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ART AND HISTORY: . EUGENE VON GUERARD and Walter Clark's "Glenara", Bulla, Victoria, Australia. TOWNSHEND SOMERVILLE.

Journal by itellya

Artists left a valuable historical legacy in the days before photography developed. The "Australia Sketcher" artists were kept busy recording images of places, such as a view of Mt Martha and Safety Beach from Arthur"s Seat; these can be seen on trove. The Peninsula and other "Artists' Trails" let us compare present day scenes, viewed from the spot where the artists sat, with reproductions of their paintings.

The N.G.V.pamphlet about the Von Guerard exhibition in 2011 contains reproductions of mountain scenes near Kosciusko and the western District but the ones that captured my attention were those of Cape Schanck and Walter Clark's Glenara (Melway 177 C9); the latter on page 2 which is attached.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM "EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF TULLAMARINE", WRITTEN LARGELY FROM MEMORY."
Later additions to the text are written in italics.

SECTIONS 16 and 17.
Section 16 was granted to Archibald Walker who sold the 533 acres to William Coghill on 7-7-1842 for 1040 pounds. On 16-5-1856, William conveyed the part of section 16 s/w of Bulla Rd to George for two (several?) sums of 10 shillings each and the natural love and affection he hath and beareth for the said George Coghill.

As it is now two years since I have been able to access the computer, both my enthusiasm and my ability to recall facts or access notes at the drop of a hat have almost disappeared. Therefore, I hope you will forgive me if the rest of this history is somewhat abbreviated. I think that is preferable to the information not becoming available.


Section 17, consisted of part A (435 acres) and part B (448 acres). As the Bulla road ran through 17A, from Oaklands Junction (where a southern extension of Oaklands Rd would meet Perimeter Rd inside the airport) to where a dotted line now meets Sunbury Rd at Melway 177, F/9, the north eastern corner became the Inverness Hotel paddock of 58 acres, rather than part of Glenara, (although it was still owned by the Clark family). This paddock was generally leased by the occupant of the Inverness, such as Patrick Condon in 1879 and 1882. By 1915, bookmaker, Maurice Quinlan had bought this paddock (as well as huge tracts of the Glenara Estate up Oaklands Rd) and was leasing it and the hotel to Eleanor C.Gibb, who was later to move to the Essendon (Grand) Hotel. Another to run the hotel was Bridget Madden, the sister of Maurice Crotty of "Broomfield", through which Tullamarine Park Rd now runs.
Glenara consisted of 1030 acres and was owned by Alexander Clark in 1914. It consisted of the part of section 16 conveyed to George Coghill the part of 17A excluding the Inverness Hotel, and 17B.
As I no longer have my notes and maps, the following relies purely on my memory. George Goghill called his farm Glencairn. The dam at 177 D12 was known to the pioneers as the Glencairn dam. Walter Clark, who was the next owner, renamed the farm Glenara. Coghill, remembered by street names in Broadmeadows (Westmeadows) and Bulla Townships, also owned Cumberland, and if I remember correctly, built the Cumberland mansion whose ruins are at Melway 178 C12. In about 1850 Coghill, like Joseph Raleigh at Maribyrnong, built boiling down works to convert near-worthless sheep into tallow.
Walter Clark bought much land up Oaklands Rd as well as Glenara. One portion of this land was called Dunalister, after his son, Alister. When a later owner of this property wished to rename it Balbethan, the late Bob Blackwell used the name for his property near (I think) Elmore.
While in London, young Alister Clark chanced upon the Chelsea Flower Show and fell in love with roses. Bulla Bulla gives great detail of his fame as a breeder of roses. Alister also loved horses and as well as being closely involved with the Oaklands Hunt, he was the first Chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club from its inception until his death. Two of this clubs highly regarded races were the Tullamarine Handicap and the Alister Clark Stakes. Alisters Vice Chairman, J.B.McArthur, and the Rundles (later owners of Glenara) were members of the Hunt as well.
Alister was adored in the community and Lilly Green, who with hubby Cec used the closed Junction Hotel at Greens Corner (Mobil site) for a garage and store, said that serving Alister with petrol was the highlight of her time there. Alister served for years on the Bulla Shire Council (many as President) and the Bulla School Committee.

I.W.Symonds' "Bulla Bulla" has much information about the Clark family. If I remember correctly, Walter Clark died in a buggy accident at about the time that Eugene Von Guerard painted the scene in the painting. The reason it is described as being near Keilor is that from 1854, Keilor Rd (known as Mt Alexander Rd) became the main route to the diggings, much money having been spent to build Brees' bridge and improve the surface. Logically, the artist would have taken that route, stopped at Keilor for refreshments and then taken Arundel Rd (part of which is now named after Jose Borrell)across Bertram's Ford and through "Arundel", finally driving north along the present McNabs Rd past Barbiston, Victoria Bank, Oakbank, Aucholzie,Seafield, Roseleigh and Gowrie Park until he reached the southern boundary of Glencairn at Melway 4 G2. Then he would have chosen a spot which placed Mt Macedon almost in line with the homestead.One can imagine the curiosity of the McNab, Ritchie, Mansfield, Grant, Farnes, and Gray children to see a stranger in their quiet backwater. I bet they followed and watched him at work from a respectful distance. The Grants of Craigllachie and Loemans of Glenloeman, on Tullamarine Island, probably gawked from across Deep Creek.

Amazingly although the two families were so prominent, the Shire of Bulla rate collectors could never seem to work out which ones were Clark and which were Clarke (of the Jackson's old run, where Rupertswood was built.) Interestingly, the buildings between the Glenara homestead and Mt Macedon are probably on Lochton where Bain opened a flour mill in 1856, the year that Walter Clark bought 17A and Glencairn.(Lochton, whose old homestead was still standing when occupied by Reddan descendants circa 1999, is located at Melway 177 C4; aborigines used to pick-a-back children from Lochton across the creek on their way to the original Bulla school near the bridge.)

TOWNSHEND SOMERVILLE, about whom much information is given in my SOMERVILLE journal,was married at Glenara, the residence of Walter Clark. This would indicate that he and Walter were close friends. (Illustrated Australian News, 4-12-1871, page 223, accessed through TROVE.)

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-01-11 22:37:27

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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