The life of James Brierly

THE Bendigo Historical Society is giving a special presentation on the life of James Brierly to commemorate 130 years since he died.

Mr Brierly was a stonemason from Manchester who built Bendigo’s oldest building Specimen Cottage in 1856 on Hargreaves Street.

Barbara Poustie, who will be giving the presentation, has spent months trawling the internet and library to find clues about his life.

“We wanted to know more about the cottage and the neighbours so I started to follow it up and look into James and his wife Hannah about where they came from and how then ended up here,”  she said.

“It was interesting although it was hard and there are big gaps.

“I have still been unable to find a photo.

 “It takes time and you find things and go off on a tangent but you can piece the story together.

"He built the cottage as a specimen of his work.

“This month is 130 years since he died. He died of pneumonia on February 8. His wife died six weeks before.

“We thought it would be a good idea to give a presentation.”

Historical Society president Jim Evans said he was hoping for a good turn-out.

“We are hoping for a few people, members and visitors.”

The event takes place at 10.30am on Thursday February 6.

There will be a presentation followed by a tour of the cottage and morning tea.

Bookings are essential. Call 5441 3443 or email:

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