I recently had the good fortune to read a copy of Pitt Water Chronicles, published by the Sorell Historical Society.
The book, published last month, is a collection of fascinating history articles including family histories, memories and the community interests of the people and places in the Southern Tasmanian municipality.
It provides a wonderful insight into the history of the region from the time that Tasmanian Aboriginal people were custodians of the land.
The land and coastline now known as the Sorell Municipality was the territory of the Mumirimina people, one of ten bands of the Oyster Bay tribe.
Did you know that Steele’s Island, nestled at the mouth of the Carlton River and protected by Carlton Bluff, was home to the Mumirimina for thousands of years?
There are other stories in the Chronicles like the one about the first Sorell regatta, on December 30, 1859.
The Ladies Purse was one of three races. It was a four-oared race over eight miles between Woody Island, a boat moored off the Lower Settlement at Pittwater, back to a boat moored off Barren Island and returning to Woody Island.
Miss Gatehouse presented the prize to J. Paterson, coxswain of the winning boat, the Sorell Belle.
There is also an article about the night of an audacious raid by bushranger Matthew Brady and his gang on the headquarters of the Sorell military headquarters.
The story goes that Brady was intent on releasing any of the jail’s inmates as well as shooting Constable Laing and Lieutenant Gunn.
Evidently Brady burst into the headquarters with a couple of others and said, “I am Brady and if any of you move an inch, we will give you a volley for your pains.”
They quickly over-powered the surprised soldiers and locked them up in one of the cells.
I commend this local publication to you for a great read.