12334274_10207411990599989_658793073_oThe first news of the sinking of the Loch Ard was sent from the Camperdown Telegraph Office, which today is the Camperdown Post Office.  It was reported in the “Argus” as follows:

“The intelligence was contained in the following brief telegram to the chief harbourmaster, Captain Payne, from Mr. M. Gibson, a resident at Glenample, Curdie’s Inlet, sent via Camperdown :- ” Camperdown, 9 a.m. The ship Loch Ard was wrecked off this coast last night. All hands and passengers are supposed to be lost, except Miss Eveline Carmichael and Tom Pearson (midshipman), who swam ashore. The place of the wreck is about one mile east from the Sherbrooke. I hope protection will be given from wreckers.” On receiving the intelligence Captain Payne lost no time in communicating with the Commissioner of Trade and Customs, and had an intention of proceeding at once in the Government steamer Pharos to the scene of the wreck to see if any help or useful service could be rendered.”


The Avenel lockup, showing two police officers pushing a man into it. It was located behind the court house.
This photo taken in the 1870s



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.

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.

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.

12319797_219974051667064_1739151403_nMrs. Elizabeth Patrick, 59, of East Prarhan, was shot dead while coming out of Luna Park on the night of the 20th of October 1940 with her husband. A brawl was in progress nearby when a shot was fired, hitting Mrs. Patrick in the stomach. She was, dead when taken to hospital. The police were informed that an attendants from sideshows attempted to quell the disturbance. It is alleged that one of the attendants drew a pistol to frighten the brawlers, and that it exploded. A man has been detained. During the disturbance a man, who was standing nearby received a bullet wound in the hand, while a Luna Park attendant received a flesh wound in the leg.

imageMelbourne Zoo officials were startled on the 3rd of August 1932, when Queenie the elephant, who had been breakfasting peacefully, suddenly stamped and trumpeting loudly from her house. Quivering from head to foot, her trunk raised aloft, she presented a picture of absurd dismay. The cause of her hysteria was a small possum which had dropped from the beams of the elephant house on to her back.


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.

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.