Glen Alice School, 1986

Photo: Mickel Cowie collection

Claude Agnew and Charles Booth in front of the old Glen Alice School, 1986

Ref: Mickel Cowie

Robert Howe (1841-1930) & Elizabeth Howe (nee Mulholland) (1843-1917)

Photo: from Owen Edwards

Robert and Elizabeth were married 28 Sep 1863 - lived in Cudgegong Street, Rylstone and were Owen Edwards' GGG Grandparents.

Wolgan Valley - Hope of Australia Mine

Wolgan Valley - Hope of Australia Mine

Photo: Mickel Cowie collection - taken c.1920

Wolgan Valley

Wolgan Valley
Photo: Mickel Cowie collection - taken c.1920

Railway Coal Mine, Lithgow 1929

Railway Coal Mine, Lithgow 1929. Courtesy of the Lithgow State Mine.

Photo: Bede Wilson Collection 

The image that has become the State Mine masthead. A view taken in 1929 of the Railway Coal Mine and Power House.

 Ref: Lithgow State Mine website

St Jude's Church, Capertee

Saint Jude's church in Capertee

Dating from the 1930s Saint Jude's church in Capertee is located at the northern end of the village on the Mudgee Road (Castlereagh Highway).

 The exterior is constructed of painted corrugated iron while the interior consists of a nave and porch. Light comes from coloured glass, Gothic style, windows. Despite its architectural simplicity this church appeals to many, especially Christians who like an unpretentious location for prayer and contemplation.

This church is named in honour of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Catholic saint of lost causes. Hopefully the long term survival of this building is not a lost cause.

Ref: Capertee Heritage 

Rebecca Webdy (née Slapp) (1854-1935)

At St James' Rylstone, on 4 June 1873, she married Charles Thomas MASON (1859-1879)
Charles and Rebecca made their home at Ti Tree Flat. Sadly, Charles died on 24 July 1879, one month before he turned 28, leaving his wife Rebecca and their two young daughters.
Two years later, on 1 March 1881, the widowed Rebecca married her cousin George WEBDY (1858-1929)

Ref: Adel Firth-Mason

Ann Mason (née White)

George Mason and his wife Ann sailed for Australia on the “Stebonhearth” in 1858 accompanied by their children - Maria aged 10, Charles aged 7, William aged 5 and Frederick aged 2.
After they arrived in Australia 6 more children were born - Sarah 1859, Susan 1860, George 1866, Emma 1869, Elizabeth (Liz) 1871 and Francis (Frank) 1873.

Gulgong - Main Street, Canadian Lead 1872

Photo: Holtermann collection

 Only eight kilometres from Gulgong, the Canadian Lead was an alluvial field of deep washdirt and easy digging. The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 April 1872, recorded the rush: '… the Canadian lead where a month ago some four hundred people were, can now boast of a couple of thousands. The Gulgong diggings may be fairly said to be spread over eight square miles.

Ref:  State Library’s Holtermann archive -

John McKenna was a chemist in 1883 at Canadian Lead district of Gulgong.

Ref: Jan Mitchel

Gulgong Wooden Catholic Church (1871-1885)

Photo: Holtermann collection

Despite the wealth generated by alluvial gold mining, few buildings in Gulgong were substantial. According to the Australian Town and Country Journal, 27 January 1872: 'The buildings are all composed of wood, calico, or bark, presenting strange contrasts by the variety of colours and designs. The finest building is certainly the new Roman Catholic Church just completed, and reflecting great credit on that congregation. 'The building cost £700, which was raised by the Reverend JO Donovan and ‘his energetic parishioners’ in a few weeks.

Ref:  State Library’s Holtermann archive -

Painting of Capertee Valley from Crown Ridge, 1868

Capertee Valley taken from Crown Ridge, Sydney Road  
1868 watercolour by Eliza Thurston
Mitchell Library collection
While not a highly realistic rendering of the scene, Thurston's Mitchell Library work has great charm and shows that the panorama seen from the Crown was as popular then as it is today.

Eliza came from an established family of artists from Bath in western England. Eliza became an art teacher after she came to Australia in 1853. She lived for a few years during the mid to late 1860s with her (Mudgee based) photographer son Horatio Thurston (1838-1881). While resident there she produced her Capertee Valley works. She died in Sydney a few years later. Her daughter, Eliza West Thurston, was an amateur artist who painted mostly floral subjects. She worked as a teacher in Rylstone and spent her later years living in Mudgee.

