An extract from Mitta Mitta: the early pioneering days.
brave pioneer women who with their husbands helped to blaze the trail
in this lovely district of ours. Of
these there is one of whom I would like to make special mention, Mrs. Mary
Coleman, of “Springvale” Mitta Mitta.
December 1865, Mrs. Coleman
was born at Rocky Point near Stanley in Victoria.
When about nine years of age her parents, Mr. And Mrs. Robert Enever,
with their family moved to the goldfields at Granite flat in john Cardwell’s
bullock dray. It was here that she
received her schooling.
age of 16 years she married Edwin Coleman and settled at the Mitta Mitta River.
The spot is still known as Coleman’s Garden and many a picnic has been
enjoyed under the shade of their old orchard trees.
They later moved to “Springvale,” a property further down the river.
Her husband was engaged in mining for a number of years.
December 30th, 1898, Mr. Coleman’s sister, Mrs. Robert Enever, rode
saddle with her baby, James Enever, on her knee to visit her brother and
wife. Journeying in the heat of the
day she became ill and died at their home of sunstroke, leaving a family of
eight children, the baby being only ten months old.
Mrs. Coleman reared this little child until he was old enough to be cared
for by his eldest sister.
December 6th, 1901, Mrs. Coleman’s husband was killed by a fall of
earth in the Callaghan Claim and his funeral took place from Robert Enever’s
dwelling nearby – his late sister’s home.
Mrs. Coleman was left with a family of nine children, the baby, Thomas
Coleman, being about ten months old. She
also reared a niece and a grandson.
Coleman was a good horsewoman and rode side
No distance was too great in time of sickness and bereavement.
On one occasion when her son-in-law, John Burley, met with an accident
and was admitted to the Albury Hospital she rode to Tallangatta intending to
make the balance of the journey by rail, but upon her arrival therefound she had
just missed the train. Determined to
fulfil her mission and having a good horse she again set off on a long ride to
number of years Mrs. Coleman was engaged in dairying at “Springvale” and
supplied cream to the Eskdale Butter Factory, delivering it with horse and gig
to the main Mitta North road, a distance of seven miles.
She later moved with her youngest son to another farm, “Sunnybank,”
about two miles from the Mitta Mitta township.
her long life, Mrs. Coleman enjoyed good health until 1935 when she was admitted
to hospital with pneumonia. The last
few years she enjoyed travelling, visiting the homes of her family, and while
spending a holiday with her daughter at Daylesford in 1946 she suffered a
stroke. At the age of 82 years she
passed away at the Tallangatta Hospital in January, 1948, beloved and respected
by all who knew her.”
SOURCE: Mitta Mitta, from the early pioneer days, courtesy of Lee Enever
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