The Maryland Station Weather Records 1896-1903 (Part 2)
(See Part 1 Maryland Station Weather Records 1868-1897)
Click here for the Maryland Station Meteorological Observing Books
Visit to Maryland Station, 9 May 2021
by Howard Bridgman
On the morning of 9 May, I visited one of our historical weather data sites, Maryland Station (postal code 4437), located on the Queensland-NSW border, just off the New England Highway. The station is part of the Maryland Historical District, and has been in existence since the 1860s. The Station records daily rainfall (BOM 56207) as part of the Bureau of Meteorology records (since 1868) but no other meteorological information is included on the BOM web site.
Maryland Station BOM number 056207 – Summary of Information 291018
Location: -28.5417 latitude, 151.9909 longitude, elevation 870 m, Northern Tablelands NSW, very close to Queensland border. This is a Marsh Estate property.
Earlier, we had received from Bill Oates at the University of New England, scanned versions of daily weather records (mainly temperature and cloud cover) for the years 1868 to 1897. These data have all been digitised into spreadsheets and are now online on the Hunter Living Histories web site. My purpose for the visit was to try to establish where and how the measurements were taken, and to learn more about the property layout.
I met the third-generation owner, Graham Greenup, at the front gate (Photo 1). After establishing my link with the project and Bill Oates, he invited me in and showed me around. The property consists of a main house, a cottage now used as a museum, and various other farm buildings. It is located about 5 km from Highway 15.
Mr Greenup showed me the original weather record books, for which we have scans. These are on a table in a dark room, protected by a sheet of plastic. In another room, there were photos of the property, under plastic wrap. My photos of these are limited in quality (see Photos 2 and 3 below for 1873 and 1901).
On the wall of the room was a copy of a newspaper article from March 1998 (Australian Farm Journal), which provided a history of the property (Photo 4 below). The property was settled by Matthew Marsh (no relation to Hunter Vinyaron family) in 1842, and was eventually purchased by Richard Greenup in the early 1920s. The current house was bult in 1924.
The weather records, aside from, rainfall, were kept by the Marsh family.
Mr Greenup showed me where his father and grandfather took rainfall measurement, in the yard behind the house (Photo 5). Unfortunately this period is after the records that we have. I could not obtain the information I wanted about how and where the other measurements were taken.
I was also given a brief tour inside the house. The dining room is the best-preserved room, which several antiques (Photo 6).
The last stop was the room he used as his office. He showed me how he mailed the rain recordings to the Bureau. Next to this on the shelf were 8 small books which contained weather records for 1896 to 1903, which we have never seen. He allowed me to borrow these and take them back for scanning. We thus have an additional 6 years of weather records (1898 to 1903) to add to what we now have on file.
I can only speculate about how these measurements were made. Rain was definitely collected in standard rain gauge. Maximum and Minimum Temperature were most likely located on the veranda of the original house (see Figures 2 and 3), in shade, but not in a Stevenson Screen. Cloud Cover and Wind Direction were determined by simple observation.
In my opinion, the property has enough historical value to be registered and maintained by the NSW National Trust. But unfortunately, much of it is in bad condition, and considerable finance will be needed for repair.
For further information on the Maryland Station Weather Records: https://hunterlivinghistories.com/category/weather-records-climatic-data/maryland-station/
For further information on the University of Newcastle (Australia) Weather Records and Climate Data projects see: https://hunterlivinghistories.com/category/weather-records-climatic-data/