MR.Leonard WILDING OF FLINDERS, VIC., AUST., EARLY MORNINGTON PENINSULA HISTORIAN and hero.
I don't often write journals about a particular person but there was something special about Mr Wilding, which will become evident when the full title of this journal is given.
After the termination of the Flinders Race Meeting on Friday, 3rd inst., some gentlemen assembled in the State School building, and a presentation of a purse of sovereigns was made to Mr L. Wilding, who left the district for Castlemaine on Monday last, after fifteen years' residence in Flinders. On behalf of the subscribers,
Mr Cooke wished Mr Wilding every success in his new vocation, and expressed regret at his departure from Flinders.
During the time he (Mr Cooke) had been in the district, Mr Wilding had always been very willing to do a large amount of work for the good of the place which many people were inclined to shirk, and he would certainly be very much missed. In replying, Mr Wilding heartily thanked the people of the district for this token of their
goodwill. There were very many things which he could not do, and there was certainly no necessity to explain that to make a speech was one of these things. A certain gentleman in the room would be quite equal to such an occasion, and be able to give voice to proper sentiments for any space of time from a few minutes to a few hours, but he was sorry to say he was not built on the same lines.
He had always been glad to think that he belonged to the place, and to have a hand in anything that was going on. It had been a pleasure to himself to be able to do any work for Flinders. He hoped to visit the district a good many times in the future. (P.5, Mornington Standard, 11-3-1905.)
Flinders ratepayers in the centre riding of the Flinders and Kangerong Shire in 1899 included:
Mrs Ann Wilding 3 acres and buildings, and Robert Wilding 16 acres.
EXTRACT FROM MY JOURNAL "THE SHIRE OF FLINDERS".
WILDING Joseph 1892-3*
Flinders and Kangerong Shire- In this shire there is a contest in one riding only, viz., the Central ; Mr Tas. Wilding nominating in opposition to the retiring member Cr Brown.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 25-8-1892.)
SHIRE OF FLINDERS AND KANGERONG. The only contest was in the Centre Riding, where Joseph Wilding defeated the retiring Cr W. Brown by 21 votes. This result was almost anticipated, as a good many ratepayers desired a change. In the East Riding as usual, that popular representative Robert Stanley had a walk over, and the same be said of Cr John Cain who was again re turned unopposed, a well-deserved recognition of an able councillor. this occasion George McLear has been re-elected auditor without opposition. A good man in the right place.
((P.2, Mornington Standard, 1-9-1892.)
For the vacancy in the Centre Riding representation in the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong, caused by the resignation of Cr. Wilding through severe illness, two candidates have been nominated Messrs.T.Darley and
J.Pullin, both residents of our town. (P.2,Mornington Standard,26-10-1893.)
No L.Wilding yet,you say!
After the termination of the Reform League meeting in the Mechanics' Hall on the 4th inst., a suggestion, which
had previously been privately discussed,was made, that a fund be organised for the benefit of the widow and young family of the late Frank Culliver who recently lost his life through a lamentable accident. As the sadness of the occurrence has elicited general sympathy and the bereaved family are now left without means of support, the project at once found favour. Mr L.Wilding undertook the duties of honorary secretary and treasurer of the movement, and the following gentlemen, living in different parts of the district, to whom subscription lists have been issued were enrolled as a committee :-Messrs C. T. Cooke, T.Darley, L. Nowlan. F. T. Prebble,J. Simmonds (SYMONDS), J. Guest, H. James(Flinders), R. G. Edwards, L. Murphy(Dromana), J. Crichton (Boneo), and A. Sutherland (Shoreham). (P.6, Mornington Standard,19-12-1903.)
This is not part of one of L.Wilding's articles but he has already solved one mystery for me. Forest Lodge was a well known property at Melway 161 F-H 11 but Bill Huntley told me that it fronted the north side of McIlroys Rd. Crown allotments 23A and 23B Kangerong between J.Davey's grants and that road were granted to William McIlroy. Davey must have bought or leased McIlroy's grants.
TENDERS will be received by the undersigned up to 6 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, the 7th SEPTEMBER, for the LEASE for a period of 12 months of Crown Allotments 23a and b, parish of Kangerong, containing about 156 acres,and known as "Davey's Paddock." L. WILDING, Agent, Flinders.(P.2,Mornington Standard, 27-8-1904.)
NEWS OF THE WEEK.
MORNINGTON PENINSULA HISTORY.
