PART of an historical account of the Helensburgh area first published in 1879 has been reproduced online by the website electricscotland.com.
The book, Annals of Garelochside — "being an account historical and topographical of the parishes of Row, Rosneath and Cardross" — was written by William Charles Maughan, who lived at Kilarden in Rosneath.
It was a follow on to his other very successful book, Rosneath: Past and Present.
In his preface he says: "There is so much of interest in the whole neighbourhood of the Gareloch, and it is such a favourite resort in summer, that it is hoped that a careful topographical study of the parishes of Row and Cardross, as they existed in the latter part of last century, and coming down to the present day, will secure approval.
"It is thought desirable to incorporate Rosneath with the other parishes, because the author has gained much additional information upon the subject. Many noble families have owned the lands near the Gareloch, and played their part in the affairs of the nation, although in some instances, they no longer are connected with Dunbartonshire."
He continues: "The first part of the book treats of the County of Dunbarton as a whole, and gives some details as to the life and pursuits of the inhabitants of that part of Scotland.
“Particulars regarding the old industries and occupations, as well as about the social habits of the landowners and peasantry, and the many changes in the ownership of the estates, form an interesting and instructive picture.
"In discoursing upon the separate parishes of Row, Cardross, and Rosneath, the author wished to point out the ancient holdings of the various families, and to specify what they did to bring out the resources of the soil. The old ecclesiastical divisions are noted, and details given which will be acceptable to the student of Church history.
"In various instances the author was fortunate in being able to draw upon the recollections of very aged persons, whose memories happily retained a wonderful vigour, and who could give graphic pictures of scenes and customs of over eighty years ago.
“The favourite town of Helensburgh demanded a full and careful account, and its gradual rise, from a single row of thatched houses on the shore to its present extensive boundaries, cannot but be of interest to many.
"Though some of the family matters given may seem rather minute, still, as a picture of men and manners, they have a value of their own.ecclesiastical details, taken from authentic sources, characterise a state of matters now passing away.
“The notes and anecdotes as to the agriculture, ornithology, and natural history of the Gareloch, indicate that much may be gleaned in this department. Until within a few years, the district of the Gareloch was rich in specimens of game, aquatic, and sea-birds, and some account is given of their various haunts and habits."
The link is: http://www.electricscotland.com/history/garelochside/index.htm
At present only the Row (Rhu) section, which is chapters one to five, is online. The sections about Rosneath and Cardross have still to be added.