May 28, 2014

Museum Resources

Building Improvement

 Stoke Stable Museumat Carcoar

The 2014 round of the Building Improvement Program is now open



Royal Australian Historical Society Grants

Two grants now open.


 Over 30 digital terms explained.


Museums & Music Day at Carcoar

May 12, 2014

Bathurst District Historical Society - Musters

These musters are held at 7.30pm at the Museum in the east wing of Bathurst Court House – they are FREE and supper is served.

15th May (Thursday) – Muster – “The Crago Mill – A Bathurst Landmark” – with Bernard Vance, a local entrepreneur, who has undertaken the mammoth task of restoring Bathurst landmark, Crago Mill. Bernard will tell the fascinating story of the flour mill in lower Piper Street, its history and characters and the ongoing restoration of the mill. The Crago family were very involved with the Bathurst community in the late 1800s and 1900s. Mr. F. Crago was Mayor in 1891 and the family often sponsored and donated prizes for sporting events and children’s activities.

19th June (Thursday) – Muster – “100 Heritage Homes of Bathurst” with Lee Steele. Hear about Lee’s forthcoming book featuring 100 beautiful homes right here in Bathurst. Learn of the history of some of the homes, the families who lived in them and how their homes have survived.

17th July (Thursday) - “Bathurst’s Own Dr Busby.”  David Andrew will speak on members of the Busby family and especially of James Busby (1801-71) in Britain and New South Wales prior to becoming the first British Resident at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (1833-40). Hear about James’s childhood and public life as part of the public service and how he influenced New Zealand’s history. His elder brother Dr. George Busby was the Government Medical Officer in Bathurst. The family’s ‘patriarch’ John Busby accepted his commission as the Mineral Surveyor and Civil Engineer to the Colony of New South Wales, arriving in 1824 and was responsible for the design and construction of Sydney's first permanent water supply (so called Busby's Bore).
21st August (Thursday) – Muster – Dr. James Drown will enlighten us on “Surveyor George William Evans.” James will speak on his Doctorate for his Thesis on the work of Surveyor George Evans who discovered the Bathurst Plains in 1813.  During his life, between 1780 and 1852, Evans achieved a great deal as a surveyor and early explorer in the colony of New South Wales.

Source: Email from Alan McRae, President

May 3, 2014

WIRADJURI COUNTRY - Article in Bathurst Newsletter No 98 April – June 2014


 Bill Allen, Snr, making his speech.

Prior to Europeans arriving the Wiradjuri tribe inhabited a large area around the Bathurst Plains, having lived in the region for thousands of years. Wiradjuri land extended from the foothills of the Blue Mountains, west to the Hay district, north beyond Dubbo and south to the Murray River and Albury. It was the largest tribal region in Australia.

The coming of European settlement was to change all that. When Captain Henry Antill arrived with Governor Macquarie at Bathurst he felt that the local aboriginals were more advanced than the Sydney tribes. During their stay Governor Macquarie’s camp was visited by a “delegation of Wiradjuri tribesmen” and gifts were exchanged with them. Both Surveyor Evans and Governor Macquarie felt no threat from the Wiradjuri people at the time.

The most notable of the Wiradjuri people was Windradyne or ‘Saturday’ as he was known. He became famous when he led an uprising of some of the Wiradjuri people.

By 1822 fighting had broken out between the settlers and some local aboriginals. Windradyne was later captured, beaten and held in chains for four weeks in Bathurst. He was then released and told to ‘keep the peace’ though hostilities did not cease until Windradyne agreed to make peace. He died several years later on 21st March, 1829. Windradyne had been associated with George Suttor and his son William Henry Suttor at ‘Brucedale’ at Peel where he was later buried.

The Wiradjuri people lived in bark gunyahs, caves and natural shelters and always travelled light. They lived off the land, taking only what food they needed. Cleverly they understood the land and the breeding cycles of their food chain. They moved with their food source. The women made possum skin cloaks which were worn in colder months and which were noted at the Proclamation Day ceremony on 7th May, 1815, on the banks of the river Macquarie. The men made their own stone and wooden implements.

The Wiradjuri had their own language. The tribes were governed by strict codes of moral and social behaviour and the breaking of these codes was enforced by the elders with a harsh punishment awaiting any guilty party.

A smoking ceremony at Abercrombie House by Bill Allen, Snr, and his son Bill Allen, Jnr.

On 10th December last year I attended two events at Abercrombie House to mark the 200 year anniversary of first contact between the Wiradjuri People and the arriving European explorers which took place near this site on 21st December, 1813. The events also acknowledged the naming of the Bathurst Plains and Mount Pleasant by Surveyor George Evans on 10th December, 1813, two hundred years previously. The morning event included local Aboriginal children who each invited a non- aboriginal friend. The Wiradjuri Waganha Dance Group from Cowra did an exceptional job and had the young school pupils up participating and dancing.

In the evening on the same day a Corroboree took place under the trees at Abercrombie House. The Wiradjuri Elders of the Bathurst Plains together with the Bathurst District Historical Society and the Morgan Family hosted the evening and joined members of the Society, Bathurst Regional Councillors and community members watch the Wiradjuri Dance Group perform at the special Corroboree Gathering. This evening event acknowledged the last Wiradjuri Corroboree in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant which took place 164 years ago in 1849.

The Mayor, Gary Rush, spoke at both events. 

Speeches at both events described the impact of the first meeting between the explorers and the Wiradjuri people and celebrated the endurance and renewal of Wiradjuri culture and customs on the Bathurst Plains since those days.

At the conclusion of the evening event the owners of Abercrombie House, Christopher and Xanthe Morgan, served tea and coffee on the verandah of this magnificent and historic building.

Our thanks go to the Wiradjuri Waganha Dance Group for their performance and the Morgan family for their hospitality.
Alan McRae, President, Bathurst & District Historical Society