October 22 - 28, 2017: Issue 334
The Macphersons Of Wharriewood: The William Joseph Macpherson Albums
On the Narrabeen Lagoon,
Macpherson Family Land Releases
MANLY TO BAY VIEW—A POPULAR EASTER RESORT BY ROAD
1. On the Narrabeen Lagoon. 2. View from Sheepstation Hill, looking south. 3. Bay View. 4. A dip in the surf at Narrabeen. 5. Near Long Reef. 6. Approaching Narrabeen. 7. One of the creeks.
The distance from Manly to Bay View is about 15 miles. The road is by the Narrabeen-road past Rocklily. A proposal to put down a tram line is now being considered, and a member of the ministry was recently driven over the country, which in many parts is remarkably picturesque. MANLY TO BAY VIEW—A POPULAR EASTER RESORT BY ROAD. (1900, April 14). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 878. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165297416
Image No.: c071950005 Box 17, Albums of William Joseph Macpherson - 'Bay View', courtesy State Library of NSW and Macpherson Family.
At McCarrs Creek David Wilson Walker purchased Portion 1, 40 acres, for £40 on July 25th, 1885 - Vol. 751, Folio 208. He had once been a fireman on coastal vessels. His cottage was simple, buffalo lawns and fruit trees were installed by him, There was a jetty of sandstone blocks used as a mooring place for his centre-board boat and a winding path leading up to the flat portion in front of his cottage. William Boulton of Newport had built him the boat. This was a weatherboard structure with shingled roof and had a sandstone fireplace and chimney. He kept bees, with hives made out of gin cases. His orange trees yielded prolific crops and he also grew large Royal George peaches and mandarins. A passion-fruit vine climbed the old Port Jackson fig tree beside these. He would sail up McCarr's creek to Church Point to meet the Butcher's and Baker's carts for supplies.
The land was transferred to E. A. Macpherson on October 23rd 1888, which is why we may have a photo of the road out to that point from the members of the Macpherson family. E. A. Macpherson is seen in the surf swimming at Narrabeen in the 1900 article above, along with Joseph - their brother Edward Hume Macpherson probably took the photograph - see Addendum and extract from State Library of NSW's Curator Margot Riley under Extras- Memories on Glass Exhibition by the State Library of NSW, 2018-2019
The land faced McCarr's Creek and then ran around the corner to the head of Brown's Bay. - From Dee Why to Barrenjoey by Charles Swancott, 2010 Printing.
Five women stepping into a punt at Narrabeen Lagoon with [Macpherson] male at stern, c1905, Image No.: c071400026, courtesy State Library of NSW. Or is it McCarr's Creek?
More Macpherson Lands
References And Extras
The first members of the Macpherson family to arrive in Australia were Joseph Wharrie Macpherson, his wife Catherine Lupton and their 10-month old son Edward Augustus. Joseph soon took up a position as a clerk with the Colonial Secretary’s Office and a second son, Joseph Jnr, was born in 1835. By the 1850s the family was living at Wimbledon Hall on Bourke Street in Redfern. After the death of Joseph Snr in 1856, Catherine married architect James Hume.As a young man Edward Augustus went to work at the NSW Audit Office, marrying Catherine Wiseman, a tailor’s daughter, at Christ Church Saint Laurence in 1862. Bringing his bride back home to Wimbledon Hall, four of the couple’s six surviving children were born there. In 1875, the Macphersons bought the Hawthornden estate at Edgecliff, proudly recording their purchase in a ‘wet plate’ process photograph, the earliest image in the family’s collection. In 1873, Edward paid £120 for a large block of land at North Cremorne where he built Warringah Lodge, an ornate holiday home overlooking Middle Harbour, in 1879.Edward’s two eldest sons, William Joseph and Edward Hume both trained as solicitors but classed themselves as gentlemen, leading increasingly leisured lives. William married Gertrude ‘Buddie’ Fletcher in 1892, and they soon had three children of their own; Archibald William ‘Roy’, Jack Douglas and Catherine Dorothy. In time, the family photo archive was handed down to Roy and "later on" to his sons, Edward and David, from whom the collection came to the Library.In 1904 the 'Australasian Photographic Review' reported the recent return to Sydney of Mr EH Macpherson, ‘an enthusiastic photographic friend...with his photographic quiver full of very excellent negatives’.Family folklore credits William Joseph Macpherson as the creator of this photograph archive but close study of the collection has yielded a more complex story. A greater number of photographers were involved than first thought with fathers and sons, bachelor brothers and nephews, sisters and daughters taking turns on both sides of the camera.Cataloguing and digitisation of the Macpherson collection also revealed these photographs were produced over a much longer time frame than first thought. Spanning a 50-year period, from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, several pieces of evidence support this conclusion. Among the 688 images, one negative is much earlier than the rest, dating to about 1875 and made by the expensive and technically complex ‘wet plate’ process. A stereograph of the Macpherson family grave at Waverley Cemetery also records a death date of 1923.Initially dabbling with the ‘wet plate’ process in the 1870s, throughout the ensuing decades the Macphersons’ embraced ongoing improvements in photographic technology. Edward Hume Macpherson can now be confirmed as the most dedicated photographer in this family group; one negative even has his initials – ‘EHM’ – scratched into the emulsion. Active in several Sydney-based camera groups from the 1890s, his pictures won prizes in local competitions and were published in several issues of the Australasian Photographic Review. Images recording the two brothers in the act of carrying and setting up their equipment must also have been taken by other photographers – perhaps the young woman shown holding a collapsible, handheld camera as she prepares to step into a boat at Narrabeen Lagoon.