- After the New Year, we shall print a series of articles dealing with this subject which Mr L. Wilding, of
Flinders, has undertaken to prepare. The narration of the adventures on the shores of the Peninsula, and in the adjoining portions of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays, of several of the very early explorers of Victoria, and also their impressions of this part of the country, will be dealt with, the occasion of the first attempt at settlement in Victoria, when Collins landed near the present township of Sorrento in 1803, and other memorable historical events also necessarily receiving attention. As it is desired to recount as many interesting incidents regarding the pioneering and settlement of the Peninsula as practicable, for the benefit of our readers, we shall be very glad if old residents and others will extend us their cooperation, and kindly forward any particulars of which they are in possession, and deem, worthy of inclusion, either to Mr.Wilding or to this office as early as possible. (P.2, Mornington Standard,10-12-1904.)
HISTORY OF THE Mornington Peninsula. (Copyright.) INTRODUCTORY.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 24 June 1905 p 5 Article.
Grant's discovery of the bay, Murray's naming of Arthurs Seat,Flinder's ascent of Arthurs Seat* and so on can be found in many histories (particularly in 1934) and even on the Matthew Flinders memorial near the Old Shire Hall at Dromana. A trove search for L.WILDING, HISTORY,MORNINGTON PENINSULA, will produce all of his articles, but here I will focus on articles containing information that is available nowhere else.
(*Wilding mentioned Flinder's 16 year old nephew, midshipman John Franklin, who repeated the ascent after his term as Governor of the Apple Isle.)
Charles Graves was obviously one of Mr Wilding's informants but did not mention his stint as a hawker, in partnership with Mary McLear,servicing the whole peninsula, before establishing a store at Shoreham and buying "Woodlands" in the parish of Flinders. Colin McLear did,in his A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
HISTORY OF THE Mornington Peninsula. EARLY SETTLEMENT.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 2 September 1905 p 6 Article
HISTORY OF THE Mornington Peninisula.
[By L. WILDING.](Copyright.)
EARLY SETTLEMENT : Mr Andrew Buchanan, the well-known Ayreshire cattle breeder, is also a holder of what was once - before the time of the Government land sales -a part of this very early established run. Captain Reid, late of the 45th Regiment, who held what was known as the Mount Martha (* sic) run, had also a considerable slice of the Peninsula in the very early days. The property was afterwards sold to Mr Balcombe, who took no small part in the early history of the Peninsula, and was for some years member of Parliament for the very large electorate in which the subject of these articles are included.
(*The Mount Martha Run, last held by James Hearn, was south of Whites Lane (Range Rd) to Ellerina (Bruce) Rd. Reids run which included the future Mornington Town and township was north of Range Rd. I cannot access the internet at the moment to check the correct aboriginal name* for the run, the pre-emptive right of which was named The Briars by Balcombe after his ancestral property where the imprisoned Napolean Bonaparte was befriended.)
*I succeeded once - Page 19 - Google Books Result
Marie Hansen Fels - 2011 - History
squatters. on. the. Mornington. Peninsula. It was a fact that the Aborigines of the Port ... with Robert Jamieson), Captain Reid (Tichingurook), Captain Baxter (Carup ... The Western Port squatters impressed Richard Howitt on a walk to Western ..
The lime burners seem to have been among the very oldest settlers. In 1840 there were a good many engaged at this occupation at the site of Collins' old settlement, including Mr Henry C. Wells**, who is still living, and resides at Frankston. Mr William (* **sic) Cain, father of Cr John Cain, J.P., of Portsea, was also one of the very earliest settlers engaged in this industry.
(**Henry Cadby Wells walked to the FUTURE Sorrento in about 1841 with his pregnant wife to burn lime with Robert Rowley, returned to Richmond after the 1843 depression reduced the demand for lime to pursue his trade as a bootmaker and returned with a boat in 1849 to crayfish with Robert Rowley and (as confirmed by Christine Nixon, Sorrento historian) built the first limestone house in Sorrento, which became Lugger Jack Clarks CLARKS COTTAGE, demolished when Clarks Mornington Hotel became the Koonya. Henrys daughter was the first white child born in the future Sorrento in early 1842.
***Owen Cain, who soon after arrival, was searching frantically for his 4 year old daughter, Sarah Ann.)
When the lime burners first fixed their????? nearly all the old buildings built by Collins' men were standing, though they were all demolished before very many years. By 1845 there were 17 kilns in full work. Each kiln would employ from 10 to 20 hands getting stone, wood, and doing furnace work. In the early days of Sorrento the place was beautifully grown with sheoak and other trees. The lime burners, however, soon made use of these, and then came the present strong growth of ti-tree, which now covers so many miles of this part of the country.
