Sunday, May 23, 2010

A bit of history of the Grange

Cec and Val Battistuzzi and their six children lived at the Grange for 30 years, moving in only a very short time before the birth of their youngest son Stephen in the early 1970's. Just after John and I bought the farm, I plucked up courage and rang Val (who I had never met), because I figured that if you've lived in a place for 30 years and tended it with such care, you probably loved it and would like to know it's being loved again. Val was wonderful on the phone and told me a little of its history (the little we know, for much is yet a mystery: such as when the house was built, by who, and for whom). Val told me of this photo which is kept in the Lismore Museum. I then asked the museum staff for a photocopy which I have scanned (so the resolution isn't great), but you can see the Grange behind the marching Orangemen (I'm not going to go into the history of religious politics here). The photo shows the house taken from Walker St, where the school bus stop is now near the tennis courts. From this position the house can today no longer be seen due to newer buildings and trees.

According to the researchers of the Richmond River Historical society, this photo was taken by W.S. Read of Lismore. The company emboss is just visible on the bottom left of the large photo, actually. Since then I've found out that William Read started his photographic studio in Lismore in 1882. In 1908 the company changed its name. From combining narrated history of the Orange Day marches in Clunes, with discussions with members of the Historical society as well as the time of Read's photographic work, the photo is gauged to have been taken either in 1885, 1890 or 1895. As you can see the Grange was at that time a well-established house.

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