NORTH POLE RD , NORTH POLE INN, ( EAST KEILOR), SOLOMONS FORD AND BRAYBROOK TOWNSHIP VIC., AUST.
Milleara Rd was still called North Pole Road until the 1940's. This name came about because of the West Melbourne Swamp. Eventually a road, called Swamp Road in directories, passed through this area; it was renamed Dynon Rd. In the squatting era, travellers from Melbourne wishing to cross the Saltwater River used to head up Flemington Hill and, continuing to the future site of Pitches' hotel and St John's church,turn left into Braybrook Road (Buckley St.) This led to Solomons Ford (at the western end of Canning St)and having crossed there, they could head toward Geelong (as George Russell of Golf Hill would) or west (as John Aitken of Mt Aitken would.) Solomons ford was so-named because the Solomons held land on both sides of the river.John Aitken was the grantee of Section 8, Doutta Galla (where the river makes its closest approach to Buckley St), and probably used it as a holding paddock where sheep being driven to market in Melbourne could regain condition.
As this was a busy route, the Braybrook Township was declared in 1850. As with most townships, it straddled the stream, being located in the parishes of Doutta Galla and Cut Cut Paw. Due to Raleigh's Punt (1850), Lynch's Punts and Brees' bridge at Keilor(1854), traffic on this route fell dramatically and North Braybrook Township was occupied by small farmers, such as Clancy, who were being bullied by Thomas Derham of the Braybrook (Tottenham)Hotel in 1869.
A directory covering the Cut Cut Paw area, perhaps Braybrook Junction (Sunshine)mentioned a road called Pole Rd; this was probably Duke St. This leads me to believe there were poles on the north and south sides of Solomons ford to indicate its location.
EXTRACTS FROM "EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA".
BRAYBROOK NORTH TOWNSHIP.
Buckley St. west of the railway line used to be called Braybrook Rd. until 1878. This was because early travellers to Geelong had to bypass the West Melbourne swamp and would go along Buckley St. and once over Spring Gully take a beeline to the west end of Canning St. where Solomons Ford was located. John Aitken would have been one of the first to use this route regularly; once across, he followed the Kororoit Creek to Mt. Aitken. When township reserves were being declared, the rudimentary Keilor bridge, the next common crossing, was being washed away just about every time it rained and Raleigh hadn’t started his punt so the ford seemed a pretty good place for a township.
A map of the township found on P.32 of SOLOMON’S FORD by V.J.Jones shows the township in 1869. The part south of the river was bounded by Duke St., Ballarat Rd., and Ashley St. The junction of Alexander and Glenside Sts. was the township’s north eastern corner.
Some have claimed that the later ford at the end of North Rd was the Solomon’s Ford about which George Russell wrote in reference to his original 1836 route to his “Golf Hill” reached via Geelong. It is funny that no mention was made of other nearby fords in 1879. Portion of Michael Clancy’s evidence at the enquiry into closed roads follows and Clancy’s grants are outlined on the Township map. I believe Valentine Jones’ version of where Solomon’s Ford was located!
Clancy and Munro, his neighbour in the township, were prevented from watering their cattle at the river by Derham, who also tore down 28 chains of Clancy’s 30 chain rock wall and threw the stones into his victim’s crops. Derham had Clancy’s lease of the river reserve cancelled. Harry Peck says that Derham, of fair complexion, as husky as a lumberjack, kept the pub at Braybrook and hunted others off hundreds of acres of land where he grazed about 200 horses for the Indian horse trade. Thomas B. Derham lived in Trinifour sometime after 1886 between the occupancies of W.G.Tulloch and E. Henderson.
(*M.Fitzgerald had 353 acres, between Balfour Ave. and Somers St., Sunshine,
south of McIntyre’s “Riversdale”.)
In 1900, Daniel Munro had 21 acres, Thomas Derham (Jnr.) 44 acres, A. Pridham 89 acres and Walter Marshall possibly 50 acres. Harry Newman of Maidstone had 10 acres while James Holbery, James Moore and the Melbourne Orphan Asylum of Brighton had parcels of less than 3 acres each. By 1906 about 30 acres of the township had become part of McKenna’s closer settlement farm.
18 D. NORTH POLE FARM. South of Keilor Rd., lot D was bounded by Webber Pde., roughly Woorigoleen Dr. and North Pole (Milleara) Road. Consisting of 180 ¾ acres, it was granted to Joseph Hall. It was sold to John Corcoran in 1864. Lot D was called North Pole Farm; it is unknown whether the road or the farm had the name first. Peter Somerville believes that North Pole Road got its name because of the icy winds that blew up it but my memory tells me that there was a Pole Road in the Footscray directory.
If this is correct, there may have been a pole in the 1840’s to indicate the location of Solomons Ford (west of Canning St Avondale Heights), with the approach from Geelong called Pole Rd and that from Mt Macedon (Keilor) Rd called North Pole Rd.
