Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Bushrangers of South Australia


Bushranger's of South Australia

George Hughes, Henry Curran and James Fox were the scourge of the South Australian colony back in 1839 – 1840. These three lawless men committed countless crimes, from Crafers to Gawler, and will be forever remembered as Bushrangers.

Crafers Hotel 1840's
The three men were notorious in their time, and struck fear into the hearts of men and women in South Australia, on one occasion they “stuck up” Mincalta house , just outside Gawler, a building on the Estate of Kingsford House, which was made famous on “McLeod's Daughters”, An Australian Television show.

Long before their life of crime in South Australia, these men were well known criminals. George Hughes, was sent to Australia after a crime spree in the South-west English county of Gloucestershire. His brother was hung for his crimes, whilst George was sent to New South Wales as a convict.
Hughes and Curran met whilst convicts in New South Wales, and made their escape in 1839, they spent months crossing the harsh country, still shackled in chains, to make it to South Australia. Somewhere along the way they met James Fox, and not long after committed the aforementioned crime outside Gawler, and then held up a sheep station close by.
The three men held up Mina Pffender, the Station Managers wife, demanding supplies and money, Mina refused to give over anything to the three men, and fearing for her life, escaped. One of the men shot at her as she ran, but missed. Mina made it to safety and raised the alarm, but the local constabulary were far too late, and the three men were long gone

The men made their way towards Mount Crawford, camping along the way, they took target practice sessions, peppering a tree with sprays of bullets from their guns, which in turn led the local police to issue a report, and some smart constable to put two and two together as too whom had used so many precious bullets.
The men made their way to Crafers in the Adelaide hills, and were eventually caught by the police there, drunk in a local hotel.

The three men were charged with numerous crimes, including theft and armed robbery, Hughes and Curran were also charged with Rape, a crime that could see a man hung in Australia at the time.

The three men were brought up on charges, and somewhat of a media circus ensued, little Adelaide, at the time, had seen nothing like this before.
The Adelaide Gaol Governor, Mr Ashton, released a statement to the local newspaper “The Adelaide Chronicle” which held a list of prisoners for trial on the 4rd of March 1840, included was the charges against Hughes, Curran and Fox.
In the article it claimed the three men had stolen “ coat, a waist-coat and several articles of clothing.  Value five pounds, the property of Michael Pffender, with the intention of murdering her, on the 26th January 1840.  Also for stealing from the tent of Julius Fielder, on the 28th January 1840, 20 lbs. of flour, 6 lbs. pork, 4 lbs. sugar, 1 lb tea, 5 in notes some power and shot, a double barrelled gun, a pistol etc., the property of the said Julius Fielder.  Also for stealing from the tent of Mr. Jones, a gun, his property, value ₤5.”


The South Australian Register, another local newspaper of the time also ran a story on the case, which was much longer and featured evidence brought against the men by Pffender family, of which the three men had robbed. - the story ran on March 7th 1840 and can be found on National Libraries Trove website
The three men were found guilty, but Fox, who had shown some signs of remorse, was given a lighter, merciful sentence of life in prison. Hughes and Curran though, were to be hung in a public execution.

Justice was quick in those days, and the 4th hanging of men in South Australia was to be done on March 16th 1840, in front of the States first Police Barracks, publicly.

Even though he knew he was about to die, Hughes callousness and bravado reigned, turning and already grotesque public display into an even more repulsive event.
He asked for some tobacco and pipe so he could have his last smoke, already tied around the arms, and about to be walked up to the steps to the noose, he suddenly lunged froward and rushed the stairs of the scaffold and ran at the executioners assistants who were readying the noose.
Hughes was restrained by two men as he kicked and protested.
Curran, in a much more solemn mood with his death fast approaching, stared into the gathered crowd.
The noose were put over their heads, and as the switch was pushed and then men began to fall, Hughes, defiant to the last, caught his boot on the ledge of the scaffold – only to have it kicked off by the Colonial Chaplain.
Thus ended the lives of two of South Australia's Bushrangers...
Further reading:
http://www.barossaherald.com.au/story/252956/historic-kingsfords-new-chapter/

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/History_of_Gawler_1837_to_1908.html?id=htQNAAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y

Crafers Hotel

http://www.crafersinn.com.au/history/  

© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Devlin's Ghost



Devlin's Ghost

A ghost of a man, with a long red beard, and flowing red locks is seen riding on a white horse around the area of Devlin's Pound not far from the Overland Corner hotel.

