FASCINATING is the only way to describe a book that is currently being researched and written by the Milton Ulladulla Family History Society.
Society members are working on a book on the old shopkeepers/retailers and families of Milton and Ulladulla districts.
It sounds amazing and will be packed full of interesting stories.
Ron Smith and Christine Moss are helping to write and research this important local historical document.
Ron said roughly their time frame was 1830 to now .
He went on to explain that Milton was once the commercial hub of the area from 1860 onwards.
"We managed to collect who was here at that time and who were the families connected with it," he said
Ron said Ulladulla, as a township, took off around World War Two.
Society president John Sparks came up with the idea to research the book around 12 to 18 months ago.
A team of people is now gathering the information.
They hope to have the book to the printers within the next 12 months.
The researchers are finding out all sorts of interesting things.
Post offices are something the researchers are interested in.
"The original postal service came by ship to the harbour and you hear a story like 'I arrived at the harbour, was lowered in a bucket into a skiff, rode ashore and then I walked to the settlement'. It was not even called Milton when he did all this," Ron said.
"We have this person's name and this is what the book is all about - telling the stories of the families."
So what was the well-known pie shop now down at the traffic lights when it started?
"Was it a hotel? A general store or was it a restaurant," Ron asked.
"Well it was all those things and so when you are doing a history of retail you are picking up a history of particular buildings."
The group knows the first business in Milton was a hotel out in Woodford Road.
"It was actually a hotel, come shop,- come everything else," Ron added.
"The guy who ran it was Mr Booth - the man who created the township."
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The society is trying to get hold of any photos of any of the old retailers and their shops.
They have some wonderful photos of the hairdresser's shop on South Street which used to be a general store and they have photos of the inside of it.
Ron said they want to tell stories before they are all forgotten.
Christine Moss has enjoyed her role in researching the book
"I have enjoyed finding out the history of the place and hearing the stories people have been telling me," she said.
She said you don't realise the stories that are behind everything - until you do some digging.
Christine talked about a shopkeeper who would knock on people's doors, find out what they wanted and then would deliver their goods in the afternoon.
The group still wants people to come forward with information, stories and photos.
People are welcome to come down and have a chat at the base in the Ulladulla Library.
Their room is open Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 2pm, Saturday from 9.30am to 1.30pm, their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and their website is www.mufhsi.org.
They say everything and everyone has a story and they want people-based retail ones in the book.
Christine would love to get more information on Hilda's Material Shop which was in Ulladulla - can anyone help?
Ron loves the story about the first shop in Burrill Lake - but we will hold this gem off for another day.
Once completed the historical society plans to launch the book at a big community event - COVID permitting.