<< Previous - Next >>


Journal by itellya

Bryan Ringrose,a gold miner who arrived in Australia in 1853, seems to have returned to England, perhaps to claim an inheritance that assisted his many later mining ventures. He returned aboard the Eagle from Liverpool in (1959 - oops, 1859!)
Prominent in public affairs at Smythesdale near Ballarat, he lost his nose in a mine explosion and disappeared from the scene. He died near Balranald,having lived in that area for 25 years (since about 1888.) So where was he between late 1863 and 1888? Probably at Red Hill for some of that time,on 60 acres about 400 metres south of the west end of McIlroys Rd.

What on earth does that have to do with the Rye Historical Society? Bryan Ringrose was obviously a steerage passenger on The Eagle in 1859 but one of the handful of cabin passengers was J.Burrell. I googled BURRELL,ARTHURS SEAT,THE EAGLE and one of the results was an issue of the society's newsletter.

Download File - Rye Historical Society - Weebly

14 The South Bourke and Mornington Journal 17th October 1877
A QUIET OUTING. The following has been furnished to us by a
gentleman who was one of the number who recently took a trip down the
peninsula between Western Port and Port Phillip Bay; and will, no doubt, be
interesting to many of our readers:
"Being inclined for a trip out, and moreover, being desirous of a glimpse of
the much-vaunted Sorrento, the Bella Vista of Sir C. G. Duffy, a friend and I
started from Dandenong, and in due time reached Frankston, whence, after
refreshing the inner man, not forgetting the cattle, (horses) we proceeded on
our journey by way of Mornington. The Tanti Hotel being the next place of
call, we pulled up and refreshed. After a few minutes' spell we again took the
road for Dromana, our destination for that night, and which we reached after
traversing a most abominable piece of road, over Mount Martha, early in the
evening. After paying due attention to our wearied animals, we found
ourselves snugly ensconced in the Arthur's Seat Hotel, a house beautifully
situated at the base of Arthur's Seat and within a stone's-throw of the sea
beach. Here we spent a very pleasant evening and succeeded in obtaining a
cicerone for our journey of the morrow to Sorrento.
The morning dawning bright and beautiful, we according to arrangement
started in good time along an excellent metal road, our guide pointing out, as
we proceeded, the beautifully situated seat of the late J. B. Burrell, Esq., J.P.,
and the South Channel Lighthouse, with the remarkably neat quarters of the
light keepers. Passing the tidy looking vineyard of Capt. Adams, we
suddenly came to the end of the metalled road and delved into pure sand at a
place which we were told was called the 'Rosebud' fishing village,
consisting, as most fishing villages do, of a number of straggling cottages
and huts, the fleet of boats, with their sails glistening under the sun in the
distance, accounting for the seeming want of life on shore. Passing this
village, our guide, finding that the tide was out, soon showed us a way on the
beach, along which we had a splendid spin for about six miles, which
brought us to Tootgarook, the well known station of James Purves, Esq. Here
we halted for a while, and proceeded thence to Rye, the next township, the
inhabitants of which are principally engaged in the lime trade.
Being directed by our companion to the house of Patrick Sullivan, we found
everything neat and snug, and determined to remain for the night. In the said
P. Sullivan we found an intelligent veteran of some standing, whom we
unanimously agreed must be a relative of the now celebrated Sulieman
Pasha, greatly to the amusement of his four attractive daughters. After a
stroll in the vicinity, our sharpened appetites, and the sun's chronological
indications warned us that it was tea time, we returned to the Pasha's and
enjoyed ourselves heartily until a late hour, when, finding the house was
overcrowded with visitors, two of us quietly took two opossum rugs from
the trap, and wrapping ourselves therein, had a sound and undisturbed
snooze until daylight under a clump of umbrageous tea- trees. After
witnessing one or two pugilistic encounters between some of the old
identities, we breakfasted, and putting the horses to again, took the bench
for Sorrento, where we arrived after passing the late Michael O'Grady's and
Dr. Blair's residences. Here we found three hotels, two very large ones, but
around those two reigned solemn silence, not a soul being visible; so our
guide suggested, its two of us at least patronised colonial industry in the
shape of beer, we had better go to the smaller house, where the greatest
traffic was in that particular commodity. So, accordingly, we paid a visit to
Mr. J. Clark, whose brew we found excellent.
After watering the horses, we again mounted, our guide telling us that he
would take us to Sands' End, meaning Portsea, and he did take us there,
after a slight detour from the proper road. Portsea we considered a prettier
place than Sorrento, the former having much less of the loose drifting sand
which prevails at the latter. Making a substantial dinner at Farnsworth's, in
very capacious and well-built hotel, with a fine lofty tower, we again took
our seats and retraced our way to Dromana, which we reached in the
evening, without anything wonderful happening. "Next morning, being in
no great hurry to start, we had a better view of Dromana, which is truly a
beautiful place, situated between Mount Martha and Arthur's Seat, the latter
forming a bold and majestic background to the township.
From the trigonometrical survey tower on Arthur's Seat, which has been
utilised by the inhabitants constructing a good stair, railings, &c., the most
magnificent panoramic view that can well be conceived is to be obtained,
having the whole stretch of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays, the outline
of the southern coast, the Dandenong Range and the Australian Alps in
Gippsland towering in all their grandeur in the distance, full in view. The
Dromana Hotel, kept by Mr. R. Watkin, is a large and handsome building, capable
of accommodating a large number of visitors, and is situated near the jetty. etc.

The newsletter also had an item about Nell Arnold, who like John G. Mann of (Mt Eliza), Mr Rogers (son of Dromana teacher), Colin McLear (Dromana), Vin Burnham and Peter Wilson(Burnham descendant who prompted me to achieve a heritage overlay for the Boyd Cottage at 62 Rosebud Pde), Rosalind Peatey, Isabel Moresby (Rosebud), Patricia Appleford (Rye), Jennifer Nixon and Elizabeth McMeikan,(both Skelton descendants) and Charles Hollinshed (Sorrento), Sheila Skidmore and Petronella Wilson (Red Hill),and L.Wilding (Flinders) did much to record the history of the Southern Peninsula. With many scanned documents,there is also a lengthy article about Michael Cain, e.g.

At Cairns house not long ago
A young man came to stay.
The sort we ladies like to strike
His name was Dan O Shea.
When first he threw eyes me
I gammoned to be blue.
But now I have got so
used to him
I will gladly give him to you.

Two of Michael’s daughters,
Mary Agnes and Ethel married
Cairns sons. Was this poem
written be by one of them?

Rye Historical Society is fortunate to have dedicated researchers such as Linda Berndt (a Jennings descendant) and Phil Cain. The society was apparently formed to prevent the demolition of the old school building (now its museum)in the Rye Primary School grounds, which would have resulted from relocation of the school. Please visit the museum and soak up some of the history presented by the displays to reward the volunteers who open it to the public and devote countless hours to catalogue the material collected. Details of opening times will be posted on the society's website.

Because local history is LOCAL, misunderstandings often occur and a lot of background information about people is never explored. John Cain, correspondent of the Board of Advice (which acted for MANY schools) requested improvements to the Dromana school, and Colin McLear wrote on page 131 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA:
After much delay and complaints by Correspondent John Cain of Kangerong (and later of Boneo and Portsea) the Department etc.

If John Cain had been a resident of Kangerong in the late 1870's,he would have been assessed in the Central Riding in 1879 between John (Vans Agnew) Bruce,1000 acres Kangerong (Melway 150 E10 to 151 K 12)and Charles Clein (Cleine)unless Charles Cleine had just succeeded John Cain on what was probably a McIlroy grant, most unlikely. May Agnes Cain, who married Hill Harry Cairns of Fingal, was born in Adelaide while Michael Cain was working there. Her children were born at Grandma Neville's place in South Melbourne and stayed there until they were 10 days old when they returned to Dromana by steamer and were driven home to Maroolaba by Hill Harry.*; Michael had married a Neville girl and his brother, Joseph, had married a Murray girl,which accounts for the naming of two streets on Owen Cain's grant "Tyrone" between Rye and Canterbury Jetty Rd.
(*SOURCE. Their son, the Boneo Bradman, as in my journal TALKING HISTORY WITH RAY CAIRNS, the transcript of an interview conducted ten days after the late Ray Cairns made his last century.)

Robert Rowley Snr. was a pioneer (with Henry Cadby Wells, the later Frankston pioneer) of Sorrento in 1841 and Westernport in 1849 (Source: The Wells Story); Dromana, working for Peter Pidoto after marrying in Longford, Tasmania (source: Ron Doig) in 1861; and Arthurs Seat's summit at an advanced age (sources:Wannaeue parish map, LIME LAND LEISURE), as well as his documented involvement at Rye. The Rowleys provided much early history via interviews conducted by local papers. Robert Snr. was happy to chat about the old days and one of his tales (about NO GOOD DAMPER), told to James Little Brown, is pasted into my journal, SOME HISTORY OF DANDENONG.

I intend to write some details about some of the people and places mentioned above.

In order of appearance above.
In Ireland,tenant farmers were being turfed off their farms and their homes were being destroyed by landlords who wanted to graze sheep in order to take advantage of the increased demand for wool created by the industrial revolution*. Charles Duffy became the champion of the struggle to obtain security of tenure for tenants. On the way to Australia,he was enchanted by Sorrento in Italy, and seeing its resemblance to the AREA where, after being welcomed as a hero,he received many grants, he called it Sorrento. No township had been planned for the area, but when a dispute arose between Duffy and lime merchant, William Allison Blair of Essendon (Netheby or Netherlea? Definitely not Ngarveno)and later near the Medway golf course at Braybrook, Sidney Smith Crispo who had established (unsuccessfully)his own village of Manners-Sutton (named after the Governor, who during his tenure became Viscount Canterbury), suggested to his superior, James? Grant, that a village be created on the disputed land.The village sold like hot cakes and disappointed buyers turned to Canterbury where Crispo had built the first of two jetties. (Detail of the first, and the second jetty built for limeburners, is in another issue of the newsletter.)

[* Spinning and weaving had previously been a cottage industry and revenge was sought against the huge mills by such as James Sandle Ford who was convicted of machine breaking. He settled at the heads near the Sullivans, marrying one of Dennis and Honorah's daughters. The Sullivans had to move in 1852 when the quarantine station was established but James remained, supplying food to the quarantine station, and called the area Portsea. He and Peter Purves of Tootgarook organized a dodgy petition in 1859 to prevent fencing off of the police paddock,west of Tyrone, where they had been grazing their numerous bullocks. (See Peter Wilson's ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD or Jenny Nixon's FAMILY,CONNECTIONS, SORRENTO AND PORTSEA.) James Ford received grants east of Boneo Rd and with the addition of land between today's Eastbourne Rd and a southern boundary indicated by Besgrove St, the 660 acre Wannaeue Station was created.In about 1876, his son,Cr William Ford was living there according to a notice he wrote as the electoral officer. He had a cook (Salmon)who had taken part in a famous naval battle against America in 1812.Years later,in 1902, when one of the Cairns family wrote to the shire he called Eastbourne Rd Ford's Lane. James Ford Jnr. was assessed on 260 acres at Eaton Hill which was later granted to Professor Hearn of Heronswood at Dromana. Edward was apparently a blacksmith at Boneo.)

In the local history room at Rosebud is a book written by a fictitious aboriginal boy, supposedly named Tanti. The name, pronounced with a long i at the end, probably came from the TANTINE SHEEP STATION, the name of which may or may not have been a corruption of a Boon-wurrung word. The earliest mention of the hotel discovered on trove under this name appeared in 1854 but,if I remember correctly,a history board outside the entrance of the Mornington museum (Old Post office) gives the year of its establishment as 1852.(See my journal about the hotel.)

ARTHUR'S SEAT HOTEL/ Dromana Hotel (1862).

William Dixon Scurfield, an early purchaser of land in Broadmeadows Township (Westmeadows)was the owner of this hotel which was established in 1857, four years before Dromana Township (west of McCulloch St to the never- made Burrell St which was intended to link the Esplanade and Latrobe St) was proclaimed*. There were plenty of customers,however because Arthurs Seat was alive with the sound of the saw and the axe. Other men were engaged in carting the timber to the bay and loading it.
(*The township had been in the pipeline for some time and was probably responsible for the McCraes of "Arthur's Seat" relinquishing their run, to be replaced by the Burrell's.)

Loading the timber was a real trial and Robert Caldwell of Dromana Hill (later the Fairy Vineyard, now the Hillcrest quarry and residential area with streets named after counties and Spencer Jackson)and other prominent men were agitating for a pier but, without local government which would allow rates to be loaded, their request was refused* despite the population (due to Jamieson's Special Survey) being greater than that of Snapper Point (later Schnapper Point,then Mornington) which did get a pier.

*Only one of many articles and not the first, where officials had come to Dromana.

Messrs. Caldwell and Lyall, M.L.A.'s, waited
upon Mr. Francis, for the purpose of asking
him to cause to be placed on the Estimates the
sum of £2,000, for the construction of a jetty at
Mr. FRANCIS, in reply, said that as there was
no municipality at Dromana, the people of the
district should endeavour to subscribe a sum of
money, and then go to the Government to get it
supplemented. He thought the best plan for the
deputation to adopt would be to postpone the
application, as at present it was the intention of
the Government to stop many of the public
works, there not being sufficient money to carry
them on.
The deputation then withdrew.(P.5, Argus, 7-12-1859.)

Oddly, an early licensee of Scurfield's Hotel was Richard Watkin*,who established the Dromana Hotel IN 1862. After that William and his wife ran the hotel. It is likely that the name changed to the Arthur's Seat Hotel soon after steamers starting bringing tourists;I'd have to consult my rates transcriptions to determine the original year and this is off the top of the head stuff.It was certainly after 1869.

* The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 27 August 1858 p 8 Advertising
... »Bt._ SCURFIELD HOTEL, Arthur's Seat, kept by Richard Watkin. Abundance of game. Horses and dogs always .

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 13 September 1869 p 6 Article

By 1874 George Assender was assessed on the hotel and continued there until at least 1883,when he was leasing the hotel from Laurence and Co. Some time after that a Mr Wainwright (whose name is written elsewhere)ran the hotel until he died and his widow, Catherine took over . The very next year (1887?) the licensee was Mrs Catherine Allison and William Allison was assessed on the hotel.Yep, blacksmith, William Allison, had married widow Wainwright!

