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About

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.

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

Recent Posts

Silverton and The Remarkable Love Life of Beth Maynard

On a hot dusty day in February of 1890, a woman’s body was found beside an isolated track near a water dam called Rat Hole Tank, west of Silverton, NSW. It was estimated that she had been dead 13 days and that she died from malnutrition. This was not just any woman, this was Ann Elizabeth (Beth) Maynard, a lady who simply did not follow the rulebook and who had enough money to buy food for herself. We will never know the whole story of how she came to be there but it is my guess that it was Beth’s[...]

Tibooburra and the Mt. Browne Diggings

SAD DEATH AT MOUNT BROWNE. A sad story (says the Bendigo independent) was contained in a letter received last week by a resident of Eaglehawk, who learnt the sad news of the death of his son at Mount Browne. The letter was from the mate of the young man in question, and stated that his friend had died from starvation. 'The horrors of a prolonged drought are scarcely conceivable, still less the grief of a fond parent, who, a few short months ago, parted from his son, the latter in the full vigour of youth, buoyed up with the hope of[...]

Barmedman/West Wyalong, A Heroic Mother

  This article was published in the Queanbeyan Age on Friday, 21 August, 1908 and shows a mother's incredible devotion to her children. A THRILLING adventure, happily unattended by serious results, occurred at Barmedman, on Tuesday afternoon. Whilst occupied with domestic duties, Mrs. Frank Raynor, who resides on the outskirts of the town; missed her little three-year-old son. Hearing screams and splashes, she realised he had fallen down the underground tank in the yard, and after placing a baby (12 months old) she was carrying, at the side of the well, she jumped to the rescue of her little son, By standing and[...]

Broken Hill, a Tale of Rainmakers, God and a Boating Tragedy

In a town that had no lake, river or decent body of water comes a sad but wonderful tale of drought, rain and their first ever boating fatality. It was the middle of 1903. Broken Hill had run out of water. There was no water for washing or drinking but even more seriously there was none for brewing beer. The small reserves were being used to supply the mining industry and as each train left the township it had more and more residents aboard. The stock exchange in town closed it's doors and the Chamber of Commerce was panicking. That is,[...]