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Warrnambool Standard
June 3   1890

Mahogany ship  

At various times the attention of the public has been drawn to two wrecks which are lying buried in the sand on the shore near Warrnambool.  They are both interesting relics, and if the stories told of them are true, they are closely associated with the discovery and settlement of this part of the continent (states the Argus).  One of the vessels is supposed to be an old Spanish or Portuguese galleon which visited the southern seas very many years ago, presumably shortly after the discovery of Australia, and was wrecked on the coast between Warrnambool and Port Fairy.  It is stated in letters which are now in the possession of the Government that the existence of this interesting relic of a by gone age first became known in the early days of the colony, when two men who were walking along the coast from Hopkins river to Port Fairy were astonished to find the wreck of an ancient vessel, well in towards the shore and almost covered over with sand.

  The aboriginals, when questioned as to the date of the wreck, stated that it had always been there, but they had a tradition as to some “yellow men” having at one time come among them, but from whence they knew not.  The wreck was seen in 1843, and also four years later by Captain Mills, then living a few miles from the spot, and it is still believed to be there, but has become entirely covered over by the sand drifts until not a part of it is visible.  The other wreck lies in Lady Bay, and is declared by some to be the Enterprise, a small vessel in which the late Mr. J. P. Fawkner, the founder of Melbourne, came from Tasmania to Port Phillip.  As regards the wreck of the supposed Spanish galleon, the Inspector –General of public works (Mr. Davidson) has suggested to the Government that a small sum should be expended in putting sounding rods into the small hummocks which exist on the coast near Warrnambool to search for the vessel.

  The wreck of the Enterprise is covered by 3ft of sand, and lies midway between the ebb and flow of the tides, and Mr. Davidson suggests that nothing should be done until November, as the tides are usually low then, and the condition of the wreck could be better ascertained than now.


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