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Anzac Day ceremonies are fantastic but one thing that is rarely mentioned is the pain,torment and suffering experienced by families, especially mothers,and the fact that many of those who returned were shattered men,both physically and emotionally. This poem by Jim Brown says it all. Learning this poem could be part of the lead up to Anzac Day in schools and wouldn't it be great for schoolchildren to read a verse each while wreaths are being placed during the ceremony on Anzac Day.
The Anzac on the wall.
By Jim Brown
I wandered thru a country town, 'cos I had some time to spare,
And went into an Antique Shop to see what was in there.
Old Bikes and Pumps and Kero lamps, but hidden by it all,
A photo of a soldier boy . An Anzac on the Wall.
'The Anzac have a name?' I asked. The old man answered 'No,
The ones who could have told you mate, have passed on long ago.
The old man kept on talking and, according to his tale,
The photo was unwanted junk, bought from a clearance sale.
'I asked around,' the old man said, 'But no one knows his face,
He's been on that wall twenty years... Deserves a better place.
For someone must have loved him, so it seems a shame somehow.'
I nodded in agreement and then said 'I'll take him now.'
My nameless digger's photo, well it was a sorry sight
A cracked glass pane and a broken frame I had to make it right
To prise the photo from its frame I took care just in case,
Cause only sticky paper held the cardboard back in place.
I peeled away the faded screed, and much to my surprise,
Two letters and a telegram, appeared before my eyes
The first reveals my Anzac's name, and regiment of course
John Mathew Francis Stuart of Australias own Light Horse.
This letter written from the front... My interest now was keen;
This note was dated August 7th, 1917
'Dear Mum, I'm at Khalasa Springs, not far from the Red Sea
They say it's in the Bible looks like a Billabong to me.
'My Kathy wrote, I'm in her prayers...she's still my bride to be,
I just cant wait to see you both, you're all the world to me.
And Mum you'll soon meet Bluey, last month they shipped him out
I told him to call on you, when he's up and about.'
'That bluey is a larrikin, and we all thought it funny,
He lobbed a Turkish hand grenade into the C.O.s dunny.
I told you how he dragged me wounded; in from no man's land
He stopped the bleeding, closed the wound, with only his bare
'Then he copped it at the front, from some stray shrapnel blast,
It was my turn to drag him in, and I thought he wouldn't last.
He woke up in hospital, and nearly lost his mind
Cause out there on the battlefield, he'd left one leg behind.'
'He's been in a bad way Mum, he knows he'll ride no more
Like me he loves a horse's back, he was a champ before.
So Please Mum can you take him in, he's been like my own brother
Raised in a Queensland orphanage hes never known a mother.'
But Struth, I miss Australia Mum, and in my mind each day
I am a mountain cattleman, on the high plains far away.
I'm mustering white-faced cattle, with no camel's hump in sight,
And I waltz my Matilda, by a campfire every night
I wonder who rides Billy!! I heard the pub burnt down!!
I'll always love you and please say Hooroo, to all in town'.
The second letter I could see, was in a lady's hand,
An answer to her soldier son, there in a foreign land.
Her copperplate was perfect, the pages neat and clean
It bore the date, November 3rd 1917.
'T'was hard enough to lose your Dad, without you at the war
I'd hoped you would be home by now each day I miss you more'
'Your Kathy calls around a lot, since you have been away,
To share with me her hopes and dreams, about your wedding day.
And Bluey has arrived and what a godsend he has been
We talked and laughed for days, about the things you've done and seen'
'He really is a comfort, and works hard around the farm,
I read the same hope in his eyes, that you won't come to harm.
Mc Connell's kids rode Billy, but suddenly that has changed.
We had a violent lightning storm, and it was really strange.'
'Last Wednesday, just on midnight, not a single cloud in sight,
It raged for several minutes, it gave us all a fright.
It really spooked your Billy and he screamed and bucked and reared,
And then he rushed the sliprail fence, which by a foot he cleared'
'They brought him back next afternoon, but something's changed I fear,
It's like the day you brought him home, for no one can get near.
Remember when you caught him, with his black and flowing mane?
Now Horse Breakers fear the beast, that only you can tame,'
'That's why we need you home sonThen the flow of ink went dry
This letter was unfinished and I couldn't work out why.
