When it comes to urban legends everyone has story to share, because it’s folklore that someone, somewhere at sometime saw it with their own eyes…or did they You can be the judge with some of the myths and legends of the North East and Goulburn Valley.
An intriguing story of an elephant buried under the old Windsor Park Bowling club in Albury recently led to a discussion of local myths and legends on ABC Goulburn Murray.
Polly McQuinns Reserve
“Polly McQuinns is named from the tragic drowning of the bloke. Legend has it his ghost haunts the watering-hole to this day.’
The early settler got his name because he couldn't grow a beard, one nite when driving his horse and jinker home, he missed the bridge, fell in and drowned.
Rumor has it the waterhole is bottomless and that's why there was no trace of Polly or his horse.
Mooroopna’s Gray Nurse
Glenda co-ordinates the medical display at Grutzner House Musuem. Tells of a nurse from the early 1900’s, whose ghost is known to roam the corridors of the old Mooroopna Hospital.
Often seen above the tower of the hospital in traditional ‘uniform of the day’, former staff members have noted hearing odd noises and sensing her presence.
Known as the Gray Nurse, she still occupies the space where it's understood she once worked and there are no signs of her wanting to be discharged.
Visitors to the former hospital and museum have felt a ‘presence’. Are ‘positive the Gray Nurse is very present at nite’.
One visitor even claiming to have seen her in the car park late one nite.
Museum volunteers seem to welcome the mystery and intrigue, believing the nurse is ‘protecting the heritage of the site.’
The disappearing prospector
As a member of the Bright and Harrietville Historical Society, Andrew Swift, shares his story from the gold rush era.
Prospector James Bloomfield disappeared after traveling in the winter months to a large gold field he'd discovered in the upper Dargo area, only to get lost in a blizzard and never return.
it's rumoured that Bloomfield planned to ‘head for the hills’. With a stash of money, however his major gold field was never located and his ‘bones were never found. Was he ever seen or heard of again.’
After the gold mining boom, large sums of gold were being transported between towns in the Beechworth and Eldorado areas. Had became regular targets for Bushrangers.
One particular Bushranger, Buttrey decided to ambush a coach passing through the Beechworth area, acquiring a ‘large sum’. Of gold, before fleeing to Eldorado.
However, he was caught shortly afterward. Without the gold, which is rumoured to be hidden in the Woolshed Valley and ‘never recovered.’
To this day people search for the missing gold.
One body, two plots
The story is of a Tasmanian convict who moved into the Ovens area in search of gold in 1859.
He changed his name from Dennis Oakes to Dennis Ryan.
But tragedy struck Dennis when he drowned in the Ovens River.
When his death was registered in the Myrtleford Pioneer cemetery, it was done so twice, with two burial plots.
This ‘complete disappearing act’. Causes locals to question whether ‘someone knew that Dennis had two surnames’. The mystery of how one man has two official final resting places remains.
Elephant bones and Albury’s CML Building
Although Joe Wooding, a member of the Albury and District Historical Society, tries to ‘disprove mysteries’, the ambiguity of whether there were elephant bones in Windsor Park was raised with the recent demolition of the bowling club on the corner of Young Street and Railroad Place.
Circuses are known to have traveled through the Albury area in the past and perform at that space before it became a bowling green.
However, Joe looked into it the story and didn’t find anything that remotely resembles a story with an elephant being buried.
The demolition work also didn’t unearth any remains.
Another legend Joe shared with us is of the CML Building with the clock tower on the Corner of Dean and Olive streets.
In early 1924 the Council of the day voted twice to pull it down as it was seven inches on public land.
What myths and legends do you know about our region We're always keen to discuss some of those unusual stories, the ones that may or may not have any substance but everyone knows the urban legend.
Once owned by a brewer this dilapidated building was a private home. Like many spaces and places throughout our region there are different stories as to who owns it now and what it was once used for.(Gaye Pattison –. ABC Local )
A listener, Trevor shares what he knows about Polly McQuinns reserve, Mooroopna Historical Society member Glenda Collins has a story on the Gray Nurse, Bright and Harrietville Historical Society member Andrew Swift shed some light on a disappearing prospector from the gold rush era, Eldorado Museum Association President and Liaison Officer, Sue Phillips, had a classic tale of Bushrangers and robbery, Myrtleford and District Historical Society President John Taylor knows how the local cemetery has one body with two plots. Albury and District Historical Society’s Joe Wooding spoke of an iconic building destined to be demolished because it was just over 17 centimetres on public land.
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