Evidently the first purchase of land on the Peninsula was in 1841. The special survey system, previously confined to South Australia, was then resorted to in Port Phillip. A person paying 5120 into the Treasury had the right of directing the authorities to make him a survey of eight square miles of unreserved territory, subject to certain provisions relating to water frontages and other matters. Between March 17 and May 1 in that year eight special surveys had been applied for in Port Phillip. One of the applicants was Mr. H. Jamieson, who chose his 5120 acres between Mount Martha and Arthur's Seat*. His area included Hobson's Flats, and was bounded on the west by Port Phillip Bay. A very well-finished house, costing 500, which was put up on this survey, was at that time considered a very fine structure, and was probably as good a dwelling as any in the colony. The survey was occupied for some time by Jamieson Bros, and later on passed into the hands of the Bank of Australasia. In the middle of January, 1851*, Mr Graves, now of Woodlands, Flinders, entered into a tenancy of 4120 acres of the area. The other portion, including the house, was rented by Connell Bros. When Mr Graves and his partner, Mr Brown Lee (who at the start, went in extensively for wheat growing), had occupied the place for about five years, it was purchased by Mr Clark**, the grandfather of Sir Rupert Clark*, the present owner. Five years after the sale Mr Clark (sic x2), Mr Griffiths, and Mr Gibson, whose families are still in possession, became the tenants of the property. The rental paid by Messrs Graves and Brown Lee in the early days was 10s per acre.
*The southern boundary was the present east-west section of the Nepean Highway, otherwise called Bittern-Dromana Rd, with the eastern boundary being Bulldog Creek Rd. Henry Dunn, after whom Dunns Rd in Mornington is named, leased the survey 1846-1851. The homestead might have been (Kangeerong?) homestead built on Edmond Hobsons run in the late 1830s before he moved to Tootgarook. (See "I Succeeded Once" by Marie Fels about Assistant Protector William Thomas.)
**William John Turner Clarke, known as Big Clarke who died at James Hearns residence near Salmon Avenue, Essendon. Hearn was related to Big Clarke, probably through Clarkes brother.
By 1864, Edwin Louis Tassell was leasing the northern 1000 acres from Big Clarke but the ownership of that portion later passed to John Vans Agnew Bruce. Walter Gibson had washed his sheep in the southernmost creek of Safety Beach. Thus the origins of the names of Bruce Rd (the sea lane or Ellerina Rd and boundary between the parishes of Moorooduc and Kangerong) and the three creeks are explained. The subdivisional sale of the Clarke Estate took place in 1907 and the Bruce Estate slightly earlier.
An owner cant be a tenant on his own property. Clarke was assessed on portions of the estate not being occupied in any given year. By 1851, Mary McLear was leasing The Willow on the north bank of Dunns Creek just east of the freeway and William Marshall, her former groom (who witnessed her husbands murder at the Plough Hotel on the Plenty River on Boxing Day 1849) was leasing land between Pickings Lane and the beach so either of these could have been named as a tenant in 1856 and the Brown Lee and Connell leases were not occupying all of the survey south of Tassells Creek.
One of the founders of the Peninsula was certainly Captain Baxter, whose sheep, which had come overland from Sydney, were pastured at Carrup Carrup (now for many years past known as Baxter's Flat) in 1840.Mr Sage (who is still hearty, in spite of 70 years in Australia, since he landed in Sydney as a young fellow in 1835) made the overland trip with the drover of the Captain's sheep, and was then left in charge of the property, which he managed for 10 years. He afterwards became the Captain's son-in-law, and bought his present land near Somerville, building his slab house from timber cut from the bush in the vicinity. This is a very quaint old place - typical of the early Australian settler's residence.
To return to Captain Baxter's. So many incidents of his life are of especial interest by reason of their connection with the early days of the colony, that the temptation to go beyond the Mornington Peninsula, before the writer passes on to some of the other pioneers, cannot be resisted. Benjamin Baxter was born in Ireland, and joined the 50th West Kent Regiment during the reign of George IV. He saw service in Jamaica and India, and afterwards arrived in Sydney in charge of a company of his regiment on board the Royal George, a transport ship laden with convicts. Mrs Baxter, who followed her husband in the ship Hope, arrived about the same time. On his regiment afterwards being ordered to India, the Captain sold out, and was appointed by Governor Bourke to the combined offices of clerk of petty sessions and first salaried postmaster at Melbourne in the year 1837; at a salary of 200per annum. Mr E. J. Foster and Mr Eyre, a storekeeper, had both previously acted as postmaster in an honorary capacity.
Mrs Baxter (who was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, 1813) did all the work of sorting and delivering letters, and managed the establishment. The "establishment" was a small wooden shanty of two small rooms, with a loft above and skillion at the back, and situated where the Royal Highlander Hotel, in Flinders street, now stands. A part of the living room, partitioned off with sheets and furnished with a small table, constituted the office. The letter delivery was made through a window, a section of which was on hinges and opened as required.
