Gold Mine, Burtville, Australia


Gaston & King’s G.M. Burtville W.A.
1910s

Google Maps.

Burtville is an abandoned town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 29 kilometres (18 mi) south east of Laverton. In 1897, Gold was discovered in the area by two prospectors, B. Frost and J. Trugurtha. The surveyor, J. Rowe, planned the town lots in accordance with the Goldfields Act in 1901. The settlement was initially known as Merolia which is the Indigenous Australian name for the district. The town was eventually named after the grandson of the first chief justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court, Sir Archibald Burt. Archibald Edmund Burt JP was the chief mining warden of the Mount Margaret Goldfield.
. . .
The population of the town and district rose to approximately 400 by 1903 as a result of gold mining. The town also had a water supply from a government well and a sealed pan sanitation system. A police station was opened in 1903 along with a school and two hotels. A ten stamp state battery and five stamp battery known as The Burtville Ore Reduction works were operated within the town from 1903 to 1906. Another privately owned ten stamp battery that allowed public access known as The sons of Westralia was also operating at the time. By 1916 the population had reduced to 45 and the police station was closed.
Wikipedia.

The Nil Desperandum was the original lease pegged on the field by its discoverers Billy Frost and James Tregurtha . . . in 1897. They gave the Nil Desperandum away, and instead worked the Wanderer lease for two years, which turned out a low grade affair. . . . From 1905 to at least 1920, Thomas King and Herbert Gaston owned the mine. Both appear to come from Adelaide, or least had residences in Adelaide during the period. King took no active part in the mine, relying on a dozen telegrams a day from Gaston, detailing all aspects of operations. Gaston was a former Major at Southern Cross, the postmaster at Burtville, and also a Justice of the Peace, which carried the responsibilities of a law judge in the town. The following is enlightening:

“Probably the most interesting thing at Burtville is the administration of the law. This is dealt out at periods when policeman Manning musters up a sufficient number of derelicts to warrant a court, over which an affiable party named Gaston, being the only J.P. in the district, presides in a building about the size of a couple of horse boxes. No matter how heinous the offence, the penalty rarely goes beyond the limit of a half a crown fine”. The writer goes on to say Gaston has to put up with the dregs of Burtville in his court, loathes his J.P role, and escapes as soon as he can back to his mine.

Around 1912, Gaston began expanding the lease, with neighbouring Surprise, Away from Home, Away from Home South, Golden Bell North, Adelaide, and Bateman Hill leases acquired. Development took place at least on the last three, and were said to be joined underground to the Nil Desperandum. In 1922, Gleeson and party, Richards and party, and Smith and party are all operating on the lease.
mindat.org

Sir,— I am sorry to have to trouble you again with one of my letters, but this one is not a personal letter. It is one for the public. I went to Burtville on Sunday to see Messrs. Gaston and King’s mine, the Nil Desperandum. I will give you my opinion of it as it looks now. I may be wrong, but I will give it. Mr. Gaston, the manager, was very kind to me and showed me around. The dump for the battery to look at it one would pass it by, as it does not look any different from any other, but when you break the stone or lode matter you can see gold in most of it. The battery will tell, and if I am not mistaken it will astonish the mining world. We went down ladders for 50ft. Then 40ft. or 50ft. west is the golden belt. It is not a reef, nor is it a lode. I don’t know what to call it. It has been driven on for 56ft. and they are not through it. Mr. Gaston knocked down about 50lb. of stone at the end of the 56ft. which showed splendid fine gold. It may go on for 50ft. or 100ft. more. There are no signs of any large stones whatever. As it looks now it means wonderful discovery for the mining world. I think it will be worked by an open cut, as it may be 100ft. wide. If it turns out as it looks it means another Kalgoorlie. The formation is on the west side of the general working on the lease. The work done on the lease is a credit to the holders. There is nothing whatever to lead one to believe such a thing was below. There are no signs of a reef of any kind. The shaft was put down, and the drive put in for mining exploring, and the explorers got their reward, which they must be given great credit for. Mr. Gaston takes things very quietly; yet he must know what it means to him and to the public also. Of course no one can tell until it is opened up, but one thing is certain, and that is that it is not a rich patch only. — Yours, etc.,
F. H. HANN,
Nambrook, 17th September.
This letter is taken from the last issue of the “Laverton Mercury,” and the hope of the many, friends of Messrs. Gaston and King is that Mr. Hannwill prove to be a true prophet.
Coolgardie Miner, 4 October 1913