It is thought the spirit is that of either one of two men, Patrick or Jim Devlin.

So why is the spirit of this man haunting the area?

In 1846, cattle was herded from New South Wales to Adelaide, and part of the stock droving route took in a crossing at the Murray River near Renmark. An area not far from the pound was found to be a good pace to herd the cattle, where they wouldnt wander off or need to be watched the entire night.

Due to the constant traffic of Stock drovers, a crafty young man by the name of Patrick Devlin, erected wine shanty, a small building where stock men could come and grab a few drinks and refresh themselves on the road, have some food and have a sleep. Of course the Wine shanty was illegal, attracted many unsavoury types, including prostitutes and bushrangers


It is said Mr Devlin got tired of eating fish daily and began to hunger for some prime beef, he produced a cunning plan, and began to help himself to some of the stock at the flat, herding it up into the safety of the cliffs at the pound, that would eventually be named after him.

Devlin got away with his rustling for a long time, he had began small, but got ever more confident and ever less cautious, his greed soon took him to rustling his neighbours cattle, and that proved to be his mistake.

Patrick Devlin, owner of the Wine Shanty suddenly disappeared without a trace, for a while the locals thought he'd packed up his swag and set of around the country with all the money he'd made selling illegal grog.
Chronicle (Adelaide) Thursday 17 December 1942, page 24

A few years passed and a shallow grave was found, in it was the skeleton of a man with a bullet hole in his skull, and a matted red beard across his face – its finder knew straight away they had found the body of Patrick Devlin. Legends began to spring up straight away about his death, some suggest he was killed for the treasure of a few sovereigns hidden under the wine shanty floor, others say he was killed by a local stock drover who caught him red-handed, then there were rumours it was the local constable, that he had confronted Devlin, and a gun fight had erupted – whatever the cause, Devlin was dead.

Not long after his body was found, Devlin was seen again, on a dark stormy night in a flash of lightening, a man on white horse was seen on the ridge of the pound, his long red hair and red beard flowing in the strong wind.

He was seen many nights when the weather was bad, and all who saw him knew it was Patrick Devlin, returned from the dead, seeking vengeance for his death from whomever's gun had dealt the fatal blow.

To this day there is supposed to be a buried saddle bag somewhere in the pound that was put there by a Bushranger who never returned to claim it

DEVLIN’S GHOST

He’d travelled from auld Ireland’s shores no one knew when or why,
and wandered through Australia’s lands, beneath the southern sky.
But finally he settled down, and with grog he did some peddling,
And thus began the legend of the man called ‘Paddy Devlin’.

His shanty, made from river gums, was on the stock route track,
and cattleman would stop for grog and rest their aching back.
The cattle too, would quench their thirst down at the Mighty Murray
for drovers back in those old days were never in a hurray.

They brought their herds from NSW, headed for Adelaide town,
And the word soon spread that Devlin’s shack, was the place to bed them down.
But ‘Paddy’, sick of eating fish, hungered for some beef,
And soon one dark and moonless night he turned into a thief.

It started with a single beast, that from the herd did stray,
But soon it grew to several head that vanished every day.
The drovers searched along the track, but never one was found,
For they were hid below the cliff, all safe in ‘Devlin’s Pound’.

But Devlin made one big mistake, he preyed upon his neighbour,
A thing that simply was not done, in this land they call Australia.
He disappeared from the scene and nothing more was heard,
Some said he’d simply packed his swag and flown off like a bird.

The years passed by and then one day a shallow grave was found,
The bones and skull, with a bullet hole, were just below the ground.
A long red beard was proof enough that this was ‘Paddy Devlin’,
And that he’d met his just deserts because of his foolish meddling.

Soon tales were told of ghostly deeds along the old cliff top,
And drovers would avoid the place, no longer would they stop.
For it was said that ‘Devlin’s Ghost’ astride a now white steed,
Would still be driving cattle off to satisfy his greed.

So if by chance you pass that way on a lonely moonless night,
Maybe you’ll be rewarded by this chilling fearful sight.
Be not dismayed, just pour a glass and raise it in a toast,
Then you may brag in every bar, that you drank with Devlin’s Ghost.


– Author: John Gordon.