When the mails, which arrived by trading vessel or overland from Sydney by rider, were being delivered there was always great excitement. The whole township would attend outside the primitive building. It was the rule for a large cavalcade to go out and meet Johnny Bourke (no connection of the illustrious Governor of the period, it will be surmised) when it was known that he was approaching with the overland mail, and escort him to the post office.
The first mail which went direct from the young settlement to England was despatched by Mrs Baxter, in total disregard of official red tape, and without consulting her husband. A wool ship was leaving Melbourne for London in 1839, and Mrs Baxter took the opportunity of saving a great amount of time, and conveniencing the people of Melbourne, by making up the mailbags and sending them on board this craft, instead of forwarding them via the head office at Sydney, in the recognised way. The authorities evidently did not regard this breach of discipline very seriously, and Mrs Baxter continued to be the guiding spirit of Melbourne's postal arrange-ments until her husband retired from his billet in 1839.
The family lived for a year or two in the house built by Batman, the pioneer of Victoria, whose property the Captain had purchased. Another interesting fact relating to the early colonial life of the Captain was that he held for a time a cattle run stretching from the site of Princes Bridge to near Brighton, his stock-yards being situated on the site of the now fashionable suburb of St Kilda.
The family settled at Baxter's Flat in 1842. The old homestead which still stands near the Mornington Junction railway station - is on the same plan as when erected from shingles and slabs cut from the surrounding bush in those early days. There are certainly very few buildings of this age to be found in the state ; though, however, the original slab walls are covered with weatherboards on the outside and the inside is papered. It was for a long time the only house in the district, and before the advent of made roads, was a hard day's journey from Melbourne. For several years assigned servants did most of the farm work, and blacks hovered about the place.
Mrs Baxter is still alive, and resides in the old homestead. This lady and her eldest daughter (Mrs Sage), who was a very young child when they came out to Australia, are very probably the only survivors of the white people in the Port Phillip district previous to 1838. The only son, Mr Benjamin Baxter, now resides at Frankston, and several daughters (one of whom married Mr Robert Hoddle, the first Surveyor-General of Victoria) are living in different parts of the state.
To be Continued.
As well as presenting work by early amateur historians such as Mr Wilding, and Isaac Batey re the Sunbury area,I feel an an obligation to correct any errors and to confirm claims that are made. I have decided to do this before the next article rather than interrupt the narrative. The Keilor Plains entry re Pain has been included because the Westernport District was very misleading, including squatters such as Dryden at Hanging Rock and the Westernport Barkers' brother near Castlemaine. "Payne",the correct spelling in the article was on Coolart.
LIST OF SQUATTERS SORTED ALPHABETICALLY
551 Babinton & Carpenter, 'Glenlyon' run, squatters in Westernport District ...... 551Manton, Charles, 'Big Plains, (Tooradin)' run, squatter in Westernport District.
Eastern Portion of Australia, East 1849/1 (1848/2)
In Westernport, French Island is named, and nearby Jameson and Berry, Dodd and McCrae appear on the Mornington Peninsula. (Jameson on on the Cape Schanck run and McCrae on the Arthurs Seat run. Berry?)
Pastoral Properties: Grazing on the Keilor Melton Plains ...
Jan 1, 1993 - A few monuments to the wealthy squatters survive along with more ... so expeditions to the Port Phillip district which demonstrated vast areas of open ... The earliest areas to be settled in the Port Phillip area were in the open basalt ...... believed to have been Pain's original homestead are located at Grid Ref.
1849 Squatter's Directory - Port Phillip District
1849 SQUATTERS' DIRECTORY OF THE PORT PHILLIP DISTRICT ...... District (image) PAYNE, William - "Coolort" - Western Port District (image)
I succeeded once - Page 140 - Google Books Result
Marie Hansen Fels - 2011 - History
Yal Yal, heir to Bobbinnary, clan head (Barwick 1984: 117); no date Henry ... 10 Dec 1840 Yal Yal was among a party of Western Port Aborigines who came .
P.6, MORNINGTON STANDARD,9-9-1905.
HISTORY OF THE Mornington Peninsula. [BY L. WILDING.](Copyright.)
A man named Manton (after whom the present Manton's Creek was named) spent a short time in the Flinders district in the early days, but, apparently, only pastured his cattle in the locality for a time and
then left the district (FOR TOOROODIN!). Another person named Dodd, who hailed from the Isle of Man, occupied
a small run including the site of the present township of Flinders, and built a hut near West Head, some
times called Dodd's Point. Though Mr Dodd was certainly a pioneer, being the first white occupier of a part of
the Peninsula, he moved away too soon to take a large part in its development.
