Category Archives: Our Tripping Around

Pella the hidden village.

Out west of Rainbow, there is a quaint little settlement of Pella. Not much there you might say but if you look behind the curtain of mallee trees there is an experience to be had that may surprise you. This settlement was built by German immigrants circa 1900. Most of them came from South Australia to take up selections and developed their own community centre. After driving along a dirt track through the bush you will discover a church, school house and a home all built from the local limestone with cement made in the local limestone kiln that you will find a little further down the track. The village is located on the west side of outlet creek which has been affectionately named the Rhine as the locals refer to the community as being across the Rhine. At the back of the limestone kiln you will find another building hidden from view that is referred to as the mystery house as its purpose was unknown for many years and except for the investigatory of Constable Bill Miller back in 1935 it may have remained a mystery. In the Pella pages you will find the stories of this community as I discover more of this fascinating location. I have included Pella on my history tour and they proudly open the church and school for visitors. For those interested in history this village has a lot to reveal.

In Pella we discover the story of an early aeroplane enthusiast who with the help of his brother designed and built his own plane and discover the story of its demise.

Over the next few weeks I will add some of the stories of Pella and its people.

Go to the History, Mallee, Pella for these stories


Dawns Story

I finally finished gathering the information for Dawns Story. It was published over 9 weeks in the local paper 20 years ago and follows her life up to the age of 16. Dawn arrived in Rainbow a short time after my mother left with her family and Dawns first job was behind the counter in the local café in the same job mum had vacated a short time before.

You can check out Dawn’s story in the Mallee history section.


Trip to Dimboola formerly Nine Creeks.

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

While attending a tourism meeting of the Wimmera Mallee committee in Dimboola, We were taken for a look at the print Museum that is soon to be opened in the town. It is almost complete and it was amazing to see all of the equipment fully operational. some of the pieces are over 100 years old, one has been in a building that was burned down and it is restored and fully functional today. We were privileged to be shown through the display by a man that had apprenticed in the business eventually becoming the owner and then selling it to retire. He is still a very capable operator and surprised all as he started up each machine and operated it. Some of these were powered by a peddle that he pushed with his foot as he placed the sheets of paper into it and then removed it again on the next cycle as he placed the next in to be printed. (It reminded me of a person rubbing his stomach while patting his head but with the added piece of pushing a peddle with the foot at the same time.)

As you pass through this building you walk through the history of the local newspaper industry in these towns and see how much effort it took to produce a newspaper. The picture of the fireplace in the photo section is where he worked every Saturday morning melting down the lead from the past week to form the ingots ready for the next print run. He filled hundreds of ingot moulds with the molten lead each week.

This shop is well worth a look if you are passing this way.DSC_0086 DSC_0095


Visit to Jeparit

Monday the 1st December 2014

I had made an appointment to visit a David Livingston in Jeparit in search of the Hindmarsh Run homestead as it was a bit of a mystery as to where it was located. David’s family goes way back to the beginning of Jeparit and as it turned out he was living on the very spot where the old station homestead was and even lived in the old house while building his home and dairy on the site.

It was a great afternoon as David is a walking encyclopaedia of the location. And I came away with enough material to write a book. I still need to spend some time in their archives to collect some more pictures before starting the Jeparit page in the history section. But I will add a few pictures in the picture album to get it started.

The site was on a bend of the Wimmera River and had the water on three sides. It would have been a picturesque spot sitting on the rise with a view of the river on three sides. However today the rise is covered with houses but there is still a lovely view of the river from the Livingston garden.


Hindmarsh Run Homestead in the late 1800’s

Short Trip

We went for a short drive to check out a few locations today. Travelled from Rainbow to Kenmare then Brentwood (not much left just a fence where the school was and another where the Baptist church was with a marker) Then we travelled west to the point where the 142 meridian crosses the 36th parallel. This was the point where the survey started for the netting fence in 1884. You can see the full article under the netting fence in the History/Mallee section.

