itellya on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
There's a Station St and an equestrian trail to remind us of the Red Hill-Bittern railway. Centrepoint now occupies the site of the Red Hill Station. When I tell people about the Railway Estate in Dromana they think I'm mad. Where the heck was Kennedy's corner past which Red Hill residents walked to the train before the Red Hill line was built? These are the thoughts that popped into my head when I read STEAMY PICS KEY TO NEW LINE OF INQUIRY (P. 30,Mornington News, 30-7-2013.) The article also appeared on page 8 of the 25-7-2013 issue of the Southern Peninsula News.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire has commissioned a heritage management plan for the Red Hill-Bittern line and would like assistance to add to the scarce collection of photos (of trains, stations, bridges, goods being loaded or unloaded,passengers, railway staff etc) as well as tickets,other relevant material and information about operations. If you can help, contact the Shire's heritage planner, Simon Lloyd (email@example.com or phone 1300 850 600.)
The following chronology outlines the agitation for railway services on the Peninsula. You will come to understand why it took so long for Red Hill to get its railway. After the chronology will appear articles about
stations on the Bittern to Red Hill line. The chronology may take some time to complete. It will need to deal with Mornington Junction (Baxter) and the railway league's success with the Mornington line, Mt Eliza's opposition to a direct route and of course the likelihood of a line to Dromana before 1890.
It usually took about 20 years from the start of agitation before railway communication was achieved. People wanted the railway but owing to the hilly hinterland, and arguments about routes, deputations were usually speaking for the local good rather than for the peninsula as a whole. Somerville developed rapidly after its station was built and special trains carried huge crowds from far afield for its famed Fruitgrowers' Show. The original Langwarrin Township died when bypassed by the railway but was revived by Nathaniel Pearce after whom the township was renamed. Mornington station helped those living as far away as Rosebud West, fishermen, rabbit trappers and passengers, with the help of such as Lou Anderson, Harry Cains and Jimmy Williams who transported cargo and people in their traps, Rosebud passengers waiting at the Meeting Tree. Keith McGregor replaced his trap with a Ford T Model Ford van and soon buses were started by such as Dyson and Whitaker.
Unfortunately the decision to build the Red Hill railway came after the foundation of the Country Roads Board and a combination of better roads, the aforementioned buses (direct to Melbourne) picking up Red Hill folk at Moat's Corner, and painfully slow trains caused peninsula people to become motor-minded (as a future Acting Prime Minister put it.)
Baxter was known as Mornington Junction, for there the Stony Point and Mornington lines branched off. A direct route to Mornington was abandoned, as a compromise, in the 1880's and a direct electric railway about 70 years later due to opposition from Frankston and Mt Eliza.
Housing Estates, better access roads and infrastructure such as stockyards, cranes and coolstores followed the building of a station. Being at the end of a line, Red Hill Station required a turntable.
THE FRANKSTON RAILWAY,
The new line of railway from Caulfield to Frankston will be formally opened on Monday by the Minister of Railways. The first section as far as Mordialloc was opened for traffic on the 19th December last, but the
whole of the line has now been completed. The length of the line is 20 miles. etc.
(P.13, Argus, 29-7-1882.)
A public meeting of tho Schnapper Point Railway League was held in the Mornington Athenaeum on Saturday evening, to take into consideration the prospect of the extension of the line of railway from Frankston to Mornington, and also as to the route........
The subject of the railway route was then discussed, and the plan of it, produced by the secretary, was examined. It showed that the route last adopted by the Government, round Mount Eliza and by Baxter's flat, is
considerably longer than by the route known as Wilkinson's survey and over the Mount, the additional distance being between two and three miles.
Mr ALLCHIN then addressed the meeting, and concluded by moving that in the interest of tho whole district the route known as Wilkinson's Survey be adopted. (P.10, Argus, 10-7-1883.)
Eventually, Mr Allchin, and others who preferred the direct route, saw the sense of the line going through Mornington Junction so that the residents on the Westernport side, and Mornington, could both get a railway service.
THE MORNINGTON LINE
A public meeting, convened and presided over by Mr J Thompson, JP, the shire president, to consider the omission from the Government Railway Bill of the lines from Frankston to Hastings and Mornington,
was held in the shire hall today. (P.3, Argus, 20-10-1884.)
The following is a letter written in 1885 but it concerns agitation that had been underway in 1876. John Keys was a grantee of much land in the parish of Lyndhurst between Mordialloc Creek and the National Water Sports Centre. He probably also owned land in neighbouring parishes such as Mordialloc (for which an online map is not available.) Why would he be working on behalf of Mornington residents? I think there are three reasons. The parish of Lyndhurst contained the Carrum Swamp which was good for dairying but due to frequent flooding, few settlers, such as Frankston's Mark Young, stayed long or erected dwellings there. Keys may have planned to get a line as far as his area so his milk could be sent to Melbourne.It is significant that his endeavours finished in 1879. Much of Lyndhurst was in large holdings, owned by such as the Keys and McMahens, with some owners probably absentees,leasing to poor subsistent farmers. The population was low and did not contain many men of influence. As the land west of the present highway near Mornington,in the parish of Moorooduc, was alienated in smaller allotments, the pier attracted business, and prominent academics and businessmen were drawn by the clifftop views, Mornington's population was numerous,prosperous and influential. Keys probably thought that their support would speed construction of the line to Mordialloc, which was probably the portion of the line approved in 1879. The crossing over Carrum Creek required the building of "Patterson's Folly" so-named because people believed the bridge named after the politician would not survive. This was probably the main reason the line did not reach Frankston until 1882. The Carrum Creek is now called the Patterson River.
To the Editor of the S. B.& M. Journal.
SIR.- In your issue of the 31st ultimo there appeared a letter from Mr. H. F.Norton,(from Phillip Island-itellya) in answer to your Mornington correspondent, re the apathy shown by the Mornington representatives re railway communication to Mornington. Having acted for six years as secretary to the Mornington Railway League, and having during that time and since been brought in close contact with Messrs. Balfour,Dobson and Buchanan, M.L.C.'s, and Mr.Gibb, M.L.A., I can fully endorse all that has been said by Mr. Norton as to the valuable services rendered by each of these gentlemen at all times and on all occasions. In my opinion the cause of the non-inclusion of the line to Mornington in the Bill recently laid before the Assembly is not to be laid at the door of Mr.Gibb but was owing to the want of unity on the part of the residents of the Point, who could not agree amongst themselves as to the route. I have no hesitation in saying had they abandoned the insane idea of route along the coast the line would have been included in the Bill from Baxter's Flat. There is another part of Mr. Norton's letter which I wish to refer to, and for which I beg to thank him for directing the attention of the people in the Mornington district to their indebtedness to me for the services rendered and cash paid by me on account of the League. It is possible that the inhabitants of the Mornington district may not be aware of the amount of their indebtedness to me, and to dispel their ignorance on this subject I will now,through the columns of your valuable paper, do what the members of the League ought to have done long ago-place before them the amount of their debt to me with the hope that they will at once take steps to liquidate it.
On the 6th October, 1876, I was appointed Secretary and Treasurer to the League, which was in active operation up to December,1879, when we succeeded in getting the first instalment of the line scheduled to
Frankston. At that time the League was indebted to me in the sum of 1017s.4d. Since then I have received from Mr.Jones*, of Somerville, 14 10s., leaving a balance due to me of 136 11s. 4d. Considering that the bulk of this is cash out of my pocket, and that I am not personally benefitted to the extent of one shilling in the construction of the line, I think it is high time that I was recouped by those who have benefitted by its construction to a considerable extent, and I feel sure that their sense of honor will at once cause them, now that it is brought under their notice, to pay off their liability. I will forego 50 of the amount due to me if the balance is paid within say three or four months.-Yours faithfully,JOHN KEYS. Dandenong, 2nd January, 1885.
We do not perceive what reason there can be on the part of Mr. Keys to forego 50 pounds. It seems to us rather that he ought to be paid 50 for the energetic and efficient manner in which he conducted the business. We are glad the subject has been brought up, as we do not suppose that Mr. Keys would have done otherwise than put up with the loss.--E.] (P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Journal,7-1-1885.)
*Alf Jones, of Almond Bush Stud in Somerville,went to Canada with his parents while almost into his teens, and after coming to Victoria, with Hodgins (Hastings pioneer) and McCurley, two other Canadians, cut timber and carted it along Boundary Rd to its end where it was rowed to the Liverpool, anchored a mile offshore, which transported it to Melbourne. The boundary between the Moorooduc and Frankston parishes is now called Canadian Bay Rd. (Victoria and Its Metropolis, 1888 and Mt Eliza History by Mr Mann, 1926.)
In reference to the Mornington line of railway, communications have been received that corroborate the rumours alluded to in my last letter. viz., that tenders for the construction of the Mornington branch would not be included in the tenders shortly to be called for the Hastings and Crib Point line as promised to the two last deputations by Mr. Speight. This has given great umbrage and dissatisfaction to the whole district and it is not improbable that a large and influential deputation of the Railway League, Parliamentary representatives and the Shire Council will be organised and wait upon the Railway Commissioners with a view to the promises so made being adhered to.
The Mornington League at once took action and since writing the foregoing, interviews have taken place with
Mr. Speight and the Commissioner by Messrs. C. J. Jenner, J. Balfour, L. L.Smith and R. Watson (the chairman of
the Mornington Railway League), in each of which Mr. Speight has explained that in consequence of the Department not being ready to call tenders for the Crib Point line and Mornington branch together, the calling for or letting the latter would be simply delayed until the former was completed to the junction, but then the Mornington line would be ready and let and completed simultaneously with the Hastings line in November next year, and in time for the summer season. This was considered by a section of the residents to be satisfactory and a deputation unnecessary, but a public meeting was held in the Mechanics' Institute on Saturday evening last to consider the advisability or otherwise of further action.
(P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 3-8-1887.)
PROPOSED RAILWAY TO DROMANA,
SORRENTO, AND POINT NEPEAN.
A deputation waited upon Mr Gillies, Minister of Railways yesterday, to urge the desirability of constructing a branch line from the Frankston and Hastings railway to Dromana, Sorrento, and Point Nepean. Sir W J Clarke,
M L C , Dr Dobson, M L C ,and Mr Coppin, M L A supported the application. It was pointed out that the line would give communication all the year round to a district at present isolated during the winter months and it would bring about an improvement in the fish supply of Melbourne. The lime industry at Sorrento would also be benefited. In the event of a federal quarantine station being established, a smaller area of land would suffice for the quarantine station at the Heads which might be transferred to Mud Island, and the present quarantine ground could be cut up into villa allotments and sold by public auction, as it would make a charming seaside resort.
Mr Gillies said he knew something about the district and was well aware that a railway would be of great advantage. The first step however, in the way of railway construction was to make an examination of the
country, and he would have that done. (P.4, Argus, 26-4-1888.)
A party of Government surveyors have arrived at Mornington and camped at Balcombe Creek, for the purpose of making a trial survey of railway line from Mornington to Dromana and Sorrento.
(The Caulfield and Elsternwick Leader (North Brighton, Vic. : 1888 - 1902) Saturday 26 May 1888 p 6 Article)
George Coppin, a Richmond resident, had a personal stake because Sorrento was the resort he had created and Sir William Clarke (Big Clarke's son)had inherited all of Jamieson's Special Survey apart from John Vans Agnew Bruce's 1000 or so acres north of Tassells Creek (Martha Cove Waterway.)
A request preferred by Mr. L. L. Smith,M.L.A., on behalf of the residents of Flinders and other places interested in the Crib Point line, for a noonday train in addition to the present morning and evening service to and from Hastings, has been favourably entertained by the Railway Commissioners,but Messrs. D. Munro and Co., the contractors for the construction of the line, intimate that their present traffic arrangements are
only temporary,and that they will be compelled to stop running their passenger trains directly the ballasting commences. They cannot therefore undertake to make any satisfactory arrangement for the conveyance of mail between Mornington Junction and Hastings. Under these circumstances the postal authorities state that the proposed additional mail to Hastings cannot be carried until the railway line is taken over by the Government. The line has been ballasted for about a mile beyond Somerville, and the metal rails laid a mile beyond Hastings. It is considered extremely doubtful whether the line will be completed through to Crib Point
by Easter.(P.7, Argus, 14-2-1889.)
THE HASTINGS AND CRIB POINT RAILWAY.
The time for completing the railway from Frankston to Hastings and Crib Point, according to contract expired on
November 1, 1888, and to all appearances it will be months still, at the present rate at which work is progressing, before this portion of the line can be taken over by the Government from the contractors.The material for ballasting has still to be quarried and then crushed. The line is completed and in the hands of the Government as far as the junction where the two branches, one to Hastings and the other to Mornington, diverge. The part from the junction to Hastings is still in the hands of the contractors, who are allowed to run trains on their own account, and it is with the management of this portion of the line that fault is
There is only one passenger train daily to and from Melbourne ; there is a fish train in the morning, the down
train coming in at 9.40 a.m., and the up train returning in 10 minutes afterwards. The charge from Hastings to the junction is altogether out of proportion to the usual rate of railway fares, being 3s. for about nine miles. There is no distinction between first and second-class passengers, and no return tickets are issued.
The railway arrangements affect those of the post-office to a great degree. There is only one delivery, and one despatch daily. The Postmaster-General has agreed to a second, but this can not come into force until the Government have taken over this portion of the line. The post office is closed here for the receipt of letters, etc. at 9 a.m. and the down mail is not delivered for more than an hour after that, so that if one wants to
answer a letter the day he receives it he must use the telegraph ; otherwise, if the reply be posted after 9 in the morning, it will not be delivered until the afternoon of the following day in Melbourne. Great dissatisfac- tion is expressed by the residents at the existing state of the postal and railway arrangements, and with much cause. That such should be the case within 40 miles of Melbourne, and with railway communication the
whole distance, is not in keeping with modern ideas, commercial or otherwise.
(P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Standard, 1-5-1889.)
The above articles raise an important function of the railways, the carrying of mail and newspapers.
It didn't take long before the first fatal accident occurred at Mornington Junction (Baxter.)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 13 May 1889 p 10 Article
... THE RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT MORNINGTON. THE INQUEST ON THE GUARD. Mr. Gaudier held an inquest at the Alfred Hospital on Saturday on the body of John Sims Ward, a guard in the employ of the Railway department, who was killed at the Mornington Junction station on Wednesday night by the collision between etc.
There are a large number of visitors here, and a crowd of workmen, tradesmen engaged in the various buildings in progress, and laborers working on the railway line and stations, to be prepared for the opening day, which, given fine weather, will be a busy one for Mornington. I am told that the demand for tickets for both banquet and ball is going good, and that both will be a success. Arrangements are being made to give the more notable visitors a generous and courteous reception, but I am sorry to say there will be some two or three gentlemen who have worked and greatly assisted in obtaining railway communication for Mornington, who will not be able to be present. I allude more particularly to His Honor Judge Webb, R. Watson, Esq.,chairman of the Mornington Railway League, and one whom the whole colony mourn, viz., the recently deceased Sir J.Lorimer. The two former gentlemen are away in Europe, one in search of health,and the other on important business in connection with the progress of the district, and both gentlemen, although absent, will, on their return, hail with pleasure the opening of the line, and the late improvements to the township and neighborhood. (P.2, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 11-9-1889.)
N.B. Robert Watson was advised to move to the seaside for the sake of his health and bought James Hearn's grants which extended along the Mt Martha coast from Balcombe Creek to Hearn Rd and east to the Tubbarubba diggings. During the boom of the latter 1880's he subdivided the coastal area but sales were affected by the 1890's depression, with much of the area becoming two Fairbairn farms. Watson Rd is on the grounds he retained around his homestead. (Shire of Mornington Heritage Study.)
OPENING OF THE RAILWAY TO MORNINGTON.
From our own Correspondent.
The long looked for opening of the above railway took place on the 10th inst., the day being generally kept as a holiday. The township presented quite a gay appearance, being decorated with flags for the occasion; and there was a large concourse of spectators present at the terminus to witness the arrival of the train containing the invited guests from Melbourne. The party was met by the President and Councillors of the Shire, and the former read over an address of welcome to the visitors, after which Dr.Pearson and several other gentlemen were driven round the township, meeting afterwards at the Mechanics' Institute, where a banquet had been prepared for the occasion, to which about eighty gentlemen sat down, The Shire President(Councillor Down- ward) presided, having on his right the Hons. Dr. Pearson, Dr. Dobson and other gentlemen;and on his left Dr. L L.Smith with the Presidents and ex-Presidents of the adjoining Shires, Messrs.Martin, Poole and Cain. .......
The Hon. Dr. Dobson (who was suffering from a severe cold) briefly responded on behalf of the Legislative Council. He said that the people of Mornington had at last obtained their long looked for railway line; but they had another battle to fight,and that was to bring their beautiful township within the suburban radius-to obtain the running of one or more Sunday trains. He had long known Schnapper Point, and at a meeting held at the Royal hotel-then Mr. Rennison's-twenty-five years ago he had advocated a railway line to that place, and as their representative in the Legislative Council, in conjunction with the Mornington Railway League, he had done all in his power to connect that place with one of the greatest commercial cities of the world. He was delight- ed at the success with which their efforts had been crowned, and it afforded him a vast amount of pleasure in being present at the opening of the Mornington railway.(Cheers.).....
Councillor Irvine proposed "Success to the Mornington railway," and said that when the line was thrown out by the Assembly the first man to move for its being reinstated was the late Sir James Lorimer-(dissent)-whose recent loss the country deplored. The Rev. J. Caldwell, who responded to the toast, said that he was an Irishman-(cheers)-and a fifteen years resident of Mornington. (Lond cheers.) He had taken a personal interest in the Mornington railway; also in other improvements to the place.
(P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 18-9-1889.)
Dr Pearson made the first speech,responding to a toast to the ministry, incredibly praising the opposition for its constructive criticism, but then raved on about the books used to teach children to read and hardly mentioned the railway. You will note that I abandoned correcting the text of his speech. The Irish Rev. James Caldwell, a Presbyterian minister, was upset that the "secular" facet of the 1872 Education Act precluded the use of the Bible to teach reading and also opposed Dr Dobson's desire that Sunday trains come to Mornington. Mornington residents shared Caldwell's grief soon after when his wife died and his sons drowned after a football game at Mordialloc. His speech specifies the contribution that Sir James Lorimer had made. James Caldwell wrote a letter in 1885 (P.3, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 7-1-1885) denying that parliamentarians had been inactive regarding Mornington's railway and praising Hon. J.Balfour.
An accident happened on Friday evening last to Mr L. Anderson's fish waggon,running between Rosebud and the
Mornington Railway Station. Whilst travelling over Mount Martha some part of the harness gave way, and one of the horses being a young one took fright, and the pair became unmanageable. They were brought to a standstill by the waggon colliding with the bank on the roadside.The vehicle was overturned, and the baskets of fish were scattered in the road.Just at this time the evening coach to Dromana came up, and, with the help of the coach driver, Mr Anderson was able to set the waggon again in its proper position, and go on his way fortunately with little damage done.(P.3, Mornington Standard,19-10-1889.)
RAILWAY TIME TABLE.
MELBOURNE TO FRANKSTON AND MORNINGTON.
Melbourne, dep.-7.10 a.m.-*9.10-12.20p.m.-*1.20-2.15-*4.45-*6.35-9.35 *11.25.
Frankston, arr.-8.27 a.m.-10.30-1.40p.m.- 2.40-3.35 -6.5-7.55-10.55 -12.45.
Frankston, dep.-10.35 a.m.-2.45 p.m.6.10-8.2-12.50.
Langwarrin; dep.-10.45 a.m.-2.55 p.m.-6.20-8.12-1.0.
Mornington Junction, dep.--10.50 am.-3.0 p.m.-6.25-8.17-1.5. '
Moorooduc, dep.--11.2 a.m.-3-.12 p.m.-6.37-8.29-1.17 .
Mornington, arr.--11-.15 a.m.-3.25 p.m.-6.50--8.42-1.30.
*Those marked with an asterisk run through to Mornington.
(P.4, Mornington Standard, 30-11-1889.)
From N. Rudduck, Dromana, asking for repairs of 3-chain road leading to proposed Wesleyan parsonage, on Railway estate, Dromana.-The secretary had effected temporary repairs.
(P.3, Mornington Standard, 11-1-1890.)
SATURDAY, JANUARY 3.
At Two O'clock. On the Ground.
RAILWAY ESTATE.RAILWAY ESTATE, RAILWAY ESTATE, DROMANA. DROMANA. DROMANA.
43 ALLOTMENTS 48
Charming Situation. Beautiful Sea Views. Picturesque Mountain Scenery.
HARRY A. DERHAM has been instructed to SELL by PUBLIC AUCTION, on the ground, on 3rd January, the balance of allotments in this desirable estate on remarkably easy terms, viz. :
5 DEPOSIT EACH ALLOTMENT, Balance in bills at 3, 6,9, 12,15, and l8 months, interest 6 per cent. Title Certificate.
(P.2, Argus, 24-12-1890.)
N.B. RAILWAY ESTATE, THREE CHAIN ROAD, WESLEYAN PARSONAGE.
The railway estate was the subdivision of Crown allotment 13, Section 1 Kangerong. This consisted of 36 acres 3 roods 29 perches and was bounded by Palmerston Avenue, Jetty Rd and Boundary Rd. Mrs Mary Ann Dyson, Mrs Sarah Ann Griffiths and Mrs Frances Pidoto were three people assessed in 1919 on blocks in the Railway estate which were specified in each case as being "part c/a 13, Sect.1, Kangerong."
Palmerston Avenue is labelled "Main Road" on the Kangerong parish map that can be accessed online by entering "Kangerong, County of Mornington. This was the three chain road mentioned by Nelson Rudduck.
A stalwart of the Methodist Church in Dromana, Red Hill and Rosebud, Nelson Rudduck financed the Wesleyan parsonage,which is mentioned in the Shire of Flinders Heritage Study and hopefully is still standing. It was on Palmerston Avenue.
DISSATISFACTION IN THE COUNTRY.
Very great dissatisfaction is being expressed by the residents of Hastings, Tyabb,and Somerville at the new railway timetable which comes into operation on Monday next. By the new arrangement only two trains instead of three will be run daily, the first of which will arrive at Prince's-bridge at 2.10 p.m. instead of 9.45 a.m. as heretofore. As most of the residents of Somerville and Tyabb are market gardeners and fruitgrowers, the new arrangement will greatly inconvenience them, as it will be next to impossible for them to transact their business and return the same evening by the last train leaving Prince's-bridge at 6.10 p.m. Residents express themselves as satisfied with two trains a day provided they were more conveniently arranged. During the last three months the business at these stations has increased 50 per cent, and there is every prospect of it still further increasing, as settlers are arriving every week. Last month the receipts at the Somerville station alone reached 142 14s. 8d., and upwards of 900 passengers were booked. (P.8, Argus, 7-5-1892.)
See Bittern Station at end.
A BIG FRUIT SUPPLY.
The returns of the produce raised in this district during the last season show an increase on last year, owing no doubt to the heavy crop of apricots. In the month of January no less than 5,561 cases of fruit were forwarded by rail. For the six months the returns are - Somerville Station 23,728 cases of fruit, 5,824 bags and 347 crates of vegetables, and 1,8941 tons of firewood. Tyabb Station - 5,713 cases of fruit, 2,526 bags and 49 crates of vegetables, and 547 tons of firewood. Moorooduc - 79 cases of fruit, 384 tons of firewood. etc.
(P.6, Argus, 4-9-1896.)
Railway to Red Hill.
At the urgent request of a number of fruitgrowers in the neighborhood of Red Hill, the members of the old com-
mittee of the Mornington Peninsula Central Railway League met in the Red Hill schoolhouse on Wednesday evening last week to consider what steps could be taken to obtain a railway into the district. It was urged that on ac-
count of the great increase in the fruit growing industry of late, particularly in that of strawberries, for which the district is especially suitable, and which require speedy transit to market owing to their perishable nature, that a railway is urgently needed. This season several of the growers have planted from twenty to thirty thousand plants, so that at the present time there are between 400,0000 and 500,000 plants in the district, and the number is increasing. Others are preparing land with the intention of planting as soon
as they can procure the plants. The output of other fruits is also steadily increasing, as the young trees come
into bearing, and other produce, such as hay, grain or vegetables could be equally well grown if there were a way of getting it to market. Hundreds of acres of land, now devoted to depasturing a few head of cattle could be intensely and profitably cultivated. At present everything has to be carted to Mornington, Bittern or Melbourne over roads that are almost impassable, and sometimes never good, entailing such labor and loss of time that many only grow what they need for their own use, and so the place remains almost at a
If the line surveyed and passed some 8 or 9 years ago were constructed it would put life into the district and develop a great industry that would need no bonus to encourage it. There need be no fear that the line would not pay, as the whole peninsula could be turned into a great market garden, out of which a constant stream
of produce would flow, and until then the timber would be a valuable aid to the traffic. A public meeting has been called for Saturday next at 7.30 p.m. to see what steps can be taken to further the project, when there should be a large attendance. (P.2,Mornington Standard, 22-6-1899.)
Railway to Red Hill.
On Saturday evening last a public meeting of the residents of Red Hill and surrounding district was held in a
large barn belonging to Mr. H P.Davey, of Forest Lodge, which he had very kindly lent for the occasion. The
meeting was convened for the purpose of considering the best means of getting a railway into the district, and notwithstanding the very unfavorable state of the weather there were about fifty present, nearly all of whom are fruitgrowers.
Mr F. Harrison was voted to the chair. A letter was read from Mr Downward,M.L.A., regretting his inability to attend the meeting; also from Cr Baldry regretting that the present state of his health prevented him from being present, and generously offering to help if needed financially. The chairman in his opening address spoke of the great need of a railway in the district, and that the amount of fruit grown, especially strawberries,
justified the growers in asking for a line. He had never seen finer fruit than that grown about Red Hill, and if the strawberries, which cannot be surpassed, could only be placed on the Sydney market they would fetch prices that would pay handsome. He thought that if the residents stated their case and the Government looked into the matter they would soon see the justice of the claim for a railway.
Mr Mcllroy spoke of the great improvements made in the district during the last nine years. At that time
when they were agitating for a continuation of the line from Baxter's Plat to Merricks, within a radius of 3 miles of Merricks there was 232 acres of orchard and 700 of other cultivation. Now, he believed, the orchards were about twice that area, and now there were about 400,000 plants in the district, and land being prepared to increase the quantity. He also spoke of the necessity of a railway to open up the district. The Shire of Flinders and Kangerong contains an area of 184 square miles, with a population of 2540, many of whom are young people just thinking of making homes for themselves, and a railway would be the means of keeping them in the district, and dividing the holdings, instead of compelling them to leave, as some of them have already done, because there are no means of getting produce to a market, and therefore no profit in producing anything.
He trusted they would all let their voices be heard and help the cause to the best of their ability.
After some others had spoken in the same strain it was unanimously resolved,"that this meeting is of opinion that we should apply for a railway." It was also resolved that on account of lapse of time the old league should be considered defunct, and that a new league should be formed, to be called the Mornington Peninsula Central Railway League. It was also resolved that Mr A. E. Bennett be elected secretary, Mr R. Sheehan treasurer, and Mr F. Harrison be chairman of the league. It was also resolved that Messrs J and J. Bayne, A. Head, J.Wiseman, H. P. Davey, J.C.Griffith, N. Prossor, W. H. Blakely, G. (Meakin?), J. Shand, W. J. and J. McIlroy be elected a committee to carry out the wishes of the league. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Mr Davey for the use of the room, and also to the chairman. (P.3, Mornington Standard, 29-6-1899.)
Accredited representatives of the Mornington Peninsula Central Railway League, accompanied by Mr. Knox, M.L.C., and Mr.Downward, M.L.A., approached the Minister of Railways yesterday, and asked that the proposal to construct a railway from Baxter's Flat to Merricks should be referred to the Railways Standing Committee for consideration and report, it was about 14 miles in length, would not be expensive to construct, would open up a good district where almost anything could be grown, and would prove a profitable line. The original railway should never have been diverted to Mornington, but should have been extended through the centre of the peninsula.
Mr. H.R.Williams replied that he could hold out no hope at present of granting their request. He had closed his list of lines for reference to the committee, and did not intend to add to it. He would,however, send an officer to the district to report on the prospects of the line. He might ask the committee next session to
consider the proposal. (P.4, Argus,27-10-1899.)
No report of a meeting appointing the "accredited representatives" has been found on trove; perhaps Sheila Skidmore obtained her information from the Peninsula Post.On P.51-2 of THE RED HILL, she stated that the deputation was to consist of W.H.Blakeley, Mr(H.P.)Davey, William McIlroy and Thomas Cleine. They were to meet at Blakeley's premises in Lonsdale St in Melbourne.
THROUGH SOUTHERN PORTION OF PENINSULA,MEETING AT RED HILL.
The ball has once more been set rolling as regards an agitation for a railway through the southern part of the
Mornington Peninsula. A meeting, which had been called by Mr W. J.McIlroy, was held in the Red Hill State school on the evening of Friday July 4th. With the exception of a few representatives from other places the attendants consisted of residents of Red Hill. Mr Head was voted to the chair and Mr W. Oswin appointed sec
retary pro. tem. After speeches urging the necessity of a strong agitation to secure the much needed railway, to which boon the district certainly has some very forcible claims, were made by Messrs Head, McIlroy and Oswin,and a letter which had been addressed to Mr McIlroy by Mr Morley, secretary of the Sorrento Progress Association, stating that the people of Sorrento would be glad to co-operate in agitating for a railway, and asking for information as to what course of action was decided upon at the meeting had been read, the following resolution was carried:--" That in consequence of the "Flinders Peninsula Railway League" having failed to effectively push the claims of this district to a railway, this meeting approves of the formation of a new league to be called the " Mornington Peninsula Railway League."
Some discussion then took place re the constitution of the league. Most of the speakers were of opinion that it
was inadvisable to elect a committee consisting of representatives from the various townships interested, as some of the members would then have to travel a considerable distance to attend the meetings. It seemed to be the general opinion that a branch of the league, with a separate working committee should be formed in each place and that delegates for a united conference or a deputation should be appointed when required. A resolution,that a central committee he appointed in Red Hill and that other districts be invited to co-operate was carried. The following office-bearers were elected President, Mr Head; vice president,Mr Hoskins;secretary. Mr W. J.Mcllroy; committee, Meesrs Bennett,T. Cleine, Holmes, W. Oswin, Shand and Wiseman. It was decided that no membership subscription be charged, but that money should be collected when required.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 12-7-1902.)
Railway Extension through the Peninsula.
A meeting of the Mornington Peninsula Railway League was held in the Flinders Mechanics' Institute last Saturday, when representatives from Red Hill, Dromana, Boneo, Cape Schanck, Flinders, Shoreham, and Balnarring were present. Mr C. T. Cooke was voted to the chair. After reading the notice of the meeting, the secretary
(Mr Maxwell), read a letter from Mr Downward, M.L.A., apologising for not having accepted an invitation
to be present, owing to other engagements. At the outset, it was urged by Mr Sharp that statistics should be
gathered from the various districts interested, in view of the enquiry which would be made by the Railways Standing Committee. After a general discussion on several matters regarding the agitation, in which Messrs. Nowlan, Rudduck, Anderson, and other gentlemen took part, it was resolved, on the motion of Messrs. Rudduck and Anderson, " That the League respectfully request the Premier to refer the extension of the Railway through the Mornington Peninsula to the railways Standing Committee as early as possible," and on the motion of Messrs Cooke and Nowlan, Mr Downward is to be asked to present the above resolution. On the proposition of Mr Anderson, seconded by Mr Sharp, the following were appointed to collect statistics for submission to the Standing Committee :
Messrs M'Ilroy, Red Hill; M. Higgins, Shoreham; L. Wilding, Flinders; D.Cairns, Boneo; R. Anderson, Cape
Schanck ; W. Oswin; Balnarring; . W.Rudduck, Dromana; and Baldry; Main Ridge.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 48-10-1904.)
PROPOSED FLINDERS LINE.
The report of tho Railway Standing Committee on the proposed line to Flinders was laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly yesterday by the chairman (Mr Graham). The report stated that the committee was of opinion, in view of the large annual loss estimated, that it was not expedient to construct a railway, either to Flinders or Red Hill. The estimates of the cost of the various routes suggested were: - Mornington via Red Hill and Kangerong to Flinders 130 000, Moorooduc via Red Hill and Kangerong to Flinders 117,000, Somerville via Red Hill and Kangerong to Flinders, 117 000, Bittern via Red Hill and Kangerong to Flinders 110 000, and Bittern via coast of Westernport to Flinders, 97,500.
(P.8, Argus, 12-12-1906.) N.B. The article also contains further details regarding losses on each route, loading of rates and the Commonwealth's opinion that the railway was not of enough military benefit to justify any contribution.
A mob of sheep, totalling 1550 in thirteen trucks, was forwarded from Bittern railway station this week to
Werribee. They were a portion of the starving sheep, belonging to the Metropolitan Board of Works farm, which had to be sent away in February for grass. This lot had been grazing on C.T. Cooke's Cape Schanck station, at Flinders, and looked well, the change evidently agreeing with them.
(P.2, Mornington Standard,30-5-1908.)
A Flinders meeting saw agreement for the areas to combine
In "open route" agitation for a railway line.
Discussion turned to "loading" (extra rates to support the cost),
But disputes about routes soon saw co-operation lost.
(Pasted from CHRONOLOGY IN VERSE (1900-1920), ARTHURS SEAT,VIC., AUST.)
HASTINGS. Hon. P. McBride, Minister of Railways, travelled from Flinders to Dromana and back to Shoreham via Red Hill, accompanied by his wife and Mr Sidney Smith, on Friday. He is now, no doubt, well posted as to the great advantages of running a railway line from Moorooduc or Mornington Junction to Flinders. The country is good for both timber, fruit, and small products; as a defence line and for pleasure resort traffic; it should pay from the start.
(p.2, Mornington Standard, 15-6-1912.)
RAILWAY MATTERS:-Residents in the southern part of the peninsula are once more bestirring themselves over the
matter of railway communication with the metropolis. The Flinders Improvement Society set the ball rolling this time, and other centres are taking the matter up. On Friday night a meeting of the residents of Red Hill was held in the school, Cr Haig being in the chair. The matter was fully discussed, Messrs. M'Ilroy, Head, Sheehan and Haig speaking in favor of the construction of the railway. At the end of the discussion Messrs M'Ilroy, Holmes, and Prossor were appointed to represent Red Hill on a deputation to the Minister on 28th August. Those present agreed to defray all the expenses of the delegation. Among those present were Messrs Shaw, Farrel, and Christie of Dromana, at which town a meeting to further the same object is to be held on Friday next.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 24-8-1912.)
RAILWAY RECOMMENDED. BITTERN TO RED HILL.
The construction of a broad-gauge railway from Bittern to Red Hill, via Merricks Creek, a length of 9 3/4 miles, with an intermediate station about three-quarters of a mile north of the crossing over Merricks Creek on the Bittern-Flinders road, was recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways in a report tabled in the Legislative Assembly yesterday. Several routes of railways to serve the Mornington Peninsula were brought under the notice of the committee.
(P.7, Argus, 17-7-1914.) N.B. The article describes all routes and costs.
SHIRE OF FLINDERS.
(Letter from C.R.B.) re carriage of road making material on railways at reduced rates for materials proposed to be used on contracts carried out under the provisions of the Country Roads Act, such materials to be consigned in the name of council; contractor to be supplied with an order from the council to the station master,so that the delivery may be made.Received.
Report of Standing Committee on railways extension, re extension of line through Mornington Peninsula-Bittern towards Red Hill. Received.
Peninsula Railway League, forwarding copy of resolution passed at a public meeting held at Shoreham, re extensions under the Country Roads Board, and protesting against further extension, as contemplated railway extension in the district would greatly affect future road construction.
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 1-8-1914, Flinders Shire Council.)
The above correspondence to the recently renamed shire reveals how the formation of the C.R.B.had placed an extra obstruction in the way of those working for the provision of railways. Not only would the discounted freight reduce revenue and make existing lines seem less financially viable but the Government funds were allocated to road making much more than in the past leaving less of the pie for railway construction. Ratepayers would oppose one to allow the other. Discussion regarding the above reveals that some of the C.R.B. deviations were unnecessarily expensive. No report of the meeting at Shoreham has been found on trove.
The further extension of the road to Flinders is in abeyance till route of the railway to Red Hill is determined.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 5-9-1914.)
Red Hill's happiness came at a cost to Crib Point.
Consternation was caused here when the new railway time table was disclosed, cutting out the evening train to Crib Point on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and, consequently, the early morning train to the city on the other three days. Presumably, this is to allow of-the engine running the trains on the Red Hill line. This is a serious blow to Crib Point and the Naval Depot and a big effort is to be made to keep the trains to Crib Point as at present and have the new line otherwise provided for. This end of the line is financially sound and fully justifies the trains at present provided. The traffic to and from the Naval Depot is very considerable and the retrograde step proposed will be seriously challenged, and an effort made to prevent an injustice to this expanding depot and township. If the proposal is adhered to it will cripple the fishing industry in
Westernport waters. (P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 2-12-1921.)
BITTERN-RED HILL LINE. OPENED BY MR. BARNES. Orchard Land Made Accessible.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 3 December 1921 p 28 Article
... BITTERN-RED HILL LINE. OPENED BY MR BARNES. Orchard Land Made Accessible. In the presence of about 700 people, the cockspur railway line from Bittern to Red Hill was formally opened yesterday by the Minister for Railways (Mr. Barnes). The ceremony took place at the new station at Red Hill.
My apologies for not correcting the whole article. It's far too long. Sheila Skidmore wrote the following summary in THE RED HILL.
The committee that planned the ceremony included Sam Tuck who had lived at Manton's Creek for 77 years. Another member,James Wiseman,was unable to attend the ceremony and died a few days later aged over 90. The ribbon cut by Mr Barnes was held by 5 year old Mary Forest and the oldest lady in the district, Mrs Haig, a resident for 45 years who had turned 92 a few days earlier (and was probably the Shire Councillor's mother.) There are several photos of the railway in THE RED HILL.
The special train from Red Hill, containing 500 passengers and the Ministerial party was stopped on Friday by thousands of caterpillars being on the rails at Tomkins Hill, close to Red Hill station. Sand was used, and the train proceeded on its journey. The evening train had a similar experience with caterpillars on Friday night. The caterpillars have destroyed several thousands of tons of hay in the Merricks and Balnarring districts.
(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 9-12-1921.)
When the two lines were extended from Mornington Junction (Baxter) in 1889, the commissioners would not have thought that level crossings posed any danger. When James Firth's wife died in 1923, on the way home after driving from Somerville to the Mornington races, the fact that the report of the accident went feral, appearing in papers all over Australia within days, indicates that level crossing collisions were relatively rare. The very next year, another fatal accident occurred on the Stony Point line.
Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954) Saturday 10 February 1923 p 5 Article
... KILLED BY TRAIN. WOMAN'S SAD END. MELBOURNE, Friday.-Mrs. James Firth, a middle aged woman,
Woman Jumps to Death.
Evidently becoming panic-stricken at the approach of a train at a level crossing at Moorooduc on February 8, Mrs. Ellen Firth, of Somerville, jumped from the motor-car which she was driving and was struck by the engine.
The city coroner (Dr. Cole) held an inquest yesterday, and returned a finding of accidental death, adding that no blame was attachable to the crew of the train. William Grady, railway engine-driver,said that he was driving a race special from Mornington. When near the Moorooduc station he saw the front wheel of a motor-car on the line. Edward John Connor, nurseryman, said Mrs. Firth drove down the road towards the crossing, and when the car was about 30 yards from it he heard the whistle of the train. The car had just crossed the line when he saw Mrs. Firth get over the back of it. Had she remained in the car she would have escaped, as the engine only
touched the hood.(P.13, Argus, 16-2-1923. Inquest.)
What would the Railway Commissioners have thought of this, Strathmore???
SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1923
Frankston v. Mornington
Hastings v. Naval Base.
Dromana v. Somerville.
"Strathmore" . wants to hear from everybody interested in football, from Ormond to Dromana and Phillip Island. Pars about players, past and present bits about club officials, titbits respecting club doings, etc., are all welcome. Just address the envelope to "Strathmore," care "Standard" Publishing offices, Frankston, and hand
same to the railway station officials, who will send it along. No stamps are necessary for railway delivery.(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 2-5-1923.)
VISIT OF INSPECTION.
ON TUESDAY NEXT.
On Tuesday next the annual inspection by the Railways Commissioners will be made. Deputationists intending to interview the Commissioners are specially asked to elect one representative of each association or body interested to explain the whole of the requirements so that time may be saved in dealing with the requests.
The following programme has been mapped out: The special leaves Mordialloc at 9.21 a.m. and will inspect
Aspendale, arrive, 9.25.
Edithvale, depart, 10.17.
Chelsea, depart, 10.40.
Carrum,- depart, 11.3.
Seaford, depart, 11.20.
Frankston, arrive, 11.25; depart 11.50.
Langwarrin, depart, 12.4.
Baxter, arrive, 12.9; depart, 12.20.
Moorooduc, depart, 12.35.
Mornington, arrive, 12.43; depart,1.15.
On returning from Mornington they will arrive at Baxter at 1.30, and then inspect as under:-
Somerville, depart, 2.0.
Tyabb, depart, 2.16.
Hastings, depart, 2.34.
Bittern, arrive, 2.40; depart, 2.55.
Balnarring, depart, 3.10.
Merricks, depart, 3.32.
Red Hill, arrive, 3.44.
At 4.2 they leave Red Hill for Bittern, which they are timed to leave at 4.30, to inspect:
Crib Point, depart, 5.0.
Stony Point, arrive, 5.5.
(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard,13-7-1923.)
PENINSULA EXPRESS WANTED.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS.
Sir, I can endorse all "H.B.C.'s" statements in his letter of Thursday. The peninsula is neglected as far as fast travelling trains are concerned, and we have the slowest trains in Victoria, averaging just over 10 miles an hour. A train leaves Red Hill, 51 miles from Melbourne, at 2.35 p.m., and is timed to reach Flinders street
about 7 p.m., but is usually later. A train leaves Flinders street at 8.10 a.m, timed to reach Red Hill 12 noon; often nearer 1 p.m. Another instance. I left Flinders street 5.5 p.m., reached Frankston 6 p.m. Took motor-coach,, left 6.10. Reached Moat's Corner at 6.50, drove four miles, all up hill; reached home 7.30 p.m.
