Quinn historical tour or How far to get to school?

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January 3rd 2006
Published: January 8th 2006
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Mt Bryan East schoolMt Bryan East schoolMt Bryan East school

This is the school that Dan's Great Grandfather Thomas attended. He had to walk 1 mile to get to school from the original homestead but that became 5 miles when they moved to Almondvale. Best to view this as a Full Image and then use Next to scroll through the other images.
During our visit to Mt Bryan we were treated to a historical tour of the area by Jim Quinn (Dan's Grandfather). This entry shares what we found out.

The Quinn family migrated to Australia from Ireland in 1853 and have resided in South Australia ever since. The family homes have been around Mt Bryan, progressively moving in a clockwise direction around the mountain.

Dan’s Great Grandfather on the Quinn side of the family spent the first 8 years of his life in a little house 8 miles north from Mount Bryan (section 662). His name was Thomas James Quinn (born 20/9/1892 at Mount Bryan East, died 9/4/1975 Burra). He lived with his parents William Henry Quinn (born 2/11/1861 at Princess Royal Station, south of Burra, and died 6/10/1948 Burra) and Anne O’Mealley (born 8/7/1865 Kapunda, died 8/3/1957 Adelaide) and attended the Mount Bryan East school. He was the oldest of 7 children. When the Quinn family moved to "Almondvale" at Mt Bryan East, Thomas' walk to Mt Bryan East school went from being 1 mile to 5 miles.

Thomas fought in the First World War in the 32nd battalion and won a Military Medal. When he returned from
The ruins of the original homesteadThe ruins of the original homesteadThe ruins of the original homestead

Peter is standing next to the hearth of the house where Great-Grandfather Thomas was born. There is a flock of sheep in the next paddock. This property is located to the north of the mountain.
the war he was given the farm at Almondvale as a gift from his parents. At the age of 30, Thomas married the then 26-year-old Harriett Smith from Quorn, and their fourth child was James Vincent Quinn, otherwise known as “Poppa”. In 1923 they moved into a house just out side of the township of Mt Bryan, so Poppa only had to walk down the hill to go to the Mt Bryan school.

When Poppa was 20 years old he married Nanna (Rosemary Gladys Samuels; age 18). Their wedding was on August 22, 1953. Peter (a.k.a. Dad) was the seventh of their eleven children. The bus picked him up to take him the 8 km to his school at the Mount Bryan township. Dad (aged 25) and Mum (aged 28) married on the 22nd July 1991. Their first and only child was Dan, who gets driven the 7km to his school (although every now and then he rides his bike with Mum).

The Mount Bryan East school is now a part of the Heysen trail and it is possible to organise overnight camping in the school house through the ‘Friends of the Heysen trail’ in Adelaide.


Box thorns, plough and shedBox thorns, plough and shedBox thorns, plough and shed

There were numerous pieces of old farm equipment at the original homestead site. In the distance you can see the ruins of the shed buildings.
says …

Boy it was a long way to school for my great grandfather - 5 miles. Only the girls had horses and the boys had to walk. I found a lucky horse shoe at the old place and rusty ploughs and harvesters that I could climb up. There were also spiky bushes there which were pretty tough. There were ruins of a small hut and a shed where my great-grandfather lived. Poppa had tonnes of information about the Quinn history and how his father lived. When I was talking about tonnes I was talking about a trailer with 24 tonnes of wheat in it and 20 tonnes of the vehicle - making a total of 44 tonnes (is that a lot or what?).

Joke time ….

Q. What did the piece of bread say when it bumped into the toaster?
A. I’m toast

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


At  the birthplace of Great-Grandfather ThomasAt  the birthplace of Great-Grandfather Thomas
At the birthplace of Great-Grandfather Thomas

Peter (Dad), Dan and Jim Quinn (Poppa) standing at the birthplace of Poppa's father, Thomas.
Lucky horseshoeLucky horseshoe
Lucky horseshoe

There was a lot of bits and pieces at the original homestead. Dan found a horseshoe which he took for good luck.

