Way out west in the Back O' Bourke of NSW lies a monument to one of this nation's great love stories.
Although this romantic tale is set in the mid 19th century, every year on the same date the setting sun still causes a granite pillar to dazzle across the Louth district.
This marker was said to be "the grandest in all the colonies" when it was fashioned for an astronomical sum to forever remind a husband of his dead wife.
On the anniversary of the sad day the mother of their six children died (August 19) the sun reflects from a cross atop the monument to the spot where their house once stood.
The monument also provides a glimpse into the hardships confronted by our early settlers and how they overcame them.
This story is set in Louth, which is about 150km from Bourke in the north-west of NSW.
There's not much left at Louth these days but what hasn't changed is its geographical location on the Darling River.
It was the river which eventually drew the "King of Louth", the Irish-born Thomas Mathews, from the UK to the Australian gold rush in 1856.
Mr Mathews, who came from the country of Louth in Ireland left wife Mary in England with their five children, while he scouted the Aussie landscape.
In the Bendigo goldfields he worked as a storekeeper, wheelwright and later a buggy maker before he was lured to Toorale Station (now national park) near Bourke to take up as a job as a blacksmith and wheelwright.
As an aside, the famous Australian poet Henry Lawson once worked at Toorale.
As Mr Mathews settled in the outback, in 1862 Mary and the kids were brought out to the colonies by ship.
Mr Mathews worked hard and well and took up a 16 hectare selection on the Darling he called Louth.
He carved a community from the bush by building a pub on a bend in the river, and took up a big station run in 1867.
Tragically Mary died in 1869 from lung disease at the age of 42, she had borne six children, plus several which had not survived.
Mr Mathews was to marry a further three times, the last time when aged 70.
But he always had plans to honour his first wife in a unique and beautiful way although it took 17 years for that to happen.
He married 22-year-old Mary Lawkins in 1871, then Susan Raey (33) in 1873 and Clara Childs (41) in 1895. The second Mary and Susan had also pre-deceased him.
He became a rich man, with business interests across the north-west from Bourke through to Cobar.
He had contracted a master craftsman Peter Hoey Finn in Bendigo to create the monument to his first wife.
The grey granite used by Finn was quarried from Phillip Island and was 7.6 metres high with a 1.2 metre Celtic cross on top.
It cost 600 pounds to make, a fortune in those days. In today's Aussie dollars, the equivalent to more than $131,000.
It was quite the adventure to transport the monument, mostly by river boat, from Echuca to Louth.
Mr Mathews could see the erected monument to Mary shining each afternoon with the setting sun from the verandah of their homestead "The Retreat", blazing on the anniversary of her death.
Mr Mathews died in 1913 at Cobar, aged 88.
He was interred next to his wife underneath that tall pillar which is today listed as an Australian National Monument.
His great great great grandson David Mathews works at nearby Bourke Shire Council and has a block at Louth.
"The family has scattered all over the place, but yes we are pretty proud of that monument," he said.
"Tom was a remarkable person."
Local historian Cathy Simpson said they still have a "a number" of well researched visitors asking directions to the Louth monument each year.
Mr Mathews said it was in "great shape" despite its age.
"It does give the family a lot of pride."
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