The Australian Women's Weekly (1932-1982), Wednesday 14 August 1974, page 36, 37

j

The

Mrs. Mary Kennedy (a niece of explorer Hamilton Hume) "Wonnaminta" roamed to have ghost is said House" "Wonnaminta in and N.S.W., homestead

whose

station
in

the

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46454364

Adelaide

Hills,

S.A.

Floodwaters away

have

swept
home-

"Wonnaminta"
station
will

(N.S.W.)
stead.
to

What

happen
smiling

the

kindly,
of

ghost
woman

the

which, roamed
and Adelaide the

pioneer people
homeher

say,

stead,

also

home?

WITH
outback
The
"

what New
is

has proved South

to

be

a

tragic

irony, the called
words.

Wales

station
of two
and

was

"Wonnaminta."
name a

combination

Aboriginal "minta,"

wonna."'
"'Come In

meaning

"boomerang."

meaning

"water." back water!"
the
a

1879.

homestead, Later
Crafers,
in

R. H. Kennedy family built the graceful pise (cla\ and board) structure.

station

the

Kennedv.s
the

also

bought
Hills.

a

town

house, they
summers.

at

cool

Adelaide

This

called

""Wonnaminta The
\ears

House."

and there thev spent their
left

Kennedy

family
it

"Wonnaminta" bv
Mr.

station

man)

ago. Until last
In

vear.

was

owned
since

and

Mrs. James
the

Chambers. homestead
solid
tennis

the

time
new

the

Kennedys' departure
a

acquired

buildings,

banks,
court.

orchards, flower

by lagoon surrounded gardens, shade trees, and a

The and how He which
summer

pise buildings

still

stood, picturesque
to

pioneer
to

relics, out

Mr. Chambers
to

wrote

the

National

Trust

find

firm retired

up

the
vear

pise

last

against the coming years and he and his wife, Doris, moved
former 12
or

to

"Wonnaminta"
place. earls

the

Kennedy
sears

summer
as

home,
their
own

lhev"d bought

13

before

Then,

this year,

the

water

came

back. The

original

Then,

earls

this year,

the
-

water

came

back. The Kennedy

original
summer as

"Wonnaminta home, which
own summer

House"
place.

The

former
or

they'd bought 12

13 years before

their

in the sunroom
was

of the Adelaide Chambers about she wondered,

"Wonnaminta
the

House"

I

asking house

Mrs. when

flood destruction of where Mrs. Kenneds

the

idly,

would

go now. Mrs. Kennedy? and Mrs.
James station,

Mr.

Chambers, with
one

former

owners

of

"Wonnaminta" Mrs. Chambers

of their racehorses

tells the story of

Mary Kennedy's
"

ghost.

Picture by courtesy of the

"Barrier Miner.

GHOST of

WONNAMINTA

"Yes. Mrs. "Wonnaminta people have Mrs.
1900s.

Kennedv.
House"
seen

She commutes, and

you know,

between

'Wonnaminta' widow
in

station.

Many
in the

her." died,
a

Kennedv
here.

her 90s, earls

tells the tale: Mrs. Chambers of Mrs. Kennedy's ghost really started when the Kennedys came to settle from 'Collingwood.' Goulburn, near in the tar north-west of New where South Wales

From

"The

story

Tibooburra "They
and
a

is.

had horse
staff.

teams,

whole

They

bullock drays, wagons, furniture, lived well. There were maids,
station

I think, a valet. governesses, and. "They took up 'Wonnaminta"

-

about
as

1879. they

The
were

area

had

known
but.
I

already been occupied by squatters, in those days, who took up a lease and
a

had nothing
a

presume,

Hock

of

sheep and

tent

or

hut

on

the

By
waterhole.

Margaret
These
squatters,

Goyder
named and
the

Kerr

Taylor. Robert

Clarke,

and took

Morgan,
over.

in time

moved

on.

Kennedys

a niece of Hamilton Mrs. Kennedy was Mary Hume, Francis the explorer. Her father was Rawdon Hume, Hume and there's a slate at the foot of the christening font here at

thc Craters' church

in his

memory.
"Wonnaminta" and
their
name

"The

Kennedys
a

They

built

did very well on gracious homestead
hospitality.

station.
was

synonymous "They had
hundreds and "There three
block,

with

huge

race

meetings
in buggies

once

of people
there.

came

and

a year drays and

when drags
in

camped

were

lots of the

buildings.

The

homestead
the
one

was

divisions,

dining-room
living
away.

block, and

guest-room
son

and home

the
not

family
far

quarters,

built

another "Mrs.
district.

Kennedy

was

known
to
a
I

as

She Aborigines, and she'd
room,

ministered hold
out.

the clinic

station
every

the good lady of and hands

the
the

morning
oil.
in

in

a

small
salts,

where

she'd dole
left

gather,
thev had

castor

epsom
davs. sad

and Bates's salve. That's what "In Below: 1894 thev
there.

those
ven

Everybody
picnic
races

was

to

see

"Wonnaminta"
were were

in

1892. the

The
race

Kennedys meetings

known
an

for their hospitality and annual gathering.

