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Currently Browsing: Green family history

A Discovery in the Fireplace

 

that's me cleaning out the inside of the fireplace, since I was the only one that could fit, and I found the fireback in there

that’s me cleaning out the inside of the fireplace, since I was the only one that could fit, and I found the fireback in there

somehow we got it out - this is as it was in 1986 when we discovered it

somehow we got it out – this is as it was in 1986 when we discovered it

a ose up of the details: J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare"

a close up of the details:  J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare”

as it is today, 2016

as it is today, 2016

DESCRIPTION: a solid cast iron fireback, meauring probably a metre wide, and 80cm high – something like that anyway, with leaves and grapevines in the top corners, a saddled up horse in the middle, and J.G. Ramsay, Mt Barker & Clare written on it.
DATE:
unknown, but approx 1860s
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:
Ahh the joys of growing up in an old house … there is history literally all around you. Inside and out. This fireback was discovered in the back of a bricked up fireplace in the house my parents bought at Gumeracha, South Australia. When the time came to get a proper slow combustion fireplace installed, that required knocking out the bricks to rediscover the original fireplace, and it was then that the incredible find was made of the cast iron fireback was made.

Weighing a tonne … ok that’s a slight exaggeration. I admit I’ve never actually weighted it as I’m not sure how to, but I’d love to know what it does just for interest sake – my guess is something like 60-80kg. What I do know is that it requires at 2-3 guys to carry it, as it truly is THAT heavy.

Anyway the inscription on it says J.G. Ramsay, Mount Barker and Clare. After doing some digging on Trove I found that J.G. (James Garden) Ramsay was heavily into politics, and into selling agricultural machinery, branching out into numerous areas of the state and interstate, and became one of the biggest around. I have found a detailed description of his factory at Mount Barker, which does mention that he made “fire-plates” as well as fireirons and all sorts of machinery. You can read this article from The South Australian Register, dated 21 July 1868 here on Trove.

I’m not sure when main part of the house at Gumeracha was built, but it was easily before 1900. You can read more about this house (“Springvale”) here. The Randell’s owned the land from when Gumeracha was founded, then Green’s were in the house and may have built it (still yet to be determined), then the Butler’s, and then my family the Phillips’!

advert in the Norther Argus, 27 August 1869

advert in the Norther Argus, 27 August 1869

advert in The West Australian, 8 October 1880

advert in The West Australian, 8 October 1880

 You can read about the life and death of the Hon J.G. Ramsay in the long obituary titled “Fatal Accident in a Railway Carriage” in the Brisbane Courier, 21 January 1890 on Trove.

And of course Wikipedia has an article on James Garden Ramsay too, you can check that out here.

 

That’s a Whole Lot ‘o’ Snuff

 

the middle jar is a snuff jar from Taddy & Co. The end one is unmarked.

the middle jar is a snuff jar from Taddy & Co. The end one is unmarked.

Taddy & Co snuff tobacco jar

Taddy & Co tobacco snuff jar
Inscribed with Taddy & Co., manufacturers of tobacco snuff and segars. Minories, London

 

DESCRIPTION: Ceramic stoneware jar from Taddy and Co. made for tobacco snuff.
Measures about 25cm high, and no longer has the cork stopper.
DATE:
undated, but possibly 1850s-1860s
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM:
 Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:
I don’t have a really interesting family story for this one, as it was a ‘house inherited heirloom’. By that I mean that it was one of the many items that came with the house my parents bought in the Adelaide Hills. Whether it was the Butler’s, who owned the house immediately before them, and are relatives, or the Green’s who owned the house from when it was built – we’ll never know. I do believe that my Uncle Bert (Fred Butler), did smoke a pipe, though not when I knew him.
But it could well have been the Green’s judging by the age of the jar.

For information on the long history of Taddy & Co. tobacco company, have a read of A Tobacco Story.

Don’t Forget to RSVP About the Party

Ida Green birthday invitationIda Green birthday invitation envelope

DESCRIPTION: an invitation sent to John Beavis Randell and his his wife Ella (nee Sinkinson) to attend Ida Green’s 21st birthday party. Both the Randell’s and Green’s were families that lived in Gumeracha, so no doubt would have know each other well.
DATE: January 1905
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT: I love this item as I have a connection to it in two ways. Firstly it was sent to my great grandparents JB and Ella Randell, and secondly the party was held at the Green’s “Springvale” house which is where I grew up. How cool is that?

And I even found a a reference to this is in the South Australian Observer newspaper. These aren’t yet online on Trove, but have been transcribed and published in the Torrens Valley Historical Journals.

transcription from the Observer, 21 January 1905 newspaper, and copied from the Torrens Valley Historical Journal No. 82 (March 2012)

transcription from the Observer newspaper, 21 January 1905, and copied from the Torrens Valley Historical Journal No. 82 (March 2012)

A Remnant from the Past

William Green - old wooden name sign

William Green - old wooden name sign

DESCRIPTION: the top half of a piece of wood with William Green painted on it
DATE: could be anything from the late 1800s to the 1930s or so
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT:  I have mentioned ‘Springvale’ at Gumeracha before, as that is the house I grew up in. This wooded name is another one of those heirlooms that my family inherited with the house. The Green family first lived in ‘Springvale’ back in the late 1880s, followed by the Butler family (I’m unsure of when they bought the house), and my family (the Phillips’) bought it in the 1980s.

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