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One of the oldest known photographs of Fannie Bay Gaol, taken around 1900. The gaol opened 135 years ago this month, and was instantly judged to be a substantial improvement on the previous facility in town that, according to old newspaper reports, was hardly a deterrent, but a "place of refuge... where men tired of obtaining a fair honest living by the sweat of their brow, could indulge comparatively in the luxuries of life with all its engagements". There were few luxuries at the new Fannie Bay Gaol. An infirmary added in 1887 contained a gallows, used up until 1952 when the last execution took place, that of two Czechoslovakian immigrants for the murder of a taxi driver. The gaol closed in 1979.


Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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