The town Doctor in Gundagai from 1887, Dr Charles Louis Gabriel was also a keen amateur photographer. Local businessman Cliff Butcher found some 1000 of Dr Gabriel’s glass negatives in the basement of a premises in Sheridan Street. The photos record the town in which Dr Gabriel lived for 40 years.
More than 150 photos from the collection are on permanent display in the Gabriel Gallery (upstairs above the Gundagai Butcher Roberts – Garden, Gallery, Gifts Store on Sheridan Street – Note that stairs are required for access).
The Gallery also displays other unique items of interest including some of Henry Lawson’s original letters and possessions, such as his walking stick and dictionary.
A DOCUMENTARY HERITAGE
Dr Gabriel’s visual record of the late 1800s and early 1900s provides a fascinating account and documentary history of the time – transport, dress, past-times, streetscapes and countryside. Photos printed from the glass plates bring the energy of Gundagai in these early days to life.
His main photographic preoccupation was people and in particular women. He managed to capture with warmth and intimacy life in Gundagai at the turn of the century. Photographs in the collection include events such as the flood of 1900, the opening of the new hospital in 1904, travellers at the railway station, as well as sporting activities such as tennis, fishing and golf.
Along with glass negatives collected by Oscar Bell, there are now around 950 digitised images from the Gabriel Collection available online through the National Library.