The Coo-ee March, 1915, “The biggest wash-up I ever heard of!”

Coo-ees march through Springwood “The Allies”, said the editor of the Blue Mountains Echo of 13 August 1915, “can make no further progress in the Dardanelles until reinforced with troops. Our own men there are calling for assistance.” One response to the desperate need for reinforcements originated in Gilgandra in October 1915 with 26 men, the brain wave of local plumber WT (Bill) Hitchen, captain of the Gilgandra Rifle Club and his brother Richard. The Coo-ee March was the first of many privately organised recruiting marches of the time, which gathered recruits as they progressed and became known as snowball … Continue reading The Coo-ee March, 1915, “The biggest wash-up I ever heard of!”

Coal and Shale Mining Near Katoomba

Introduction As early as 1841 Rev. W B Clarke noted the presence of coal in the Blue Mountains and in 1866 made the first systematic description of the deposits of oil shale in the Hartley area, where its existence had been known from as early as 1824. Early exploitation of resources Seams containing both coal and shale outcrops were noticed by the early settlers in the valley walls of the Blue Mountains and in the 1860s the imminent construction of the western railway encouraged considerable local exploration. The most extensive and successful oil shale operations took place in the Hartley … Continue reading Coal and Shale Mining Near Katoomba

The Anvil Rock, Blackheath, NSW

Anvil Rock, Blackheath, NSW Anvil Rock is a weathered sandstone rock formation, situated on the top of the cliff line above the Grose Valley. It is accessed by Hat Hill Road, Blackheath that runs north along Anvil Ridge. At 900m before Perrys Lookdown there is a left hand intersection and 500m along this is the Anvil Rock car park. Anvil Rock was so named as this rock formation resembles the shape of an anvil. The Rock is a popular location for overseas tour groups as the local road to this site allows an easy and short walking access to one … Continue reading The Anvil Rock, Blackheath, NSW

William Andrew Murphy (1846-1927) the Hermit of Hat Hill Road, Blackheath,

The following is utilises an oral history recording held by Blue Mountains City Library: “Mr Murphy as remembered by Jack and Ted Harris”. The Harris boys, during their schooldays, became acquainted with the old solitary who lived at the foot of Hat Hill overlooking the blue expanse of the Grose Valley. “At this particular spot there was an old gentleman, an old Irishman, by the name of Murphy who with his own hands had built himself a stone house. The stones he collected from the area, a very very rocky area. He used the local soil and mud mixed together … Continue reading William Andrew Murphy (1846-1927) the Hermit of Hat Hill Road, Blackheath,

Everyone Ate Meat – Butcher’s shops in the Blue Mountains

Everyone Ate Meat – The Butcher’s Shop Butcher’s shops in the Blue Mountains in the early 1900s were an important and vital part of the community. These were places where the sight and smell of raw meat was pervasive, quite different from the packaged meat at the supermarket counters of today. Butchers were men of influence and closely associated with the life of the local community. At the funeral of the Blackheath butcher Nick Delaney in 1928 it was said “It would be difficult in the future to know or appreciate Blackheath without his kindly face and fine figure. He … Continue reading Everyone Ate Meat – Butcher’s shops in the Blue Mountains

Dan Evans, the Felixman of Echo Point

The Lillas family at Echo Point with the Mountain Devil 1960; Ron Lillas, son Timothy, Robin Lillas (sister of the donor, Colin Slade) John and Jim Low with their parents May and Basil, Echo Point, about 1954 Unknown   Jan Koperberg with her mother Unknown Unknown   Unknown   Jim and Gladys Ryan on their honeymoon, Nov. 1950 Iris Cammack, Neil and Carol Roberts, Enid Schneider, c.1948 Image courtesy of Carol Roberts Eileen, age 19 with her parents Elsie May &  Horace Kelly from Peakhurst, NSW, 1952 Kindly donated by Stephen and Michael Kelly   Eileen Kelly, 1952 Kindly donated by Stephen … Continue reading Dan Evans, the Felixman of Echo Point

The Sidneys of Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains

The Sidneys of Megalong Isaac Walter Sidney was born in Bristol, England (circa 1857) and emigrated to the U.S.A. There he took up building as a trade although he described himself as a “skilled labourer” on his marriage certificate. He became an American citizen but later moved to Australia and Megalong where he purchased land neighbouring Donald Boyd’s “Yaralta” (Parish Kanimbla Portion 25). On Australia Day 1903, Isaac married Eliza Ann Campbell, described as a domestic servant from Hartley, at the home of Edgar Chapman, with the Reverend Pratt, Congregational Minister, officiating. Eliza had been previously married to a man … Continue reading The Sidneys of Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains