SAFETY BEACH AND THE SURVEY NEAR DROMANA, VIC., AUST.
See CONNELL, SARAH WILSON and GEORGE YOUNG journals.
As explained in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, special surveys were thought of to save the colony of South Australia. I won't delve into Wakefield but that colony was founded with the aim of attracting the better class of citizen by having a higher upset(reserve) price for land. This resulted in many people landing in Adelaide but going to the Port Phillip District (Victoria) to buy land. The Sheehans of Red Hill, near Dromana and one of the Blackwood pioneers were two documented cases of this migration.
To create a level playing field for South Australia which had a similar scheme, Special Surveys of considerable size were obtainable at a pound per acre and often displaced squatters. Big Clarke's Special Survey displaced the Jackson brothers at Sunbury and George Evans was left with only his pre-emptive right at Emu Bottom. Dendy at Brighton and Elgar near Box Hill were two other well-known special survey purchasers. The scheme was short-lived and was actually scrapped in 1841 before Hugh Jamieson took possession of Jamieson's Special Survey but Governor Gipps had not received notification.
Hugh Jamieson did not displace a squatter.Edward Hobson had moved from the Kangerong run to the Tootgarook Run before 1841. He had probably ridden along today's Bayview Rd (Hobson's Flat Road circa 1906)looking for cattle which had strayed from his Kangerong Run or spoken to the master of a lime craft forced onto a sandbar near Safety Beach (just as John Aitken had been stranded in March, 1836 when the Chile ran aground off Arthurs Seat.) However it came about, Hobson found out about lime-burning and established a kiln near Marks Avenue, just west of Boneo Rd. This gave him a dependable income, as Melbourne badly needed mortar,but better pasture may have been another reason for his move. Perhaps too he was a bit of a nomad. Not too much later he was on the move again, probably leaving James and Peter Purves to manage Tootgarook, to manage his brother's run in Gippsland, which he gave a native name related to rivers that has been corrupted to Traralgon.
Jamieson's Special Survey consisted of 5280 acres and had the same north and south boundaries as Safety Beach, with Bulldog Creek Rd being its eastern boundary. Strangely the naming of that partly closed Government road (a boundary between the parishes of Kangerong and Balnarring) has nothing to do with dogs; it most likely came from miners on the Tubbarubba diggings who were bitten by bulldog ants. Where Dunns Creek Rd now diverts south east the road used to continue to Myers Rd, on which Bittern Station was situated. The two now-closed roads formed a junction (the south east corner of Jamieson's Special Survey) towards which Junction Rd continued on from the north end of Red Hill Rd.
Jamieson did not spend much time on his survey but enough to have social contact with other early settlers such as Captain Reid (on what became Balcolme's The Briars)and the McCraes on the Arthur's Seat Run. Somebody who did live there was Mrs Newby. On 15-2-1844, Captain Reid and his wife, Hugh Jamieson and Georgiana McCrae and hubby, Andrew, visited the Survey, meeting Mrs Newby and her two daughters. Mrs Newby complained of loneliness during Captain Newby's absences at sea. On 27-7-1845,Andrew told Georgiana about the three Newby children drowning. (P. 30 A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.) Was this true? Yes!
SHIPWRECKS. LOSS OF THE MARY. By the steamer Shamrock, which arrived here on Sunday, the distressing intelligence has been received of the total wreck of the barque Mary, Captain Newby, from this port to London in Bass's Straits; and we are sorry to add that no less than seventeen of her passengers have perished. The Mary left Sydney for London on the 19th of May, having on board 69 souls, including the crew, and a very valuable cargo. It was intended by the owners that she should proceed by the usual course round Cape Horn, and the Mary stood away to the southward for that purpose, but when she was off Cape Howe, the wind being at east south-east, with every appearance of a continuance from the same quarter, Captain Newby determined to attempt the westerly passage, notwithstanding the unpromising time of the year, and accordingly stood into Bass's Straits for that purpose. On the morning of the 24th May, the Mary was off Wilson's Promontory, when the wind suddenly died away, and at 10 A. M. a strong breeze sprung up from the northwest, and gradually increased to a gale with heavy rain. Thinking he had now got into a westerly wind, the captain determined to give up the westerly passage, and accordingly bore up and ran to the southward of Sir Roger Curtis' and Kent's Groups. At 6 P. M. he estimated the ship's position to be five miles south of the body of Kent's Group, fixed her course at east by north, and having been up the two previous nights, the captain went to bed, there being then a breeze from the north- west, which was sending the ship seven knots per hour. The chief mate had the watch from 8 to 12; about 11 he called the captain, saying he thought " land was handy ;" but upon the captain going upon deck, he could not see any land, and found that it was almost a calm. Broken water, however, was soon discovered off the lee beam,and a strong current was rapidly driving the ship towards it. There was no wind to make the ship answer her helm, she refused stays and drove broadside onto the rock. She first touched on the starboard bilge, then under the fore chains, and immediately parted abaft the foremast, the bows slipping off the rock into deep water; she then struck abaft, unshipped her rudder, and the topsides floated off the bottom,over the reef into smooth water. In seven minutes from the time she struck, the ship was in pieces. The most melancholy part remains to be told. Seventeen women and children were drowned and what is most extraordinary is, that not a mast was lost. Those drowned were-three of Captain Newby's daughters; six children of Mrs. Evans; Augusta and Catherine, daughters of Captain Collins, of Illawarra ; Mrs Heather, and two children, Mrs. Grey, Mrs. Turnbull, and Sarah Foulkes, servant to Mrs. Collins. How the remainder were saved we cannot understand. Captain Newby only remarks," we were saved in the long boat in the most wonderful manner." The above parties were lost in consequence of the upsetting of the whale boat, into which they had been lowered, but it has not been ascertained how this accident occurred. The reef upon which the Mary was lost lies to the north east of a rock described in the Australian Directory as Wright's rock, about three and a half miles, and is known to the sealers who visit Furneaux's Island as the north east or deep reef. etc.
(P.3, Mornington Chronicle, Sydney, 25-6-1845.)
THE OCCUPANTS AND THE SCHOOL.
1846. Henry Dunn occupied the Survey for about five years, and according to Leslie Moorhead (possibly in the Osborne State School history)Hearn's grants at Mt Martha, the two properties being jointly known as the Mt Martha Sheep Station.Henry later received grants for "Four Winds" (south corner of White's Hill and McIlroys Rd at Red Hill and crown allotments 14, 15, 10 and 9 in the parish of Moorooduc, on the south side of Mornington-Tyabb Rd between Dunns Rd and Balcombe Creek and extending halfway to Bentons rd.
1851. After Dunn's lease ended, agents were appointed and many families which were to make their mark around Dromana settled on the Survey. Worried about their run being gobbled up by the proposed Dromana Township, the McCraes had sold their lease to the Burrells. Most of the parish of Kangerong was still probably part of the run, which is why the first settlers were on the Survey.Watson Eaton and the Griffith family from America farmed together. The McLears, Pattersons (possibly later of Fingal, and the Survey again), Clydesdales, Gibsons,Henry Wilson (later changing from bullocky to butcher),the Connells (prominent in the parish of Moorooduc,Mornington and Red Hill) and Peateys were other tenants who come to mind.Another was William Cottier who was supposed to have established the Rye Hotel in Dromana in 1859 and transferred the licence to Tootgarook (about a mile east of White Cliff) leading to that township being renamed Rye.
Most of the children of these families attended a school not far south of the Wallaces Rd corner, which is discussed in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, (as well the tenants mentioned, in great detail!)
WHO HAD WHAT.(Rate Records.)
By the time of the first Kangerong Road Board assessment,many of the early Survey tenants had moved on. Mary Ann McLear (Graves' partner in the hawking business) had left The Willow and bought Maryfield across the road. Hawker, Charles Graves had opened a store at Shoreham and soon acquired over 300 acres in the parish of Flinders. Sarah Wilson, her sons and son-in-law (Young, Johnson>Johnstone) had moved to the west side of Shoreham Rd near Shands Rd,and the Connells had established Nag Hill between Old Moorooduc and Balnarring Rds. Peter Watson could have arrived after the 1865 assessment; his children were delivered by Susan Peatey on the survey in 1867 and 1869. In 1895 he was granted 171 acres just south of Arthurs Seat Rd between Purves and Main Creek Rds. William Marshall (detailed above) may have been the groom who tried to prevent the murder of John McLear outside Bundoora's Plough Inn and may have accompanied Mary Ann to Kangerong and may have been a grantee in the Red Hill Village Settlement in the 1890's.
3-9-1864.W.J.T.(Big) Clarke 2760 acres (i.e. untenanted); Joseph Clark N.A.V. 2 pounds; Charles Dyson, house and garden, N.A.V. 6 pounds; Watson Eaton, 100 acres, 20 cultivated,large house and garden; Abraham Griffiths (sic) no details,N.AV. 35 pounds;Henry ?, house and 20 acres; Walter Gibson hut and 36 acres; John Gibson hut and 80 acres 20 cultivated; William Marshall 2 roomed hut and 70 cres; James Mitchell hut; Charles Ray house and 1000 acres, fenced; Louis Edward (sic) Tassell house and 1000 acres (leased from Big Clarke who had not yet sold the Brokil Estate to Bruce); Henry Wilson hut.
1865.Charles Dyson had a 2 roomed house and 59 acres but my notes do not specify the Survey.Watson Eaton 210 acres and 4 roomed house; Abraham Griffiths- no details; Thomas Farnby 14 acres, 1 roomed house (survey not specified); Walter Gibson 249 acres and 2 roomed house; William Marshall 60 acres, 2 roomed house;Charles Ray 1000 acres and 2 roomed house; Edwin Louis Tassell 1000 acres and 2 roomed house.
1879. W.J.Clarke (Big Clarke's son) 2128 acres; George Elliman 10 acres; Rebecca Griffiths(sic)947 acres; Jonah(Dohn)Griffiths (sic)50 acres; Walter Gibson 525 acres; Charles Ray 400 acres.
1900. Despite properties in the parish of Wannaeue being fairly well described the rate collector had no idea where properties in the parish of Kangerong were. Some of the following property would have been on the survey, and although I could determine how much was,I can't spare the weeks it would take.
Alf Downward 1100 acres; John Calvin Griffith 1650 acres. Sir William Clarke (or Rupert Clarke)does not seem to have been assessed on at least 1200 acres;no wonder the Shire was soon nearly broke!
