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Journal by itellya

While researching the origin of the name of Somerville, a town near the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, I found some interesting things that might help family historians.
Valda Cole has claimed that the town's name had connections with Canada; two of the settlers in the area were Canadian and were responsible for the name of Canadian Bay and Jones and Hodgins Rds.
A Frankston historian said that the town was named after Sir William Meredith Somerville (who was elevated to the peerage in 1863, three years before the earliest mention of the locality name in "The Argus".)
Sir William became Baron Athlumney of Somerville and Dollarstown in County Meath, Ireland and in 1866, he was given the additional title of Baron Meredith of Dollarstown.
The ancestor of all the Somervilles in England was sir Gaultier de Somerville who accompanied William the Conqueror to England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Somervilles had hereditary titles in England, Scotland and Ireland.Sons who were not heirs usually forged careers in the army, navy or the professions (law, the Established Church etc) but many tried their luck in the colonies. The 19th and last English Lord Somerville was one of these.The Argus of 25-1-1870 reported that he had recently returned from Australia and was quite ill. He died on 28-8-1870 at Aston (East) Somerville, Gloucestershire.

A SOMERVILLE FUNCTION.-The recent celebration at Solmerville in connection with the unveiling of the portraits of the late Messrs Jones and Unthank was worthy of the place.- Too often, men who have been benefactors of their district, have been passed over, and their labours forgotten; and it shows a fine spirit in the Somerville people, when they give this meed of re membrance to their old friends, and pioneers of the district. The men "who have blazed the track " do not always get their due in this respect. In addition it is a fine object lesson to the rising generation and inspires them to take a pride in their district and help it forward. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 6-7-1907.)

...Our Somerville Letter By Our Special Representative
Miss Thornell Honored A very pleasant social evening was spent by the members and friends of the local Presbyterian Church on the 29th ult, when a presentation was made to Miss Dorothy Thornell in recognition of her services as organist of the church. Mr J. F. Bell made the presentation-a silver cake dish -and spoke of the good and efficient services rendered by Miss Thornell for some time past. He said she had come to their assistance when they were in a fix and they felt deeply grateful for the help she had so cheerfully given them. (P.3, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 14-10-1921.)

SOMERVILLE -- THE LATE MARK THORNELL. . Sincere regret was expressed throughout the district when news was received here that Mr. Mark Thornell had died in a private hospital at Kiataia, New Zealand, on June 27, aged 53 years. Mr. Mark Thornell was born at "Sunny Cottage,". Somerville, his parents' farm. He was the third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Mark Thornell, of "Frampton," Somerville. He went to New Zealand 33 years ago, and for the past 30 had been a member of the New Zealand police force, in which his energy and integrity won him promotion. He was noted for his ready wit and jovial manner. On three occasions he returned to his home town to visit his parents, the last trip being made ten years ago. His wife predeceased him by fourteen years. He leaves a daughter (Dorothy) to mourn her loss. (P.7, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 3-7-1936.)

PROGRESSIVE SOMERVILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. IV, MR .THORNELL. One of the oldest, if not the very oldest, orchards in Somerville is that at present owned and occupied by Mr. T. Thornell, on the Eramosa road, within easy distance of the railway station. This orchard was established some 20 years ago by the present owner, whose father, Mr. John Thornell, senior, settled in the district with his family as far back as the year 1860, when the surrounding country was in a very wild state, it being by no means an uncommon occurrence in those days for wild kangaroos to be shot at their door. Mr. John Thornell, senior, who is at present 79 years of age, and hale, hearty, and strong, originally bought the site from the Crown and commenced operations in the cultivation of fruit trees almost immediately after his purchase, but did not turn his attention to the nursery business until some two years later, since when the nursery has been gradually extended, as many as 20,000 of nursery stuff being sent away in one year. Mr. T. Thornell, the present owner, has therefore had great experience in fruitgrowing and the raising of young trees, more especially so when it is taken into con- sideration that he was thrown into immediate contact with the business at the early age of 12 years, although it cannot be said that he took an active part until he arrived at the more mature age of 20 years, at which time he entered into partnership with his father, the partnership existing for 10 years, when Mr. J. Thornell, senior, retired from the business, which has since been carried on solely by Mr. T. Thornell. The orchard, which is situated at the rear and side of the homestead, Camillia Cottage, covers an area of from 15 to 20 acres, and is well stocked with trees of all kinds, which are in an excellent condition and bearing splendidly, as many as 2,000 cases of fruit being gathered during the present season. Peaches are grown extensively, the principal variety gone in for being the Royal George,which always commands a good market. Of this class of fruit 850 cases of fruit were forwarded to Melbourne during the present season, all of which were of first-class quality. Apricots are also gone in for extensively, but not on such a large scale as the peach. The quantity forwarded to the fruit salesmen this season was 180 cases. The principal class of fruit grown is however the apple, which is grown on a very large scale indeed,and for which there is always a good demand. The other varieties of fruit grown include pears, plums, cherries, quinces, almonds, and walnuts. All the fruit, when gathered, is packed in cases and forwarded by rail to agents in Melbourne, who in their turn dispose of it all over the colony. Prior to consigning the fruit to agents, it was the custom to convey it by road to the markets in Melbourne, which were visited as often as twice a week, and at times they were thus visited for a period of not less than three months without a spell, as many as 80 cases being taken at one time. The marketing was done by the present proprietor, who, it will thus be seen, has also had considerable experience in this direction. The price obtained for the fruit in the early days was, of course, much better than at the present time, and very often the takings at one market alone would amount to as much as £30 or £40. But Mr. T. Thornell has only attended Melbourne markets twice during the last ten years, his previous experience of fifteen years' marketing being quite enough for him, and at present he transacts most of his business through agents, although he does not debar himself from dealing with private individuals whenever the opportunity arises. This year the yield has been much better than for the previous two or three years, and in many instances it has more than doubled itself, the prices realised also being very satisfactory. The trees are all of good size and condition, and are planted about 20 feet apart each way. They range in age from 25 years down to 7 years, all bearing well. As much as £20 a year is spent in manuring the orchard, stable manure, bone-dust, and dessicated night-soil being the kinds employed. The manuring generally takes place once a year, in the early spring, the plan adopted being to throw the manure on the ground and then plough it in. Mr. Thornell finds it most beneficial to change the manure every year. The nursery covers an area of 8 acres, and is situate almost immediately opposite the dwelling-house. At the present time it is estimated that it
contains between 60,000 and 70,000 young nursery stock of all varieties. As previously stated, the cultivation of nursery stock is gone in for on a more extensive scale than formerly, the young stuff being sent all over Victoria, a leading firm of nurserymen in Melbourne being supplied at one time with lines totalling 10,000. It is only to be supposed that a great amount of labour is required in the working of the orchard and nursery, at the present time Mr. Thornell employing two men, one of whom resides with his family all the year round, in a four-roomed cottage erected on the nursery, exclusive of his own and his son's labour. Great care has also to be exercised, the apples all being worked on blight-proof stocks, being first grafted in order to make them blight-proof and then budded to the varieties required. The birds have not been found to be so troublesome as of late. I might here state that Mr. Thornell has invented a simple and ingenious contrivance for the destruction of birds, which has been found to be very efficacious, as well as economical, and within the reach of all, as many as 250 minahs being caught in six weeks. It consists of a frame about 8 feet square, covered with ordinary netting wire, to which a line is attached. It is slightly raised up from the ground and a quantity of rotten fruit placed underneath, which attracts the minahs, who go underneath the netting in order to get at the fruit. The line is then pulled, with the result that the frame falls upon the birds, who are then removed and killed ad libitum. As many as 12 birds have been caught in this way at one time. It has the advantage also of saving powder and shot. Of course this is only of use when the fruit is gathered. The plan adopted for the preservation of the fruit held over is to place it upon layers of dry grass or ferns, which is first laid upon dry sandy soil, and then covered over with thatch grass. By adopting this plan it is found that the fruit is kept in good condition for a much longer time than by any other process. At the present time there are about 100 cases of apples being treated in this way. The orchard is ploughed over sometimes once a year, sometimes twice, but generally the latter-during the spring and autumn. Mr. Thornell is also very large land owner in the district, having in all about 400 acres, as much as £14 an acre being given in some cases, besides which he possesses a great deal of property in the city, as well as in South Yarra and Prahran, all of which brings him in a fair rental. At one time he represented the district in the shire council, and, until a few weeks ago, he occupied the position of treasurer of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association, of which he is a prominent member. When Mr. Thornell, senr., first came into the district he had nothing beyond the land which he bought from the Crown. Mr. T. Thornell is one of few men who can say that he never paid one penny in rental during his lifetime. At one time he dabbled in speculation in buying and selling properties previous to the land boom and was very successful, the land boom not affecting him beyond decreasing the value of his pro perties. Mrs. T. Thornell, who was a very large prizetaker at the late shows, has a splendid collection of preserves of between 100 and 200 bottles of all varieties. The son was also successful in carrying off the first prize for the best pony at the show, out of 22 entries. (P.3, Mornington Standard, 16-7-1896.)
N.B. The journalist confused land boom with bust. Thornell sold during the boom,when his properties would have increased in value.

George Thornell was, with George Griffieth, a Justice of the Peace at Somerville in the early 1900's and also served as Coroner.

SOMERVILLE ACCIDENT TO MR. G. E. SHEPHERD, Senr. A rather serious accident befell our highly respected citizen, Mr. G. E. Shepherd, senr., of "Malurus." In driving a horse and jinker along Park street, it came in contact with a stump at the side of the road. The impact threw Mr. Shepherd out in front of the wheel, rendering him practically helpless. Fortunately, the pony was quiet, and remained stationary until help was forthcoming. Mr. Shepherd was badly bruised and shaken, though no bones were broken. He is under the case of Dr. Somers, of Mornington, and is now making favourable progress towards recovery.
(P.8, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 23-10-1925.)

PROGRESSIVE SOMER VILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. I. MESSRS. W. A. SHEPHERD AND SONS. The pioneer nursery and orchard in Somerville is without doubt that of Messrs. W. A. Shepherd and Sons, which is situated on Shepherd's road some two miles distant from the local railway station. The homestead in all covers an area of 207 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches, 10 acres being reserved for the nursery and 45 acres being planted with fruit. On arriving at the homestead our representative could not help being struck by the busy scene which burst upon his view, and every where it was apparent that here at least the depression experienced of late was not felt. In a large shed four men, under the supervision of Mr. W. A. Shepherd, jun., were busily engaged packing young trees, which were to be subsequently dispatched to the Somerville railway station, and thence forwarded to their destination. So ex?????? that it is found necessary to employ on an average four men throughout the whole of the year. The output during the present season has been something enormous, a decided improvement in business being experienced on that of last year, a fact due no doubt to the recent shows held in the place, which have been the means of bringing the district so prominently before the whole of the colonies. The principal market of young trees for which the demand is greatest for apples, which goes to show that orchardists and fruit - growers generally are fully alive to the fact that the export of apples to the old country will be one of the leading industries of the country, the demand being principally for local requirements. Great care has to be exercised when picking the young trees for transit, being first carefully tied together with New Zealand flax, which is specially grown for the purpose, after which they are protected by layers of ordinary bush grass, which is obtainable in large quantities close at hand, the whole when complete having a cone-like appearance. The nursery is named the Perfection Nursery, and was established 30 years ago by Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, who is alive at the present time hearty and well, and, although 70 years of ago he still takes an active interest in all matters connected with the nursery and orchard. Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, is the pioneer nurseryman of the district, and no doubt feels conscious of a certain amount of pride in the fact that the opinion formed by himself 30 years ago as to the suitability of the soil at Somerville for fruitgrowing purposes has, by the flourishing conditions of the place at the present time, been so conclusively proved to be correct, more especially so as when he first selected the site on which the nursery and orchard now stands the country all around was heavily timbered bush land, which is in marked contrast to the well-cared for and prolific orchards now established throughout the whole of the district. Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, arrived in the colony 38 years ago last December, when comparatively a young man. He will be 70 years of age next January, and, as previous stated bears his age well. He is a thoroughly trained orchardist, having served an apprenticeship of seven years when a lad under the head gardener of Middleton Park, England, then owned by the Earl of Jersey, and was there when the Earl brought his bride home. After serving his apprenticeship, Mr. Shepherd, senior, was for two years gardener at Holland Park, Kensington, England, the residence of Lord Holland, after which he filled the position of gardener at various other places. It will thus be seen that Mr. Shepherd, senior, is an authority on matters connected with horticulture. Mrs. Shepherd, who is some three years her husband's senior, is also alive and hearty, although she does not bear her age so well as her husband, but still, like him, she takes a lively interest in the busy scene around her. The management of the business is divided between the two sons, Mr. W. A. Shepherd, junior, and Mr. George Shepherd, who have inherited their father's good qualities regarding the culture of the soil, a fact which is plainly evident by the splendid specimens of trees to be seen in the orchard. The bulk of the work devolves upon Mr. George Shepherd, who attends to all the correspondence (which at the present time is very extensive) and the dispatching of orders, etc., while Mr. W. A. Shepherd, junior, who was recently elected to the high position of president of the Somerville Fruit growers' Association, attends to the more immediate work connected with the nursery and orchard, Mr. G. Shepherd, also bearing his share of the burden. Both work together with a will. The nursery occupies an area of about 10 acres, and at the present time it is estimated to contain about 200,000 young trees in all stages and of all varieties, which are planted in rows, each row containing from 700 to 800 young shoots. Even to an amateur the vast amount of work necessary is apparent, each shoot being grafted on to blight proof stocks, all of which are of even growth, and the soil free from weeds, the whole presenting a perfect picture, and one which any nurseryman might well feel proud of. The orchard, comprising 45 acres, is situated behind the nursery, and is a very fine one indeed. From year to year it is extended in order to have fresh trees coming into bearing, as well as to keep up the quality of the fruit. Apricots are grown very extensively, 10 acres of this fruit being planted. The crop from these trees last season was very great, as many as eight cases of fruit being obtained from one single tree. The total crop of apricots for the season just over was estimated at about 11 tons, as many as 7 tons being sent away in one day. Numerous varieties of apples are grown, amongst the number being the world -famed Shepherd's Perfection, which was first raised on this nursery thirty years ago, and from which the nursery derives its name, and not as many suppose, from the idea that the nursery is perfection in itself. The Shepherd's Perfection is an apple with which Mr. Shepherd's name will be always associated, and which is so well known for its many good qualities. The original tree, now 30 years old, was raised by Mr. W. A. Shepherd, senior, from the pip of a Blenheim Orange apple, and is still vigorous and healthy, it being one of the sights of the place, the elder Mr. Shepherd pointing it out with pride to all visitors. Last season eight cases of fruit were got off this tree. Peaches, pears, plums, and numerous other varieties of fruit are also grown very extensively, plums being greatly in evidence, a large demand in that class of fruit being experienced. The fruit grown is of splendid quality, the firm being large prizetakers at the late Somerville show, carrying off the Champion Challenge trophy for the best collection of fruits grown in Victoria, as well as the first prize for the best collection of twelve varieties of apples suitable for export, and also carried off six other first prizes, two seconds, and one third. As great attention has been paid to the pruning the trees are remarkably handsome and well grown specimens and are singularly free from blight or disease of any kind whatever,a fact due no doubt to the great care that is taken of them and to the unusually dry season last year. The trees in the orchard are planted 20ft apart each way, thus allowing them plenty of room for growth. Although most of the trees have been planted a number of years, the necessity for artificial manuring is not yet apparent. All the farm yard manure raised on the place is, however, used in the orchard, a good number of the trees receiving a good dressing every year. The system adopted of using the manure is to clear away the soil from the stem and top roots, the roots being bared for 3 feet or 4 feet from the stem, the trenches formed being left open for some time, after which they are filled with manure, the soil being again thrown in on top. The firm intend to go in for the use of dessicated nightsoil, which they believe will have a beneficial effect on the yields of the trees. The orchard ???and is ploughed on an average of about twice a year, generally in August and about the end of October, ordinary single-furrow ploughs being used, while for working the soil the acme harrow and a cultivator made by Mr. D. M. Bett, the local blacksmith, is used. The land is worked very frequently during the spring and summer right up to the time when the fruit has attained such a size as to be liable to injury from the horses and cultivating implements. Great care is exercised in picking and sorting the fruit for market, the main object being to produce as good a sample of fruit as possible, as well as to avoid the fruit being bruised. The apples which are held over for disposal later on in the season are all stored in cases in the fruit room, instead of the practice usually adopted of placing the fruit on shelves or trays, which the Messrs. Shepherd do not approve of, as they find that by heaping up the apples very often results in many being bruised, and in a very short time they become unfit for market. In order to allow of the free circulation of air, the cases are placed about 2 inches apart, and are stacked one on top of other. Vegetables are also grown, but only for home consumption. When Mr. Shepherd, senior, first came to the colony he brought with him some lettuce seed (Paris Cross), which he has kept ever since. A splendid specimen of rhubarb (Topp's Winter), about 2.5 feet in length, was shown our representative, the rhubarb being of a beautiful rich red colour. At the last show the firm obtained first prize for the best brace of cucumbers. Not withstanding the immense amount of labour involved in the working of the nursery and orchard, sufficient time is found for the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants, a large plot of ground, close to the homestead and in front of the nursery, being specially reserved for that purpose. Mr. George Shepherd is the fortunate possessor of a splendid collection of stuffed water and land birds, most of wh:ch have been shot in the neighbourhood, many being of very rare species. Each class of birds are enclosed in a separate case, each bird being appropriately mounted, the whole collection being valued at £150. Included in the variety is a little Tabuan water crake, which is a very rare species indeed, but the two birds of which Mr. George Shepherd is most proud of are the tiny Little Bittern and a beautiful Australian White Egret, the Little Bittern standing out in marked contrast to the tall and noble-looking White Egret with its snowy white plumes. These two birds are enclosed in a separate glass globe. The crafty Renard is also to be found occupying the place usually allotted to him. A visit to the homestead would not be complete without a visit being made to the pantry of Mrs. George Shepherd, where, stored away on shelves, are to be found the collection of preserves so successfully shown at the town-hall, Melbourne, and at 8omerville and Cranbourne. The preserves are in just as good a state as when they were first preserved, and form a collection which any housewife might well be proud of. [xC Dn cotIIusao.] (P.3, Mornington Standard, 25-6-1896.)
N.B. A couple of lines, unable to be read because of a crease in the newspaper, are indicated by question marks. Mistakes, such as a redundant "of", are the journalist's not mine. I presume he means the crafty reynard (fox.)

See comment 6. (Oh Noes struck again!)

Leila Shaw,author of THE WAY WE WERE, was a Brunnings girl and her history gives much detail about the family,the St Kilda connection and so on. Sadly the soldiers' memorial park donated by the family has been sold to Aldi.

MR. JOHN BRUNNING. The death of Mr. Jno. Brunning, of Somerville, on Monday came as a shock to his many friends in that district. Deceased had been in ill health for some weeks, but his death was not anticipated. Mr. Brunning came to Somerville about 62 years ago, when he was a toddler of three years. For the grea ter part of his life he had conducted the well-known nursery business of J. Brunning and Sons. Burial took place at Frankston cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, when a large number of Somerville and district residents attended. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. D. A. White and Rev. C. R., C. Tidmarsh. Rev. Tidmarsh, who had known deceased for many years, gave an impressive address at the grave. Messrs. Herbert, George and Stanley. Brunning (cousins of the deceased), William Shepherd, James and Benja min Caldwell acted as pall-bearers. The funeral was conducted-by Mr. H. Gamble. Deceased leaves three sons and one daughter (Mrs. Ryan). His wife and two daughters predeceased him. (P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 7-9-1928.)

The will of the late Mr Alexander Scott, of Somerville, has been lodged for probate. In it the testator's two sons, James and John, are bequeathed the properties in the parish of Mooroo- duc, subject to the payment by the former of the sum of £100 to deceased's daughter, Caroline, wife of Charles Unthank, of Bittern; and the latter of the sum of £50 to the second daughter, Ann, wife of Wil- liam Firth, of Moorooduc. The bal- ance of the estate, after payment of debts, &c., is bequeathed in equal por- tions to the two sons and two daugh- ters named above. The estate is valued at £1825, and the female branch of the beneficiaries are any thing but satisfied with the portions allowed them. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 17-10-1903.) Also see Firth.

Seldom has Somerville community been oftener called upon to mourn the loss of well known and respected residents than within the last two years. Another of the sturdy old pioneers passed away on Friday evening (20th. inst.), in the person of Mr. William Firth. The end was not altogether unexpected, as Mr. Firth has been in failing health for some time. The deceased, who was a native of the Island of Orkney, N.B., came to this colony when 16 years of age, and spent some four years at Bendigo, Maryborough, and other diggings. He then came to this district, and for a few years, as a partner with his brothers, John and James, he carried out several road and other large contracts. After purchasing the property on which he died (Orkney Farm), Mr. Firth gave up contract work, and has ever since devoted his energies, with marked success, to mixed farming, being one of the very first to attempt wheat growing in these parts. He was for some time successful in getting some very large returns per acre. His horses were well known, and always commanded a big figure, being specially sought after by Brighton market gardeners, who often bought them unbroken in the paddock. Sheep and cattle were also successfully raised. During Mr. Firth's long residence here of 53 years, he had seen vast changes, and had himself during his strenuous life become the owner of somewhere about 1000 acres in the district. Though a keen Scot at a bargain, deceased had by his uprightness, kindliness of heart and integrity, won the respect of all who knew him as a kindly neighbor, a staunch, friend, and a just foe. Although never taking any prominent part in public affairs Mr. Firth always had the welfare of the district at heart. The deceased leaves a widow, four daughters and one son to mourn the loss of a loving husband and fond father. Mrs. Firth is the daughter of another very old pioneer, Mr. Sandy Scott, who died a few years ago. The funeral on Sunday was very largely attended, some 40 vehicles and 12 horsemen being present, in addition to many relatives, including Messrs. John, James, and Joseph Firth (curator Macedon Nurseries). There were also present several leading councillors of the Mornington and Frankston and Hastings shires, and many old resi- dents. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-12-1907.)

Death. MURRAY--On the 7th August, at her residence, Somerville, Elizabeth, the dearly beloved wife of Charles Murray, and only daughter of James Grant, post- master, Somerville. Deeply regretted.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 16-8-1890.)

