THE FEMALE DROVER: A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC, VIC., AUST. (Part 1.) (Pages 1-10.)
THE FEMALE DROVER :A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC. PAGE 1.
(THE PHOTO CAN BE SEEN IN LESLIE MOORHEAD'S BOOK.)
PHOTO FROM MOOROODUC PRIMARY SCHOOL 1880-1980 BY L.MOORHEAD.
Shirley Bourne was my heroine;
I wished I could ride that way.
She’d still win the flag and barrel race
With a baby on the way.
Thus went Leila Shaw's remembered ode
About the girl from Three Chain Road
And our story will begin
With pioneers named White and Quinn.
The Argus 20-12-1938 page 14. Notice is given that in 14 days probate of the will of Mary Ann Roberts, late of Moorooduc, widow, may be granted to William John Bourne, farmer, of Moorooduc.
In August 2011, having read just about every local history book about the peninsula, it struck me that I had not seen one about Rosebud. On looking up the library catalogue, I discovered that there were a few, but most were labeled “not for loan”.
This inspired me to make local history more readily available and I started to research the Rosebud-Dromana area. Having read Leila Shaw’s wonderful “The Way We Were”, I discovered a link between Rosebud and Somerville, so Moorooduc is now within my field of interest, especially since a descendant of two of Moorooduc’s oldest families responded to my Desperately Seeking request for information.
Moorooduc was the name of a parish, which contained the townships of Osborne and Schnapper Point, as well as Mt Martha and Mt Eliza. Canadian Bay Rd was originally called Boundary Rd. The parish extended east to Derril Rd and (north of Tyabb Rd) to Jones Rd in Somerville and north to Canadian Bay Rd. It is not my intention here to cover the whole parish or to repeat Leila Shaw’s information. To start, I will deal with pioneers near Three Chain Road (Old Moorooduc Rd) and expand eastward as new information comes to hand. This history will not be redrafted because my PENINSULA DICTIONARY HISTORY, now about 140 pages long in its infancy, will never be finished if I spend too much time on side projects such as this. Historical societies may make whatever use of it they wish but I ask that it be made available to the public at the lowest possible price.
Lately local historians have begun to acknowledge the contribution made in harsh conditions by our pioneering women and “Those Courageous Hardy Women” does this superbly. These women could not afford to be genteel and would have gone to bed exhausted every night. Many of them ran the farm while hubby lopped trees, made roads, and otherwise worked off the farm to make ends meet.
It was the female drover who inspired me to write this history but the choice of title was also made to remind readers that our pioneering women were super heroes!
THREE CHAIN ROAD.
This is now known as Old Moorooduc Rd but when Shirley Walter was a female drover, her address was Three Chain Rd. Shirley was the daughter of William Bourne, who came from England in 1912 and later bought 130 acres on the aforementioned road. It would be an exaggeration to say that Shirley could ride before she could walk but there probably wasn’t much in it.
The front gate of the farm was just across the freeway from the end of Range Rd, which was known as Whites Road in those days- and what a pity that the name was
changed. Strangely, or so it would seem, Shirley went to the Osborne School rather than Moorooduc. The former was slightly closer but another advantage was that Shirley’s aunt lived near the Craigie Rd school and Shirley could leave her pony there. Shirley’s mother had attended the Moorooduc school, at the corner of Derril and Tyabb Rds, in the first decade of the 1900’s.
Shirley’s mother was Leila. Her parents were Peter White and Ethel (nee Roberts). Ethel, known to all as May, was apparently a teacher and not related to the Roberts family of Main Ridge. Peter’s parents were William White and Margaret (Stevens). William’s father was also called William. It was this original William who must have received the freehold of allotments 28 and 30 from a brother named Andrew, the grantee. (See Annals 17-1-1865.) Peter White, perhaps another brother of the original William, bought allotment 30A of 19 acres near the creek on 21-8-1884. With three generations having lived there, it is no wonder that the road leading from Pt Nepean Rd to their front gate was called White’s Road. Why was Whites Rd renamed Range Rd? The reason will be given later.
