William Balleny Howden at the age of 23 proceeded to create a life of adventure. In 1839 he left the promise of a comfortable life in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and set sail for Australia.
His adventure started with the voyage to New South Wales, and success was triggered by a shipwreck. Encounters with Aborigines, were small problems compared with isolation and unloading cattle and an elephant from sailing ships into deep water. Discovery of gold and the rich pasture land catalysed success and the prosperous Port Albert. You will read about the characters he lived with and how he generated a fortune in a challenging environment.
It was difficult to attract a wife to a Spartan and isolated life, but he found love and marriage with American educated Agnes, and they had 12 children. Read how they coped with the tragic loss of five of their children. Uncontrolled bush fires destroyed one of their homes, and business declined with a rail line built from Melbourne to nearby Sale.
This is the story of one man’s life, but it also gives a snapshot of life in the pioneering days of S.E. Australia.