Carpentaria Downs

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Helen Nancarrow of Hopetoun Park, Armidale writes, in July 1998: 

I was surfing the net and came across your web page and I am hoping that you may be able to assist me in finding out about a man named Bob Edols who worked on Carpentaria Downs back in 1894 or if you can't, may be you would be able to put me in touch with someone or direct me to an organisation that can. 

I live on a property called Hopetoun Park located just outside  Armidale, NSW.  The land was first bought in 1859 and I am in the process of researching the owners (some 25) and other people who rented or leased the land, and their interaction in the small community group surrounding the property.  A previous owner (from the 1960's) phoned the other day to tell me that they donated a love letter to the archives of the University of New England, Armidale that they found in an old trunk on our property in the 60's. I was lucky enough to track the letter down and copy it, and I am now intrigued as to why it was found on this property.

Who was Bob Edols and Alice?   Was Alice a daughter of this house?  Did Bob & Alice marry? Somehow I don't quite think my love letters from my husband will warrant such interest in the future! Anyway - Help!!!   I have copied a transcription of the letter (complete with spelling mistakes) on to this email and would be extremely grateful for any assistance in my quest. 

Transcript of letter from Bob Edols to Alice found in old trunk in 1960's on property Hopetoun Park, 513 Platform Road, Armidale,  NSW.  Letter is now deposited in the Heritage Archives, University of New England, Armidale, NSW  2351.  Ref. A300 

"Carpentaria Downs 
Aug. 1st 1894 

Dearest Alice 
Just a few lines to let you know, that I am back at Carpentaria Downs, again, the old place is like a desertd Castle, & I knock about like, some one that has, lost a shilling & found sixpence, I always leave my pipe atc, on the table going to dinner, but somehow it never disappears.  That little Fairy never takes it now, & I have to pick the old thing up & smoke & think of her, the Boys ask what is the matter with me, & I tell them that, there is something wrong with my heart, but they never dream what is really wrong with it, I expect they will be rather surprised when they hear, what is wrong with it."

[The letter continues, mentioning the property "Lynhurst", " the Rev. Mr. Storenoon/Stevenoon?, of Georgetown", then several quite tender paragraphs have been deleted. It goes on to mention that "Tragedy is running at Ingham on the 18th & 20th of this month, I hope the old fellow will have better luck this time..." ]

"Now dearest Alice I will have, to say good night with my best love, & hoping my own Darling is well, from 
Your every loving 
Bob. Edols 

PS  Remember me to Tickie when you write, & tell her, I am sure we shall be good friends, but tell her not to scold me for stealing her Sisters heart. 
PPS  I came across Mr Rockburn's [Hockburn's?] poem that he wrote, about us at the horse Mountain, I will keep it for a souvenir." 

[If the decendants of Bob & Alice are found, and give their consent, I shall reproduce the letter in full. Ed.] 

Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 17:12:11 +1000 
From: Helen Nancarrow <> 

Hello Russell, 
Thought that you may like to to know that last weekend I discovered that Robert (Bob) Russell Edols and Alice Mary Curr - born 7.3.1870, (her Mother's name was Mary Anne Kirwan, Father's name was Marmaduke,) did actually marry in Qld. on 21st August 1895.  A daughter Mary Kirwan Edols was born on 16th March 1898.  I am waiting for the microfiche for "1899 - on" records for Qld. BDM to see if there were any more children. Alice's sister referred to in the letter "Tickie" must have been Emily Adelaide Kirwan (b. 17.7.1877).   Still haven't established the link between Hopetoun Park in 1894 when the letter was written! 
Just thought you might enjoy an update! 
Cheers, Helen 

This page is now available in expanded form at Burke Shire Council's site, in the history section.

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