CORRECTION, LYNDHURST LIZZIE AND THE HALF WAY HOTEL, LYNDHURST. :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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CORRECTION, LYNDHURST LIZZIE AND THE HALF WAY HOTEL, LYNDHURST.

Journal by itellya

In previous journals, I have wrongly assumed that the Halfway House in which Lyndhurst Lizzie died was the one established by James McMahon on the site of the present Riviera Hotel (Melway 97 D11.) From previous experience, correcting these journals does not remove such false assumptions in Google search summaries, so a new journal is needed to point out this error. I have had a niggling doubt about this assumption since I saw a report of a Melbourne Hunt event which mentioned the Halfway Hotel and properties crossed by the riders which seemed to be nowhere near Long Island, and with no mention of the Kananook Creek which would have had to be crossed to reach them. Strangely, the northern boundary of the parish of Frankston is Seaford Rd except on Long Island (between the creek and the beach) where it went north to include James McMahon's grant (probably the pre-emptive right of his Long Beach run.) Relying on memory after too many late nights caused another mistake, my statement that McMahon's Half Way House (or Carrum Hotel) was in the parish of Lyndhurst. It was on the northernmost grant in the parish of Frankston.

At the time of writing, I was only aware of one HALF WAY HOTEL in Lyndhurst (McMahon's hotel likely to be so described despite my mistake, being only a short stroll from the parish of Lyndhurst.) However the death notices of Richard Taylor and his only surviving daughter, Mrs Cairns, led me to the discovery that there was a multitude of HALF WAY HOTELS and that the one with which they were connected was near Cranbourne.

Death of Mr. Richard Taylor.
Almost a Nonogenarian.
Early on Saturday morning Mr Richard Taylor, widely known as the licensee of the Half-way House hotel at Lyndhurst, on the main road between Dandenong and Cranbourne, departed this life. Deceased had reached the ripe old age of 87 years, and until quite recently had been in possession of good health. Till the end he retained his mental faculties clearly.By his death the district has lost one of its most familiar identities, one who was closely connected with the growth of the place from the old coaching days, and who was a highly respected citizen.

Richard Taylor was born in 1825 at Stockwell, near Oldham, Lancashire, and was a typical Englishman. In his native town he learnt the trade of carpenter, and after working at it for some years. emigrated to Australia in 1854 in the good ship Marco Polo. At that time there was keen demand for artisans in Melbourne and Mr Taylor had no difficulty in getting employment at 25/ per day. Like most others of a sturdy nature he drifted along with the gold fever to the diggings. Twelve months' experience taught him that all is not gold that glitters, and he returned to Melbourne and followed his trade with Messrs Bruman and Brooks, a leading firm at the time.

Here he continued for about 15 years, and then he took up the land at Lyndhurst, comprising 156 acres, upon which he has since resided, and on which stands the familiar house of call. Mr Taylor found good brick clay on his property, and by his own energy he excavated a clay hole, and after getting some little assistance in moulding bricks, he built with his own hands the Half-way House, and built it well and faithfully too, the
work taking him two years. This was in the early seventies, and Mr Taylor obtained a publican's licence which he retained until the time of his death.

Mr Taylor was twice married, but the only surviving child is Mrs. Cairns. He was known as a very straightforward man, and one of great individual character. The funeral took place on Sunday, when many old friends followed the remains to their last resting place the Cranbourne cemetery.
(P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Standard, 12-9-1912.)

LYNDHURST
DESPITE her many years, that grand old lady, Mrs Cairns, of the Half Way House, still leads a very active life and takes a keen interest in the things about her. On Thursday, accompanied by her nephew, Mr Harry Cairns, son of Mr Fred Cairns*, and Mrs W. Tucker jnr., she made the round trip to Rosebud and back. Mrs Cairns’ father conducted the Half Way Hotel many years ago, and Mrs Cairns herself can remember when the bullock teams from Gippsland stopped there on their way towards Melbourne.
(P.11, The Dandenong Journal, 11-6-1941.)

*FORGAN (Cairns). – On September 19,at Melbourne, Leslie, loving foster-son of the late Elizabeth and Alexander Cairns, and loved brother of Frederick Cairns, Maggie,Josephine, and Elsie Forgan, late of Lyndhurst, aged 35 years. (P.2, Argus, 21-9-1944.) Leslie must have been a newborn when adopted by Alexander Henry Cairns and Lyndhurst Lizzie because it's a fair bet that he was named after a child they'd lost at Wonthaggi, Christopher but referred to as LESLIE.
CAIRNS.— In sad but loving memory of our dear son, Christopher George Leslie Cairns (dear Little Leslie), who left us to dwell with the Master, Sunday, 21st June, 1896, at half-past 12, aged 6 years and 8 months.POEM,
Inserted by his loving, sorrowing parents, A.H. and E. Cairns, Wonthaggi Post Office,South Gippsland, late of Boneo, Dromana.(P.15, Weekly Times, 26-6-1897.)