Keilor’s 1868 rates show that John Corcoran had 183 acres. The extra 2 acres resulted from a mistake perpetuated since at least 1859, when 18D and the North Pole Inn was advertised for sale. It was probably Corcoran who renamed Spring Vale as North Pole Farm.
On 6-6-1850, Joseph Hall sold 18 D to James Laverty for the remarkably low price of L198/16/6 (M 845). About four years later Springfield, only 5/6 the size of 18D, sold for 7000 pounds (15 593). Why?
The gold rush had started. Also Brees Bridge, built in 1854, made the Keilor route more popular than the Bulla one for diggers bound for Mt Macedon, and attracted those headed to Ballarat who would previously have used Raleigh’s Punt (Maribyrnong). The bridge allowed Cobb and J.M.Peck’s newly established coachline a secure crossing and farms along this road had a ready market for their hay and other produce. For example, David Milburn, Victoria’s first irrigator of Grange Farm west of the river, was called Basket Davie by the diggers.
Hall was not to know what the future would hold and he probably needed cash after buying Purnell’s grant (22B) at Tullamarine for 200 pounds on 5-3-1849 (6 112). With the addition of 22D, granted on 17-7-1866, this became South Wait.
Laverty mortgaged 18D to Hall (M 846 and M847) and on 9-8-1852, 18D as well as lot 6 of section 12 were reconveyed from Hall to Laverty for L152 plus L50 (Q 632).
Two interesting features of this memorial are that the creek was called Steel’s Ponds and that the measurements were given in chains, poles and links. I would assume, because a chain equals 100 links and a pole was greater than 13 links, that a pole was equivalent to 20 or 25 links.
Laverty must have been struggling because he mortgaged 18D several times:
to Charles Payne for 400 pounds on 21-3-1853 (V 779),
to John Catto for 1000 pounds on 1-2-1855 (23 110),
and to Robert Stirling Anderson, with Tourrourrong section 19, for 240 pounds on 13-6-1858.
The first and second series indexes for James Laverty record no sale of 18D, so it looked as if we would have to accept Angela Evans’ claim that John Corcoran bought North Pole Farm in 1864*. Keilor’s ratebook of 1868 shows that John Corcoran owned 183 acres, (an error probably started by the rate collector in transcribing 180.3.0).
However the Laverty memorials revealed some interesting information, compensating for my inability to find his sale of 18D.
Firstly, he was associated with Messrs Phelan and Connor, explaining why he bought a property only ½ mile west of Spring Park. Secondly, he owned lots 5, 6, 22 and ½ acre of lot 21 of John Pinney Bear’s subdivision of allotment 7 of section 5 Doutta Galla. Lots 5 and 6 were between Mt Alexander Rd and the n/w third of the parallel section of the un-named but 40 ft wide Hinkins St, and contained the Harvest Home Hotel. Moonee Ponds obviously wasn’t yet used as a locality name as the land was described as a parcel of McKay’s (McNae’s) farm near Flemington. Laverty leased the hotel and other land to Charles Notley, on 29-12-1856, at 200 pounds p.a. (48 880).
Laverty mortgaged lot 6 in section 12 to A.F.Dougall for 600 pounds on 28-10-1858 (66 404). As this mortgage did not include 18D, I suspected that R.S.Anderson might have gained possession of it; investigation proved otherwise but did help me discover that George Kirk purchased land where the Dundas family had their Dynon Rd factories.
*While attempting to trace ownership of Alex Blair’s purchase in section 12, I discovered that John Corcoran bought 18D of 180 ¾ acres from John Catto for 715 pounds on 6-12-1864 (170 752).
On 2-11-1870, aged about 50, John agreed to sell the land to his sons Andrew, Dennis and John Jun. and the conveyance was finalised on 21-2-1872. John must have been ill as he died soon after, on 28-5-1878. (Keilor Pioneers etc.” A.Evans.)
By 1888, John Pinney Bear, who had owned 18C since 1852, contracted to sell that block and 18D to speculator, G.W.Taylor, for 34 350 pounds (347 14). Michael Fox probably bought 18C and 18 D soon after the depression started in 1892 and ruined G.W.Taylor’s hopes of quick profit. Michael lived in his house on the corner of North Pole Rd and Keilor Rd until his death on 4-9-1918. The family retained ownership and Michael’s son ,John, sold land (to T.M.Bourke?) for a railway station in 1928 according to Ray Taylor, a resident of Keilor Park from 1955. Ray also said that John Fox sold land to Ansair. It went south to Clarks Rd and east to Steeles Creek.
THE NORTH POLE INN.
