Affiliation Case Axedale 1904

From:  Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday, 20 September 1904, page 4


Much time was taken up at the City Court yesterday in hearing a ease in which Bridget McGrath, a young unmarried woman, proceeded against James Hawkins, for the maintenance of his illegitimate child. The parties both reside in the Axedale district. Mr. Kirby appeared for complainant, and Mr. O’Halloran for defendant.

In answer to Mr. Kirby, complainant stated that on the 10th October Inst. Hawkins, who is the son of a neighbor, in company with a man named Frawley, came to her home. She gave them afternoon tea, and the two men then went outside to sharpen their axes. After doing this, Frawley departed, and witness went out to take in some clothes off the line.

She took them into her bedroom, and Hawkins followed her, and took advantage of her. About the first of May, she asked Hawkins to marry her, her sister Nellie, also asking him. Hawkins was promised a farm, and a sum of money, if he would marry her, but he refused. She had been put to a good deal of expense by her confinement. Ellen McGrath, sister of the previous witness, deposed, that when she found out her sister’s condition, she spoke to Hawkins. He denied the paternity, and said he had only put his hands on complainant’s shoulder.

James Hawkins, the defendant, denied on oath having anything to do with Miss McGrath on the day mentioned. He admitted, however, being at the house for some time on that day, but nothing unusual occurred. It was only about 10 minutes from the time Frawley left, till Nellie Hawkins arrived at the house. .

After taking farther evidence, the magistrates adjourned the court for 10 minutes, to consider their verdict. On returning, Mr. Moore P.M., said that they had decided that the complainant had proved her case.

An order was made for the payment of 7/6 per week, with £10 pre-maternity expenses, and £3/7 costs. The defendant was ordered to find one surety of £50, as a guarantee that he will comply with the order. On the application of Mr. O’Halloran, three days were allowed, to find the surety.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

“AFFILIATION CASE.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 20 September 1904: 4. Web. 11 Sep 2020 <;.

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The Axedale Platypus

The Axedale Platypus is a sculputre that sits alongside the Campaspe River on the Axedale Riverwalk. In 2013, the Axedale River Reserve was rejuvenated, and the platypus was an addition that was made at the time. The reason for choosing a platypus as the sculpture to depict Axedale, was because native playpus are known to inhabit thie Axedale section of the Campaspe River.

Victorian artist, Yvonne George was the artist selected to create a sculpture depicting “an exciting aerial view interpretation of a platypus, moving through and creating, rippled water movements” –

Before the form of the statue was decided, the artist held an outdoor workshop at the River Reserve, with residents, who gave her their inpu, and contributed ideas towards the design of the statue.

The finished statue is made of steel and stands over two metres tall. If you are on the Axedale River Walk, which is abutts the Reserve, and forms part of the O’Keefe Rail Trail, you cannot miss the imposing presence of The Axedale Platypus.

Along with the installation of the Platypus structure, at the Axedale Riverwalk, there are now native plantings, new picnic tables and benches.

The Axedale Riverwalk is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit in any season, and while there, I never tire of looking at this sculpture. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a platypus in the river, but I always look when walking or riding by.

From: The Riverine Herald, Saturday, 07 March 1908, Page 2

Friday. March 6

In yesterday’s “Bendigo Advertiser” a paragraph appeared, re the finding of a platypus at Axedale, and also stating that the animal is rarely found in Victoria. There are numbers of Ornithorinchi, in the Campaspe, in the neighborhood of Rochester, and on any evening, they can he seen disporting in the deep holes, by anyone who can keep quiet.

The rivers in Gippsland, notably the Morwell, Tyers, Tarwin, and the Traralgon Creek are alive with them. In the Morwell river a dozen can be seen at a time in one hole. There is also a goodly number in the Merri and Hopkins rivers at Warrnambool. The Gellibrand and Carlisle Rivers, in the Beech Forest are a favorite haunt. Dozens of streams, which the writer has visited, contain the animals, but they are generally to be found away from towns. – The platypus is far from being extinct in Victoria.

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This sign can be seen on the Axedale Riverwalk

*Ornithorinchi – refers to Ornithorhynchus anatinus which is the species name of the platypus, sometimes called the duck billed platypus. The platypus is a semi aquatic, egg laying mammal.

ROCHESTER. (1908, March 7). The Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 – 1954; 1998 – 2002), p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2021, from

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Deaths of Two Children 1874

From: The Bendigo Advertiser, Wednesday 28 October, 1874, page 3

The district coroner held an inquest yesterday at the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, on the body of Ann Mulcare, a child ten weeks old, who had been found dead in a cradle on the previous day. The evidence given showed that the child had been left at home, in charge of an elder sister, whilst the mother was in Sandhurst.

