Monday, 19 October 2015


The following story is taken from ‘Albion Park Saga’, written by local Albion Park identity Bert Weston in 1996 and published by the Tongarra Heritage Society.

‘Around about 1910, a rabbit plague extended from the inland areas to the coast of the Municipality of Shellharbour.

Some residents turned to rabbit trapping as a lucrative way of living off the land. There was a big demand and a good price for skins for the manufacture of felt hats and later came the demand for rabbit meat.

This was the golden age of rabbit dealers, among who numbered Sam Charlesworth, 'Pegleg', Charlie Ransome, Paddy O'Neil and The Yank. 

Some of these rabbit dealers also operated as agents for the delivery of mountain dew from illicit stills around Macquarie Pass. Many a swaying cluster of rabbit carcasses hid a demijohn of firewater as it was driven innocently past the police station.

Eventually the local Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory (ICCD) entered the illegal trade, installing a freezer chamber from which the crated underground mutton was railed by the ton to the wharves’.

‘Albion Park Saga’, Bert Weston, The Tongarra Heritage Society Inc, 1996.
Milk carts at The Illawarra Co-operative Central Dairy, Albion Park.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
Hunting party with wallaby catch at Clover Hill.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.


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