Books Provide Snapshot of Area's History

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Byline: LOCAL HISTORY margaret henderson

THE Historical Society is often asked whether there are any books available on the local area. This is a difficult question because there are simply so many.

Most of these are available at local libraries and some others are at the Historical Society. Local bookshops have more recent titles and there is always the chance of picking up an out-of-print copy at second-hand bookshops.

For a good overview of the whole area there is really only one book.

This is Men and a River: a history of the Richmond River District, 1828-1895 by Louise Tiffany Daley, and published in 1966.

It is still recognised as one of the best regional histories ever published in Australia and has never been superseded.

As well as telling the early history it gives many references and has a fine bibliography.

These include information on primary source material. Copies of some of the items listed are available at the Historical Society while others are available mainly at the State Library in Sydney.

Possibly the most popular books relate to the history of individual towns. In 1983 Foreman Crawford wrote Duck Creek Mountain, now Alstonville.

This book relates to one of the most important cedar-cutting areas on the Richmond and the book is a very personal history with many anecdotes. It was recently reprinted by the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society.

Ballina has Glen Hall's Port of Richmond River: Ballina, 1840-1980s, and Cliff Murray's Across Three Bridges: Island Base For Council, 1883-1983.

The former is largely anecdotal and includes a listing of all known burials in the Old Ballina Cemetery, as well as a list of known wrecks on Ballina Bar. …