This certificate, from Mt Bryan East school, showed that Great grandfather Thomas passed his 5th grade examination in reading, composition, dictation, drawing and arthmetic on the 4-12-1905.
Almondvale homesteadAlmondvale homestead
Almondvale homestead

The next move the family made was clockwise around the mountain to the east side. This image shows the ruins of the house at "Almondvale". The property had an underground cement water tank, which helped keep the water cool.
On the east of the mountainOn the east of the mountain
On the east of the mountain

This arial photograph shows how Almondvale was located on the east of the mountain.
Sheep Tracks to the trough at AlmondvaleSheep Tracks to the trough at Almondvale
Sheep Tracks to the trough at Almondvale

Not only did the sheep have to walk a lot at Almondvale, Great Grandfather Thomas had to now walk 5 miles to get to and from school.
Thomas to first world warThomas to first world war
Thomas to first world war

Great Grandfather Thomas went to the first world war and lived to not tell the tale! He never spoke about what happened. However, much later, a box of letters was discovered in Tregarlan that had been written by Thomas while he was away at war and sent home to his Parents.
Thomas and HarriettThomas and Harriett
Thomas and Harriett

Wedding day 12.2.1923 of Thomas and Harriett. The family home then became Tregarlan, on the south side of the mountain.
Poppa's childhood homePoppa's childhood home
Poppa's childhood home

This is where Poppa grew up - the property is called Tregarlan and it is located south of the mountain and near the township of Mount Bryan.
William and Anne 50th Wedding AnniversaryWilliam and Anne 50th Wedding Anniversary
William and Anne 50th Wedding Anniversary

Family photograph taken 2-12-41. Anne and William (your great-great grandmother and father) are in the centre. Their children, Ellen, Thomas (your great-grandfather), Kathleen, William, Ann, John and Mary, are behind them.
Mount Bryan SchoolMount Bryan School
Mount Bryan School

The sign is on the grounds of the school at the Mount Bryan township. The school house that Dad and Poppa went to no longer exists, however the Principal's house is still standing.
Map to Poppa's schoolMap to Poppa's school
Map to Poppa's school

From Tregarlan, which is south of the mountain, it was only a short walk for Poppa (a.k.a. Jim) to get to school in the Mount Bryan township.
Nanna and Poppa's weddingNanna and Poppa's wedding
Nanna and Poppa's wedding

Jim and Rosemary were married on 22-8-1953.
Nanna and PoppaNanna and Poppa
Nanna and Poppa

This is the house where your Dad grew up. Nanna and Poppa still live here. It is located on the west side of the mountain, continuing the clockwise movement of family around the mountain.
Mum and DadMum and Dad
Mum and Dad

Your Dad moved away from the mountain as a teenager and came to Adelaide where he met, and subsequently married Mum. We still like to come up to the mountain to visit.

31st January 2006

very interesting
i very much enjoyed your presentation
25th April 2009

So enjoyable. I have Quinn ancestors. Patrick Quinn arrrived 1858 from Tippeary. Probably many relations came too. Have you done any family history research? Anne.
7th May 2009

Researching the Quinns
We have done a little family history - but most of it has been done by Fr Laurie Quinn - who is the Parish Priest at Burra. He has a made a book. Currently I am blogging the WW1 letters home of Thomas James Quinn - 1916 - 1919. http://tjq-ww1.blogspot.com/
19th October 2009

Was not expecting to find any new history about the quinns on the net but there you go!! Hope you guys are going well and might catch you on your next trip up this way!! Cheers, Linda
19th October 2009

Was not expecting to find any new history about the quinns on the net but there you go!! Hope you guys are going well and might catch you on your next trip up this way!! Cheers, Linda
28th December 2010
At  the birthplace of Great-Grandfather Thomas

Quinn relations
I am wondering if Thomas Quinn was a relative of james Francis Quinn born c.1842 in County Clare and arrived aboard the Nugget in 1854?
22nd May 2012

This is a great recollection of our family history and dan will love looking back at it when he grows up

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