Clarence River Historical Society Inc.,



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Publications produced by the Society are listed below :


  Grafton Floods - to 2011 . . . . . . $30.00 ea
A4, 284 pages, PB

Compiler Hazel Ford says the historical society is regularly asked questions about flooding and we wanted to compile the material we have in one place to help the community find the flood stories they are looking for. This publication documents floods from the late 1800’s to the present day. And yes it includes the story and the images from the January 2011 event. The Daily Examiner has made its newspaper archives since 1859 available for the project. Hundreds of flood photos held by the historical society have been pulled from the files and will now be available to a wider audience. One of the biggest challenges faced by Hazel and her husband Malcolm, who is responsible for design, layout, publishing and printing, has been to confirm the height of each of the valley’s floods. Getting that calculation correct has proven near impossible. Hazel also reflects on how media reports have changed since the late 1800’s.

Weight: 740g.
   Men We Have Met . . . . . . $25.00 ea
A4, 120 pages, PB

In 1909, the year that Grafton celebrated its Municipal Jubilee, a composite photo compiled by Grafton photographer, Mr W Stevenson, with the title, 'Men we Have Met' was published as a supplement in The Daily Examiner and the Grafton Argus. There are a total of 238 men and they are obviously those who were respected in the community or perhaps could afford to have their photo taken.

This book was produced to coincide with History Week 2010 whose theme was 'Faces in the Street.' It was thought appropriate that we try to research and write some biographical details about each of the men who would have walked the streets of Grafton over 100 years ago. Many historical photographs are also included in this publication, selected from the archives of the Clarence River Historical Society Inc., collected since its inception in 1931.

Weight: 360g.
   Profiles of People - Vol 1 (300p) & Vol 2 (326p) . . . $40.00 ea
A4, 626 pages, PB

As a journalist on The Daily Examiner from 1945 to 1983, Mavis McClymont coverered meetings and met people from all over the Clarence Valley. It was a natural development that she should be asked to compile personality profiles. So from March 13, 1979 to September 17, 1983, a weekly article appeared, usually a full page in length. It is difficult to imagine anyone better qualified that Mavis to write a series of profiles reflecting the life and recollections of Clarence River residents.

These two volumes are a collection of over 300 from those published. They present a broad cross section telling of different times and experiences. They reflect the memory and opinion of the teller and thus, in some cases, might not match historical facts. They are recollections without the aid of history books. The articles have been arranged alphabetically and Contents are included in both volumes to enable easy access.

Weight: 940g.
   The Carl Ehlers Collection . . . . . . $25.00
B5, 180 pages, PB

Carl Ehlers was a photgrapher in Grafton between 1888 and 1897. Photos  in  this publication  are  from  the  Society's  collection  including many from a scrapbook of Mrs Lasker, wife of the school principal at the time of Ehlers residency in Grafton. The Gordon Darling Foundation provided funds to enable them to be removed from the scrapbook and properly mounted. This book provides an example of the work done by the photographer and at the same time cronicles some very significant historical scenes of Grafton and surrounding district in the late 1880's. Carl Ehlers work contributed greatly to the recording of some of Grafton's early period of settlement and we are pleased to have this opportunity to share this history. Over 170 photographs.

Weight: 380g.
   Pre - 1900 Clarence River Pioneer Register . . . . .$30.00
A4, 260 pages, PB

    This 1995 publication, reprinted in 2002, contains over 900 family names together with family information on the early Pioneers that settled in the Clarence Valley. Included is an alphabetical and numerical list of names and addresses of contributors to enable contact to be made by other interested family members.

   The Society also holds additional information on many of the families (see Family Files) and would welcome enquiries.