OBITUARY MR. GEORGE ALFRED GRANT Mr. George Alfred Grant died on Thursday, November 28, at his resi dence, Eramossa Road, Somerville. Mr. Grant was born at Somerville, and lived there all his life. He was a well-known orchardist and nursery man, and won many prizes at local shows. He was also interested in all sport, and won many trophies at foot running, high jumping, rifle shooting and cricket. He was a trustee of the early Presbyterian church, also member of the Fruit growers' Association, , Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, and past director of Cool stores. Mr. Grant's parents,, the late Mr. and Mrs. James Grant, were early settlers of Somerville, and were in charge of the first post office at Somerville. He was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends. His wife, six daughters,and two sons survive him. .The funeral took place on Saturday, November 30, the remains being interred in the Frankston Cemetery. Many floral tributes were made. There was a large attendance at the funeral, the district being well represented. Pall bearers were: Cr. Webb, Mesrrs W. P. Hutchinson, Geo Richardson, Chas. Thornell, D. Heywood, Theo Grant, Gus Murray, W. Monk. Coffin bearers were: Messrs. Ray Harding, Dan. Heywood, H. Brown, G. Gamble, L. Smith, sons-in-law, Ray Grant nephew. (P.7, Standard, 5-12-1946.)

Obituary MR JAS. GRANT, SEN. It is with regret we have to chronicle the demise, at the advanced age of 83, of one of Somerville's oldest and most respected residents, in the person of Mr Jas. Grant, sen., which occurred at his late residence at Somerville on Sunday last. By Mr Grant's death Somerville and district lose one of the very oldest and most highly respected residents. Mr Grant and Mr W. A. Shepherd (who died only a few weeks ago) were in the early days friends and neighbours in Melbourne, and came down and settled at Somerville together many years ago. Deceased for some time had charge of the post office when it was situated at the Somerville station. Mr Grant has been a successful and prosperous fruitgrower and nursery man, and has given each of his five sons a splendid start in life. By his honesty of purpose, strict integrity, hard work, and kindly nature, Mr Grant won the esteem and regard of every resident of the district. The respect in which Mr Grant was held was evinced on the day of the funeral, when, in the teeth of a blinding storm of wind and rain, one of the largest corteges seen at Somerville wended its way to the Frankston cemetery.
(P.3, Mornington and Dromana Standard, 1-5-1909.)

MR. J. E. MURRAY. Mr. James Edmund Murray, of Somerville, died at his late residence last Sunday at the age of 68 years. The late Mr. Murray was a well known resident of Somerville, and, though he had no family and his wife predeceased him, leaves many relatives in that district. Burial took place in Frankston cemetery on Monday last. The service was read by Rev. D. A. White, of Somerville. The coffin was borne to the grave by Messrs. J. E. Sage, E. J. Murray, S. C. Martin and F. S. Murray, all of whom are nephews of deceased. The pall-bearers were Messrs. H. Jones, S. W. M. West, and J. Hutchinson. The funeral was conducted by Mr. H. J. Gamble, of Frankston. Mr. Augustus Murray, Mr. John Murray, Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Harboard, Mrs. Harkness, Mrs. Batterham and Miss Jane Murray are the living brothers and sisters of deceased.
(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 3-8-1929.) See GRANT.
N.B. The Murrays granted much land on the south side of Mornington-Tyabb Rd,in the parish of Bittern,and much involved in the butchering business, seem to be unrelated.

SOMERVILLE. Mr. J. Murray, who sold his orchard property to Mr. Wood some time ago, has just purchased the property of Mr. McCalman (better known as McGurk's.) Mr. Murray wandered about we hear looking for a property in other parts, but has found nothing to beat Somerville. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 21-9-1907.)
The pioneers' properties will be discussed later but I will describe McGurk's now.

On 12-5-1890, Edward McGurk was granted crown allotment 61, parish of Moorooduc. Consisting of 203 acres, its northern and southern boundaries were those of Witchwood Park (Melway 148 B6), but it fronted both Webbs Lane and Jones Rd. Part of the allotment (61C of 28 acres,north of Pottery Lane)seems to have been granted to F.P.Wagner as a Closer Settlement farm.

OBITUARY ---0-- MISS M. MURRAY. The death occurred on Saturday of Miss Madge Murray, aged 12 years, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. Murray, of Somerville. Although so young, her bright disposition had won her many friends, 'and her parents received many beautiful floral tributes and other expressions of sympathy. The funeral took place in the Frankston Cemetery ,on Sunday. The cortege was formed by a large gathering of relatives and .friends. The casket was carried by Messrs. S. Scott, J. E. Sage, S. C. Martin and F. Martin... The pall bearers were Messrs. C. W. Roach, C. Barber, W.Hutchinson and C. Thornell. The Rev. S. O. Seward read the burial service. Mr. Hector Gamble had charge of the funeral arrangements.
(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard,7-5-1937.)

I must be careful here because I think there may have been more than one Martin family. Leila Shaw has quite a lot of detail in THE WAY WE WERE about the Martin's Corner store.The grocer family seems to have arrived in the early 1900's while the Blacksmith, W.Martin, was there in the 1890's and was involved in the early days of the Fruitgrowers' Association as was Betts, another blacksmith, who was the Secretary and the caretaker of the Mechanics' Institute.

Somerville have strengthened their team and improved their play, and should be able to hold their own against any of the local teams. Martin, Somerville, is deserving of special mention for his play. He is a decided acquisition to the ranks of the fruitgrowers. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 31-5-1902.)

The transfer of a grocer's license from Amelia Holmes to E. A. Martin, of Somerville, was approved.
(P.2, Mornington Standard,8-3-1902.)

Messrs E. A. and A. E. Martin, general storekeeper and wine and spirit merchants, of Somerville, notify that they are carrying an exceptionally large stock of well-selected goods. Quality combined with cheapness is their motto. The firm makes a speciality of patent medicines, every well-known line being kept.
(P.4, Mornington Standard, 18-10-1902.)

From various articles, it seems as if the Hutchinsons were market gardeners in Stumpy Gully Rd, Moorooduc and were involved in the early days of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association.They were probably near Mornington-Tyabb Rd as W.Hutchinson was described as being of Tyabb, as was William Murray whose property was in the parish of Bittern near Edward Jones' Spring Farm.There must have been two cousins,one dying in 1895 and another, possibly also John, experiencing difficulty a couple of years later.It is not known whether they were related to the Hutchinsons of the Frankston gasworks.

I regret to record the death of Mr. John Hutchinson, at the age of 30, at his residence, Moorooduc, on Thursday evening last. The deceased had been for the past two years a martyr to chronic sciatica, and although every medical attendance in the city was obtained at various periods, the deceased experienced little or no relief from his sufferings. The end was not altogether unexpected, and at 6 p.m. on Thursday he quietly passed away. The funeral was hold on Saturday, and was followed by a large number of friends around the district, comprising 21 vehicles, 30 horseman and 31 members of the A.O.F., who walked in front of the hearse, of which society the deceased was an old member. A widow and son are left to mourn the loss of the departed.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 27-6-1895.)

The Somerville Correspondent wrote:
The market gardener's life is not one of unalloyed pleasure. At Mordialloc on Saturday last Mr. J. Hutchinson had the misfortune to lose sight of his horse while enjoying a few minutes in the arms of Morpheus. After having tracked it for some miles he was unable to come up with it and had to walk the best part of the way home. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 8-4-1897.)

Sale of Property.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 6 September 1902 Edition: MORNING. p 4 Article
... Sale of Property. The well-known Westernport orchard and and nursery at Somerville, the property of the late John Holt and leased by Mr Chas. Barber is to be submitted for sale by auction by Messrs Graham and Styles on Wednesday next at noon.

