Did you know this about Clare?

Updated: Mar 8

Little-known facts and rumours about Clare's history:

Amuse and entertain your Christmas guests with these little known histories of Clare:

1. Lost History of Clare — 2. Lost names around Clare — 3. Aboriginal Name for Clare — 4. Aboriginal Name for Hutt River — 5. Who the Hutt River is named after — 6. The parents of Ned Kelly, the Australian bushranger, lived at Penwortham — 7. The Hills around Clare had NO Trees 8. Christmas Greetings from all your history-buff friends!

Lost History of Clare:

1. "The Past 100 Years of Clare and District" by E.E.H. Tilbrook

The book on the History of Clare, that never was.

An early History of Clare was almost written by E.H.H. Tilbrook ("Clarion"),

editor of the Northern Argus, which was accomplished during World War II, and entitled 'The Past 100 Years of Clare and District.' Two thirds had been completed by May 1944.

Editor E.H. Tilbrook

The book was to contain 300 to 400 pages with 100 photographs.



All the local history of Clare's past businesses and organizations had been nearly completed. Clarion said that "I am now engaged in incorporating — (up--dated here with current Wikipedia links)

Two versions (but actually four)

of that Clare History were eventually published,

  1. "The Paths of Glory lead but to the Grave" by Millie Tilbrook

In 1939 Millie published ten popular articles in the Northern Argus newspaper, which the Tilbrook family published entitled "The Paths of Glory lead but to the Grave."

-- Early History of the Cemeteries of Clare and District. Clare Cemetery.

[From " CLARION'S" Note Book in collaboration with Miss M. F. Tilbrook.] “Clarion” was the late Eric Tilbrook, one time editor of the Northern Argus. Both of his sons, Ian and Dennis, became editors in later years.

This has been reprinted by the Clare History Group as originally published in The Northern Argus in 1939, and re-released with updated index $20 from CRHG.


2. TALKING HISTORY Tales of Clare S.A. by R.J. (Bob) Noye (2003)

50 articles published weekly in the Northern Argus. $15 (100 pages, with photos)

And the other two histories of Clare are:

3. "FEDERATION CD-ROM - history of the Clare & Gilbert Valley District"

This is a very comprehensive local History for all computer buffs and their friends - and a great gift idea! (2002) $5 from CRHG.


4. The real star of these histories is the new 5th edtion of CLARE - A DISTRICT HISTORY by R.J. Noye (2021).

A Definitive History of the town and district, includes photographs, sketches & maps. An essential starting point in Clare research. 231pp. 5th edition 2021, with new index. $50 from CRHG.


2. Lost Place Names — DID YOU KNOW— (asked Clarion in 1944)
  1. that the Hutt River was originally called the River Hut;

  2. that in 1866 the town of 'Sevenhill' was first officially described as 'Seven-hills' and then became known in 1858 as "Seven Hill";

  3. that the Camel's Hump is a hill 10 miles North of Clare (The nearest road to Camels Hump is an unsealed road );

  4. that Port Pirie was once known as Port 'Peri';

  5. that Emu Rock really is a rocky hill 4 miles West of Clare, (and there is a road to it)....

  6. Emu Plains (County of Stanley) lies South West of Clare, and there is (or was) a fine spring there known as Emu spring.

3. The Aboriginal Name for Clare — is 'Kyneetcha'

"Some time ago Mr. J. W. Ohlmeyer (who was twice mayor of Clare prior to two World Wars) asked Clarion to try and find out the aboriginal name for Clare".


4. The native name for the Hutt River is 'Parrioworta.'

5. the Hutt River is named after Mr. William Hutt, M.P.

"(brother of Governor John Hutt, of W.A.) This member of Parliament was one of the members of the first Colonization Commissioners of S.A., in London."

Sir William Hutt is commemorated in the name of the Hutt River in the North Island of New Zealand and the cities of Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt, which stand on its banks.

The Hutt River, South Australia and the Hutt River and Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia were also named in his honour. Hutt Street, Adelaide in South Australia carries his name.

6. The parents of Ned Kelly, the Australian bushranger, lived at Penwortham.

"Mr. M. L. Giles, of Mintaro, has told 'Clarion' that this item is included in Rodney Cockburn's 'Pastoral Pioneers,' and the authority is a Mr. Roach, an early pioneer of that locality.


Mr. Giles says he has checked the data and that he has discussed the matter with Mr. J. T. Mortlock, of Martindale Hall."


7. The Clare Hills originally Had No Trees

"An examination of Explorer Eyre's 2 Volumes of 1839-1841 and Horrocks' journal in 1841-1842, show that the valley of the Hutt was almost denuded of trees.


This is hard to believe when we look at the Eucalypt forests that now abound, even in Clare itself."

"An (early) photograph in possesion of some Clare family that I saw many years ago, shows the grounds of Mrs. John Christison's home 'Weroona' in North West Ward and the ranges adjacent as bare of tree life.

  • In fact, the grounds of 'Bleak House,' as it was then called, had English shrubs, and trees freshly planted about 1 foot high.

  • The same thing applied to the grounds of Doctor J. W. D. Bain, the adjoining property, which was planted by the late Mr. W. G. B. Lewcock "

Dear Readers: I am obliged to call your attention to the mis-statement that the Ranges were bare of trees, since the photo shows they were actually quite treed. However the lower slopes look clear-felled. So 'Do the Clare Hills Look Bare'? No. Just the acreage below.


8. Christmas Greetings from all your history-buff friends!

Herewith a Christmas Greeting courtesy of our most eminent Clare Historian and awarded Heritage enthusiast...





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