1910.James Connell farmer Mornington 238 acres, lots3-6 Bruce's; James Connell farmer Tuerong 230 acres 1, 2 Bruce's;Patrick Callaghan, Melbourne Agent, 242 acres Clarke's,12 acres 21 and 22 Bruce's, 152 acres 25 and 54 of Clarke's, 30 acres part 24 Clarke's,243 acres lot 55 Clarke's (and possibly another 593 acres with lot numbers but no mention of Clarke or Bruce); Alf Downward 270 acres lot 12 Clarke's, 120 acres Clarke's,508 acres lots 16, 17 Clarke's; John Calvin Griffith 205 acres lot 9 Clarke's; Walter Gibson 528 acres lots 1, 3-8 Clarke's, 400 acres 4, 9, 9A, 10 Clarke's, 130 acres 10 of Clarke's; O.A.Kefford, inspector,126 acres,lot 20 Clarke's; R.B. and S.F.Morrow 325 acres 21 and part 24 Clarke's;Ralph Godfrey Patterson 287 acres lots 18,19 Clarke's; Nelson and Jane Sophia Rudduck 130 acres lot 11 Clarke's; John E.Thompson 406 acres 13, part 14 Clarke's; Godfrey Burdett Wilson 255 acres 22,23 Clarke's.
Notice how the shire's possible bankruptcy could be avoided by rating both Griffith and Gibson on lot 9 and rating Gibson twice on his bull paddock ,lot 10! Don't let this happen to you!!
1920. Alf Downward 270 acres lot 12 special survey (henceforth s.s.);Herb Downward 509 acres 16,17 s.s.; William John McNabb replacing Patrick Fleming but both crossed out, 52acres lot 2 s.s.; William Gibson 659 acres lots 1, 3-8, 10 s.s.; Bertram John Davey 446 acres lot 13,part 14 s.s.; Owen E. Kefford 125 acres lot 20 s.s.; Jennings Brothers, Rye (crossed out) 280 acres lots18,19 s.s.; Perpetual Executors and Agency Co (Dutton owner) 318 acres lot 21, 24 s.s.;Cyril Smith, Mornington 468 acres lots 1, 2, 3, 6 s.s.; Mrs Maria Wilson (the former servant at Bruce's house and Godfrey's widow)254 acres lots 22, 23 s.s.;Ben Wilson (named after Ben Stenniken of course)150 acres lot 5 s.s.; Henry Burdett Coutts Wilson,Sorrento,100 acres part 5 s.s.;
Sam Wilson (named after Sam Sherlock, brother of the wife of Ben Stenniken) 180 acres part 5 s.s.
I thought I'd check how many acres were in lot 5, which was split among Ben, Henry and Sam Wilson.Guess what, lot 5 consisted of 32 acres! They were probably actually sharing lot 15, bounded by Foxeys Rd, Bulldog Creek Rd, Wallaces Rd and Bulldog Creek and consisting of 354 acres but the figures still don't add up as they total 430 acres. Perhaps the extra 76 acres were in lot 14.
BRUCE AND TASSELL; THE BROKIL ESTATE.
Colin McLear states that the northern (roughly) 1000 acres (north of the line of the Martha Cove Waterway)was a wedding gift to his son in law and also that the recipient was of the Bruce family that produced the Australian Prime Minister. The owner of the Brokil Estate was John Vans Agnew Bruce, who was a partner in Bruce and Cornish, the firm that built much of the Mt Alexander and Murray River Railway near Keilor Road Station (Sydenham) and Sunbury in 1858. If Bruce decided the course of the railway (past the Jacksons' old homestead block where Rupertswood was later built and through Clarkefield) one might understand Big Clarke making a present of his daughter and the 1000 acres.No relationship has been proven but given Bruce's earning capacity and a shared connection with Essendon (where big Clarke died and John Bruce lived,it is possible.) Try as I may,I can find absolutely no link between the prime minister's family and John vans Agnew Bruce.
The Lease. (From my Tassell journal.)I tried Trove to find out where the Tassell family was between 1869 and the purchase of the village settlement block and found a nugget! The Argus, 7-5-1874, page 12.
"MT MARTHA. Tenders are invited until 12 May, 1874 for a three year lease of Brokil Estate (lately occupied by R.B.Ridler, Esq. butcher, previously by the late E.L.Tassell, Esq.) containing 1024 acres of good pastoral land, well watered and subdivided, a large portion sheepproof. J.Vans Agnew Bruce, Fletcher St, Essendon."
THE SERVANT FROM RYE.
Henry William Wilson was a bullocky renting a hut on the Survey when he first came to the peninsula. Colin McLear said his hut was on Walter Gibson's No. 10 paddock of 125 acres. The subdivision plan of Clarke's Estate shows that lot 10 was actually 134 acres and 20 perches. It fronted the south side of Wallace's Rd and the Point Nepean Road and is indicated by Melway 160 J-K 3-4 and 161 A 3-4. According to the Female Drover, this farm was later owned by a Mr Harding.
Colin also said that Ben Stenniken was leasing land on the Survey.It was on a triangular block bounded by Nepean Highway,Moorooduc Road and the higher reaches of Tassell's Creek. This triangular block would have been north of McKenzie's Junction (Melway 151 C12) and the northern boundary would have been a line joining Bruce and Foxey's Rds, the northern boundary of the survey and the parish of Kangerong. According to the Female Drover, this farm was later owned by a Mr Harding.