OBITUARY
AFTER a short illness lasting only three days Mrs Eliza Cairns, aged 96 years, one of Lyndhurst’s oldest and most highly respected residents, passed away peacefully at her home, “Lyndfield,” the picturesque old Half
Way House, on Saturday afternoon last. Deceased, who had led an active life right up to the time of her death, was a very keen gardener, and the spacious grounds of her home were always a picture.

She was born in England and came to Australia with her parents when she was very young. For some years she lived at Beechworth, and when older was employed at Dromana, where she met and married Mr Alexander Cairns**, of Boneo. Before coming to live at the Half Way House, which her father (Mr Taylor) conducted as a hotel, she lived at Powlett River* in South Gippsland.

The late Mrs Cairns had lived it Lyndhurst for nearly 30 years, and deepest sympathy is extended to her sorrowing relatives in the loss they have sustained. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon, when the remains were buried in the Church of Christ portion of the Dandenong Cemetery. Mr Marshall conducted the service at the home and at the graveside. J.Garnar & Sons had charge of the funeral arrangements. The many beautiful floral tributes received reflected the high esteem in which the late Mrs Cairns was held.
(P.3, The Dandenong Journal, 25-6-1941.)

(* i.e. Wonthaggi.
**Alexander Henry Cairns, 8th child of David Cairns and Janet, nee Thompson, born in 1856, probably at Boneo.
CAIRNS. -On the 19th January, at his residence,Cranbourne road Lyndhurst (late of Wonthaggi), Alexander Henry, the dearly loved husband of Elizabeth Cairns, aged 65 years.P.1, Argus, 20-1-1920.He was buried at Dandenong Cemetery.)

Pinpointing the location of THIS Halfway House has not been helped by the following.
vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/113052/download-report
Victorian Heritage Database Report. Halfway House. B1622 Halfway House Lyndhurst. Location. Cnr Cranbourne Road and Gippsland Highway LYNDHURST.

This report seems to have been prepared in 1963, three years before the old hotel was supposedly demolished. The location given is a pathetic effort from a heritage consultant if a Casey Cardinia website is correct. The location seems to be taken from a very old newspaper report when the South Gippland Highway seems to have been the original route to Gippsland. It was supposed to have been ABOUT four miles from Dandenong. The following gives another clue to the hotel's location, equally unhelpful.

BURGLARY AT TAYLOR'S WAY HOUSE HOTEL,
The Half-way house Hotel situate at the junction of the Cranbourne and Lyndhurst roads, and midway between
Dandenong and Cranbourne, was visited by two enterprising burglars early on the morning of Saturday last.(etc.)
(P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 21-8-1895.)

Casey Cardinia - links to our past: February 2008
caseycardinialinkstoourpast.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html
Feb 4, 2008 - Richard Taylor arrived in Lyndhurst in 1869 and opened his hotel, Taylor's Half Way House (pictured below), in 1871. It was demolished in ...(1966)

The following blog is about High Street, Cranbourne, based on an aerial photograph and photos of places in High St taken in the 1960's, one of which is the HALF WAY HOUSE.

Casey Cardinia - links to our past: High Street Cranbourne in the 1960s.
caseycardinialinkstoourpast.blogspot.com/2011/.../high-street-cranbourne-in-1960s.ht...
Jan 19, 2011 - This is taken just a bit further up the street than the previous photograph. The car is thought to be a 1961 EK Holden. The Half Way House.

The east-west road at the top of the aerial photo is Camms Rd running west to Evans Rd, which then terminated at the same corner. Whether Cranbourne Road was Hall Rd or the Frankston-Cranbourne Rd, both lead to the South Gippsland Highway at Melway 133 J6. As the 1960's HALF WAY HOUSE was in High St, Richard Taylor's 156 acres must have been at the north west corner of Sladen St and High St-if the 1960's HALF WAY HOUSE was the original hotel, or at least, on the same site. All I have to do now is find the right parish map to confirm that there was a 156 acre grant at this location.

I have discarded what I had previously written about the parish of Eumemmering because it didn't make sense but left the following about another Taylor family.

I discovered Taylors Rd running between Abbotts Rd and Ballarto Rd undoubtedly named after Thomas Taylor who married a Ross girl from Keilor, and may have been related to Richard Taylor.

In view of her native place, Catherine may have been responsible for the location name of Skye, later changed to Lyndhurst South because of the stigma caused by a murder committed there and once again as Skye, postcode 3977.

Mrs. C. Taylor, of Cranbourne
CRANBOURNE, Sunday.-Mrs. Catherine Taylor, who attained her 100th birthday on May 25 this year, and who was
the oldest resident of Cranbourne, having lived in the district for 83 years, died at the home of Mrs. T. Bullock, Duff street, Cranbourne, this morning, after a brief illness.Mrs. Taylor, who was born in the Isle
of Skye, Scotland, in 1835, arrived in Victoria with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Ross, when she was aged 15 years. The family lived for a time in the Keilor district, and afterward at Skye,now South Lyndhurst. Mrs. Taylor enjoyed good health up to a few days before her death.