My neighbour remained in the train. Reached Red Hill station at 9.15 p.m., and then had to get to his home, two miles away. We have a good motor service that leaves Moat's Corner, nearest point to Red Hill station, at 8.30 a.m., returning twice daily, two hours en route, at practically the same cost:-Railway fare, 6/8; motor, 7/6. The peninsula is well patronised by both seaside and country visitors, being close to Mornington, Mount Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento, and Portsea, and on Westernport by Balnarring, Merricks, Shoreham, and Flinders. All we want is a decent train service. Large numbers of week-end blocks have been purchased at Red Hill, but owing to bad train service buyers are holding off from building until a better service is available, Give us a good time-table and the peninsula will go ahead, and absorb many who are at present hugging the city-
Yours &c, G.H. Red Hill, July 23. (P.9, Argus, 25-7-1923.)
I'm not a betting man, but I'm willing to risk my entire fortune that the author of the letter was George HiggEns. No the E is not a mistake; his name was so often written as Higgins. To make matters worse, The name of the judge who owned Heronswood at Dromana, and delivered the Harvester Judgement that led to the Basic Wage was rendered in the 1919 assessment as Henry B.Higgens instead of Higgins.
George was a real estate agent whose address in the 1919 assessment was given as Flagstaff Gardens, West Melbourne. He sold the Railway Station Estate at Red Hill which is discussed under RED HILL STATION near the end of this journal.There is a photo of his Red Hill real estate office in the RED HILL RAILWAY display at the Dromana Historical Society museum in the old shire office. THE DISPLAY HAS MANY OTHER PHOTOS THAT WILL BE OF GREAT INTEREST TO THE SHIRE'S HERITAGE PLANNING OFFICERS.
George became a shire councillor and the intersection of Arthurs Seat and Mornington-Flinders Rds was known as HIGGENS CORNER. The motor-coach that George took from Frankston to Moat's Corner was probably Billy Adams' seven -seat tourer, Keith McGregor,his wife (Billy's sister) and brother having driven in Keith's T model Ford van to the Stawell area to try wheat farming. The motor-coach may also have been Syd Napper, George Dyson or Fred Whitaker's (P.53 A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.)
On the same page is a photo of Maurie Shaw's bus that later saved hinterland residents the walk to Moat's corner to board the through-bus. The Red Hill Railway display, mentioned earlier, states that PASS trains stopped running in 1929, which I take to mean PASSENGER TRAINS. In view of George's letter, it is easy to see why patronage would have fallen off and why James Fenton said that peninsula residents were motor-minded in 1947. To the shire council's displeasure,the authorities banned Maurie's bus service.
TO, RESIDENTS OF RED HILL AND MAIN RIDGE
BUS SERVICE WILL RUN BETWEEN DROMANA AND RED HILL - MAIN RIDGE - ARTHUR SEAT
Connecting with the Morning and Evening Bus returning from Frankston and the Mid-day Bus leaving Dromana
DROMANA, RED HILL, MAIN RIDGE, ARTHUR SEAT BUS SERVICE
(M.- SHAW, Proprietor)
Leaves DROMANA ................ ........... 10.35 a.m. 6.35 p.m.
Leaves ERLANDSON STORE ................... 11.10 a.m. 7.10 p.m.
Leaves MAIN RIDGE P.O. ....... ......... 11.30 a.m. 7.30 p.m.
Leaves ARTHUR SEAT ........... .... .... 12.00 Noon 7.45 p.m.
Connects with Melbourne Buses at Moat's Corner.
- FARES -
DROMANA to MAIN RIDGE ................: .................2/6
DROMANA to RED HILL SOUTH,HIGGENS' CORNER ........2/
MOAT'S CORNER to RED HILL SOUTH, HIGGENS'-CORNER -1/6
MOAT'S CORNER to MAIN RIDGE .... .... ........ :..:. ... 2/
MOAT'S CORNER to ARTHUR SEAT .... .... .......:.... .... 3/
RED HILL to DROMANA .................... ...... .... ....2/-..
MAIN RIDGE to DROMANA .... .... ....... .... .... .. . ,.1/6
ARTHUR SEAT to DROMANA ............ .... .... .... . ... 1/
(P.4, Standard, Frankston, 5-10-1944.)
N.B.See the Tyabb Progress Association's similar complaint in 1928 re slow trains.
Sheila Skidmore's THE RED HILL cites slow and late trains and not enough capacity, causing fruit to rot, as the reason for fruitgrowers switching to road transport. The provision of railways and stations led to demands for improvement of the roads leading to them and construction/provision of appropriate facilities. Stations in fruit growing areas would soon have a cool store, Moorooduc, yards and races to hold and load stock, and with Somerville, a crane to load trees from the nurseries for which both areas were famed.
RED HILL RAILWAY.
Deputation Urges Extension.
Residents of the Red Hill district introduced by Mr Downward M.L.A. waited on the Minister for Railways (Mr Old) yesterday with a request for the extension of the railway from Red Hill to Baldry's Corner* (a distance of five miles), thence to Boneo. Councillor M.B. Wettenhall said that when the line was opened to Red Hill, the then Minister for Railways (Mr Barnes)had mentioned that that point was not intended to be the terminus. The line only touched the fringe of the very best country in the Mornington Peninsula, and there were 30 000 or
40 000 acres of land on which could he grown products such as potatoes,onions and fruits sufficient to supply Melbourne. The drawback, however, was the lack of communication. He knew one man who had grown hundreds of tons of excellent onions which had rotted before they could be sent to Melbourne.
Messrs T. Darley, W.Roberts, T. Swift, R.G.Barrett, W.M.True and R.Keys,in support pointed out that Red Hill station was not used by residents farther on because of its inconvenience. Goods were carted instead from Bittern.
In reply, Mr Old said that the line either should not have been built to Red Hill or should have gone farther. The weak point of the case for extension was the fact that practically the whole of the land was within reasonable distance of the railway. Whether the service was satisfactory was a different proposition. In most
parts of Victoria land within eight miles of a railway was considered to be well served.
Councillor Wettenhall-Seven miles in our country is equal to 14 miles elsewhere,on account of its hilly nature. Mr Old agreed that local conditions had to be considered. He promised to include the proposal in the list for submission to the Cabinet which would decide on the lines to receive the attention of the Railways Standing Committee. (P.6, Argus, 25-10-1923.)
* Baldry's Corner. Without knowing the route of the railway to Baldry's Corner, it is hard to know which of the possible locations was Baldry's Corner. It could have been the north end of Baldry's Rd, which if travelling east along Shands Rd and then along Main Creek Rd to Arthurs Seat Rd, is 5 miles from Arkwells Lane, not the station. However if the route headed east along the Red Hill/Main Ridge locality boundary and then along Stony Creek Rd-Beaulieu Rd, it would be almost exactly 5 miles. If this was the right corner, the railway would have followed Browns Rd to Boneo.
If Cr Oswin's very accurately measured last-ditch suggestion (if a railway couldn't be obtained for Flinders) of making a beeline to the west boundary of Hansen's (sic),Melway 190 F9, was part of the proposed route and the line continued straight to the bridge in Shands Rd(190 A12), the distance to this spot would be about four miles and it would be about five miles to the corner of Limestone Rd (now a fire access track)and Baldry's Rd at the bottom of Melway 254 F3. If this was Baldry's Corner, the railway to Boneo would have gone along Limestone Rd.This spot was not far from John Baldry's crown allotment 8, section B, Wannaeue, south of the yellow-shaded equestrian centre.
Two other possible locations of Baldry's corner are (a) 254 G8 and(b)254 K8. John Baldry's grant and probably the original portion of "Wildwood", crown allotment 22A, section B,parish of Flinders was between corner,or bend a)and Main Creek, and (b)was the corner of Baldrys and Mornington-Flinders Rds. It is unlikely that these were the corner referred to because both are a fair bit more than 5 miles, even with a very direct route and there is not a direct route between them and Boneo.
LEVEL CROSSING COLLISION.
Claims for 6,100.
Arising out of a fatality which occurredon April 28, at the level crossing on the Frankston-Stony Point railway line, at the point at which the Somerville-Melbourne road crosses near Baxter railway station, two actions for damages have been launched against the Railways Commissioners. They were heard concurrently before Judge
Moule and a special jury in the County Court yesterday.
Alfred Ernest Field was driving his motor-lorry in the evening towards Melbourne, with John Thomas Twyford of
Somerville, orchardist, as a passenger, and the lorry was run into by a special train travelling from Somerville. Field was killed and Twyford was injured. The Perpetual Executors and Trustees Association, as administrators of the estate of Field, on behalf of and for the benefit of Elizabeth Maude Field, widow of de-
ceased, and seven children, claims 4,000 in respect of the death of Field and 600 damages for loss of the motor-lorry. A claim of 1,500 by Twyford is for personal injury.
The case for plaintiff is that the accident was caused through the negligence of the Victorian Railways Commissioners in failing to provide sufficient safeguardsat the crossing. It is alleged that the engine was travelling with the tender in trout, that no light, or not sufficient light, was shown on the front of the tender, that the driver and fireman did not keep a sufficient look out when approaching the crossing, that the train was travelling at excessive speed, that no whistle was blown, and that, owing to a cutting; through which the line ran up to the crossing, and by reason of the angle at which the line intersected the road, the crossing was highly dangerous. No beacon or bell was placed as a warning. Furthermore, a mound of earth, on the top of which was a fence, was allowed to remain near the crossing in such position that the view of an approaching train was obscured. (P.9, Argus, 5-12-1924.)
RED HILL RAILWAY EXTENSION.
The Railways Standing Committee will visit Mornington Peninsula next week in connection with the proposed railway extension from Red Hill. Evidence will be taken at Dromana at half-past 10 o'clock, and at Red Hill at a quarter to 2 o'clock on Tuesday February 24; at Flinders at half-past 11 o'clock on Wednesday, February 25; at Rosebud at a quarter to 11 o'clock; and at Sorrento at a quarter past 2 o'clock on Thursday, February 26. (P.13, Argus, 19-2-1925.)
RAILWAY TO SORRENTO.
Proposed New line.
A deputation of residents from the Moorooduc district waited upon the Minister for Railways (Mr. Eggleston) yesterday and urged that a railway line should be constructed from Morooduc to Sorrento, a distance of about 23 miles. Members of the deputation said that the Railways Standing Committee was now considering the construction of a line in a southerly direction from Red Hill, but by adopting the proposed extension to Sorrento between 12 and 15 miles of construction would be saved in providing railway facilities for the same district, and the line to Sorrento would pass through a large area of valuable agricultural land. Mr. Eggleston, in reply, said that the request was difficult to deal with as the proposed extension from Red Hill had been referred by his predecessor in office to the Railways Standing Committee.(P.9, Argus, 23-4-1925.)
It is freely rumoured here that steps are being taken by the Railway Department to reduce the status of the Tyabb Railway Station to a lower grade. Residents of the district should immediately get together and hold an
indignation meeting, as it would be most disastrous for the district to lose the services of the stationmaster.
The rather lean fruit season just passed has had its effect upon the revenue, but with several record seasons in view look how difficult it would be sending inter-State and ex-port away. It is hinted that Hastings station may also be reduced. For reasons similar to Tyabb, the revenue there has also fallen short. The public bodies here should immediately co-operate and seek the assistance of the district Shire Councilin protesting against the proposed reduction here. (P.6, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 2-9-1927.)
SHORES OF WESTERNPORT
RISING SUMMER RESORT.
Lacking direct rail services, the shores of Westernport have been little touched by seaside settlers in the
past, but motor transport is now bringing the people across the peninsula from Frankston to Balnarring,
Shoreham, and Flinders in search of unoccupied water frontages. ........
The rambling Red Hill railway and the Flinders main road come within a mile of the shore at Balnarring, but
the railway service needs much speeding-up if the public is to be induced to use it as a holiday resort service. (P.7, Frankston andSomerville Standard, 7-10-1927.)
The movement initiated by the Tyabb Progress Association towards requesting the Railway Commissioners to run the Stony Point and Red Hill first morning train direct from starting station to Frankston has earned
the support of the Westernport and Balnarring Progress Associations.They deplore the great loss of timeentailed by the existing wait at Baxter every morning. It is expected that the Progress Association at Crib Point will also support the proposal.A conference will be called shortlyto arrange for a deputation to the Railway Commissioners. (P.3, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 6-1-1928.)
Originally, carrier Harry Cairns and Jimmy the Squid Williams took fish, rabbits and passengers to the Mornington railhead but by about 1920 they had been succeeded by Keith McGregor and Len Dunk who introduced motorised transport. Ironically, one of the speakers at the opening of the Red Hill-Bittern railway was William Calder, chairman of the Country Roads Board. This was like getting the Devil to speak at the opening of a new wing in Heaven! Because of Calder's great work and faster cars, a trip by road to Melbourne was no longer "travail". Because of falling revenue, the Government restricted the Peninsula buses to taking their passengers to Frankston station. Too bad if a slight delay meant missing the train!
DROMANA, Wednesday. -An enthusiastic meeting of residents of Dromana, Portsea, Sorrento. Flinders, and elsewhere on the peninsula was held at the Mechanics'Institute, Dromana, this afternoon, it being the first annual meeting of the Mornington Peninsula Development League. The principal item on the business paper was the
Councillor D. Macfarlan, president of the Shire of Flinders, declared that they should not sit down and have their means of communication taken away. Mornington Peninsula was not served by a railway, and had a just cause. They were in a better position to express their opinions now that the 'bus legislation had been in operation for six months. He moved:
"That owing to the delay and inconvenience to passengers caused by the break in the journey a service of 'buses be permitted to run from the city to Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento, and Portsea, and Flinders, none of which towns is served by railway, and that a monster deputation from the Peninsula wait upon the Minister(Mr Jones),to protest strongly against thehardship inflicted."
Councillor Macfarlan said that a deputation from the Flinders Council should amalgamate with the larger body.
Mr. Spencer Jackson, secretary of the Dromana Progress Association, supporting the motion, said that in his opinion a committee of five should be appointed to organise the deputation. They must remember that "persistency penetrates." The motion was agreed to unanimously.Councillor A.J. Kirton (Mornington),
Councillor D. Macfarlan (Sorrento), Councillor G. Higgins (Red Hill), Mr A. Hamilton (Shoreham), and Mr. Spencer Jackson (Dromana) were appointed a committee,with Mr. Jackson as organising secretary.
(P.15,Argus, 13-9-1928.) N.B. The Red Hill rep. was George Higgens.
Having achieved a rail service, the various communities through their progress associations and similar bodies kept up the fight for facilities to be maintained and improved. Also see 2-9-1927.
IMPROVED RAILWAY YARD.
For a considerable time the railway goods yard at Tyabb railway station have (sic) been in a very rough state. The chief railway ,engineer (Mr. Richards) visited the station a few days ago and had an interview with Cr. Alden, and as a result, it is believed considerable improvements will be effected. The entire metalled surface of the goods yards will be torn up by suitable road building machinery and properly screened and levelled. Cr. Alden is to be commended for bringing this matter before the railway authorities.
(P.8, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 22-5-1936.)
BONEO The Boneo Branch of the United Country Party decided to request the Railway Commissioners to provide better loading facilities at the Moorooduc railway station. At present there is no provision for the loading or unloading of stock to or from motor transport. The provision of a ramp for this purpose would eliminate much inconvenience and permit greater co-operation between the two systems of transport. PROPOSED COASTAL RAILWAY. The proposal for a coastal railway from Frankston to Portsea received favorable comment at the recent branch meeting. It is the obvious answer to the transport problems which beset the Peninsula at present, and which will become more acute in the post-war years. With the continued expansion of agricultural pursuits on the Peninsula, the need for a railway is be coming more and more apparent; not to mention the increasing flow of passenger traffic which, during holiday seasons, is increasing to such dimensions that it will be beyond the capacity of any motor service to handle. Such a railway is the only way to open up the Peninsula in a sure and permanent way by bringing the whole countryside within ready access of the City and the major markets.
(P.3, Standard, Frankston, 17-5-1945.)
Mr C. B. Wilson, secretary of the Mornington-Mt Martha Publicity
League, said yesterday that the request made for a direct railway between Frankston and Mornington was not a stupid proposal as claimed by certain councillors of Frankston and Hastings Shire. It was an excellent proposal and would aid development. The Frankston and Hastings Council could rest assured that its criticism of the plan would not upset Mornington's efforts. (P.6, Argus, 20-6-1946.)
Charles Bowman Wilson, after whom the C.B.Wilson Reserve in Wilsons Rd, Mornington, was named, was (according to Joan Downward)a train driver who surprised many by becoming president of the shire of Mornington, a position coveted by many prominent citizens. He was a descendant of "Bonnie William from Dundee" whose family followed Ralph Ruddell on Tuerong and an unrelated Wilson family from Mornington (according to the author of the Bonnie William website.) See the entry by Val Wilson of the Mornington Historical Society on the Mornington Cemetery website.
(To the Editor)
Sir,-Evidently "An old Resident" (Mt Eliza) does not want to see development of the Peninsula take place-otherwise he would have a different frame of mind as regards The Mornington effort to have a direct railway.
through Mt. Eliza. Evidently he is one of those who has his own motor car. He mentions about Mornington's lack of facilities, but he will be surprised to know what is contemplated in the way of improvements. If he watches the local Press he will get a big shock. I can also tell him that Mornington has facilities which towns twice its size do not possess. It's to be hoped "An Old Resident" will come along to the Parliamentary Committee hearing when it takes place. He will be welcome. He will hear a lot of reasons why South Peninsula people want fast electric train services along a direct route which will also give reasonable fares to the travelling public.Hoping he will come along.Yours, etc., Mornington. "PROGRESS." (P.2, Standard, Frankston, 22-5-1947.)
That the Mornington Peninsula people are motor-minded and that expenditure of 300,000 on a proposed electric coastal railway from Frankston to Mornington was not justified or desired, was the main basis of objection voiced by several Frankston and district speakers who gave sworn evidence before the State Public Works Committee on Wednesday, August 13, at Frankston Shire Offices.
Hon. James E. Fenton said he had been a resident of the Peninsula for over 30 years. His study of Peninsula people over the past 20 years proved conclusively that they were motor-minded people. Practically all stock and produce was moved by motor truck through the Peninsula. It was the general mode of transport. He stressed the tragedy of the Red Hill line, where he and other ratepayers using the line had to pay for the land through which the railway was constructed. The line was now practically, a closed book and a complete "wash-out," al-
though it cost 70,000 to construct. He was certainly opposed to the direct line to Mornington, as the 300,000 could be devoted to much better things.. Water supply had played a most important part in the development of the Peninsula.(P.1s, Standard, Frankston, 21-8-1947.)
Plan to electrify Mornington line.
Electrification of the Frankston-Mt Eliza-Mornington railway was recommended to the Parliamentary Public Works Committee yesterday. The Mornington Shire committee of electrification submitted evidence in which it recommended that 300,000 should be spent on the project. Electrification of the line, it was said, would enable district industries to expand and provide easy transport of commodities to market.
(P.3, Argus, 1-7-1948.)
Bayside railway line opposed.
FRANKSTON people were opposed to construction of a railway line along the coast from Frankston to Mornington, Cr. G. V. Hurst,president of Frankston and Hastings Shire, told the Public Works Committee yesterday.They believed, he said, that the Peninsula, "the playground of Victoria," would be best served by the present bus services.
The proposed coast railway through Mt. Eliza would cost thousands of pounds and would take only four minutes less than the present Mornington line through Baxter,Cr. Hurst said. Cr. Hurst attacked claims by Mornington Shire, which supports the coastline scheme, that Mornington could one day be a subsidiary port to Melbourne.
"No port can function without a great outgoing trade, and what exporter would bypass Melbourne for Mornington?" he asked. Cr. A. E. Webb (Cranbourne Shire) told the committee that his shire was also opposed to the
new line. The old Mornington line should be electrified instead,he said.
(P7, Argus, 13-10-1950.)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 12 June 1953 p 14 Article
... 'White elephant' railways to close Three country branch railway lines which have been losing money heavily will be closed permanently on June 28. The condemned lines are: Redesdale Junction ... branch of the Melbourne-Leongatha line. . Bittern-Red Hill: A 10 mile branch on the Mornington Peninsula.
STATIONS ON THE BITTERN TO RED HILL LINE.
RAILWAY STATION ESTATE
Land Sale at Red Hill.
On Saturday, September 30, Messrs Knight & Harwood will conduct an Important subdivisional sale of the
Railway Station Estate at Red Hill. The land upon which the Red Hill station is built originally formed part
of this estate. The land offered includes 61 township lots and 19 lots from 6 to 15 acres, and includes well timbered, virgin country, and. the soil varies from dark loam to rich chocolate. The opening of this estate is
the era of the development of Red Hill, as the township is being formed round and upon this estate. The acreage areas are highly suitable for orcharding, and for the culture of fruit of almost any description. The Red Hill district is on the verge of big developments, for, although an old-settled part of the Mornington Peninsula, it has hitherto remained in comparative obscurity, known chiefly to those in the fruit business as a source of small fruits, especially strawberries and apple of excellent quality. To others it is known merely as a picturesque locality, some six miles from Dromana and near the shores of Westernport Bay. The undoubted potentialities of the district for fruit-growing and small farming are now in a good way of being developed. The imposing 24,000-case cool store near the station at once indicates the lines on which development is likely to proceed. The farm produce, peas, beans, potatoes, green maize and lucerne, together with a variety of vegetables, showed the capacity of the district for general farming.
(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 22-9-1922.)
The Red Hill Station Estate would not have been on the western side of the east end of Arthurs Seat Rd because this was the Red Hill Village Settlement on crown allotment 74 Balnarring, alienated in the 1890's.
In the south east corner of the settlement,part of the 14 acre crown allotment 74K had been acquired,74K1 of 1 acre being purchased by the Victorian Railway Commissioners on 11-7-1922, about two acres had been transferred to the C.R.B. (the Shoreham Rd deviation near No.160)and another 1.2 acres east of the deviation, 74 K2, was also bought by the railways and is now the site of The Long Table.