Cataract Gorge & Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Australia


Cataract Gorge from King’s Bridge, Launceston, Tas.
Postmarked 1905

Google Street View.

…the Launceston City and Suburbs Improvement Association was formed in 1890 by a group of local men. “They decided that they wanted to make the gorge accessible to everyone and improve it,” said Ms Sargent, who is part of the Launceston Historical Society. “They rowed in a boat up the gorge and they used red paint to mark the rocks to where they wanted to put a path. The very next day they got the workmen there and they got a path from the Trevallyn side of the South Esk Bridge, as it was known then, and started cutting into the rocks.”

By the time workers got to Picnic Rock — which is on the northern side of the river between Kings Bridge and the First Basin — the work was becoming “treacherous”, so explosives had to be brought in. “They actually brought the dynamite in and blew the rocks away,” Ms Sargent said. “150 tonnes of rock was thrown into the river so they could get through and make the track. They started in January 1890 and it wasn’t until three years later that they actually got into the cliff grounds.”
ABC News

[The Caretaker’s Cottage] is perched above the South Esk River, adjacent to Kings Bridge, and is highly significant historically for its association with the early development of the Main Cataract Walkway. It is highly significant for its representation of the Arts and Craft style of architecture and for its
association with architect Alexander North. It was originally constructed in 1890
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)


Crusoe Hut and Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Tas.
1900s

In 1893, this site housed the Crusoe Hut, but today comprises a viewing platform overlooking the Basin and Alexandra Suspension Bridge. A natural rock outcrop has been
incorporated into the area to provide seating. This site provides important views across the Gorge
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)

Duck Reach Power Station, Launceston, Tasmania


Electric Power House, Launceston
Postmarked 1918
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Duck Reach Power Station was the first publicly owned hydro-electric plant in the Southern Hemisphere, and provided the Tasmanian city of Launceston with hydro-electric power from its construction in 1895 to its closure in 1955.

The Duck Reach Power Station first operated on a trial basis on the evening of the 10th of December 1895, when it was used to illuminate some of Launceston’s streets using arc lights. On the 1st of February 1896, the hydro-electric power system was officially switched on, remaining in operation until 1955.
Wikipedia

The generating station was situated about 40 feet (12m) above the level of the river. It was quite a substantial erection, with 18 inch (460mm) stone walls and an iron roof. Originally it had only one storey with a gallery running along the side to facilitate access to the machinery. It was 105 feet (32m) in length and 24 feet (7m) wide with a height of 22 feet (6.7m) to the ridge line, large enough to hold nine or ten turbines.

At that time it only contained eight turbines; five for arc lighting and three for incandescent 1 lighting. On 12th February 1895 the Launceston Municipal Council accepted the tender of Mr J.T. Farmilo to build the station at a cost of £1 488.9.6, the contract to last 17 weeks. Because of the nature of the country (being very rocky) a large amount of heavy work was required to build the station. The contractor was required to secure a firm foundation and form subterranean passages under the building for the water to pass after running through the turbines.
Duck Reach


Electric Power Station Launceston Tasmania
Postmarked 1910
Publsher: Spurling & Son, Launceston

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


Sydney Art Gallery
1900s
Publisher: Sydney Post Card Company

Google Street View.