She had vivid recollections of the early days, when Cranbourne was the marketing centre of South Gippsland, and blacks were as numerous as white people. For many years she and her husband used to walk eight miles every Sunday morning to the Cranbourne Presbyterian Church, during the ministry of the Rev. Alexander Duff, who was the first ordained clergyman in the district.

Mrs. Taylor's 100th birthday was celebrated at the home of Mrs. Bullock, where Mrs. Taylor lived after the death of a son,Mr. Richard Taylor, two years ago. On the occasion of her birthday greetings were received from His Excellency the Governor (Lord Huntingfield) and Parliamentary representatives.

Mrs. Taylor's husband, Mr. Thomas Taylor, died 17 years ago at the age of 81 years. Of her family of six children, two are living, Mr.George Taylor of Brisbane and Mr.Malcolm Taylor, of Melbourne. She has 23 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren living. The funeral will be at the Cranbourne Cemetery to-morrow afternoon.(P.3, Argus, 14-10-1935.)

LOCATION OF RICHARD TAYLOR'S HALF WAY HOUSE HOTEL.
Glasscocks Rd was the boundary between the parishes of Eumemmering to the north and Lyndhurst to the south as indicated by the curve in Frankston-Dandenong Rd and Perry Rd (Melway 128 B 2-3) which was a government road linking with the existing portion at Melway 94 H9.

As the result of this discovery, I abandoned the Eumemmering map, and discovered that the Lyndhurst map didn't suit either. High St. was the name of the part of the South Gippsland Highway running through the TOWNSHIP OF CRANBOURNE. The highway was probably called the Lyndhurst road in early days and the Cranbourne road, no matter whether it came from Wells Rd at Melway 99 J2 (via Lathams and Halls Rd) or from Frankston, met High St at 133 J6.

Discarding* claims that the hotel was ABOUT four miles from Dandenong and halfway between Dandenong and Cranbourne, I decided to check for a 156 acres property on the township map. (*It is 8 miles along the South Gippsland Highway from the Princes Highway to Sladen Street so both descriptions would place the hotel at Melway 129D1 where no junction of the Lyndhurst and Cranbourne roads would ever have been. Many city adventurers complained that country folk had no idea of estimating distances!)

Township of Cranbourne, Parish of Cranbourne, County of Mornington ...
digital.slv.vic.gov.au/dtl_publish/simpleimages/6/1003177.html

The most likely location was west of High St as land on the east side of High St was divided into the usual half acre township blocks and south of Sladen St a total of about 39 acres, mainly granted to E.J.Tucker into whose family Lyndhurst Lizzie's companion on the long trip to Rosebud married. West of the GIPPLAND HIGHWAY (as it is labelled, confirming my belief that today's South Gippsland was the original route to Gippsland), 120 acres were reserved for the racecourse and cemetery with most of the rest not alienated till much later.

The north west corner of High and Sladen Street and High St, bounded by Fairbairn and Clarendon Sts contained suburban lots ranging from 7 to 33 acres but averaging about 18 acres each with a total area of 182 acres 2 roods and 34 perches. This was about 26 acres more than the 156 acres that David Taylor bought, perhaps not all in 1869. All 10 crown allotments had been sold by the crown in 1857. It is likely that many of the grantees had become insolvent over the next decade or so; Victoria's first manufacturer of bellows,Joseph Porta, and Ralph Ruddell of Tuerong had both suffered this fate in the early 1860's as well as many others I have noted. I presume that A.Duff was related to Cranbourne's first Presbyterian minister mentioned by Thomas Taylor's widow and sold his grants to David Taylor when the family moved away.

It is likely that David Taylor's 156 acres consisted of crown allotments 2-9. Crown allotments 10 and 1 of 18 acres 3 roods 16 perches and 7 a. 2 r. 11 p. (26 a. 1 r. 27 p. altogether) both fronted Clarendon St and when deducted from the total area of 182 acres 2 roods and 34 perches, leave 156 acres 0 roods and 23 perches. Deduction of no other grants or combinations thereof, produces the 156 acres associated with the hotel.

Crown allotments 1 and 10 both extended south for 650 links (6.5 chains or 130 metres) from Clarendon St, so if my assumption of the composition of David Taylor's land is correct, its northern boundary was the midline of Dearing Avenue and Cochrane St.

Therefore it is likely that the HALFWAY HOUSE (store?) shown on the Casey Cardinia blog was on or near the site of the hotel and may have been the hotel itself before its demolition in 1966. As mentioned earlier, a photo of the hotel is also shown on the blog. I would like to look at it again to see if the bricks moulded by David "with a little assistance" are visible and if there are any similarities with the HAL WAY HOUSE in the 1960's photo. But I'm too weary and have other research commitments of great importance so I'll leave these tasks to others. I'm reasonably sure that I've confirmed the location of Lyndhurst Lizzie's last residence and her father's 156 acres but remember that I've discarded some clues to their location so I could be wrong. At least my conclusion MAKES SENSE.

Surnames: CAIRNS ROSS TAYLOR
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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2016-07-18 21:20:22

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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