The child had been put to bed, but on going to the cradle afterwards, the sister found that the child was dead. In putting her to bed, care was taken that the clothes did not cover her face, and these were in the same position when it was discovered that the child was lifeless.

Dr. Macgillivray stated that he had made a post-mortem examination of the body, which was that of a well-nourished child. The brain was much congested, and the lungs in part only, showing that the child had not been suffocated. The cause of death was congestion of the brain. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.

An inquest was subsequently held at Drake’s Hotel, Campaspe, on the body of Bertie Gloster, a child five months old, who also died on the previous day. Rosa Gloster, the mother, stated that a week ago, the child took a cold, but finding that it was not getting better she determined to come to Sandhurst for medical advice. On the road, about two miles from her place, the child died. Dr. Macgillivray stated that the cause of death was acute pneumonia and pleurisy, and the jury returned a verdict to that effect.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

INQUESTS. (1874, October 28). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved February 22, 2021, from

Fatal Accident at Axedale 1886 #OnePlaceTragedy

The Society for One-Place Studies have put out a series of prompts for One Place Study bloggers and for Social Media posts. I was very keen to include Axedale Then and Now, as prompts such as these, make me stop and think and often lead to me publishing posts on topics that I may not have thought about, otherwise. They also keep me accountable. The prompt for February is Tragedy.

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 18 May 1886, Page 2

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 18 May 1886, Page 2


The district coroner, Mr R. Strickland, P.M., held a magisterial inquiry, at the Bendigo Hospital, into the cause of the death of a farmer named James Conroy, who was admitted into the hospital on the 3lst of March last, and died on Sunday, as reported in our issue of yesterday.

Patrick Conroy, a farmer, residing :at Axe Creek, deposed that the deceased, his father, was a widower, 60 years of age. On the 30th of March last, deceased left his home to go to the Perseverance Hotel in order to meet a baker, and obtain the week’s supply of bread. Next day witness was informed that the deceased had been found in the Axe Creek, near the hotel. Deceased suffered from bad eyes, and witness had no doubt but that he had accidentally fallen into the culvert. Witness had frequently seen the deceased in the hospital since the accident, but the latter never blamed anyone for the accident.

John Ryan, a laborer residing at the Campaspie, deposed that on the 30th inst., he, the deceased, and others were in the Perseverance hotel drinking. Deceased left the hotel about ten o’clock at night, no doubt the worse for liquor. Next morning early, as witness was crossing the bridge he heard a man moaning. On looking over the bridge witness saw the deceased lying on his back in the creek. Assistance was obtained, and the deceased was removed to the hospital. In answer to a question from witness, deceased told him that he did not know how he got into the creek. There was an opening in the bridge at the place which was dangerous to the travelling public.

Dr. Colquhoun, resident surgeon at the Bendigo Hospital, deposed that the deceased was brought to that institution on the 31st March, suffering from fracture of several ribs on the left side, which lacerated the lungs. He gradually sank and died on Sunday 16th instant.

A verdict was recorded to the effect that the deceased died from injuries received through accidentally falling over a culvert at Axe Creek.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

FATAL ACCIDENT AT AXEDALE. (1886, May 18). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from

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Axedale Burial: John and Mary Burke

Axedale Catholic Cemetery

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Axedale Catholic Cemetery

Erected By
Stephen Burke & Bridget Bryne
In Memory
Of Their Parents
John Burke
Died 6th June 1873 Aged 75 Years
and Mary Burke
Died 18th December 1876 Aged 80 Years
Natives Of
Co. Clare, Ireland
Also The Deceased Children
Stephen and Kate Burke

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Lake Eppalock #OnePlaceLandmarks

The Society for One-Place Studies have put out a series of prompts for One Place Study bloggers and for Social Media posts. I was very keen to include Axedale Then and Now, as prompts such as these, make me stop and think and often lead to me publishing posts on topics that I may not have thought about, otherwise. They also keep me accountable. The prompt for January is Landmarks. I have chosen Lake Eppalock as my Landmark topic.

Lake Eppalock

Lake Eppalock is a huge man-made reservoir of water situated just outside Axedale. Between 1961 and 1964, a large artificial earth and rock dam was created with a spillway across the Campaspe and Coliban rivers. This water was intended to be used for irrigation by farmers of the Campaspe Irrigation district, along with water supply to Bendigo, Heathcote, and in recent years, Ballarat.

