Trio guides tourists on history’s parth
BEECHWORTH historic precinct guides Ian Sinclair, Daniel Goonan and Michael Beattie enjoy leading daily informative walking tours of the town for thousands of visitors every year.
What is now the historic precinct with its granite buildings was originally known as the Government Camp in 1853.
Guide and history enthusiastic Ian Sinclair said the popular tours had been an important part of Beechworth tourism since the refurbishment of the precinct in 2000.
“‘Echoes of History’ tours are conducted each morning and introduce visitors to many insights about the development of the historic town from when it was first settled in 1853 with the discovery of large deposits of gold,” he said.
“When the gold rush ended it became a government town where the main employers were the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum and the Beechworth gaol.
“The working telegraph office, the court house where visitors can stand in the actual place where Ned Kelly stood in the dock, the Chinese protector’s office and sub-treasury - now the Kelly Vault - are all major attractions for visitors.
“Each afternoon the guides tell the story about the infamous exploits of the Kelly gang and their connection with Beechworth, the court house and the gaol.”
The guides also talk about various well-known characters associated with Beechworth, including Judge Redmond Barry, who sentenced Ned Kelly to death in Melbourne in 1880, Robert O’Hara Burke, who was police superintendent 1854-1858 before his leadership of the ill-fated transcontinental expedition with William Wills, and one-time Victorian premier George Kerferd.
“The town became a melting pot for people from all over the world, Irish, Scottish, English, American, European and at one stage there was a huge number of Chinese people living here,” Mr Sinclair said.
The guides are well informed and enjoy meeting people and telling them the story of this unique and remarkable town.
To find out more about the history of Beechworth locals are invited to join in the tour free of charge.
WALKABOUT: Tour guides Ian Sinclair, Daniel Goonan and Michael Beattie a knowledgeable exponents of Beechworth’s history and love to tell the stories of the district’s colonial settlement and growth.