Pioneer Register
Weight: 690g.
   Grafton and the Early Days on the Clarence . . . . . $10.00
A5, 104 pages, PB

   After various editions in 1970, 1974, 1982 and 1989, this has been revised, added to and reformatted into an A5 publication.  
   It contains over seventy paragraphs and snippets of information and photgraphs compiled from records in the Clarence River Historical Society's collections. Included are: Place Names of the District; Richard Craig; The Ogilvies, Carrs Creek Races - 1868; The Scots on the Clarence River; Believe It or Not; Mining on the Clarence; Henry Kendall; Flood Disasters; Fatal Gun Accident; The Daily Examiner; Gallant Ships of the Clarence; An Early Bootmaker of Grafton; The Crown Hotel and Struggles of the Schools, etc.
   Extracts from this publication can be seen as Links to the Timeline on this Web Site.

Grafton and the Early Days
Weight: 170g.
   History of Grafton Hospital . . . . . $40.00
A4, 292 pages + indexes, PB

   Written by Kay Paine and published by the Society in 2005 this book gives details of the growth of the hospital from its beginnings in 1861 and the reports of the various meetings and functions provide insight into how an ever supporting and charitable community and enthusiastic hospital committees struggled to achieve the very best for their patients, often in times of extreme hardship.

   The history presents several brief biographies of the nursing and medical personnel whose compasionate caring made a critical difference for their patients amd families, and whose testimonials demonstrate the esteem in which they were held. 

   Kay has immortalised the history of one of the Clarence Valley's most prestigious icons.

History of Grafton Hospital
Weight: 920g.
   From Rivertree to the Sea . . . . $20.00
A4, 82 pages, PB

   Subtitled Early Days along the Clarence River, this 2004 publication, with text by Don Peck and photographs chosen from the Society's collection by Marion Cooney, traces the river from its source to the sea. In its 430 kilometre meandering many other rivers and creeks flow into it and the catchment of the Clarence is 22,660 square kilometres.   
   At the junction of the Mann River the Clarence begins to show signs of its greatness before it hurtles through and over the cataracts of the Gorge. The Orara River joins the Clarence between Copmanhurst and Eatonsville and from this point the Clarence become broad and majestic on its way down to Grafton.
   Over the ages many islands have been created in the Clarence and current estimates put the number at 102. One, Woodford, is the largest river island in the southern hemisphere. From Freeburn Is., near Iluka, you can see the mouth between Yamba and Iluka and start to feel the strenghth of both river and sea.
    The largest river on the east coast of Australia has run its course.

From Rivertree to the Sea
Weight: 260g.
   The Bawden Lectures - with Notes [New Edition] . . . . . $30.00
A4, 192 pages,

The First Fifty Years of Settlement on the Clarence

   When Thomas Bawden was elected President of the School of Arts it was traditional to give an inaugural lecture. He chose as his topic the history of Grafton and the Clarence District. As he had lived in the area for almost fifty years he was well qualified to talk on the subject. Later historians, with the benefit of hindsight, have commented on the accuracy of his recollections.

   The three lectures were given in June, July and August of 1886 and later published in the Grafton Argus.

   These have been published and reprinted in several editions, 1979, 1987 and 1997. The last includes relevant historical notes by R. C. Law. This includes an index. Reformatted in 2011.

Bawden Lectures
Weight: 580g.
   A History of the Clarence River - by Duncan McFarlane . . . . . $30.00
A4, 148 pages, PB

   Duncan McFarlane, born 1849, was first a farmer, then a journalist and editor of the Daily Examiner, Grafton. He took a great interest in community affairs, becoming Mayor of the City of Grafton for several terms.
    This 2004 publication was edited and compiled by Duncan McFarlane's granddaughter, Ema Mary Job.
     It includes his "History of the Clarence" which was written during 1924 and published as a series of articles in the Examiner. His "Reminiscences of the Clarence" was written in 1938, when he was 88-89 years old, and was also published as a series in the Examiner. By this time he was retired and living in Sydney.
   He died in 1942 at the age of 93. His life long spanned a dynamic and adventurous era of Australian hiistory, and the History and Reminiscence that he has left us, convey much of the flavour of those times.

