GOLD MINING AND "BLAIR'S" NEAR DROMANA, VIC., AUST.
Mornington Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1911 - 1920) Saturday 2 November 1912 p 2 Advertising
GOLD MINING (Column 4, item 4.)
BLAIR'S (Column 3, item 2.)
Sometimes when I'm looking for something on trove,I happen to notice another item on the same page. I read it out of curiosity but not wanting to be sidetracked, especially when a massive amount of time will be required to correct digitisation, I get back onto the original search. Unfortunately,my memory is so good that I will remember this chanced-upon item years later, and wishing to post it in reference to the subject currently under discussion, spend countless hours trying to find it again.
One such item, LAKE V JONES, that I have been looking for during the past two years, was found by chance again last night and posted as a comment regarding 858 Pt Nepean Rd, Rosebud in my FERRIER, HUTCHINS journal. In that comment I mentioned another case, JAMIESON V LAKE/LEAK/LEAKE, that I had discovered by chance and had never been able to find again. My latest attempt involved a JAMIESON,WANNAEUE search on trove.
I have included such chance finds in "Notes" journals re the Tullamarine,Blackwood,Mornington Peninsula etc. areas but I thought it best to make this morning's finds the subject of a new journal. The digitisation is not corrected but the print on the actual newspaper is easy enough to read.
Much has been written about the Tubbarubba diggings in LIME LAND LEISURE, THE GOLDEN PLAINS OF TUBBARUBBEREL and so on. They were in James Hearn's easternmost grant in the parish of Moorooduc and to the south at the eastern end of Jamieson's Special Survey in the parish of Kangerong. There were rushes circa 1860 and again during the 1890's depression when the mysterious Mr Eaton (BERNARD Eaton) was a major operator and the Moat boys found a watch that had been a missing clue in the Schnapper Point murder case about two decades earlier. Not much success had been found at these diggings although Mr Barnes was apparently an exception.
Jamieson's Special Survey's western end is indicated exactly by the north and south boundaries of Safety Beach and it extended east to the line of Bulldog Creek Rd. The northern 1000 acres,north of the line of the Martha Cove Waterway (formerly Tassell's Creek) was by 1864 owned by John Vans Agnew Bruce (after whom Bruce Rd was named)and leased by Edwin Louis Tassell until his death and then others. Bruce, who with Cornish built the Murray River and Mt Alexander railway to Sunbury and beyond, and lived in Essendon, spent the summer "season" there and employed Maria Stenniken,who married Godfrey Wilson,as a servant.
The southern and major part of the 5280 acre survey was owned by William John Turner (Big)Clarke and was leased by many pioneers of the Dromana area, as detailed in Colin McLear's A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. Luckily the workers in the Titles Office caught my infection of enthusiasm and provided me with free copies of the subdivision of Clarke's Estate, and all the lot boundaries are transposed on my Superpages. Lot 14 has the eastern end of Wallaces Rd as its northern boundary and the eastern boundary is the line of Bulldog Creek Rd south to the northern end of Junction Rd. The western boundary runs north from the top left corner of Melway 161 G7 to meet Wallaces Rd about 40 metres east of the barrier in 161 G3. As you will notice, Bulldog Creek runs diagonally through lot 14 and the 40 acres that O'Connor applied for would have been along this approximately 70 chains (1400 metres) portion of Bulldog Creek.
As mentioned before,much has been written about the Tubbarabba diggings circa 1860 and in the 1890's (although names of the diggers are not much mentioned) but little has been seen about later mining there.
William Allison Blair bought most of his Mornington Peninsula land because of what was under it. It is wrongly stated by Charles Hollinshed in LIME LAND LEISURE that Blair settled at Ngarveno near the (future) Moonee Valley but it was actually (Netherly?-See Blairs of Essendon journal.) This was the site of the former Essendon Technical School at Melway 28 D4.
The Mornington Peninsula west of Boneo Rd was in the early days the preserve of lime burners.William Allison Blair,a lime merchant bought as much land as he could at West Rosebud and mainly south of Rye Township to displace these pioneers, getting their kilns and creating a near monopoly. Irish tenants' rights hero, Charles Gavan Duffy,bought much land west of Owen Cain's Tyrone to subdivide. It was inevitable that the two would clash as Blair sought land further west. There was a huge court case with each accusing the other of employing dummies. One parcel of land in dispute between the two could not be decided so Sidney Smith Crispo suggested that it be proclaimed a village and it was. It was named after Sorrento in Italy which had so impressed Duffy during his voyage to Australia.
Blair, whose son married a daughter of John Murray Peck of Lebanon and lived at "Wannaeue" (now Red Rooster, Melway 16 J9), later moved to a farm at Braybrook. When the Lilydale quarries opened,peninsula lime lost its value and this probably convinced Blair that buying land for subdivision rather than what was under it was a better prospect.However with so much land on his hands that had lost much value because of the 1890's depression, it was noted in the 1900 rates as "In lig." which I presume meant insolvency. The lime burners had loosened the topsoil providing a suitable habitat for ti-tree and rabbits. The former Blair "Lime" land along Browns Rd was bought from the banks for a song by James Little Brown who transformed the devastated area into the beautiful pasture we see today.
Blair's as mentioned in the advertisement was certainly not bought for its lime deposits.
on 2014-06-14 21:33:42
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.