TUBBARUBBA, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: "YOU SHOULD SEE BARNES' HONEY!"
I must confess I was being naughty with the second part of the title. Although the owner of Barnes' honey had a holiday house in Rosebud, the product had nothing to do with Tubbarubba. I was imagining what a fossicker at the Tubba Rubba diggings , during the 1890's depression, might have said when his wife said that he was wasting his time.William Barnes had found a quartz- encrusted nugget worth 1000 pounds in 1895 (at about Melway 151 F2?) a mile and a half west of the old diggings (at precisely 162 B-c3.) A look at such a prize would have convinced the wife to endure for a while longer!
And how would I know these details? "THE GOLDEN PLAINS TUBBARUBBABEL" of course! I first read this book many years ago and went to the library to borrow it so I could get some more details about the Downwards for my Red Hill journals. The only copy available for loan was at Mornington but family tree circle magic, Neil Mansfield's Kensington map and Steve Burnham's website organised a special loan for me.
"The Golden Plains Tubbarubbabel" was written by Mary Karney, a descendant of John Oswin, with Bruce Bennett carrying out research in Melbourne for her. Bruce is a Melbourne vet. who became interested in the local history of the Peninsula during his holidays near Westernport. Two of his books are "The General Store" and "The Butcher, the Baker, the". The latter was a great source for my "The Female Drover: A History of Moorooduc" despite the Murray farm just east of Jones' Corner being described as being in three different localities(Moorooduc, Tyabb and I've forgotten the third.) This is understandable; the location descriptions would have come straight from newspapers.
Mary's book has had three printings, but as the library has only one copy available for loan, Mary is going to supply some more copies to the Hastings branch and I suggested that the Dromana Historical Society might sell some at their museum. Bruce's books are available at the Mornington museum and possibly at other local museums.A feature of Golden Plains apart from some good genealogical and local history information is the excellent collection of photographs of pioneers (Downward, Oswin, Mairs, Stanley, the murdered Jack Johnson etc), homesteads and the Foxey's Hangout tree with actual foxes suspended.(Another book I have read is specifically about Foxey's Hangout, written I believe by the family which carried on the tradition after Garry Downward.)
Joan Downward, who supplied much material and information for Golden Plains, has written a history of the Downward family.Mary has given me permission to post this journal.
At the start of my Red Hill Grantees journal,although Tubbarubba is a fair way from Red Hill, I gave detail of Alf Downward's grants. I speculated that he had bought this land in about 1905. He selected lot 1 Balnarring (between Tubbarubba Reserve and Foxey's Rd) in 1869, calling it Glengala, and received the grant for it on 31-8-1887. He married his neighbour, Josephine Kerr, in 1879 and lot 4,(Melway 162 D-F 3,4)became part of the Downward property. Lot 4 was the reason that his first attempt to become a councillor was unsuccessful. During the campaign, the anonymous "a ratepayer" and "Bessie Raine" were criticising Alf, who had opposed the council's plans to put a road through lot 4, and their gutless mud-slinging swayed enough undecided voters to give Alf's opponent victory. Alf bought 2B in 1894 and 2A in 1899. The diggings having become silent, Alf managed to buy sections 3, 7 and 8 between 1909 and 1914 (with the exception of the cemetery site which later became Tubbarubba Reserve.) These two blocks fronted Foxey's Rd and are indicated by 162B1 and A1 respectively.
Alf remained a member of Parliament until 1929; poor health probably forced his retirement as he died in 1930.
Alf's uncle, John Campbell Downward, had selected 312 acres at the corner of Stanley and Merricks Rds (192 D-E 3,4) in 1854 and his father, Edward Downward, had selected land further east fronting Stanley Rd (192 east half of 192 H 3-4.)
John Oswin selected lot 35A in 1865 and called it "Newstead". (This name could have come from goldmining near Castlemaine or it may have had the literal meaning of "new place".-itellya.) John married Georgina Mills in 1865. Georgina's diaries covering the period from 1881-1910 give a picture of the daily happenings such as Willy Mairs having a look at the piano to see what the problem was.Fannie Oswin married William Lambie, the Bittern blacksmith. Ern Oswin and Willie Mairs camped at the diggings to try their luck. Mrs Grayden, the first postmistress at Bittern also served the community as a midwife; Graydens Rd was named after her family. The book discusses the murder in 1874, but unfortunately the suspect's name is given as Shanahan instead of Shannon, probably caused by an error in a newspaper account (which I didn't come across.)
Other information obtained from the book about Red Hill pioneers will be presented in that journal.
on 2012-01-10 09:13:42
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.