Until I started reading, the letter, number three
A yellow telegram delivered news of a tragedy.
Her son killed in actionOh! What pain that must have been,
the same date as her letter 3rd November 1917
This letter which was never sent, became then one of three.
She sealed behind the photo's face the face she longed to see.
And John's home town's children, when he went to war,
Would say no greater cattleman, had left the town before.
They knew his widowed mother well, and with respect did tell,
How when she lost her only boy she lost her mind as well.
She could not face the awful truth, to strangers she would speak
My Johnny's at the war you know he's coming home next week.
They all remembered Bluey, he stayed on to the end.
A young man with wooden leg, became her closest friend.
And he would go and find her when she wandered, old and weak,
and always softly say 'Yes dear John will be coming home next week.'
Then when she died, Bluey moved onto Queensland some did say.
I tried to find out where he went, but don't know to this day.
And Kathy never wed, a lonely spinster some found odd.
She wouldn't set foot in a church she'd turned her back on God.
John's mother left no Will, I learned, on my detective trail.
This explains my photo's journey, of that clearance sale.
So I continued digging, cause, I wanted to know more.
I found John's name with thousands, in the records of the war.
His last ride proved his courage a ride you will acclaim
The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba of everlasting fame.
That last day in October back in 1917,
at 4pm our brave boys fell that sad fact I did glean.
That's when John's life was sacrificed, the record's crystal clear.
But 4pm in Beersheba is midnight over here......
So as John's gallant spirit rose, to cross the great divide,
Were lightning bolts back home, a signal from the other side?
Is that why Billy bolted, and went racing as in pain?
Because he'd never feel his master, on his back again!
Was it coincidental? Same time... Same day Same date!!
Some proof of numerology or just a quirk of fate?
I think it's more than that you know, as I've heard wiser men,
Acknowledge there are many things, that go beyond our ken
Where craggy peaks guard secrets, neath dark skies torn asunder,
Where hoof beats are companions, to the rolling waves of thunder,
Where lightning cracks like 303's, and ricochets again,
Where howling moaning gusts of wind, sound just like dying men
Some Mountain cattlemen have sworn, on lonely alpine track,
They've glimpsed a huge black stallion with Light Horseman on his back.
Yes Sceptics say, it's swirling clouds, just forming apparitions.
Oh No, My friend you can't dismiss all this as superstition.
The desert of Beersheba or a windswept Aussie range,
John Stuart rides on forever there I don't find that at all strange.
Now some gaze upon this photo, and they often question me,
and I tell them a small white lie, and say he's family.
'You must be proud of him.' they say I tell them, one and all,
That's why he takes the pride of place
The Anzac on the Wall.
ART AND HISTORY: . EUGENE VON GUERARD and Walter Clark's "Glenara", Bulla, Victoria, Australia. TOWNSHEND SOMERVILLE.
Artists left a valuable historical legacy in the days before photography developed. The "Australia Sketcher" artists were kept busy recording images of places, such as a view of Mt Martha and Safety Beach from Arthur"s Seat; these can be seen on trove. The Peninsula and other "Artists' Trails" let us compare present day scenes, viewed from the spot where the artists sat, with reproductions of their paintings.
The N.G.V.pamphlet about the Von Guerard exhibition in 2011 contains reproductions of mountain scenes near Kosciusko and the western District but the ones that captured my attention were those of Cape Schanck and Walter Clark's Glenara (Melway 177 C9); the latter on page 2 which is attached.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM "EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF TULLAMARINE", WRITTEN LARGELY FROM MEMORY."
Later additions to the text are written in italics.
SECTIONS 16 and 17.
Section 16 was granted to Archibald Walker who sold the 533 acres to William Coghill on 7-7-1842 for 1040 pounds. On 16-5-1856, William conveyed the part of section 16 s/w of Bulla Rd to George for two (several?) sums of 10 shillings each and the natural love and affection he hath and beareth for the said George Coghill.
As it is now two years since I have been able to access the computer, both my enthusiasm and my ability to recall facts or access notes at the drop of a hat have almost disappeared. Therefore, I hope you will forgive me if the rest of this history is somewhat abbreviated. I think that is preferable to the information not becoming available.
