Thursday, 25 October 2012


Historypin is a website and social media tool designed to bring millions of people together from across different generations, cultures and countries; to share glimpses of the past and eventually build up a larger story of human history.

Historypin operates in partnership with Google and uses Google Maps to 'pin' historic photographs of people, places and events, from across the globe.

Shellharbour City Libraries and Museum have added some of our Shellharbour Images photograph collection to the Histroypin map, and have made a channel on the website. So far we've added over 100 'pins' of people, places and events significant to Shellharbour City.

Happy searching,

Seal meets man on the site of the Cities Service Boston shipwreck at Bass Point c.1950
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Whispering Gallery

Whispering Gallery lies on part of the original Croome Estate.

The Gallery is a natural cavern, 200 feet deep in places, approaching a quarter mile long and about 300 feet wide. It contains several threatened and other species of flora including sassafras, staghorn fern, fig, wild orchid, and some of the oldest and least touched forests along the Eastern seaboard.

By 1840, Whispering Gallery was a significant tourist and picnic site that continued into the early 20th century. It is noted in guesthouse, road and railway tourist booklets.

Whispering Gallery is said to take its name from its acoustic properties, which resemble those of the celebrated whispering gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

This circular cavern has been washed out from beneath the overhanging basaltic rock by the slow action of the weather and waterfall.

Whispering Gallery c.1910
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Whispering Gallery c.2003
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Edward Killalea

Edward Killalea was born in County Galway, Ireland in c.1816. When Edward was 19 years old he was involved in a brawl in which two men were killed. On 17 March 1836 he was charged with Manslaughter at Galway and sentenced to transportation to Australia for the term of his natural life.

Edward was transported on the ship Captain Cook 3, which    arrived in NSW 13th November 1836. Edward was described on arrival as being 20 years of age, could read and write, was single, Roman Catholic, farm servant, no former convictions and was 5'5 ½ tall. Edward was issued a ticket of leave 11th January 1845 with a Conditional Pardon granted in 1850.

In 1847 he married Maria/Mary Rolwright/Molright at Jamberoo NSW. Edward acquired a leasehold on the Bassett-Darley Estate in the area we associate with Killalea today. He also had land at Kiama and Foxground. Edward and Maria had 12 children.

Edward became a major pioneer of Shellharbour and an enterprising settler. He was an Alderman on Shellharbour Municipal Council from 1870-1872 and was on the committee to form the Shellharbour Steam Navigation Company. In 1868, Edward became involved in a gold prospecting venture at Killalea Beach (The Farm) with Thomas Henry, after  discovering alluvial gold in the beach sand. The enterprise eventually failed and Henry left for the goldfields at Nerriga NSW. In 1872 Thomas A Reddall and Killalea reopened the mining operations, however Edward Killalea died later that year and mining ceased.

Edward died suddenly at the Commercial Hotel in  Wollongong in 1872 after enduring several seizures. An article in the Kiama Independent stated ‘The late Mr. Killalea, an old resident of Shellharbour an Alderman of the borough, the father of a large family of seven sons and five daughters, very generally, indeed we may say universally, respected for the kindliness of his disposition and integrity of character’ .

The Coroner and jury found ‘that deceased, Edward Killalea, came to his death by strychnine, taken by him whilst labouring under the effects of excessive drinking’. A bottle marked ‘Poison’ was found in his pocket. He was buried at the Shellharbour foreshore cemetery.  Maria lived to 86 years. She had left Edward several months prior to his death.

Shellharbour Municipal Alderman c.1870. Edward Killalea third from right.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

The Farm Killalea and lagoon 1987.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Old Minnamurra School House

In 1881, two acres of land were resumed under the Acquisition Act from George Laurence Fuller’s Dunmore Estate for a school and residence. Mr. Fuller petitioned for the new school to be renamed  Minnamurra School in preference of the old Peterborough School situated on the opposite corner. In 1884, settlement conditions between Fuller and the Council of Education included ‘that the school be called Minnamurra Public School’. Reputedly built by Anton Ettinghausen, John Dwyer and Frederick Watson (carpenter, wheelwright and stonemason), it was officially opened as Minnamurra Public School in 1883 with Mr Richardson as Teacher. Minnamurra School is one of the oldest examples of public school buildings in the area. Both the school and residence demonstrate excellent use of local materials, and have been lovingly restored.

Minnamurra Schoolhouse at Dunmore.
Tongarra Museum.

Minnamurra teachers residence, Swamp Road, Dunmore.
Tongarra Museum.