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Here's Alison: Treasure On Gentle Annie

Out there on Gentle Annie, a hill from which you can glimpse the sea, many mile away, there's buried treasure!

Alison Ross tells of a ruby necklace.

I first heard about the ruby necklace down at the TV factory, where I worked. The Supervisor on the factory floor told me her grandparents had once lived on the property we had just bought, overlooking the town. The highest hill was known as Gentle Annie and one could catch a glimpse of the sea many miles away from its highest peak. She and other family members had roamed the hills around their grandparents home during their child-hood. She knew the land well, although it had changed a lot since those days.

In that era there had been many large trees amongst the bush covered hills. The view would have been a little different perhaps with the native bush, but the sea would still have been visible. The valley floor spread out beyond the township below. The town was a gold mining settlement in its early days, and gold was still being mined from the famous Martha Mine on the town boundary.

There was no sign of the old homestead anymore. It was gone forever. Gone too was the bush with the big trees. All that remained was grass and light scrub, and the gullies that stretched long fingers up to the tops of the now grassed hills. These had patches of second growth bush in places and most had creeks tumbling down to the lower levels.

She also told me that many years ago when her Grandfather had passed away, the family were worried about Grandma, who lived up on Gentle Annie by herself. Age was taking its toll. She was forgetful, and was having trouble remembering things. She must have felt a little vulnerable at times because she had a valuable ruby necklace. However she found her own solution to this problem.

One day the family arrived to visit her. Grandma was missing. Where could she be? They started a search but it was some time before they found her, coming back down through the bush. She was excited and somewhat incoherent as she explained how worried she had been about the necklace but not any more. She had buried it under the big tree. Grandma was unable to explain which big tree, but they were not to worry, as she knew exactly where it was.

Eventually Grandma moved to her daughter's place, where she could have proper care. Prior to the land being sold the family conducted several major searches, some with metal detectors. Alas, they were unable to find the missing necklace. It had been a family heirloom, passed down from mother to daughter for several generations and now it was gone, Grandma had hidden it too well. It was lost to the family forever.

It was many years later that we bought the property. No sign of the past remained. Just the delightful story of Grandma’s ruby necklace. We were glad it had never been found however as it was rather fun to explain to our many overseas visitors that somewhere out there, on Gentle Annie, there really was buried treasure.


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