I amuse myself, Lawrence of Clarence River, thoughts in my mind was Lawrence of Arabia, I know, it's different. Just my twisted mind.
The little town of Lawrence, established 18 something, sits on the banks of the mighty Clarence River on the north coast of New South Wales. 18something!? You say. Well yes, 18 something, I can not find a specific 'established' date for this tiny little town steeped in history.
Photos within the museum tell me that it was a town more than likely around the 1860's. Public education certainly existed during 1864 however the school buildings foundation was not laid until 1880. Many other major buildings were not erected it seems until around the 1880's either.
Past recollections of previous generations, tell stories of Lawrence being a busy little port with many wharves, a great number of boats hauling up and down the river, 3 hotels, 2 large sawmills, 2 general stores, a bank, and a butter factory!
Loads of potato's were shipped, timber, duck hunting seasons existed back then in Australia, the timber industry in the area was booming and for a price illicit rum could be procured from the surrounding bush areas. Bit like being able to procure white lightning from the hills of Kentucky I imagine.
Of course these days Lawrence is very much a sugar cane growing area and from Paddlewheel and Emeralds place it is not uncommon to see the occasional cane fire burn off.
I mentioned the Museum. The Lawrence Museum is housed in an old radio station building. 2NR was the station. It has been stripped out – some radio gear preserved for history – and now has been set up as different rooms.
There is the kitchen area items, the sewing room with a beautiful display of sewing machines, merchandisers cards of needles, buttons, patterns etc.
The bedroom is kitted out with baby linen, old quilts, beds, etc. The parlour with musical instruments, tea sets, and a gorgeous old wedding dress.
There are War related displays which are yet to be revamped as there are many more pieces to be included.
I was genuinely impressed by the hard work and efforts that the volunteers carry out here. They are to be commended.
To finish this quick afternoon tour, we stepped outside to leave. There are some out buildings filled with farm implements that I didn't go take a look at as it was near closing time.
I did take a quick look at the very small cottage that housed a family with 8 children at one point! An interesting story in itself, the tiny cottage was home to a gentleman named Edward Ramsamy. Known as Ram Chandra he was, in later life, instrumental in assisting the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory with an antivenene for the deadly Taipan snakes.
So there you go! A little bit, about a small town alongside a big river. Thanks Emerald for taking me to see it!
20th November 2016