Coon Island

Coon Island in Lake Macquarie has been in the news lately, with calls for its name to be changed given the overt derogatory nature of the current name. I wholeheartedly agree that changing the name is the right thing to do.

I had to look up where the island is located, which is at the northern point of land above Swansea. 

I found an old Regional Charting Pap in the Historical Land Records Viewer that shows the island.

Location of Coon Island on Regional Charting Map
Regional Charting Map overlaid into Google Earth, showing location of Coon Island.

Thomas Bevan, Undertaker

The Historical Lands Record Viewer is proving to be quite a useful tool in identifying the location of various old photographs. I have managed to confirm the location of this Ralph Snowball photograph of Thomas Bevan, Undertaker, as being at 41 Pearson St Lambton

Thomas Bevan, Undertaker, Lambton. Not dated. Living Histories @ UON.

Page 93 of the Federal Directory of Newcastle and District 1901, lists “T. Bevan” as an undertaker in Pearson St. Vol-Fol 796-107 shows that Thomas Bevan purchased the north half of Lot 6 Section K in July 1889.

Purchase by Thomas Bevan, Vol-Fol 796-107.

Lot 6 corresponds to current day address 41 Pearson St.

In the 1904 photographic panorama of Lambton, taken from the North Lambton hill, Bevan’s house and shed can be seen in Pearson St.

Thomas Bevan’s house and shed, seen in a 1904 photograph. Living Histories @ UON

Facebook folly

Today Facebook blocked news content from its platform in Australia. This wholesale eviction of content from professional journalists, after years of intentional inaction on stamping out the spread of lies and falsehoods, simply makes explicit Facebook’s long held aim of being the premier purveyor of misinformation in the chase for clicks and ad revenue.

My hope, and I know it is a forlorn one, is that people will dump Facebook in droves, and turn to other sources and providers who don’t bully their users in order to get their own way.

Facebook is not the internet. Choose wisely.

Rodent-based rainfall metric

I encounter all sorts of weather when cycling to work. For some reason, when it comes to wet weather, I describe the level of wetness on a three part scale based on the liquid effect on rodents – the three levels being ‘damp rat’, ‘soggy rat’, and ‘drowned rat’. (I suspect Mark Maclean and his interest in things found in the drain may have been the inspiration for my metric.)

Both yesterday and today was a ‘soggy rat’ ride.

Hotels of Lambton

Miners’ Arms Hotel, Lambton.

As a follow up from my January 2021 article on the Reservoir Hotel, I have now finished compiling a comprehensive list of Lambton hotels

The aim was to research and document the names, locations, years of operation, and licensees for each of the 22 hotels that operated (or still operates) in the area covered by the Lambton Municipal Council.

Early on in my research, I came across a 1936 newspaper article looking back at Lambton’s history, which closed with the reminiscence of …

“… the flourishing times when the suburb had no fewer than 16 hotels”

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 February 1936

Normally I am pretty wary about these kind of summary statements made decades after the fact, but to my surprise, when I had finished my research I found it to be dead accurate – in 1881 Lambton reached a peak of 16 hotels!