neighbour, William Methven. They saw the fire making for their houses at the top of the ridge at Tuxion, in the hills above Apollo Bay so began to hurry back to their homes.  Charles Fricke reached Mr Methven’s house first and stopped briefly for a drink of milk, the older man having lagged behind, then hurried to his own home.

 There was little Charles Fricke could do to save his home.  The fire was so intense he crouched behind a table with a bucket of water for five hours, tearing the back out of his waistcoat to dip in the water and cover his mouth.  The table was too small to cover his feet and the heat drew the nails out of his boots.  His horse was the only one of his animals to survive the fire, even though he had his mane burnt off.

 Alone, blinded by the heat, he decided he would rather die on the road to the township where his body would be found more quickly, and so feeling his way with a stick he set off on the three miles to Apollo Bay.  Mrs Costin took him in and put him to bed and nursed him back to health.

 After a long search Mr Methven’s body was found and the subsequent inquest decided that on seeing his home destroyed Mr Methven had tried to make for a creek to find refuge, but had been overcome and suffocated by the hot fumes.

The Murrays were trapped on the top of a  ridge and spent the night there under a wet blanket, taking it in turns to throw water on one another.  They had lost everything except one cow.

 Indeed the Marriner, Methven, Murray, Fricke, Cross, Armstrong, Bulotte, Perkins, James, Kendall, Inkester and Evans homes, and four untenanted houses, were lost, as well as miles of fencing, pasture, livestock and orchards.

 This day was later called Red Tuesday.  As the telegraph line was burnt down the news of the fire had to be taken out by horseback.  The coaches could not get through as the track became blocked and the corduroy was burning. So it was Friday before the people of Geelong could read about the fire.

N.B. A corduroy road is made from logs placed across the road, particularly in swampy areas.

humpyAfter eight years of clearing scrub, splitting palings, fencing, building, and creating a farm, it was a case of start again.  First priority was shelter. Charles Fricke built a  temporary humpy using the roofing iron from his burnt home.  The property had to be re-fenced and re-sown with grass seed.  The Gippsland settlers had bought all the available Cocksfoot grass-seed so seed had to be imported from a neighbouring colony and unfortunately brought with it the seeds of the Ragwort weed.

 Charles then built a new home, married and had his first two children while on this farm before shifting to another farm closer to Apollo Bay.

This story  was told from  Charles Fricke’s reminiscences and newspaper reports.

Meanwhile there were similar fires in Gippsland in the eastern part of Victoria where 12 people were  killed and 2000 buildings destroyed.

Gippsland,_Sunday_night,_February_20th,_1898Thje famous painter John Longstaff visited Gippsland later in February 1898 to view the fires at first hand and collect material for a major picture. Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898 was exhibited in a dramatic installation in his Melbourne studio in August 1898. A row of kerosene-lamp ‘footlights’ provided the illumination, and the effect was said to be ‘lurid and startlingly realistic’. — http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/bushfire/lon.shtml

And this is how the sun looked this afternoon in Geelong thanks to “John” of Belmont on Facebook. . The bushfires are a long, long way away but the wind carries the smoke over long distances.

Sun on bushfire dayThis heat wave is now over – the cool change has arrived.  So next week I’ll be back to the regular theme and a cold weather post,   And that reminds me that  we still measured temperature on the Farenheit scale when I got married and on that  January day it was 108° in the shade. It didn;t seem that hot.

You can see more of this week; posts on World War ! soldiers  on Sepia Saturday

 2014.01W.04