"In fact, the most professional camera operator in the family was probably Edward Hume Macpherson," Margot says, "whose pictures were published and discussed in the Australasian Photographic Review: eg:
Supplement to the Australasian Photographic Review, Vol. 8, No. 6, p.35, 22 June 1901. NB: mistakenly credited as C H Macpherson in this instance. http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-453988520
Edward Hume Macpherson, Image No.: c071800001 - From: Box 12, Views of Whakarewarewa, New Zealand, ca. 1890-1910
By W. F. MACLEAN.
THE watersheds of the coastal lagoons at Manly, Curl Curl, Deewhy, and Narrabeen are, in the main, rolling uplands, interspersed with deep sheltered gullies densely clothed in underscrub, in some places literally impassable for the tangle of vine and undergrowth. Each gully is traversed by a creek, a veritable babbling brook of the poets, smaller or larger according to the area it drains. The descent is usually steep. Nearly every creek has waterfalls, which vary in height, from a few feet to twenty or thirty, flowing through soil composed of silt from the higher lands and the decaying debris of the bush, gum leaves, and rotten wood, which with sand from the erosion of the rocks makes up a compost of the highest degree of fertility. Common bracken grows in these places to the height of a man, and boronia (binnata) to the same size. The coachwood, a cousin to Christmas bush, may also be seen at its best; the flowers are somewhat similar to those of the latter, but larger, and the petals are wider separated. The foliage is also much larger, making a beautiful shade tree. It does not thrive away from its damp gullies; otherwise it would be seen more in suburban gardens.
NARRABEEN, the largest lagoon in the Warringah shire, drains the most extensive area. Substantial creeks flow into it, the drainage of many square miles — South Creek, Middle Creek. Deep Creek, and others. There are waterfalls on tributaries of several of these creeks. The falls illustrated are easily accessible to pedestrians
THE UPPER NARRABEEN FALLS.
THE UPPER AND LOWER NARRABEEN FALLS
and vehicles, including motors. To secure the photographs we left the tram at Narrabeen terminus, crossed the lake by bridge, and walked along the causeway to the big headland which ends at the road just on the other side of the lake. 'Rounding the spur the road stretches straight into the west.
On one side is an arm of the lake, into which Powderworks Creek runs; the other side is hilly and well covered with week-end cottages.The road is of red soil, with deep cart-ruts, which were filled with water from recent rains. There is a slight but nippy wind from the south-west, which makes walking a pleasure. On past two gum trees of large diameter, one on either side of the road, their branches intermingling overhead, and up a slight rise to where a road branches off to the left. We ignore this turn-off and descend a slight hill with a small cottage 'at the bottom, on to the right, and over a little culvert. Three minutes through a rough piece of road, a swamp to the right very densely overgrown with all kinds of small scrubs — amongst which large swamp mahogany trees rear themselves above the smaller stuff — and we arrive at the road's end. Immediately in front of us is a large pool about 100ft x 50ft, backed by a waterfall. This fill is rather disappointing, in itself; but the surroundings are beautiful. A few years ago a large mahogany tree sloped across the pool at such an angle that it. was easily . walked upon to its utmost branches. There were also a number of giant cabbage-tree palms, perhaps 100 feet high. To-day only one remains; the others have, fallen to some wanton axe. The stockwhip bird is found here in great, numbers, its note being heard continually. The conditions are very favourable for these birds' breeding-place.
