Charlie Carter, Hermit, Healer and High Country Legend. 149pp Published by Tabletop Press 2017
The author takes you for a walk in the high country, while he researches the life of one man who lived rough in one of the wildest parts between Crackenback, Upper Murray and Snowy Rivers. Charlie Carter, a miner, brumby runner, hut-builder, philosopher and recluse, born in Victoria, built his first hut of corrugated iron and flattened tins on the Ingeegoodbee. Requiring few material possesions, he survived in rugged mountain countyr existing on dingo and rabbit trapping, but still found time to publish papers on his various beliefs (featured in the appendix to the book)
Living ultimately in Tin Mine Huts, where his lifeless body was found in 1952 in the mines storehouse, his body's retreival becomes a story in itself. Klaus has made use of his rich load of oral histories collected over the years, and includes interesting journal entries of Jack Ray and Herb Hain from a 1949 brumby running expedition in Carter's coutry. As Herb said, speaking of Charlie, "Not many people were ever lost in the bush with Charlie. He was a good bushman."
The author completes his story with a detailed account of the reconstruction of Carter's Tin Mine Huts which were in bad repair by the 1980's. The Illawarra Alpine Club began work in 1982, and with the help of KHA, continued over the years. An amazing effort. Today Carter's Huts stand proud, offering a safe refuge for anyone caught out in wild weather, thanks to these KHA workers.
Klaus has illustrated his book with many interesting photos which high country hikers will recognise. Charlie Carter's reclusive life and his huts have been a story worth telling.
Reviewed by Rosemary Curry.