As can be seen, the Whites were very early settlers on Three Chain Rd. Peter White had no sons and was living on the old Quinn farm on the corner of Moorooduc and Tyabb Rd, closer to his work as a slaughterman in Mornington. Their farm south of Tuerong Park was sold to a Mr Smith, a local farmer, from whom William Bourne bought it in 1922 after returning from the war. There is no known connection between the Moorooduc Whites and the families of Bullocky Bob White (after which Whites Rd off Purves Rd was named) and Blooming Bob White, also of Red Hill.
Without access to a parish map, it is amazing how closely Shirley Walters was able to describe boundaries. Allotment 28 became the property of Mr Free with a small portion fronting Vineyard Lane belonging to Mr Clarke. In our first phone conversation, Shiley told me that the Bournes had 130 acres; allotments 30 and 30A total 128 acres 3 roods and 37 perches.
TIm and Elizabeth Quinn were another pioneering family. They arrived in 1856 and bought a property of about 20 acres at the north west corner of Mornington-Tyabb and Moorooduc Rds where the electricity sub-station is now located. Tim was a contractor who built the Mornington-Tyabb Road. The steep hill from their property heading toward Mornington, and Balcombes Ck at the bottom, were known as Quinns Hill and Quinns Creek by old timers. Their daughter Mary married a Mr Roberts (who probably had land near Roberts Rd and helped Joseph Porta make Victoria’s first bellows) and their daughter married Shirley’s grandfather, Peter White. Timothy Quinn was, of course, a good Irish Catholic but his chance of participating in a Mass was almost nil. The Catholics at Rye could bring a priest across the bay but Moorooduc was probably too far from any established parish. I guess Timothy was less bigoted than was usual at the time, and with the early church diagonally across the intersection (146 E6) the family became Presbyterians.
MILK FOR DROMANA.
In the early 1930’s much of Dromana’s 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 Boag’s 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.
I can remember stock being driven across Racecourse Rd in Newmarket in the early 1950’s but it was not long before an overpass was built to prevent frightened steers from terrifying motorists and pedestrians. That was in the days when Clock traffic lights were still in use. Traffic was lighter on the peninsula, especially before the war, and when Emily Trueman was thrown from her jinker on the highway at Rye in 1935, it was some time before she was found unconscious.
It is hard to appreciate how Mornington has grown since the 1980’s. And how lacking in vision it was to close the railway in 1983 just when patronage was about to explode! At the time that Shirley Bourne and her brother, Clarrie, were droving cattle to and from the Tanti Market, Mornington was a country town, not suburbia. The Tanti Hotel was much smaller in those days and the market had a frontage of about 200 metres to the highway between the hotel and a garage, just north of the railway line, run by Mr Campbell. The western boundary was Government Rd. If people wanted stock driven to the market, they would ring the Bournes who had one of the first phones in the district.
After the market Shirley and Clarrie would drive stock to the buyers’ properties, such as steers to the Wilsons at Safety Beach, sheep to Bella Bella east of Pearcedale and to Lou Abraham’s racehorse stud “Tongala Park” at Red Hill. One of Lou’s well known horses was Gay Lad.
When trucks became more powerful and roads more dangerous, Shirley had turned her attention to motherhood and Clarrie bought a stock transport truck, operating from Mornington. Others engaged in this business were Dave Allen of Mornington and Bill Crowe in the Balnarring/Bittern area.
Most people driving though Mornington probably do not even notice the sign pointing to the street named after one of the area’s most influential people. He opposed a proposed site for the town’s school because it was a swampy wasteland; today it is
Alexandra Park! He was a member of Parliament and a prominent auctioneer. W.F.Vale and Co. auctioned the Stenniken grant on the west corner of Truemans Rd at Tootgarook at their rooms (412 Collins St) on 4-2-1920.
