Kyogle family featured in The Australian Women's Weekly, 1969.
Kyogle family featured in The Australian Women's Weekly, 1969. The Australian Women's Weekly

Uncovering the beautiful history of Kyogle

SALES professional by day and hobby historian by night, Odette Nettleton has uncovered the retro brides and art deco buildings of vintage Kyogle.

A resident of Kyogle for 16 years and president of local Country Women's Association, Ms Nettleton said she's always loved history.

Ms Nettleton only opened Facebook page Vintage Kyogle at the end of 2016, after discovering The Northern Star's archives in the National Library of Australia digital resource, Trove.

"I started out trying to find a picture of my house built in the 20s to see what it looked like," Ms Nettleton said.

"I found a whole bunch of information about Kyogle in Trove.

"In history books, it's only super important people. I liked these clips instead because I think they're much more relatable - they tell the stories of ordinary people.

"I fell into a black hole of looking of thing about Kyogle and I kept finding so many amazing things."

Although she didn't to find her own house, Ms Nettleton discovered her friends' houses in The Northern Star's articles, up to 1955.

"But probably the most popular things I've found is the marriage announcements," Ms Nettleton said

"That was pretty much the only time when women got into the paper, so a lot of the focus was on the bride, what she wore, how her reception was the CWA or the Masonic Hall, and decorated by the local florist."

Historical records also highlighted the art deco architecture in Kyogle, fires that ripped through the village up to the 1930s and the 1954 flood which killed 20 including a local city councillor.

"Kyogle grew from the 1900s when there was not much here to a really big main street, where there was a lot of commerce coming through," Ms Nettleton said.

"Looking through council reports you could see they created a brick zone after the fires and that was around the time art deco was in vogue.

"The six art deco bank buildings were banks, all built with managers residence and their own gardens on the east end of town, which shows you how prosperous the town was.

"They're all magical and gorgeous if you get the chance to go inside."

Ms Nettleton said Kyogle still has a lot to offer.

"The people who live in Kyogle are friendly and generous people and there's always something interesting happening in Kyogle; it has about a 49% volunteerism rate."


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