In 1846 the Manton's Creek run was taken up by Mr Henry Tuck, a native of the Isle of Skye, who had landed in Melbourne in 1838 from Tasmania, to which colony he had emigrated in 1830, when a youngfellow of 20. Before taking up the run Mr Tuck had spent several years on the Peninsula in the employment of Captain Reid and Messrs Barker and McRae. In connection with this run there is an interesting document in the possession of Mr Samuel Tuck, a son of the original owner. This is a license given under the hand of Charles FitzRoy, "His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales and dependencies," on the 9th day of December, 1846, permitting the holder to occupy "certain waste lands of the Crown situated in the district of Western Port, in the colony of New South
Wales," upon payment of the sum of 10, which amount had to be deposited each year.
The "certain waste lands of the Crown" comprised an area of 10 square miles, a good part of which was really splendid land. When the run was cut up and sold, Mr Tuck retained a portion of this, upon which his sons now reside with their families. The whole of the run was thickly timbered, and the first house was by the mouth of Manton's Creek.
At this time Mr Payne had a run stretching from Tuck's boundary to Warrandyke,(MUST BE AN EARLY NAME FOR COOLART WHICH RELATIVES OF MAURICE MEYRICK OF THE BONIYONG RUN ARE KNOWN TO HAVE OCCUPIED) which had previously
been occupied by a person of the name of Merrick (sic). A strip of land along what is now known as the Main Ridge, which lay between McRae's and Tuck's runs, was never taken up as a run.
In about 1850, besides the settlement of lime-burners and some small clusters of habitations, the Peninsula
was principally tenanted by persons on the runs of Captains Baxter and Reid, and Messrs Barker,McRae, Pain (sic), Hobson, and Tuck. (Hobson had been managing his brother's run near THE RIVER OF LITTLE FISH, "TRARALGON" and in 1850 transferred the Tootgarook run to James AND PETER Purves. The Barkers had the Cape Schanck and Boniyong (Boneo) runs.)
THE SETTLERS AND THE ABORIGINALS.
Some pioneers who had seen trouble with the ancient lords of the soil in other British possessions experienced
a very pleasant surprise when they came to deal with the blacks in most parts of the Port Phillip district. This was especially so within the bounds of the Peninsula, where the blacks were never a menace after the
time of Collins' attempted colonisation. The Mornington settlers never dreamt of harm from the apparently harmless beings whom they saw going about wrapped first in 'possum skins, and later on, when they began to barter with the whites, often in dirty blankets reaching nearly to their knees. When they learnt a little
English the blacks would go meekly up to the houses and plead - "Will gibbit flour, will gibbit sugar ?" in a
very plaintive way. They also soon began to cultivate a taste for " baccy," and other tokens of civilisation.
Vide The Mornington Standard of September 6, 1902, Mr Wells (who has been previously mentioned as one of the early Point Nepean lime-burners) recollects a corroboree taking place at the foot of Arthur's Seat,soon after he came to that part in 1840, at which fully 400 blacks took part. One very old resident averes that the largest number of blacks he ever saw together was on an occasion when he counted 36, including lubras and picanninnies, coming over Baxter's Flat. Another old identity says that after the Peninsula settlement began
the blacks were rarely seen together in numbers of more than 10 or 12, including lubras, and that they had
altogether disappeared by 1856.
No doubt Mr Sage (whom they called Mr Tooce) has come into contact with the aboriginals as much as any man now living in the Mornington Peninsula. He made friends with several of them, especially Yal Yal, a very great man in the tribe, and learnt a good bit about their language. The Peninsula tribe were, as was commonly the case, almost strangers to the members of the neighboring tribe. They were, for instance, quite foreigners to the members of the tribe inhabiting the districts round about Cranbourne, and had several different words in their language. In the early part of Mr Sage's residence in the Peninsula there was great warfare between the tribes, and the kidney fat of a dead opponent was in great requisition, and was supposed to confer a good many benefits on the proud captor.
A primitive postal system was in use with the tribe when Mr Sage first made their acquaintance. Two young men were employed as postmen to go about from camp to canp, circulating news and delivering messages. Bobanardinwas the medicine man. Mr Sage's friend, Yal Yal, very earnestly impressed upon him the
desirability of never walking in front of a blackfellow until he had become very well acquainted with him. One
day he illustrated the probable result of such an indiscretion in a rather startling manner. Mr Sage was sitting writing in his house, with his back to the door, when a voice close to his ear remarked - "Could kill him, Mr Tooce, that time." Looking round, Mr Sage saw Yal Yal standing over him, playfully poising a waddy close to his head. However, the broad grin spreading over the features of his aboriginal friend soon dispelled any alarm which Mr Sage felt.