A member of this wealthy family bought much land north of the Sea Lane (Bruce Rd.) It was his daughter Phyllis and her husband, Herbert A. Jackson who lived on the property, thus giving the name of Jacksons Hill to the steep climb starting near the homestead. The northern boundary of their land was Range Rd. The south boundary was Ellerina Rd (Bruce Rd), the boundary between Moorooduc and Kangerong parishes, which was known in those days as the sea lane.
Phyllis and Shirley had a common love of horses and competed all over in horse shows, travelling as far afield as Lilydale. As well as show horses, Phyllis owned racehorses, one of which was Helion, 2nd in the 1954 Melbourne Cup; no shame in being beaten by the great Rising Fast! One of her workers, Sue Knight, was placed in the Garryowen in 1950 on one of Phylis’s horses.
In the Garryowen during the Royal Melbourne Show in 1941, Mrs Herbert Jackson was mounted on Devon. Another to be involved with the Moorooduc area, Mrs Ken Moore of Clover Cottage, Berwick, won several events; Ken, involved in the Two Bays Nursery, owned Tuerong Park for a time. (Argus 6-9-1941.)
On March 2nd 1950, at St Andrews Hospital, East Melbourne, William Frederick Vale of “Ardoyne”, 54 Sutherland Rd, Armadale passed away. He was the devoted husband of the late Eliza Margaret and loved father of Fred (deceased 1st A.I.F.) and Phyllis (Mrs Herbert A.Jackson of Dalkeith, Mt Martha.) (Argus 3-3-1950.)
The Argus of 23-9-1954 had a long article, with photos, about Phyllis introducing the European system of training horses and riders at Dalkeith. This involved tutelage by a Hungarian expert and a narrow lane leading to jumps to prevent the horses from baulking. Bill Bull, who trained and rode for Phyllis, could not believe the improvements although he was a leading show rider. (On 28-1-1948, the engagement of Bill Bull, son of George, to Kath Rollason of Eaglemont was announced in the Argus.)
The History of Dalkeith appears on page 275 of the Shire of Mornington’s Heritage Study. The Moumt Martha Run was occupied by Dallymore and then Aitken before James Hearn took it up. Hearn acquired the pre-emptive right as well as over 1100 acres between Hearn and Bay Rds and 850 acres to the west, north and east of the P.R. The last of these allotments, 29A, encompassed the Tubbarubba diggings.
Robert Watson purchased 3000 acres in 1876 (stated elsewhere in the study as 1871) and set up a homestead block near Lempriere Ave, building a house called Melrose. (I think this is a mistake; it was probably Melville.) He sold 1300 acres in 1888 but retained Melrose and pastoral holdings around Dalkeith, which he leased to such as Thomas Appleyard and Alfred Head. (Both men were grantees in the parish of Balnarring and Appleyard in Kangerong too.) William Vale, a Mornington farmer and Real Estate Agent bought Dalkeith in about 1901. (Heritage Study, Balnarring and Kangerong maps.)
Watson, after whom Watson Rd in Mt Martha was named, probably did not do much farming, as the study said that his main reason for settling in the area concerned his health. The Argus of 28-4-1881 carried the following advertisement:
GRAZING MT MARTHA ESTATE, NEAR MORNINGTON.
Tenders are called for the grazing on the following parts of the Mt Martha Estate, either together or separately and for one or a term of years:
Clarendon Park (321 acres; St James and Waverly Parks (510 acres with station and stockyards); Dalkeith Park (about 760 acres).
For conditions or to view, apply to the proprietor, Robert Watson, Melville House, Mornington.
As Moorooduc was consistently referred to as being in Mornington, it is unclear whether Watson was actually living in the township of Mornington. If he was living on his estate at Mt Martha, Graeme Butler may have been wrong calling his house there Melrose, unless the Argus got it wrong.
Alfred Head was on Dalkeith Park at about the time that Vale bought it, as reports of fat sheep sales in the Argus of 21-3-1900 and 5-8-1903 show. Alfred was the returning officer for elections in the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong. A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA P. 111.