We shall soon have to get iron safes to lock poultry up in at night. The cold weather has no doubt increased sly reynards always too keen appetite. One night last week after gobbling, up one or two clutches of chickens belonging to Mr Barber in mere devilment he killed eleven other fowls. Poultry farming under these conditions certainly does not pay.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 19-4-1900.)

Mr Barber almost lost a valuable horse last week through its slipping backwards down the steep bank of a creek. It took 8 men some time to liberate the poor brute. (P.3, Mornington Standard, 15-9-1898.)

The Barbers were much involved with the Fruitgrowers' Association from 1899 and the Methodist Church by 1896. A court case re a fire (P.3,Mornington Standard, 24-3-1898) leads me to believe that Charles was near the corner of Bungower and Lower Somerville Rds.He lived near the Clarkes and the accused.

Somerville is at the junction of three parishes with Moorooduc separated from Frankston by Eramosa Rd and both of those separated from Tyabb by Jones and Grant Rds respectively. The name of Sage is more often connected with Baxter but the family was also associated with Somerville. Ben Baxter's Carrup Carrup Run was not very far north of Eramosa Rd and when it was broken up and sold after being surveyed, the Sage family and the family of surveyor, Robert Hoddle, both related to Ben Baxter by marriage,received grants adjoining the pre-emptive right. William Firth's grant over Eramosa Rd from Orkney Farm adjoined a Baxter grant. Thus a Sage removal to Somerville was hardly a departure to parts unknown. By 1921, J.E.Sage was on Alfred Jones' Almond Bush Stud, carrying on the horse breeding tradition.

To Stand this season at Somerville At "Almond Bush" Travel if Required. The Champion Pony Stallion MALDON BEAUTIFUL Dappl.rt " foaled 1910, with good, clean, flat bone and plenty of muscle, style and action and stands about 18.2 hands high. Maldon is by Boy out of Fannie. Roy is by Fauntleroy. Maldon's dam, Fannie, is by Silver Prince, grand sire Silver King (imp). Maldon gained the Society's Champion Ribbon at Frankston in 1914, and in 1919 at Royal Show, Melbourne, First in Class as Sire of Harness Ponies, and Champion for Best Pony. TERMS...... For further particulars apply to J. E. SAGE, Somerville. Also at Stud the Pure Bred Berkshire Boar bred by Dookie College ...... FeI lOs Shorthorn Bull At Stud .... Fee 10l.
(P.1s,Frankston and Somerville Standard, 4-11-1921.)

MATRON A. M. SAGE, APPOINTED MATRON-IN-CHIEF HONOR FOR SOMERVILLE WOMAN A little over 12 months ago, Mat ron Sage, of Somerville, arrived in the Middle East, and in a letter to her brother, Mr Arthur Sage, receiv ed this week, she tells of her appointment as Matron-in-Chief of the A.I.F. This is a great honor to a local woman and we will let Matron Sage tell her own story: "You will see by the above address that I have gone up the scale a bit. Miss Wilson was ill and has return ed to Australia and word was sent to me to report immediately to head quarters, where I was told I had to leave my hospital and take over the duties of Principal Matron. ETC. (P.3, Standard, 20-6-1941.)


At least one of our local residents have been helping to buy out the Hey field estate. Mr A. Warren has ob- tained a very nice block said to be one of the most picturesque of the lot.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 2-11-1899.)



by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-07-24 07:14:46

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2011-07-24 07:39:14

19TH Lord Somerville (continued.) He was aged 32 and unmarried. His name was Aubrey John Somerville and he is recorded as having bought 40 acres from the grantee near the Myall Lakes in N.S.W. in August 1866. He was the son of the Reverend Honourable William Somerville and Charlotte (Bagot). I propose a third theory about the naming of the forementioned Mornington Peninsula town of Somerville. It could have been named after Aubrey John Somerville. His mother was a Bagot and it is possible that Robert Cooper Bagot (in 1864, first head of the Victorian Racing Club, which runs the Melbourne Cup) was a relative. Bagot lived in Ascot Vale and just a few miles north were Townshend Somerville, clerk of the Court of Petty Sessions and his neighbour, J.T.Smith,M.P. and a pioneer of that area and Mt Eliza. They probably met at a race meeting where racing enthusiast, the Canadian, Alfred Jones, said a name was needed for his area at the junction of three parishes. Alf owned horses named Lady Somerville and Lord Somerville!

by itellya on 2011-07-24 08:02:04

There are wonderful genealogies on the web about the SOMERVILLES and most of the preceding information came from them.The information about Bagot came from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, early maps etc. The information about Townshend Somerville and John Thomas Smith having adjoining property at North Essendon comes from Broadmeadows Shire rates and the Doutta Galla parish map.Most of the information about Alfred Jones, owner of the Almond Bush Stud, came from Trove (The Argus), Mr Mann's "The Early History Of Mt Eliza" (1926)and the Tyabb parish map; fellow Canadian, J.Hodgins' details came from Mr Mann and the Bittern parish map.

by itellya on 2011-07-24 08:25:13

Townshend Somerville, who died in Essendon in 1991, was said to have lived on his property "Summerhill" for 40 years but his last two years may have been spent at (old) 26 Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds, on which he was assessed.(Annals of Essendon?, Essendon rates.) Townshend was the son of Thomas Somerville and Mary Townshend both born in 1785. He was born in 1812 and was the brother of Admiral Phillip H.T.Somerville who died on 12-5-1881 (Argus 14-7-1881.)Another Somerville was the best known Admiral of W.W.2 and an Irish Somerville, a noted author, was assassinated by Free Staters in 1936. Amen!

by itellya on 2012-07-30 10:08:50

"Better Days" is available from Somerville Football Club. It contains information about the Somerville footballers who defeated Rosebud in the 1936 first semi final. J. Sharp is the only Somerville player about whom no detail was given. Some spectators at the Somerville-Rosebud game on 28-7-2012 thought that Sharp may have been from Frankston. Information about the players and their families came mainly from trove, Murray Gomm and Leila Shaw's "The Way We Were".
Somerville is fortunate to have a "youngster" such as Murray Gomm who has saved a tea chest full of irreplaceable photos and soaked up information from Norm Unthank and others. Contact Murray for the 12 page book.
Players mentioned and some of the detail included is pasted below.

In the last quarter, Somerville outplayed Rosebud and gained a decisive victory.

Somerville. C.Harding (capt.)*, H.Armstrong*, K.Bryant*, R.Gomm*, G.Bryant, C.Martin, C.Murray, G.Gomm*, W.Clark, R.Armstrong*, J.Wood, G.Kay*, G.Bullen*, H.Thornell*, S.Clarke, J.Sharp, P.Currie,* J.Wotherspoon*, 19th-L.Iles. (* Member '35 premier team.)
C.Harding was Claude or Clyde and was known as Darkie. Murray Gomm thinks that the Harding and Scott families were related. Darkie was playing for Somerville by 1928 when he played in the premiership team and was described as a labourer, his christian name given as Claude. A picture of Gunner C.H.Harding is on page 1 of the Standard (Frankston) of 18-4-1941. He was reported as being seriously ill on page 6 of The Advertiser (Adelaide) of 17-2-1942.The Hardings were described as a longtime Somerville family when the death of Elias Harding on 13-5-1945 at the age of 76 was reported. Ray Harding married Phyllis Grant, descendant of a Somerville pioneer. (Frankston and Somerville Standard, 19-12-1931, page 4.) C.Harding seems to have been a good cricketer too, having taken 8 for 10 in one match, H.Thornell, a 1936 football team mate, taking the remaining two wickets for 16 runs. (FSS 28-10-1933, page 8.) Jessie A.Harding was an agent for the State Savings Bank in Somerville. (Mornington Standard 25-5-1912, page 2.) The Hardings were in Eramosa Rd.

