Thursday, 25 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Large quantities of stone were taken from the quarry between 1880 and 1930, demand dropped with the Depression of the 1890s and the quarry closed in 1892/93 after the Public Works contract expired. It was re-opened by a private firm at the turn of the century, and operated spasmodically between 1900 and 1938, and closed again in 1938 due to lack of orders. It finally ceased major operations in 1941 due to the Second World War and the high cost of quarrying. Now part of the Grampians National Park, it can only be used to supply freestone to repair buildings in which the same stone has already been used.
Some of the machinery needed to operate the site is still in place- the furnace and steam chamber, the winch and the four-cylinder steam compression engine.
In 1881/82 a contract was let for the building of a government-financed tramway from Heatherlie to Stawell branch railway (length to be built of 15 miles using 50 lb rails, Victoria Railways laid sidings at the quarry). Stone was moved in blocks weighing up to 11 tons, and carted by tramway to Stawell.
For many years after its construction tourists and day-trippers also used the line. The railway line was closed in 1949 and was dismantled in the following years.
There are a few remnants still visible - raised earth, some of the sleepers and a few rails still in place at the end of the line, plus the remains of a timber trestle bridge at Back Creek off Osleps Track.
Heatherlie stone was used for several local buildings in Stawell, including the Court House (completed in 1872), the Town Hall, the Anglican Church and St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church. The stone was also used on the construction of significant public sites in Melbourne – Parliament House, the State Library & Melbourne Town Hall.
During the mid 1880s more than 140 men were employed at one of the quarries living mainly in tents. Many had their wives and children with them and, when the township of Heatherlie was surveyed and a school opened, a few workers built more permanent dwellings of stone offcuts or rough bark.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
The National Library of Australia publishes some beautiful books, and this is one.
Lovers of landscape scenery will delight in ‘Under the spell of the ages’ which showcases 25 of Australia’s most elegant and exquisite historic gardens. Trisha Dixon's superb celebration of Australia's most memorable gardens counterpoints photographs and illustrations with quotations from famous Australian writers.
Fountain at Micalago
The view on the front cover is a pergola on Micalago Station, just south of Canberra. The garden at Micalago is one of discovery, with stepping stones leading from one courtyard to another, inviting exploration of the outer reaches of the garden – to where Judy Davis climbed trees in the film version of ‘My brilliant career’.
The wisteria pergola is at Frenshaw near Mittagong, similar to the Edna Wallings style, it also has a sunken garden.
Gracemere near Rockhampton, a timeless old homestead with cane squatter’s chairs on the verandah surrounded by a sea of colourful bougainvillea.
The Cedars near Hahndorf, was the home of artist Sir Hans Heysen, it has the beauty of billowing roses, fragrant lilac, drifts of foxgloves and hidden corners – a child’s delight.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Prilla, a brand-new fairy (created when a baby giggles, that giggle finds its way to Never-Land, and a new fairy is born) of a kind never known before in Never-land. Prilla acts much more like a human being than an ethereal fairy. She refers to Tinkerbell (a pots and pans fairy, and the fairy from the classic “Peter Pan”) as Miss Bell, and appears to have no magical talent.