by Rica Erickson and Robyn Taylor
ISBN 0 85905 362 8, (2006 New), Soft Cover, 196 pages, 260grams
$30.00 + POST
Toodyay Homesteads, Past and Present is an invaluable book for anyone interested in Western Australia's rural heritage. It describes the evolution of the Toodyay District and the farming properties that have operated since the 1830s and 1840s. The book takes the reader on a journey from Morby Cottage in Northam to the Berkshire Valley homestead in Moora. Individual chapters reveal the social, administrative, and economic forces that shaped the early development of the Swan River colony, while the homesteads provide insights into the use of local materials, and construction and farming methods up to the present day. Solid archival research by Rica Erickson is given life through her own experiences and early conversations with original settlers and their descendants.
Rica Erickson is a renowned Western Australian historian, naturalist and botanical artist. She was born in Boulder in 1908 eventually settling in Bolgart as a teacher. She married a farmer and began researching the history of the Toodyay district, She was general editor of the Dictionary of Western Australians, a major reference work, and has contributed to many journals and publications relating to her research into history and the natural sciences. Her autobiography A Naturalist's Life (2005) traces her own story. In 1980 Rica was awarded an Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Western Australia and in 1987 she was awarded the Order of Australia for her contribution to the arts. She has received many other honours and awards.
Robyn Taylor an historian, grew up in Sydney and travelled and studied overseas before settling in Perth, Western Australia in 1978. In 1994 she was awarded a Doctorate from the University of Western Australia for her thesis on Perth's inter-war architecture. For many years Robyn lectured as an Art Historian at Curtin University, the University of Western Australia, Perth Technical College (now Central TAFE) and the Claremont School of Art, before establishing her own consultancy practice as an historian, writer, curator and heritage consultant. She moved with her husband Richard to Toodyay in December 2001 and shared with Rica the production of this book.