The Aitken who leased the Mt Martha run was probably John Aitken after whom Mt Aitken on the Calder Highway west of Sunbury was named. He was the first to have sheep on the Mornington Peninsula; when the Chile ran aground off Arthurs Seat in March, 1836 with 1600 of his sheep aboard. After such a traumatic experience for his sheep, he probably rested them nearby, perhaps on Dalkeith, before undertaking the long trip to Melbourne. It is highly likely that Mr Aitken of Kenyer Park, Moorooduc, who had married Miss Dyer, was a descendant of John Aitken; they celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary on 19-4-1945. A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA P.12,24. BULLA BULLA I.W. Symonds.
As mentioned earlier, this was known by pioneers as Whites Rd. Shirley told me that the land across Three Chain Rd from the Bourne farm (Melway 151 G9) was a rifle range and the most direct route there from the Balcombe army camp (151 C1) was along this road. The soldiers used to take a short cut through the Bourne farm to the rifle range.
So far, the White and Quinn families have been mentioned. Alexander Sutherland probably started Victoria and its Metropolis a year or so before he bought Heronswood in Dromana, built by his old Professor at Melbourne University. He made sure that all the pioneers of Victoria got a mention- as long as they subscribed to his publication! Luckily, two of our pioneers did so.
JONES Alfred, J.P., Somerville, was born in London and went to Canada, British America, at the age of 10 years in 1832. He arrived in Victoria in March 1853 and going with a party of five to Bendigo, he obtained 15 ounces of gold in five weeks. He then went to the McIvor diggings, but not being successful there, proceeded to Frankston, whence he supplied the town of Melbourne and the troops with firewood at three pounds ten shillings per load. Finding at the end of two years that competition was materially bringing down the prices, he went inland and rented Baxter’s Flat for five years. In 1860, he purchased 500 acres of land at Somerville, then called Tyabb, and settled there. He
still resides on his land, breeding horses and growing fruit. Mr Jones is a Justice of the Peace for the central Bailiwick.
Colin McLear mentions on page 109 of “A Dreamtime of Dromana” that Alfred Jones was a butcher at Somerville who was involved in a horse race, the Frankston and Schnapper Point Handicap, at Mr Rennison’s on 3-2-1868. Rennison was a publican in Mornington. Other Moorooduc residents involved in this pursuit at various times were B.Benton, Mr Webster and presumably George Byrne. It is likely that the race meeting occurred on allotment 11B of the parish of Moorooduc between Balnarring and Derril Rds, the western end of which is now the Rockleigh Stone Quarry.
Leslie Moorhead mentions that E.J.Jones, J.Turner and S.Absolom, three Moorooduc pioneers, met at the saw mill in Graydens Rd (on the site of the cricket grounds) in 1861. The story goes that they felled a tree to get honey from a hive that was on it. (Probably a less hazardous method than that used by Bob Wilson and Alf Hanson at Red Hill 40 years later that nearly cost Bob his life! - Memoirs of a Larrikin.)
TWO JONES FAMILIES?
Just as there were two different Gomm families in the vicinity of Brighton and then the vicinity of Somerville, the latter area seems to have had two different Jones families. Alfred, who ran the Almond Bush Stud at Somerville, was buried at Frankston Cemetery after dying on 2?-1-1906 at the age of 84. Grave inscriptions from that cemetery give details about people who were members of one of these families or the other. Charles A.Jones, who died on 8-12-1939 at the age of 68, married Hannah Elizabeth, the daughter of William and Mary E. Unthank. Hannah died on 22-3-1959 at the age of 83. Charlotte Emily, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Hodgins, who died on 10-5-1941, married another Jones lad whose name is not recorded on the gravestone.
One would assume that these and other members of the Jones family buried at Frankston were related to Alfred, but it is interesting that one of the descendants of Edward Jones of Spring Farm at Moorooduc was named Charles. Alfred moved to Canada from London as a boy but Edward came from Wales. Two of the farms owned by Edward’s family were Criccieth and Penbank, both named after places in the area where Edward was involved in the more intricate aspects of ship- building carpentry. His expertise in this trade and a sojourn in South Australia led to an increase in his wealth and the given name of Wakefield for one of his boys .(Spring Farm Heritage Assessment 2009,Lorraine Huddle.) Edward Jones married Sarah Howes. (Death notice for William Howes in the Argus of 17-6-1930.)
