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Left: Donegan’s Cottage, headquarters of Toodyay Historical Society
1901 James advertised a cottage in North Newcastle, occupied by his son, William James Donegan (Bill).
Bill and Margaret Reardon (Maggie) had married in 1890. Their first child, Douglas William, died at birth in 1892.
They raised their five surviving children in Donegan’s Cottage:
1910 Lot 19 and part of Lot 23 were transferred to the Crown, probably for the new Bolgart railway line across part of the Showgrounds behind Donegan’s Cottage. The remainder of Lot 23 containing the cottage was transferred to James Donegan’s son Bill.
Bill was the caretaker of the Showgrounds until his death in 1954. The cottage and part of Lot 24 were left to his son Harold, an employee of Industrial Extracts Ltd, who had married Blanche Leeder in 1941.
There were further alterations to lot numbers over the years, and in 1977, the front part of Lot 23 became Lot 201.
1981 The Toodyay Shire Council bought Donegan’s Cottage to extend the Showgrounds. Harold Donegan was granted tenancy until his death in 1993. Blanche had died six months before him.
Wed 18 June, 7.30 pm: THS Meeting, Drummond House. Feature Speaker: Desrae Clarke's Oral History interview with Toodyay nurse Agnes Cook (nee Smith).
Saturday, 30 June, 2pm-3pm. Film show in Drummond House
The main feature is the film of an illustrated lecture by Rick Mason, who was involved in the exciting rescue and identification of a hitherto unknown collection of early 20thC Toodyay photographs.
These were associated with Robert Faust, who was Manager of the Toodyay Club.
A short film about the Trans Australian Railway, produced for the 2017 centenary of the railway's completion, will be shown at the beginning of the show.
Following the films, join us for a cuppa while you look at a display of some of the photographs.
A very cheery group of members enjoyed the recent Historical Society visit to York, which included a fascinating tour of the Residency Museum. After a picnic lunch in the museum grounds we explored the wonderful new ANZAC display in the York Town Hall.
This year's Moondyne Festival in Tooday was a great success, in spite of the changeable weather. Our Historical Society stall was popular. Visitors enjoyed studying our display on Moondyne Joe. Others were keen to make inquiries about their own Toodyay ancestors.
E.L. Mitchell: the photographer who shaped Australia
Joanna Sassoon, special guest at our AGM in April, gave a fascinating talk on her recent book about E.L.Mitchell, the boy from Yorkshire who became a commercial photographer, much in demand.
convicts and shearing sheds
Historical Society members were treated to a special viewing of the new exhibition at the Newcastle Gaol Museum at the final event for 2017. Thank you to Museum Curator, Margaret Eberle, for arranging this. THS member Beth Frayne, also one of the museum volunteers, played quite a role in research and preparations for this excellent exhibition, 'Toodyay Convict Hiring Depot'.
The evening continued with a convivial shared feast over the road in the Old Wicklow Shearing Shed which is becoming a popular events venue.
Part 2 of this fascinating series, presented at the October meeting, covered events up to and including Mabo. As President Robyn Taylor reported in the Herald: “It has been salutary to listen to historical accounts revealing the declaration of ‘terra nullius’ was not universally accepted, and that people holding to the belief in a just system of law knew there should have been treaties with the rightful owners.”
Four THS members attended this most successful conference. Speakers were inspiring, including members of long-established families involved in local industries, such as market gardening and lime- burning kilns. Those attending were particularly impressed by the City of Wanneroo venues and smooth running of the event.