This page it's designed to help you find out more information about the Soulsby family and other associated families connected with the Soulsby early years in and around Rheola.
For those who wish to find out more about the Rheola's history, I have linked you to the Rheola web site by clicking on this link.
Some of the following information has been researched by Neil Fraser son of Jack and Jean Fraser (nee Soulsby). This information is identified by the initials nf.
Heavy Storm :- Extract from the Marybourough adn Dunolly Advertiser, December 22nd 1885.
It was reported from Rheola, that on the evening of Saturday, December 19th, a heavy thunderstorm brought 3 inches (120mm) of rain to the district, and caused the greatest flood in the Kangderaar Creek at Rheola, since the flood of 1872. Along the Orville Creek, grain was swept away. At Mr. James Chivers' store at Orville, lightning struck a tin dipper on the counter near him.
At Five Mile Creek, Mr. Fotheringham had 5 chains (100 metres) of log fencing washed away.
At Murphy's Flat (Murphy's Creek), at Hargreaves' sawmills a wagon and jinker were swept away in the flood waters and Mr. Silke lost 15 acres (6 Hectares) out of 60 acres (24 Hectares) crop. In that area, the storm was heaviest since 1870. Near the property of Mr. Leisk, the creek was about 6 chains (120 metres) wide and 10 feet (3 meters) deep in mid stream. Mr. Leisk had 6 acres (2.4 Hectares) of oats washed out and seaves of hay were lying in all directions.
There was little rain at Moliagul, where a large dam, built by the Shire Water Trust, remained comparatively empty.
Closure of Rheola Post Office.
On June 19th, 1974, the Rheola (between Dunolly and Inglewood) close when the telephone service became aoutmatic, and a roadside mail delivery service commenced.
For the past 14.5 years, the telephone exchange and Post Office had been conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Des Roberts.
Information obtained from the Post Office Historian in Melbourne indicates that the first Post Office at Rheola opened on February 15th, 1869 to serve the Berlin diggings. It was officaly known as Berlin Post Office and was conducted by H.J.Wilaims who owned a small store. During the first year, he recieved an allowance of £12 (approximately $22).
This alowance ws based on nthe amount of ostal business tracted and varied from year to year. After March 14th 1970, Money Orders were payable at the Berlin Post Office. The Dunolly "Express" of June 18th, 1876, contained an advertisement which reminded readers the Mr. R.N. Williams of Berlin store and Post Office issued business licences and miner rights, attended Money Orders and bought gold.
In 1877, Mr. A.H. Tomelty is listed as Post Master, while in 1878, Mr. John McLeish was in charge of the office. He listed as still in charge in 1884. During this year, a total of 8,230 letters and 159 Money Orders were handled by the Rheola Post Office.
In 1896, the mail route was from Dunolly to Inglewood by way of Inkerman, Moliagul, McIntyre's Orville and Rheola, the mail leaving Dunolly at 1.45 pm on Monday Wednesday and Friday, arriving at Inglewood at 6.50 pm. (a distance of some 23 miles or 37 kilometres). the return journey was made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Inglewood at 1.45 pm and reaching Dunolly at 6.45 pm. A trip of 5 hours and Average speed of just over 4.5 miles per hour or 7km/h).
In 1896, the successful mail tenderer was William Letts, the price being £94 per year
In 1899, The Rheola post Office was being conducted by Mr. Robert Soulsby. Mr. R Leisk was the successful mail tenderer in1899, conveying the mail three times weekly between Dunolly and Rheola for £94 per year approximately $170:00 per year.(the distance 18 miles or 30 kilometres). In 1900 although he was over 70 yers of age, Mr. Leisk was still delivering the mail and was well known for his faithful, punctual and courteous service. Another mailman was Mr. H. Jackson.
Mr. William Hargreaves delivered the mail between Dunolly and Rheola for 16 years, and made his last trip on June 30th 1930. It was estimated taht during that period he had travelled 186,000 miles (299,337 kilometres) in horse-drawn vehicles.
During August, 1930, residnts of McIntyre's Rheola and Moliagul assembled at Moliagul Hall to thank Mr. Hargreaves for his long period of regular, trustworthy adn faithful service in their districts. Mr.Hargreaves was presented with a travelling rug,a cheque and an eider-down quilt.
On July 1st, 1930 Mr. F.H. Mustoe took over the mail route from Dunolly to Rheola, using a five-seater motor car. this marked a great change in the transport of mail.
Mrs. Jane Soulsby was Post Mistress in 1914, and on her death in 1924 Mr. Robert Soulsby took over the position. The office ws transferred to Mr. Albert Webb in 1924 and Mr.F.H. Mustoe in 1926. Mr A.C. Webb followed in 1929 and Mr. Albert Henry Webb in 1932.
Mr. Lewis Edward Webb took over the office in 1940. He also was the mail contractor between Inglewood and Rheola for twenty five years.
Telephone facilities were first provided at Rheola in 1922, there being one subscriber and on public telephone by June 30th of that year. With the closure of the Kingower Post Office during 1969, telephone subscribers were transferred to Rheola exchange, which had, in 1970 31 subscribers.
Moliagul Post Office closed in 1971 after more than 120 years fo service to the community.
In 1974, the mail route between Dunolly and Inglewood is almost the same as it was over 100 years ago.(nf)