Station Rd, south of Mechanics Rd was part of the original government road but when the station was built,it became a dead end and in 1921, the Country Roads Board built two deviations, one going south of Marma and Almora Avenues and the other around the station (Red Hill Centrepoint site.)
On the 1907 map of the parish of Balnarring available online, the area bounded by Arthurs Seat Rd, Mechanics' Rd and Station Rd is labelled Military purposes, gazetted 1889. On my Balnarring map (October 1954), from which the information about deviations etc. above came, this same area is labelled Township of Red Hill, gazetted 1922. This was strange because another Red Hill Township was declared in the 1860's and its post office remained there at 710 White Hill Rd until fairly recently in terms of Red Hill's history. The Methodist Church opened near the post office in 1884. The church bought two blocks near the station in 1922 (presumably the Uniting Church site west of Perry Lane)and relocated their chapel in 1932. (P.31-2 THE RED HILL, Sheila Skidmore.)
I believe the Railway Station Estate was north of the station and east of Station Rd on crown allotment 77, Balnarring,including the two avenues west of Red Hill Rd, Beauford Rd and Thomas Rd. It may have been subdivided by Arthur A. Thomas who subdivided the Hindhope Estate at Rosebud at about the same time.
RED HILL STATION ENTRANCE.
Referring to a statement that the Mornington Fruitgrowers' Association had complained of the condition of the entrance to Red Hill station, the Railway Commissioners have intimated that,between the roadway outside the railway boundary and the approach to the station, a culvert is being provided to overcome accumulations of storm water.(P.13, Argus, 6-7-1923.)
The Balnarring railway station was at Melway 193 E5, just within the parish of Bittern. It was on the south side of Frankston-Flinders Rd(which the railway followed from the Bittern station)between a point opposite the Mt Barron St corner and Sandy Point Rd.Civic Court indicates the path of the railway into the parish of Balnarring. This area is still linked to Red Hill- by the RED HILL BAKERY across Balnarring Rd!
An accident, which may yet be attended with fatal results, occurred at the Bittern railway station on Saturday night, just as the last train from Stoney Point was arriving at the station. A Melbourne lady named Mrs. Shand and her two children--one baby in arms were thrown out of a trap at Bittern station. Mrs. Shand was rendered unconscious, as was also the baby, the other child escaping with comparatively little damage. The train had justarrived, and no medical assistance being at hand the sufferers were placed in a carriage with the necessary attendance,and a doctor telegraphed for at the nearest available station. Mrs. Shand was much better before the train left Bittern station, but it was not expected that the baby could survive the injuries it received, for from appearance concussion of the brain was probable,irrespective of the shaking it had received. Mrs Shand is a resident of Hawksburn. ((P.2, Mornington Standard, 1-3-1894.)
The reporter obviously had little local knowledge, judging by his spelling of Stony Creek and his failure to establish why the Melbourne woman had been in the area. She was obviously the daughter in law of Alexander Shand and had been giving her children a holiday with their grandparents at the west end of Shands Rd. They would have travelled to the Bittern Station (Melway 164 F7) via Shands, Shoreham and Frankston-Flinders Rds.[i/]
RAILWAY SAFE BLOWN OPEN.
Money and Tobacco Stolen.
HASTINGS, Thursday. - A window of the office at the Bittern railway station
was forced, the safe blown open, and 7/17/10 in cash stolen, in addition to tobacco and cigarettes valued at 12. Constable Egan and Detectives Saker and West are making inquiries. (P.10, Argus, 7-12-1928.)
The Merricks railway station ground was at Melway 192 E-F9. Merricks Rd originally ran straight to Frankston-Flinders Rd but was diverted along the northern boundary of the station site from which a small piece has been used for a left turn slip-lane into Merricks Rd.
Paper to be Used.
Much interest is being taken in the erection of a factory or mill at Merricks, on the Bittern-Red Hill railway, near Westernport Bay, for the manufacture of kraft paper, which is to be used for bagging cement. Hitherto the practice has been to use jute bags almost exclusively for this purpose, but in other parts of the world notably Germany, tough paper, made up in five layers, has been found to serve the purpose.
One objection that has been raised to jute bags is that the fine cement powder penetrates them and causes trouble in handling. Jute is also criticised on the score of expense. It is contended that the kraft paper bags will be much cheaper, and that after being once used they can be thrown away or destroyed without any
appreciable loss. The parties interested in the project are also said to be interested
in the manufacture of cement. A beginning has already been made with the construction of the works.
(P.9, Argus, 11-1-1927.)
SOMERVILLE RAILWAY STATION.
As I have researched fairly extensively for my THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM and THE FEMALE DROVER: A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC, I will provide a few snippets about the Somerville Station. Leila Shaw's THE WAY WE WERE contains two pieces of information that I recall off-hand. Firstly that the station was not built near Lower Somerville Rd which was the centre of population at the time. Secondly that one of the station masters had a family of about 13 children and the book has a photograph of the large family.
Graf Rd at Somerville provides a link with these two snippets, the Premier of Victoria and his father in law (Red Hill's first recorded settler), the Mechanics' Institute, the famous Fruitgrowers' Show, the Somerville Hotel, another station master and the Australian Test Team.
After I started my campaign to make Dromana and Rosebud's history more accessible in August 2010, I spent the rest of that year transcribing rate records and making notes from every relevant local history. Mentally tired and eyes strained, I borrowed Leila's book to read just for enjoyment. I'd only read to page 6 when my curiosity led to a marathon research project. Henry Gomm was assessed on the Jetty's cafe site near the Rosebud jetty in 1900 and 1910 but Leila had him as a Somerville pioneer. As I discovered, the two were completely unrelated but Somerville Henry's 1888 biography in VICTORIA AND ITSMETROPOLIS contained a wrong claim (as it turned out) which was probably a lie. This would have been to back up a family legend he'd created that he came out on the same ship as Tommy Bent.
Henry Gomm of Rosebud was the son of a convict of the same name. He died at Cheltenham Benevolent Home in 1915, his brother William, who owned the Rosebud Fishing Village block, married a Flinders woman and, well past middle age, deserted her for a20 year old whom he married after his wife's death. William died at about the same time as Henry, still at Hastings, and it appeared that some members of the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Association offered condolences to the Somerville Gomms. Another brother, Thomas, died at Dromana in 1896 not long after giving evidence in the inquiry into Alf Downward's disputed election to State Parliament.
Tommy Bent didn't sail out in 1839; that was when he was born in Penrith, N.S.W. Somerville Henry didn't sail to Australia in 1839; he came with his father, George, in 1843 at the age of 4. However by the 1850's both Gomm families were living in the parish of Moorabbin and were to remain near-neighbours for over half a century. (See the story about their earlier days on Graham Whitehead's CITY OF KINGSTON HERITAGE WEBSITE.) Not long after,the Bent family moved into the Moorabbin parish and as Henry,son of George, was the same age as Tommy Bent, it was not surprising that they became great friends. As well as market gardening, Tommy Bent launched into subdividing land and Bentleigh is named after him.
John Huntley and his wife were pioneers of the Dromana district, having arrived in 1851 according to the pioneer Pathway. Bill Huntley told me while we were on our road tour, 91 year old Bill at the wheel, that John had been granted the 208 acres on the west side of Red Hill Rd between Station St and the conservation reserve on the south corner of McIlroys Rd. This land was granted to John Holmes (no relation of the present Red Hill family) and his partner Lawrence Waddeson,who was killed in an accident. Therefore, John Huntley seems to have held a depasturing licence until the government alienated the Mt McMahon Agricultural District.
Tommy Bent lived at Brighton, where the Huntleys were pioneers, John Huntley senior was basically a Brighton resident, and (relevant to a journal about railways)was almost killed at a level crossing there, having returned full time after the alienation of his Red hill lease. Tommy Bent married Miss Huntley who unfortunately did not live long but his relationship to Bill is shown by the huge portrait of Sir Thomas in full regalia that graces his Safety Beach lounge room. John Huntley Jnr bought the southern half of his father's former lease and established "Hillside Orchard". When John died, his widow, Mary (nee Hope) married Cr John Shand, known to his friends as Peter and while Mary's sisters in law farmed Hillside Orchard, John and Mary Shand farmed Kent Orchard (south corner of the west end of Kentucky Rd) and then Kentucky and Rosslyn, (whose homesteads are now 214 and 212 Dromana-Bittern Rd.)
As stated earlier, Tommy Bent and Henry Gomm were longtime friends. Henry had bought "Glenhoya" and after making all ready for his family from 1861, living almost entirely on kangaroo meat, he settled his family there in about 1867. The railway had reached Frankston by 1882 and surveying would have started for any extension soon afterwards. The minister for railways was..........Tommy Bent! Now, it could be that the minister of Railways had suggested that the route they survey should head to the point where the boundaries of the parishes of Frankston, Moorooduc and Tyabb met at the Jones Rd/ Eramosa Rd corner, an easily defined point. But I suspect that the man in charge was, as a biography about him was called:bent by name; bent by nature. There is plenty of evidence of this in the Maribyrnong, Melbourne Airport and North Essendon areas,the Huntley name also associated with the third land speculation which attracted much suspicion.
I consulted Melway to see if there was an obvious deviation from a sensible route such as the Mt Alexander and Murray River Railway crossing the Calder Highway at Diggers Rest to travel past Rupertswood and Clarkfield in 1858 for the benefit of Big Clarke. The Langwarrin Estate had been carved up and Langwarrin Township established by the 1880's. If the line had gone straight down Golf Links Rd, feeding directly into Lower Somerville Rd,it would have gone close to Langwarrin township and passed directly through Somerville's centre of population. However it headed almost due east to today's Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Park, probably the pre-emptive right of the Langwarrin Estate, whose owner might have been another of Tommy Bent's friends. Naturally the township that sprang up near the station became known as Langwarrin Township. Because of the 1890's depression and the distancefrom the railway, the original township became a ghost town, but in about 1896, Nathaniel Pearce brought it back to life and it was renamed in his honour.
The Gomm family believes that the route through Somerville was a favour from Tommy Bent for Henry Gomm. Glenhoya was at the south west corner of Jones and Eramosa Rds, a stone's throw from the station. There could be some truth in the family legend that it was a favour from Tommy Bent that caused the station to be built right next to Henry Gomm's property. It worked to Somerville's benefit because Henry donated the site for the Mechanics'Institute and offered the Fruitgrowers' Reserve to which special trains brought patrons and exhibitors from all over the state for the famed Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show. It was rare for the Show to be opened by the Premier of Victoria but Tommy did it circa 1907;perhaps a third favour granted to Henry.
The second favour was asked for when Henry's daughter fell in love with the young station master. Henry was a wealthy man and didn't plan to have a railway employee as a son in law.He couldn't get young Graf out of his daughter's heart so the next best thing was to get him out of her life. He was tranferred to Ascot Vale Station but it didn't work and Miss Gomm fled to the city; the lovers were wed at a quiet ceremony. The girl's mother, Margaret (nee Monk) would have been seething but neither she not Henry attended.
Henry would have nothing to do with his disobedient daughter but every time her brothers visited the Vic market or the Newmarket Saleyards they'd take food to help the young couple cope. After Henry's death, his son, William Herbert (Paddy)persuaded the Gomm family to welcome the Grafs back into the fold and in their first year of residence, the Somerville cricket team won the premiership with the help of a Graf. When Frankston real estate agent, George Austin, was subdividing land west of Glenhoya, a fast bowler made the Australian test team. His name was Shaun and the closest he came to playing a test was 12th man. However the Somerville Cricket Club was proud of him and suggested that the tree-studded track being turned into a road should be named Graf Rd. The Gomms nearly lost the Somerville Hotel because Henry's grandson Billy Gomm and a Graf cousin were sprung S.P.bookmaking in the pub and were banned from entering the premises.Billy's brother, George, had to give up his rare metal mining to save the hotel's licence. (Sources: The Way We Were; Murray Gomm; genealogical
websites, The Butcher The Baker The; and trove, such as the following:
Mornington and Dromana Standard (Vic. : 1908 - 1911) Saturday 14 August 1909 p 2 Article
... Wedding. GRAF-GOMM. A wedding of local importance was celebrated quietly at St. Mary's Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, on Wednesday last, the contracting parties being Mr David J. Graf, of Ascot Vale and Miss Beatrice Ethel Gomm, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs H. Gomm, "Glenhoya" ..
THE STATIONMASTER WITH THE BIG FAMILY.
I'm operating under considerable difficulty at the moment because I can't open any of my word files. I knew you wouldn't all be rushing off to borrow Leila's book so I tried to open BETTER DAYS which was a souvenir to celebrate the opening of Rosebud's new netball courts in 2012 and was about the players in the 1936 semi final between Rosebud and Somerville. This was on a USB stick but still wouldn't open. It is available from both football clubs.
If I remember the story, Mrs Currie died and coping with the large family led to Mr Currie's suicide.Do you think I could find any of my sources on trove? I don't know how I managed to find them for BETTER DAYS, whose title reflected the dismal form of both clubs at the time the book was started. Paddy Gomm took Peter Currie into his home and he grew up with Billy and George Gomm, two legends of the Somerville Football Club. By finding the report of the 1936 match and looking at the list of Somerville players, I was 95% sure that the orphan's name was Currie but I found little on trove.
In desperation, I googled "Currie, Somerville" and found this:
Panoramio - Photo of old station master house somerville
Dec 6, 2008 - MY GRANDFATHER WAS STATIONMASTER THEIR IN THE 30S MY MOTHER IS ALISON THOMAS NEE CURRIE WHO WERE A BIG FAMILY ...
The website has a photo of the old station masters's house in which the Currie family. It was apparently an Op Shop when it was burnt down in 2009. I have pasted some of the comments posted about the photo.
Sun Hill CID, on November 16, 2009, said:
The old Station masters house burnt down in early September, which is a shame.
tidders, on November 22, 2009, said:
Yes it is a shame. It could have served a purpose rather than let go and become derilect. Apparently September 2009 when it went up in flames.
benje, on January 9, 2010, said:
MY GRANDFATHER WAS STATIONMASTER THEIR IN THE 30S MY MOTHER IS ALISON THOMAS NEE CURRIE WHO WERE A BIG FAMILY BORN AT THE STATION 8 SETS OF TWINS "THE CURRIE TWINS ME MUM NOW LIVES IN WALES UK 82 YRS OLD AND GOING STRONG ANYONE OUT THEIR REMEMBERS THIS FAMILY?WORKED IN OZ FOR TWO YRS WEN WAS YOUNGER REMEMBER IT JUST LIKE THIS PHOTO?
tidders, on January 12, 2010, said:
benje. I am glad you have commented on the photo of Station Masters House. I did know through reading that the Currie family lived here with a big family. I also have seen a photo taken way back of some of the family at the old house. Do you know much of the Yaringa/ Bembridge area from way back.
benje, on February 1, 2010, said:
im sorry but being a taff (welsh)do not i lived in altona whilst staying in oz but my aunt lived on the sommerville hastings rd her name is peggy martyr was married to horrie martyr she had 5 children joe eldest (deceasd)arleen alice helen and phillip i also have family down at bittern the myers family stumpy gully rd bill dad (deceased)winsome mums sister their children brian julie carmel and john ullask my mum aboutyaringa if she can remember any body?does anyone remember alison her twin was hombre (nickname)he died in a cycling accident in his fifties another brother still living at bairnsdale is sam currie twin to winsome!
Nathodsercha, on February 21, 2010, said:
I was across the road when the old station master's house went on fire. I started running over to it where i saw heaps of smoke but at this point it was near the start of the fire, got my phone out and videod it after i ran across the train line to see it. When i got closs to it i was probably only 5 meters from the back fence were it was very smoky especially when the fire men came about 5-6 mins later. I had to run out the way when it suddenly came at my face and others.
benje, on April 17, 2010, said:
WHAT A FAMILY THIS MUST HAVE BEEN 13 CHILDREN 4 SETS OF TWINS THE CURRIES I LIVE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD WALES BUT MY MOTHER ALISON IS 83YRS OLD STILL GOING STRONG BECAUSE SHE IS A DIAMOND GEEZEER SHE CAME OVER TO WALES FOR A 12 MTH HOLIDAY IN 1954 TO SHOW HER TWO CHILDREN OFF TO HER MOM IN LAW AFTER A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE ADVENTS HAPPENED SHE NEVER RETURNED TO HER HOMELAND WHEN SHE WAS AKID SHE HAD A LAMB FOR A PET AT THE STATION GLAD TO BE A FAMILY MEMBER AND PROUD TO HAVE AUSTRALIAN BLOOD IN MY VEINS|||
TO BE CONTINUED.
I am helping one of my people from my Family History Group of the Breakfast
Point Probus Club with their family history.
James McGRATH butcher died on 21 Feb 1865 aged 37 years. His place of burial
states " Sanctuary Station". I am wondering if anyone can shed some light on
Sanctuary Station please ?
Would logically be a vast cattle or sheep station somewhere in Australia.
So give us a clue as which STATE it may be.
I know there is a Point Nepean in Vic.but sure I have heard the term for N.S.W.
Hope Di Christensen reads this.
SANCTUARY STATION was probably an alternative description of QUARANTINE STATION and a misreading of SANITARY STATION.
Extensive information about the four families, who lived on the Nepean Peninsula,that is the Portsea/Sorrento area on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, is available in:
1. LIME LAND LEISURE, (Shire of Flinders), C.N.Hollinshed.
2. THOSE COURAGEOUS, HARDY WOMEN, Elizabeth McMeekin.
3. FAMILY, CONNECTIONS, SORRENTO AND PORTSEA, Jennifer Nixon.
Genealogical information in 1. is a bit dodgy. It can probably be borrowed from the Mornington Peninsula Shire library system via an inter-library loan.
2 deals mainly with the second generation of the Skelton family and their spouses such as McGrath, Lugger Jack Clark etc.
3. takes the family connections much further and shows conclusively that it's wise not to badmouth any of the Nepean Peninsula pioneers while you're in the area, because the person you're talking to is likely to be related in some way.
James Ford married Dennis Sullivan's daughter. Both of them had stations but Sullivan's was on the site of the quarantine station and was dispossessed in 1852 when it was established. The Fords and Sullivans (+ Farnsworth etc.) are discussed in fair detail in 1 and 3. If the query concerns either of these families,their grants in the parishes of Nepean and Wannaeue can be found online. Google:
Nepean,county of Mornington or
Wannaeue,county of Mornington.
Until I know exactly which family is being researched(or families), I can't help much more at the moment. In regard to books 2 and 3, the researcher should ring Jenny Nixon for a chat. I just rang Jenny who said it was okay to include her number and that she would be happy to hear what information is required and to recommend the book most likely to supply it. She is excited to find out about an interstate descendant of one of the Nepean Peninsula pioneering families.Her own book is out of print but will be reprinted soon.
Jenny's phone number is xxxxxxxx.
Some information about the four families named will be found in my journals. Google the surname and itellya, family tree circles,
e.g. McGrath, itellya, family tree circles or Skelton, itellya, family tree circles etc.
Little Brother has replied back to me, rather than direct to you.
But, read & discover, there are some little gems within..
How clear & from where did you get Sanctuary Station ???
Confirmation that the Quarantine Station was also officially called the Sanitary Station.
MEAT FOR SANITARY STATION -Tenders will be received until eleven o'olock of Tuesday, 8th of August,from parties willing to supply meat for the use of the Sanitary Station at tho Heads. Farther Information,(etc.)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 3 August 1854 p 3 Article-7th item in 1st column,Domestic Intelligence.)
P.S. I wouldn't mind betting that John Barker (Boniyong and Cape Schanck) won the contract and Sam Sherlock senior (then a lad) delivered the meat*. They also needed vegetables and they would have been supplied by James Ford* whose wife would have passed on the secrets that allowed the Sullivans to stagger early Melbourne with their giant cucumber** not long before they moved to the Heads in 1843*. James Ford may have been ready to supply meat as well by this time or soon after; in 1859 James Ford and Peter Purves were grazing 500 bullocks in the police paddock and got up a dodgy petition against a fence being built from White Cliffs to the back beach which would have prevented the free grazing***.
* LIME LAND LEISURE.
**EARLY MELBOURNE Michael? Sullivan.)
***ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD Peter Wilson and FAMILY, CONNECTIONS, SORRENTO AND PORTSEA Jennifer Nixon.
P.2, MORNINGTON STANDARD, 17-2-1906.
AT RED HILL. After lunch on Monday the party set out for Red Hill, and after a run of 9 miles through country of con siderable promise arrived at the State school about half-past 3. The large gathering of settlers indicated a lively interest in railway matters. At the outset, the Chairman referred to the potentialities of richly productive areas skirting the main road during the greater part of the journey that afternoon, and desired to hear the residents' idea of the proposal of a railway, and also an expression of feeling as to the loading of the land, a policy which the Government had determined on in connection with railway construction for the future. Mr Downward assured the committee that some valuable information would be tendered regarding the fruitgrowing industry.