Section 17, consisted of part A (435 acres) and part B (448 acres). As the Bulla road ran through 17A, from Oaklands Junction (where a southern extension of Oaklands Rd would meet Perimeter Rd inside the airport) to where a dotted line now meets Sunbury Rd at Melway 177, F/9, the north eastern corner became the Inverness Hotel paddock of 58 acres, rather than part of Glenara, (although it was still owned by the Clark family). This paddock was generally leased by the occupant of the Inverness, such as Patrick Condon in 1879 and 1882. By 1915, bookmaker, Maurice Quinlan had bought this paddock (as well as huge tracts of the Glenara Estate up Oaklands Rd) and was leasing it and the hotel to Eleanor C.Gibb, who was later to move to the Essendon (Grand) Hotel. Another to run the hotel was Bridget Madden, the sister of Maurice Crotty of "Broomfield", through which Tullamarine Park Rd now runs.
Glenara consisted of 1030 acres and was owned by Alexander Clark in 1914. It consisted of the part of section 16 conveyed to George Coghill the part of 17A excluding the Inverness Hotel, and 17B.
As I no longer have my notes and maps, the following relies purely on my memory. George Goghill called his farm Glencairn. The dam at 177 D12 was known to the pioneers as the Glencairn dam. Walter Clark, who was the next owner, renamed the farm Glenara. Coghill, remembered by street names in Broadmeadows (Westmeadows) and Bulla Townships, also owned Cumberland, and if I remember correctly, built the Cumberland mansion whose ruins are at Melway 178 C12. In about 1850 Coghill, like Joseph Raleigh at Maribyrnong, built boiling down works to convert near-worthless sheep into tallow.
Walter Clark bought much land up Oaklands Rd as well as Glenara. One portion of this land was called Dunalister, after his son, Alister. When a later owner of this property wished to rename it Balbethan, the late Bob Blackwell used the name for his property near (I think) Elmore.
While in London, young Alister Clark chanced upon the Chelsea Flower Show and fell in love with roses. Bulla Bulla gives great detail of his fame as a breeder of roses. Alister also loved horses and as well as being closely involved with the Oaklands Hunt, he was the first Chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club from its inception until his death. Two of this clubs highly regarded races were the Tullamarine Handicap and the Alister Clark Stakes. Alisters Vice Chairman, J.B.McArthur, and the Rundles (later owners of Glenara) were members of the Hunt as well.
Alister was adored in the community and Lilly Green, who with hubby Cec used the closed Junction Hotel at Greens Corner (Mobil site) for a garage and store, said that serving Alister with petrol was the highlight of her time there. Alister served for years on the Bulla Shire Council (many as President) and the Bulla School Committee.
I.W.Symonds' "Bulla Bulla" has much information about the Clark family. If I remember correctly, Walter Clark died in a buggy accident at about the time that Eugene Von Guerard painted the scene in the painting. The reason it is described as being near Keilor is that from 1854, Keilor Rd (known as Mt Alexander Rd) became the main route to the diggings, much money having been spent to build Brees' bridge and improve the surface. Logically, the artist would have taken that route, stopped at Keilor for refreshments and then taken Arundel Rd (part of which is now named after Jose Borrell)across Bertram's Ford and through "Arundel", finally driving north along the present McNabs Rd past Barbiston, Victoria Bank, Oakbank, Aucholzie,Seafield, Roseleigh and Gowrie Park until he reached the southern boundary of Glencairn at Melway 4 G2. Then he would have chosen a spot which placed Mt Macedon almost in line with the homestead.One can imagine the curiosity of the McNab, Ritchie, Mansfield, Grant, Farnes, and Gray children to see a stranger in their quiet backwater. I bet they followed and watched him at work from a respectful distance. The Grants of Craigllachie and Loemans of Glenloeman, on Tullamarine Island, probably gawked from across Deep Creek.
Amazingly although the two families were so prominent, the Shire of Bulla rate collectors could never seem to work out which ones were Clark and which were Clarke (of the Jackson's old run, where Rupertswood was built.) Interestingly, the buildings between the Glenara homestead and Mt Macedon are probably on Lochton where Bain opened a flour mill in 1856, the year that Walter Clark bought 17A and Glencairn.(Lochton, whose old homestead was still standing when occupied by Reddan descendants circa 1999, is located at Melway 177 C4; aborigines used to pick-a-back children from Lochton across the creek on their way to the original Bulla school near the bridge.)
