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LOST! (RYE, BULLA AND FRANKLINFORD, VIC., AUST.)

Journal by itellya

Johnny Ashcroft's "Little Boy Lost", written soon after Steven Walls had been found in the "wild New England Ranges" was a sensation in 1960, and a film about the song's subject was made in 1978. A You Tube video features scenes from the film and Ashcroft singing the iconic song. The video provides an idea of how frantically people searched for the little girl lost and the little boy lost in the first two stories. The Franklinford story is about a man who had disappeared and the affect it had on two other residents.

LITTLE GIRL LOST.
Owen Cain died on 28-6-1896 at 98 and had been a resident of Rye for 55 years.(Mornington Standard 2-7-1896 page 3.) In 1841, the Mornington Peninsula was occupied by a few squatters and a few limeburners near "The Heads". Owen Cain found plenty of lime just on the Rye side of Canterbury Jetty Rd where he later built "Tyrone" named after his native county in Ireland. Other street names on this estate that recall the Cain family are Neville, Murray and Michael, the first two being maiden names of girls who married Michael and Joseph Cain. As I have searched fruitlessly for my notes regarding this story, I will have to write from memory.

Sarah Ann Cain was four when she disappeared. Perhaps she had woken from a nap and gone looking for her parents; no explanation was given for her disappearance. I forget whether the story was in Lime Land Leisure or Patricia Appleford's "Rye Primary School 1667" but I do remember the source was the McCrae lad at Arthurs Seat, so the events probably took place in 1843. For four days and four nights rescuers had been combing the bush looking for her, some of whom she had seen from a distance. But she hid, thinking that they might be aborigines. When she was eventually found, near dead, she was taken to George Smith's Wooloowoolooboolook Run homestead, where Mrs Smith nursed her back to health. I believe Smith's run was actually the Tootgarook run later sold by Edward Hobson to James and Peter Purves in 1850. As the Hobson journal shows, Edward and his brother were actually at Traralgon (which they named)and if Edward had taken up the lease for Tootgarook, he had probably transferred it to Smith, whose wife was related to Captain Hobson of the "Rattlesnake" (according to Spencer Jackson in his "Beautiful Dromana") and presumably to Edward Hobson.

LITTLE BOY LOST.
The little boy lost was not named in the story on page 2 of the Melbourne Argus of 12-9-1848. He was referred to as the two year old son of Mr H.Hayden, tutor at Mrs Greene's "Woodlands".To find the locale for this story, google Bulla Parish map and click on the first site, Kathleen Fanning's Fanning Family History. You will see section 2 at the bottom right hand corner of the parish map and labelled W.P.Greene. William Pomeroy Greene died soon after settling his family on "Woodlands" and the running of the property was done by his widow Ann and their son Rawdon, after whom Rawdon St in Bulla was named. (The Bulla end of Somerton Rd was also named after the family until recently, but some historically ignorant bureaucrat rendered it as Green St and the mistake was perpetuated.)The South west corner of Woodlands is indicated by Melway 177 J9. The angular area just south of the park entrance was the former site of St Mary's, built in 1858. South of Woodlands was Cumberland in the parish of Will Will Rook, whose homestead was built by George Coghill, and south west was Alexander Kennedy's grant (Inverness?)and, south of that, George Coghill's Glencairne, both of which became Walter Clark's "Glenara".At Melway 178 C6, can be seen "Sherwood", home of the Oaklands Hunt Club. This property had been the head station of a squatting run held by Major Firebrace.(This detail is given so that you will understand the part given as verbatim as my notes allow later on.

The boy was lost for the same period of time as Sarah Ann had been. No reason for his disappearance was given either. The 1978 film explained Steven Walls' lack of reaction to his rescuers' calls by an instruction given by his father never to talk to strangers. Perhaps young Hayden had a similar reason for not responding or it might have just been a toddler's natural shyness. Given the child's lack of stamina, he must have hidden to have evaded discovery for 96 hours. (A sudden thought: the rescuers might have found him more quickly by using their noses!)The gentry had turned up for a hunt but Rawdon Greene persuaded them to hunt for a far more precious quarry.

Carriers would have sometimes used dogs to guard their cargo while they slept or quenched their thirst at a wayside inn such as Tulip Wright's near the Deep Creek crossing. By chance a carrier had camped in a spot near Deep Creek, never before used by travellers and his dogs started a chorus of barking that could not be ignored. The tot was probably given a tot when taken to Tulip Wright's inn (presuming that was what was described as a gentle stimulant) and a warm bath helped to improve his condition. The tutor was notified and hurried off to Melbourne to bring Dr James Martin whose expertise helped the boy's recovery from his ordeal, especially the gangrene which had set in.
"Great praise is due to the gentlemen in the neighbourhood for their exertions, particularly Major Firebrace and Messrs R.Greene and Cogle (sic), who during the three days were constantly in the saddle in quest of the child; but to Dr Martin for his prompt and unremitting attention, may be mainly attributed the ultimate restoration to health of as fine a boy as ever engaged the affection of a parent."

MAN DISAPPEARS; SUSPICION OF MURDER.
This headline was not in any article seen but was implied, especially by the actions of the police. The man who disappeared (as detailed in my Franklinford Chronology) had an alias so he perhaps also felt a need to hide. No doubt Franklinford residents launched a search but it was bound to be fruitless as Brassey possessed far more mobility than the toddlers.
It has not yet been determined whether Franklinford had three stores or one store owned by William Bumstead (the venue for the 1862 inquest) and run by Charles Dyett in 1862 and Martin Minogue in 1867. Minogue wrote to the Mt Alexander Mail (Castlemaine)complaining about the police searching his store and digging up his garden, casting suspicion on him which affected his relationships in the community. Another poor fellow had been put in the Daylesford gaol for 40 days and nights on suspicion. Brassey had been found on a station up country by the police.
By 1882, Martin Minogue was a coach proprietor and drove his coach between Daylesford and Franklinford. Sounds rosey! However, as reported on page 12 of the Argus of 22-11-1882, Martin committed suicide by means of strychnine. He obtained some beer at Colquhonn's (sic)and took it home. His daughter would have been terrified when the poisoning became apparent. Martin explained that the Mail (contract) was not paying and his crops and land had all gone wrong.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-03-08 08:03:07

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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