John Shand (president of the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong) stated he had been orcharding for the past 5 years, and had been sawmilling on the Peninsula for 20 years. He owned 236 acres, and leased 245 acres. Had been sending out 100 tons of fruit per year. The trees in the orchard were young, and in due time he expected to send from 200 to 300 tons of fruit annually. During the past 3 years the area under strawberries in the district had increased considerably. Some of the fruit was carted to Mornington and Bittern-mostly to the former station, but the fruit was knocked about a good deal by being carted long distances to the railway stations. He considered the land in the district was very suitable for closer settlement, as the generality of the country was fairly good, and well-watered. There were also good roads. In that district there were fully 1000 acres of timber suitable for milling purposes, and a very large supply of timber, comprising oak, gum, and mess mate. His property was from 13 to 14 miles from the Mornington station,and about 8 miles from Bittern. He was quite agreeable to have his land loaded to the amount of 1s per acre per year, if that were necessary,towards making up any deficiency in the revenue of the proposed railway. Hay and potatoes were successfully grown at Red Hill, but, so far, not a great deal of that produce had been forwarded by rail. The reason why so much of the fruit was sent via Mornington was on account of the importance of catching the earlier train. If railway facilities were extended to that district, he was sure the line would be largely patronised by the fruitgrowers, as soft fruits especially were liable to damage in carting.
Joseph M'Ilroy occupied 153 acres, 50 acres of which were in orchard, and more of his land was being prepared for cultivation. He was agreeable that his land should be loaded for railway purposes. The orchards in the district paid very well, and there would be a better return when the young trees grew up. His land was worth 6 per acre. Most of the land holders in the district were the original selectors of the land. If they could get firewood from their land conveyed to Melbourne by train, the return would pay for the clearing of the land, and more settlement and increased cultivation must follow.
Alfred Head had 20 acres in orchard and 20 acres under other cultivation, but the greater part of his land was in its natural state. He had been living on his land for 40 years. They had been agitating for a railway,on and off, for the past 30 years, and he was quite willing to bear his share of the proposed loading. He had always lived on the receipts from his land, growing principally vegetables and fruit. He considered 50 acres were sufficient of the class of land at Red Hill for anyone to make a very comfortable living from.
Henry Percy Prosser(sic) had made a living the past 10 years. There were eight in his household. Having such long distances to cart the fruit, a good deal of time was thus occupied which should be put to better use on the land . He would not object to paying any reasonable loading. He had grown 8 tons of potatoes to the acre at Red Hill, and he believed that crop would be extensively grown if proper facilities for marketing were afforded.
William J. M'Ilroy was the holder of 815 acres, but the greater part of it was not utilised at present. He had a great deal too much land. He valued it at 3 per acre. About 45 acres were cultivated. He grew principally apples and pears, and also some strawberries. The fruit paid very well at present, but the return would be very much better if the proposed railway were constructed. He would not object to the loading of his land, but was not inclined to part with any portion if his holding, on account of having a large family, and it would all come in useful for them.
John M'Kenzie, engineer for the Shire of Flinders and Kangarong, considered the best revenue for the railway would be from Mornington, but the cost would be a good deal more than by the other routes suggested. By the Bittern route the line would run through good country at Balnarring and Red Hill. About 74,000 acres of very good land would be reserved by the proposed railway. He valued 150 acres near Flinders belonging to Mr R. Anderson at 5 per acre on the average, and Mr Anderson's Cape Schank property at 2 per acre including the homestead. On his latter property there very extensive belts of ti-tree, which commanded fair prices as firewood.
At present cargoes of the wool were frequently forwarded by craft. If the Government did not consider it as viable to make a line through to Finders at present a line constructed as far as the village settlement at Red Hill would be of a great service. He had no doubt that if the railway were constructed a good deal more of the land would be cultivated as the soil and climate would be cultivated. If the Bittern and Kangerong route were adopted there would be comparatively little cutting required in the construction of the line. He had some ex- perience regarding the cost of railway work and had gone carefully into the cost of the suggested line from Bittern. According to his estimate, the expense would not be so great as was anticipated.
Nelson Rudduck, storekeeper and farmer, said there would be no fear of craft at Dromana successfully com- peting against the railway. The fire wood trade was done, so far as water carriage was concerned. It had to be carted to the jetty, then tracked along the jetty to the boat. About 500 tons of goods were brought to Dromana yearly by boat. Two wagons were on the road between Dromana and Mornington, and he thought about 200 tons per year were taken that way. Difficulties in landing goods were experienced by vessels visiting Dromana, and then there was the unreliability as to the receipt or despatch of goods conveyed by water. It would be a distinct advantage to residents to patronise a railway. The passenger traffic to and from Dromana and the surrounding district was very considerable, even under present conditions, and the greater part of that would be trans- ferred to a railway. He was a partner in a large holding of land in the district, and would not object to the proposed loading.
William H. Blakeley had 140 acres of land in the district, 25 acres of which were in orchard. It was fine growing country, and would be greatly developed by a railway. He would not say whether the village settlement at Red Hill was a success generally, but he knew that in cases where the land was properly managed the men had succeeded.
William Oswin, farmer and fruit grower, had a small orchard at Balnarring and also another holding of 80 acres. The respective routes of the suggested railway cut through a corner of his property. He would be greatly benefit by the line, and his property would be much enhanced in value. Consequently be would be will- tag to have his land loaded up to 6d per acre, but, having an intimate knowledge of the country through which the proposed railway would pass, he would say that leading to the extent of 6d per acre would be as much as could be borne in some instances. A central railway, via Kangerong, would be far the most servicable of the respective routes suggested, as it would be the greater convenience to a considerable majority of the people of the district traversed, and be the means of developing a lot of good country. If it were decided that the railway could not be continued to Flinders at the outset, it would be advisable, for the convenience of the Flinders people, instead or terminating it at the village settlement at Red Hill, to continue the line to Hansen's, about a mile and a half further on. The examination of witnesses being concluded, the committee were driven to Mornington, and on the following morning returned by train to Melbourne.
GRANTEES NEAR RED HILL.
N.B. All grantees will be mentioned in the RED HILL PIONEERS journal with quite extensive detail from various sources, even about those of whom I know nothing at the moment. Additions are being made to the pioneers journal all the time so stay tuned in.
Aitken, Allan, Attenborough, Bayne, Buchanan, Bullock, Byrne, Davey, Downward, Duff, Fooks, Gibson, Gray, T.Hamilton, Head, Hindmarsh, Holding,William Hopcraft, Journeaux, McConnell, McKeown, Oswin, Palmer, Pitcher, Roy, Sherwood, Simpson, Smith, J.R.Thompson, Tonkin, Wighton, George Wilson.
APPLEYARD, ARKWELL, CALDER, CLYDESDALE, COUNSEL, DAVEY, DAVIES, DOWNWARD, DUNN, EATON, FRITSCH, GOULDING, GRIFFITH, HARRISON, HOLMES&WEADSON (WADESSON?), KEMP, LOXTON, MATHESON, McILROY, MILNER, MOAT, PEATEY, RINGROSE, WINDSOR, WISEMAN, YOUNG.
BRADY, CAIN, DAVEY, GRIFFITH, HARDS, John HOPCRAFT, JAMES, JOHNSTONE, SHAND.
Information about the farms of the above appears in the RED HILL GRANTEES journal and details about later owners of properties, relationships, activities, street names and so on will be included in the RED HILL PIONEERS JOURNAL.
This journal describes where the grantees' land was in greater detail than in the other journal but also contains information from Keith Holmes about later occupants of those blocks and even some genealogy. Sheila Skidmore has excerpts from Joseph McIlroy's diary about working at Huntley's and later leasing the property for five years. Here we find out where the Huntley property was.
THE FIRST SETTLERS.
The Bunurong* people were the original inhabitants and their dreaming recounts the flooding of their former hunting plain, Nerm, (with the stream mistakenly called Yarra Yarra flowing through it to join the Tamar in what is now Bass Strait).
(* There are multiple spellings for this word.)
Their territory included the Port Phillip Bay coast from the Werribee River to Point Nepean and extended around Westernport to Gippsland but they would be wary of going too far east because of their fierce neighbours. No doubt recent dredging of the bay sucked up countless middens from the former banks of the Yarra and the Werribee rivers; the latter stream would have been followed on the way to the western boundary of their territory, where one of their number might have yelled, I can see a ring-tailed possum! in words that have been corrupted to Maribyrnong.
With so much coastline, it was inevitable that they would spend much time on the coast and shellfish middens were found in abundance. They built eel races and this probably accounts for the naming of Eeling Creek at Rosebud and Eel Race Rd at Seaford. They spent time at the spot still dotted with banksias where Dunns Ck meets the bay at Safety Beach, and entertained the McLear lads with their returning boomerangs. The McCraes of the Arthurs Seat Run were more understanding than most early settlers and groups of aborigines would camp near their homestead for several days.
They were nomads but not in the way that people think. The area was broken up so that small groups could each have their seasonal harvest; one of the groups, Tal Tal, is recalled by a street name in Mt Martha. In this way food was sourced sustainably, in the same way as a farmer limiting the stock numbers in a paddock. Without calendars they knew exactly when to move on to the next designated place from signs such as the appearance of a bird or a tree starting to blossom.
Did they spend time in Red Hill? Although they were not great lovers of forests, and used fires to turn these into the open forests that the first British observers likened to Gentlemens estates, it is likely that food sources existed in that rich red soil that were unavailable elsewhere. It is easy to imagine Georgiana McCraes friends waving farewell as they moved east toward the Bunurong Track to climb over Wonga. In the Wurundjeri tongue Wonga meant bronze- winged pigeon and as the two groups shared a common boundary (the Yarra), they probably had a common definition. They named the hill Wonga because these birds decended on Arthurs Seats scrubby timbered areas in huge numbers and, as they made excellent eating, Ben Benjies group probably grabbed some fast food on the way to Red Hill. (Quotes from P.8 of A Dreamtime of Dromana.)
Having sampled Red Hills bounty they might have moved to their next camp at 148 D2 before going east to Watsons Inlet, or stopped at Blacks Camp (253 A1) before crayfishing near Cape Schanck.
Hec Hanson was told by his aunt, Emily Lenz, nee Purves, that only she and Hecs mother were at Tootgarook Station one day in the late 1880s when seven aborigines came to ask for a drink of water from their well. Frances was only about 6 and was probably terrified so Emily, 16 years older, calmly responded to their request. Each drank appreciatively until the mug was given to the last one, who threw it away because, as the leader, he expected to have been served first.
This story runs counter to claims that the first inhabitants disappeared from the peninsula within decades. Although numbers declined rapidly at first because of European diseases, alcoholism etc, the Bunurong were probably not denied their hunter- gatherer lifestyle as much as the Wurundjeri were by the likes of North West (Melbourne) settlers such as Aitken, Taylor, Robertson, Big Clarke, Brodie, Foster and Walter Clark who ran thousands of sheep and got rid of the kangaroos. Kangaroos were hunted relentlessly by peninsula pioneers too, as Colin McLear recalls, but as long as the Bunurong stayed in lime country, there would have been little objection to their walkabouts as long as they left the Purves and Ford bullocks alone.
It is a pity that Barak Rd (146 E8) is so named. William Barak was a Wurundjeri elder who died at Healesville, as many Bunurong probably did, all of the remaining Kulin near Melbourne having been removed from their homelands. Barak was a fine man but surely a suitable Bunurong name could have found in Protector Thomass records, such as that of his wifes friend who was devastated when Mrs Thomas had to go to Melbourne.A Street in Melbourne Airport was to have been named after Barak in 1988 but the historic renaming project was abandoned at the last minute with only Gowrie Park Drive eluding the veto.
For this history, I will use the boundaries of Red Hill and Red Hill South as given in Melway, although I might mention people and properties just outside this area if they were historically associated with Red Hill.
I will not discuss the runs as this information is given in other histories. It seems that the more northern runs afforded better grazing than those south of Hearns Mount Martha Sheep Station. Maurice Meyricks relatives had a much longer tenure at Coolart than he did at Boniyong, but he gave us two place names, Merricks and Boneo. The Purves made a success of horse breeding at Tootgarook and Peters descendants obviously later used Green Hills in Purves Rd for the same purpose.
Runs were a stop-gap measure to control settlement until land could be surveyed and sold. As some, such as Hugh Glass and Big Clarke, were determined to buy as much land as possible, by the time the peninsula was surveyed no more square mile allotments were on offer such as near Tullamarine in the 1840s; most were 160 acres as was common earlier closer to Melbourne and near creeks or main roads.
This did not stop Glass and Clarke. The former obtained the grant on the Safeway side of Boneo Rd but a nearby allotment seems to have bought for him by a dummy bidder and Clarke finished up owning Jamiesons Special Survey, which included Safety Beach and extended east to Bulldog Ck Rd.
Red Hill is situated in Kangerong and Balnarring parishes, but many Red Hill farmers had land west of Mornington-Flinders Rd in the parish of Wannaeue. A small area of land east of White Hill Rd is officially in Dromana, but as many of the grantees here were described as being in Red Hill, I will list them with the Kangerong Grantees.
ABOUT THE GRANTEES.
In LIME LAND LEISURE and elsewhere, it is often stated that a pioneer bought (Crown) land. The date specified is usually that on which the pioneer selected the land. It is true that early grants went to the highest bidder, usually members of the squattocracy who were aristocratically born but unable to inherit the family estate at home. Once the political power of this elite was broken by critics such as Edward Wilson of Arundel in Tullamarine (Argus editor) and fiery 5 foot 2 Johnny Fawkner, the politicians saw the merit in the land right demands of the Eureka rebels. Even humbly born men such as Hugh Glass and Big Clarke were snapping up all the land they could by using dummy bidders.
The selection acts required that land had to be marked with corner posts, surveyed and a licence applied for; the selection was not to take total holdings above 320 acres. If a selector did not live on the land, or make improvements such as fencing, buildings or cultivation, the licence became void. The cost of these improvements was taken off the purchase price when the selector had been a good boy and could afford to buy, often at least 10 years after he had selected the land. (Ray Cairns, Robert Adams licence application for Balnarring land in the angle at the north end of Tucks Rd between two properties belonging to his in-laws.)
A Melway reference or description of boundaries will precede details of each grant.
7B. (190 C-E 1.) 150 acres, granted 27-3-1879. Settled by Watson Eaton and granted to his executor, Rebecca Griffith.This is just west of Red Hill but it is included to explain the naming of Eatons Cutting Rd, which is the boundary. At least one Red Hill resident (Thiele) was killed in an accident on this hairy road. Watson, brother of gold mining Bernard, had partly completed medical training before leaving America, and died in 1877 from a fall while riding to attend to a patient. The Watsons and Griffiths farmed together on the Safety Beach area when they first arrived.
10A. (190 F1-3) 173 acres granted to George Sherwood. This became W.A.Holmes Outlook Paddock
10B. (Sheehans and Tumbywood Rd were boundaries and the land shares a boundary with the Holmes Rd Reserve (which itself seems to have been reserved in 1856.)
172 acres granted to Robert Caldwell in 18(68?)
11AB. (Between Sheehans Rd and Arkwells Lane.) Granted to James Wiseman. The acreage on the parish map is illegible here but it seems to indicate a total of 93 acres. Rate books show that the shopkeeper/blacksmith had 106 acres so I must assume that the missing 13 acres were needed for Wisemans Deviation (White Hills Rd south of the Sheehans Rd corner).
18A. (160 K12) Almost 51 acres granted on (3-6-1860?) to Henry Dunn, who called this hilltop property Four Winds and built a shop on the corner. Henry had rented Jamiesons Special Survey from 1846-1851 and had rented land on Hearns Mt Martha during the same period. He was a pioneer of the Dunns Rd area of Mornington. As if this was not enough land to manage, in 1879, he was farming S.S.Crispos grants, which were later Edward Williams Eastbourne and from 1980 Charles Jacobsens Village Glen.
Between White Hills and Harrisons Rds, heading north from Four Winds, were:
65 acres owned by Thomas Appleyard, who also had most of the land east from Harrisons Rd (to the line of Bowrings Rd);
the Dromana Secondary College site, possibly part of the racecourse;
the racecourse which operated until about 1927 and is now a recreation reserve*;
the Moat(pronounced Mowatt) familys land, responsible for the corner at the Highways bend becoming known as Moats Corner.**
(*A course also operated on Watkins 16 acres and then Lou Carriggs 33 acres, behind the Dromana Hotel until 1923. ** Some of the Moats became Rye pioneers.)
Fronting the Bittern Rd from Harrisons Rd were George and Susan Peatey (101 acres), Alf Harrison 63 acres, James Clydesdale (63 acres), who had all followed Henry Dunn as tenants on the Survey, and the McIlroy family after whom the road heading east from Dunns shop was named. The Peateys found their land too wet for farming and in 1888 became early residents of the Rosebud street named after later neighbours, the McDowells.
12AB. (Between Arkwells and Andrews Lane, including the showgrounds and extending north to the Two Bays Estate Vineyard.) 143 acres granted to John Arkwell in 18(62?) and 1870.
13AB. (West of Andrews Lane to the Mechanics Rd corner, including all the Kindlian Society land, which extends to the north boundary.) This was granted to Margaret Davies on 20-8-1877 and consisted of just under 130 acres. 13c of 23 acres, north of A and B, was granted to Frances Windsor.
14 AB and 16B. (Frontage to Mechanics Rd and Station St to the west boundary of Vines of Red Hill. Donaldson St heads north west to the boundary between 14 A and B and then indicates the western boundary of 16B, which includes Ellisfield Farm.) Granted to William McIlroy (14B in 1864) and totaling 294 acres.
Source: Keith Holmes.
Keith believes that there were two completely different Holmes families associated with the Red Hill area but there could be some link back in the old country and extensive genealogical research would be needed to prove that there was no connection, as in the case of Henry William Wilson of Dromana and George Wilson of Shoreham Rd.
1.The Kangerong rates for 1864-5 and 1865-6 reveal that Holmes was assessed on 140 acres; he would have been occupying the land under licence from the Crown. The Kangerong parish map shows that J Holmes was granted lots 15 A and 15 B of 104.3.34 each (six perches, about the size of the cricket pitches area on the M.C.G., or 150 square metres, short of 105 acres.) It is likely that he had settled on one of these blocks and the rate collector had written 140 instead of 104. Once a mistake like this was made, it would be carried on for years, because rate collectors would basically copy the previous years details and make alterations if they received knowledge of a sale or new lessee.
15 A and B were at Melway 191 E-F 3 and extended south from the Kangerong Conservation Nature Reserve to Red Hill Rd with the south west corner being just north of Rosebank Cottage. The northern half appears to have been granted in the 1870s and the southern on, possibly, 3-7-1873. The northern half was granted to J.Holmes & Co. The 7-9-1867 assessments show that the other partner was Lawrence Weadson. Holmes is not recorded in the 1879-80 rates but it is pleasing to see that the rate collector now calls the original property 105 acres. It must have been at about this time that the first Holmes pioneers left Red Hill.
John Huntley, gardener, owned 105 acres in Kangerong. Keith Holmes confirmed that he was on land granted to J.Holmes. This was the southern half, which now includes the VINES OF RED HILL land. In 1900, Mrs Mary Huntley was assessed on the 105 acres; John had died and Mary was a widow. She was not assessed in 1910 and Keith Holmes explained why. Jack Shand, the son of Alex Shand of Main Ridge, married Mary and after living on the 105 acres for a while longer, Mary and Jack moved to Merricks North, where for some reason, Jack was then called Peter. Perhaps his second name was Peter and there was a cousin called Jack already living in the new location.
The northern half was being leased by gardener, William Kemp, from Wadesson and Holmes executors in 1879.Kemp received a grant of 100 acres on the east side of Bowrings Rd on 3-2-1904 and was occupying it by 1900, by which time 15 B must have been broken up and was possibly occupied by Fred, Henry, James and Jonathan Davis (a total of 106 acres).
Between Donaldson Rd and a northern extension of Bowrings Rd were three lots between 13-14 and McIlroys Rd: 16A (T.Milner, 88 acres, granted 11-12-1862) and west of it, 17 AB (with 13C totalling 188 acres, granted to Frances Windsor.) True pioneers of the area north of McIlroys Rd include the Counsel family, which was involved with Gracefield in Dromana, Robert Coxon Young, Andrew Fritsch, and J.Davey.
RED HILL SOUTH.
Balnarring Parish. (East and South of Red Hill Rd.)
South of Craig Avon Lane/ Dromana-Bittern Rd and west of the line of Tonkin Rd.
79A (161 J11-12) 126 acres granted to J.Davey.
79B (191 H-J1) 128 acres granted to George Sherwood on 28-11-1872.
78A. (Western part of Port Phillip Estate Winery extended south to Stanley Rd.)
W.Gibson received this grant, consisting of 190.1 acres on 23-7-1874.
78 B1. (Eastern part of the winery extended to Stanley Rd.) Granted to J.B.Journeaux on 22-1-1877 and consisting of 95 acres. The grantees middle name was Bowring, which indicates a relationship through marriage between the two families.
78B2 (East to include the Conservation Reserve.) about 95 acres, part of 256 acres, including 54A, granted to James Smith.
BETWEEN STANLEYS RD AND CALLANANS RD.
77 (Fronting Red Hill Rd with an eastern boundary starting from Tar Barrel Corner and
passing approximately through 28 Thomas Rd.) Part of 305 acres granted to W.Aitken on 20-4-1881.
81, 82A (East of 77 nearly to 101 Stanley Rd with a 1400 metre frontage to Callaghans Rd, finishing at about the location of No. 4.) Granted to J.R.Thompson on 12-2-(1874?).
The acreage is not stated but it could be about 300 acres.
82B, 83A1, 83BB1 (East of 82A to where the equestrian trail turns at the end of Tonkins Rd. 191 H-J 5-8 except for Hindmarshs grant.) 339 acres granted to Bryan Tonkin on 27-7-1875.
83B1. (This lot had a frontage of about 250 metres on Stanley Rd and about 872 metres on Tonkins Rd.) John Hindmarsh was granted this 80 acre block on (10-3-1871?).
