Everyone likes a good mystery or a treasure hunt.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
And year two students Nowra Public School have been on a beauty.
As part of their local history unit, Class 2M and their teacher Shane McMillan came across South Coast Register journalist Hayley Warden’s recent historical article on wells in the Nowra area.
From information provided by the Shoalhaven Historical Society each week, our journalists compile an interesting local history article in each Wednesday’s edition and online.
The article quite often corresponds with an event, happening or occurrence that happened around the same time in the area's history.
Back in September, Hayley wrote how work crews in 1979, demolishing the stately home Kenilworth on the corner of Moss and East Streets, to make way for the Princes Highway who came across a brick well.
It led to other known wells in the area being mentioned including one at Nowra Public School.
Mr McMillan said the article was perfect for his classes’ local history unit.
“The kids read Hayley’s article,” he said. “They loved it and used some of the hints given in the article to try and find where the well might actually be located.”
The article stated ….. “One logical place for a well was Nowra Public School grounds on the corner of Berry and Douglas Streets, in the vicinity of Spring Street. As well as providing water to drink, the spring flowed into the Marriott Park lake….”
“Our students, aged seven and eight-years-old, really took to the idea of trying to find the well’s location,” Mr McMillan said.
Last year students were provided with photographs of the school which was used as a hospital ward during the 1919 influenza epidemic.
At the time there was not enough beds locally so one of the school’s classrooms was converted into a hospital ward.
“The photo came for the state library and through research the students were able to discover which class it actually was within the school,” Mr McMillan said.
“We read the article about the well, and figured a few things out and then went to search,” said student Clay Almond.
“We knew it was near Berry and Douglas Streets, near Spring Street, so we started there.”
“We knew we were looking for what could have been a big area, between three and five metres in diameter,” said Charleigh Reynolds.
After searching the children stood on top of the small hill overlooking their playing oval, and there, in the parched ground was a greener circular patch about the same size.
“We could see it,” Charleigh said.
“It was round and a lot darker green than the rest of the oval - despite being in drought, this area was really green.
“We thought that indicated there might be water under it.”
“And we were near where it [the well] was described to be,” Clay said.
The students’ deductions were pretty good according to Mr McMillan who confirmed during winter when it is wet that section of the oval often “gets very spongy”.
He said his next challenge was trying to stop the enthusiastic children from starting an excavation project to actually see if they could find the well.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.