© 2013 Allen Tiller

www.eidolonparanormal.net



All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Estcourt House




Estcourt House 


Frederick Bucknall, Founder of The South Australian Rowing Club and one of the men involved in the acquisitions and subdivisions of land that eventually became the suburbs Grange and Henley Beach near Adelaide.
Frederick was a business man who, in the late 1860's ran The South Australian Boating Company from Port Adelaide in an old Malthouse in Grey street. He converted the shed into the “Australian Club house hotel” in 1869, known locally as “The Kerosine Tin” because of its galvanised iron walls.
Frederick placed a lot of money in placing boats on the River Torrens just after the first dam had been built, but the river flooded and washed the majority of his boats away, leaving him out of pocket.
In 1874, he met Rosa Haussen, the widow of Henry Haussan of the brewers, Haussen and Company.

With his new found bride came a large sum of money, estimated to be around 40, 000 pounds, and a new job at the family Brewery, plus nine children to look after.
Frederick and Rosa built Estcourt house at Grange in 1883 on the foreshore at a cost of 12, 000 pounds, but three years later, the family were facing financial difficulties and were forced to sell the house.

In 1886 the new owner of Estcourt was the Australian Mutual Provident Society, better known to us today as AMP. AMP owned the house for quite sometime, in that time it remained empty, its isolation and size made it unwanted and unaffordable to most.
Eventually the house was sold and in 1892 was purchased by the James Brown Memorial Trust,a trust fund set up by the widow, Mrs Jessie Brown, in her late husbands honour. The house was to help people in need. It officially opened in 1894, and by December of that year had eight children aged between four and twelve, and twenty-three visually impaired or blind people elderly people in its care.
Eight years later, in 1900 it had grown to forty-five people in its care.



By 1931, the facility was provided with a teacher from the education board and had become a convalescent home for children suffering from TB, polio, rheumatic fever and other ailments.
In 1978 the Government bought Estcourt House and it became part of Strathmont Centre, then in 1981 the house was upgraded and children were moved from North Adelaide, Estcourt House became known as Ru Rua Nursing Home until its closure in 1989.
With Tb, Scarlet Fever and other such ailments, death was not too far away for some children, and unfortunately many did die in Estcourts walls, one story of a young man named Anthony Nolan, a sufferer of bone marrow disease, was well documented in a 1979 issue of Woman’s Weekly, unfortunately Anthony died at just 8 years of age.
Another tragic death was that of 17 year old nurse, Hazel Fryar in 1939. Young Hazel contracted laryngeal diphtheria, a rare disease that eventually blocks the airways.
South Australian Register Tuesday 9 June 1896, page 7
These tragic deaths are just two I found quickly whilst searching on the National Library website “Trove”, there were many, many more deaths from Tuberculosis, children with heart problems, amputees and other ailments.

After the closure in 1989 the house stood empty for many years, attracting ghost hunters and thrill seekers, the majority of ghost stories surrounding this location extend from this period and can most likely be dismissed as the hypersensitive, adrenalin rush state someone trespassing might endure, but there is always the possibility that the little ghost children seen playing hide and seek at the time might not be stories.


Estcourt house was eventually sold to a private buyer and the hospital wings removed, the house now looks like many other mansions on the street, as for the ghosts, as of yet, the new owners have not stated anything publicly.



© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net



All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.


Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Bridgewater Inn





The Bridgewater Inn, a beautiful location in the Adelaide Hills was once the home of a clientele that would be deemed “rough” by today’s standard. In it's early days the area was known for cattle rustlers, ex-convicts hiding their past and extortionists.
The pub as it stands now was built 1859 by Mr Addison, who moved the pub there from its original location at Cox creek, just up the road.
In 1859, Mr John Dunn built the Bridgewater Mill next door to the Inn and laid out the township that was to surround the mill.
It is said the Inn sits on one of the subsidiary Lay lines that runs through the Flinders Ranges, could this play a part in it's paranormal activity? It is said that a very irate man haunts the kitchen, causing chaos for staff and also a young lady who seems very distraught and upset about something, possibly the two ghosts are playing out a scene that happened in their lifetimes with each other.



There have also been numerous sightings of ghosts in the restaurant, which was once the Inn cellar, it is not known who the ghosts that haunt the Inn are, but they are sighted often!



As an interesting side note, my friends over at the Adelaide Hills – X group have been meeting monthly at the Bridgewater Inn for about 3 years now, you can find them online at - http://www.meetup.com/paranormal-521/ or the 3rd Wednesday of every month, in the evening at the Inn.



© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.