An old resident, when going over Baxter's Flat on one occasion, was rather perturbed at a lot of blacks crowding around him and making energetic supplication for "white money." He made a bolt through the dusky circle surrounding him, and fully expected to feel some spears in the small of his back as he rode away. However, the blacks evidently had no such intention. After they began to pick up English words the blacks gave themselves such names as Toby, Ben Benzie,Mr Mann, &c.
As an evidence of the quickness of their movements when hunting for food of any kind, though they were sluggish enough at most times, they were often seen wading along the beach, and then, stopping still for
some time in one place, suddenly plucking a spear from between their toes where they had been dragging it along. A further investigation as to the sudden flight of the spear into the water would discover the fact that they had secured another fish for the next meal.
ROUGHNESS OF THE PENINSULA.
For a good many years the Peninsula was very roughly timbered, and by no means easy of access. There were for a long time only cattle tracks, and the journey to Melbourne was of considerable difficulty - bullock wagons were the only carriages. When a small steam mill was established at Brighton many residents who had previously ground their own flour made a great saving of labor by taking their wheat to that place.
Over a large portion of the land it was impossible to go about much without a good axe*. A disaster, not without its amusing side, happened to three men who essayed to go for a shooting expedition with a spring cart. Though this attempt was not made in the very early days, the roughness of the country materially detracted from the usefulness of this vehicle, and, to add to their inconvenience, the party soon got bushed. Leaving the cart
and harness they took the horse, and eventually extricated themselves and found their way back on to a more
beaten track ; but they could not afterwards locate the abandoned cart, and its whereabouts were not discovered for some 10 years or so, when it was found to have been left near where Mr George Wilson* built his house later on at Shoreham.
To be continued.
*Pt Leo Rd was called the Blaze Track.
**If I remember correctly the spring cart discovery and location is mentioned in Petronella Wilson's GIVING DESTINY A HAND, a history of Sarah Wilson's descendants (Connell,Young,Johnson>Johnstone.) Christie Johnstone married a Tuck girl and is the subject of my journal HOW SARAH WILSON LED ME TO HENRY TUCK.
PAGE 6, MORNINGTON STANDARD,23-9-1905.
HISTORY OF THE Mornington Peninsula. [BY L. WILDING.](Copyright.)
DIFFERENCE CAUSED BY THE GOLD DISCOVERY.
TheSchnapper Point (actually Tubbarubba) murder. The Mr Threader mentioned who was said to have quit as rate collector may have been John Threader who was the retiring auditor in 1892 but re-standing,
(The old ex-officer, Mr. Threader, who for the past two years has filled the position of local auditor, was again elected to the position without opposition. MORNINGTON.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic. : 1872 - 1920) Wednesday 5 August 1885 p 3 Article)
and the same J.Threader who provided mile posts two decades earlier. The route would have been along Old Mornington road,Mt Eliza Way, Wooralla Drive and the Three Chain Road (Moorooduc Rd.)
(DISTRICT ROAD BOARD.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 11 November 1870 p 3 Article
... DISTRICT ROAD BOARD. MOUNT ELIZA,-An ordinary meeting was hold at the board room, Mornington,
mile posts between Frankston and Schnapper Point, 21s. per post, J.Threader ; )
A BUSHRANGING EPISODE.
This story is told in LIME LAND LEISURE. The two escapees landed at Bushrangers Bay and climbed the cliffs to
the homestead of Robert Anderson's Barragunda which occupied much of Jamieson's old Cape Schank run in the parish of Fingal. Sam Sherlock, the subject of one of my early journals, later had the Rye to Cheltenham horse-back mail run, at that time probably living near the start of Melbourne Rd in Rye with his elder sister who had married Ben Stenniken.
" Mr Anderson and Mr Sam Sherlock (who was then a young fellow of 18), father of Mr S. Sherlock, J.P., of Frankston, were the only persons on the premises at the time,and went out to interview their uninvited visitors, who said they had been thrown on the coast."
"Their next stop was at the Boneo Station, then kept as a dairy by a Mr Mitchell, and also part of Mr Barker's
property. Mrs Tuck was looking after the house at the time. Bradley walked in and asked for a loaf of bread, which was given to him. When, in accordance with the traditional country hospitality, this was refused, Bradley
remarked - "I can't help you if you won't," and then trudged off with his mate.
They made off to Balcombes. In this instance the sailors who rowed them ashore had got ahead and warned Mr Balcombe, who armed some of his men to be in readiness. However, the bushrangers got away without there being any adventure."
