Woods Point on Friday 13 January, 1939

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Item Number: 2809

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Woods Point on Friday 13 January, 1939. This photograph was taken at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. “The summer of 1938-39 was hot, the bush extremely dry. Woods Point had been burnt down in a bushfire in 1864. Now fire was to strike again. On Friday, 13 January 1939, a bushfire of gigantic proportion swept through the valley, destroying all in its wake. The townspeople fled to the mines for safety, many were saved by the simple expedient of sheltering in the main drive of the Morning Star. One resident, Elizabeth O’Keefe, was burned to death in the main street. Very few personal possessions were saved, and most of the residents were rendered homeless. The two remaining hotels, the hospital, the churches and court house were all destroyed. Woods Point became … a tent town. The rebuilding was slow, one of the major problems being the wholesale destruction of documents by the fire. Ownership of land was difficult to establish, permissive occupancies were revoked, and legal tangles abounded. Many residents simply moved away.” Reference; Owen F. Tomlin, Marysusan Bosam, Peter G. Chamberlain, “Gold for the Finding – A Pictorial History of Gippsland’s Jordan Goldfield”, page 52, first published 1979 by Hill of Content Publishing Company Pty Ltd.

13 Jan 1939
1619w x 1055h


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