History of the Clarence River
Weight: 520g.
   Planning and Construction of the Clarence River Bridge . . . . . $30.00
A4, 158 pages, PB

                                         Including the Railway Route through Grafton.
Researched and edited by James Allerton and Alan Schafer to mark the 60th Anniversary of the official opening of the Clarence River Bridge in July 1932. Reformatted by Malcolm Ford and reprinted in 2005.
   This publication is mainly extracts and editorials from the Daily Examiner in the years before and during the contruction of the bridge.
   Three further extracts have been added: • The Journal of the Institution of Engineers of Australia - November 1932, December 1932 and August 1935. • “Round House,” July, 1982. publication by the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum and • "Main Roads,” Sept./Dec., 1982, publication by the New South Wales Main Roads Department.
   Advertisements in this Publication are from: Back to Grafton Week (July 16 to 23, 1932) ‘Official Souvenir’ Booklet (To Commenorate the Official Opening of the Bridge).

Clarence River Bridge Construction
Weight: 380g.
   Ramornie Works . . . . . $25.00
A5, 121 pages, PB

The Story of the Ramornie Meatworks and a tribute to the people who lived, worked and died there. Compiled and edited by Jim Allerton, assited by Joan Allerton. Second Edition, reformatted and reprinted, 2005.   
    Jim says, "Over the years the story of the Ramornie Meatworks has always been of great interest to me. In my childhood days when visiting my grandparents, Bob and Sarah Caldwell, I listened with fascination to the stories they told. Grandfather, as he worked in the Ramornie paddocks, would show and tell me many facts about the meatworks."
   "This book is not to be considered as a complete reference to all those who lived or worked at the meatworks. Every effort has been made to list people that are known to have been associated with the area but there would have been numerous families who have not been mentioned simply because there is no record of their name."

Ramornie Works
Weight: 380g.
   The Bawden Lectures - without notes . . . . . $15.00
A5, 100 pages, PB

The First Fifty Years of Settlement on the Clarence

   When Thomas Bawden was elected President of the School of Arts it was traditional to give an inaugural lecture. He chose as his topic the history of Grafton and the Clarence District. As he had lived in the area for almost fifty years he was well qualified to talk on the subject.
   The three lectures were given in June, July and August of 1886 and later published in the Grafton Argus.
   In this latest edition, published in 2006, the historical notes by R. C. Law have been omitted so that the reader may listen to the uninterupped flow of the Bawden Lectures. It also includes many photographs of the Bawden family and of locations mentioned in the lectures.

Bawden - A5
Weight: 160g.
   Burials in the Grafton District : 1850 - 1896 . . . . . $15.00
A5, 148 pages, PB

   Compiled from Records in the Clarence River Historical Society. First edition, 1985. Reformatted and Index added for this edition, 2005.
   The first record was kept by the Rev. Coles Child the second Anglican Rector in Grafton from 1950 to 1852.
   The first general cemetery was in Turf St., now called Pioneer Park and the records from this cemetery were kept by the Rev. Arthur Selwyn from 1853 to 1858 and part of 1859 when the Villiers St., cemetery was opened. Some time later headstones were moved from the Turf St., cemetery to Villiers St., The earliest date on a headstone is that of Charles McAllister Shannon who died September 27th, 1846, aged 61 years.
   General records are from part 1859 until 1874. William Stucley's funeral records from 1875 - 1887.  Henry H. Sanders records from 1888 - 1896

Burials in the Grafton District
   Bombers Over Grafton . . . . . $10.00
A5, 70 pages, PB

Edited by Allan Schafer OAM., assisted by Frank Mack.

   A report of the events of the night of August 14th, 1942 when five B 25 Mitchell Bombers crossed the coast and lost their way.

   A copy of a file, RAAF D.S.D. File 153/1/1188 “Report of U.S. Aircraft lost in Grafton-Casino Area.”is the source for much of the material in this book.   We wish to record the special thanks of the Clarence River Historical Society to Erica McCreath of Canberra and Bob Piper, R.A.A.F Historian of Canberra for their particularly strong interest and help in researching and obtaining a copy of this file.

