Shirleyrose Rowe has lived in Bacchus Marsh for 35 years – but her book captures a much longer stretch of the town’s history.

Ninety-three-year-old Rowe, who self-published History of an era with recipes under the name Shirley Rose, captured stories, history, and recipes from the Bacchus Marsh of between 1888 and 2002.

She said the inspiration for the book came when she started running a now closed local cafe, Rose Cottage, with her daughter and became enthralled by the cottage’s history.

“There is a big estate in the Rowsley Valley just out of Bacchus Marsh,” she said. “The head gardener there fell in love with the parlour maid and built that little cottage as their wedding present, and I thought that was very romantic.

“When I heard that I made up my mind that I’d write a book. I’ve always liked a good story.”

It took her about 10 years to finish the book – and after having 500 copies printed, she still has some to sell.

“The town has grown so much since I moved here that there would be a lot of people that won’t know about the town’s history,” she said.

To order a copy: shirley-rose.rowe@bigpond.com

… Ewen McRae