AS YOU celebrate Boxing Day this year spare a thought for William Walters, a miner who closed out 1869 with a stab wound to his back.
"You have killed my poor old Bill!" his wife shouted after a violent incident which started when a pig started eating all the cabbages in a friend's garden.
Historian Ray Wallace relates the story in his new book Woodvale: a Step Back In Time, which charts the area's history back into the area's past.
Poor old Bill had just stabbed George Russell in the chest with a pocketknife on that balmy 1869 day, and the stabbee had decided to return the favour.
Poor Old Bill was so drunk that he remembers little after both he and his wife - also plastered - rolled home as best they could, Wallace recounts.
"Walters was very drunk so he, not surprisingly, recollected nothing more until he felt the doctor probing the wound in the small of his back," he writes.
Despite Mrs Walters' initial fears, no-one died.
The story is one of many that Mr Wallace has uncovered for the 250-page book, which charts the people and groups in Woodvale throughout time, including squatters, gold miners and 20 settler families that have called the area home.
The history is full of colorful characters and that in the early days they were tough. Among the early settlers was Bill Clement, a bush fighter who became a local government leader.
"I think he was a bit of a lad in his day, no-one wanted to take him on. He mellowed out in his later days and often recited bush poetry in a deep, slow drawl at social functions in the district," Mr Wallace said.
"He was one of the few Woodvale councillors. There weren't many," he said.
Gallery: Inside a eucalyptus distillery that helped build Woodvale
Things would have been pretty idyllic in the 1840s, 30 years before Poor Old Bill's painful Boxing Day.
"That was the time the squatters were starting to come. Woodvale would have been park with four of five big trees to the acre, and grassland - we described it in the book as like an English gentlemen's park," Mr Wallace said.
"That was possibly because of Aboriginal mosaic burning."
Then came the sheep and cattle and multiple gold rushes, plus eucalyptus farms and distilleries, all of which made their mark on the area.
It has also become home to some of Australia's best regarded artists, including John Wolseley.
"They've been attracted by the tranquility and the opportunity to reflect. They all say the same thing, that the landscape and its colours have inspired them," Mr Wallace said.
Woodvale: A Step Back in Time costs $25. To purchase a copy call Ken Stent on 5446 9929.