Ghosts of Chewton’s past

Local historian Ken McKimmie will lead a guided history tour on Sunday, sharing secrets and colourful facts from Chewton's rich past. Photo: Eve Lamb

The ghosts of Chewton’s past are about to be brought back to life when local historian Ken McKimmie leads a public history walk this weekend.

All are invited to join the knowledgeable local history researcher and writer as he leads the walk through the history-rich little town this Sunday 12 December 12, sharing colourful insights into its 19th and 20th century past.

“The history of Chewton started with a big rush and there were 30,000 people in the area,” says Ken ahead of the walk organised by Chewton Domain Society.

Sunday’s guided walk celebrates the anniversary of the gold rush at Forest Creek 170 years ago, and reflects on how the early settlement grew into the Chewton of today.

Walk participants will meet at 11am at the Chewton CFA building in Mount Street before the guided tour leads them for about 700 metres through the town’s historic main streetscape.

Ken says he will provide all participants with a set of historical photos from times gone by so they can contrast how buildings and sites that exist today have altered over time.

He will also share stories and facts that span gold, tragedy and natural disaster, former enterprise, intriguing yesteryear characters and leisure time attractions ranging from the town’s first swimming pool to the plethora of yesteryear pubs that once existed.

“We will finish up at the town hall where people can view a display of more early photos and memorabilia,” says Ken who’s previously led a similar walking tour for the local primary school.

He says it’s hoped this Sunday’s tour may be the first of more such guided walking events in the future.