Roy Gomm was the son of Edward Gomm. George Gomm was Murray Gomm's father; George and his brother Billy are legends of the Somerville Football Club. They are all descendants of Henry Gomm who left Cheltenham part time in 1861 to set up Glenhoya and brought his wife, Margaret (nee Monk) and young family in 1867. He built the Somerville Hotel in 1904 and Billy nearly lost it because of his SP bookmaking; brother George had to leave his successful rare mineral mining to save the pub, establishing a reputation for culinary excellence. Billy was a high official in the Lands Department, one of his underlings being Henry Bolte, who as Premier visited the hotel on many occasions. Billy dressed immaculately but became a yokel back on the farm and was once seen drinking at the Mornington races with Reg Ansett wearing one shoe and one gumboot. Bill's fondness for a drink led to his drowning in Westernport during a fishing trip. It was not just good luck that the Somerville station was built just across Jones Rd from Glenhoya; Henry's longtime friend Tommy Bent was Minister for Railways circa 1889; as Premier, he opened the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show later on. Many Somerville streets are named after the Gomms; Raymond is Murray's brother. (See Peter Currie re Paddy Gomm.) . Graf Rd is named after Shaun Graf who is a descendant of Henry Gomm despite Henry's best efforts. He had Station master Graf reposted to Ascot Vale (another favour from Tommy Bent) to protect his daughter but she fled to him despite the threat of 'no more money', which was carried out!

Wes Clark would not have been playing in the game if it had been a few weeks later. It is possible that his surname was Clarke and that he was related to S.Clarke (who, Murray Gomm suspects,was in the 2nd A.I.F.) Wes Clarke and his team of 5 horses were severely stung by a swarm of bees which had been terrorising Somerville for some days, while he was ploughing a portion of his father's orchard. (FSS 30-10-1936 page 2.) At times like these the district's bee expert, a member of the Thornell family, would be called upon.(Above source.)

The Bullens had an orchard now occupied by Pembroke Drive. The Unthanks owned this orchard at one stage and I think that the name Pembroke may have come from Mr Morris (from Pembroke in Wales) who married Mrs Unthank's sister ; both girls were daughters of Edward Jones of Spring Farm and Penbank (west of Jones Corner) in Tyabb Rd. The 1936 player was George Bullen. Another Bullen was away in 1932-4 and 1936-7. I think I can guess why Somerville won the premiership in 1935 but not 1936. His name was Horrie Bullen and he played 59 games for Carlton, kicking 38 goals. In his first season, he started in the forward pocket in the grand final team which was narrowly beaten by Richmond 13-14-92 to 12-11-83. Murray Gomm told me that Horrie was recalled by Carlton to nullify the dominance of Captain Blood, Jack Dyer. This explains his second spell at Carlton from 1936 (when Somerville might have gone back to back with his huge presence) when he added 16 more games. Horrie was captain of the Somerville side in 1938.
Some who played for Somerville in 1931 but not 1936 were E.Nelson, R.Jessup, A.Telford, C.Wilson, F.Nilsson, E.Perriman, T.Pearce, R.Thornell, D.Morrison, W.S.Craig and J.Unthank. Pearce might have been a descendant of Nathaniel Pearce who revived the Langwarrin Township during the 1890's depression, and after whom it was named Pearcedale. Ray Jessup was a member of the 1928 premiership team; he and his father Alf, both bootmakers, made a pair of boots for each player in that team. (The Way We Were page 170.) W.S.Craig was probably a son of S.Craig who received a crown grant between the northern part of the Bembridge Golf Course and Watson Inlet. SNIPPETS.
Somerville won a hard-fought grand final against Red Hill in 1935. You will be able to read all the details of this match (except the final scores) on page 6 of the 11-10-1935 issue of the Frankston and Somerville Standard. There is a picture of the victorious team in the Somerville clubrooms. Those in the photo who were not in the 1936 first semi team were Horrie Bullen (at Carlton again), R.Philbrick, W.Craig, R.Durrant, W.Gomm, W.Victor, and L.Clarke. Those marked with an asterisk in the 1936 team appear in the premiership photo. W.Craig was probably a descendant of S.Craig who had land at Melway 141 B12 between Philbricks and Watson's Inlet.

W.S.Craig played his 200th game in his 14th season for Somerville (the goldfinches, as another article reported) against Frankston in 1936.He was living in Pearcedale. (The Argus 27-7-1936.)

by itellya on 2013-05-09 06:22:32

Gee,I didn't realise how little I had written about the town's history. I might spend a little time adding some detail about some of the district's pioneers in the journal. While you're waiting, you might like to read my MURRAY GOMM,LOCAL FOOTY HERO journal to find the connection between Somerville and Albany, Western Australia.
Don't forget to read Leila Shaw's THE WAY WE WERE and to visit the historical society's museum in the Mechanics' Institute.

by itellya on 2013-05-09 11:18:35

BAXTER After residing for 45 years at 'Heath Vale," her pretty little home, Grant Road, Somerville, Mrs. Docwra has sold out and is going to reside with her son, Sydney J., and his wife. She will be greatly missed by her circle of friends, but all wish her good health and happiness. (P.2,Standard, 27-2-1947.)

OBITUARY MR J. DOCWRA Mr Joseph Docwra, 78 years, died at his residence,. "Heathvale," Grant's Road, Somerville, on Saturday last. He was a resident of Somerville for over 50 years, and took a great interest in bird life. His wive and one son survive him. Although notice of the funeral was short, there was a representative attendance at the Frankston Cemetery on Sunday. Pall bearers were: Messrs. E. Barrett , W.Bond, J. Coxens, R. Docwra, A.Dicker, W. Scott, H. Hosking and W. Hicks, The coffin was carried by Messrs. S. J. Doowra, G. Docwra, M. De Bernardi and L. Parry. A. Harris-read the burial se l' the funeral was conducted by Hector Gamble.(P.4, Standard, 28-11-1941.)

A YACHT suddenly capsized off Hastings on October 12 and three gentlemen named Rodwell, Lindsey, and Docwra, and a boatman named Swaine, were drowned. Only one man was saved out of all on board.
(P.6, Argus,8-12-1880.) Had the Docwras left Rushworth for the Peninsula?

Last name: Docwra
This very interesting surname is English, but arguably of Norse-Viking origin. Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including: Docwra, Dockray, Dockerey, Dockwray, Dockeray, and Dockwra, it is a locational name from the village of Dockray in the county of Cumberland. The derivation is from the Norse-Viking word of the pre 7th century "dokk" meaning a hollow or valley, and "vra", meaning a corner. The area was under Norse control for several centuries, and they have left their mark with many place names such as this one. It is first recorded as Dochora in the registers known as "The Feet of Fines" for the year 1195, and later as Dokwra in the rolls called the "Placita de quo Warranto" of 1292. The surname is later, being early 14th Century, (see below). Early examples of church recordings include: Eliza Dockerey, who married John Lewis on January 28th 1606 at St Margarets church, Westminster, and Margaret Dockwra, who married Thomas Arrys on March 23rd 1646 at the church of St. Bartholomew the Less in the city of London. William Dockwray who died in 1716, was a London merchant. He established a postal system in the metropolis in 1680, and was comptroller of the penny post from 1697 to 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John de Dokwra. This was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls" of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward 111,1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. (Surname Database.)