" The whaleboat which brought the worthies ashore had two planks stove in, and, in order that she might be
used for fishing excursions at Flinders, Mr Tuck* was commissioned to take her to his home and repair her. She was dragged up the cliff with block and tackle, and put in a bullock dray. Whatever use was made of her in the
meantime, she was eventually turned upside down and made of practical use as a roof for a pigsty."
(*Henry Tuck was a carpenter who with the little assistance that a lawyer could provide, built the McCrae Homestead on the Arthurs Seat run, during which time his son Henry, was born there.)
PRINCIPAL PENINSULA TOWNSHIPS &c.(Extracts.)
Mr Wilding wrote about the various land acts which had made it easier for the battlers to settle on the land but without the assistance of the internet and trove could not have been expected to know why Sorrento did not celebrate its 150th in 2011,along with several other peninsula townships.Charles Gavan Duffy, an Irish land rights hero bought much land in the area now occupied by the Sorrento district and William Allison Blair,a lime merchant, bought much land between Elizabeth Drive, Rosebud West and Tyrone with the aim of creating a lime burning monopoly. When Blair's eyes roamed farther west such as near Swan's, each accused the other of employing dummies and a huge court case ensued. Duffy and Blair were in dispute about who had first applied for a particular parcel of land and there was no evidence to support either case. Sidney Smith Crispo of the Victorian Coastal Survey suggested that the disputed land be declared the village of Sorrento and it was,in about 1869-and it sold like hot cakes.
Of the several seaside resorts in the Peninsula which are the scene of inundations by holiday makers in the season, Frankston is a very extensive place, owing a considerable number of private villas tenanted in the summer time by the families of many of Melbourne's most prominent citizens, and also some first-class hotels and boarding houses. One of the oldest buildings, if not the oldest building, is the Bay View Hotel, erected over 52 years ago. The first proprietors of this house may, therefore, be considered the pioneers of Frankston, both as a seaside resort and as a township.
The importance of fishing to early Frankston residents needs to be emphasised. Olivers Hill was originally known as Old Man Davey's Hill but was renamed because a member of the Oliver family used the hill for fish spotting. Extract from young Don.Charlwood's history of Frankston written in 1929.
THE FIRST McCOMB.
It was no uncommon feat in these days for fishermen to sail from Frankston up the Yarra to Melbourne, returning with supplies. These excursions stopped when Thomas and James Wren commenced running a cart to Melbourne with fish. They sold out to the Frankston Fish Co. in 1867. This company consisted of: Henry Prosser (who arrived in Victoria in 1844), James James Croskell (arrived in 1859), John Dixon Box (who later purchased Frankston's first bakery from Ritchie and Croskell), Phillip Renouf, Thomas Ritchie (arrived in 1852, and owned Frankston's first bakery, which was under Frankston House). Mr.Ritchie built Frankston and Osborne Houses.
In 1835 Mr. Tom McComb arrived in Victoria from Tasmania, and some years later moved to Frankston, where his wife, Mrs.Mary McComb, was a charitable and efficient nurse.
Mr. Henry Cadby Wells arrived in the early days(his history is referred to in another special article.-Ed.)
(P.13, Frankston Standard, 5-10-1949.)
Very early in the history of Melbourne* several gentlemen of that place built houses at what is now Sorrento. The Sorrento Hotel - the forerunner of the numerous houses of accommodation which are standing in the locality and adjacent seaside township of Portsea - was erected soon after.
1869 was 34 years after the establishment of Melbourne and a year or two after S.S.Crispo declared his private village of Manners Sutton,(renamed Canterbury as soon as the Governor became Viscount Canterbury) and built the original jetty that gave Canterbury Jetty Rd its name. It was Coppin's vision of the possibility of the narrow strip of land, and the amphitheatre, to attract day trippers and willingness to take Crispo's advice to run his own steamer offering cheaper fares,that made Sorrento a famed watering place. Sorrento was named by Duffy who was impressed by the place of that name in Italy on his way out. Portsea was named by James Ford, a convicted machine breaker. Members of the Watson family were early and longtime fishermen in both places.
Mornington, another pretty and much frequented locality, was for a good number of years practically the only township in the Peninsula, and, under the name of "Schnapper Point"(usually contracted to "The Point,") was the centre of what was then a very meagerly populated area. Probably the first church in the Peninsula- the whole of the funds for which were raised by private subscription -was erected about the year 1859. The clergyman was a Mr Robertson. With the exception of the frequently-changed men at the Quarantine Station - which has since the very early days been used as the temporary home of luckless emigrants who had the misfortune to be passengers by a ship on board which there was a case (or supposed case) of contagions disease- Mornington claims to have possessed the first qualified physician on the Peninsula in the person of Dr Rodd, who
came about 1856. The first building of consideration at "the Point" is said to have been the Tanti Hotel.