Edward and Sarah Jones of Spring Park had the following children, John E (presumably the first son, who died before George, George (who died at the age of 75 at Criccieth on 14-12-1947), Emma (Mrs Woodhouse who died at the age of 82 on 30-7-1951), Mary (who married Robert H.Morris from South Wales in 1900; they were living at Penbank, probably on the present school block, in 1925), Frank, Alice (Mrs A.W.Shepherd, David’s mother) and Charlie. George married Mabel Fleming and they had one child, Gwen, who married Fred Unthank of Balnarring. (Sources George’s death notices in the Argus of 15-12-1947, Morris 25th Anniversary notice.)
The Argus of 19-12-1928 records the sale of 175 acres in Moorooduc to H.K.Field on account of the executor of Edward Jones. This was definitely Spring Farm, 15 A and B Bittern, a total of 175 acres 2 roods and 21 perches. Whether the sale fell through or the family leased and repurchased the property, the Jones occupancy continued until 1941.
As Graeme Butler confused Spring Farm and Penbank in the 1980’s and Lorraine Huddle’s Spring Farm Heritage Assessment of 2009 did not remove the confusion, I have asked that it should be made crystal clear that Spring Farm was not at Jones Corner.
Part of a letter sent to council’s planning department.
Not much has to be done to ensure the accuracy of the assessment so that historians using it in the future do not perpetuate mistakes (as Bruce Bennett did in The Butcher, the Baker, The because C.N.Hollinshed wrote about Edward Williams as if he was Edward White in Lime Land Leisure.)
The pages which contain inaccuracies are pages 7 and 28, mainly because of quotes from Butler’s study and Lorraine’s statements that appear to support his misconceptions. I suggest that page 7, from “The location formed a local hub… (and the quote) be replaced with:
Spring Farm was at the south west of Mornington-Tyabb and Stumpy Gully Roads. Edward Jones’ family also owned two nearby farms, “Criccieth” and “Penbank”, both named after places in the area of Wales where Edward Jones had lived. It was “Penbank” on which the Jones’ store was built at Jones Corner. This farm is also referred to as the Derril Road Property. Although Spring Park was the home of Edward and Sarah Jones and not the community hub established at Jones Corner, it was certainly a focus of community life because of the entertainments held in the Spring Farm barn. It can be argued that if Edward had not lived at Spring Farm, and bought Penbank, the community facilities would never have been built at Jones Corner.
In his Shire of Mornington Heritage Study, Graeme Butler drew an incorrect conclusion that the Jones property at Jones Corner was Spring Farm. The following map shows Spring Farm, Criccieth and Penbank (the property at Jones Corner that Butler thought was Spring Farm.) Criccieth consisted of crown allotments 12A and 9A in the parish of Bittern (126 acres.) Penbank was Allotment 5, Moorooduc, of 266 acres and granted to A.McKay. By 1925, the name was applied to a 40 acre block occupied by Robert H. Morris, Edward Jones’ son in law. This block was later owned by David Shepherd and now houses the Penbank School.
George Edward could not have been the G.E.R.Jones on Oak Hill in 1924; his wife’s name was Mabel, not Ivy. Nor could the occupant of Oak Hill have been George’s son; he did not have a son.
THE MAP OF THE THREE JONES FARMS (SPRING FARM, PENBANK AND CRICCIETH) COLD NOT BE TRANSFERRED.
A notice of an application to seek probate of the will of John Edward Jones, in the Argus of 16-10-1928, shows that John was a retired Shire Secretary. His residence was in Gweno Avenue, Frankston. This indicates that he had subdivided a property there and named the street after his niece, George and Mabel’s Gwen. His executors were Francis Wakefield Jones, a Moorooduc farmer, and Charles William Jones a carrier of Moorooduc. John was at Moorooduc in 1909 when his wife won a Robur Tea reward (Argus 26-6-1909.) His property at Frankston was called “The Heights”. He had only one child, Alice Warland (Allie), who married Frederick Augustus, the son of Cr C.Murray and the late Elizabeth Murray. Their wedding was at St Andrews, Somerville and they settled on Little Farm, Moorooduc, still their residence when daughter, Joan, arrived. (Argus 12-6-1920 marriage, 19-1-1921 birth.)