Bombers Over Grafton
   Mrs Schaeffers Kitchen - A Cook Book . . . . . $8.00
A5, 59 pages, PB

A Cook Book with favourite recipes from members of the Clarence River Historical Society. Includes - Light Meals - Galah Soup, Quiche Base, Meat Paste, Midday Salad, Fruit Spread, Mayonnaise, Cauliflower Soup with Dumplings, Chicken Slaw, Curried Chicken Slaw, Home Made Bacon Muffins, Egg and Ham Cakes, Bayour Yam Muffins, Cottage Salad. Heavy Meals - Baked Sunday Lunch, Giblet Pie, Beef Dumpling Stew, Bushrangers Trout, Topsy Turvy Pie, Post Master’s Favourite, Station Supper, Grandmother’s Egg and Bacon Pie, Stuffed Goanna, Roast Camel, Eureka Pie, Swaggie’s Casserole, Settlers Cauliflower Bake. Desserts - Berry Custard Mould, Coachmans Pumpkin Pie, Golden Queenslander, Peach Crumble, 10 Minute Chocolate Cake, Mock Apple Pie, Fruit Salad Cheesecake, Low Fat Dessert Topping. Cakes Biscuits and Scones - Parsley Loaf, The Family Biscuit, Shearer’s Pumpkin Scones, Hard Up Ginger Bread, 12 Minute Coconut Ice, Peanut Butter Fruities, , Savoury, Chutney and Pickles, Drinks, Christmas and Hints.    


Mrs Schaeffer's Kitchen
Weight: 100g.
   The Journal of George Abner Gray . . . . . $7.00
1/2 Foolscap , 175 pages, PB

   This is his story, written in 1915, told in his own words - unchanged - of a man who was almost a legend in his own lifetime.

   George Abner Gray (1846-1941) came out from the Isle of Wight with his parents about 1848. He came to Grafton when he was a lad and lived in this district for the rest of his life. He married Mary Jane Eggins (1849-1929) in Grafton in 1867.

   He was the father of seven sons and five daughters. Maurice, 1868; George Arthur, 1870; Erwin, 1872; Jessie, 1874; Albert, 1876; Edith, 1877; Alice, 1879; Beatrice, 1882; Malcolm, 1884; Hilda, 1885; Charles, 1887 and Ira, 1889.

George Abner Gray
Weight: 220g.
  CRHS - NEWSLETTER . . . . . $25.00
Postage Paid

136 Issues of the Clarence River Historical Society Newsletters on CD in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

The files are arranged in single issues as well as a combined file with all 105 issues.

This is ideal for doing a search of the complete issues for a given word.

A valuable resource for local and family historians!

CRHS Newsletters

In addition to the above, some private historical works are also stocked.

  Clarence Valley World War 1 Volunteers . . . . . $40.00
Size, 468 pages, HB


By Tony Morley - A most informative record of those who served in WWI from the Clarence Valley area which encompasses quite a large part of NSW. It gives details of where units were sent, lists Gallipoli casualties, deaths and awards, chronological battle information and an alphabetical list of volunteers with a brief description of each.

  DVD - Flying Boats on the Clarence . . . . . $44.00
Postage Paid

   This documentary tells the story of the little known airline Trans Oceanic Airways and chronicles the flying boats that arrived on the Clarence from 1946 to 1967. There are also many historic interviews including Trans Oceanic Airways founder, Captain Bryan Monkton. The film also features first officer John Poate, PG Taylor and others. It also includes a passenger list from 1949, which was published in The Daily Examiner. “We deliberately included the passenger manifest, as there would be many Graftonians whose forbears travelled to Sydney on that day,” Mr Lowe, the Producer, said. “Some 24 specialists have been involved in the film’s production, and that does not include those people who participated by way of interviews.” “Anyone who is really interested in Grafton and aviation history will want a copy.”

CRHS Newsletters

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© Clarence River Historical Society Inc.,  -   P.O. Box 396, Grafton, NSW 2460