The News published a story about Dr Robynanne Milford’s ‘Finding Voice: Women on the Dunstan 1860-1900’ book of poetry in our issue last week.
There was a reference to someone called Hobart Town Annie who ran a sly grog shop in Drunken Women’s Gully, which intrigued us.
We asked our readers if they knew anything about Annie or the gully.
Louise Joyce called to say she thought it was in or near Poolburn.
Nick Loughnan emailed to say there was an old stone hotel in a gully that was flooded when the Poolburn Dam was built in the 1930s.
“This gully was on the Dunstan Trail, which of course was the original overland route into Central Otago from Dunedin, before the big bridges were built at Alexandra and Beaumont to enable safe crossing of the Clutha River,” he said.
“The flooded gully was part of the irrigation water storage reservoir at Poolburn Dam [and] is now known locally as Drunken Woman’s Arm.
“The gully has been submerged for decades.”
Mr Loughnan sent through a photograph of the old hotel ruins.