Ben's farm was part of Bruce's Brokil Estate, north of the line of Martha Cove Waterway. Bruce's fortune came from his involvement in the Cornish and Bruce contracting firm which built a large part of the Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) and Murray River Railway in the late 1850's. I believe I have written quite a bit about him in my ASCOT VALE HERITAGE WALK journal including claims that he was Big Clarke's son-in-law and that he was of the same family as the Prime Minister.
Even further away from Rye was land in the parish of Frankston on the west side of Moorooduc Rd just north of Eramosa Rd. Alexander McLellan mentioned in 1905 that the Stennikens had owned a 401 acre property at Mt Eliza for 40 years. (P.5, Mornington Standard, 28-1-1905.)
No evidence can be found that Henry William Wilson and Ben Stenniken were on the Survey at the same time but even if they weren't, Ben would have had every chance to meet up with the bullocky in 1865 as he rode between Rye and his 401 acre property at Mt Eliza. In 1865, Henry Wilson's son,Godfrey, would have been about 15 years old. Ben Stenniken's daughter, Maria, would have been 10 years old.(A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.) By this age Godfrey had probably overcome his fear of girl germs and as any woman will confirm,Maria would have been at the same stage of emotional maturity. They married thirteen years later.N.B. John Watt of Sorrento met his future bride (little Miss Skelton) when she was only six so this suggested first meeting in 1865 is not as fanciful as it might seem!
By the 1860's, wealthy men were building seaside retreats to escape the heat and dust of Melbourne during the summer. John Thomas Smith built Nyora at Mt Eliza,there were several early holiday retreats along the Esplanade near Mornington and Duffy was soon to subdivide his grants in the parish of Nepean. The Gentlemen would bring their families down for the whole "season", which started after the social whirl of the Spring Carnival and lasted for months; the father would return to Melbourne when business matters required it. I'm sure that John Agnews Bruce did not stay in Edwin Louis Tassell's homestead near the north bank of Brokil (Tassells) Creek; he probably built a large home, on higher ground with a view, just south of his northern boundary, Ellerina Rd. The family did not "rough it" but expected the same privileged lifestyle they were used to in Melbourne and that included servants.
Maria Stenniken would work as a servant for the Bruce family during the season. She may have slept at the Bruce home or walked along the Sea Lane, after the family had dismissed her for the night, back to the triangular block mentioned earlier. It is likely that there would have been a dwelling on the block and that one of Maria's brothers stayed there with her. Maria's servant days could have started in about 1865 and lasted till 1878 when she married Godfrey Burdett Wilson.
Godfrey and Maria would have lived at Beauvoir (still standing at 8 McCulloch St, Dromana) which Godfrey had built in the 1880's. It was named after the Beauvoir Arms Hotel in London which Godfrey's father had run before they came to Australia. Godfrey died in 1919 and his widow, Maria, lived in Burdett Cottage in Heales St until her death in 1927, after which the cottage was moved onto the highway corner frontage of Karadoc to housethe bush nursing hospital. (Henry William Wilson had married Thamer Burdett, hence Godfrey's second given name and the name of the cottage.)
Stenniken is mainly mentioned in Rye and Port Melbourne histories, with grants south west of Rye Township and the north west corner of Truemans Rd at Tootgarook but the family had a strong connection with Dromana with the town being mentioned in the death notices of a Mrs and Miss Stenniken,the former living next to the Church of England (which was built with Stenniken lime!)
THE CLARKE ESTATE.
Land Sale at Mornington There was a good attendance at the sub-divisional sale of 4,350 acres of agricultural and grazing land situated near Dromana, held at the Mornington Mechanics' on Wednesday afternoon. The sale was conducted by Mr. Keast, M.L.A., who acted in conjunction with John Buchan and Co., and J. W. Hazeldine, on behalf of the Executrix and Executor of the Estate of the late Sir W. J. Clarke.
The land was offered in suitable blocks for closer settlement, but evidently it was considered to be unfit for that purpose by Melbourne buyers, as they were conspicuous by their absence. With the exception of a Melbourne speculator, Mr P. Callaghan, who secured 1,594 acres, mostly at low rates, the rest of the estate was purchased by local residents, of whom Messrs. Gibson (710 acres), and Downward 778 acres, were the largest purchasers. The highest price paid was 8 7s 6d per acre for 10 acres near Dromana township, the buyer being Mr.Rudduck.
The Shire of Flinders and Kangerong failed to secure the 20 acres, containing a quarry reserve. There was loud applause, when Mr. H. Griffiths' bid secured the homestead block, containing 205 acres, at 5 per acre, and the action of a Dromana man in bidding against Mr. Griffiths, and running him from 3 to 5, was regarded as a most unneighbourly thing to do. The land was sold at a price, which considering the price of land in other parts of Victoria, must be regarded as very cheap, 4,076 acres were sold at an average price of 2 4s per acre.
