Sunday, April 6, 2014

Trove Tuesday: In which the Sims holiday in Hepburn Springs

In the 1930s Charles and Euphemia Sims were living at Mitiamo and had operated a busy general store there as well as a farm and store at Pine Grove. They dabbled in other business enterprises as well - an ice store, a butter factory, providing electricity, running a cafe and selling icecream at the Mitiamo railway station.

They and their family were very busy in work and community activities in the farming community on the hot plains north of Bendigo. So it is natural that they would look to the cooler climate of Hepburn Springs in central Victoria when they purchased a holiday house and there was the added attraction of the mineral springs that abound in the Hepburn Springs/Daylesford area. It was a popular health resort. Maybe they had holidayed there a number of times before they decided to purchase - we'll never know - but at some stage they bought a house in Church Avenue and called it 'Mitiamo House'.

'Mitiamo House', Church Avenue, Hepburn Springs
I didn't know what street the house was in until I found several advertisements using the resources at Trove. 'Mitiamo House' was advertised as a holiday rental during the 1930s and early 1940s. I found out that it accommodated four to eight people, was furnished, had all conveniences including electric light, sewerage, had a garage and was situated in a favourite position in Church Avenue near the springs. It was also next to the Grand.

From a tourist folder: 'The Grande' guest house, Hepburn Springs
The Argus, 5 August 1933
The Argus, 22 January 1938
The Argus, 27 April 1940
The female Sims were meticulous and proud housekeepers so there are stories of the daughters having to travel down to Hepburn Springs to clean the house after the holidaying tenants had departed. There are also stories of fun times when the family holidayed there themselves.

Family members at one of the springs, 1937
From a tourist folder: Locarno Springs, Hepburn Springs
From a tourist folder: Wyuna Spring, Hepburn Springs
From a tourist folder: The suspension bridge, Hepburn Springs
Joy Phelan on the suspension bridge, Hepburn Springs
The Blowhole, Hepburn Springs
Ina, Neil and Doug Phelan at The Blowhole, Hepburn Springs
Some time in the 1940s the house was sold. Reluctantly and resentfully. Apparently there was a government regulation about holiday houses that had to be complied with but I have yet to identify what that regulation was.

The house still exists, and so does 'The Grande' next door. Both have been altered but not so that they are unrecognisable.

The former 'Mitiamo House', 5 Church Avenue, Hepburn Springs. [Google Maps, Street View, 2014]

1 comment:

  1. Family history research at its best. There is such a joy in following all those leads and trails - old pictures, newspaper cuttings, postcards - and seeing where they end up.


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