Written by Alastair Lias – Sales Executive – Elders Residential Echuca
Do You Remember
For the past ten years most of my time was spent living in Brisbane. Returning regularly to see family and friends I was always amazed at the progress of the twin towns and the growth the area has and still is experiencing. Every time I returned there was a new building, Bunnings, Dan Murphy’s, Hungry Jacks and the steady residential building sector. Although the growth is exciting it is also important to remember the towns past and not forget the changes that have taken place. I’d love to list a few things that have taken place in my lifetime that newcomers will be interested in and long term residents can enjoy remembering.
Safeway/Woolworths – I remember as a Primary School student at 208 some friends and I had a cubby house in the vacant lot that is now the Woolworths Echuca car park. It was just behind the Chinese restaurant that is now Target. Help me out on this one as I can’t remember the spelling of the restaurant. Fi Gee??
The McDonalds in Echuca now sits on what was Burbury Horne and Co motors. I’d love for someone to tell me when Burbury Horne was first established as I know it was around for many years.
Fig Tree Cottage – Everyone will know the little cottage that sits under the Fig Tree at 368A High Street. I remember as a kid growing up in Hare Street just around the corner, Fig Tree Cottage was always a little spooky and other kids would make up stories about the resident. In later years and after I had successfully bid for the cottage at an auction I learned more of the history. The small four rooms that had floorboards directly sitting on dirt had a family of about five living in it. From the research it was one of the oldest buildings in Echuca and dated back to about 1875. You can still find the timber shingles under the tin roof. There is also a doll we found under the floorboards that is on display at the Historical Society in High Street. It was rumoured that the Fig Tree was planted by the same person that planted the Figs in the Melbourne Botanical gardens however this isn’t verified.
The Aquatic Reserve Observatory. You may remember the concrete building that had a window in it on the edge of the Aquatic Reserve. Not sure of the bright spark that thought that one up as the water was never clear enough to see anything under the water.
Echuca Moama Bridge – It would be hard to imagine a train rolling across the old iron bridge with today’s traffic. I remember the cars stopping and the rice trains rolling across regularly. It’s funny to think the bridge was only ever meant to be for trains but the locals at the time had different ideas.
If you want to discover more about the local history there is a great Facebook Page called Lost Echuca Moama. It’s full of interesting information people send in.