APPARENTLY this is about as far as you can go, the cliffs being rather precipitous; but to the left of the falls is a medium-sized palm, and underneath this is a faint track up the hillside. Climbing this and descending slightly, we reach the rocky bed of the creek. The soil has long since been washed away, leaving the naked rock, over which, the water runs noisily. There are many pools filled with beautiful drinking-water, and in the larger yabbies (small crayfish) of a greenish hue can be seen if one sits still enough. The sides are covered with umbrella fern, and tall plants of boronia with flowers just past their prime lift their heads above the ferns. The bed of the creek soon becomes too rough, and compels us to go further up the hillside, which is very steep and clothed with great red gums, turpentines, bloodwoods, and oaks. The ground is covered ankle-deep with oak needles, and in some places is almost impassable with the top hamper of large oaks that have been felled for shingles. The pale pink of boronia past its prime, the paler pink of a sister variety just coming into bloom, the purple hardenbergia and yellow dillwynia all combine with the many shades of green and the russet brown of dead leaves and bracken to make a lovely combination of colour. Above the noise of running water gurgling and babbling, and the noise of a waterfall somewhere in the near distance, sounds the song of birds— the sharp, penetrating crack of the stockwhip, followed by the 'weet-weet' of its mate, and the equally penetrating and beautifully full note of the grey thrush. A yellow robin — silent now, although later on, when dusk creeps over the gully, its note will predominate —perches motionless on the bark of a dead tree, watching ?with large eye our every move. You can be sure its nest is close by, but so well hidden with Nature's camouflage that you need to look closely to find it. We could sit for hours enjoying the scene before us. There is constantly something to interest. Three or four crows Avith their harsh 'car-car' wheel overhead, and finally land in some trees on the top of the ridge. BUT move we must, as the sun is creeping slowly up the eastern side of the gully, leaving us in the shade. We travel along the side of the hill— heavy going with the debris of fallen trees and many prickly bushes, some without flowers, others a variety of wattle with creamy blossoms and a nutty fragrance, but very prickly, sticking through your clothes and piercing the flesh. A few yards further on and the falls come into view. There are few waterfalls anywhere round Sydney to equal these for beauty and size. If they were on the Mountains special tracks would be cut to reach them. The lower falls are about twelve feet wide and fifteen to twenty feet high. Above them is a shelf of an ironstone kind of rock about 50 to 70 feet wide. On to this falls the upper half— fifty feet or more. A large figtree grows underneath the falling water, its leaves being continuously wet with the spray. When running well this fall makes a great roar, which can be heard for a long distance off. Above it again there are several small cascades, and higher again is marshy land from which the creek draws much of its water. This marsh land is the real home of the Christmas bell, and in the season large bunches can be picked with very little trouble. Another wild flower always found in damp situations is the sprengelia, a long spikehead of beautiful pink stars with a white eye; it forms a pretty bunch, and keeps well in water. A few yards to the west of the upper fall, on the hilltop, native roses can be picked Sprengelia can also be obtained here in quantity, and a bunch of native roses: sprengelia, and the long spikes of heath, both pink and white, make a wonderful combination of beauty and perfume. Most wild -flower pickers pull a specimen or two of every flower in sight, including those that do not keep well, and by the time they reach home many have wilted and the whole becomes an untidy hotchpotch. Presently these hillsides will be white with flannel flowers. These should be picked with one other -flower only— a tall bright purple spike called steeple, which name describes it very well.
THERE are other creeks in the neighbourhood which carry a good volume of water, and make a precipitous descent, on which waterfalls may be found. But these cannot be explored on this trip for want, of time. The hills about them are literally carpeted with wild flowers at the present time. This locality is off the beaten track, but is easily accessible from Narrabeen, and those who love the bush and its flowers and birds will find it a new country with surprises on every hand. OUTDOOR AUSTRALIA (1920, October 20). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), , p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article159040970
William Joseph Macpherson Photographs: Some Of What's In These And When And Where: Extra Extras! - A Few Incentives To Explore This Great Collection For Yourself
Manly: Harbourside And Beach
The Powder Hulks, Middle Harbour.
Above: Some months ago the city was scared by the statement that powder enough was stowed in the magazines at Goat and Spectacle islands to reduce all our houses to ruins, and dynamite enough to make powder of the ruins. Ministers were importuned about the business, but they said it had always been so and it always would be so, or, at least they implied so much by their studied inaction. We' hurt
grown almost accustomed to the consciousness as well as the presence, of danger before it was' decided that some of the powder should be shifted. Many localities were spoken of, and at last one was chosen far up Middle Harbour, quite away from town -away also from the ordinary tracks of tourists. Yachts beat up sometimes and cruise about the old hulks, and with good wind venture even a little farther up the narrowing estuary ; but other life there is none. A little farther up that ' Artisans' College ' which is now amusing the Court and filling the daily pipers might be found; a little lower, some of the loveliest homes our harbour foreshore knows ; but immediately around the hulks nothing hut rocks and water and trees. An explosion could only wreck beauty, and beauty would rise again, we know. The powder is safer down there and the old hulks complete rather than mar the picture. | POWDER HULKS, MIDDLE HARBOUR. The Powder Hulks, Middle Harbour. (1883, June 16). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 1120. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162079372