Virtual Tour

On 24 April 1871, a public meeting was convened in Sydney to establish an Academy of Art “for the purpose of promoting the fine arts through lectures, art classes and regular exhibitions.” Eliezer Levi Montefiore (brother of Jacob Levi Montefiore and nephew of Jacob and Joseph Barrow Montefiore) co-founded the New South Wales Academy of Art (also referred to as simply the Academy of Art) in 1872. . . . The destruction of the Garden Palace by fire in 1882 placed pressure on the government to provide a permanent home for the national collection. In 1883 private architect John Horbury Hunt was engaged by the trustees to submit designs.[8] The same year there was a change of name to the “National Art Gallery of New South Wales”. The Gallery was incorporated by The Library and Art Gallery Act 1899. In 1895, the new Colonial Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon (1846–1914), was given the assignment to design the new permanent gallery and two picture galleries were opened in 1897 and a further two in 1899. A watercolour gallery was added in 1901 and in 1902 the Grand Oval Lobby was completed.
Wikipedia.

Baths, Clifton Gardens, Sydney


Amphitheatre Baths, Clifton Gardens
Postmark & letter on back dated 1911

Google Maps.

The swimming enclosure pictured [on the website] was very different to the one which remains at Clifton Gardens today. Although both were ‘ocean baths’ which permitted safe swimming in the harbour (though the shark proof net is apparently not particularly shark proof today), the original was unique in its design. Sometimes referred to as the ‘amphitheatre bath’, the huge circular swimming enclosure could apparently accommodate up to 3000 spectators on the decks! The enclosure was circular, surrounded by a two storey walkway which connected at either end with the dressing sheds (also apparently two storey). The baths were used for mixed bathing, both during the day and at night.
The Past Present

Sydney. fortunate much beyond all other cities of the Commonwealth in the matter of swimming baths, is now in possession of another bathing en closure of larger dimensions than any previously existing. The Clifton Garden Baths, erected by the Sydney Ferries Co., Ltd., is now available to the public. Altogether the space covered by the structure is 30,000 square feet, and when it is fully completed there will be comfortable accommodation for 5000 people. Two platforms, each 12ft. wide, run round the swimming space, which is circular in shape. Dressing room has been provided for 2000 people. -A special section outside the deeper portion is being set apart for ladies, while another is to be for the use of nonswimmers.
Sunday Times, 9 December 1906

Melbourne, Australia


Bourke St Melbourne
c.1910, maybe 1900s

Google Street View.


Collins St Melbourne Looking East
c.1910, maybe 1900s

Google Street View.


Grand Hotel Spring St Melbourne
c.1910, maybe 1900s

Google Street View.

The Hotel Windsor is a luxury hotel in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Opened in 1884, the Windsor is notable for being Melbourne’s only surviving purpose-built “grand” Victorian era hotel. . . . The original hotel was built by shipping magnate George Nipper and designed by Charles Webb in a broadly Renaissance Revival style and was completed in 1884, and named “The Grand”. However, Nipper soon sold the building, in 1886, to the a company headed by James Munro and James Balfour. Munro was a politician and the leader of the temperance movement in Victoria, who famously burnt the hotel’s liquor licence in public and operated the hotel as a coffee palace, now renamed the “Grand Coffee Palace”. The building was soon more than doubled in size in 1888, by adding the central section and the north wing, matching the original building, the now internal north wing, and extending the rear wing, all designed again by Charles Webb. Notable features of the expanded hotel included the ballroom, the impressive main staircase, the distinctive twin mansard roofed towers in the Second Empire style, and the stone sculpture, attributed to John Simpson Mackennal, over the main entrance with male female figures known as ‘Peace and Plenty’ reclining over the English and Australian Coat of Arms.
Wikipedia.

On 3 June 1923, with renovations complete, the hotel hosted a luncheon attended by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. In honour of this occasion, the hotel was appropriately renamed The Windsor.
The Hotel Windsor