Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Daisy and Draper's Siding #AtoZChallenge2016

D is for Daisy Louisa Harvison and later Draper's Siding.

Daisy Louisa Harvison, my second cousin twice removed,  was born on 3rd August 1895 in Walkerston. She was the first child of James Harvison and Florence Elizabeth Walker. The Harvison family lived and farmed at Newbury Junction near Marian. Daisy lost her father when she was three when he died in 1898. Her mother was left with three small children and married again to Edward Powell (Paul) Poulson in 1904.

Pottering around TROVE I found Daisy mentioned in the Mackay Mercury's Marian notes describing the facilities in Marian - obviously, Daisy was doing well in her refreshment room - I wonder what her scones were like?

1923 'MARIAN.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 28 March, p. 8. , viewed 04 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169209483

 By January 1924, however, Daisy had sold her refreshment room business and was advertising in the Mercury that all accounts must be paid. Perhaps she sold her business because of her other family commitments or perhaps she was not doing so well? 

1924 'Advertising', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 21 January, p. 8. , viewed 04 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169221213
Daisy was active in the Marian community, both as a businesswoman and as an active community member.  A mention in the Marian Notes in the Mercury shows Daisy as Secretary of the Matron's and Spinsters Ball committee - how interesting a Spinsters Ball!

1924 'MARIAN.', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 5 July, p. 3. , viewed 04 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168136516

Daisy is next noted in 1925 organising a Sale of Work in aid of the Church of England - note that it is to be followed by a Grand Carnival Dance and Euchre Party.I can just imagine the handiworks that were offered for the sale of work - I'm sure they were beautiful - another glimpse of forgotten days.  My grandmother loved Euchre and often talked about dances and euchre parties - I guess this sort of event was just such a one.

1925 'Advertising', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 7 October, p. 8. , viewed 04 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168620397

There are many more mentions of Daisy being involved in the local community of Marian. She was organising fundraisers for the local Church of England, fancy dress dances, and morning teas. No doubt her experience as a businesswoman in her refreshment rooms gave her a head start.

Daisy married Wilhelm August Carl Zunker on the 9th June 1926 - possibly in Marian. She died on the 18th October 1983 - more research needed.

Reading about Daisy in the Marian community in the 1920s we can see a glimpse of what community life was like - there being no TV or the Internet - people made their own events gathering together and meeting other like-minded people. Daisy fits into my impression of what rural Mackay was like from conversation with my grandmother who was born in  North Eton in 1898.

Now ... on to Draper's Siding named after Andrew Draper who owned the land where the railway line finished to the north of the township of Eton.

The introduction of the train service to the Pioneer Valley (Mackay Region) on 10th August 1885 when the first trains ran to Mackay from Draper's Siding (near Eton). The total length of the line opened on that day was 22.4 miles (Daily Mercury Saturday 26 August 1939). There was also a branch line from Newbury Junction to Hamilton (later called Mirani) on the banks of the Pioneer River. The railway certainly opened up the area west of Mackay and enabled passengers and goods to be transported easily and with some confidence of frequency of trains. No doubt the Harvison and Walker families used this line.

Scrolling through TROVE there is numerous mentions of the ambulance service at Draper's Siding and the number of cases transported - it seems that the area had its fair share of trauma.

In 1902, the half-yearly meeting of the North Eton Cooperative Mill reported that the tramway connected to Draper's Siding was lifted and relaid to connect with Victoria Siding, a station one mile closer to the mill. At the time of reporting my great grandfather John Douglas Thomas, was the Secretary of the Mill. 

1902 'North Eton Central Mill.', Mackay Mercury (Qld. : 1887 - 1905), 4 September, p. 2. , viewed 05 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170219358
There are many mentions of events surrounding Draper's Siding on TROVE as previously mentioned. In 1952 the following occurred:

1952 'SIDING TO BE REMOVED', Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 - 1954), 1 April, p. 2. , viewed 04 Apr 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article172092322

So after 67 years the actual rail siding was removed - however people still reside in the Draper's Siding area today.


  1. I really enjoyed reading about Daisy. She was a mover and shaker in her community.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Jollett Etc.