Friday, 5 July 2013

Beaconsfield Upper history

A history of Beaconsfield Upper has just been published. The author, Dr Charles Wilson and his wife, Yvonne, moved to the 'charming, loosely structured hilltop village' as he describes it, in 1977. They lost their house in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, but re-built and stayed in the community. Dr Wilson started to research the history of the town and had amassed extensive notes, but sadly passed away in 2010 before he could convert the notes into  a book. His family and the Upper Beaconsfield Association were keen to see a book published and so commissioned Jennifer Coates and Wendy Eldridge to undertake this project, with Jennifer compiling the work and Wendy project managing it. The result is a handsome, well indexed, authoritative work, which predominately looks at the non-indigenous history of the area. It starts with the squatting runs, Panty Gurn Gurn and Mount Misery, then Bowman's Track and the early selectors and land owners. There is a section on local places and properties, local families and chapters on Guys Hill and Dewhurst.  You can purchase a copy of the book from places in the town - more information is available on the Upper Beaconsfield Association website. We also have copies for loan, check here  for availability.

Just a note on names: Beaconsfield Upper is the official  name of the town, although many locals prefer Upper Beaconsfield. It does seem that the two versions of the name have been used interchangeably over the years, in fact a search on Trove reveals around 3,900 uses of the term Upper Beaconsfield from 1880 to 1980 and around 4,100 uses of the term Beaconsfield Upper in the same period.

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