A sensational rumour is in circulation in Ballarat to the effect that Mount Elephant, at Skipton, 32 miles south of this city, has for several days past been smoking, and that fire has now appeared on the summit. The mount is a favouritevon%20guerard%20brolga picnic resort for miles around the district, its caves being the chief attraction. It is said to be a well authenticated fact that these caves of late have become so extremely hot that no one can enter them, whereas they were hitherto quite cool. It is further stated that settlers in the district are becoming alarmed at the ominous aspect of the mount, and are leaving for other places.



Barrett Committed for Trial.

12348579_219964965001306_458085827_nThe City Coroner Mr. Grant on Friday, committed Sylvester John Barrett labourer, for trial on a charge of having murdered William Herbert Irvine York, 26, tailor of St. Kilda. It was alleged at the inquest that during a street brawl at St. Kilda at midnight on December 7, York was struck on the head by Barrett and died from a fractured skull on December 9. Peggy Berry, a domestic, told the Court that on December 7 she saw Barrett, whom she had known for eight years, jump off a tram car and hit a man. Barrett then kicked the man three times In the head. When she got home Barrett was lying on her bed. He said. ‘We had some fun to-night. We knocked a man down.’ In a police statement read in Court, Barrett stated he had been attacked and acted in self defence. Barrett, who reserved his defence was committed for trial to the Supreme Court on February 17.

12351275_219925951671874_1194072169_nWilliam Jackson, a young man, while under the influence of drink, entered a coachpainter’s shop at Bendigo on this night in 1895, and stripping painted himself from head to foot. He was found in the morning and taken to the hospital. The result might have been serious had longer delay taken place

12336445_220005668330569_735944710_nClaimed to be the world’s largest performing elephant, Cissie, owned by Ashton Bros.’ travelling circus, nearly ended her career at Buninyong on the morning of the 1st of September 1936. The elephant was entering the circus allotment behind a line of 45 horses, when she fell through a shell of earth covering what appeared to be the subsidence of an old mining shaft, nearly 10 feet deep. The elephant gave a wild bound upward, and scrambled, out of what appeared to be an Impossible predicament. In the sudden fall, the elephant’s rider was tossed 20 feet away, but escaped with abrasions and bruises. Cissie’s tusks were broken in two pieces.


12348420_219941848336951_506856458_nMorgan, who murdered a little girl named Margaret Nolan, at Panmure, near Warrnambool, has been committed for trial, and taken to Portland Gaol. Large crowds of people followed him and hooted him. When he was escorted on board the steamer to be taken to the gaol the police had hard work to keep back the crowd, who threatened him with open violence. From evidence in the possession of the police, there is no doubt he is the same person who murdered a little girl named Alice Hughes at Bridgewater, on March 16, 1859, as the descriptions of the man who committed the last-named murder tally accurately with those of Morgan. The murderer is greatly depressed, never speaks, and refuses food.


12336144_219926611671808_1519549590_nA shocking disclosures was made in connection with the Geelong Gaol. A few weeks ago several prisoners attempted to commit suicide. One succeeded, but others were, prevented just’ in time, and were afterwards sentenced to further imprisonment for the attempts. Among these was a young man named Giammill. who on this day in 1901 battered his head in a frightful fashion with an iron pannikin. He was stopped before he had mortally injured him self. Another prisoner, named Hassett, a lifer, who has already sowed years, and is employed in the dispensary, stole a mixture of belladonna, arsenic, and opium’, and swallowed it. As the warders entered he threatened to stab anybody with a spike he had secured if interfered with. He finally sank to the ground, and strong emetics were given to him. It was alleged that unmentionable crimes have lately taken place in tho gaol. The prisoners were afraid they would be charged with complicity, and therefore attempted suicide. A full inquiry was demanded by the residents.


12335910_219925008338635_2128163403_nJames Irish was transferred from Yarra Bend Asylum on the 11th of June 1877, to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. Irish owned land in Eltham to the value of £5. On the 7th of December, Irish escaped from the Asylum and stayed at large for seven days.


A remarkable sea monster was caught in Port Fairy on this day 1902 by J. and .W. Evans and R. McWilliam three fishermen. It was 9 ft 8 in. in length, had a tail resembling that of a screw tailshaft, no teeth, a nose like a rhinoceros, a head like an elephant, two dorsal fins, four side fins, and two steering fins. Even fishermen of over 40 years’ experience could not determine the species. It was sent to the Melbourne Museum.

imageThe 11 feet dinghy in which Frederick Swan, 40, fisherman, Parkdale went fishing on this day in 1936, was found lying awash 41 miles off Parkdale shore with a jagged hole, three feet by two torn in its side by a shark. There was no trace of Swan, When the boat was brought ashore teeth from the upper and lower jaw of a shark were found embedded in the planking around the hole. It is surmised that Swan, who was fishing for snapper, was landing a fish when a shark followed it up, leaped from the water, and crashed into the boot snapping a large piece from the side. When the police were dragging for Swan’s body at midday at the spot where the dinghy was found, a shark more than 20 feet long appeared a short distance away.

12351712_10207402284837351_1734857684_oSUPPOSED WIFE MURDER.

With reference to the arrest of Robert Hawkins for the murder of his wife at Bealiba, near Maryborough, on December 6 (particulars of which were wired on Saturday), the police have also ascertained that the life of Mrs. Hawkins was insured for £500, of which one year’s premium had been paid. The post mortem showed that the theory of the accident was quite inconsistent with the appearance of the body. There was a gunshot wound on the thumb which the police suppose was caused by the deceased putting her hand over her face to shut out the sight of the weapon which was pointing at her. The two wounds were quite distinct, and both barrels must have been discharged separately at close quarters, apparently by someone who was taller than deceased, as both charges had a downward course.


12348707_219664928364643_415196546_nThe Wirth Bros., circus and menagerie, arrived in Dandenong on this day in 1917, for one night only, the claiming the huge menagerie being the best ever scene in Australasia. One of the major displays of the menagerie was 12 white polar bears, the largest group of polar bears in captivity at the time who would perform with 3 grizzly bears and 2 boarhounds! The performance included a comedy sketch known as the Teddy Bears picnic, Teddy Bear Clowns and Nurses, Teddy Bear globetrotters, Teddy Bear nurse taking a baby bear for a walk, amongst others. The polar bears were captured as cubs and brought up in the circus.

12348627_219662955031507_1473867569_nESCAPE FROM VEGETABLE GARDEN 1893

Robert Barclay Findlay escaped the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum on the 6th of December 1893 while working on the hospital veritable garden. Findlay headed north to the hills behind the asylum passing through the mining settlements where he was seen in the town of Stanley. Findlay was recaptured in Myrtleford on the 15th of December, still wearing his asylum uniform and taken back to the institution.