Historical information

This carte de visite was taken of Hiram Crawford in fire brigade uniform taken by Stewart & CO., Melbourne. Hiram Crawford was Captain of the Beechworth Volunteer Fire Brigade for twenty-five years. Hiram arrived in Australia at the age of 21 in August 1853. He mined for short time at Back Creek Bendigo, then went to the Ovens where he sought gold in Spring Creek, Buckland and 3 Mile. After moving to Albury for 18 months he married Anna, moved to Woolshed and was there for two years mining gold. After discovering his fortune he formed Crawford and Co. Coaching Lines in Beechworth in late 1856. It was this company which became the longest surviving coaching business in the State of Victoria. Hiram and Anna had two daughters. Anna died in March 1862 and in May Hiram left from Melbourne to return to the United States on a visit. Hiram married Martha Foster during this visit and returned to Australia in March 1863. With his coach line established, and leaving it under management, he moved around the north east of Victoria establishing and building shops and the Star Hotel and Theatre in Chiltern in 1866. In 1869 he moved to Melbourne for a few years in which time he built the Eastern Arcade in Bourke Street. In 1876 the family returned to Beechworth for a few years eventually moving to Everton where Hiram grew hops, tobacco, fruit trees and established the largest lemon orchard at that time in Australia. Hiram spent a considerable amount of his time helping to develop the North East of the State not only in his private endeavours but as a public figure. Among his many achievements a few are listed - Councillor, Mayor of Chiltern and Beechworth, President of the Shire on two occasions, Director of many mining companies, Inaugural Chairman and Director of the Beechworth Gas Company roles he held for over 20 years, Foundation member of Beechworth Pottery, Committee member of the Beechworth Hospital, Captain/Superintendent of the Vol. Fire Brigade for over 20 years, Foundation, Life member of and on the State Fire Brigade Board for many years, President of the North Eastern Railway League in Chiltern On a personal level Hiram was involved in lodges including St. Johns #14, Beechworth. and had several grazing properties in the Ovens area. He had the Forest Park Hotel at Carboor, the Creamery at Carboor, and grazing land on which the Milawa Creamery was built during his ownership. He was a committee member for 3 committees duirng the 1888 International Exhibition in Melbourne. Hiram had many voyages around the world studying irrigation, hop growing, tobacco growing and drying. During his retirement in Melbourne Hiram purchased many properties in the Elsternwick area and acted as an Estate Agent. After the death of his second wife Martha, Hiram married for the third time in 1912 to Sophia Maude Heatley. Crawford and Co continued until 1933. [Taken from HighCountryHeritage.com.au]

Physical description

Black and white reproduction of a studio portrait of Hiram Crawford in fire brigade uniform, printed on gloss photographic paper and bordered with a white frame.

Inscriptions & markings

Badge on uniform sleeve reads: CAPTAIN / BVFB Obverse: AB/ Stewart & CO./ Melbourne Reverse: Hiram Collection/ BMM2435