Digging up Mrs Williams 2: a skeleton in the closet or just in an unmarked grave?

In a previous blog, ‘Digging up Mrs Williams, or the phantom of the Heemskirk tin boom’, I pondered Con Curtain’s story of a woman who died at the Orient Tin Mine on Tasmania’s West Coast in 1882.1 Who was she? Where was she buried? Did she even exist? No one besides Curtain ever mentioned Mrs … Read moreDigging up Mrs Williams 2: a skeleton in the closet or just in an unmarked grave?

Digging up Mrs Williams, or the phantom of the Heemskirk tin boom

On 28 May 1882 a woman died on Tasmania’s West Coast and was laid to rest nearby. No doctor attended her, no police constable, magistrate or registrar was notified.1 No priest officiated at her funeral. None of these positions existed on the Heemskirk Tin Field. There was nothing but a scattered population of mostly Cornish … Read moreDigging up Mrs Williams, or the phantom of the Heemskirk tin boom

Dorset Dredge – the river eating machine

    We decided to visit the north-east in early 2019. That summer, the ‘tin province’ was the safest place in Tasmania.  The rest of state seemed to be threatened by fires.  Nic had a few things to show us.  Near Gladstone, Ian and I followed him along some old roads towards the Ringarooma River.  … Read moreDorset Dredge – the river eating machine

The pontoon: or desperation and destruction in the North Bischoff Valley

It looks like Dr Phibes, Vincent Price’s manic Hammer horror movie character, paid Waratah a visit. Over the bank from Main Street old stamper rods poke at the sky like organ pipes rearranged by one of that madman’s solo performances.1 Further evidence of Waratah’s 150-year-old love affair with tin mining rests nearby. Rusting skips and … Read moreThe pontoon: or desperation and destruction in the North Bischoff Valley