This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
Any additional information, via Comments, is welcomed.

Friday, 11 August 2017

NFHW post 2

Week 2 - “Careful he might hear you” - Sumner Locke Elliott wrote this haunting tale about PS and his aunts, custody battles, secrets. PS lives with working-class Aunt Lila and Uncle George on week-ends, where he is happy playing with children, running about, speaking up. While at posh Aunt Vanessa's on week-days, it is a regimen of private school, piano and riding lessons, and lonely indoor play with fancy toys. He's miserable and when he objects, Aunt Vanessa sues for complete custody. Will anyone listen to him? And will he take on Vanessa's challenges to find out who he is and to love someone?

The well-known 1983 movie of the book (Wendy Hughes & Robin Nevin played the aunts) was shot in the salubrious Sydney suburbs of Darling Point and Neutral Bay (at the other end of the spectrum to last week's "Poor man's orange"). 

The local family history connection is - Darling Point. 

Sir Thomas Mitchell built his home ‘Carthona’ on the headland at Darling Point in 1841. Built in the Gothic Revival style, it is still there today.

Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell was born in 1792 in Scotland. His family was not wealthy but he joined the military and was proficient in drawing up plans of battlefields. In 1818 he married 18 year old Mary Thomson Blunt. In 1827 the couple sailed to Sydney and Thomas became Assistant Surveyor General of New South Wales and 2 years later Surveyor General for the colony. During the 1830s Mitchell conducted three major expeditions into the interior of Australia. 
It was his 1836 ‘Australia Felix’ expedition through this region, that lead to its settlement, as settlers followed his wagon tracks north. In 1837 Mitchell returned to England and published the books of his explorations and obtained his knighthood. 
'Carthona' &' Lindesay' on the right (William Stanley Jevons, Wikimedia Commons)
Returning to Sydney in 1841, he purchased ‘Lindesay’ another mansion in Darling Point, and while at Lindesay, he planned ‘Carthona’. The Mitchell family moved into Carthona in 1845, and Mitchell sold Lindesay to his friend Sir Charles Nicholson. 
Soon after Mitchell moved into 'Carthona' he set out on his 4th expedition in search of an overland route to the ill-fated outpost ‘Victoria’ at Port Essington in the Northern Territory. In 1847 Mitchell again went to England and listed ‘Carthona’ for sale along with the rest of his property. 
'Carthona' was described as "the very splendid family mansion with spacious stabling and two acres of ground at Mrs Darling's Point, the present residence of Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveryor-General.”
'Carthona' today
 Mitchell died of pneumonia at 'Carthona' in October 1855. He left 'Carthona' to his daughter Alice, but as he also left a considerable debt, the family moved out to Woolloomooloo and rented out the property.

No comments:

Post a Comment