Australia Travel

Daylesford Part I: Antiques and Tragic History…

 

Despite it being a Summer’s day, there was an inclination of gloom in the town of Daylesford. Situated 114 km west of Melbourne within the Goldfield district of Victoria, this country town is one of our regular favourite places to visit.

Daylesford belongs to the mineral springs region of the state. There are many relaxing local day spas, including the well-known Hepburn Springs Resort. Enjoy a calming mineral water bath or a therapeutic massage at this popular tourist attraction.

On this particular trip, our agenda was slightly different! We were on search for comics! “Archie” comics! As my teenage daughter is quite the keen Netflix “Riverdale” fan, she has developed a passion for these old reading texts, which I used to have an interest in many, many years ago😉

Daylesford has an abundance of antique shops, where one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Crammed with knick knacks of all sorts, these treasure troves of bargains and delights will retain your curiosity and interest for hours. Hence, success! Our search was not in vain, as we claimed the treasure and my daughter departed with four original “Archie” comics.

There are many dining options in the town of Daylesford. A variety of cafes and restaurants line the main street. But, alternatively on this day, we decided to have a picnic at the local Botanical Gardens.

Wombat Hill Gardens are situated on top of an extinct volcano, flaunting remarkable views of the town and neighbouring countryside from the Pioneer’s Memorial Tower. A twenty-five-metre-high historical lookout tower, situated within the gardens, with an extremely tight staircase. With trees over a hundred years old, picnic grounds, scenic walks and a café, these gardens make an ideal point to take a break.

Afterwards we decided to uncover a few of the many gourmet food trails of Daylesford. A local smallgoods factory we headed to, selling homemade salami and cooked meats, was closed that day. As a result, we noticed the road sign “Lost Children’s Memorial”, and curiously decided to investigate.

With the crisp smell of eucalyptus in the air, whilst travelling on a road, that lead to a salami factory, we learned of a heartbreaking, historical story of three young boys.

On June 30 1867, three boys, (two brothers aged seven and four, and their friend aged five) headed out on an adventure in search of wild goats. The boys soon found themselves lost within the bush and being the middle of winter, the weather was extremely cold with severe frost.

The panicked stricken boys eventually found shelter in the hollow of a tree, eight kilometres from the centre of Daylesford. Apprehension set in when the boys did not arrive for dinner that evening, resulting in hundreds of volunteer helpers,  join together as a search party, that incredibly lasted a few months. Eventually, a settler’s dog, made the discovery of the children’s lifeless bodies, beyond the forest, in the hollow of a tree, huddled together for warmth.

For one hundred years, that tree became a shrine on behalf of the children, until one day it was blown over by a severe storm in 1950. The townspeople then funded a large memorial, that sits upon the boy’s communal grave at the local cemetery.

Today, a second shrine along with a message tree, stands on a road side, less than one hundred metres from where the original tree stood at the end of Wombat Forest.

This being the same road we took to visit a salami factory, but instead came to uncover a tragic heartfelt story that remains an important part of the history, of this small town of Daylesford.

 

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Dark clouds rolled over the town of Daylesford that day…

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One of the many cafes in Daylesford

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A fountain in Daylesford after Christmas

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“An antique is anything old with class” – John Bartlett

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Volkswagen memorabilia

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Classical old book shops

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Comics galore!

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Are you an “Archie” fan?

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Wombat Hill Gardens

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The Pioneer’s Memorial Tower look out, at Wombat Hill Gardens.

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The road that leads to the memorial

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A brief story of the children

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The message tree

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Related Posts:

Daylesford Part II: Cider and Chocolate…

 

Directory:

Brick Lane Bazaar –  34 Vincent St, Daylesford VIC 3460  (03) 5348 3500

Paradise Bookshop – 46 Vincent St, Daylesford VIC 3460  (03) 5348 1288

The Amazing Mill Markets – 105 Central Springs Rd, Daylesford VIC 3460  (03) 5348 4332

Daylesford Lost Children Memorial – Wheelers Hill RoadMusk, Daylesford, Victoria 3461

Click here for Daylesford activities.

 

 

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49 comments on “Daylesford Part I: Antiques and Tragic History…

  1. Enjoyed this post Lorelle. Like I said on FB I learnt something new here. Such a beautiful area, just goes to show there’s so much history we’re unaware of around us. Look forward to Part 2. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tragic story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely place Daylesford sounds and looks like, Lorelle. Love the look of the antiques, it is my favourite kind of thing to do when discovering new places.
    The incident of the three children is tragic. To have perished so young, frightened and far from home!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Such a unique, interesting town ❤ Although that is a heartbreaking story! Daylesford sounds like a wonderful place to explore 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had a burning desire to visit Daylesford for years. I will make it one day. Sounds like a wonderful day out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a sad story about the boys but so caring that the town has embraced the memory. I’d love to have a go in that bookshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Throughly loved this post. I have always loved Daylesford. Those mill markets are amazing! You know you can visit a place many times but never know the little things. I never knew about the 3 little boys. How sad. I have been near there many many times. Next time I will pay my respects. Thank you so much xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve often driven through Daylesford on our way to Ballarat. It’s such a pretty little town, but it would be at least 25 years since we spent some time there. We must go again next time we’re in Victoria. What a sad story you discovered.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like the really perfect day. What a wealth of treasures. And although it’s such a sad story, I love stumbling across a piece of history or a tale, so unexpectedly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like a wonderful day out: lovely scenery, yummy food, books & comics, riveting stories. Did you take home a good stash of Archies?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice to read and know more about Daylesford Lorelle ! Loved those antiques and memorabilia and that story of the kids is really sad .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Im not much of a shopper but towns with interesting shops full of well displayed second hand memorabilia can keep me entertained for hours. Loved those old Kombi vans.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fascinating stuff, and great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a delightful post-Lorelle it is a lovely place to visit and what a sad tale but a lovely memorial and that tree with all the messages how special is that? I enjoyed this and your lovely photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love Daylesford and I enjoyed this post. You’re images captured the spirit of the town too. Ironically my post for blog share was also about someone’s trash being someone else’s treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a terribly sad story about the children x
    I too am a comic fan even though Archie was never on my radar despite having heard of it many times.
    A lovely place and post x

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Awww, I love Archies! Although I did enjoy Riverdale, I would take the classic comic any day of the week ☺ WHY ISN’T HOT DOG MORE PROMINENT IN THE SHOW?!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a tragic story, but the town looks so charming and I love that is has its own unique character. Thank you for sharing. Lorelle. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a beautiful story. I love how your search for Archie comics led you to discover a unique story about your little town.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am tickled I got to see some of Daylesford after all. Looking at the photos, it looks like the town does seem to have a mystical atmosphere about it. Perhaps it is the tragic story of the lost children that makes me think that. Like Peggy, I would probably spend most of my time in that bookshop. And I do remember having a couple of Archie comics way back when…….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Daylesford Part II: Cider & Chocolate… – a mindful traveller

  22. Pingback: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies… – a mindful traveller

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