In recent days I have been posting photos of some of the old buildings in the historic town of Terowie. Terowie is in the mid-north of South Australia between Peterborough and Burra and north-east of the Clare Valley. In its heyday it was a bustling railway town and an important service centre for the surrounding rural properties. These days it is a sleepy residential backwater with only a handful of the former businesses still operating.
On our recent drive through the town – one needs to take a detour off the main highway – I took the photo above of the Hidden Waters Emporium. I always smile when I see such a modest building have the title of “emporium”. The word for me conjures up images of very large stores selling a large variety of items, a bit like our department stores of today. It speaks to me of grandiose structures, not tiny buildings like the one shown in the photo above.
The definition of the word can vary depending on which dictionary you consult. Some define it along the lines I have described, while others are content to leave it at describing any store which sells a variety of items. I know nothing of the history of this particular “emporium” except that there are several references online to it being a second-hand shop in the past. One of those references is here in the National Library of Australia. The entry there shows a photo of the shop in operation as a second-hand outlet.
Sadly, this fascinating building seems to be well past its prime and is only used as a storage place for some junk.
Update: Since writing this article I have discovered where the “Hidden Waters” name is derived.
Terowie, whose name is derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘hidden water’ was originally a watering pause on a stock route from the north-east of South Australia.
On our recent visit to Clare in the mid-north of South Australia we stayed with our daughter. At her suggestion we travelled the short distance to the small historic township of Mintaro, just a few minutes south east of Clare. It actually took us quite a lot longer than the usual 15 minutes because we found ourselves caught up in the South Australian Road Cycling Championships. Because of the hilly terrain the safety cars would not allow us to overtake the cyclists. Despite that, we were only a few minutes late for our lunch booking at the wonderful Reilly’s Wines and Restaurant (highly recommended by the way).
After our delicious and very filling lunch we drove the short distance to Martindale Hall featured in today’s photos. This beautiful old mansion in one of our state’s most magnificent homesteads. Sadly it was too late to do a tour of the inside of the building as it was approaching closing time. This wonderful building gained some notoriety when many scenes of the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock were filmed here.
You can read more on the sign below, or you can access one of several websites featuring this historic spot, including this one.
A few weeks ago we went to visit our daughter who teaches at Clare in the mid-north of South Australia. We used to live there when she was still in primary school and love visiting the well-known wine growing district whenever we can. During our stay we went for a drive around town, noting the many changes that have occurred since we lived there over 30 years ago.
A recent addition has been some sculptures of sheep, a sheep dog and a shepherd. These sculptures have been installed to honour the place of the wool and sheep industry in the Clare district. Although wine grapes have largely taken over as the main agricultural pursuit, sheep and wool remain very important to many of the farmers of the district. Cereal crops also play an important role, as does tourism and some light industry.
I think that these sculptures are brilliantly done and something like this should appear in many more of our rural districts here in South Australia.
South Australia has a rather short history since European settlement in 1836. We don’t have buildings and monuments which are hundreds of years old like you get in Europe, for example. Despite this, throughout our state we have many buildings regarded as historic scattered across the rural landscape.
The rural regions also contain remnants of a bygone era. Almost every farm has a collection of machinery used in earlier times, like the plough shown in the photo above. I took this photo on a walk I did on the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley during the Easter weekend earlier this year. The photo below shows one of the many gum trees along the trail, lit beautifully by thesetting sun.
I enjoy taking photographs of trees lit up by the last rays of sunshine in the evening. I was pleased to get these good shots of eucalyptus (“gum”) trees along the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley in the mid north of South Australia. The photos were taken one evening on a family walk last Easter.