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Journal by itellya

By the Mornington district, I mean any places likely to be mentioned in the Mornington News. Obviously more interested in the area's history than the other two Peninsula papers, the News has for some months been running an excellent series of extracts from old newspapers. Apart from history, what makes this paper (and the Southern Peninsula News) such good reads are the humorous articles and the critical eye kept on Mornington Peninsula Shire. Good as the historical articles are,I have two criticisms:
1. the same extracts are used in the Southern Peninsula News, when they should involve Dromana, Red Hill, Rosebud, Boneo, Rye, Sorrento and Portsea;
2. many of the articles are meaningless to someone who lacks a fair background understanding of the area's history.

That's what the Mornington News editor, Mike Hast, said in the 16th April, 2013 edition. Now dobbing in your parents is hardly the done thing but Mike wasn't really dobbing. I just wanted to use a sensationalist headline! Mike's headline was Don't forget history:market is 34 this year. The Leader and the Weekly have both published articles this week about the market celebrating its 30th. Knowledge of its true age has been lost because of "many changes in the personnel at the chamber" according to Alan Caton, former boss of the Mornington Chamber of Commerce.

Mike's father, Cr Tom Hast, started the market on 26-9-1979. It was a very different Mornington in those days. Only two years later the railway was closed, obviously because of poor patronage. This was partly due to the small population but another factor would have been the extra travelling time caused because Mt Eliza residents opposed a direct route and the line having to go through Mornington Junction (Baxter.)

Tom ran the market from the arcade near the Grand Hotel and overcame resistance from some traders by suggesting that they display slow-moving goods on the footpath. This brought life to Main St on its slowest trading day, Wednesday. Shops had traditionally been closed on Wednesday, as well as weekends. Tom's idea had been backed by Mornington Shire but by only a few members of the Chamber. The market's success ensured that the other members came on board and the Chamber took over responsibility in the 1980's, with Maree Abbott in charge.

Mike's article includes an Age article of 24-10-1979 by Sarah Chester which states that Tom had got his idea from seeing successful markets in English and European towns the previous year and that (within a month)the shopkeepers' turnover had increased by 20% on market days.

Moondah, built in 1888 for James Grice was an opulent 42 room Victorian Mansion with beautiful gardens and a vineyard. The gatehouse is very similar in design to the gatehouse in Parramatta Park in Sydney. It is believed this was used as a basis to building Moondah's gatehouse.When built, Moondah had a golf course, tennis court, croquet green and polo field for the entertainment of visitors.Sir Reginald Ansett purchased Moondah in 1947 and restored the building into a 5 star luxury hotel. This he called Manyung Hotel. It was the most luxurious hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. Ansett sold Manyung Hotel to the Australian Administrative Staff College in 1957. It is now run as the executive training centre for the college.
The balance of the Moondah was bequeathed to charity on the passing of Lady Ansett in 2003.

The Mornington Standard article of 19-4-1913 gave the Moondah owner's name as Grice and trove's digitisation as Grlce. The News must take full responsibility for the error.

The following were also mentioned in the 19-4-1913 extract.

The article stated that Messrs Edgar and son had suffered a heavy loss when a haystack on their Three-chain road farm, containing over 20 tons of hay, was destroyed by fire after being wet by heavy rain.

Thee Chain Road was Moorooduc Road and the Moorooduc Station now houses the trains which make regular trips between Watt Rd in Mornington and Moorooduc, the peninsula's version of Puffing Billy.

Messrs Alex Scott and Co will hold a large clearing sale on account of Mr J. P. Edgar, on the property, one mile from Moorooduc Railway Station on...etc. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 20-11-1915.)
If Alex Scott meant one mile south,the farm might have been near the Wooralla Drive corner. The Tullys might know where it was, perhaps the Dandridge farm just south of the Tully produce store.

Jack Edgar might have been J.P.'s son or grandson. He had Tuerong in the 1950's.

NEARLY 200 carloads, mainly family groups, attended the polo carnival in aid of the Orthopaedic Hospital at Tuerong Park, Mornington, on Saturday.....Mr and Mrs Jack Edgar, owners of Tuerong Park, with their son Jonathan lunched with Mr Aubrey Gibson honorary secretary of the Melbourne Hunt Polo Club and Mrs Gibson.
(P.8, Argus, 3-3-1952.)

Tuerong Park was basically the Tuerong pre-emptive right. Its homestead is now the office of the Dromana Estate of Tuerong Winery(Melway 152 B2.) The east half of the northern boundary was Tuerong Rd east to about the creek. Its south west corner was at the bend in Vineyard Lane and the south east corner was the end of Gillett Rd. Three Chain Road runs through the pre-emptive right.(Google "moorooduc, county of mornington" to see it on the parish map.)

The article mentions that the Shire of Frankston and Hasting's application to use an acre of a reserve known locally as Black's Camp was to be considered by the local land board at Somerville on 29-4-1913.

The reserve is at Melway 148 D2. Blacks Camp Rd leads to it from Jones Rd. But Austin Rd,named after George Austin, a Frankston Real Estate Agent who subdivided the area, was also referred to as Blacks Camp Rd in 1901.Crown allotment 54 Moorooduc consisted of 101 acres 3 roods and 36 perches. It was bounded on the east by Blacks Camp (Austin) Road for 618 metres north to the 6 acre 2 rood water reserve. Its Bungower Rd frontage was 524 metres and the South East Water storages are just inside its north west corner.It is likely that the Finlayson farm was bought by Murray Gomm's grandfather,William Henry (Paddy) Gomm and later passed to Billy Gomm (Somerville F.C. Legend, along with Murray's father, George.)

ALEX SCOTT & CO. (in conjunction with J.E. WORRELL) under instructions from the Union Trustee Co. of Australia Ltd., 339 Collins Street, Melbourne, in the estate of the late James Finlayson, will sell by public auction, a valuable Block of Land, Containing 70 acres or thereabouts, being portion of Crown Allotment 54, parish of Moorooduc, county of Mornington. This property is situated at the corner of Bungower and Blacks Camp roads, only three quarters of a mile from the Somerville Railway Station, and adjoining Mr J. Murray's orchard and opposite Mr J. Scott's. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 26-9-1901.)

Blacks Camp was a lagoon, thus its reservation as a water reserve. Crown allotments 55-58 also adjoined the reserve and of course nearby farmers had access via the two Blacks Camp lanes (which is all they were until George Austin became involved, with trees growing on them!) The bank teller was required to test his pistols at regular intervals and on one occasion one of the Gomm lads went with him and they fired the bullets into the banks of the lagoon.

Incidentally, Graf Rd, the boundary between crown allotments 55 and 56 (and 54 and the water reserve), is named after cricketer, Sean Graf,the name being suggested by a member of the Somerville Cricket Club (not a Gomm.) His ancestor was the station master at Somerville and when Henry Gomm's daughter fell in love with him, Henry had him tranferred (courtesy of his mate, Tommy Bent) to Ascot Vale but the girl fled to him and was cut off from her family. It was years later that Paddy Gomm brought the Grafs back into the fold after Henry's death.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-04-17 04:26:13

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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