Our beautiful 1860 bluestone cottage in the heart of Port Fairy Victoria Australia. The "World's Most Livably Small Town."
PLease feel free to add comments and post to the blog. We'd love to get your thoughts.
Elizabeth Margaret Brady Cottage
First we see the roses
Then the geraniums
As we make our way to the front door
We step inside
A cosy lounge
Warm rugs on the polished floor
Little touches abound
In each room pretty vases of flowers
The kitchen so pleasant
The magnificent bed
In which we spent comfortable hours
Named for a lovely young girl
The cottage is a pearl
A jewel in Port Fairy
Whose memory we will cherish.
Donna Whelan, December 2014.
Thank you Donna for your beautiful words!
How this cottage’s history seems to follow us.
We looked around for at least three years to find an old cottage in Port Fairy that we could buy. 59 Campbell St. arrived and from the day one, shared its own history. The first day we arrived we met the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Elizabeth Margaret Brady out the front taking photos of the building in which she lived as a young teacher. This was spooky and availed us of the really early photos of the cottage we now have.
Last month a lady rang me asking me about the cottage. Her father had always loved visiting “Granny’s” where his grandparents lived and she was interested about the cottage. Subsequent contact with Alan, her father, has surfaced some more wonderful photos and stories of those who lived in this beautiful home we are privileged to share. In fact, I feel he’s miffed about the name we christened the cottage after we bought it. To him, it wasn’t a ‘cottage’, or anything to do with Elizabeth Margaret Brady. It was just “Granny’s.” Fair enough too! So maybe it should’ve been called “Granny’s!”
Either way, how cool is it to have this history follow us. Also I've enjoyed talking to Alan about historical events about Port Fairy.
With that in mind, I hope you enjoy the Photos that Alan Bull has sent me. I am posting them to the blog on his behalf as a kind of archive related to a building many have called home at 59 Campbell St. in Port Fairy; notably the Bull and Brown families. Further to all this … I heard that at one stage, 14 children were born in the cottage. This was, at that stage, a 4 room building with a shed and dairy out the back for the cow. Wow.
If anyone has any more information about our place or Port Fairy, please feel free to post back.
Alan and His Grandparents, Thomas and Ethel Brown
You won't believe it but we've found a bit of history in Koroit further indulge our hospitality bug!
On the day of my father's anniversary; a State Bank Of Victoria Manager for many years, vendors accepted or our offer on this majestic old building in Koroit. The former State Bank Of Victoria in the main street. HOW SPOOKY. Yet how poignant! Completely renovated into a modern appointed residence "The Bank" will possibly be the ultimate for us to settle down.
In the meantime it will provide an awesome residence for all of you who want a holiday on Australia's Irish heartland or a central base to explore the South West of Victoria, The Great Ocean Road, Grampians(Gariwerd) and the wine regions of South Australia.
It's been a while since I've posted but felt the urge after driving back from the cottage the long way; via one of my favourite places on Earth; Tower Hill. The Gundijmara people, our original peoples and custodians, indigenous to our lands, have long looked to this place as sacred to their heritage. At one time, as they lived here, its volcano bled the skys with its wrath over the landscape, showering the coast predomina with ash, smoke and gas. The remaining caldera, lake and surrounds are now a nature reserve full of wildlife and geological wonder to enjoy. This year, water surrounds the volcanic island abounding with birds, Kangaroos and Koalas making it a must for anyone visiting the South West.
As a boy I remember it as a denuded lump of land mostly used for sheep and cattle grazing and the odd car racing or hill climbing event. Then I remember planting trees at primary school as the Government decided to make it a state park. Later my first job as a boy was picking peas in the paddocks just south of the entrance. I reckon I ate more than I picked! I still love raw peas!
For me nowadays, the geological layering of the cliffs, the view from the Koroit raad at Von Gerauds Lookout, the deep grass covered craters and the specular panoramic views from the sumit of its highest sumit are unforgetable. A barbeque and visit to the information centre are well worth a part of the trip. We recently visited with some refugees who had stayed with us from Melbourne who enjoyed the chance to see some of the local flora and fauna. Do not visit without calling in on your way to Port Fairy.
WARNING At the moment there are kangaroos and wallabys all over the place and a danger on the roads around Tower Hill and Killarney.
Guess What ?? We had our first guests last weekend and ....... they said it was AWESOME ....... mmmm how pleased are we!! Thanks heaps to Mark! They were great guests!!
Spent the weekend over at the cottage and managed to put some paint on the new sections of the front verandah that We've been rebuilding....... aggggghhh painting pickets.... wish you could buy them pre-painted! Never mind.; with the iPod on shuffle, plenty of swing, blues and rockabilly.... I eventually fell into a painting trance like state and before long had finished for the day. I did however have a great walk with the dog across the park to South beach where I was again amazed by Port Fairy's jet black Basalt rocks; courtesy of the Mt Rouse Volcano in Penshurst some 60km away. Around 400,000 years ago it managed to spew a river of hissing, steaming lava into the sea. The contrasting colour of the sea, surf, white foam, sand, still tidal pools, bright orange lichens and amazing, green, carpeting succulants make this place an ancient place in every way.
The cottage didn't have a name. So what do we call it? We laboured over this for some time even; as I re-read "The History Of Port Fairy" by J W Powling. Stories of the Wisharts and the Rutlidges and the famous parties at the Merrigig Inn enticed me to think about a name but nothing jumped.
I was taking some stuff over to the cottage after picking up the keys from the real estate company only to arrive at the cottage to fine two lovely ladies, a mother and daughter, taking photos of the cottage on an iPad. "Ohhh" one said, the younger of the two, "Are you the owner? Is it OK if we get a photo of the cottages?"
"No worries." I replied.
"You see my mother here and I have come from Bannockburn to see where my mother, and her mother(the older of the two) lived in the 1880s. She came here as a young teacher to take up a position of employment."
To boot... Desma had pictures of the cottages in the car taken in the 1870s/80s that are now on the pages of our website....Wow!
This blew me away as one of those cosmic events that happen in one's life.
The woman in question's name was Elizabeth Margaret Brady; a teacher...... A teacher just like Adele and I.
Sooooo...... Elizabeth Margaret Brady Cottage seemed so apt!
I'll post more about her as I get some emails about her.
That all being said! I will continue to find information about the heritage of the building as I get time to research the families that called 59 Campbell St. home.
Well Adele and I have finally found a beautiful place for us in Port Fairy! Why? Because we wanted to have a place that really epitomised the true spirit of the "Worlds Most Livable Small Town." A space that exemplifies its heritage but invites others to come and stay, relax and enjoy our Western District hospitality in luxury. We love to look after family, friends and all others we encounter on the journey.....So a place to rent out seemed a natural way to expand our hospitality.