By 1894, Lawrence Murphy, formerly a coach proprietor based in Mornington, had taken over the Arthur's Seat Hotel. He was largely instrumental in getting Dromana a Catholic Church. He later took over the Dromana Hotel and ridiculously in 1897-8 he was assessed on both the Arthurs Seat Hotel(leased from Adams& Co.) and the Dromana Hotel (leased from Matthew Elliot, a partner of the prominent Melbourne Coach-building firm, Stevenson and Elliot, who also owned Robert Caldwell's old "Dromana Hill",renamed Fairy Vineyard.) When I read about the fire, I thought the Godly Lawrence Murphy was an arsonist! Anyone with half a brain would ponder why a publican would want to compete with himself-unless there was some devious plan! But Lawrence no longer had the Arthur's Seat and the fire did not sweep down the slope as Spencer Jackson claimed in his advertorial history of 1927 BEAUTIFUL DROMANA,although he had the year spot on; it started within the hotel. If I remember correctly, the licensee had the same name as Snoopy's mate and the cartoon strip.

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 28 April 1898 p 3 Article
... . The old-established Arthur's Seat Hotel, containing about 20 rooms, was demolished by fire on Sunday ... morning. The licensee, Mr Charles Brown, was aroused from his slumbers by the screeching of a parrot caged ... 798 words

I forgot to mention that the hotel was situated between Levien and Foote St near the foreshore where William Dixon Scurfield received crown grants and his wife's name was Catherine.

Strangely, no mention was made of this. Ned Williams had carved the first road around it so it no longer was necessary to travel on the beach sand, which required a wait for the tide to go out.

J.B.BURRELL.(Edward and Mary Williams.
Visit the McCrae Cottage for all the information you could require about the Burrells.

It was at the Burrell house that Edward Williams, arriving in a survey ship in 1855, met a servant named Mary Campbell who became his wife. After earning renown from the McLears and others as a harvester "who could scythe an acre of crop per day,quite a feat in the days of hand harvesting*", Edward, known as Ned,bought his grants straddling Browns Rd near Truemans Rd and opened a butchers shop in Sorrento. By 1899, Ned had taken over his mate, Sydney Smith Crispo's "Eastbourne" and he and Mary nursed the eccentric pioneer in his dying days as he spoke of the property becoming Australia's Capital, Federanium. Mary had come out with Robert Cairns and his wife in 1852.
1. Edward Williams built a new house on Eastbourne which is now 17 William Crescent. Who was the clown that decided to leave the s off Williams?
2. The Williams biography/genealogy in LIME LAND LEISURE is hidden in the WHITE entry. Check it out.

There were two lighthouses, coordinated to guide shipping, one at Dromana West (McCrae),referred to in the article as the South Channel Lighthouse and the South Channel Pile Lighthouse which was actually in the channel.The Light Keepers, (the correct occupation name according to Queenscliff's barefoot fisherman, Lew Ferrier, son of William,the hero of the La Bella wreck at Warrnambool in 1905, who tended both lights after starting in the service at Cape Schanck shortly after his heroic deed) rotated between each lighthouse with one week offshore and three onshore according to Isabel Moresby. The pile lighthouse was relocated out of the channel and can be clearly seen from the beach at Rye. The ship paintings done inside it by William John Ferrier are now displayed at the Polly Woodside in Melbourne.

Ned Williams and Bob White moved the original timber onshore lighthouse,replaced by the present structure, to the summit of Arthur's Seat where it served until about 1934 as a lookout tower.

One of the biggest mysteries in peninsula history is when exactly Captain Henry Everest Adams put down roots in Rosebud. The Dromana Pioneer pathway gives it as 1845, but a Dromana Historical Society report to the shire regarding the naming of a reserve gave it as 1841 (or maybe 1839.)

It was the lady hairdresser next to Henderson Real Estate who allowed my Peninsula research to move beyond parish maps, rate records and what was already written. She showed me a map of early Rosebud drawn by an oldtimer whose identity has never been confirmed but I suspect it was Rosalind Peatey (PINE TREES AND BOXTHORNS) or Isabel Moresby (ROSEBUD FLOWER OF THE PENINSULA.) She eventually remembered that the man who had given it to her was Harvey Marshall, a descendant of Captain Adams.

A rumour that the captain was the illegitimate son of Lord Vivian was replaced by the fact that the captain's ship-owning father had carried supplies to the aristocrat during a military campaign. Family folklore had it that the captain,having received a 750 acre grant to reward a service,beached his boat near the present Wattle Place (which became known to all oldtimers as Adams' Corner), and used its timbers to construct a cottage (near the rear of the present McCrae car wash.)