For more information about Eliza Thurston please refer to her biographical entry in the Design and Art Australia Online (DAAO) website:

Ref: Capertee Heritage

Crown Ridge near Capertee

Crown Ridge looking East, watercolour by Conrad Martens
View of Pantoney's Crown as seen from Pearsons Lookout c.1874
Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
Martens was not the first artist to paint the Capertee Valley from the Crown.

Ref: Capertee Heritage

Crown Ridge near Capertee

One of a series of three large watercolour views  of Crown Ridge by Conrad Martens (Private Collection)

The London-born artist Conrad Martens (1801-1878) first came to Australia in 1835. Like fellow painter Augustus Earle, Martens had been employed by the pioneer naturalist, Charles Darwin  as ship artist on the voyage of the HMS Beagle.

The Crown Ridge peak is now officially known as Blackman’s Crown after an early explorer of the region, John Blackman (c.1792-1868).

Ref: Capertee Heritage

Ref: Dingo Gap Gallery

Capertee Railway Station

This historic railway station was built in 1882. It is a typical type 4 ‘standard roadside station’, a design introduced from the late 1870s by the New South Wales Government Railway (NSWGR), Engineer-in-Chief, John Whitton (1820-98). 

The design drawings for Capertee station were signed by Whitton on 17th February 1882. The plans were exhibited in Sydney from 28th February to 14th March 1882.  John Briton and William Cameron won the tender to build the railway station, the nearby goods warehouse (since demolished), and the still extant Station Master’s House.

This station was the terminus for stage one of the Wallerawang to Gwabegar branch line. Stage one opened in May 1882, with a 23 mile section of track from Wallerawang (on the main western line) to Capertee Camp (as Capertee was then known).

Ref: Capertee Heritage

Night Train to Capertee

Night train to Capertee, a short story in a 1950 issue of the Bulletin. was written by the Australian journalist and author Charles Shaw (1900-1955). Shaw wrote many short stories, and at one time was the rural reporter for the Bulletin magazine.

Night train to Capertee fictionally documents the experience of travelling on the night mail train from Sydney to Capertee sometime during the 1930s or 40s.

This piece certainly challenges the nostalgic view many have of rail travel in the steam age. The story can be viewed here.

Ref: Capertee Heritage

Rylstone-Kandos Circuit Messenger, 1940 - page 1

Ref: Lynn Ryan collection

Boer War - Trooper Wallace Eames arrived Mafeking

Source: SMH article Thursday 31 May 1900 p.8


    The High Commissioner in South Africa has telegraphed to the Premier that by the latest reports, Trooper Wallace Eames of the 1st Australian Horse, who escaped from Pretoria, has arrived at Mafeking.
    The dangerous illness is reported of No. 311, Private W. Freeman; and of No. 13, Corporal Bugler A. R. Daley, of the New South Wales Mounted Infantry at Bloemfontein.

Boer War - Trooper Wallace Eames escapes

Source: The Brisbane Courier (Qld) Wednesday 6 June 1900 Page 5

Lord Roberts has reported that Trooper Wallace Eames, a member of the First Australian Horse (New South Wales), who was captured by the Boers some time ago, has escaped from Pretoria.

Boer War - Trooper Wallace Eames captured

Source: SMH Wednesday 25 April 1900 Page 8



Trooper Wallace Eames, who was captured at the time Lieutenant Dowling's patrol was surprised by the Boers, writing from Pretoria, January 27, to his father, Mr. Thomas Eames, of Eastwood, near Rylstone, says :-" Just a few lines to let you know I am alright, and settled here permanently until the war ends, or such time as the prisoners are exchanged. I was riding a Boer pony the day we were captured, and he was shot under me as soon as the Boers fired on us. I jumped up behind a comrade, and we had not gone halfway up the hill when that horse was shot dead also, I cannot write much, as all the letters have to be read, and there are so many that the Boer censor cannot be bothered reading long ones. We get enough to eat and nothing to do, so its not so bad after all. We are fenced in with barbed wire and have galvanised iron sheds to camp in."

Boer War veteran - Trooper Wallace Eames

Ref: Robin Suttor collection

Postcard - Cattle in river

Photo: Shirley Tunnicliff collection

Postcard - Katoomba Falls, Blue Mountains

This postcard is from a collection of my Grandmother Elsie Mulholland (née Brown).
Elsie collected these cards from 1906 in an album her brother Jack gave to her before he went to New Zealand as part of the Police Force. 
I have her collection now.

Ref: Shirley Tunnicliff