Mr. Keast did not waste much time over the lots, and succeeded in disposing of the Estate, with the exception of a number of frontage blocks, in under an hour. Mr. William Hewitt was present on behalf of Sir Rupert Clarke, who had sailed to England the previous day. The sales effected were as follows:
No. BLOCK Acre Rd Per Buyer Price per acre
1. 56 .1.10 W. Gibson: 3. 2. 52.0.17 P. Callagham 1 15 3. 25.o. 30 W. Gibson: .5
4. 25. 1. 3 W. Gibson 4 5. 32.0.6 W. Gibson 4 5s 6. 129. 3. 11 W. Gibson .3
7. 129.3.30 W. Gibson 2/10 8. 121.4. 34 W. Gibson 3 9. 205.1.12 H. Griffiths .5
10.134.0.20 W.Gibson 3/17/6 11. 130.1.18 N. Rudduck 2/15 12. 270. 2. 11A. Downward L1/12/6
13.307.1. 5 P.Callaghan 1 13A. 20 Qu'ry Site P. Callaghan 3 14. 532.1.0 P. Callaghan 1
15.354.2.0 P.Callaghan 1 16. 260.0.37 H Downward 1 5 17. 249. 1. 0 H. Downward 1/5/0
220.127.116.11 G.Patterson 2/10 18.104.22.168 G. Patterson 2 10 20. 125.3.0 W. Kefford 2/5/0
22.214.171.124 P.Callaghan L2/15/0 22. 127.2.37 G. B. Wilson 3 10 23. 127. 0.19 G. B. Wilson 4
24 226.3.6 P. Callaghan 3 53. 5 N.Rudduck 8/7/6 54. 5 N. Rudduck 8/7/6
For block 55, containing 242 acres, 1 was offered by Mr. H. P. Davey, but was passed in for private sale, as were 26 blocks, containing 5 acres each, with a frontage to Port Phillip Bay. For these blocks 5 , was offered, the reserve being 6. A cottage. belonging to Mrs. McNabb, of Dromana, was also offered, but failed to elicit a bid. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 27-4-1907.)
NOTES ON THE ABOVE.
Griffiths should be Griffith; the family's name was often wrongly given a "s" on the end.
The quarry site was 325 metres west of where Dunns Creek Rd turns to the south with a road frontage of another 284 metres to the west. Needless to say, it was on the north side of the road. The Clarke Estate was south of the line of the Martha Cove Waterway and was bisected by Pickings and Wallaces Rds.
MR JAGGER AND BILLY.
Billy wasn't a person. When Mr Jagger,who lived and milked a few cows on a small Survey block of about 5 acres delivered Dromana's milk,he put it into each customer's billy.
EXCERPT FROM MY "THE FEMALE DROVER:A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC".
MILK FOR DROMANA.
In the early 1930s much of Dromanas milk was delivered by a Mr Jagger, who had a few acres in Safety Beach, probably near Link Drive. Jagger milked a few cows himself but the bulk of his milk came from the Bournes. He would pick up their milk churns from their front gate and commence his round from there.
Between about 1935 and 1940, Mr Fenton took over the round. He had about 50 acres thought to be in the vicinity of Callas St. This was most likely James Boags old dairy by Palmerstone Ave opposite the head of Seacombe St which became the Turner Estate. (A Dreamtime of Dromana.) Once again the Bournes were his only supplier. The Fentons called their house Melrose.
Roy and Pearl Drew took over the 50 acres and the milk round in about 1940, relying on milk from the Bourne farm until the end of the war. Roy and Pearl must have had some energy left at bedtime because they had 17 children! It is likely that the Turner Estate was subdivided soon afterwards to accommodate the many young men returning from the war and making up for lost time by starting families.
Bill and Emily Bourne switched to cream production in 1945. They sold it to Mr Roberts who collected the cream cans from the front gate and took it to Moorooduc Station to be transported to Melbourne.
MR BEAN AND THE RACING CARS.
DROMANAS MR BEAN. Herbert Josiah Bean was the man on whose property the new golf course was constructed. The land also had some sort of a speedway with a gravel surface on it. The R.A.C.V. conducted speed challenges on it; by a strange coincidence our Mr Bean was the President of the club. (Argus 1-10-1931 page 8 and 3-12-1928 page 17 re the Safety Beach circuit; proceeds went to the Dromana Bush Nursing Hospital.) Herbert sold land to Mrs Guilfoyle and their dispute is reported on page 11 of the Argus of 21-7-1926. Herbert was a merchant of Flinders Lane. It would appear that the Lochley Chase Guest House would have occupied only a small portion of Beans original property.
Now we will look at an article on page 13 in The Argus of 27-11-1928, about nine years after the last assessment available on microfiche.
SPORTS AT DROMANA. Opening New Course. Safety Beach, Dromana has been chosen by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria as the site for acceleration and speed tests on Saturday, December 1st. Safety Beach is the name which has been given to a level stretch of foreshore extending from the south side of Mt Martha for about two miles to the outskirts of Dromana Township. The tests will not be held on the beach but on level gravel roads which have been laid which have been laid in a wide stretch of plain extending back from the sea to the Point Nepean road. This is an old grazing property that has been taken up recently for residential development. There are about 750 acres in the plain and the new roads which have been levelled, graded and coated with gravel, have a total length of about seven miles. The corners of the roads have been rounded and widened to allow for the swinging of the cars on the turns. The country is slightly undulating but the roads have no considerable gradients. There are some clumps of scrub on the land but a view of the whole course will be available from almost any position.
