Historical Tours of the Western District

At the Western District Families Facebook page, I’m soon to depart on a “historical tour” of the Hamilton Highway. After successful “tours” of the Glenelg Highway and Great Ocean Road, it’s time to set off again with photos such as the one below a feature.


CRESSY c1914 Photographer Gabriel Knight. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38782

With the use of “Out of Copyright” photos from the State Libraries of Victoria and South Australia and the Museum Victoria collection, visitors to the page can “travel” the highways and see the sights of the towns and landmarks as they looked fifty to one hundred years ago or more.  The most recent tour of the Great Ocean Road began at Wye River and continued west to Allansford, east of Warrnambool.  It was a trip of contrasts from spectacular coastlines to towering forests and the odd shipwreck.  Lasting almost five weeks, I posted almost 250 “Out of Copyright” photos mostly postcards.  Here are a few of my favourites.


REMAINS OF THE WRECK “MARIE GABRIELLE” ON WRECK BEACH, GREAT OCEAN ROAD c1909. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/336353


APOLLO BAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64433


THE WRECK OF THE FALLS OF HALLADALE. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. PRG 1373/18/17 http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1373/18/17

So now for the Hamilton Highway, beginning west of Geelong at Hesse and “travelling” 180 kilometres to Tarrington around ten kilometres east of Hamilton.  Once again there is a wealth of “Out of Copyright” photos available, a lot more than I expected. I thought this would be a shorter tour than the Great Ocean Road but thanks to the man below, Gabriel Knight of Cressy and his passion for photography, we might be lucky to get to Lismore by Christmas!  I will also post about Gabriel and his family at Cressy along the way.


GABRIEL KNIGHT. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38823

Drop by the Western District Families Facebook page from 7:00 pm tomorrow night, Friday 25 November and see how the Hamilton Highway used to look.  If you scroll through the feed, you can take the return trip along the Great Ocean Road and Glenelg Highway. If you’re not a Facebook member you can still view the page, just ignore the prompts to join.

While visiting Facebook, the Hamilton’s WW1 page offers something extra too.  From each day of publication of the Hamilton Spectator, I post a daily article from 100 years before depicting life in Hamilton and district. The following are examples of articles posted during November


“WITH THE COLOURS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 21 November 1916: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390336


“ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 November 1916: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129389514


“A ZEPPELIN SOUVENIR.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 16 November 1916 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390016

The page also links to the stories of Hamilton’s enlisted men on the anniversaries of their enlistment, embarkation, and their death or return home.  Here on the blog, I’m continually adding new stories to Hamilton’s WW1 and have now posted stories for around 80% of the men named on the Hamilton War Memorial and similar for Anzac Avenue.


5 thoughts on “Historical Tours of the Western District

  1. I am a great great grand daughter of George Read he had a hotel at Yuppeckiar (Strathmore) near Dunkeld there isnt much on him or his family at that place He’s buried in Glenthompson his wife is in Dunkeld Old Cemetery I found a LOT on George before he got to Yuppeckiar as he was a convict and a police Constable in Hamilton & Portland I just wondered do you have any history on the area where his hotel might of been


    • Hi Karen
      According to an advertisement for the Strathmore Hotel in the H’ton Spec & Grange District Advertiser, it was at the junction of the Hamilton/Ballarat Road and the Ararat Road, now known as Glenthompson. Yuppeckiar moved where the roadside stop now is to the site of Glenthompson and the name of Yuppeckiar was retained until into the 1870s. Glenthompson Historical Society has a good Facebook page and they may be able to tell you more https://www.facebook.com/glenthompsonhistory/ The advertisement is the bottom right of the page on the link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194724594


      • Thanks I have sent his death certificate to Dunked and Glen Thompson We put a memorial to them at Glen Thompson .I will follow up where you said Thanks ..George had land at Yuppeckiar and Merino .
        Keep up the good work I belong to Wimmera Genealogy in Horsham.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am enjoying all your ‘tours’ Merron – just a bit belatedly and even slower than some of the travellers pictured in the historical pics. The history of each locale is fascinating and I now know more when I pass through on my own trips on these highways and byways. Thank you!


  3. Hi Karen – I too had a relative that owned a Store in Yuppeckiar at the same time as your relative owned the pub. If you key “Map of Yuppeckiar” into Google, you will find an original map of Yuppeckiar. Research based on comparing the original map with a current Google Map shows that Yuppeckiar was on the Gleneng Highway on the corner of what is now Burnside Lane (which was the road to Ararat)
    Trevor Read (no relation to George Read who owned the Pub)


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