While researching THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM, I discovered that the Docwras, Gomms, Ricketts and several other pioneering families in the area near Somerville had come from the Moorabbin area. The following is just one result from a "Docwra, Moorabbin" search. Joseph was the son of Alfred Docwra and Mary (nee Scott.) Ann Scott, the first white (child/girl?) born at Somerville, who married William Firth may have been related to Alfred's wife.
Joseph Docwra b. 1864 Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia d. 23 Oct ...
Joseph Docwra b. 1864 Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia d. 23 Oct 1941 Somerville, Victoria, Australia.

by itellya on 2013-05-10 05:42:46

PROGRESSIVE SOMER VILLE. THE NURSERIES AND ORCHARDS: No. II, MESSRS. J. M. CALDWELL AND SONS, The orchard owned and occupied by Messrs.J. Caldwell and Sons is situated about two and a half miles from the railway station, and stands on the summit of a steep hill, comprising in all about 146 acres. The area however used for cultivation purposes is only 30 acres, the remainder being used for grazing stock, etc. Unlike the majority of orchardists in the district the Messrs Caldwell are not adepts in horticultural. Prior to their removal to Somerville five years ago, they had no knowledge whatever of this particular industry, having being compelled to resort to it as a means of livelihood owing to a reversal of fortune, and they owe what knowledge they at present possesses to the kindness of their neighbours. Since their residence in the district they have been very active in matters connected with the welfare of the place, and were amongst the promoters of the shows recently held at Somerville, the eldest son being secretary of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association. The orchard is rather overstocked, owing to the trees being originally planted too close which has had a prejudicial effect upon them, and caused them to be rather stunted in their growth, but the Messrs. Caldwell are gradually thinning them out. Notwithstanding this, the fruit grown is of a superior quality, some splendid specimens being shown at the local shows, at which they were large prize- takers. As an instance of the quantity of fruit grown, during the first year 4,200 cases of fruit were sent away, exclusive of which about 90 cases of Early Margarets were given to the pigs. This year, however, the yield was not nearly so large, the most noticeable falling off being in the Five Crown apple, trees usually bearing from 10 cases downwards only bearing an average a little over half a case. Out of a whole row of this particular kind of fruit only one and a half cases were obtained. Prices have also been correspondingly low this season. Two seasons ago as high a price as 15s per case was obtained for the Rome Beauty apple, but at present the price ranges from about 4s 6d up to 6s per case. The former was the highest price obtained during the season. The yield of some varieties of apples have, however, been just as good as ever, notably the Italian Red, 11 cases being got off one tree. It is the custom of the Messrs. Caldwell to put burnt ashes around the foot of the trees in the place of manure, which they find has the effect of giving the fruit a rich bright color. The ashes are not specially burnt for the purpose, but are taken from the logs which have been burnt in the paddock, as well as those from household use. This does not apply to all of the trees, only a few being treated in this manner. The fruit held over when packed is placed in racks specially built for the purpose in the fruit room, then covered over with cloths, the fruit being picked over from time to time in order to allow of any that may have become bruised being sorted out. At present the firm have 100 cases of Stone Pippin in stock, besides which they have between 200 and 900 cases of apples of other varieties, including the Shep- herd's Perfection, Light Aromatic, Rome Beauty, Italian Red, Cleopatra, Nicker Jack and others, all of which are in splendid condition and of good quality, the Shepherd's Perfection being of a beautiful colour, more so than usual, owing, as the Messrs. Caldwell aver, to the use of the ashes above described. A small plot of ground is planted out with young shoots, which when ready will he transplanted into the orchard. Mr. Caldwell, senior, and his two sons, do all the work connected with the orchard. By the courtesy of Mr. J. M. Caldwell our representative was accorded a peep at the collection of preserves shows by Mrs. J. M. Caldwell at the local show, for which she gained the first prize two years in succession. At present the collection numbers nearly 100 varieties, all of which are ranged on shelves in the pantry two and three deep. Our representative was informed that it was the intention of Mrs.J.M.Caldwell not to compete at the next show, but possibly before the time arrives that lady may be prevailed upon to once more enter the lists. [so Inm.a couNisUets.] (P.3, Mornington Standard, 2-7-1896.)

by itellya on 2013-05-10 05:51:28

Fruit Trees for China
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 9 October 1936 p 5 Article
... Fruit Trees for China SOMERVILLE, Thursday. shipment A shipment of fruit trees has been sent to China by Messrs. Caldwell Bros., St Johns Nurseries, Somerville. This is claimed to be the first shipment of its kind to be sent from Victoria to China. The buyer, a Chinese, was formerly in business ...

by itellya on 2013-05-10 07:36:42

Mr A.Warren was the subject of the third article in the PROGRESSIVE SOMERVILLE series (P.3,Mornington Standard, 9-7-1896.) He seems to have been renting his orchard from J.Brunning from 1891 until about 1905, at which time he may have moved to the Apple Isle. An advocate of heavy pruning, he must have been highly regarded and was the judge for fruit at the Kangerong Ag. and Hort. Soc. Show.

Mr. H. H.Hawken has acquired a lease of the orchard property belonging to Mr. J. Brunning and lately occupied by Mr. A. Warren. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 25-8-1906.)

Alfred Warren was actually a Somerville resident for about 20 years and was involved in many community groups. The following article includes a testimonial to his contributions but unfortunately did not mention where his new home would be.

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 9 June 1906 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... FARWELL TO MR ALFRED WARREN. This took the outward and visible sign of a "smoke smoke night" at the Hotel Somerville on the evening of Thursday day week. Between 50 and 60 gentlemen were present to ... presented to Mr Warren before leaving, and a "smoke night" was chosen as the most convenient form for the ... 886 words

by itellya on 2013-05-10 21:15:43

My guess that Alfred Warren might have moved to Tasmania was due to a Mr A.Warren suggesting a way to deal with birds that were devastating orchards there at about the time that I thought the Somerville resident had left. However, that Warren family had arrived in Tasmania circa 1880. It is far more likely that Alfred had moved to Heyfield, the gateway to the High Country, near the Thompson River in Gippsland. He had bought land there in 1899. (The article actually made it into my journal.) When I saw the par in the Mornington Standard, I thought it might have been somewhere near that paper's circulation area. This made it seem even more likely:

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 19 October 1899 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... a sire. The day on which the sale of furniture, stock and effects of the Heyfield estate was ..

However, later mentions of Tyson and the late Jimmy, dispelled this theory. In 1841, the original settler, James McFarlane had called the area Hayfield, but by 1866 when James Tyson acquired the property, it was Heyfield.

by itellya on 2013-05-12 09:44:54

Like Red Hill pioneer, George Higgens, the Griffieth brothers had a surname that was a tad too complicated for local journalists who rendered it as Griffeth or Griffith. I found the will of George Griffieth two years ago when I was researching THE FEMALE DROVER.The will gave his address in America and if my memory is correct, he actually died there and not in Melbourne. I would not have found the announce- ment of his death on trove unless for some strange reason I had entered: G. Griffellti.

Mr. Charles Griffieth Dead
The death occurred at Moorooduc on Monday night of Mr. Charles Griffieth, managing director of Two Bays Nurseries and Orchard Co., Pty. Ltd. He was aged 81 years. Mr. Griffieth and his late brother, Mr. George Griffieth, were the founders of an extensive business of nurserymen and orchardists carried on at Somerville, Moorooduc, Nyah, and other places for many years. The brothers were born in the State of New York, U.S.A., and came to Australia more than 50 years ago. The business is now carried on at Moorooduc, the orchard comprising about 700 acres. Mr.Griffieth was a widower. (P.6, Argus, 7-11-1934.)

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 14 September 1907 Edition: MORNING. p 3 Article
... The Peninsula Official Directory. SHIRE COUNCILS. Frankston and Hastings-President, George Griffeth.

Death of Cr. G. Griffellti -... - -- 13 It was with deep reret tt:x£( was received of thel eaith cttrl cillor George (;rifeth, of thh Bays Nurseries," t;omil:'r i £7 Thursday list at prilvt t:e ni Melbourne, at the an:e ofi 6;i4 Although being in failin i' " for some time, deah :': )7 - ted, and no particu!aramet'?