Alongside the portion of the estate where the tests will be held are areas reserved for a golf course and an aerodrome. The aerodrome will come into use on the day of the tests, for there is to be a race between an aeroplane and a car. Mr J.McLaren, an official of the Light Car Club, has arranged for a plane to be brought from the Coode Island Airport for the event. Mr McLaren has lately taken up flying and is having a plane constructed for his personal use at the Larkin Aircraft Works at Coode Island. He expects to make Safety Beach a regular rendezvous for motorists and golfers and is negotiating for daily calls to be made there by the Melbourne-Launceston aerial mail services, which is now being organised. The site is a basin of wide area in the gap between Mt Martha and Arthurs Seat.The beach road deviation which leads from Mornington Esplanade past the Mt Martha Hotel leads to the site.
THE GOLF CLUB.
Dromana's first golf course is shown on Melbourne Brindle's map of Dromana.
Apart from a few tournaments in 1913, the words golf and Dromana were not paired again until 1928.
A. 27-11-1928, page 13. An area was to be set aside for a golf course at Safety Beach. This article will be reproduced verbatim under the heading of SAFETY BEACH (after Dromamas Mr Bean.) A. 8-10-1929, page 13. The tower on the mountain is being repaired and a nine hole golf course is being laid out. Little did those concerned realize that the concrete tower (which the new lift company wants to demolish) was to replace the old lighthouse a little more than half a decade later. The golf course would not have been connected with the local club. It was probably another initiative of Spencer Jackson, who wrote a history of Dromana two years earlier and organized a road to the tower in this year (as the plaque he presented testifies.) While Spencer did many things to advance the town, his deeds usually also assisted sales of land in his Foreshore and Panoramic Estates. The course might have also been a project undertaken by Lawson who built The Garden of the Moon. This might be an appropriate time to mention Frank Alfred Gaylor and the hotel on Arthurs Seat. The notice of his application for a licence for the Hollywood Inn appeared on page14 of The Argus of 22-11-1937 and listed conditions.
A.5-9-1930, page 10. Nearly 70 acres have been set aside at Safety Beach for a golf course. Design is left to Mr A. Russell. It will open about the middle of December. It is possible that Mr Russell was an Essendon resident, the son of the grantee of 166 acres on the east side of Collins Rd that became part of Walter Gibsons Glenholme and the custodian of the Essendon (Moonee Ponds) Town Hall pictured on page 5 of The Argus of 9-1-1932. He had probably learned his golf on the McCrackens Mar Lodge Estate at Essendon on the west side of McCracken St. A.22-12-1930, page 3. New Links at Dromana. Dromana Country Golf Clubs course at the foot of Mt Martha is in a rough state. There are nine holes and all command beautiful views of Port Phillip Bay, Mt Martha and Arthurs Seat. A. 21-12-1933. The President, Dr A.McDonald said that the club had been through lean times and hoped that residents would support an undertaking which was a great asset to the town. A. 24-9-1937, page 25. Applications are invited for occupancy of Dromana course, including residence*, equipment, mowers etc. retention of green fees. Apply Southern Developments Pty Ltd or Secretary Dromana Golf Club, Shire Hall, Dromana. (*Mr Beans house?) A. 1-6-1938, page 6. The Southern Development Co., which has 200 acres at Safety Beach, has sunk a bore (details about depths and flow.) Provision has been made for the golf course to be extended to 18 holes. A. 26-11-1938, page 6. Annual Meeting. Pres.-Mr L.E.Barnes; Sec.- Mr J.Holland. Mr Barnes might have been from Rosebud as Peter Wilson mentions that a member of the Barnes Honey family had a holiday home there. John E.Holland was assessed on 25 acres at Red Hill near the Kindilan Society site in 1919-20.
WHERE WAS THE SAFETY BEACH GOLF COURSE THAT OPENED IN 1930?
Admittedly, the following evidence is far from first-hand. I had obtained the land plan for Clarkes Dromana Estate and knew that the course had been on the land of R.A.C.V. President, Mr Bean, but this did not help me to pinpoint the location of the course. In desperation I paid a visit to the present golf club at Safety Beach. I thought I had struck gold when one of the chaps started telling me in great detail about the original course. Then the penny dropped. Is this the circa 1930 course? I asked. Everyone was stunned and then I heard, Les knows! This was Les Belot. Les had never played on the course but we did have an enjoyable chat about the horse on the green at Jack Warnocks private course on the present Village Glen at Rosebud West.
This is the chain of evidence. Les has a mate, a member of the pioneering Red Hill Prossor family, who was clearing land with the help of a friend. This friends father had been a plumber and had worked at the club house of the golf course. It is possible that this fibro building, 67 Seaview Ave, had been Mr Beans holiday house and later Locksley Chase Guest House after World War 2. I inspected the house briefly and was able to observe that it had a huge lounge room, capable of being used for a meeting of over a hundred people or a dance. Through the same chain of information, Les learned that the course occupied the land which became, in about 1990, A.V.Jennings Horizon Estate. This was bounded by Victoria (possibly Patterson) St, Rhymer, Tonkins St and Seaview Ave. Many golf balls were discovered when the subdivision was being cleared.
