My role as Local History Librarian is to answer any Reference questions from patrons on the history of the towns, families, groups or events in the City of Casey or Cardinia Shire. Amongst the resources I use is the Casey Cardinia Archive and a few key Reference books. One of my favourite local histories is The Good Country : Cranbourne Shire written by Niel Gunson, with contributions by Leslie Key. It was published by the Shire of Cranbourne in 1968. It is a well researched, authorative publication. This book is especially good on the early European settlers including the squatters and early land owners in the region. There is a chapter on the development of the town of Cranbourne and the Shire of Cranbourne. The Shire of Cranbourne originally covered Lyndhurst, Hampton Park, Tooradin and the coastal towns, Dalmore, Cardinia, Koo-Wee-Rup, Catani, Yallock and Bayles, Lang Lang, Yannathan, Monomeith and Caldermeade. Gunson covers the development of infrastraucture in the Shire such as roads, railways, schools and churches.There is a chapter on the drainage of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and one on the Soldier Settlements in the area.
The Appendix includes a full list of Councillors to 1982 and an interesting article on the families at Yallock by H.J. Boxshall. If you have any historical connections to the old Shire of Cranbourne, then this book is a 'must read'.
A sequel was published in 1988, The good Country : Into the dawn of a new day (1968-1988). It was written by Fred Hooper, the Head Master at Koo-Wee-Rup High School in the 1960s and 70s. Both books are available for loan at our Cranbourne Branch.