courthouse on a Monday morning continues to be a busy place. With the cold
weather the workers are found in the two smaller rooms, which can be heated! The
2 readers are in use in indexing the Echo microfilms and the computers are in
use entering the Margaret Di Fiore files. Meanwhile two people are cataloguing
the photos and another entering their index onto computer, another is indexing
the articles on printouts from the newspapers, maintenance is being carried out
and we welcome the visitors that drop by! John Neall has undertaken the big job
of replacing the termite damage in the door jam on the magistrate’s bench.
Lynn Wallace has come across the fascinating story of Madeline Hugo, lost in the
Guildford bush in 1894... but more of that later!
to Dorothy and Dave Clark for donating another Mac computer to us. Our resident
computer guru Brian Dieckmann has set it up as the main repository of our
Newstead data and it now leaves another older machine to be taken home to index
the Newstead Echo data by Janet Trudgeon and Di Reid. At present there are over
22,000 items indexed.
this month we went to Guildford to meet with Frank Passalaqua and learn more
about that part of our district. Frank met us on the steps of the hall and
pointed out what the street scene looked like in past years. Then we moved
inside to see the impressive array of things Frank and the Guildford people have
on display. One of the first things that caught our eye was the Lowrie shield
hanging on the wall. Frank explained that it had been rescued from a disused
mineshaft in Chewton. With us was Elsie Barkla who as Elsie Williamson, had
helped win the shield for Newstead in the nineteen thirty period! Another thing
that caught our attention was an article in Frank’s book of Madeline Hugo...
but more of that later! We made the obligatory visit to the big tree where we
shared our afternoon tea. Our next excursion will be on Monday August 12,
leaving from the courthouse at 1.30 to go to meet with Max Kay and to see the
Yapeen area. We will get a view of Strathloddon and see the house where William
Aberdeen lived. We plan a visit to the Sandon area in September and hope to go
to Tarilta-Vaughan at a future date.
fascinating story, gleaned from the Mount Alexander Mail is as follows...
Monday August 20 1894
”LOST IN THE BUSH”. Yesterday afternoon shortly after 3 o’clock, a vague communication was received here by Sergeant Salts, to the effect that a child, five years old, had been lost near Guildford at about 10 o’clock Saturday morning. Mounted Policeman Prictor was at once dispatched to Guildford, and joined over 300 persons who were searching for the child. Had the intimation been received in Castlemaine earlier yesterday a large number of persons here would have assisted in the search for the child, whose name is Madeline Hugo. It appears that on Saturday morning she accompanied her father into the bush beyond Guildford to cut some firewood. After filling his wheelbarrow, he told the girl to remain where she was, and to take care of his coat. She promised to do so but upon the father’s return he found the child was missing... The search continued yesterday, over 300 persons (including many horsemen) participating in it, but nothing could be seen or heard of the little girl up to a late hour last night. The search will be continued at daybreak this morning, when it is hoped the child will be found safe and well. Fortunately, the weather has been milder than usual since Saturday morning, and unless the girl has fallen into a hole, there is the probability that she may not have perished, but in her wanderings, may have reached the house of some resident in the Guildford or Newstead districts.
Tuesday August 21 1894
to last night, no trace had been found of the little girl Madeline Hugo, who has
been missing since Saturday afternoon. During yesterday the police and a large
number of civilians scoured the thickly-timbered bush near Guildford, Newstead
and Yandoit, but were unable to glean any tidings of the child. A piece of
ribbon which she had worn was found on Sunday in Vosti’s paddock, situate
about a mile from Guildford, and four miles from her parent’s residence. Last
night two blacktrackers arrived in Castlemaine by express from Melbourne, and
afterwards proceeded to Guildford in charge of Mounted-Constable Faulkner. They
will join the search today, and it is hoped, the poor little girl will be found
alive and well. It has now transpired that she had been staying with Mr McEnvoy
(sic), a relative, and went into the bush on Saturday morning with her brother
(10 years old), and not the father, as previously stated.
Wednesday August 22 1894
The search for the missing Child, Madeline Hugo, was continued yesterday without any trace being found of her whereabouts. The supposition now is – and it is well grounded that the little girl has succumbed to exposure and starvation, as four days and nights have elapsed since she was missed...The two blacktrackers were yesterday taken to the spot in the bush between Guildford and Yandoit, where the child was last in the company of her brother, and a trail was followed for a distance, but the hardness and the density of the bush country rendered the task of tracking a most difficult one, and so far nothing has resulted there from...
August 23 1894
The two blacktrackers and over 200 other searchers scoured the bush beyond Guildford yesterday in quest of Madeline Hugo, who has been lost since last Saturday morning. The day again passed without any tidings being gleaned of her whereabouts, but at 6 o’clock a track was found about 11 miles from the residence of her aunt (Mrs McEvoy) at Limestone Creek, and the police believe that by following the track the poor little girl will be found.
Friday August 24 1894
sixth day and night having passed without the missing child, Madeline Hugo,
being found, the opinion is expressed more freely that the poor little girl will
not be recovered alive. The black trackers, mounted police and over 200
civilians, including the distracted father of the girl, resumed the search
yesterday, and it was learnt that on Monday a charcoal burner, while returning
to his camp, distant about 6 ˝ miles
from Guildford, found a marble and the footprints of a child in the bush. The
excuse tendered for not reporting the discovery earlier than yesterday was owing
to the fact that he had two horses and drays and could not leave them. The
search parties expressed their indignation with the charcoal burner for his
action in the matter. Had he reported the fact at once, the child may have been
found ere now. The blacktrackers followed a trail picked up by Mounted Constable
Prictor in the Porcupine Ridge area... the search will be resumed today... the
horses are knocked up...
Saturday August 25 1894
LOST CHILD FOUND IN THE BUSH ALIVE
excitement prevailed yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock when it was learned
that Sergeant salts had received a welcome telegram from Guildford, stating that
the lost child, Madeline Hugo, was found alive by a party at Glenlyon, and
requesting to send a doctor. This cheering news spread with extraordinary
rapidity; it quickly passed from one to another, and formed the theme of
universal discussion. The common wonder was that the poor girl was alive, as an
impression existed that she must have perished from the exposure and want of
sustenance. She wandered away on Saturday forenoon, so she was out for six
nights in the bush exposed to cold and rain.... The honour and pleasure of
finding the child go to a party of six formed at Glenlyon by Constable
Fitzpatrick, of Daylesford and Constable Meredith of Glenlyon. They started
intent on their humane mission at noon yesterday, and after an acute search For
three hours, Mr Smythe stopped for a few seconds to light a cigar when at a
distance, of about a hundred yards he saw something moving, and quickly came to
the conclusion that it was the child. When making towards her she did not turn
to her rescuers but the poor wearied, famished little thing turned away from
them because she was frightened...... The place where she was happily discovered
was....about 16 miles from where she was lost. The only sustenance she had
during all her long weary travels was water. When seen she was gnawing at a boot
she had taken off, and had likewise taken off a sock. The coat she had been
carrying was lost so even that raiment of warmth was gone.”
V/hat a story!
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