TOWNSHEND SOMERVILLE, about whom much information is given in my SOMERVILLE journal,was married at Glenara, the residence of Walter Clark. This would indicate that he and Walter were close friends. (Illustrated Australian News, 4-12-1871, page 223, accessed through TROVE.)
Arthur BOYD (born 1920, AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR IN 1995) and HERITAGE PROTECTION FOR 62 ROSEBUD PARADE, Rosebud, Victoria.
As can be easily found in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, this Arthur was a member of an artistic family. His grandfather, also named Arthur Boyd, came to Australia via New Zealand. The family became established at Murrumbeena, with one of the properties being Open Country where young Arthur's father, Merric, became a famed potter. When Merric's mother died in late 1936, young Arthur went to live with his grand-father at what is now 62 ROSEBUD PARADE, ROSEBUD. Young Arthur's maternal grandmother, Evelyn Gough, an early advocate of equality for women, had owned a house on the foreshore (Rosebud Fishing Village)since 1905 or before. With tuition from his grandfather, the teenager painted many scenes in the Rosebud area (10 known so far)until 1939 when his grandfather's ill health forced a return to Murrumbeena. Merric and Bloomfield are two common given names in this Boyd family and I suspect that they were maiden names of women that married into the family. Two of young Arthur's paintings featured Charles and Walter Burnham's jetty at the bay end of Boneo Rd; the view from the east gracing the cover of Robin Boyd's book. The house at 64 Rosebud Ave has been demolished so the Mornington Peninsula Shire must immediately protect the house that the 1995 Australian of the Year occupied, as a teenager launching a fabulous career. Honour this noted family's connection with Rosebud!
As two of Arthur's paintings, HOUSE AT ROSEBUD and INTERIOR LIVING ROOM, ROSEBUD had been sequestered on gallery websites, finding the house was difficult. Ben Boyd, a descendant of Arthur's, answered a plea for help emailed to his sister and it was mainly due to his titles searches that the house was granted heritage protection.
The newspaper article might have helped a bit.
A LOCAL historian wants a Rosebud house where renowned artist Arthur Boyd once lived to receive heritage status.
It was when he began researching Rosebuds history that he discovered the link between the Boyd family of painters, potters and writers and the house at 62 Rosebud Parade.
The retired primary school teacher had already written extensively about different aspects of peninsula history when he read that the Boyd presence in Rosebud started in 1905 through Arthur Boyds grandmother, Evelyn Gough.
EXTRACTS FROM EMAILS.
I have advised the owner of 62 Rosebud Parade that I intend to apply a heritage overlay to the property; this process takes some time, and in the meantime I am exploring what the future of the cottage could be in a practical sense, for example what could it be used for.
It may be that the owner is willing to sell the property to someone - or some organisation - interested to preserve it for its Arthur Boyd history.
Do you know of any persons, or organisations, that might have in interest in the cottage, to purchase or to use?
I would appreciate any leads you can give me.
The Bundanon Trust, The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, University Arts Departments, or some umbrella group for Art Societies (if such exists) might be able to get a Government grant to buy the property and employ a live-in manager. I envisage groups of artists, from interstate or country or even metropolitan areas, staying in the house for a reasonable fee for a week or so to follow an expanded Artists' trail and execute their own works of our Peninsula beauty spots. Failing lack of interest from the above organisations and success in obtaining grants, there are many artists living on the peninsula who would probably jump at the opportunity to buy a house with such bragging rights and conduct it as a B&B for clients as described above. They could pocket income from guests for accommodation and conducted tours (the trail, good locations to paint) as well as soaking up inspiration from the many different artists that Arthur Boyd's house would attract. Local traders (shopkeepers) would benefit from the extra tourists that this very different guest house would attract.