It is of interest that the last mention of the club was the annual meeting at the end of 1938, Dr A.McDonald was the President in 1933, hoping that residents would support the club, J. McDonald and sons built the St Georges Course at Rye (Argus 7-6-1938 page12), a report of a tournament at Rye (Argus 27-6-1939 page 15) refers to R. Munro of Dromana winning an event there and G.W.Brown (the shire engineer according to A Dreamtime of Dromana p.171) winning an 18 hole competition at the Dromana Branch. Also that Roy W. McDonald, Dromana Real Estate Agent was advertising land at Safety Beach in 1950. The McDonalds course at Rye, bounded by Dundas St and Golf Pde was being sold by Bill Prentice in 1952 (Argus 10-4-1952 p.2) and Ossie Pickworths rival, Colin Campbell, used the opportunity to establish the Rye Public Links where we now see Hogan Dr., Thompson Tce, Sarazen St, Bacchli St etc. Did the McDonalds move their operation to Safety Beach. The Carriggs had included easy access golf in their 1939 advertisements; perhaps the McDonalds had taken up the offer of 1937 to lease the obviously under-patronised course and made it a branch of their Rye operation. After 1939, the hotel no longer advertised golf and searches have found no further mention of golf at Dromana or Rye but it is certain that the Rye course was still being used.
It is possible that the Rye and Safety Beach courses operated until about 1950 and their closure caused the formation of Rosebud Park in 1951. It is possible also that the guest house, about which no advertisement has been found, ran the course as a private facility.
PICKINGS FOR THE PHEASANTS AT THE FAUNA PARK.
EXPORT OF NATIVE GAME. COUNCILLOR ADVOCATES AMENDMENT OF LAW. ENTERPRISE TIED UP WITH RED TAPE. Cr. J. Unthank told last meeting of the. Shire Council that he had been much impressed when he paid a visit to Mr. D. Picking's fauna park at Dromana. Cr. Unthank said Mr. Picking told him that the law forbidding the export of native game prevented him from disposing of a lot of stock. If he was not so tied down with red tape he could have one of the finest zoological gardens in Australia. Cr. Unthank said he saw about 200 pheasants on Mr. Picking's farm coming to the homestead to be fed. There were peacocks, emus, kangaroos, wallabies and other game moving about the farm. He (Cr. Unthank) advocated an amendment of the game laws to permit the export of a limited number of specimens of native game. (P.1,Frankston and Somerville Standard, 14-4-1934.)
was known to oldtimers as Patterson's Lane. Godfrey Patterson bought lots 18 and 19 fronting the highway to McKenzie's Junction (Melway 151 B11)and Wallaces Rd to its first bend (160 B3.)The Jennings Bros.of Rye had a dairy on the east corner of Rosebud Pde in Rosebud (outside which is a statue and historical plaque) and the 1919 rates show that they had been occupying lots 18 and 19.
See BRUCE, TASSELL AND THE BROKIL ESTATE above. Ellerina Rd was known to the female drover, Shirley Bourne, and the Jacksons of "Dalkeith" as THE SEA LANE. It is the boundary between the parishes of Moorooduc and Kangerong.
Pickings Rd. Refer to the article about the Fauna Park.
Miss Shirley Ann Richards, the Australian film star, with a flying phalanger yesterday when she visited the Picking Fauna Park,Dromana. (Caption for photo,P.3, Argus,27-10-1937.)
The Pickings seem to have been on the Survey from about 1923 until at least the 1950's. The Pickings boys must have had artistic talent to rival that of another Dromana lad,Melbourne Brindle. They obviously got their talent from their father, Doug.
DROMANA YOUTHFUL ARTIST
Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1939 - 1949) Thursday 30 March 1944 p 2 Article
... DROMANA YOUTHFUL ARTIST Bruce Picking, young son and Mrs. Douglan Picking, Dromana, has commenced study National Art Gallery. A future is predicted for this sma lad. ... 27 words
Douglas Picking must have used at least part of his property for normal farming practices, one of which was breeding sheep.
HIGH PRICE FOR RAM. Cr. David Boyd, of Berwick, who has one of the leading flocks of Rye- land sheep in the State, has, for the purpose of improving his flock, purchased from Mr. Douglas Picking, of Dromana, the stud Ryeland ram, Picking's R1880. The price paid was 30 guineas which, at the present time, is an exceptionally high price for a ram.
I believe that Thamer Burdett was distantly related to Countess Burdett-Coutts and that the use of Coutts as a given name was an example of name-dropping, as in the case of Henry Everest Adams of Rosebud who used Vivian as a given name for his offspring and Vivyan for his vineyard (leading his descendants to wrongly believe that he was the illegitimate son of Lord Vivian.) She married Henry William Wilson and two of their children, Godfrey and Thamer,were given Burdett as second given names.Godfrey's eldest son was called Henry William Burdett Coutts Wilson. Not long before leaving Dromana to manage the family's butcher shop, H.W.B.C's young son was saved by what was probably the first use of mouth to mouth resuscitation on the Mornington Peninsula.
(See the entry for Stan Evans in my MELBOURNE BRINDLE journal.)
