Stawell, 'From W.J. Chapman, Photographer, Stawell' (on a small printed label mounted inside each cover), [circa 1939].
A stock album ('Kodak, Series No. 2AU', 262 × 330 mm), containing 28 loose-leaf card leaves with 43 gelatin silver photographs (approximately 155 × 210 mm or the reverse) mounted one to a page (the versos of some leaves are left blank); all images have informative captions written in black ink in a calligraphic hand below them on the mount.
Limp cloth, with the loose leaves post-bound; front cover (with the gilt monogram 'DK') lightly stained; edges a little bumped, with a short split to the head of the front joint; the contents are in fine condition.
The 'Horsham Times' (Friday 12 May 1939) contains a paragraph of information relevant to the album: 'A tower and clock, presented to Stawell by Mrs Norman Kelly, of Sydney, in memory of her parents, were officially handed over at a ceremony in front of the town hall [on 10 May]. Mrs Kelly's father, the late Mr G. Barnes, was a Stawell Borough Councillor for 47 years. The work cost £2500, and is the largest single gift in Stawell's history. The tower is 50 feet above the town hall. The clock has four dials, each 7 feet in diameter. A bell weighs 1140 lb. The Mayor accepted the gift on behalf of Stawell citizens and Cr D. Mitchell gave an address on the life and work of the late Cr and Mrs Barnes. Later the Mayor entertained Mrs Kelly and leading citizens at afternoon tea'. Eight of the plates relate directly to the event; another one shows the 1872 town hall before the 1939 tower went up; the last one in the album is a streetscape at night, showing the illuminated clock tower. There are ten views of the town; the six from the top of Big Hill appear to form a panorama. There are a handful of miscellaneous views in and around the place, including two from the 'Back to Stawell' event in 1935, and two of the Deep Lead Memorial (one featuring Mr F. Stevens, 'the oldest living male resident in Victoria'). Another thirteen are of the Grampians: features include several of or from Chatauqua Peak, Mt Victory, Mt Victory Road, Sister Rocks, Lubra Mount, and Barney's Castle, with a few in and around Hall's Gap. Four towards the end of the album feature a substantial brick residence, 'Walmsley', Seaby Street, Stawell. The house still stands, and is of local heritage importance: 'The house at 26 Seaby Street, Stawell, makes a significant contribution to the predominantly single storey, Victorian styled streetscape of Seaby Street. This house is largely intact on the exterior, and was built in 1907 for the local brickmaker and his wife, Mr and Mrs George Barnes. The house is one of the earliest in Stawell constructed by machine-made bricks.... George Barnes was a successful fruit grower, pioneering the export fruit trade to England in the second half of the 19th century, as well as pioneering machine-made bricks from 1906 as part of the Stawell Pressed Brick Company. Barnes also served the community for many years as a Councillor, with a period as Mayor in 1910-11' (Heritage Council Victoria database, online). Interestingly, Mrs Norman Kelly, the daughter of George Barnes, in town for the unveiling of the clock tower tablet, appears in two of these photographs of the old family home. We are of the opinion that this album was produced specifically for, or at the behest of, Mrs Kelly, and may well be a unique record.