The captain did not receive a grant or his name would be recorded on a large slab of the Wannaeue parish map but it could have been a lease, although no record has been found of one. The lease might have instead been for 75 acres,part of section 20 Wannaeue between The Avenue (Adams Creek) and Parkmore Rd.Section 20 was not open for selection, was alienated as Wannaeue Village in about 1877 and the Adams family acquired a large slab of it,perhaps as a pre-emptive right. Strangely, the Captain entered into an indenture with Isaac White regarding a property in the parish of South Melbourne, in which Isaac expressed affection for the captain's wife. Isaac was the grantee of the 191 acre Crown allotment 19 which extended west to Adams Avenue and on which the Captain was assessed in 1864.

The captain and his son,Robert Henry, enlarged or replaced the cottage to establish a guest house, in which a frequent guest was the governor,Lord Hopetoun. The Gov., after whom the accommodation was named Hopetoun House, had a yacht if I remember correctly and I don't think he suffered from sea sickness or that he or the other guests were offered those biscuits you put cheese on. In fact the Adams women thought that the service offered was so UNSAVORY that they renamed the guest house as Merlyn Lodge.

But back to the era when this tour was reported. In 1873 Robert married Miss Mary Jane Hopcraft a "gentlewoman" from 159 F9 and she was so offended by Henry's "old salt" ways that she refused to live with him so Robert applied to lease crown land almost next to her father's farm. The captain infuriated her when he invited his grandchildren to sip the produce of his Vivian Vineyard of which you'll read more later.The captain moved to South Melbourne to live wit friends shortly after he gave Rosebud fisherman, Antonio Bosina, a loan of 50 pounds on 3-5-1880 with the latter's boat,Lilly as security, with Robert and Mary Jane moving back to Adams' Corner. (ADAMS CORNER. THE ADAMS FAMILY:PENINSULA PIONEERS, RFG, NOVEMBER, 2010.)

Dromana had at first had a Union Church, (built in 1879 by Henry William Ault who owned the 140 acre property south of Blakeley's at Red Hill and erected at least one public building there too), in which each protestant denomination held its services. In 1891, this church was sold because of disagreements between the various congregations. The Anglicans moved quickly to erect their own church . "George Noree* of Sorrento's tender was accepted for a slate-roofed limestone building to cost 531 pounds 1 shilling and fourpence." Ten thousand bricks had previously been donated by Robert Adams of McCrae and would have kept down costs; in those days every penny counted, as you can see with the quote. (Pages 113-120, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.)
(*George Morse, who built many of Sorrento's mansions and public buildings and Edward Williams' Eastbourne, now 17 William Crescent, Rosebud West; possibly also David Cairns' Eleanora in the Rosebud Hospital grounds, but as I've said,this is off the top of my head and I won't be checking here.)
The captain received grants for land in the parish of Nepean and 36 acres in the suburban area of the township of Dromana: 57 acres at 157 B11 south east of Diamond Bay Rd and 36 acres at 159E-F11. Robert Rowley,the Sorrento, Dromana, Rye pioneer would have known the old salt well and like most of the Rye men probably had practised well in the two early Rye sports of drinking and fighting (sometimes combined with horse racing at the turntable? or the beach.)Strong drink did not pose a problem to Robert until he tried the captain's wine. He said that after two glasses you'd be climbing telegraph poles.

1879 ratepayers in ratebook (alphabetical) order: Antonio Bosina, Henry Bucher, William Gomm, William Devine, William Jamieson,John Jones, Antonio Latros,Andrew Nicholas, Joseph Silver (Silva)Frederick Vean (Vine).
I probably missed a few names, such as that of Fort(i) Lacco, in the transcription because of my lack of background knowledge at the time and the rate collector describing the above fishermen's properties as 1 lot and building,Wannaeue (rather than "Rosebud".)

The fishing village, occupying the same foreshore land as it does today, was alienated in 1872. One Rosebud fisherman that missed the chance to buy the block on which his hut was located was Patrick Wee Wee, whose grave in the Rye Cemetery is now indicated on a beautiful gravestone organised by- wait for it- DAH DUM the Rye Historical Society. He was conveying four quarrymen, who also perished, to the Quarantine Station at the Heads.

Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954) Saturday 1 January 1870 p 3 Article

This had a variety of names before Peter Purves settled there. As pointed out in my Dromana Heritage Walk journal, George Smith's run,known as Wooloowoolboolook, may have been Tootgarook or part of it.
As my journal about the Purves brothers points out, it was James Purves' brother, Peter (the mason), who named the run Tootgarook and operated it until his death in 1860. Peter's architect brother was occupied with business (such as collecting the 700 pounds for which he had insured the Rosebud) and probably only visited his stations at Chinton (near Kilmore) and Tootgarook for a bit of recreation and to see how his horses were going. It was Peter who, with James Ford, organised the dodgy petition to prevent fencing off of the police paddock west of White Cliff and brother, James, didn't even sign it.

The Tootgarook pre-emptive right is shown on the Wannaeue parish map,available online. By then called Tootgarook Station, that is what the tourists of 1877 were talking about.

Joseph Henry Dunne, Toogarook Inn, Western Port,
Refused. (p.5,Argus, 22-3-1854.)