Oh,you want it in English! Okay.

Death of Cr. G. Griffieth It was with deep regret that news was received of the death of councillor George Griffieth, of the "Two Bays Nurseries," Somerville on Thursday last at private hospital Melbourne, at the age of 67 years. Although being in failing health for some time, death was unexpected,and no particulars are to (hand?) (P.2, Mornington Standard, 31-3-1917.)

Mr Geo.Griffeth, of Two Bays nurseries, who has been elected president of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association for the ensuing twelve months, hails from Stuban County, New York, where he was born in 1850. His father carried on a very successful fruit growing and nursery business on a shores of Lake (Senoga?), in the States, and Mr Griffieth served. a long apprenticeship there which he has turned to good account here. He went subsequently to Canada, and 12 years ago came to Australia, and, after a tour through the colony, took up the land at Somerville upon which he is now settled, and with his brother, Mr Chas Griffeth, founded the Two Bays, which has come to be generally regarded as one of the leading fruit-tree nurseries in the Colony.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-6-1902.)

by itellya on 2013-05-26 11:14:00

I remember a sad story from when I wrote THE FEMALE DROVER. It concerned a bookmaker who had committed suicide. He had been experiencing financial difficulties but it was thought that the main cause was grief over the death of his wife. The family was much involved with the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association and with sport in the area in early days, with cricket teams playing for the Dicker Trophy.

There's nothing in these death notices to reveal the sad tale!
Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 4 September 1901 p 1 Family Notices
... DICKER.-On the 2nd September, at his residence, Highfield, Somerville, Thomas Harrie Dicker, aged 38 ... letters, and floral tributes in their sad bereave ment. FUNERAL NOTICES. DICKER. - The friends of the late THOMAS HARRIE DICKER are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of internment ... 1183 words

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 20 October 1900 p 9 Family Notices
DEATHS. DICKER.-On the I8th October, at Somerville, Louisa Jane, the beloved wife of Harrie Dicker, aged 36 y ... Friends of HARRIE

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 4 September 1901 p 8 Article
A magisterial inquiry was held this afternoon on the remains of the late Harrie Thomas Dicker, a well-known bookmaker, particulars of whose death appeared in "The Argus" to-day. The inquiry was held before Mr. Alfred Jones, J.P., and a post-mortem examination was made by Mr. S. Plowman. A number of witnesses were examined, and the verdict was that deceased died by his own hand by strangulation whilst temporarily insane. He had been much attached to his wife, who died a few months ago suddenly, and close to where he committed the deed relics of his late wife were found. He had also been greatly troubled of late over money matters. He was a very popular man in this district.

Another tragedy took place at "Highfield" not long before the death of Louisa Jane (nee Gill.)
GILL. On the 10th February, at the residence of his brother-in-law, Mr. H. Dicker, Frank Henry Smith, only beloved son of Henry and the late Elizabeth Gill, brother of Mrs. W.Williams, Mrs. H. Dicker, and Mrs. W. Edwards,aged 28 years 9 months. At rest.(P.1, Argus, 11-2-1899.)

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 11 October 1894 Edition: MORNING. p 4 Article Illustrated

The family remained in the area, a couple of Dicker girls being skittled while riding their bikes near Mornington Junction much later. However the youngsters (Harrie was only 38) must have left the property soon after the suicide, perhaps to be cared for neighbours or relatives at Baxter which probably wasn't very far from Highfield, going by the report of a fire in 1898. *I also took a stab and entered "Dicker, Mornington Junction" on trove and received confirmation that Highfield was probably in the parish of Frankston or east of Grants Rd near Docwras in the parish of Tyabb.

THE PERPETUAL EXECUTORS and TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION of AUSTRALIA, LIMITED, 113 Queen Street Melbourne, invite Tenders for the Leasing of the Orchard and Home stead, at Somerville, known as "Highfield," in the Estate of the late Thos. H. Dicker. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 21-11-1901.)

*Shocking Death at Mornington Junction. MR H. DICKER STRANGLES HIMSELF. INSANE WITH GRIEF.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 5 September 1901 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article

REMARKABLE EGG-LAYING.BAXTER, Sunday,- Six White Leghorn pullets entered in the 1928-29 Eastern Districts'
Egg Laying competitions by Mr. Alan Dicker, of the Highfield Poultry Farm , put up a remarkable performance. They won the team test with 1,680 eggs, averaging 280 eggs a bird, and the trio section with 595 an average of 296 a bird, and one bird by scoring 307 secured an equal first in the singles section. It is very doubtful if any better record than this has been established by an equal number of birds by any of the recognised egg-laying competitions in Victoria.
(P.16,Argus, 8-4-1929.)

by BarbiMcGrath on 2014-08-31 10:32:45

Hello there, I just found an interesting newspaper clip from 1910 referencing Somerville House, Capt. Frances Griffin, Caherfinick,Doonbeg. My cousin and I can't seem to locate a Somerville House near Clare, so we think it might be referencing two residences. I'd love to email you the clip in a word file from the Limerick Leader Oct 23 1910 "AEROPLANE FLIGHT IN CLARE, REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT BY CAPTAIN GRIFFIN. etc. Thanks for taking a look.
~Barbie McGrath

by itellya on 2014-10-24 18:57:09

Unable to confirm the location of Mr S.Webb's farm in Tucks Rd near Red Hill, I thought I'd see if he and Mr C.Webb, also of Red Hill were related to the Somerville Webbs.

That is how I found that the Webbs at Somerville were orchardists as well as manufacturers of bricks. The following article has photos of methods at Mr Webb's orchard.
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Saturday 20 May 1916 p 56 Article Illustrated

I presume the orchard and brickworks were both near Webb's Lane on crown allotment 63A (part of Joseph Porta's original grant) or 61(into which Pottery Lane runs) in the parish of Moorooduc.

(From Our Own Correspondent)
We regret to have to record a serious accident which happened to George Webb, son of Mr G. Webb, of Malvern. Mr Webb sen. is one of the Government shorthand writers, and though residing at E. Malvern, has an orchard at Somerville. Mr Webb jr. was trying
a young horse on Thursday last, but in attempting a jump over a fence the horse struck heavily, and, together with its rider, fell badly. The result was that Mr Webb was rendered unconscious, and found himself long afterwards walking towards home.

He was taken late in the night to Dr Plowman, of Frankston, who ascertained that the right fore-arm was badly shattered, the fracture being compound, and one of the bones projecting an inch or two beyond the skin. The face was also badly abraded and bruised. It was thought at one time that some of the projecting bones would have to be removed or the external wound enlarged to reduce the injury, but with consider-able effort Dr. Plowman succeeded in reducing the fracture under chloroform.
We are glad to say the patient is now doing remarkably well.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 23-11-1899.)

A rather nasty accident happened to Mr. G. O. Webb last Saturday evening. Since the last time Mr. Webb was in the township, alterations have been made at the railway platform.When leaving the station, Mr. Webb walked in his accustomed direction, but
in the darkness, did not notice the alterations, and suddenly fell off the extended platform into a new rampway, sustaining a nasty injury to one knee and general shock.(P.2,Mornington Standard,12-10-1907.)

It seems certain that the orchardist and brickmaker were one and the same.

The work in connection with the new brick works at Somerville is proceeding rapidly. On Thursday last truck loads of machinery arrived and is being carried to the site of the work. Mr G. O. Webb, the proprietor, expects to have everything in order and a kiln out in a few weeks.(P.3, Mornington Standard, 26-7-1902.)

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