Dalyup River Pioneer Settlers

Esther (Lulu) Eggeling, pictured below in 1994, attending the Esperance Primary school centenary, where she cut the cake at the schools 100 year celebrations. Mrs Eggeling was 90 years old at the time. Living out of town, Esther had to board in town. “My schooling had some breaks in it when I was needed at home on the farm at Dalyup.”


Esther Lulu Eggeling


View Historical Plaque in Pioneer Park


Extract of transcript of audio tapes belonging to EBHS for the Esperance Museum, with help from funds from Lotterywest.

Transcribed by Marion O’Neill, 2005
Ref No: 033 & 034

Esther Lulu Eggeling talking to Mervyn André and Dorothy André, 28th April 1996.
Re: Rowse family settlement at Dalyup

M.A. This is our newsletter, and this is what Dorothy’s written.
“Rowse one hundred years, 1896 to 1996. William Rowse emigrated from England and operated a general store with his wife Caroline, who came from a small farming property in South Australia. They met at Black-flag a small mining town near Kalgoorlie and married.” Is that alright so far?
ELE. That’s good yes.
M.A. (Reading from newsletter)
ELE. I didn’t know that.
DA. I got that out of John Rintoul’s book.
M.A. Doesn’t seem right to take ten hours to go twenty miles does it? “The story started for us with a toss of a coin to decide whether they would shift to either Perth or Esperance, the south won, and they packed all their goods and chattels plus building materials on a horse and dray and headed for the coast. William started work with the Dempster family here as cook in the Esperance area. It is not known if this is when he first saw the Dalyup River and fell in love with the land but he decided to take up farming in the area in 1896, took lots 25, 26, 27 and built the family home, shown on photograph in Don Voigt’s book ‘Old Esperance’. Dalyup is situated approximately 45 kilometres west of Esperance and has good fertile soil. Their immediate need was fresh water and they had to depend on soaks, as the Dalyup River was salty, and Dempster’s had an outstation in the area, and pioneer settlers led a lonely and strenuous life. They had to face isolation and deprivation in the bush going for weeks without seeing anyone. It was here that Esther Lulu Rowse was born in 1904 the first of four children, second born was a brother who died at birth and is buried on the property. Two sisters were born later. The Rowse family started an orchard on lot 25, planting grapes, stone fruit and almonds.”

ELE. Plenty, lovely big orchard.
M.A.  “Lulu remembers picking up bags of almonds as a child.” Can you remember that long ago?
ELE. What?
M.A. Picking up bags of almonds.
ELE. Yes I can, of course, yes well and truly.
M.A. “Produce was taken to Esperance by horse and cart, the journey sometimes taking up to ten hours.” That’s pretty slow isn’t it?

ELE. No! Course you can do it in no time at all, if you where any good.
M.A. That’s only two miles an hour you could walk it in five hours.
ELE. Yes, you can do it on foot! I think that would be Rintoul as you say.
M.A. Yes anyway. “William also carted fruit and vegetables to Norseman, leaving the women to do the bulk of the work on the farm.” I think you could just say, ‘Produce was taken to Esperance by horse and cart and also to Norseman, and William also carted fruit and vegetables to Norseman leaving the women to do the bulk of the work on the farm.’ If you wanted too!
DA. Come down and alter it tomorrow.
M.A. Right. “When still quite young Lulu married William Baker and their union was blessed by four boys and a girl. They lived in Norseman for a time and then returned to farm at Dalyup.
DA. I wasn’t sure about that, whether you…
ELE. We were farming there before we went up to Dalyup; the children were born at Dalyup farm.
M.A. You can put ‘they moved to Norseman for a time then…’
ELE. Yes that’s right we moved to Norseman for a time, they went to school for a while, fours years I think I was there.
M.A. “The family are planning to commemorate the hundred years of settlement by the placement…”
DA. Change that. The date, that’s all, right.
M.A. “The family are planning to commemorate the hundred years of settlement by the placement of a plaque in the Dalyup River reserve on a portion of the original lot 25”
ELE. We can’t get into 25, two big holes.
M.A. This is a portion of the original lot 25; a reserve is cut out of lot 25 I believe, so the man tells me.
ELE. Who told you that?
M.A. . The Rates clerk. The three lots were like that along the river together, lot 25 now is shaped like that, and that’s the reserve, its cut out of the original lot 25.
ELE. I didn’t know that though.
M.A. “The public are invited to the unveiling of the plaque by Esther Lulu Eggeling nee Rowse, a bus will be leaving the museum for the venue at a time to be advised” Now we will have to get a date there because it’s now the 28th of April. “Mr and Mrs Tom Murray have kindly invited participants to have their picnic lunch on the winery lawns and later tour the historic sites on the property” We will have to re-word that now, we will say ‘Tour historic sites on the property, have a picnic lunch on the lawn and later move down to the reserve for the opening.’ How does that sound.
ELE. That sounds alright. That’s alright with me. You know more about it than I do, I think it is alright.

Extract from audio tapes transcript.




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