THE MISSING HISTORY OF HORSE RACING AT DROMANA, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.
LINKS FOR ARTICLES AND MAPS IN BOLD TYPE WILL NEED TO BE PASTED INTO YOUR SEARCH BAR.
In an idle moment, I stumbled upon a mention on Trove of the Arthurs Seat Racing Club. This club seems to have operated from 1868 to 1889 but is not mentioned on pages 161-3 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. Links only have been given to most articles about race meetings. The names of the officials of the racing/ sports clubs are of interest.
The first race meeting in the district, according to page 109 of Colin McLear's history, was held on 3-2-1868 at Rennison's, which may have been crown allotment 11B, section A, parish of Moorooduc, consisting of almost 240 acres and granted to Thomas Rennison on 21-5-1880. Rennison's grant is roughly indicated by Melway 152 C-G 7 stretching from Balnarring Rd to the once straight Derril Rd. See the parish map:
Moorooduc, County of Mornington [cartographic material] / drawn and ...
Practically the same people involved in Colin's report of the first meeting (P.109) are named as officials of the Arthurs Seat Racing Club's DROMANA ANNUAL RACE MEETING to be held on March 26, 27, 1868, perhaps on the same course.
Colin McLear had obtained his details about the 1868 race meeting at Rennison's from George McLear's journal and not having seen reports of any earlier meetings, presumed that it was the first in the district. It wasn't. Unfortunately only the dates of the local meetings in 1864 were given with no mention of the bodies and people involved.
RACES TO COME.
2— Dromana Races
6,7, Smeaton Races . -
7,8 Benalla Races
7, 8— Hcathcote Races
7, 8— Schnapper Polnt and Frankston Races; etc.
(Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (Melbourne, Vic. : 1857 - 1868) Saturday 2 April 1864 p 3 )
THE DROMANA RACE COURSE WAS GAZETTED IN 1872.
It included both the present Recreation Reserve at Melway 160 HJ 7,8 and the Dromana Secondary College site, originally of 117 acres but reduced by about 2.75 acres gazetted in 1916 , for the construction of Old White Hill Rd.
Kangerong, County of Mornington [cartographic material] / photo ...
Extract. (I have given some details of probable residence in brackets for the officials.)
Under the Management of the Arthur's Seat Racing Club.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1889.
Messrs. Robt. Anderson,(Barragunda, Cape Schanck);
G.McLear, (Dromana, "Maryfield", opposite the drive-in site);
John C.(Calvin) Griffiths (GRIFFITH!,Dromana, probably c/a 28B, section B, Wannaeue at Melway 190CD 5,6, for which he received the grant on 4-8-1885. In 1873, he'd married Mary Dowling of Flinders , Reg.No.1672),
James Purves,(Probably James Liddle Purves, the Melbourne lawyer and son of the grantee of the Tootgarook pre-emptive right),
James Kennedy (possibly Shoreham near Stony Creek, or Fingal),
A. Downward (Redwood near Pitt and Downward Sts, off Wilson Rd, Mornington or Balnarring near Tubbarubba)
R.. Watkin (Dromana Hotel)
,J. S.Adams, (Mornington butcher with grazing land near Cranbourne; http://www.morningtoncemetery.com/…/Adam…/Adams-family.shtml)
W. Brown (BROWN William Jnr., Shoreham, a central riding councillor in the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong from 1889 to 1891.)
,Edward Williams (Browns Rd near Truemans Rd, later "Eastbourne" owner),
W. Allison.(formerly a coach driver from Mornington, then blacksmith, who married the widow Catherine Wainwright a year or two earlier and ran the Arthurs Seat Hotel at Dromana)
C. Graves, Junr.(son of Mary Anne McLear's partner in a hawking business who leased most of the Survey with Brownlee in 1851, bought what became the McLear farm, and sold it to her after he'd had it fenced, then establishing a store at Shoreham and his property Woodlands on the north side of Punty Lane between Manton Creek and Tuck's Rd.)
John Tuck (old Manton's Creek run near Flinders)
,John Brear, (Brierly of Mornington? See the last link.)
John Townsend (apparently in Dromana by 1888 when his son Samuel Watson Townsend was born)
John Oswin ("Newstead", c/a's 55AB Balnarring, Melway 192 AB, 1,2 and fronting Dromaba Bittern Rd as far west as No. 207)
M. Unthanks (Unthank, probably Tyabb)
Alfred Jones.(Almond Bush Stud, Somerville. One of the Canadians after whom Canadian Bay was named. His Lord Somerville and Lady Somerville raced as far afield as W.S.Cox's KENSINGTON PARK RACECOURSE at Melway 42 JK 3,4 prior to 1882.)
DROMANA RACING CLUB held a meeting on the Dromana course on 20-3-1890. No details of club officials were given but J.O'Neill, after whom O'Neills Rd (at Melway 148 J7 to 149 D8) was named, had many horses entered and Sam Sherlock of Green Island came second in the best contest. W. Brown and Alf Downward were still involved.
The first meeting of the newly-formed turf club was held on Tuesday, 27th. inst. at Dromana. The attendance was
much larger than usual, and a most enjoyable day was spent. Only the names of placed horses in each race were given. No other details.
By 1895, there was a meeting on NEW YEAR'S DAY.
The following licenses granted are of interest as I had not come across J.Burke as licensee of the Dromana Hotel. Lionel Murphy took over from him in 1896 to be replaced at the Arthurs Seat Hotel by Charles Brown, during whose tenure the 40 year old hotel on the Permien St. corner was destroyed by fire at the end of the 1898 "season". The DROMANA RACING CLUB'S decision to hold the New Year's Day meeting was made only about a month before the event.
Dromana.-.T. Burke, Dromana Hotel; L.Murphy, Arthur's Seat
Hotel, and temporary licenses for Dromana races, New Year's Day.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 12-12-1895.)
DROMANA'S OTHER RACECOURSE.
The aerial photo on page 172 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA had given me the impression that the 34 acre course on crown allotment 5 section 1 Kangerong, behind the Dromana Hotel (Peter Pidoto's half on the east side and the 17 acres associated with the hotel on the west side) had been open paddocks because there's not a tree on the FORESHORE ESTATE. Edwards, (a prime mover of the DROMANA SPORTS CLUB,as Lou Carrigg later was**), who purchased Pidoto's half of the course*, certainly got his money's worth from the luncheon he provided for the members of the working bee in early 1910.
** The paddocks were also used as Showgrounds and for footy. Lou Carrigg was a prime mover in the Sports Club and the footy club. It seems that the Dromana footballers went home in their footy gear or changed behind the pine trees but one wet day in 1925, Lou let the drenched Mornington footballers change in the billiard room of the Dromana Hotel after the game.
on 2018-12-04 22:48:13
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.