We also checked out a location where there is supposed to be a cottage from the 1800’s on a sand dune not far from Lake Hindmarsh on the Werrap road, but couldn’t get to it as the dune is surrounded with a crop and they haven’t harvested it yet so we will have to return later.

Netting fence survey 1


Went to Birchip. Big mistake.

We used to travel to Bayswater to purchase their vanilla slices as they won the best in the bakeoff and their slices were great. We thought we were safe now that we lived so far away from Bayswater but we have discovered that the Birchip bakery has stolen the trophy that used to sit behind the counter at Bayswater.

After an obligatory taste test that required several samples. We discovered that we agreed with the judges. This may not be good for the waistline if we pass that way too often.

At least they are a reasonable distance away so I can’t get an urge and duck down the street.

Check them out at.

Sharp’s Bakery

Day trip of exploration Thursday 12/11/14

We decided to go for a drive to find out more about the Pine Plain Run started by J. M. Clow for the history section of the Blog.

Pine Plain was the first Run (Station) started north of John Coppock’s Albacutya Run but there was a deal of land left vacant between them.

First we had to stop just outside Patchewollock to take a picture of the paddock art set up by a farmer in preparation for their music festival a few weeks back.


We then stopped to visit the big Mallee Hens by the abandoned railway track opposite the hotel.

Patchewollock Mallee Hens  1s

Then we headed for Pine Plain homestead but found no one home so couldn’t spend much time there but we did take a couple of pictures as we left. This was also one of the locations that a 14 year old boy Hugh O’Sullivan from Albacutya Run stopped at while doing the mail run from Dimboola past Lake Hindmarsh and Albacutya through Nypo, Wyperfeld (previously called Wonga Park) Pine Plain to Kows Plains homestead (No I didn’t miss spell it) which was just south of the town of Cowangie on the Mallee Highway.  For the motoring enthusiasts Cowangie is the birthplace of Larry Perkins.,_Victoria


Nothing left now but to have a look around the area. What is left in private hands of Pine Plain is the main homestead site with the traditional one square mile (approx.) selection of the 1890’s the rest is now in the hands of Parks as part of Wyperfeld Park. We stopped to check out the rabbiters hut that has been ravaged by time and fires the latest fire being January this year when all of this area was burnt down to Lake Albacutya and Nypo.


The sand dunes in this area are amazing so we had to check out the large white sand dune known as the Snowdrift. Parks have set up a picnic area at the foot of the dune with tables a shelter and toilet. This is a beautiful area and well worth a visit.

DSC_0023s DSC_0024s

After dropping into the Patchewollock store for refreshments and a chat we left for home armed with the contact details of the local historian so we will be back  after making an appointment to meet with him. It is harvest time at the moment and its all hands on deck so we will wait until after harvest to follow up on the local history later.

In all a bit of fun, lots discovered and more to go.

New Discoveries

We went for a drive today temp outside was 33 to 35 all day but cool in the car. First after the morning cappuccino to start the day, we just couldn’t resist the strawberries and of course we had to finish the punnet didn’t we.

2014-11-07 10.35.25s

After deciding that we would have to return after our drive for another punnet to have with cream tonight. we headed off to Jeparit to talk to the Pioneer Museum about the travellers we have been sending their way.

We decided to check out the state of the wimmera river at the weir and discovered the old trestle bridge built for the train to Lorquon opened 10 December 1912. It was another line decommissioned on 8 December 1986 when the Cain government closed 15 lines across the state, This ill informed and short sighted decision saved money in the rail system but caused a massive increase in road maintenance and the toll as hundreds of trucks replaced the rail. This also had the effect of causing the demise of many small towns.


No tracks left but the line and towns have been added to my to do list for the future.

Now we need to think of where we will have lunch and we selects Warracknabeal. So off we go but as we travelled along the back road Sue noticed a sign on the fence near an old church so we stopped to check it out and to our surprise we have stumbled across another ghost town with one building left.