Edward may have bought property in South Australia during his working visit, as his will was cleared for probate by that state’s Supreme Court (Argus 10-9-1925.)
Charles William was still a carrier in 1930 and had the misfortune to lose a bag of wood between Melbourne and Frankston (Argus 11-10-1930.)
The occupant of Oak Hill was George Edward Redvers Jones, the son of Mr and Mrs J.H.Jones of “Gladwyne” Moorooduc, late of Tallarook. Ivy Stella Brunt had lived at Jolimont but her paternal grandmother had lived at Officer. (Jones-Brunt marriage notice, Argus 30-12-1922.) Was this a third Jones family?
W.Jones who bought 80 acres at the corner of Queens Rd and South Boundary East (Melway 140 F 10) might have been Alfred Jones’ father. The Argus of 14-8-1857 described this land as lot 21 and J. Watson’s purchase as lot 22 (of 23 lots all over the place). Jones’ 80 acre triangle and Watson’s 320 acres were actually crown allotments 1 and 2 in the parish of Tyabb. Watson’s land was south of W.Jones’ land and was obviously the origin of the name of Watsons Inlet.
Alfred Jones’ Almond Bush Stud must have been on crown allotment 5 of the parish of Tyabb. This triangular block was bounded by Baxter- Tooradin Rd, Ingersoll Rd and Lower Somerville Rd. Alfred also had another triangular block across Lower Somerville Rd, east of Ingham’s land. (107 J8). Almond Bush St heads straight toward the western boundary of this smaller triangle.
Alfred Jones had represented the area as a councilor for 20 years by 1887, and continued to do so.
SHEPHERD William H., Somerville is a native of this colony, born in South Yarra. He went to Tyabb in 1860. When 21 years of age he selected 160 acres of land and commenced business as a market gardener. The land on which he is located now is his freehold property and he finds the land suitable for all kinds of nursery plants and of fruit with the exception of oranges and lemons. Mr Shepherd is married and has a family of two sons.
David Shepherd’s father, William Shepherd, possibly the grandson of the original William, married Alice Jones in the second wedding service conducted in the Tyabb Church of England. The Shepherd family had established a successful nursery at Somerville and, in 1947,William and Alice transferred its operation to land that they had bought at the corner of Moorooduc and Tyabb Rds.
Leslie Moorhead’s centenary book for Moorooduc Primary School gives the following detail. James Firth selected land in 1857 and was joined by his brothers, John and William. The brothers engaged in timber getting. Descendants are still (1980) on Stumpy Gully Rd. The Firths used their bullocks to plough Bungower Rd in preparation for its construction. In “Lime Land Leisure”, C.N.Hollinshed adds the following. John, the great grandfather of the three Firth lads had married Margaret Harvey. (It is possible that the Harveys of Red Hill were related to the Firths.)
The Firths were native of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands. James (born 1830) and John selected land at the corner of Eramosa and Stumpy Gully Rds while William was further east near Coolart Rd. While remaining in Moorooduc, the brothers bought land in the parish of Balnarring on Myers Rd: John 110 acres in 1876, William 235 acres in 1878 and James 319 acres in 1880. John became a Mornington Councillor. William bred Clydesdales. The brothers eventually sold their Balnarring land but in 1937, James Firth’s son, Andrew, and his son, Lindsey, bought 223 acres across Myers Rd from the land James had bought in 1880. (The parish map does not show grants to John Firth or William Firth. It is likely, due to the location of Firth Rd that William bought crown allotment 66 and possibly 69 from Loughlin Counsel.)
PAGE 11-21 are in THE FEMALE DROVER Part 2.
on 2012-02-18 10:07:14
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.