History tells us so much about life. By reviewing history we are better able to understand what our parents, grandparents and great grandparents endured. This understanding helps all of us to treasure the bounty that we enjoy today. This is a website devoted to the history of an area in the south east of Australia. The people who lived in the rough bush huts did their best to survive. As with any community there was a small group of individuals who were more unusual than all the rest. Their true stories are the Odd History of South Eastern Australia.
- Dandenong and Surrounds
- Gembrook and the Hills
- Haunted Gully
- Mount Dandenong, Sassafras and Olinda
- Narre Warren and Narre Warren North
- Toomuc Valley
- Tynong and Tynong North
- Upper Beaconsfield/Guys Hill
- Windsor, East St. Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra
Over many years I have collected and told stories about the interesting historical characters in the local area. My children tired of my repeating these stories around the dinner table. Exasperated, my eldest daughter, Bobbi, set up this website so that I could write these stories down and let the family eat in peace. Little did she realize, that as I researched, I found plenty more to bore them with.
I have tried my best to authenticate all of these stories. Wherever possible I have searched for matching vital records, reports and historic maps. You will notice links at the bottom of each article showing references for the information I have used. If I have got it wrong I apologize. With any event, each individual sees it from a differing view. I have tried to find the most accurate of these viewpoints.
Annie O’Riley, 2012
May 4th, 2014
This article appeared the Traralgon Record on Friday the 6th of November, 1885. Morwell has a ghost! Unlike all other genus of this description, the Morwell ghost is of a copper coloured hue, and is dressed in sombre black. It first made its appearance to a lady who was in the act of taking clothes off the line. Turning suddenly round, she beheld the object close to her side, and at once fled for protection. Telling her husbapd what she had seen, he at once made a reconnoitre, and after a long search discovered an object moving along a fence, but it was gone when he came up to the fence. Shortly after[...]
April 28th, 2014
Margaret Clement and her sister Jeannie were dubbed "The Old Ladies of the Swamp" by the popular press in the 1950's. Their 14 room mansion in Tarwin Lower was falling down and the swamp had reclaimed the 2000 acres of prime farmland around the house. The women lived without running water, electricity or sewage. With no wood to light a fire, the sisters were living on cold tinned baked beans and bread. When Jeannie died in 1950 it became a massive job just to bring her body out for burial. Two years later, Margaret simply disappeared. It became a real[...]
April 9th, 2014
Have you ever seen a UFO? Well if you have, you are not alone. In April of 1966, up to 400 people witnessed a grey saucer shaped craft fly over the southern corner of Westall High School (Clayton South) before it descended into a nearby paddock. A few minutes later, as stunned onlookers watched, it lifted off and was pursued by five small cesna type airplanes. Some of the onlookers ran to the paddock and saw a perfect round "crop circle" in the grass. Now for all you sceptics out there, it is important to remember that some of the greatest[...]
March 19th, 2014
There are no end to strange and unusual stories of snake bite in Victoria. Keeping in mind that our climate and terrain is so suitable for our slithering little friends and the fact that in Victoria almost all snakes are poisonous, it is surprising that more of our early settlers weren't bitten. I have already published some of these stories such as "Once Bitten, Twice Ouch", the story of poor old John Hourigan who, while working as an engine driver and inspector of pumps on the railway was bitten and survived only to be bitten again four days later. This following[...]