The Tootgarook hotel, at which Patrick Wee Wee met the quarrymen, was the tap room built on the station by James Trueman, that later served as a residence for the Bright family after which a street on the P.R. is named. Frank Bright was the Captain of the Tootgarook Rural Fire Brigade when it formed,if I remember correctly. Linda Bernt, that stalwart of the R.H.S., told me that the old tap room was situated in Leonard St, and to her disgust was demolished recently; another bit of history gone!

The pre-emptive right did not extend to Truemans Rd ,the Stenniken and Trueman grants being in between. The Stenniken grant was near the foreshore and included Burdett St (recalling the second given name of Godfrey Wilson who married Maria Stenniken and his mother Thamer's Wilson's maiden name) and Morris St houses. This was advertised for sale by Vale (no rhyme intended) in about 1920 and the building on the east corner of Carmichael St soon became a landmark. It was known as Birkdale House (Ron Doig.)

James Trueman's grants were divided longitudinally with each son getting half. Eventually the west half was acquired by hairdresser,Raymond Guest, who tended the hair of Panda, Graham Kennedy's barrel girl on In Melbourne Tonight. The half fronting Truemans Rd came into the possession of poultry farmer, Harry Doig, who on a visit from the Mallee to the Rowley farm (between Guest St and the freeway reserve) fell for Miss Rowley whom he later married.

Remember Birkdale House mentioned earlier? The Whittaker family started a tourist bus service to the peninsula. Despite, trove's dodgy digitisation, I think you'll be able to work out what they were calling Tootgarook.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 4 November 1938 p 16 Advertising
... ROMANA. Rosebud, Birkdale, Rye leave Whlght's, 110 Flinders st.,

The western half of James Trueman's grants was subdivided first by Alma and Ray Guest as the Almaray Estate with streets named after members of their family. Harry Doig subdivided his half later and it made sense to continue the Almaray streets to Truemans Rd, hence the many Guest street names on Alf's Oceanaires Estate, with only Doig Avenue and (I think) Ronald St, recalling the Doig family. Having married into the Rowley family,it would be inevitable that Harry came to love the history of the area and it was he who fought tooth and nail for the Shire of Flinders to call the area by its historic name, Tootgarook.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 15 March 1951 p 4 Article Illustrated
... the Almaray Estates at Tootagarook - just between Rosebud and Rye.

Many businesses are now pretending to have information from my journals on their websites to attract browsers. But I don't just write journals and have ensured that some wikipedia pages for localities have a bit more information than just when the post office opened. As I said before, I'm virtually writing this off the top of my head, so if you want more detailed information about Tootgarook, read this advertisement.

Suburb Description for Tootgarook - Apartments Australia ...
Tootgarook is located approximately 81 km from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ... Harry's land was subdivided as the OCEANAIRES ESTATE in the mid 1950's.

On 9-3-1857, William Grace was granted crown allotment 3, section 3, Kangerong, consisting of 249.5 acres roughly but always described as 250 acres. It was between the wedge-shaped town common and Caldwell Rd; east across the town common was Robert Caldwell's Dromana Hill. William called his property Gracefield for obvious reasons. Gracefield Avenue (Melway 159 H8) recalls the farm's name. After planting grapevines and effecting other improvements as described below, he sold his farm (which was later occupied by Red Hill pioneer,James McKeown, in about 1885 when James sold his grants there to the Sheehans), and moved to Rye,reportedly living in a house built by Berry, a very early limeburner.

To Capitalists, VIgnorons, Agriculturists, and Others.
GEMMELL, TUCKETT, and Co. have received Instructions from Mr. R. Kerr, as agent for the proprietor, to OFFER for PRIVATE SALE, at their rooms, 40 Collins street west,
All that valuable farm, Gracefield, Dromana, comprising 250 acres of superior land, on the north slope of Arthur's Seat Hill, well fenced, grassed, and abundantly watered, with six roomed brick house, slate roof,outbuildings, &c, with two roomed cottage, large cellar, &c. Seven acres planted with 1000 trees of the best descriptions of fruit ; eight to nine acres of the choicest vines in full bearing.The property is for positive sale, and any bona fide buyer will be liberally dealt with.
Full particulars of the auctioneers, or of Mr. R.Kerr, Collins-street west. (P.2, Argus, 23-2-1871.)

William was granted crown allotment 6, section 3 in the township of Rye. With a 20 metre frontage to The Esplanade and Nelson St commencing 60 metres from Dundas St, it would today contain part of the Rye Hotel. I bet you! On this block and perhaps adjoining ones, Patrick Sullivan built the Gracefield Hotel. What a coincidence that his hotel had the same name as that Dromana farm! No, not really because he married a daughter of William Grace. It's probably not coincidence that Rye's much-loved teacher, Miss Sullivan, who died after contracting Spanish Flu from soldiers returning from W.W.1, was named Grace; a change room on the foreshore for school children was dedicated to her memory.(Details are from my memory of "Rye Primary School 1667" so Linda, if I've got any details re Grace wrong please let me know. (I was going to say that Grace was nursing the soldiers but I wasn't 100% sure.)