BETWEEN CALLANANS RD (which used to meet Station St near Red Hill Centrepoint) AND PT LEO RD.
88. (The eastern boundary of 77 continues to the bend near 195 Pt Leo Rd.)
This was the rest of Aitkens 305 acres, probably about 150 acres.
87AB,86AB. (East of 88, with NE and SE corners indicated by 4 Callanans Rd and 159 Pt Leo Rd.) G ranted to J.Buchanan. Date not stated. A total of 428 acres.
85. (East of 86B to end of Callanan Rd and 117 Pt Leo Rd.) A 10 acre block on Pt Leo Rd was probably Buchanans original selection but no date can be ascertained. I presume that the other 622 acres were also granted to him.
84. (From the ends of Callanans and Paringa Rd to the blue line indicating the start of Bittern.) J.Wighton received the grants for the 203.3 acres on 23-4-1874. He also acquired the 507 acres between allotment 84 and Merricks Township.
RED HILL-WANNAEUE PARISH.
A total of 636 acres in Wannaeue parish, between Main Ck and Mornington-Flinders Rd, is included in Red Hill.
29A. (Fronting Arthurs St Rd and the other two roads, this block went south to a point across Main Ck Rd from the Whites Rd corner.)
Benjamin Hards, who purchased land in Nepean Parish as well, and was probably a speculator, received this 331 acre grant. The numbering of allotments in Wannaeue is so illogical that it is no surprise to find that there is no allotment 29B! Incidentally the Wannaeue land east of Jetty Rd is in section B but no parish map says so.
28AB. (These take us south to the boundary between Red Hill and Main Ridge. 28A is west of the straight part of William Rd and 28B is to the east. The dog leg is in 29A.
28A. James Davey Jnr received the grant for this 158 acre allotment on 5-9-1878.
The Davey family is recalled by street names on Gracefield and The Survey near Dromana. J.Davey, probably James, was also granted 156 acres in Kangerong, extended to 190 acres (Henry Davey 1900), including the Kangerong Nature Conservation Reserve. In 1920, Bertram John Davey had 446 acres in the Safety Beach area, apparently just purchased.
28B. John Griffith acquired title to this 136 acre allotment on 4-8-1885. This would be John Calvin Griffith, about whom much detail is given in A Dreamtime of Dromana. His mother, Rebecca, probably the sister of Watson and Bernard Eaton, was the formers executor and received title to the 150 acres near Eatons Cutting that Watson had settled. 28B was only 720 metres away from Rebeccas 150 acres. Watson Eaton and Johns parents, all Americans, had at first farmed together on the Survey (Safety Beach area). Johns brother, Jonah, was a builder and supplied squared beams for the Dromana pier.
The proofreading of page 70 of Colin McLears book was poor unless John Griffiths eleven children were really born after he died.
Johns first daughter, Evelyn,(28/3/1875-23/3/1959) married one of the Shand boys. This indicates that Cr John Griffith actually lived on 28B and recalls something that Keith Holmes told me. Alexander Shand chose Main Creek as the location for his saw mill as it was the only creek with a regular flow. Roberts Rd follows the course of a track made by the Shands as they took the shortest and least steep course to haul their timber up to Red Hill. One can imagine young Evelyn waving to the Shand boys as they passed by 28B. Another way Evelyn could have met her future husband is that the Shands would have often have been at the property of William Henry Blakely directly across Mornington-Flinders Rd. Blakely was a sawmaker (1884, assessment No. 27) and saws would often need repair or replacement.
74. The Red Hill Village Settlement.
(190 K 5 to end of Prossors Lane and east to the corner of Mechanics Rd and Station St.)
As allotments and their grantees can be easily ascertained from this map with one exception, I will detail only that block. F.Nash: 6 acres 3 roods 27 perches.
There is no guarantee that a parish map actually shows grantees (Keith Holmes has a Balnarring map with different names in some lots, such as Holmes instead of Parry).
However I believe that those named in this map were grantees.
MEASUREMENTS ON PARISH MAPS.
A rood is a quarter of an acre and forty perches equal one rood so Nashs small block is 6.86 acres correct to two decimal places (137 perches divided by 160).
No boundary measurement are given for these village blocks, but you can see them on surrounding allotments, such as 3350 for McConnells frontage on Beaulieu Rd. (Had you realized that Beaulieu is French for fine place?)
That is 3350 links. To explain links, I must first mention an English king, whose identity I have forgotten. In setting up a system of measurement for his kingdom, he decided that the basic unit would be the distance between his fingers and his nose. This was the yard, one third of which was called a foot; this was then divided into 12 inches. Strangely he used the old Roman word for distance, although a mile was a bit more than a thousand paces (1760 yards or roughly 1600 metres).
Now, the king owned all the land in his kingdom but if somebody pleased him greatly, through loyalty when opposition was rife or valour / success in battle, the King would grant land to that person, along with a title such as Duke. Of course the Duke did not pay for the land as our grantees did, but they would be expected to pay taxes and supply cannon fodder for the king. It is interesting that the word title is now used for the document that proves land ownership!
The grant would be large and the boundaries would be measured in miles, but how would they be measured accurately? The length of paces could change because of leg length, tiredness, uphill slopes and so on. Yard- stick* use was too tedious and ropes could stretch and fray. It is likely that blacksmiths had arrived at a standard length for chain links of about 20cm, probably checked with implements at hand such as the funnel of bellows. (* Poles, whose lengths I have forgotten, probably about 5 metres, were used along Steeles Ck in East Keilor.)
A chain was durable and accurate but had to be of a length to avoid moving it along too often, but if it were too long, it would be too heavy for surveyors to carry and drag.
Then some genius discovered that a chain with 100 links was not only of the right length and weight, but was 22 yards long and if moved 79 times (80 chains) would equal a mile. To prevent excessive tiny writing on survey maps, 33 chains and 50 links would be written as 3350. As a chain (cricket pitch) equals 20 metres, 3350 links equals 660 metres+ 50X 20cm= 670 metres.
Normally a square mile grant (not on a shore or stream line) would measure 8000X8000 links. On such a block, the Duke could theoretically accommodate 640 serfs if the land was good. The Duke would build a village nearby and with no internal fencing, each serf could access his plot without the need for roads (which reduced farming land.) Each plot would be a chain wide and a furrow (10 chains) long. This is how the racing term, furlong, originated. Each block was one acre, which seems to be a French word, so perhaps the king was William the Conqueror. (Adopted from Palestine during the Crusades, I presume.)
Each serf had to supply so many bushels of his crop as rent and of course sacrifice his life in war if the king required it. As one acre blocks would not lead to efficient farming, serfs would probably have blocks of about 7 acres (as in John Pascoe Fawkners yeoman farmer subdivisions) or perhaps about 20 acres (as in Red Hill Village and suburban lots in villages/towns such as Keilor and Dromana.) I HOPE YOUVE ENJOYED MY ADVENTURES OF ENGLISH AS MUCH AS I ENJOY THE TELEVISION SERIES.
BETWEEN MORNINGTON-FLINDERS AND PT LEO RD.
72A. (Red Hill Consolidated School corner, 190 E-F 4) R.H.Holding received the grant for this 140 acre block on 20-2-1865. It later became Henry Blakelys farm.
72B. (South of 72A, with the end of Pardalote Rise indicating its south east corner.)
Granted on (18-7-1863?) to Joseph Pitcher, this140 acre block later became Henry Aults property.
71AB. (Straddling Stony Ck Rd with lot A extending to Pardalote Rise, and lot B going south to the present Tucks Rd corner and east to Stony Creek.)
This is the Red Hill boundary with Main Ridge. Pioneers to the south were William Hopcraft, Robert Adams of Adams Corner (McCrae Plaza site) in Rosebud (on land granted to M.Byrne), A.Allan and F.Bullock.
East of Stony Creek.
73AB. (Lot 73A, was west of Stony Ck with its north east corner almost over the road from Sheehans Rd and extended east almost to Stony Ck. Lot 73B was between 73A and the Red Hill Village; the eastern boundary being over the road from the south east corner of the showgrounds.)
Granted to James McKeown, both 147.7acre lots passed into the hands of the Sheehans.
It comprised two farms, Wildwood (73A) and Glenbower (73B). Keith Holmes said that they were not of equal size and this was probably because the creek, east of the allotment boundary, was used as a border so that both farms had water access. (See FARMS.)
75D and ? (Lot 75D, of 182 acres, was north of Beaulieu Rd / Simpson St with Baynes Rd being its eastern boundary. Straddling Stony Ck, its western boundary is indicated by Pardalote Rise. Lot 75 (C?), of 122 acres, was between Beaulieu Rd and the Red Hill boundary from Stony Ck to the line of Baynes Rd.) James McConnell settled both blocks and one was granted to him and the other to his executors (of whom one would have been John McConnell. It is likely that our James McConnell was the grantee of land near Puckle St, Moonee Ponds and McConnell St. Kensington, both in the parish of Doutta Galla.
Glenbower and Wildwood were on allotments 73 A and B of the parish of Balnarring, each of 107 acres 2 roods and 32 perches, a total of over 215 acres, granted to James McKeown. There is extensive information in Colin McLears A Dreamtime of Dromana about James McKeown and his brother-in-law, Hill Hillas. The former settled in Red Hill in 1862 and the latter in 1855. James built a house on the property called Glenbower, which was south of the Showgrounds (Arkwells grants.)
Keith Holmes said that the two farms were not of equal size and the 1887-8 rates indicate that Glenbower may have consisted of 115 acres, which James had apparently mortgaged with the Land Investment Co. James had probably used the loan to buy Gracefield (between Caldwell Rd and the triangular quarry reserve, from Gracefield Ave to the south boundary of part of the State Park) near Dromana. Glenbower changed hands in 1889 and the new owner was Robert Sheehan.
In 1887-8, Alfred Sheehan had 219 acres in Balnarring and Robert 215 acres in Kangerong. (See Wildwood.) In 1889, the Sheehans apparently bought Glenbower and Wildwood.
William Alfred Holmes had a chance meeting with Emily Sheehan and married her. Their son William (known as Jack) later bought Glenbower.
Wildwood was south of Wisemans grants (west to the Sheehans Rd corner). Alfred Sheehans land in 1887-8 would have included about 99 acres (Wildwood) and might have included the future village site of about 120 acres. Keith Holmes said that Wildwood adjoined Blakelys land.
Rate books reveal that Blakely had 140 acres, which must have been R.H.Holdings grant (72A) at the corner of Arthurs Seat and Mornington-Flinders Rds. South of that block was 72B of 140 acres, granted to James Pitcher in 18(69?) and later leased by Henry Ault and apparently bought by William Henry Ault, carpenter.
It is likely that Robert Sheehans 215 acres in Kangerong consisted largely of Robert Caldwells grant (10B of 172 acres) west and north west of Sheehans Rd, and almost over Arthurs Seat Rd from the Blakely-Wildwood boundary.
Henry Dunn received the grant for 18A Kangerong of almost 51 acres on 4-8-1860. This land is indicated by Melway 160 K12. He built a shop on the corner and named his property Four Winds. Keith Holmes said that the property was at the top of the hill so there would have been little protection from the wind, no matter its direction!
William Calder, Chairman of the Country Roads Board (after whom the Calder highway was named) bought Four Winds. He was President of the Red Hill Show Committee for some time but died just before the show in 1928 or 9. Robert Holmes stepped into the breech. Calders son designed the Old Shire Hall at Dromana.
George Sherwood was granted 10A Kangerong of 172.46 acres on the east side of Eatons Cutting Rd with a road frontage of 454 metres. The 1879 rates show that this 173 acre property was occupied by George Sherwood and William Copeland, both described as journeymen, leasing from Sherwood and Co.This George Sherwood was probably the son of George Sherwood, nurseryman, who on (28-11-1873?) was granted 79 B Balnarring of 128 acres now occupied by Port Phillip Estate Wineries at 191 G-H2.
A journeyman was a tradesman who had finished his apprenticeship and would journey from one master of the craft to another working and widening his experience. He was not subject to Master and Servant provisions (as apprentices were) and could set up in business on his own account but could not employ apprentices until he had submitted a piece of work that gained him the status of Master, in Georges case perhaps a graft, pruning etc).
In 1900 the A.E.Bennett trustees were assessed on 642 (sic) acres including 471 acres of Wannaeue land (190 B-D 3-4 and D 5-6) and 10 A Kangerong (173 acres).
William Alfred Holmes bought the Lookout Paddock, which now contains Lookout Rd and Holmes Rd.
The Nash family hailed from Beaulieu in England and arrived in Red Hill in about 1898. A Nash married a daughter of W.Davidson and it seems that he later gained ownership of Davisons 18 acres and then added part of James McConnells grant to the south, of which Beaulieu Rd marks the southern boundary. Frederick, Elizabeth and Frances Streets are named after members of the Nash family.
In 1919-20, F. and W.A.Littlejohn had 130 acres (lot 11) and 205 acres (Lot 9) on the Special Survey.
Today, Australians boast of having a convict ancestor; quite different from the 19th century shame which I think led a Mentone, Rosebud and Somerville pioneer to spell his parents surname wrongly when they were buried at St Kilda and tell his children that he came to Australia with Tommy Bent (who was born in Penrith, N.S.W.) The first Littlejohn was a convict and settled in Brunswick upon gaining his ticket of leave.
The first Littlejohns in our area were William Alfred and his brother Frederick. They had land across the road from eachother near Moats Corner. After a while Fred moved back to Coburg and William moved to Red Hill. William was a builder and was followed in this trade by his son Herb, who married Florrie Bowring in 1935 but died at the young age of 25. Herbs brother, Ron farmed at Moats Corner.
William was known as Littlejohn the builder and people would call at his house to discuss the building of their house. He built Sam Loxtons house and the Hansons second Alpine Chalet when they sold the land containing William Hopcrafts beautiful old double storey house.
Extracts from my THE FEMALE DROVER: A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC. The source quoted for "Island View" is Graeme Butler's Hastings Heritage Study.
ISLAND VIEW. (Appendix 1, page 260.) See Flood St on page 57.
In the 1880’s, James and John Flood were granted a total of 500 acres (allotments 1 and 7B in the parish of Bittern) on the south side of Bungower Rd, extending from Boes Rd to Alden St. J.Flood was, on 7-3-1873, granted 2A of 94 acres, between lot 1 and W.Boes’ 2B of the same size. Butler confusingly says that John Scott subdivided the former Flood Estate into 30 acre blocks and sold one to Charles and Lydia Renouf in 1912. Renouf called his property Island View. It is likely that John Scott subdivided only Crown Allotment 1, consisting of 166 acres. Island View Drive probably occupies three of the 30 acre farms, with the drives of the other two, at the northern end of allotment 1, shown in Melway as “private access”.
The Argus of 29-7-1916 reported the death of Sarah Renouf, the widow of Amise Renouf of Frankston, who died on 15-7-1916 at her daughter’s residence in Dromana. She was 95 and a colonist of 68 years. Strangely all of her children had the surname “Sawyer”, indicating an earlier marriage. Two of her sons had moved to the vicinity of Neerim but another two were pioneers of the locality known as Moorooduc and a daughter married into a prominent Dromana pioneering family. Her children were: L. and H.Sawyer (at and near Neerim), J.Sawyer(Moorooduc), F.Sawyer (Bittern), Mrs John Hopcraft and Mrs Jonah Griffith.
As my original area of research was between Safety Beach and Tootgarook, I think I can be forgiven for having a hazy recollection of information that I have noticed about places outside this area. I am sure a Renouf was a director of the Frankston Fish Company and it may have been Amise. David Renouf, who bought a block (which had seen many Floods since it was granted) from John Scott and named it Island View, might have been a son or nephew of Amise.
The same depth of knowledge exists in relation to Henry Prosser. I know that Henry was a fisherman and I think he owned farmland as well. Having deliberately ignored the Westernport area (so I wouldn’t get side-tracked), I’m not even sure whether he was at Hastings or Flinders. The fact that he stood against Alfred Jones in the East Riding of Mornington Shire in 1881 indicates that it could have been the former. He seems to have become a councillor. When some Government big-wigs came to Frankston, Cr Prosser drove them around the district.
Henry Prossor, descendant of a Fingal pioneer, later moved to Red Hill and was in no way related to this Henry Prosser. But what do the Prossers have to do with the Renoufs and Sawyers?
I googled Sawyer-Prosser on Trove in the hope of finding some details of the marriage. There I found information posted by somebody who must be researching the Hodgkinson family. It so happened that Sarah Renouf had been born Sarah Prosser and had married Isaac Sawyer. Jessie Sawyer, her son, who had a farm called “Summerlands" (Annals 26-2-1921) had a daughter that married John Hodgkinson (born 1898 Daylesford). In the following, all deaths occurred in Victoria where no details appear.
Jesse was born in 1854 and died on 21-11-1925 at Mornington. (So his retirement, at 67, lasted only four years.) He married Mary Ann Coxshall at Frankton on 6-2-1878. She had been born at Moorooduc on 29-4-1858 and died at Schnapper Point in 1909. It is strange that the old name for Mornington appeared in records so long after the name change. A search of Summerlands on trove revealed that Jesse was living in View St, Mornington, at the time of his death (Argus 26-11-1925.) Mary Ann died at Summerlands on 3rd October (Argus 5-10-1909.) Their son, James William died at Mornington on 24-5-1948 (Argus 29-5-1948.)
I’ve heard of short pregnancies but this takes the cake (unless Sarah’s father was equipped for a bit of rabbiting after the wedding service!) It seems that Jesse was a frisky devil and that Mary Ann was not the type to develop a headache at bedtime. Or perhaps, she had developed a method to make all her pregnancies last only three months and nineteen days! With SP standing for Schnapper Point, here are the details of their fifteen children.
1. SARAH EMILY B. 25-5-1878.
2. ANNIE B.10-9-1879 SP
3. FREDERICK HENRY B.1-7-1881 SP D.1-4-1882 SP.
4. JAMES WILLIAM B.10-8-1882 SP D. 1948 MORNINGTON.
5. JESSIE B. 2-10-1883 Bittern D.14-8-1950 CHATHAM, VIC.
Jessie married James Alexander Johnstone (and other spouses.)
6. MARY ELIZABETH B.28-11-1884 SP D.1886.
7. ERNEST THOMAS B.8-5-1882 SP.
8. JOHN RENOUF B.10-7-1887 SP.
9. ETHEL MAUDE B. 16-8-1888 SP D. 24-6-1969.
10. ALICE RUBY B. 20-1-1890.
11. HILDA MAY B. 12-5-1891MOOROODUC.
12. HENRY ISAAC B. 5-9-1892 D. 25-9-1892.
13. WINIFRED FRANCES B. 1-12-1893.
14. GRACE B. 11-2-1895 D.1973 MENTONE. M. John Hodgkinson.
15. HAROLD STEWART B.12-7-1898 MORNINGTON, D. 29-1-1963 ELSTERNWICK.
It is likely that Isaac Sawyer had died and his widow had remarried by 1887 when John Renouf Sawyer was born and named.
Mrs John Hopcraft- See the Sawyer land in Wannaeue.
Mrs Jonah Griffith.
I quote from page 69 of Colin McLear’s “A Dreamtime of Dromana”.
Jonah Griffith died on July 12, 1933, aged 83. He was married to Sarah Sawyer and had seven children.
1.Maud Alice 1871; 2. Edith Annie 15/11/1873-1953; 3.Delia Sarah 5/3/1874-1951
4. Gertrude18/8/1876; 5. Sylvester Frederick George 1872 (1882?);
6. Harry Lewis Theobald 23/1/1885-27-3-1954; 7. Grace Dora 26/10/1889-1977.
Jonah, known as Doan, was a builder and a professional fisherman working closely with Harry Copp. He lived in Seaview Parade off Jetty Rd (Melway 159 H8).
Colin has plenty of information about the Griffith family. Doan’s father came from Philadelphia with his wife Sarah and (probably) Watson and Bernard Eaton. Bernard was the gold miner and father of Maud Eaton. Hollinshed called him Mr Eaton because Colin did not know his Christian name.
THE SAWYER LAND.
In 1879 Frederick Sawyer was leasing 142 acres in the parish of Wannaeue from the Crown. There were only three Crown allotments of this size and Hearn already had two of them. This left only 21B of 142 acres 3 roods and 1 perch, granted to Alex. Shand Jun. on 1-6-1909. This land is fairly well indicated by Melway 190 D9 and C-D10.
And guess who had the land north of his. John Hopcraft. Guess who had 178 acres (70 A and B, Balnarring) to the north and east of the start of Tucks Rd. William Hopcraft! Directly across Tucks Rd (69A Balnarring) was Robert Henry Adams, whose “gentlewoman” wife, a Hopcraft girl, refused to live at Hopetoun House with the ungentlemanly old sea salt, Captain Henry Everest Adams. Both Frederick and Robert did not extend their licences and their land was granted, respectively, to Shand and M.Byrne. The Hopcrafts moved further south later and the Hansons occupied William’s beautiful house and called it Alpine Chalet. (Sources: parish maps, rates, marriage certificate of Adams-Hopcraft, Adams family legend, “Adams Corner”, “Memoirs of a Larrikin” Hec Hanson.)
In the FAMILY CONNECTIONS entry of my PENINSULA DISTRICT HISTORY, I demonstrate how the bride and groom met each other. In most cases the two families were at some stage very close neighbours. Fred Sawyer was in 1879 the neighbor of John Hopcraft, the man that his sister married.
The grants in this parish are described in the 26-2-1921 entry in the Annals of Moorooduc.