Aborigines and go. The they carved the date on a tree. them "But
Mrs. place. 'Wonnaminta

station

hands
station, her.

gathered and

and

Kennedy's love of
House." House'
It was was never

the
left

of this

'"Wonnaminta of Mount "The where
rooms now. it

carved
for

out

of rock

on

the side

Lofty.

built

Mr.

Arthur

Hardy,

a

relative of the wine

people, in 1867.
was

quarried rock had been
were

used

to

build the walls, and from
the
use

taken, under made.
We

house,
one as

underground
a

and passages
"It
was

wine cellar records for

from
were

this house
sent

that the official rain

the district

to the Adelaide

Observatory.
the house the
two

"Then
it

when

the

Kennedys bought
on

and named portion of
is it

"Wonnaminta
enormous rooms

House.' they built
they
are
-

front
rows

and

of servants'
also
a

quarters up yonder, ballroom. "The bring
most

beyond
come

the

house. There
for the
we

big

family

would

down Even

summer

and
this

of the staff with them.
were rows

when

bought
numbers
to
is

place there
different

of bells with different
the staff.

and

tonings

to call

died, her ghost began "After Mrs. Kennedv I think. It She commutes. both Wonnamintas. her. thing thal so many children have seen I I didn't believe in the was "'When young. Now
I

appear at a strange world.

spirit

keep

an

open
seen

mind.
Mrs.
seems

.Tve never she visited me. when she

Kennedy, but
to

She

shouldn't mind if be always friendly and smiling
as

I

comes,

and
I

kindly

she

was

when

she

was

mistress of the Wonnamintas. "The and
one

first
a

visit

recall

was

when had
Doris,

we

were us.

at

the station
me

had

seven-vear-old
that
someone

girl

staving with
leant
over came

She told her bed
to
see me

morning
a
-

and
last

smiled, and she said, 'Auntv night
"I

who

dear old lady?"
for a description,

asked
I

then said. 'You

dreamt

that,

dear!'

realised

what had happened. has
either
seen

"Everyone who
is

Mary Kennedy
a

on a wears

her

visits

dressed says she and lots of shining beads, or sometimes is always parted grey gown. Her hair drawn back severely. "One

in

black frock with she
in the

tight waist
a

filmy and

middle

child staying with had another school holidays we into her room thing who had come asked the same She the night before, smiled at her, then walked out of the
us.

room? "Then
we

-

had

a

teenage

boy

staying.

He

said

one

"Wonnaminta" 1894. From

station some right to left are

time Frank

between

1888

and

Kennedy's

(a son's)

kitchen house, the main house, the barracks, the men's house. and the coach and hut. blacksmith's shop,

morning he thought
and
one

we

must

have
room.

had

come

into

his

had late-night visitors His description of the

and

one
was

had
the

come same.

into

his

room.

His description of the of these
and
was

visitor

"Now,
ever

bear in mind
the
seen

that

not

one

children had
visits. to
us

heard
not even

story

of Mrs.

Kennedy
This

her

They
later

had

her photograph. family because
said
to if
we ever

given

bv the

Kennedy

of their mother's
left

the station.

They

love for we the station, would she had also loved.

bring the photograph "Our had god-son.
visits

this house, which

who

three

spent a lot of his holidays with us. Mrs. from Kennedy, always in her
at

old-fashioned "All those

clothes.
visits were

the station.

time ago and "Here, people who lived in this house some who knew nothing of the story, told us about an old lady a chair in the hallway. and sat peacefully on who came Several of their friends, thev said, had "The
artist
seen

her.

house

has

a

couple

of Hats.

We

had

an

English

and

mentioned "When
"We the end

her daughter here at one Mrs. Kennedy to them.
we

stage,

and

nobody
us

returned from

the station, she greeted

with

'Mrs. Chambers,

ghost.' you have a laughed, but she said. 'You

have, she appeared

on

w of the veranda, just at dusk. She was earing gre\ and you could see the lattice-work through her long gown." "I've only heard of one disturbed when person who was of the came. A couple were staving in one Mrs. Kennedy

Hats and the husband
cats

was

not

well. He
was

was

in bed. with two television.

asleep "All of

at
a

his feel.

His wife
the cats

watching
their

sudden

Huffed

The) dashed out, skidding along thumped against the front door and
"The
pillows.
man

up and spat. the passage until thev the wife let them out.
at

fur

said

an

old lady materialised smiled
at

the foot of hts

bed. walked

round, he
said

him.

and

plumped
she
came on

up

his

"His wife said
the bedroom. the moment. He

was

paper-white

when

into

his hair actually

did stand

end for

"Yet "Now
picture

Mrs.
to

Kennedy
the sick.
I

was

still

kindly, sympathetically mind
And
on

ministering world. I've
will

you
no

see cause

yvhv
to

keep
an

an

open

about
Mrs.

the spirit Kennedy's

fear anything.

ahvays have drawing-room."

honored

place

the wall ol"our

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