At about the same time that Lou Carrigg was transforming the Beautiful Dromana Hotel into the Art Deco pub we see today, Mrs Hunt demolished the Gracefield and built the Art Deco Rye Hotel. Ever looked at the foundation stone?

The first "Rye Hotel", built by Cottier and Campbell was between Lyon and Napier St and according to Lime Land Leisure a licence held for a Rye Hotel at Dromana in 1859 was transferred to the new hotel in the area known as Tootgarook. William Cottier, early tenant on Jamieson's Special Survey, grantee of what became Walter Gibson's "Glenholm" and signatory of the petition* of 9-3-1861 (with John Campbell, who built the Rye pier,Robert Rowley and many others,recommending Robert Quinan as the teacher for Dromana Common School)is credited by some as giving Rye its name.(*P.132, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.)

Tootgarook had another early pub,the tap room at Tootgarook Station,said to have been built by James Trueman, where the four doomed quarrymen engaged the doomed Patrick Wee Wee, a Maori fisherman based near the Rosebudto take them to the Quarantine Station.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 31 December 1869 p 5 Article.

Michael O'Grady was granted crown allotment 55B near Moonah Avenue and 54B, 51A and 51B on the north side of Melbourne Rd. He obviously bought R.Byrne's c/a 52 on which he built Villa Maria. No great intelligence is necessary to realise that O'Grady was an Irish Catholic and that his name for the house would not be to the liking of Dr John Blair, (See my journal THE BLAIRS OF ESSENDON AND DR JOHN BLAIR.)

It is important in the telling of this story to state that the western boundary of the Township of Rye was from the south end of French Rd to Pt Nepean Rd between White Cliffs and Cain Rds. West from that line was Owen Cain's "Tyrone" consisting of crown allotments 7-12 of the parish of Nepean,bounded by Melbourne Rd, Canterbury Jetty Rd and Pt Nepean Rd. The advertisement for the sale of the Cain estate was the earliest use of Blairgowrie as a locality name that I have found on trove. When the Blairgowrie estate was sold,it was described as being at SORRENTO.(P.2,Argus, 31-3-1923.) A few days earlier a par in a local paper mentioned the connection between O'Grady and "Blairgowrie", which was once again described as being in Sorrento.

Michael O'Grady's Old Home
The famous Blairgowrie Estate at Sorrento is to be offered for sale shortly. The beautiful Blairgowrie homestead was built for the Hon. Michael O'Grady, M.P., one of the early Postmaster-Generals of the
State.(P.1,Frankston and Somerville Standard,28-3-1923.)

For further detail about Blairgowrie (the suburb), see Jack Ritchie's fantastic history:
Blairgowrie: Blairgowire History (Jack Ritchie)

Brevity is now the name of the game for these last three entries marked with asterisks as I have the Back To, and heritage walk journals, to complete so I can start the Vin Jervis journal before I forget about it.

Two Skelton descendants, Elizabeth and Jennifer, have written books called,respectively,THOSE COURAGEOUS HARDY WOMEN and family, connections,Sorrento and Portsea. One of the Skelton girls married Jack Clark, who sailed limecraft and then established the Mornington Hotel at Sorrento. The seemingly strange name for the hotel is not so strange because the peninsula is part of the county of Mornington; the Mornington Standard was so named for the same reason. Jennifer Nixon states, having dismissed other theories, that Clark's Cottage,demolished after the hotel became the Koonya, was built by a Mr Wells in about 1850. That was when Henry Cadby Wells was at Sorrento for the second time,in partnership with Robert Rowley for the second time, crayfishing in Henry's boat. As Henry's child was born at the site of the Koonya in 1841, when he and Robert were lime burning,the cottage may have been built between 1841 and 1843 (a depression in the latter most likely ending their first venture.)

At first Lugger Jack operated his pub in part of the cottage, but being close to the pier,he would have attracted most of the tourists, whose holiday was a day trip on the steamers, while the well-heeled patronised the exclusive 'otels up the hill where they would stay for the lengthy "season". A dedicated pub was soon needed to meet the demand. Jack became a councillor in the Shire of Flinders of Kangerong. See my journal; THESHIRE OF FLINDERS.

John Farnsworth, if I remember correctly,came to the area to build the Nepean Hotel for James Sandle Ford, and married his daughter. See Jenny Nixon's book for extensive detail. The Farnsworth on the former quarantine/army land near the heads is named after him.The Nepean was across the road from the Portsea Hotel,which was run by the Watsons and Cains for many years.

In A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, Colin McLear wrote (P.76)that the wooden lighthouse at McCrae was replaced in 1874 and taken to the summit. It pays to check. The present lighthouse was built in 1874 but was not erected until 1883 so the 1877 tourists were looking at the trig tower. The first article below has a photo of the original lighthouse on the summit; it would not have been dismantled and moved until the steel one was operating. Perhaps Colin McLear meant 1884 instead of 1874.

