Memories of youth spent at Boydtown

The Whiter brothers are pictured here in about 1968 on the main wharf in Eden, Ian almost out of frame on the left, little Peter in between and Robert holding an enormous catch. Photo supplied.
The Whiter brothers are pictured here in about 1968 on the main wharf in Eden, Ian almost out of frame on the left, little Peter in between and Robert holding an enormous catch. Photo supplied.

Eden local Robert Whiter has shared his reflections and memories of the property at Kiah now known as Earl's Farm, on which the historic dwelling was razed last summer.

He said his grandfather bought the neighbouring Boydtown property in 1936 and set to work with his sons to restore the ruined Seahorse Inn.

"The property you refer to as Earl's Farm has always been referred to as "Seaward's" by my family, however I can remember as a boy hearing other Kiah folk refer to the property as Earl's.

"In the late 1950s we trespassed through this property to go fishing for bream in the river, latterly driving as far as the house where the vehicle was left at a locked gate prior to walking down the rough track as far as the 'Corn Paddock' at the bottom, where we would swing to the right going through ti tree out onto the sands of the river bed.

"During the early 1950s it was occasionally our habit to climb the 'Woolstore' hill to the east of Boydtown creek on foot and then follow the telephone line to the river further down.

"Two big floods in the 1970s changed the nature of that area of the river dramatically and I think its possible I have only been back once since that time.

"From memory the cultivation was carried out by Joe Harris and his son Les, whose practice it was to have beagle dogs onsite in an attempt to protect the corn plants from wallabies.

"These dogs would at times stray over the hill to the Seahorse Inn where their noses would lead them to rubbish tins and assist them to get the lids off in the middle of the night."

A painting of the original hut at Earl's Farm/Seaward's, gifted to the current owners Jesse and Jo Graham, after losing their home to the savage Border Fire early in 2020.

A painting of the original hut at Earl's Farm/Seaward's, gifted to the current owners Jesse and Jo Graham, after losing their home to the savage Border Fire early in 2020.

"The painting is a wonderful representation of the cottage, causing me to suspect that it was depicted using a photograph.

"Recently my brother and I, both in our 70s, paid a visit to 'Moutries' - an area very sacred to us both. We were able to observe first hand the behaviour of the Border Fire as it raced through the ti tree stands towards the bottom end of Seaward's, taking everything in its path.

"However, all the eucalypt trees well-spaced on the nearby pasture of the flat at the foot of the hill appear to have not been damaged at all, unlike those occupying the bush country on the rise going up the hill, many of which I venture to say will never live.

"Oh and incidentally, I was always told as a boy that one corner peg of the Boydtown property was located out in the 'Duckhole' down on the flat at Seaward's."

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