Directed Study Blog Post 2
As part of my directed study I have been talking to David Jarman, a local historian who has been gathering oral histories and stories about Oaklands House for a number of years. One of these stories struck me as particularly interesting so I thought I would take an opportunity to share it here:
From their home in England the Kearne family purchased the site for Oaklands Estate sight unseen. They had been shown its general location on a map and were aware that the Sturt River flowed through the property.
Upon setting out from England they ordered all the materials necessary to build the homestead, outbuildings, and other aspects of the property; they purchased a ship or boat to take their materials to the site of the estate, and they hired a crew to sail the ship and later to assist as labourers and workers on the property.
They arrived in Australian prepared to sail their new ship up the Sturt River to the site of their new estate, unfortunately the agent who sold them the land had neglected to tell them that the Sturt River is little more than a seasonal creek and certainly not capable of accommodating a barge filled with building materials.
Other means of transporting the materials overland were arranged eventually and the estate was constructed by 1844. Interestingly enough, though, many members of the ship’s crew did go on to work on the property; even parts of the ship itself contributed to the homestead’s construction. Until its demolition in 1967 the ship’s bell hung over the back door of the estate.