Pick of the week - Sailors Gully and Myers Flat
if a pretty old church and the famous Allies Hotel is all you know about Sailors Gully and Myers Flat, Noelene Wild has set out to change that.
The long-time Eaglehawk resident has turned her fossicking skills to that part of the Bendigo region defined by the bending Sailors Gully Road and the long straight stretch of Myers Flat Road.
“It was a very big mining area, and that’s why people settled there,” Mrs Wild said.
“It emptied out in World War I when there were no men to work there, but it’s now become a peaceful residential area, without much high density and I think it’s great.
“It’s a transition between town and bush.”
Mrs Wild belongs to Eaglehawk’s historical society and has already written a book on the history of California Gully.
She said it was a year 12 teacher who first sparked her interest in local history.
Later on, when her son was in year 9, he was set an assignment about his family’s past, which sent Mrs Wild out doorknocking, on a quest to find a photograph from the time when his great-grandfather was alive.
“We weren’t prepared, but since then we have gathered a fantastic collection of old photos.”
Mrs Wild’s history pieces together stories of local businesses, police, farmers and hotels, such as the Allies which was built in 1856.
It’s not an area known for its historic buildings but St Augustine’s church is still a consecrated building and is being kept in good order for use by the local community on special occasions.
Mrs Wild said she is an “old-fashioned” style of writer, knocking on doors to talk to people, and sifting through local archives to piece together her stories.
“There are still some precious photographs and records that surface now and again,” she said.
“If anyone has any, the historical society would love to hear from them.”
Sailors Gully and Myers Flat, a local history by Noelene Wild, will be launched on Saturday June 9 at 2pm at the Sailors Gully Hall.
– Rosemary Sorensen