In 1919, the Wilsons had 684 acres of the survey,William Gibson 659 acres, Alf Downward 270 acres, Herb Downward 509 acres, and the Pattersons 280 acres (lots18,19) on which the Jennings brothers had recently finished a lease. According to Colin McLear,the Wilsons later bought much land from the Gibsons,Downwards, and Pattersons. One of the Wilson lads was involved with selling subdivided land on the survey. Coutts St was most likely named after H.W.B.C.Wilson.
Evans St. Stan Evans was a toddler when H.W.B.C.Wilson's young son almost drowned in 1904. The two boys were at a waterhole near a new abbatoir Henry was helping the carpenter,an early Dromana pioneer, to build when the Wilson lad got into difficulties.Unable to rescue him, little Stan ran to the men to alert them. Henry dragged his son out. As he was not breathing, the carpenter successfully performed mouth to mouth. Stan was involved in a humorous incident regarding sausages and a horse as a lad and was a longtime employee of the Wilsons as a butcher, resulting in a serious injury decades later. The Wilsons obviously subdivided this area. The street could have been named after the sporty Bill Evans but I think Stan was most likely the person being honoured.
(See newspaper articles in the Stan Evans entry in the MELBOURNE BRINDLE journal.)
Mary Ann McLear was widowed near the end of 1849 on the Plenty River when her husband was thumped on the head with a length of timber by a friend of a man who refused to pay up on a bet at a race meeting. Probably accompanied by her late husband's groom, she settled on the survey in 1851. She commenced farming at The Willow (Melway 160 E4,east of freeway)and became a partner in Charle Graves' hawking business.On 10-5-1859, Graves bought crown allotment 13, section 2 Kangerong (across the road from the Drive-In)and had a three rail fence erected by Thomas and Charles Rymer. Graves sold it on 31-1-1860 to Mary Ann, who called it Maryfield,
and moved to Shoreham where he was a shopkeeper and farmed on 374 acres.
The Rymers "also worked for George McLear at times. In 1867,they were fencing Arthurs Seat Park. Thomas Rymer drew timber from Arthurs Seat for the building of the Dromana jetty in 1874." (All from A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.)
Thomas didn't take long to get this lucrative contract after the "Maryfield" job. He and Tim Sullivan would have been rolling in clover if they'd shared in the contract to fence the police paddock from White Cliff to the back beach which the Government proposed in 1859. (See Peter Wilson's ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD.)
stockyard at police paddock,Point Nepean-fencing, 1s.11s. 3 3/4d per rod; eight gates at 3.15s. each, 102. 0 s.4 1/2d., Thomas Rymer ; digging waterhole and fencing at police paddock, Point Nepean-waterhole, Is. per yard ; fencing, 6s. 6d. per rod, 85,T.Sullivan(Announcements in the Government Gazette, P.5, Argus, 28-8-1861.)
The Rymers may have moved to Frankston or Hastings, but it is possible that Charles Rymer moved to Geelong. Mrs Rymer made a donation to the Frankston Hospital in 1944.(P.1, Standard, Frankston 26-10-1944, FRANKSTON COMMUNITY HOSPITAL.) Laurie Rymer was one of the Hastings Football Club players to make in in the big time.
Name Laurence Rymer Born 1934-07-05 Height187 cm Weight 92 kg V/AFL Clubs Collingwood
V/AFL Games 25 V/AFL Career 1955-57 V/AFL Goals 10 Brownlow Votes 0 (AUSTRALIANFOOTBALL.COM)
RYMER.-Mr. Chas. Rymer wishes to THANK all kind friends for their expressions and tokens of sympathy during the illness of his dearly loved wife,(Doris), who passed away at Geelong on August 7, 1944. A long and patient sufferer at rest. (P.4,Standard, Frankston,17-8-1944.)P.S. Chas was Isaac Charles Rymer.
Walter St is on lot 4 of the subdivision of Clarke's Estate. As you can see above,lot 4 was purchased by Walter Gibson of "Glenholm" (which became the Monarco Estate and the Collins Rd Industrial Estate.)
Assuming this is the correct spelling, it is named after Judge Higgins (Chief Justice)of Heronswood whose "Harvester Judgement led to the basic wage for workers.Judge Higgins died in 1929 and lot 4 was probably subdivided for housing at about that time. George Higgens of Queen St Melbourne and Red Hill was a land agent who became a Flinders Shire councillor for the central riding which included the Survey. The intersection of Mornington-Flinders and Arthurs Seat Rds was known as Higgens Corner.George's surname was almost always given as Higgins, even in the newspaper articles and index in A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. George may have been involved in the subdivision.
Edwin Louis Tassell leased the Brokil Estate from 1860 (according to Colin McLear)until his death. This was the northern 1000 or so acres of Jamieson's Special Survey, between Ellerina/Bruce/Foxey's Hangout Rds and the Martha Cove Waterway. The waterway is fed by the Brokil Creek which was named by an early surveyor and gave the estate itsname. locals, however, dubbed it Tassell's Creek for over a century and I have asked the council to put Tassells Creek signs at each end of the underpass. "Tassel" Rd was obviously sourced from rate records where Edwin was written as Edward etc. See my TASSELL journal.
The Osborne contribution to Dromana's sporting life as players and officials was tremendous. George Osborne served as a delegate to the League and the award to the best and fairest in the Nepean Football League is called the George Osborne Medal.
on 2013-02-16 04:45:09
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.