button hill

Button Hill

‘Twould be fair to say…

I’d heard of, but never found, the pot at the end of the rainbow ~ “button hill’. Whispered of as a source of hidden booty ~ our very own Oak Island treasure pit.

Not  till recently did I become aware of the location of button hill ~

A local ‘button-man’ (collector of old buttons, coins and miscellany via the use of a metal detector) by the name of Nathan Cleasby-Jones shared the location which I thought to be a secret, but which, in fact, was well-known to                all-n-sundry. I think Nathan trolled my web-page in search of hints as to hitherto unrevealed treasure sites; and I say that in the nicest possible way. 

 

Over several meetings Nathan shared his interest in numismatics with me.

Thanks, mate!

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Under the threat of death by zapping, I swore to Nathan that I'd never release his somewhat tatty, well-worn treasure map.

It is to my mate Google that I give credit for the map below...

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But for all the nitty-n-gritty on Button Hill, may I introduce you to a fellow blogger and Geelong historian, Jo Mitchell and her Barwon Blog

"In 1876, the Barwon Paper Mill commenced construction on the banks of the Barwon River at Buckley Falls. Much has been written about the mill and its history and I looked at it briefly in the post From rags to riches or just milling around. One aspect of the mill and its history however, has always interested me: Button Hill and the women whose labour gave the rising ground to the north east of the mill its name....".

Her 2016 article Button hill: the women of the Barwon Paper Mill is still without a doubt our best reference. 

 

This is the third in a series of jolly jaunts with      Rambling Rod

Do you know where “BUTTON HILL” is and how it got its name?

 

“Button Hill” is located to the East of the old Fyansford Paper Mill which opened in 1878 and closed in 1921.

 

Further to my earlier post on Sea Mines being assembled up at the old Fyansford Paper Mill, I recently went for another exploratory walk around this area and took the below photos.

 

Why the name “Button Hill”?

To manufacture paper, the raw materials used were straw from oat, wheat and barley crops plus old, discarded clothing, (including Army & Navy uniforms from World War I), and rags.

 

Before the old clothing and rags could be treated to break down their composition, hard objects such as buttons, fasteners etc. were removed and these were thrown on the nearby land and over the years developed into quite a large pile.

 

Up to 100 women and girls sorted the old clothes and rags, in a “Rag House”. The work was hard and the conditions very poor. According to the Victorian Heritage Database, “Button Hill” consists of hundreds of thousands of glass, ceramic, bone and metal buttons, beads and other clips and fasteners.

 

There were literally hundreds of thousands of buttons thrown onto the hill, plus ceramics, bone, glass, metal fastenings, beads etc. all from old clothing as well as old Army and Navy uniforms from World War I. The site where they were dumped is about 15 metres wide and on private land belonging to the current owners of the old Fyansford Paper Mill & buildings.

 

The buttons included glass hexagonal buttons with gold gilt line, shell buttons (2 & 4 holes), metal press studs, metal buttons (4 holes) metal buckles and more.

 

The current owners of the old Fyansford Paper Mill are in the process of finishing the construction of a little museum which will include old photographs, maps, drawings, and displays of various artefacts for the period the old Paper Mill has been in existence. When it is opened at some time in the future, people will be able to view some of the Paper Mill’s history.

The "Rag House" where a 100 women and girls worked sorting old clothing and rags, and removing glass, ceramic, bone and metal buttons, beads and other clips and fasteners

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A "few" of the many hundreds of buttons that the new owners of the old Fyansford Paper Mill have collected from "Button Hill", and which will be on display when their museum is finished and open to the public.

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"Button Hill" viewed from the North.

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The "Rag House" where a 100 women and girls worked sorting old clothing and rags, and removing glass, ceramic, bone and metal buttons, beads and other clips and fasteners

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