The ram’s head and the rock playground

A visit to the farm

Time flies and the past slides into the distance. After my series of A-Z posts in April, I enjoyed a week’s visit to South Australia. This chance to catch up with family brought more shared memories, photographs and reminiscences of times past. With my brother I toured the farm 2017 style, looked at additions and changes that time has wrought since I lived there as a child.

A visit to the sheds revealed that, amongst other treasures, the ram’s head I mentioned in Making merry and other muck still hangs in the shearing shed 50 years later. The lower jaw is missing as is the wire my brother had rigged to move the jaw up and down just as friends glanced upwards to view the light source. At the time, much amusement followed as there was speculation about how much drink had been consumed at the 21st birthday party that was in progress. “Did that jaw really open and close?”

In the sheds, evidence of my father's labour. The hand built walls from creek gravel and cement which grew by a plank width and height over time. The wooden gates, fences and yards painstakingly constructed as he followed in the footsteps of those who had laboured and innovated before him.

Walls in the cowshed and shearing shed built up
layer by layer, plank by plank
Evidence of my brother's labour - looking up in the lofty sheds to the frames welded together then mounted high before installing the roofing. Evidence of the ongoing work  and new sheds, now with machinery that dwarfs that of yesteryear, more technical expertise needed as well as the hard physical labour.


The rock playground

We clambered onto the rocks once more in the creek where we played happily for hours as children. Over the years the creek has deepened but recognisable clefts in the rocks and the ‘seats’ remain the same.  The lower branches of the trees where we bounced up and down and rode them as ‘horses’ are still there.
Further down were the ponds where we gathered tadpoles and moss. The old house was built along the edge of this creek for the fresh water it supplied.
The rock playground in the creek



The old walls of the original stone house built in the 1850s crumble now, but the memories of times past are reinforced by shared photos, memorabilia and a tribute to those men and women who have lived and laboured on this farm to provide for their families in good times and lean.

from 1858: the widow Johanna Horgan with sons John, Thomas and Daniel
1863 John and Honora Horgan, then with sons Andrew, John (Jack) and Tom, daughters Catherine (Kate) and Johanna
from 1883 the widow Honora Horgan with sons Andrew, John (Jack) and Tom until Andrew's marriage in 1906 took him to Alma, SA.
until 1941 Jack and Tom with their sister Kate
1942 return of Andrew (after the deaths of Jack and Tom) with his son Eddie and Hannah Horgan
until 1975 Eddie and Hannah Horgan with their son, my brother
My brother and his wife and children
and now my nephew, the current incumbent.

One of the original, now crumbling walls, stones and mud