The arguments for this inn’s location being on the west corner of Keilor and Milleara Rds are presented under the heading of Hotels and Early Names before section 17.(SEE END OF JOURNAL.) The electoral roll shows that Edward Fegan was leasing the inn in 1856. In the same roll, James Laverty, of Keilor Rd, was said to have owned a hotel called the Harvest Home Hotel, supposedly in Keilor Road. This could have been Laverty’s earlier name for the North Pole, but it was more likely the hotel of that name, near the south corner of Dean St, Moonee Ponds, which Laverty leased to Notley at the end of 1856. It could not have been the one on the A.J.Davis Reserve site*, which a memorial of 1854 called the Springfield Hotel. Laverty had probably been leasing 18D from Joseph Hall by 1849, when Wilson’s directory gave his address as Springs, Keilor Rd. (Springs and then Springfield in 1856 were names used to describe the area near Steele’s chain of ponds.) Laverty bought the allotment in 1850 and probably built the hotel.
(* Mentioned by W.O’Donnell to Garnet Price in about 1950.)
On 22-6-1859 the Argus carried this advertisement:
THIS DAY. FOR ABSOLUTE SALE. THE NORTH POLE PUBLICHOUSE, PRODUCING 150 POUNDS PER ANNUM, WITH THE NOBLE ESTATE OF SPRING VALE ALONG WITH IT. KEILOR-ROAD. …It is situate at the corner of the Keilor and Essendon roads having about 3 000 feet frontage to the former and about the same to the latter, more or less…comprising 183 acres in two separate paddocks…Nearest neighbours- P.Phelan, Esq., M.L.A.; W.Hoffman Esq. and other gentlemen.
North Pole Rd was obviously referred to as the Essendon road by some in 1859.
Phelan’s Spring Park was ½ mile east on the north side of Keilor Rd. and Hoffman’s Butzbach was on the east side of Hoffmans Rd.
The trade of the North Pole Inn was obviously affected by the opening of the Mt.Alexander Railway just prior to 1860. John Laverty and Robert Linay took it over in June 1860 but by 4-3-1863 Laverty was charged with abandoning it. It closed two weeks later but was re-opened on 3-2-1864 by George and Elizabeth Arbuthnot.
KEILOR RD. (Sections 17, 18, 19.)
HOTELS AND EARLY NAMES.
There were four hotels between the eastern end of Keilor Rd and the Maribyrnong River. The first, geographically, was the Lincolnshire Arms built by Tulip Wright (a native of Lincolnshire) in 1852, at what the diggers called Bendigo Corner. Fifty years later, the intersection was commonly called Essendon Crossroads, as one could travel in five directions from this point. Carnarvon Rd was originally known as Mawbey’s Rd and then Lincoln Rd or Street. Keilor Rd was still being called Mt Alexander Rd in Keilor’s rate book of 1900-1.
The next hotel was hard to determine. Was it the North Pole Inn or the Springfield Inn? The latter was almost certainly the one next to the blacksmith’s shop on the site of the A.J.Davis Reserve.
I originally thought that the North Pole Inn was on the corner of Hoffman’s Rd because of the attached farm being described as 183 acres and the neighbours (Phelan, Hoffman) mentioned in an advertisement of 1859. It was described as being at the corner of the Essendon Rd and I took this to be Hoffmans Rd. Hoffman’s farm was immediately east and Phelan’s only 800 metres west. But two things worried me. Firstly, the frontage to both the Keilor and Essendon Rds was stated to be about 3000 feet while 17D has an eastern boundary of only about 700 feet. Secondly, why would North Pole Farm (18D) be 1½ miles west?
Measuring the appropriate boundaries of 18 D, I found that they were 2640 feet each, close enough to the stated frontages. Then I recalled that John Corcoran’s farm had been wrongly described as 183 acres (instead of 180 acres 3 roods) in the 1868 ratebook.
Apart from the name, acreage and frontage was there any other connection between the inn and farm? Yes. James Laverty bought 18D from the grantee in 1850, and when he failed to sell the inn and noble (but heavily mortgaged) estate of Spring Vale in 1859, John Laverty and Robert Linay took over the hotel in 1860. John was charged with abandoning the hotel on 4-3-1863. James Laverty had mortgaged the farm (and lot D of section 12) several times and about this time John Catto gained ownership. He sold it to Corcoran on 6-12-1864.
Although title memorials concerning 18D made no mention of the inn, the above pieces of evidence, and the one following, make it almost certain that the North Pole Inn was at the western corner of Keilor and Milleara Rds.
The Essendon road of 1859 was officially known as North Pole Rd until about 1947 when its present name of Milleara Rd came into use. It is unclear whether the road gave its name to the hotel or the reverse. It is likely that the Corcorans renamed Spring Vale after the road or the hotel.---William Cherry, best remembered by the lake at Altona, probably used North Pole Rd to travel to his grants near Bertram’s Ford at the Arundel bridge site.
The second hotel was therefore the Springfield and the third was the North Pole. The fourth was Henry Eldridge’s Sir John Franklin Inn at the eastern corner of Keilor Rd and Collinson St. Keilor Village also boasted several hotels, which are described in fair detail in “Keilor Pioneers: Dead Men do tell Tales”.
on 2012-02-20 19:11:55
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.