Millicent Local History Collection
Towers History Room
Bruce Towers was a well known and respected historian, who lived for his love of community and history, particularly the history of his beloved Millicent and area. Bruce dedicated much of his time to writing and speaking about the history of Millicent and with the building of the Library and Resource Centre in 1990, the Local History Room was dedicated to him and named the Bruce Towers History Room. Plans for a major extension to the Millicent Library and Resource Centre were officially unveiled in 2000 when Wattle Range Council Mayor Don Ferguson hosted a mayoral reception at the library and announced plans for Bruce Towers History Centre. This extension has now been completed and houses the extensive collection of furniture and local history items owned by Mr Towers, which was bequeathed to the Library in 2002.
Bruce was born into a pioneering Millicent family in 1913, and lived in the area all his life and has been active in a range of community organizations. He wrote the booklet "Early Millicent" and it was published by the local branch of the national Trust in 1974. Other writings have been published in "Tales of Early Canunda Settlers" and in the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia. Over the Years, he has been in demand by community groups and schools for talks and tours regarding the district's history.
Among his community interests in Millicent have been the Masonic Lodge, Anglican Church, Show Society, Caledonian Society and the Local History Group.
His long working life has been spent as a farmer, stone mason and builder. A number of homes and public buildings in the Millicent district have either been constructed by Mr Towers or had additions built by him. Examples of his talent as a stone mason can be seen at "Mayura" homestead, the Robert Agnew Memorial Bell Tower at St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, and the Millicent National Trust Museum. He also built the stone entrance gates to "Mayura" and "Gum Park" homestead near Millicent and planted the trees along Towers Road at the rear of Millicent Hospital.
His late sister, Doris Towers, made a major bequest to St Michael's and Mr Towers recently made a significant donation to the costs of renovating the historic rectory within its grounds.
The General Collection carries information relating to many hundreds of events, people, places and organizations from the famous to the obscure. The aim is to encourage the retention & preservation of as many documents and photographs as possible. The files cover the Millicent and Beachport council area, but do not end there.
All District Council areas in the South East are represented in some way. There are 44 towns and geographical areas under which material received can be assigned and within each of these titles 65 sub-headings, depending on what the material is. The diverse range includes Agriculture Biographies, Cemeteries, Drainage General Information, Local Government, Newspaper Cuttings, Maps & Plans, Railways, Sport, Town Planning & Wrecks to name a few.
Our Photographic Collection, indexed by town and sub-category and contains close to 3000 prints from the earliest days of Millicent and surrounding areas to present day. Also contains three distinct collections:
The Colin Clyne Collection, is one of the most comprehensive coverage of the area spanning 30 years.
The Heather Carthew Collection, covers the Millicent Hospital Carnival Parade with its entire colour and characters from 1976- 1983.
The McRostie Collection, a collection of South East Times photographs, is currently being indexed.
Nangula 1883 - 1958
Pompoon Swamp 1894 - 1935
Tantanoola 1947 - 1970
Rendelsham 1883 - 1971
Beachport 1883 - 1953
St Clair 1912 - 1956
Hatherleigh 1858 - 1963
Millicent 1883 - 1967
Mt Muirhead 1893 - 1920
Sebastopol 1883 - 1917
Furner 1883 - 1951
Micro Films Currently Available
South Eastern Star: 1877 - 1900
Mt Gambier Standard: 1873 - 1867
Millicent Times: 1891 - 1899
South Eastern Times: 1900 - 1970
Border Watch: 1866 - 1948
Register: 1844 - 1900
Roland Campbell Collection
This collection relates to the Millicent/Beachport district and in indexed. Roland Campbell was the first editor of the Millicent Times now the South East Times.
The Oral History Collection of tapes is a developing collection, with the aim of recording as many of Millicent's older residents as possible, to retain for the future, their memories and recollections of the past. The interviewing is carried out by a dedicated band of volunteers, who to date have amassed for us 55 of these interviews. This collection is indexed.
Micro Fische Records Available
The Official Register of immigrant labour applying for free passage to South Australia, 1836 - 1841. The Official Passenger Lists of immigrants arriving in South Australia under U.K assisted passage schemes, 1847 - 1886.
South Australian Births: 1842 - 1906
Deaths: 1842 - 1970
Marriages: 1842 - 1906
County of Grey and County of Robe: Birth, Deaths and Marriages Indexes.
The Australian Historic Records Register 1988.
Millicent Cemetery Burial Register.
Biographies of convict Transports.
Tasmania 1803 - 1820, The People & Families.
First Fleet Families.
Convicts & Exiles Transported from Ireland.
Co of Grey Index & Records.
Colonial Residents of SA 139 - 1848
South Australian Almanacs and Directories
Birth, Death and Marriage records on CD ROM
NSW between the Wars 1788 - 1888; Pioneer Index 1889 - 1918
Victoria Pioneer Index 1837 - 1888
Tasmania Pioneer Index 1803 - 1888
Western Australia Pioneer Index 1841 - 1905
South Australia South Australian Births Registrations 1842 - 1906
South Australian Deaths Registrations 1842 - 1915
South Australian Births Registrations 1842 - 1906
The Ren DeGaris Collection of the history and the social history on films spanning 30 years.
Millicent and District Council Records, including;
Assessment Books 1916 - 1961. Mayurra/Millicent
Drainage Board/District Council Minute Books. Mount Muirhead DB/DC Minute Books. Tantanoola DB/DC Minute Books.
South Australian Parliamentary Papers 1857 - 1940.
Selection of Maps and Plans of the area from 1870's.
Hours of Opening:
Monday - Closed; Tuesday 9.00am-5.30pm, 6.30pm-8.30pm; Wednesday 9.00am-5.30pm; Thursday 9.00am-5.30pm; Friday 9.00am-5.30pm, 6.30pm-8.30pm; Saturday 9.00am-12 Noon; Sunday - Closed.