A bird’s eye view on a golden afternoon

The point of a blog is to write information, painting a visual picture with words, layering the landscape with detail and colour so it is alive in our imaginations. Yet today is different. The only words I’ll use are the few here, and the stunning pictures revealed today are courtesy of a birds eye view of St Helena Island taken by a drone. This video … Continue reading A bird’s eye view on a golden afternoon

5 graves that can’t be found

It’s lucky that there are two researchers in our team, because when one brain forgets, the other one takes over. After reading yesterday’s post, 3 graves that can’t be found, Lauren reminded me of a story that she knew of via another writer of Brisbane’s history. Historian Liam Baker has written a story of his ancestors “The Downfall Creek tragedy: a Brisbane murder lost to … Continue reading 5 graves that can’t be found

The oldest continuous culture in the world today

This week’s fortune was to take a tour with an Aboriginal guide, Ben, in the Botanic Gardens. He spoke sincerely and passionately about our obligation to care for the land “When we take care of the land, the land takes care of us.” He also spoke of his pride in being a voice of all that had been before him; strong, determined people, their connection … Continue reading The oldest continuous culture in the world today

‘Book of Past Scenes and My own experience Among Blacks In the Wild Bush of Australia’

Eating possum and kangaroo would have been as far removed from Warder James Aird’s 22 years of life in Scotland as could possibly be imagined. On arrival in Brisbane in 1864 – as one of the men in ‘3 scottish men and a world of adventure,’ – James Aird found himself in a wild, strange frontier into which he unhesitatingly threw himself into.  James had … Continue reading ‘Book of Past Scenes and My own experience Among Blacks In the Wild Bush of Australia’

Story of a landscape

I’ve written a lot about the clearing of the island during the first few years of the prison’s establishment. So today I’ll just post up some interesting paintings, drawings and photographs taken at various times in the island’s history, and your eyes can note the vegetation, the built and natural features and the changes over time. Each image is amazing in its own right. Seeing … Continue reading Story of a landscape

The last of the Tulipwood

Lauren was recently contacted by descendants of Warder Andrew Craigie, a warder appointed to St Helena Gaol on the 19th November 1867.  The conversation goes a bit like this: (Craigie) …have stories but don’t know what is true or false. (Lauren) We’ll try and sort it out…. (Craigie) … family has some wooden chests made from timber on St Helena. (Lauren) OMG! Do you have … Continue reading The last of the Tulipwood

Whittling away the hours

If I asked you to describe a wooden inlaid box, it might not be something that you can automatically envision. Nowadays, fashioning 2000 individual pieces of timber into an aesthetically beautiful and appealing pattern atop an ornament or furnishing is not how many of us commonly spend our leisure time. But on St Helena Island, the very earliest warders created their own unique pastime to … Continue reading Whittling away the hours

3 Scottish men and a world of adventure

Only a few people knew Samuel Olson at the end of his life. They described him as a crotchety and suspicious man, stone deaf, surly and living the life of a hermit in his home in Highgate Hill, Brisbane. (1) This was a long way from his beginnings on St Helena Island. According to the 1864 census, 12,551 people lived in Brisbane, Queensland. (2) By now, Brisbane … Continue reading 3 Scottish men and a world of adventure

Be part of today’s St Helena Community!

“All I knew was I was a little girl who went to Grandma and Grandpa on St Helena for holidays and had a beaut time. I used to go fishing and the boys, Graham and Reg, were mad with me because I caught a fish and they didn’t. You know. I remember things like that.” Interview: Nell Pearce, Grand daughter of Acting Superintendent David Graham … Continue reading Be part of today’s St Helena Community!

Islands of Exile: Part 2 – William Gould and Charles Winn

The most striking similarity of Sarah and St Helena Islands has to be the detailed, beautifully executed water colour paintings of each prison island, undertaken with great finesse by two of their convicted inhabitants! In my last post, I featured a photograph painted by William Buelow Gould of Sarah Island, thought to be painted around 1833. William Buelow Gould was in fact a convict, originally … Continue reading Islands of Exile: Part 2 – William Gould and Charles Winn