September 23 - 29, 2018: Issue 377
Historic Photographers of Pittwater: The Macpherson Family - Memories on Glass Exhibition as part of the State Library of N.S.W. Open Day on October 6th, 2018
In February 2017, the State Library was delighted to announce major philanthropic funding to deliver their new galleries as part of plans to transform the Mitchell Building. The Michael Crouch Family Galleries on the first floor offer an imaginative showcase for the vast collections, among the richest national resources exploring the history, development and culture of Australia.
The opening exhibitions feature:
- more than 300 works from the Library’s collection of landscape and portrait oil paintings
- the six UNESCO Memory of the World collections, displayed together for the first time, including First Fleet journals, personal diaries of Australian soldiers on the Western Front and the world’s largest glass-plate negatives of Sydney Harbour taken in 1875
- a collaboration with Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones and four Sydney elders that tells personal stories of Aboriginal Sydney and how the elders have continued the legacy of their ancestors
- extraordinary images of Sydney captured by the Macpherson family of enthusiastic amateur photographers at the turn of the 20th century
Margot will be speaking at 11 am about the 'Memories on Glass' exhibition and then giving a guided tour of all the exhibition spaces afterwards that but there will be talks and tours running all day.
Local History buffs will be interested to hear about Margot's findings about the Macpherson photographic collection which confirm that these images were taken over a much longer time frame than first thought - from 1875 through to the 1930s - and that there were actually several photographers in the Macpherson Family - not just William Joseph.
"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
Based on Margot's revised time-frame for creation of the Macpherson archive - using visual analysis combined with genealogical information and costume dating - she has also been able to suggest quite a few revised identifications for family members and the sites of their activities.
"As you can imagine it is a big story and there is still much to discover but the exhibition will enable us to highlight what we've uncovered so far..." Margot said on Friday.
Pretty exciting information - and no doubt Pittwater Online News will be able to update our own insights into this wonderful family who gave the name 'Warriewood' to a place here. A Sydney Mail item found while researching the Pittwater road as part of the Roads TO Pittwater series, using Macpherson photographs, has already been added in.*
After a dance around the office, yes Pittwater Online News will be attending Margot's talk, it was obvious the Macpherson page should get a re-run to get you into the spirit and inspire you to visit our own Mitchell Library, the State Library of N.S.W. on October 6th - or during the coming school holidays.
There's a lot more happening for all ages at the Open Day - Library Open Day:
Celebrate with us!
Library Open Day
We’re opening up the Library with six free exhibitions, interactive digital experiences and a rich program of fun activities for the whole family. Be the first to visit our new galleries and learning centre at our free Open Day on Saturday 6 October, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Start the day at 10am on the steps of the Mitchell Building with a Smoking Ceremony.
Come and enjoy:
- Craft activities, dress-ups, storytellers, balloon twisters, kids tours and our new adventure trail
- Free workshops with children’s authors and illustrators Aura Parker and Tim Harris
- Curator talks and special tours (English and Mandarin)
- Author talks with Caroline Baum, the Library’s inaugural reader-in-residence
- Free family history and HSC workshops
- Free workshop using the Library’s eresources
The Library café will be open from 10 am.
* History pages that are accumulating/forming an ever expanding interlinked (hyperlinked) 'map' in Pittwater Online News are revisited an average of 100 thousand times each every year and are used as an information resource by all ages - adding new information in to a certain page as and when it is found is part of the process being undertaken to maintain and offer as much as possible on each subject in a permanently and easily accessible platform.
We are indebted to residents and family members who generously provide the opportunity to speak with them and share as yet unseen/unknown family materials along with the State libraries in every state of Australia, particularly the State Library of N.S.W., National Library of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Australia, National Archives of Australia, State Library of Victoria, along with a host of overseas libraries from France through to the U.S.A. who have also provided access to materials and made these available for all for all time through their digitisation programs of newspapers, art works, records and photographs.
As Margot says 'it is a big story and there is still much to discover' - but what a project to undertake!
Thank you all for all your help so far.
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.
More Macpherson Lands
References And Extras
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
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