Monday, 8 March 2010

A bird's eye view of Ithaca and Gladstone

The world is an amazing place. I can sit in Australia and, with Google Maps, take a bird’s eye view of Ithaca and of Gladstone. I am wondering from which village Charlie Ross came and if my suspicion that it might have been situated in similar countryside to Gladstone could be right.

Anogi, one of Ithaca’s oldest villages and the original capital seems to be a reddish dirt, rocky kind of place, situated in the centre of the island. It’s name means Upper Land and it is the second most important medieval settlement of the island. The highest point on Ithaca is Mount Anogi, just over 800 metres above sea level.

Anogi is also a place which has links with the Rossolimo family. Iaonis Rossolimo, son of Dimitri of Coriana, was a priest in Anogi in the 18th Century. It’s all conjecture but possibilities have to be pursued until they are denied or dead in the water.

Gladstone is not in the mountains but it is not far from the Flinders Ranges and would have been one of the biggest towns in the area when Charlie Ross arrived. More to the point, it was well situated on the rail network which meant he had ready and easy access to the coast. And using Google Maps to look at Port Street, opposite the Gladstone Railway Station, where Charlie lived and worked as a fishmonger, it is easy to see the ‘pink-dirt’ similarity with Anogi in the photograph above. This is of course all conjecture but solving any mystery requires a great deal of conjecture and sifting of information in order to find the pieces which will complete the puzzle.

I assumed that Port Street would be commercial but clearly it was not. There appear to be a couple of houses across the road from the railway station so Charlie must have conducted business from home. Why did I not think of that? We make so many assumptions based on the world we know. Of course he would not have had the money to rent a home and a shop. I am beginning to think he must have had a cart which he could stack with boxes of ice so he could take his fish around to potential buyers in Gladstone.

He must have done this very early in the morning in summertime because the days get so hot that his ice would have been melting by lunchtime. I wonder if this is very different to how things might have been done on Ithaca? Fish would have been carried to inland towns like Anogi in carts I presume. I wonder how many presumptions will be found wanting by the time I have finished this quest? No doubt quite a few.

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