Author Topic: The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC  (Read 259 times)

Offline KANACKI

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The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC
« on: July 02, 2022, 03:18:37 PM »
Ah once again you are here addicted by curiosity of exploring tales of the undead the world on the hardly seen lingering in the dark corners of our thoughts. Once again Headless has excelled in our search to find as many ghost stories as possible. Preserving them here for others to enjoy in our own Australia folklore of ghosts. So grab a brew and sit by the camp fire of lost ghost stories. Today we are drifting down into the Victorian Alps a semi forgotten world.

Tucked away in the hills south-east of Omeo is a tiny forgotten village that until quite recently, still had one inhabitant, even though the rest of the former gold mining settlement had become a ghost town. These days, the former village of Brookville is known as the Strobridge Huts, a nickname used basically by hikers and 4WD enthusiasts, and those wishing to preserve what is left of the place. But according to some of those who come curiously to explore, Brookville’s last inhabitant may still be around, protecting her property from intruders.

to be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 03:21:41 PM »
The village was a thriving place on the back of the gold that was discovered there in 1868. The region was dotted with small gold-mining communities with the main town being Cassilis. Brookville is situated about 33 kilometres from Omeo, or nine west of Swifts Creek. At its peak around 600 people lived there in the 1890s, with two pubs and a post office.

The main mine found just 3 three kilometres away in a valley was called the Highland Chief. It employed some 60 men and one of them was John Strobridge. He built his first abode in 1895 and as he prospered and he married a girl named Ella Lasich. His 2nd daughter Lucy was born in 1919, following his 1st Maude. A son named Billy followed soon after.  Another sturdier home was built in the early 1920s, right next door to the original to provide more space.

With the money John had earned, Lucy went school in Melbourne but by the time she came back, Billy was sick with polio. He was transported to a polio clinic in Carlton in 1936 and died soon after. Then John passed away in 1941 which coincided with the decline of the village during the war years. Gold had started to dry up some two decades before. Maude had moved away after getting married and now it was just Ella and Lucy living in the two abodes, which were really just large one-room huts.

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 03:33:31 PM »
The two women had a spartan lifestyle, living off the land and carting supplies from Swifts Creek on a weekly basis in an old pram. They would cut and collect firewood for warmth on a makeshift wheelbarrow. Ella lived until 1972 and after she died, it was just Lucy and she wasn’t going anywhere. She had started to show reclusive tendencies after her brother Billy, who she adored, was taken away and now, she basically didn’t talk at all.

Lucy continued living with no electricity and survived through the altruism of locals who would drop off supplies, check up on her and sometimes organize working bees to clean up the hut’s surrounds and do repairs. In 2001 a local passerby noticed her looking sick and limping. Lucy had sustained a foot injury that had become infected and she was taken to Omeo hospital and passed away soon after.

Here is a picture of her as a younger women. for those guests who cannot see the pictures below. I suggest signing up to this wonderful forum to get a unique insight into haunted places in Australia.

To be continued....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 03:35:43 PM »
Lucy didn’t like strangers and she made elaborate plans to scare unknown visitors off. These included animal calls, particularly wild dogs, usually delivered after she had left her huts and run into the bush. If cornered, she would just not open the door. These tendencies became legendary amongst outdoor campers and 4WD clubs in the 1980s and 90s, not to mention a few locals, and she was dubbed ‘Mad Lucy’ by some. After she died, the Strobridge Huts, as they became known, were visited even more, and it was from then on we have accounts of spooky happenings and weird feelings.

In 2003, bushfires savaged he region and fire-fighters reported seeing a women dressed in rags berating the flames. This led to the legend that Lucy’s spirit had a hand in repelling the fires to protect Brookville. One off-road driving group who visited the huts in 2012 all experienced a “really, really creepy vibe” and everyone wanted to leave the place ASAP. Other curious people have reported seeing fleeting glimpses of a female dashing through the bushes and knocking coming from the hut. An acquaintance of mine who stayed in the front hut in 2009 (the rear hut is now considered too dangerous to enter due to disrepair) one night in the middle of summer mentioned its unnatural coldness, and a feeling of being prodded in the middle of night a few times by something like a foot.

Was it the ghost of Lucy?

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Maid of the Mountains" Omeo: VIC
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 03:37:37 PM »
Lucy Strobridge was very protective of her property and privacy. She was connected to the area for the whole of her 81 years and particularly after the death of her beloved brother Billy, became more attached to the huts and her heritage than ever.

A brief biography called “The Maid of the Mountains” was released in 2003 (Bob Bates) about this remarkable woman. It appears that Lucy is still haunting the Brookville area near the corner of Baldhead Road and Charlotte Spurt Track. Pay a visit if you get the chance. Unlike when she was alive, she may actual try to make contact.

Perhaps there is a continuation of the story from the afterlife?

Kanacki

 


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