26-2-1921. Having sold Summerlands, 5 miles from Mornington and 8 miles from Somerville, Jesse Sawyer was having a clearing sale. Summerlands was possibly lot 17B Bittern, of almost 115 acres, granted to Jesse Sawyer on 3-6-1899. This had a frontage of 220 metres to Loders Rd with its north boundary a continuation of Bentons Rd. F.Sawyer was the grantee, in 1905, of lot 68A Bittern of almost 50 acres close to the flower farm in Stumpy Gully Rd (Melway163 E2.)
There is a chance that Summerlands was in the locality of Moorooduc rather than the parish of Moorooduc. The former included the parish of Bittern. After careful measurement in Melway, I have concluded that the location of Summerlands as given in the advertisement of 26-2-1921 is nonsense. There is no way it could have been 8 miles from Somerville and still be near Moorooduc. Perhaps the distances were written in figures and a typesetter misread a 3 as 8. The corner of Coolart and Tyabb Rds would be about 5 miles from Mornington and 3 miles from Somerville.
Not much about Renouf so far but here's a gem from OrangeBlossom which prompted this journal.
RENOUF.�On the 6th August, at his residence,
176 Cotham-road, Kew, Philip, dearly beloved
husband of the late Annie Maria Renouf, son of
the late Honourable Amice Renouf, nephew of
the late Sir Peter Renouf, of Jersey, and brother
of Frederick Renouf, Frankston.
You will find more information on Sir Peter Lepage Renouf on Wikipedia etc. I know that there are Renoufs that can be traced back from both Jersey and Guernsey islands. Maybe this confused some at the time because my information shows that this family should have been from Guernsey not Jersey as this Family Notice suggests.
Thank you, OrangeBlossom.
PRESENTATION TO MR PHILLIP RENOUF. The officers, and teachers of the Frankston Wesleyan Sabbath School feeling they could not allow their late superintendent ; (who had been compelled to sever his connection with the school on account of failing health), to leave them without shewing their appreciation of his long services, held a social tea in the school-room, on Monday evening last, to which Mr Renouf, and the senior scholars, past and present, were invited. The catering, for the tea was carried out splendidly by Mr J.D.Box AND THE OTHER TEACHERS!), and the tea tables were ably presided over by the Misses McComb (2), Box, and Cameron; these ladies being most mssiidols in their. atteliltious to tihosu ((P.3, Mornington Standard, 26-4-1890.)
As the article is about five times the length of what I have corrected (and the rest is similar to the last five words above),I'll just give a few details. Phillip had been teaching at the Sunday School for 22 years and was superintendent for most of that time. He had spent a short part of that period at Sale and Hastings, starting the Sunday School at the latter.The wording of the Illuminated Address presented to him is given at the end of the article.
The directors of the original Frankston Fish Company (John Box, Harry Prosser, Phillip Renouf, Jim Croskell and Thomas Ritchie)are shown in a photo in an article entitled MEET THE PIONEERS.
(P.5,Frankston Standard, 5-10-1949.) John Box was probably Phillip's replacement as superintendent at the Sunday School, and Thomas Ritchie who founded the grocery business (now part of I.G.A.)lost four children in a house fire (obituary P.2, Mornington Standard, 21-9-1907.) Renouf and Croskell were among Ritchie's pall- bearers.
It came as no surprise to find Phillip Renouf's name listed on the Frankston regatta committee along with those of other Fish Company directors. ((P.2, Mornington Standard, 24-11-1892.)
And in case you were wondering in which year Phillip Renouf died on the 6th of August, the answer is provided in another death notice:
RENOUF.-On August 6, at his residence, Walthamstow, Cotham-road, Kew, Victoria,Phillip Renouf, dearly-beloved father of Mrs. Cyril Sadleir, Claremont.
Phillip Renouf was an early (Frankston?) shire councillor, along with publican, Mark Young, J.D.Box, Alf Jones and Captain (Ben) Baxter according to pioneer, Charles Wells.(P.1, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 29-10-1926.) Alf Jones of Almond Bush Stud at Somerville, was one of the three Canadians who travelled along Boundary Road supplied timber to the Liverpool lying a mile offshore at Mt Eliza. Can you guess the present name of the road that formed part of the boundary between the parishes of Frankston and Moorooduc?
This company (the Frankston Fish Company) consisted of (1) Messrs Henry Prosser, who arrived in Victoria in 1844, and carried fish from Hastings to Frankston, before joining the company; (2) James Croskell an American from Rhodes, who came to Frankston in 1859; he was also an extensive land owner; (3) John Dixon Box, born in Tasmania, 1840, and worked with Wren Bros., fish dealers, Melbourne. Later he bought Frankston's first bakery from Croskell and Ritchie; (4) Phillip Renouf, born at Jersey Island, arrived in Adelaide in 1863. He carried fish from Frankston to Hastings before joining the company; (5) Thomas Ritchie (senior), born at the Isle of Man. He came to Frankston in 1852, owned Frankston's first bakery, which was under Frankston House.
(P.6, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 15-2-1930.)
Those who have read JOHN THOMAS SMITH AND HIS ELECTORS would have seen a reference to the Rev. John Reid receiving a letter of encouragement and donations to further his mission after visiting the Goulburn Region. One of those who gave support was Peter Young who was a Free Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Church was quite fragmented and Young was involved in a battle with another faction over the establishment of a church at Broadmeadows Township.
However, the nastiness seems to have stepped up to another level in the case of Rev. John Reid. I will not quote from the many newspaper articles but merely give an outline of the story as I understand it. I came across this saga while seeking more information about Alexander Blair and investigating a theory that Peter Young's "Clyde Park, Westernport" might have actually been near Essendon, since the Historical Society near Clyde had never heard of Young or Clyde Park.
A meeting was held at Thomas Armstrong's "Coalville" to get a Presbyterian Church (which became St John's, Essendon) erected. The meeting resolved to ask Rev. John Reid to be the congregation's minister.(Argus 1-7-1852 page 5.) Alex Blair had been chairman at this meeting and was to occupy the chair at a later one concerning Rev. John Reid's call to the new North Melbourne church. He was also to be Rev. Reid's staunchest ally in his darkest hour.
Those prominent in the formation of the church were Armstrong, Blair,Thomas Rogerson, Dugald McPhail, James McNay (McNae), John and Quintin Dick, Joseph Pitcher (Pitches), George Barry, James Crighton and John T.Hinkins. Thomas Millar (the subject of another of my journals) was later appointed a trustee. Hinkins, the first postmaster and teacher at Moonee Ponds, if I remember "The Stopover That Stayed" correctly, was not a member of the church and was thanked for acting as Secretary and Treasurer. Dugald McPhail of Rose Hill was Alex Blair's neighbour, James McNae (possibly an early squatter?), whose house still stands, was in charge of Davies' vineyards on Ngarveno, south of Dean St, Moonee Ponds, John Dick was involved with land on the south side of Keilor Rd,and Joseph Pitches ran what was later Chadwick's Farmers' Arms Hotel across Buckley St from St John's and near Pitches St (Melway 28 G5).Of the other three I know little except that the Crighton name was prominent in the Essendon Football Club and a grandstand at Windy Hill bore the name.
Rev. Reid was soon busy performing marriages. In June, 1853, he conducted two of particular interest to me. He married Robert McDougall of Glenroy and Margaret, the daughter of John Rankin, at Roseneath Cottage near Flemington. This was almost certainly Rankin's house at the corner of Princes St and Raleigh's Punt Road (or in later terms, the corner of Rankins Rd and Macaulay Rd) a stone's throw from the Kensington Station of 1860. It is possible that John Rankin was one of those who enticed Rev. Reid to North Melbourne. Robert McDougall had been involved nearer to town in about 1850 when he built the original section of Dean's Hotel, at the corner of Mt Alexander Rd and Dean St, where the Moonee Ponds Tavern now stands. More details about Robert's time at Glenroy, Aitken's Estate and Arundel at Tullamarine are given in JOHN THOMAS SMITH AND HIS ELECTORS.
The other marriage hints at a relationship (through marriage) between Alex Blair and Thomas Rogerson, who took opposing sides in the issue of the manse at Essendon. Rev. Reid married Robert Rogerson and Christina, daughter of Alex. Blair, at St John's Presbyterian Church, Doutta Galla.
There seem to have been two issues behind Rev. John Reid's problems. The first is that he spent his own money improving the manse at Essendon and then placed it in the hands of people (who were not trustees) for the benefit of the parish. Two of the trustees, Thomas Millar and Thomas Rogerson, laid a complaint about this. The second problem stemmed from Rev. Reid bad-mouthing some of his prominent seat-holders in the new North Melbourne parish. A Flemington doctor must have copped a real spray and probably had enough influence with the trustees to have Rev. Reid and his congregation locked out of the Presbyterian school where services were held.
Rev. Reid was suspended as a minister. What happened next?
As will be the case in a future journal, SHOVEL TROUBLE AT HOBSON'S FLAT, (about an ongoing barney between two Rosebud pioneers), I will let you find the actual details on trove as I did, and make your own judgement about who were the goodies and baddies. All the articles are in The Argus, except for a good summary of the conflict on page 3 in the Sydney Morning Herald of 14-11-1856.
Postscript. Thomas Rogerson rang a bell but softly, like Guthrie and Glengyle. I have not been able to find my reference to the family but the attempt produced information about Dick and Crighton.
The 1849 applicants for admission to the electoral roll included: Thomas Rogerson, dwelling house, Saltwater River.
John Dick purchased crown allotments 17C and 17D, Doutta Galla bounded by Keilor Rd, Hoffmans Rd, the line of Farrell St (Melway 15 K11) and Spring St, from William Nicholson on 15-3-1854 but the title reverted to Nicholson on 22-7-1861.
Allotment 22 F, bounded by Parer Rd, the line of Nomad Rd in Essendon Aerodrome, Fraser St and Thomas St, was granted to A.Wright and J&T.Crighton in 1848.
Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society told me that David Rogerson was leasing Robert Hoddle's grant (the northern third of the present Moonee Valley Racecourse)at the time and "Coleville" might have been a house still standing in Thomas St. The Rogerson and Dick families were related by marriage and also an Armstrong family.(See ROOTSWEB WORLD CONNECT PROJECT: COTTERS, RUTHS, KEALEYS, CLANCYS by Mary Cotter.)
The Farmers' Society had a ploughing match on Messrs Rogerson and Dick's farm, which was probably in the parish of Yuroke, in 1849.(See The Argus 8-6-1849 page 2 DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.)
I don't believe in repeating history that's already been written but basically that's what I did in "Canterbury Tales" (okay I copied the title too!) These first two poems were written two weeks after I started researching Peninsula history; I don't mess around!
`GET TO THE POINT AUGUST 2010.
Two creeks joined before they could reach
The breaking waves at Safety Beach:
One is named after Henry Dunn
Who lived on the Survey until 1851.
The creek near Mt. Martha named after Tassell
Now involved in developer financial hassle:
George Peatey was nearby in '59, (160,G/4)
Then owned 100 acres where they now make wine.(160, K/6)
Hume made pipes locally before work was begun
That brought water from Dromana Basin in 1941.
Their aim was as mine; get to the Point-
Past Rosebud and Rye, seal every joint.
Rudduck and Karadoc both mean red breast;
By Nelson's generosity I'm really impressed:
For the church at Rosebud his help was at hand;
For Dromana's hospital he offered more land.
Sarah Ann Cain, lost for four days and five nights
Round mid 1840's, poor little mite.
But rescuers found her; the near dead tot they took
To George Smith's nearby Wooloowoolooboolook. (259,E/4)
Arthurs Seat homestead and schoolhouse by Tuck,
Georgiana's diary, which we still have by luck;
Frenetic efforts by Spencer Jackson
To make Dromana and its mount a tourist attraction.
Boniyong, a run settled by Meyrick
(The spelling of both has changed just a skerrick);
The Cairns family came in 1852;
Some moved to Cape Schanck, Rosebud and further west too.
In foul weather, Vine Bucher and Lacco took a brave stance;
Joe Peters, black fiddler, played music to dance.
These fishers, Cain and Stenniken's craft on the bay
Carrying lime, timber and fish away.
When Owen Cain came, they were fairly alone;
Then he built a fine house by the name of Tyrone,
And the family continued burning the lime:
Cains number one for Rye and the Buds at this time!(2010!)
Dod Jennings played for the Pivot, then tried Camperdown.
Boy if he lost his hat he would frown!
After waiting at Anthonys Nose for the sea to subside
They reached Kariah, fifty years to reside.
Robert Rowley was at the heads, Ford and Sullivan too;
Bullocks, veg and limeburning the things they would do.
John Watts proposed to Jane Skelton when she was one more than five;
Jumped ship (Dromana in a tub) worked lime, wed her in 1865.
Rob Rowley and Clarrie Jennings led Rye Footy Club!
Ford and Purves' petition got a snub:
Stop the fence from White Cliff to the surf
Blast police horses-for our bullocks the turf!
NOTES ABOUT GET TO THE POINT
A. A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA Colin McLear
B. ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD Peter Wilson
C.RYE PRIMARY SCHOOL 1667 Patricia Appleford
D.JENNINGS: A PIONEERING RYE FAMILY Linda Berndt SOUTHERN PENINSULA NEWS 17-7-2010 P20
E.THOSE COURAGEOUS HARDY WOMEN Betty McMeekin
F. MPNFL RECORD TEAMLISTS
G. THE CAIRNS FAMILY OF BONEO Peter Wilson.
Numbers relate to verses and letters to sources:
1 a 2a 3b 4ab 5a 6a 7g 8bc 9 cf 10d 11e 12 cb.
Safety Beach was part of Jamieson's Special Survey which went east to Bulldog Creek Rd (161,K/3)
Henry Dunn was there 1846-1851and was followed by Brown-Lee, Marshall and Cottier in 1851, joined by Tassel, Peatey, Griffith/Eatons (1860) Paterson/McLear(1861) and Connell.Cottier soon bought 282 acres bounded by the present Jetty Rd. and Lombardy St. and later built the original Rye
Hotel with John Campbell.
Walter Gibson took over many of their leases as well as buying Cottier's 282 acres between Palmerston Ave and Boundary Rd. He rerouted the last mile of Dunns Creek which originally flowed into the creek in which he washed his sheep. Peatey's 100 acres is now occupied byDromana Estate Winery.
Nelson Rudduck was a leader of the community. The Methodist Church on the Rosebud foreshore became redundant when the United Church was formed and is now a medical centre. The hopital at Dromana was on part of his property, Karadoc between the highway, Williams St. and Spencer Ave the last street probably being named after Spencer Jackson.
Henry Tuck built the homestead and schoolroom and his son,whose poetry is available at the museum at Sorrento, was born there.
David Cairns settled near Cape Schanck in 1888 and Cairns Bay ( 38 degrees 29 minutes south, 144degrees 57 minutes east ) was named after him according to Eric Bird's website on place names on the coast of Victoria. He also lists Rowley Cove, between Gunnamatta (aboriginal term for sandhills) and Cape Schanck,(38 d 29m south, 144d 53m e).
The Portugese imported African slaves to the Cape Verde Islands. Two descendants of these slaves were involved in our history, Joe Peters at Rosebud and Emanuel De Santo at Rye (Rye P.S. 1667 P117, 121).
Owen Cain,Sullivan and his son-in-law Ford, Skelton,Robert Rowley and his widowed mother-now Mrs Kenyon,and their families would have been, for years,the only residents between the heads and the Tootgarook Run occupied by Edward Hobson and then James Purves.
Michael Cain is No 1 for Rosebud, and Ben Cain wears the same number for Rye.Sorrento's No 1
is Brendan Cairns and other pioneering names listed in Nepean League are Kenyon,Stringer, Eaton, Caldwell,Appleford, Jennings, Dunn,Page and Baxter.
At Anthony's Nose a traveller had two choices: wait for low tide and go along the packed sand or climb Arthurs Seat, from what is now the base of Foote St, on the road to Cape Schanck.
Purves and Ford ,who had 800 bullocks between them,knew that fencing off tharea west of the white cliff would deny them free grazing. They had gone to all their employees and neighbours, most of them lime burners, struggling farmers or in some way obligated to Purves and Ford, to gain their support. An official was sent from the Quarantine Station to speak to the petitioners and found that many of them actually wanted the fence (which was never built anyway.)
ALONG THE BACK TRACK C.1860 AUGUST 2010
Charles Graves (back from Melbourne with goods
To hawk to those further west near she-oak woods)
With Bill, the 22 year old son of his partner, Widow McLear,
Left Bill at The Willow; his helper now Godfrey in his tenth year.
The son of Henry Wingy Wilson, named for a crushed hand,
A bullocky living on the eastern end of Jamieson's Survey land.
To the north, over yankee Griffith's maize, Charles saw
Big Clarke's wedding present to his son-in-law.
To the left, young Godfrey saw Cottier's hut coming nigh
Now housing a hotel which Cutter called the Rye.
Look, said Charles, Pidota and Rowley do it tough;
The bay at the moment is looking quite rough!
When they reached The Rocks, Graves headed back
To climb Arthurs Seat on the Cape Schanck track.
We'll never get through that surf alive
And I'll not wait asleep like Meyrick in 1845!
As they climbed with Gracefield on their left
Charles exclaimed, There's a vine up in the cleft!
Do you mean the Swamp Village's Fred the Greek?
Young Wilson asked with tongue in cheek.
So they climbed through Burrell's 12 500 acres,
Dragging logs on downhill slopes as brakers,
Past the back road to Purves' Tootgarook.
Soon, blonde Cairns on their right, left Wooloowoolooboolook.
At the next crossroad right turn and then left;
Graves' handling of the drapery laden cart was deft.
Godfrey saw the smoke, sobbed Cometh my time!
Don't panic lad; they're just burning lime.
We started in Kangerong,
Through Wannaeue travelled along
Features and people of history seein'.
Now we stop as we reach Nepean.
As they turned back to Kangerong
A well-known man came riding strong,
(With five year old Maria), running late.
Godfrey wed Maria in 1878.
NOTES FOR ALONG THE BACK TRACK.
1 Henry Wilson's accident probably happened after Godfrey's marriage but I just had to use
2. The well-known man in verse 9 was Stenniken who lived at Rye but had some land at Melway 151, D/10 near Wilson's 125 acres.
3. The Griffith and Eaton families came from America. W.J.T.Clarke gave the northern part of the Survey, including Wilson's 125 acre lease, to his son-in-law, Bruce. (Bruce Rd.) Big Clarke's land was south of that owned by the family of another son-in-law, Hearn. Clarke's life ended at Hearn's Roseneath in Essendon which was later owned by William Salmon.(28, G/1)
4. Cottier took the name and the licence to White Cliff when he and John Campbell built a hotel there.
5. Peter Pidota was an early fisherman, loading and unloading with the help of Rowley, near Sheepwash Creek.
6. THE ROCKS was an early name for Anthony's Nose. The Cape Schanck track started where Latrobe Pde does today. The name change to Bayview Rd was probably driven by developers wanting to promote the spectacular views.
7. Meyrick fell asleep while waiting for low tide as he made his way to Boneo in 1845.
8. William Grace planted grapes in a hollow in the mountain slope of Gracefield. One of the Sullivans married one of his daughters. He built the Gracefield Hotel which was demolished by the Hunts circa 1927 so they could build the present Rye Hotel. Cottier's hotel was further east.
9. Fred Vine, whose children were possibly sailed to the Dromana School until the Rosebud one opened much later.
10. The Burrells took over the Arthurs Seat Run following the McCraes' departure in 1851.
11. This method of making a safe descent was used well into the 1920's.
12. Hiscock Road, now closed, is shown between Colchester Rd and the street named after the successful butcher known to you as WINGY.
13. The break in Browns Rd at Truemans Rd.
14. Three parish names.
EARLY FISHERMEN XXXXXXXX AUGUST 2010
Before Coppin's town e'er saw a funnel
Men fished the Sorrento Channel:
At Portsea Jack Inglis, before the Watsons, led the way;
When they came he left for Queenscliff across the bay.
Henry and John came in '60, Alex in '62.
Sons of a Banff fisherman, who left the diggings for a trade they knew
And set up at Pt. Franklin to start their piscatorial labour;
Dennis McGrath's cottage housed their only neighbour.
Near The Sisters Scott, Holley, Watts and Stonner the Dane
Caught boatloads of fish time and time again,
With the help of a lookout and signals for detail:
Not getting them to markets fresh the reason they'd fail.
John Watson who'd used a lookout in the first place
Moved in 1873 to the group's West Sister base.
Hutchins came in the 80's, Erlandsen at decade's end.
For near a century Watsons plied the trade they kenned.
Ferrier, Freeman, Bucher by fishing earned a quid
At Rosebud: on the bowls club site Chinese sold their squid.
Lacco whose sons built boats, Jamieson the whaler, Fred the Greek
And Peatey, near whose block runs a drain once called Peatey's Creek.
At Dromana- Pidota,Vine, John McLear, Harry Copp;
Jonah Griffith fished and grew his maize crop.
Jimmy Williams and Harry Cairns transported the catch
To Mornington railhead, timetables to match.
At Flinders there were first fishermen Oriental;
Their dumping at Westernport perhaps instrumental.
Did they think the diggings too far away
And stay in the area to catch squid and cray?
Then Chidgey, Sidella and Mannix from Queenscliff came
And Johansen, Lucas and Kennon, whose Cove keeps his name.
Peter Pidota had a craft to fish
But hed carry anything youd wish.
Like wood from up near Dromanas peak,
Loading near the mouth of Sheepwash Creek.