Google Maps

Lake Eppalock was built by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission. The dam wall is 45 metres high and the main embankment 1041 metres long. The surface area of Lake Eppalock is 3011 hectares.

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State Rivers and Water Supply, State Library of Victoria

In years of drought, water levels can get very low. Recreation activities are not possible at these times. When water levels are low, many historical sites are exposed. It’s possible to see ruins of old homesteads, machines used by miners during the gold rush, stone fences, bridge ruins and other items of historic interest.

The photo below shows the ruins of a bridge that existed before the Lake Eppalock area was flooded. This photo was taken in 2009, when Lake Eppalock was almost empty due to severe drought. Only one year after this photo was taken, the drought broke, and heavy rain once again filled the lake. –

Lake Eppalock Photo:

Lake Eppalock is also very popular for water sports, with boating, skiing and fishing enthusiasts flocking there during the summer months. There are caravan parks and camping grounds on the foreshore which, in the summer months, when water levels are high, are packed.

Photo: Lake Eppalock Holiday Park
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Unfortunately farmers and landholders were forced to leave their farms when the State Government made the decision to acquire land in order to build the Eppalock Dam to provide water during crippling droughts. In 2001, a monument was erected on the banks of Lake Eppalock in memory of those who lost their land. The monument features names of people who made up the Eppalock Landholders Association in 1960.

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*Important Note: The Taungurung and Dja Dja Wurrung people are the traditional owners of the land, and today the land and waterways still remain central to their cultural identity. Their role is recognised as being unique in the life of this region.

State Library of Vic
State Library of Cictoria
State Rivers and Water Supply Commission Victoria
Google Maps

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Axedale Community Farewell Popular Head Teacher 1914

From: The Bendigonian, Tuesday 22 December 1914

16th December.
A farewell social was tendered to Mr. T. F. Bissett in the Presbyterian Church last night on the occasion of his leaving the district. A large number attended, including a few invited guests, to pay their respects. Mr. J. Hamilton presided in the regrettable absence of Rev. Thompson, through illness. Mr. Hamilton, in a few introductory remarks, regretted the departure of the guest, and was supported by Messrs. Mill, Deane, Brewster, Drake and Millington, who fully endorsed all that the chairman had said. Mr. V. Deane, on behalf of the congregation, then presented the guest with a heavy pair of gold cuff links, with initials inscribed. Mr. Bissett feelingly:responded, and stated the gift would serve as a connecting link between him and his Axedale friends. Musical honors were accorded. Mr. Bissett has acted as organist to the church for the past seven and a half years, and his services will be much missed. Mr. J. Hamilton favored with a song in fine style. Excellent Patho selections were given by Mr. Deane. Thanks were accorded the ladies by Mr. Bissett for the repast, which was tastefully provided. A most enjoyable evening closed with singing the National Anthem and “Auld Lang Syne.”. Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Hamilton carried out arrangements creditably.
18th December.
A very large gathering of parents and friends met in the newly erected shelter shed at the local State school, to say goodbye to Mr. Thomas Bisset, head teacher, who has been connected with the school for the past 10 years. Refreshments were provided by the ladies. The children were first attended to, and afterwards the adults sat down to tempting eatables neatly arranged on small tables. Cr. S. Doak, who presided, spoke at some length on the many good qualities of Mr. Bisset, and the great interest he took in the education of the children; also the training of the children in connection with school concerts, which enabled the school comittee to erect such a fine shelter shed : Mr. Bisset has done his part in inducing the Government to remodel the school, owing to the increase in attendance, which ‘is due to the teaching ability of
Mr. Bisset. Mr. Doak’s remarks were supported by all the gentlemen present, who expressed regret at Mr. Bisset’s departure from Axedale. The chairman then presented Mr. Bisset with a beautiful solid leather dressing case, bearing the following inscription:-‘ To T. F. Bisset, H.T., from parents and friends, Axedale State School, 1008, 17/12/14..” Master Thomas O’Neill then read an address on behalf of the scholars. Miss Daisy Earl handed Mr. Bisset a gold sovereign case with his initials engraved thereon. Mr. Bisset made a feeling response, thanking the parents and friends for the very nice present, and also the children for their gift. He referred at some length to his connection with the school, and expressed much pleasure with the manners and work of the scholars. He would cherish greatly the gifts he had received. A vote of thanks to the ladies, and “Auld Lang Syne” brought a pleasant afternoon to a close. The presents, which were greatly admired, were purchased from the stock of Messrs. Prescott and Dawe, Mitchell Street, Bendigo.

OUR COUNTRY SERVICE. (1914, December 22). Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 11 (Morning). Retrieved December 8, 2020, from

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