In the late 1850's when Mornington got its pier,Dromana residents,being more populous because of tenants on the Survey and timber getting on Arthurs Seat, were most upset they'd been overlooked. The Town of Mornington which extended (when surveyed later) only to about Empire St was surrounded by large rural landowners but their advantage was due to the existence of the Mt Eliza Road Board and their rates could be loaded to help pay for a pier; Dromana did eventually get its sorely needed pier,because much of the timber, firewood and wattle bark so necessary for the development of railways,piers for other coastal places,and Melbourne industries such as bakeries,tanneries etc,came from Arthurs Seat.
Another seaside township - Dromana- is claimed to be the locality of the first hotel on the Peninsula which was
known as Skirfield's hotel, and was erected in 1856 or 1857. After this a settlement of fishermen was established. The next building of consequence was the State school. A school had been kept up for a long time by a Mr Pyke, who was a pedagogue of a type not to be met with in the present day.
Many children of Survey residents went to a school near Wallaces Rd (Melway 160 K3)and Mr Pyke may have been the master whose wife was buried on the site according to Colin McLear.
William Dixon Scurfield did indeed have the first hotel, between Permien and Foote St, at the time specified and one of the first licencees was Watkins who established the Dromana Hotel in 1862. A Catholic priest disgraced himself at Scurfield's hotel. The hotel was renamed the Arthurs Seat Hotel but burnt down during the 1897-8 summer. (No fire swept down the slope as claimed by Spencer Jackson in his BEAUTIFUL DROMANA OF 1927.) There were fishermen at Dromana but as stated above most constant employment of labourers was provided in timber-getting. The first store at Dromana was probably the one run for so long by Mrs Holden near the Carrigg St corner.
A few miles out of Flinders - which is certainly not the least picturesque of the Peninsula watering places - Mr Graves, who has been previously mentioned as one of the early tenants of Jamieson's Special Survey, erected the first store south of Schnapper Point. This business is still conducted by him.
The first private school - and also the first school of any kind - at Flinders was held in a wattle and daub hut close to what is now the Cemetery Reserve, and the first store-keeping business in the bounds of the
present township was conducted in a hut put up by Mr.William Moat. The stock of this establishment was not
very extensive, and consisted, probably, of two or three bags of flour, a few bags of sugar, and small supplies of other very necessary articles. The Flinders residents of that time did not indulge in luxuries. The next general store was Brent's - which business under a different proprietary is still in existence. Over 30 years ago a station of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company was established at Flinders, and has ever since been the telegraphic connecting link between Tasmania and the mainland. Mr W.Segrave, the present superintendent,
who was installed at the inauguration of the station as the operator, has ever since been in charge of the establishment, which has now grown into a very large concern. About the first person to embark on a regular boarding house keeping business was Cr L.Nowlan, the proprietor of The Bungalow.
The Moats are remembered by Moats Corner at Melway 160 H5. William Moat's sons were at the Tubbarubba diggings during the 1890's depression,probably working for Bernard Eaton, when they found a clue (Moriarty's watch if I remember correctly)that had not been found before the trial ,held at Schnapper Point decades before, and confusingly called the Schnapper Point Murder for this reason. Planck is a name also connected with the telegraph station.
The first settlers in the vicinity of the present township of Hastings were two brothers named Wren, one of
whom caught fish and the other drove them to Melbourne. The first hotel was established by a person named
The hotel keeper may have been J.Rodgers who was granted 296 acres in the parish of Balnarring (Melway 162 J-G12 and extending 1060 metres south from the PRESENT road. See Frankston re the Wren brothers.
It may be noted that the earliest orchards of any size in the Somerville district - which is at present one of the leading fruit - growing places in the state, but has, from all appearances, a coming rival in the district of Red Hill- were planted about 1868. The honor of being the pioneer orchardists and nurserymen of this locality seems to be divided between Messrs Shepherd, Thornell, and Clark, whose families are still carrying on the businesses.
Somerville's advantage was having a railway thirty years before Red Hill. Somerville could probably thank Henry Gomm for that; he was a boyhood friend of Tommy Bent. What a pity for Red Hill that the Hurleys of Hillside Orchard didn't use their relationship to Tommy to provide similar leverage.Bill Huntley of Safety Beach has an oil portrait of Tommy in full regalia in his lounge room!
The writer can now only regret that he was not enabled to collect a more adequate stock of information regarding the latter history of the Peninsula, and finishes his task in the hope that some latter and fuller account of its settlement and development will be forthcoming from some other source.
COOKE, WILDING, WELLS,ROWLEY BUCHANAN, TUCK, GRAVES, BROWNLEE,BAXTER, SAGE, CLARKE,
on 2014-11-14 09:12:43
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.