Walter Gibson carried mail to the Schanck
Jimmy Williams and Harry Cairns cargo stank,
But their passengers told them, Thanks,
Better than the pony owned by Shanks!
Jimmy sold to Keith McGregor who ran a Ford T van
To Melbourne, which they wanted to ban;
Thats when Spencer Jackson came to the fore.
Later Keith sold to Bill Adams, his Brother-in-law.
You cant carry horses, at least not very far
So the Pattersons drove Purves horses to Kirks Bazaar.
Blacks Camp Davey drove a cart for Benjie Shaw, draper,
Before Shaw turned to the guest house caper.
William Cottier liked to pull beers
But also pulled timber for building piers.
Wingy Wilson the bullocky and John Dysons cart;
Big businesses grew from humble start.
The Jennings delivered milk from house to house;
They worked early so the milk was cool and grouse.
Sorrento carriers fed their equine staff
With the Patterson and Cairns oaten chaff.
At low tide, see the propped- up forty ton craft
Being loaded from dray or raft
With lime (till Lilydales quarry killed the trade)
Then ti tree, for bakers oven made.
Blairs lime trolley from Kiln to pier
Carrying groceries and Gracefield beer.
The actors steam tram ran up Sorrentos hill;
Harry Watts drove it with a will!
NOTES ON CARRIERS.
To limit the poem to less than 20 pages, only a small selection of those who provided carriage of goods and people are mentioned here. There is enough material to write several more poems on the same topic. For example:
McLears bullock team at Dromana, another carter, Len Dunk, who did Jimmy Williams fish run at a later time, the men who carted lime and then ti tree to the bay at Rye, the cabbies who carried tourists from Sorrento pier to the Amphitheatre- before, during and after the time of the steam tram and the long-awaited rail service to Red Hill.
Peter Pidota operated in the Dromana area.
Jimmy Williams and his brother Ned lived at Eastbourne (17 William Cres).
They were both bachelors. Jim started his run from West Rosebud.
Harry (Carrier or Rabbity) Cairns had a property at Melway 253 C 10 where Cape Schanck Rd met Boneo Rd. Born in 1861, he was the son of James Cairns who settled at Boneo in about 1854. He apparently lived over the road from his cousin, Hill Harry (son of Robert Cairns born 1867) whose farm was at the corner of Patterson Rd. Rabbity probably made his first pick-up at Cape Schanck, which most likely included crayfish. As his nickname implies, part of his cargo consisted of rabbits, as did Jimmy Williams.
Going by Shankss Pony was an old saying that meant walking.
William Cottier ran the RYE HOTEL at Dromana before the Arthurs Seat and Dromana Hotels were built. It was between Spencer St and the bend in the highway. When Rudduck bought Karadoc in the sale of township land, Cottier, with John Campbell built a hotel of the same name EAST of Napier St in Rye.
Blacks Camp Davey Cairns lived near 259 E4 and Cairns Bay (260 G 12) is named after him.
Wilsons had butchers shops everywhere and the busline still carries the Dyson name.
The opening of the Lilydale quarry affected the demand for Peninsula lime but ti tree was an ideal fuel for bakers ovens.
No evidence that the beer had a trolley trip but it is possible.
George Coppin was a famous actor from the gold rush days and his acquaintance with the top flight of society enabled him to sell the idea of an exclusive summer retreat to them.
LIME. XXXXXX August 2010
I wonder if the Fawkner lad, in eighteen zero three,
On sunny day, while digging under spreading she-oak tree,
Observed the white sedimentary rock, while father did his time,
Because John, 36 years on, was advertising lime.
Some men who dug and burnt this rock on hills above the rip,
Such as Ford, Watts and Dillon, had decided to jump ship.
The most westerly when displaced, in 1852, for quarantine,
Were Dennis Sullivan and the first Cannon the heads had seen.
The men who lived at the corner, now braced by timbers high,
Dug lime for Campbell, Youle,and Walker's lime kiln standing nigh.
Then they used their napping tools to break the pieces down.
This isolated back-beach settlement was known as Canvas Town.
The big kiln on the fire station site was owned by merchant Blair
Who, to beat competitors, bought land up everywhere;
His bags of lime put onto trolleys that ran directly to the pier,
Half a block east of the Gracefield pub run by Sullivan, later Mrs Weir.
As the gold rush saw Melbourne's mortar demand becoming even keener
Ti tree began to replace dwindling stands of she- oak/Casuarina.
Women milked the cows , grew veg.,did all the chores around,
While the men dug and burnt the white rock from the ground.
With the roads so bad, Stenniken, Blair and Cain sailed lime up the bay
And returned with goods that would take ages to come by dray;
For Rye's school fence timber, there were agonising waits;
But then they could get luxuries like willow- patterned plates.
Men toiled to chop, dig and fire, jobs never made for ease:
Natives, Chinese, Maoris, Greeks and Portugese.
Sullivan and Page at the end of Weeroona Road;
Albress loaded lime and wood:Webster himself did load!
At last the need for lime declined.
The depression forced them other jobs to find.
Cairns boys born and bred to lime at Boneo,
As farmers, farther south, near Pattersons, did go.
For others, bakers saved the day;
Ti tree was felled and carted to the bay;
Cut in sections two foot six in length
To heat the ovens with fiery strength.
When Dr Blair and the Sorrento-bound came to their cool retreat,
Coppin's tram hauled tourists on rails up the hilly street
From Pier to amphitheatre surf. Later many roads were white
But lime was slippery and sharp on hooves: it really wasn't right.
Land held by owners who were absent,
Smothered by ti-tree growing rampant,
With rabbit burrows everywhere;
Restored by Jim Brown's visionary flair.
NOTES ON LIME XXXXXXX August 2010
John Pascoe Fawkner's mother should have been declared Australia's first saint!
Hannah Pascoe had been born into a fairly well-off family, as we shall see later, and little suspected, when she married the silversmith, possibly an apprentice at the time, that a blunder he was to make would estrange her from them. When he was sentenced to transportation, Hannah made the hard decision to farewell her loved ones, and with 12 year old John, join Collins on the voyage to the settlement he was to establish briefly at Sullivan Bay.
In Van Dieman's Land, this Peninsula pioneer lovingly produced a literate son who cared for others, although by the time he was full-grown at 5 foot 2 he was starting to develop the spite which slightly tarnished his accomplishments. To manage this when the boy was surrounded by the dregs of London's slums was indeed a miracle. Melbourne may have been centred on Fisherman's Bend instead of Queen St if it had not been for Hannah's loyalty to husband John. She returned to England to collect an inheritance but came back to her husband; the money probably set young John up in his Launceston newspaper and hotel businesses.(John Batman, who favoured the Fisherman's Bend site had boasted of his land in Fawkner's pub.)
Hannah's son adopted her maiden name as his second name upon her death as a mark of respect for this wonderful woman. I was delighted to have Hannah Pascoe Drive (Melway 16, C/3) so-named to acknowledge her contribution. John Pascoe Fawkner's main contribution, in my opinion, was to be fifty years ahead of the government in providing freehold land for his beloved yoeman farmers. He formed co-operatives to obtain Crown grants at Coburg, Hadfield,Airport West, and at Tullamarine near Mansfields Rd and on Airport land near Melrose Drive.For a small contribution a small plot of land, often 7 acres, was available to anyone near neighbours like Taylor, Robertson and Clarke who had thousands of acres.
Many of the Scandinavian, Greek, Portugese etc pioneers of the area may have jumped ship. Certainly enough pioneers of British stock did so. There may have been crewmen who knew that most of their ship mates would desert and head for the diggings. Perhaps knowing of the lime industry and certain employment, from previous trips, they decided to save days of starvation and a walk back from Melbourne. The Chinese were probably diggers who had landed at Westernport (to avoid restrictions) and had returned to the peninsula because of racial tensions on the goldfields. The Wong family of the east side of Chinamans Creek on Cairns' land may have come in this fashion.
Sullivan was able to move to another family kiln but Cannon seems to have left.
Canvas Town was near the corner of Tasman Drive and Canterbury Jetty Rd. I believe that Youle should properly be Yuille and that a spelling mistake on a document has been perpetuated.
The trolley went through the general store site on the way; there was a branch line so goods for the store could be unloaded without blocking the passage of lime.
Mrs Weir was born a Sullivan.
Ti tree had constituted a minor part of the open parkland that explorers saw; she-oak and Banksia were the common species. The lack of Ti tree was due to burning by the aborigines; a burn at least every five years is needed to stop it getting out of hand. Absentee owners failed to control it.
There were more ship owners of course. It was W.A.Blair and Co that made them wait.
A pioneer in lime land leisure said that everyone had these plates.
At the end of Maori Street was the Maori Farm.
Jim Brown came from the mallee and cleared the ti tree jungle to produce rich pastures.
Margot Hitchcock's history of Blackwood is going to be a corker. Even though she has corrected trove digitisation anonymously, it is plain that she has gathered an incredible amount of information.I had intended to add a Blackwood chronology and some information about pioneers to my previous Blackwood journal,but I will put this on hold until Margot's book is published. I will write no background notes for most of the following verses because this information will probably be in Margot's book. If you can't wait until then, search for a combination of key words, including Blackwood, on trove and you will find my sources.
Years ago, I read of a connection with Blackwood of the family of Albert Thurgood, the greatest footballer of his time, and I was reminded of this when exploring the roads (on a google map)that I used to run (never thinking how the Sultan Track got its name). Discovering Thurgood St,I tried unsuccessfully to find a Thurgood/Blackwood connection on trove but discovered the correction of the digitisation mentioned previously,which prompted this journal.
None of the poems will be finished until I am. Look for additions.
THE FIRST TWO PARTIES.(From pages 3-5 of "Aspects of Early Blackwood".)
Edward Hill and Isaac Povey tried a colonial stint
In 1854, and laid bricks for the Sydney mint.
The West Bromwich Wanderers decided to seek
Gold in the vicinity of Wombat Creek.
In October 1854, Edward set off for the Mount Blackwood ranges,
But his mate twice pulled out, too aware of the dangers.
Meanwhile Harry Athorn of East Ballan's "Traveller's Rest"
And neighbour, Harry Hider, decided to test
Reports of bullocks on the Laradoc* astray
And had some luck on their third Sunday.
They counted themselves lucky finding two of the strays
But the next thing they found did truly amaze.
Near Jackson's Gully they stopped for a feed
And filling the billy saw the glint that begets greed
And to East Ballan blazed a track
That Dungey, Bellinger and Jackson followed back.
George Jackson saw gold in the gully that bears his name,
The other two prospectors soon doing the same.
To provide supplies, Athorn and Hider undertook
And they came by Harry Densley, later helped by Matt Cook.
Meanwhile Hill,disappointments did scorn
And found three companions through Harry Athorn.
They too would desert him; he didn't know that,
But he made his big find at Hill's Tent, Ballan Flat.
The Golden Point crew had kept their find hush;
Hill, through the lost Maplestone, started the rush
So Jackson summoned his mate Matthew Sweet
And this made the Golden Point party complete.
Ballan Flat was called Red Hill, the Estaffette's destination,
Frederick Boys' disappearance soon after caused great consternation.
Lerderderg was the new name for the Laradoc
And soon they had to get gold out of the rock.
N.B. It was John Hill who caused the rush, was on the 1856 electoral roll and was buried in the Blackwood cemetery. By 1861, Henry Athorn was a butcher at East Ballan and had become insolvent (P.2, The Star,Ballarat, 14-3-1861.) See the January 1855 entry in the annals at the end of my other Blackwood journal for D.Ryan's recollection of George Jackson's companions.
The information about Jackson's companions in ASPECTS OF EARLY BLACKWOOD come from the recollections of Harry Densley as told in this letter.
To THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS
Sir,- G B' s interesting article on Blackwood on August 20th recalled a version of the first discovery of gold there, given to me by Harry Densley, a resident of the Ballan district from 1853 to his death in 1919. His version does not differ materially from that of GB but it is more circumstantial and it contains intimate details of the occurrence only to be expected from one who played a part in it. Densley was a native of Van Diemen's Land. He arrived in Victoria with his father in December, l851, his father having been attracted by the gold discoveries. His eldest brother Charles had come to Baccchus Marsh with Captain Bacchus in 1838, and another brother Thomas, came later, so after landing Harry and his father made for there on foot. Immediately after their arrival they started with a party for the Forest Creek diggings but having no success there they moved on to Bendigo, and later to Ballarat where Densley senior, died towards the end of 1852. Harry who was then between 14 and 15 years was brought to Bacchus Marsh, and after a time he obtained employment as a bullock driver from one Harry Athorn, a well known identity of that place at that time. In 1853 Athorn came to East Ballan, and built an hotel there, at the top of the hill to the east of the valley which he named the Travellers Rest. Densley and another bullock driver named Crockett came with him. In addition to the hotel business he had two bullock teams carting on the roads. His account of the discovery of gold at Blackwood given by Densley to me is as follows - "Harry Athorn and Harry Hider were the first to discover gold at Blackwood. They made the discovery in the latter part of I854. Six bullocks that had got away from earlier carters were generally known to be in there on the Laradoc (as the Lerderderg was colloquially, and perhaps correctly styled by the early settlers), and previous attempts to get them had proved unsuccessful. Athorn and Hider went on three different Sundays to seek them and on the last occasion when in the vicinity of where they were supposed to be running they stopped about mid day to have lunch on the bank of the creek where Golden Point now is. The water was clear. While eating their lunch they saw water worn gold at the bottom of the stream. They collected as much of it as was visible. Overjoyed with their discovery they returned with the gold, and with two of the bullocks, blazing a track out to make sure of finding the place again.
As soon as they returned to East Ballan a party was made up to prospect the discovery composed of Athorn, Hider and three others named Jackson, Dungey and Bellinger, the arrangements being that all were to share equally in any gold discovered. Jackson, Dungey and Bellinger were to do the prospecting while Athorn and Hider found them in food and other requisites. The prospectors begun work in Jackson's Gullv (named after one of them) and they camped on the far side of the creek about where the Golden Point bridge is. In some of the holes put down good gold was obtained and in others none but on trying along the course of the creek the party found that gold could be got anywhere in it. I took the first lot of provisions out to them on horseback being guided to them by the trees blazed by Athom and Hider, and afterwards a man named Matt Cook and I took out a larger supply and some mining equipment. Cook having half a ton on a two horse dray and I a like weight on a dray drawn bv six bullocks. After leaving Athorn's we went down by Pyke's homestead and crossing Doctors Creek below it followed the eastern bank of that stream through what is now Mr Lidgett's paddock until we reached about where the present road is. We then turned in an easterley direction and kept on until we arrived at the site where Greendale now stands, where we camped for the night near where Mr George Henry Roberts's latest store afterwards stood close to a large pool in which a servant woman in the employ of the Dale's had drowned herself a short time previously. In consequence of this tragedy the pool had received the name of the Lady's Waterhole and I did not like camping near it. On mentioning my doubts to Cook he did not seem to be perturbed and remarked philosophically 'She will not hurt you.'
The creek was not then washed out as it is now and it could be crossed easily any where. After starting next morning we kept along the left bank of the creek, over the big hill and on until what is now called the Junction was reached where we again camped for the night. Next night we made for where the prospectors were working at what is now called Golden Point above which Jackson and Dungey met us and cut a track for us through the heavy heath and undergrowth which enabled us to reach the tent at the foot of the hill close to the creek. Throughout the journey we followed the trees blazed by Athorn and Hider but as trees had to be cut and fallen timber removed to give the dray passage our progress was necessarily very slow. The news of the party's operations was soon bruited about, and a considerable rush set in in which a good many early Ballannites took part "
What is the origin of Blackwood's name? J G Saxton says ('Victoria Place Names and Their Origin") -Blackwood - Captain Blackwood of the Fly 1842 to 45.
Whether this refers to the mining settlement I am unable to say. It was undoubtedly called the Mount Blackwood diggings at the outset, being named after the mountain of that name, situated some miles to the south-east of it. The mountain seems to have been or originally named Mount Solomon by John Batman, in 1835. At the time he also named Mounts Cotterell and Connolly near Rockbank. It was subsequently called Clarke's Big Hill after Ken neth Clarke who as representative of the Great Lake Company of Van Diemen's Land came to Bacchus Marsh with sheep in 1836 and subsequently moved up to the Pentland Hills, which he named. Neither of these names held permanently. My opinion is that its present name was given to it after the Captain Blackwood mentioned by Saxton, but when, or in what circumstances, I am unable to say. Perhaps some readers may know. - Yours &c.,
JAMES H. WALSH. Ballan, Sept. 12.
BLACKWOOD IN THE BEGINNING.
Charles Shuter took charge of the funds for the C. of E. church and school
But in the Reid case against Chapman for wages, justly failed to rule.
The miners here at Blackwood displayed great propriety;
The lawless learned to fear the Mutual Protection Society.
Parcels sent daily from Melbourne, miners could expect to get
Thanks to Davies of the Southern Cross, Crossman and the "Estaffette".
Gold not extracted by batteries and amalgamation
Was for the miners a major frustration;
Gold not extracted was the miners' loss
So they were excited by the scheme of Bryce Ross. (P.2, Argus, 15-11-1855.)
Fifty odd Chinese came to Blackwood in late 1855,
Advance guard of many more to arrive. (1)
Another posse came on the fifth of October;
They were busy as bees so they must have stayed sober.(2)
"Look at those Chinese, with cradle and dish
They work the old stuff; find as much as they wish.
An Englishman claims he is equal to half a dozen Chinese;
If he works like them,we'll need no immigration decrees." (3)
By legislation with the effect of a picket:
Ten pounds to get in, a Chinese Protection Ticket.(4)
Some ship masters had another thought,
"Why not dump them at Westernport?"(5)
"Oh,ye oblique-eyed, sober, grinning exiles from the flowery land,
The consternation you cause Teutons, you fail to understand." (6)
The new English Bogy the writer thought dumb;
The Mt Blackwood correspondent just said they had come.
By May '61, 250 Chinese were on the Blackwood alluvial,(7)
But relations were not always convivial;
Ah Slang was charged with stealing copper plates at Simmons Reef.
Found not guilty, he said he knew the thief.(8)
At Kangaroo Flat, the Chinese cut away a dam that Europeans built
In 1857. Did it rob them of water? Did they feel no guilt?
A battle royal ensued; cuts, bruises, a broken hand the worst fate
And the matter would go to the magistrate. (9)
1.P6,Argus,12-12-1855. 2. P.4, Argus, 16-10-1856. 3.P.7,Argus, 23-11-1855. 4.P.5, Argus,9-10-1855.
5. Lime Land Leisure. Finding that it was too far to the diggings,many became the first fishermen at Flinders and burnt lime near Sorrento. The Captain would make 10 pounds per Celestial dumped because the landing fee would have been included in the fare. The Government increased its scrutiny of Westernport to stop this practice. 6. P.5,Argus,5-9-1856. 7. P.6,Argus,7-5-1861. 8. P.6,Argus,18-8-1863.
William Happer Fleming, a small provision store at Mt Blackwood did hold,
After two or three years searching for gold;
He had a 6 roomed cottage and a half acre of land
But the deeds were now in his creditor's hand.(P.6, Argus, 11-3-1856.)
R.S.Agnew & Co. of Williamstown was financially unsound;
G.F.Agnew and Eades had a branch store at Blackwood and lost over 400 pound. (P.7, Argus, 18-4-1856.)
Charles and Frederick Long, merchants and storekeepers of Blackwood St, Melbourne North,
To try their luck on the Blackwood diggings boldly ventured forth.
But their hopes of a fortune were soon to fade,
Due to losses in mining and depression in trade.(P.5, Argus,8-1-1859.)
John Martin,confident,athletic and strong,
Despite his mates' advice, saw nothing wrong
With risky stunts being flirty.
He had a wife and child and was aged about 30.
At Ure's 200 foot deep shaft
At Simmon's Reef, he was being daft.
He swung on a rope down ten feet;
Climbed hand over hand his trick to complete.
Then he swung down 50 feet, death to defy,
But suddenly there came a cry.
That was the end of the dare-devil's life;
John made a widow of his wife. (P.4, Argus, 5-4-1860.)
Was he the son of the inventor,
John Stanworth Martin, who was the centre
Of attention at Simmon's Reef when first was seen
"The Nonpareil" his quartz- crushing machine? (P.6, Argus, 14-5-1861.)
Was Christopher Martin related to either John?
Due to Philip Marello his life was gone,
Murdered at Mount Blackwood in 1855;
The villain at Tarrengower or Jim Crow thought to arrive. (P.5, Argus, 14-11-1855.)
(Tarrengower=Maldon, Jim Crow=Franklinford. The dare-devil's family was Irish and another Martin family at Blackwood was from Cornwall.)
STOREKEEPERS TOOK RISKS TOO.
When a correspondent said that Blackwood's population was less
Another would claim it was more.
The first would ask the second to confess
That he was the owner of a store.
If Blackwood was seen to be losing its gloss
Storekeepers faced a gigantic loss.
Buyers for their goods would never be found;
After paying for cartage 2000 pounds.
It was Solomon who'd so spent 2000 quid;
He was slandered by Moss who flipped his lid
When Solomon tried to sell his Blackwood store
To Moss's brother with debts of this amount or more.(P.5, Argus, 25-9-1855.)
(Some other storekeepers will appear in "INSOLVENCY".)
Fred Willett and Rob Woolland ran stores at Golden Point.
Thomas Jones and Caesar Kaiser healed ills internal or in a joint.
There were five hotels: Scheele's Lergederg, the Great Britain (Holland and Forder),
Gregory's, Edward's Bull and Mouth, and the Golden Point with Levy keeping order.