Historical information

Forming the headwaters of the Johanna River and noted for its majestic Myrtle Beech and Blackwood trees, in 1921 the property came into the possession of Mrs Jessie Fry, wife of Mr Thomas Fry, a well-known and respected local bushman and timber getter. Here the family lived and it was Mrs Fry who named the place 'Melba Gully'. Sometime in the late 1920s Mrs Fry was approached by Pioneer Tours, the bus company, to see if she would provide lunches and afternoon teas for their passengers travelling between Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. Mrs Fry rose to the challenge; the Melba Gully Luncheon Rooms were built adjoining the Fry home and she was in business. Mrs Fry was unfailing in her courtesy and kindness. She was also a splendid cook, known for her feather-light scones and sponges. Home-produced strawberries and cream were a special treat. Visitors were also taken on a tour of 'The Gully', often guided by one of her young sons. Melba Gully Visitors Book, running from November 1937 until the end of 1958, is testimony to her many satisfied customers. Tom and Jessie Fry sold the property on her retirement in 1947 although the tearooms continued to operate. It again changed hands in 1958 to Otway residents Mr and Mrs Axel Madsen, when it finally closed, and in 1975 they made the magnificent gesture of gifting the 48 hectare Melba Gully to the people of Victoria..

Physical description

Melba Gully Visitors Book. Foolscap, leather-bound, lined pages with margin approximately 30mm from left. Added, 24 p. unlined quarto.

Inscriptions & markings

Full of inscriptions, cover to cover