NEWSLETTER No 7
President: David Brewster
Secretary: Lois Hayes
Treasurer: Henry Biggelaar
Committee: David & Toni Brewster
Or PO Box 148 St Mary’s 7215
We are currently in care mode and looking for interested people to join and make a contribution to our History Group.
There have been a number of people that have retired from the group recently.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about us please send an email to us at
Field Trip to Garth & Melrose.
On the 19th July we had our field day trip to the Haunted houses
at Garth & Melrose,
Only disappointing part of the day was that we didn’t see
any ghosts, and I don’t think anyone offered to stay over-night
to test their nerves.
But it turned out to be a very informative trip with some thirty-six
persons younger and more matured “just to put it nicely”.
I was particularly interested to see the young ones attending as
they will be able to tell others about those buildings and the true
history of them, Not like when we were growing up, our parents used
to tell us about the house at “Garth” as the haunted
house where a young fellow cut his throat at the “well”.
But thanks to Darlene & Jim and Mr & Mrs Scotty Marshall
of “Rostrevor” we now know the truth of the situation,
Where by the young fellow came out from England leaving his girl
friend behind and he was to build a house and go back home and marry
her and then they would come to the house at “Garth”
to live, well after some three years the house was ready, so as
one could imagine he would have been very pleased to get to that
stage, so he sailed back to England to marry the love of his life,
after three months at sea he would have arrived back home, But,
to his disappointment he found that his love had married some-one
else, Well, think about it, in those days with little or no communication
she probably thought he had found someone else or had met with a
fate unknown. But what ever the excuse was it would have been a
rude shock, so as history goes he got on the next boat to Van-Diemens
Land, would have put in another three months at sea and came back
to the house that he had dreamt of living in and Cut his throat
in the court yard.
The sad part of this story is that no one seems to be able to find
the name of the young fellow who created this piece of history.
A couple of other families lived there afterwards, and looking at
the ruins, they have over the times added to the original building,
One of those families was the “Peters” family and our
Secretary, Lois Hayes, nee Peters, is a direct descendant of that
family, Some distance away is the grave of Anne Peters who died
at the house as an infant. It is heartening to see that the grave
has been kept maintained and marked with a fence and plaque.
who went to Garth and Melrose also called into the Old probation
Station at Fingal on the way home and had a look at the remaining
old buildings that are still standing.
But since that visit, we have discovered that some of the buildings
are not what we thought they were as some-one has been reading the
old plans a bit back to front, so some time in the future we will
have to call in there again and sort out which building is really
what they were, It would be nice if we could have a notice board
placed at each of the buildings, as it is Heritage as well as the
history of the Valley, where a lot of things got started from in
the 1800’s, Even some of the old farm buildings would not
have existed, (and are still standing to-day) without the help of
the convicts, and no doubt some of those would have come from the
Fingal probation Station.
As was the case with a lot of the convicts who worked on the St
Mary’s Pass or St Mary’s vale as it is often referred
to, while researching the info regarding the names of the convicts,
who helped build the access to the coast from the Break O’
Above: Old photo of the "Garth" homestead,
which is now only ruins