Welcome to Peppers Plain.DSC_0218s

DSC_0217s  DSC_0219s

A football ground, school, church tennis courts and homes. All gone except the church and just inside the Hindmarsh shire so another one to look into.

Then off for lunch, a visit to Brim, Beulah, Beulah West, Kenmare and back to Rainbow where Sue needed another cappuccino to recover from the trip.

Now she is settling into watching TV while I search for information about both the old and new projects.

The squatter section is almost ready to install the first instalment under the history tab and should be posted soon.

Day Trip 26 September 2014

We Travelled to Horsham to looked around the shops and had lunch at a lovely little café. The food and coffee were very good.

Lunch in Horsham 1s

From Horsham we travelled along the Wimmera Highway and stopped at Mount Arapiles. It is well worth the trip for the view from the top with a road taking you most of the way up and a clime of about 150 metres to the lookout. The view goes all the way to the horizon with many lakes dotted over the landscape.

Mt Arapiles top 1

We then travelled to Edenhope where we found out where Mary Vale station was located ( I needed to locate this place as I was hopeful of getting some photos of the old buildings there as part of my research into the life of Margaret Jardine (Nee Henry) who died on Albacutya Run in 1866 and is buried at the side of a sandy track.

She was married at Mary vale but more on her in the history tab latter. We had passed the station some 25 k back so we went back and found it. The property is no longer the size it once was in acres as it used to take up many square miles of the region, but some of the old buildings from the 1860s are still standing at the homestead site. Most of the original buildings  were made from gum slabs cut with an axe.  A very large main homestead is still standing also but no longer occupied.

MaryVale buildings 3

MaryVale buildings 10

On the way back to Rainbow we stopped for dinner at Goroke (nice little hotel with good meals) then drove through Little Desert to Nhill and home to Rainbow.

This was a bit of a fact finding trip and there will be more about it along with more photos in a later post in the history tab.

Mary Vale station was also noted in history for other reasons about the same time.

Front Cover of new book by author John Henry Ellen

In 1874 a young woman, her illegitimate daughter, and the man who was paid to  marry her, leave Mount Gambier in South Australia to take up a selection in Lubeck, near Murtoa.

Two days later they are camped on the Maryvale Estate near Edenhope and that is the last that the family are seen until the remains of the young woman and her daughter are discovered ten years later on the property.

Where is the husband? Did he murder them and if so why? And was there really a ghost protecting the site where the bodies were buried? This is a true story with remarkable twists and turns, and was one of the greatest murder mysteries in Australian history. This is a book that has been thoroughly researched, and is more than just a murder story. It is a chronicle of the struggle and hardships that our early settlers had to endure, particularly the Langley Family with their seventeen children.

The 19th Century was a time when the new colony of Australia was trying to forge an identity, and it was settlers like Charles Langley and his family who worked tirelessly to bring this about. The True Story of the Maryvale Murders is a book that you will not wish to miss!

Copies of the book are available through the Edenhope Historical Society for $20 each. (see contact page)    Also available at Red Rock Books in Horsham or write to the author John Ellen , 10 Macintosh Avenue, Rupanyup, 3388 – enclose a cheque made payable to John Ellen for $22 (includes postage)

or visit the Edenhope site at.


Sometimes you have to just wonder

Went for a drive yesterday and while Lake Albacutya has no water we thought we would go and look around anyway. We were surprised to find about 10 campers in the free camp grounds close to the toilet block. so we went around the back to see what was there and saw the following sign.

How good it was to see that parks had thought of horse riders coming through and set up a camp for them so we checked it out.


look at that they have hitching posts a camp fire area with a BBQ swing plate to cook on. can’t carry much on horse back they seem to have catered for everything. Dismount roll out the swag and set a fire and you are set for the night.
But wait what is the sign between the hitching posts?


How smart of Parks to think of that.

It only stands to reason that people traveling on horse back would carry a poo bag to pick up after the horse doesn’t it?