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Mrs Frances White Sculpture

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On the fence at 151 Main Road, Chewton VIC 3451

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  • Remarkable life-sized wooden sculpture
  • Information sign
Mrs Frances White, depicted by this remarkable life-sized wooden sculpture, experienced a miraculous escape from death when an old mine shaft opened up beneath her feet in 1948!

Mrs White lived next door to this sculpture at 153 Main Road, in what was formerly the Francis Ormond Mine manager's house. While speaking with her neighbour near the back fence, the ground gave way beneath her feet as an old mine shaft suddenly opened up without warning!

She managed to grab hold of a branch and found herself hanging precariously at the edge of an 80ft deep hole.

Her son, who was working over at the garage nearby (where Mo the Miner stands today), heard the commotion and came to her assistance.

The shaft was one of many which were located along the underground drive from the Francis Ormond Mine.

This remarkable life-sized wooden sculpture of Mrs Frances White sits perched on the front fence of 151 Main Road, next door to the spot where she defied death over seventy years ago.

An interesting and informative plaque is set on the fence beside Mrs White, and displays the following text (from an article in the Castlemaine Mail):

Tuesday, June 8, 1948 - Castlemaine Mail

Chewton Woman's Fortunate Escape When Backyard Caved In

Mrs Frances White, of 153 Main Rd, Chewton, had a miraculous escape from death last week when part of the backyard of her home, which is over an old disused Gold mine shaft, suddenly caved in and left her hanging precariously at the edge of a hole 80ft deep and eight feet in diameter.

Mrs White had been talking to her son near the back fence and had turned to retrace her steps into the house when her foot sank into what she thought was an old posthole. Looking down suddenly she saw the earth breaking away and called to her son. At the same time she grabbed at a branch of a tree growing near the edge, and was able to save herself from falling. Looking over her shoulder as she clung to the branch she could see the earth slipping away from where she was standing and leaving a deep yawning cavity.

According to reports from old residents of the area, the hole is one of many along the underground drive from the old Francis Ormond Gold Mine.

(This incident occurred next door at 153 Main Rd)
'Francis Ormond Mine Managers House'

Chewton's Sculpture Trail

This sculpture was the second in a series by sculptors Richard Yates and John Brady, intended to preserve Chewton's history and bring some of the town's fascinating stories to life. There are six sculptures all up (so far), five of which were carved by Richard Yates. The latest sculpture, that of historian and local treasure Elaine Appleton, was carved by John Brady.

The other sculptures along this fascinating trail are:
These brilliant sculptures are all located along Main Road, Chewton. The sculptures begin near the Post Office and Town Hall, and end at Rod Hadfield's hot rod museum just out of town.



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