Originally, the first trig station was built on this site in 1853. This was replaced at some time by the Eastern Shore Light. The Eastern Shore Light was a timber lookout originally built at McCrae, at the base of Arthur's Seat in 1854. It was considered an integral part of the Port Phililp Bay navigation system before being replaced and moved to Arthur's Seat.
(Arthurs Seat Tower - Discover Mornington Peninsula

The original McCrae Lighthouse was a timber structure built in 1854 and following years of service was dismantled in sections and transported by bullock wagon to the top of nearby Arthurs Seat to be used as a lookout.
The present day lighthouse, built in England in 1874 by Chance Brothers & Co of Birmingham, was transported to Australia by sea and erected on this site in 1883.
(McCrae Lighthouse (McCrae) - Vic

Extract from email aimed at finding a photo of the Arthurs Seat Hotel:
P.S. Please send a memo including this advertisement to Peter and anybody else likely to be involved with a reprint of any books (including Peter's ART DECO one) that perpetuate the myth that the Dromana Hotel was built in 1857.

DROMANA HOTEL, Established 1862 -First-class
accommodation and sea bathing. Coach from
Melbourne dally. Steamer Williams four times a
week. The scenery around Dromana is unrivalled in
the colony. Terms moderate Horses and vehicles at
very low rates. R.Watkin, Proprietor.
(P.8, Argus, 6-1-1880.)

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2015-01-30 20:11:03

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.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by itellya on 2015-01-31 08:02:47

Thanks to janilye for pointing out that Bryan Ringrose did not return to Australia 106 years after he started mining near Ballarat in 1853.

by itellya on 2015-02-01 05:36:00

To determine if your block could be on one of William Dixon Scurfield's grants, google TOWNSHIP OF DROMANA,
Township of Dromana, Parish of Kangerong, County of ... - Slv

click on view (no need to zoom)

and scroll to find Foote St near the top of the map. Note that Scurfield was also a co-grantee of crown allotment 1, section 2 on the west corner of Foote St and two blocks in section 18. If he didn't sell any of his grants or buy other people's grants his 5 (vacant)lots would have consisted of the three on sections 2 and 18,lot 9 of section 1 and one other block, so the hotel was probably on three of the four adjoining blocks on section 1 (c/a's 3,4,5,6.)
Ring me if you have any problems.

Please let me know if your block seems to be on one of these blocks or not.
I'll find if the historical society has a photo of the Arthurs Seat Hotel,and if not I'll write to DESPERATELY SEEKING asking if any Scurfield, Assender, Wainwright, Allison,Murphy or Brown descendants have one they could attach to an email to me that I can then forward to you and the D.H.S.

by itellya on 2015-02-01 20:12:35


Extract from email.
When and if the Dromana and McCrae community newsletter is established, sponsored by the McCrae Lions and possibly the Dromana Lions, I intend to seek support for a heritage walking tour with about 10 history boards stretching from the bush nursing hospital corner (which has detail about Safety Beach as well as Karadoc) to the Arthurs Seat Hotel site, including sites of replaced buildings (indicated by plaques) that are in the current Heritage Walk pamphlet and adding others such as Beauvoir that are not. Current history boards near the museum (P.S.AND PIER)would be included in the trail.

A Dromana Heritage Trail account would be opened at the Dromana branch of the Bendigo Bank (which will probably be a major contributor) and as there is no chamber of commerce, I will approach individual shopkeepers for donations. Those who contribute $50 or more will receive a book with extensive information that may appear in a briefer form on the history boards. All donors will receive a one or two page sheet detailing locations of plaques and history boards and a certificate of appreciation which they can display to show their community spirit and appreciation of Dromana's rich heritage.

Co-signatories of the account would be a current President, Secretary or Treasurer of the Dromana Historical Society, Cr Graham Pittock and myself, with two signatures required to make a withdrawal of which there will be only one, with the funds going into a dedicated Dromana Historical Society HERITAGE TRAIL account or directly to council as the community's contribution.

In the meantime I will be writing journals about HERITAGE WALKS in Rosebud and Dromana which I've been meaning to do for at least a year, but one distraction (discovery) leads to another, and another etc.

by itellya on 2015-02-02 20:37:59

This journal is now finished.

by itellya on 2015-02-02 20:49:42

by itellya on 2015-02-04 00:41:10

Sorry about firing the blank (above.) I meant to click OWNER'S EDIT and instead clicked SUBMIT.

I am so glad that I decided to shift my area of focus from just Rosebud (and Dromana) to the whole peninsula. Hopefully anyone considering writing a history of the Dromana Anglican Church will have read the ADAMS entry in this journal and will not quote George Noree of Sorrento as the builder of this church. Poor Colin McLear did his level best to decipher scribble in a minutes book.

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.