William John Ferrier was a hero. Apparently suffering with an injured arm and conditions so bad that he had to lash himself to his mast, he performed a heroic rescue when the La Bella was wrecked near Warrnambool in 1905. He was a fisherman at this stage and was awarded the Humane Society's gold medal for his bravery. Between 1905 and 1915, he was the lighthouse keeper of the South Pile Lighthouse in Port Phillip Bay. During his time there, he owned the historic house at 858 Pt Nepean Rd on crown allotment 7 of the Rosebud Fishing Village, which had been granted to Thomas Coppard, a member of the Queenscliff Fishing Co. It is probable that the Government had given him this job as a reward for his heroism. While at the lighthouse, he painted ships on the timber interior which are shown on the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum website. Both Warrnambool and Queenscliff have a continuing Ferrier presence. William and his wife seem to have retained an affection for Rosebud as they gave this name to their house in Beach St, Queenscliff. Lew Ferrier's fishing boat was also given this name and played a prominent role in the opening of the renewed harbour in recent years.
When William (having gone back to fishing) died in 1937, all the flags in Queenscliff flew at half-mast.
Ferrier, a great name in Victoria's maritime history!
David Milburn of Keilor is officially recognised as the first irrigator in Victoria. (Victorian Year Book 1973.)
As I am about to gain access to DHOTAMA, much information will then follow but in the meantime, readers might care to google "David Milburn, irrigator" and see what pops up. The first irrigating was done on his original purchase, Grange Farm, about which details will be supplied when I can access the Grange Farm entry in the dictionary history.
One of the pioneering families connected by marriage with the Milburns is the Tate family of Pleasant Vale which occupied the western side of Tullamarine Island, (subdivided by J.P.Fawkner)and extended across Jacksons Creek into the parish of Holden where the Tate children attended school after the Tullamarine Island school on Bulla Park closed. (Tullamarine Island is between Deep Creek and Jacksons Creek with Loemans Rd providing access.)The Pleasant Vale homestead was accessed via Cooper Rd and was directly in line with McLeods Rd across Jacksons Creek in the parish of Holden.
While the history of the Milburns revolved mainly around market gardening (orchards with peaches a Keilor specialty until the Spanish invasion of Borrell, Vert and Cuartero introduced crops of cauliflowers, tomatoes etc), it might surprise even the Milburns that David Milburn had Mrs Kilburn's 400 acre ("Fairview"x) "Fairfield" in about 1880.It is likely that this property,north of Sharps Rd and west of Broadmeadows Rd in Tullamarine, was used by David for hay growing or grazing. It was later owned by another pioneer of the Keilor area, James Harrick, before being divided into Brightview and Dalkeith.
Cr Millyard was handed a letter written by Mr Williams who wished to speak to the council about the Blackwood reservoir.(Note, this has not been corrected on trove.)
Mr. Williams being called upon, said-I am acting for the public of Blackwood in this matter. The Chairman: Do I understand you rightly to say that you represent the public of Blackwood at this Council today ? Mr. Williams: Well, perhaps that is saying too much; but I am here to request, on behalf of the public interest of Blackwood, that this Council will interfere between Messrs. Walker and Armstrong obtaining a lease of the Blackwood Reservoir, or permission to cut a race therefrom. Mr. Walker has applied to the Board of Lands and Works for the lease of the race, and he also states that this Council has no power in the matter; whereas I am informed that the Council holds a lease of the reservoir, which is the exclusive property of this Council, I also wish permission to be allowed to peruse that lease. - Should Messrs. Walker and Armstrong attain their object, it will create a private interest detrimental to the public interest of Blackwood.
Councillor Mairs: It is important that this Council should take some steps in the matter, and it is also important that Messrs. Walker and Co. should not be put in possession of the property which they are now applying for. I will move-"That the Secretary write to the Minister of Mines, in reference to the application of Messrs. Walker and Armstrong, of Blackwood, for the right to cut a race in connection with the Blackwood Reservoir, and request that such right be not granted, as this Council is of opinion that the right to construct watercourses in connection with the above reservoir should be vested in this Council alone. And that, to create private interests in connection therewith, would be highly detrimental to the interests of this Council, and to the interests of the people of Blackwood." Councillor Graham would second the motion,
believing that it would serve the best interest of Blackwood. Carried.
(P.3,Bacchus Marsh Express, 25-5-1867.)
A letter from D.Ryan, which discussed Greendale originally being part of the Bacchus Marsh Road District and the possibility of having to join the Bacchus Marsh Shire, gives much detail about the formation of the Ballan Road District Board. Ryan (the letter is signed D.R.)stated in another letter that David Mairs nominated Blackwood's first rep. and as he was unlikely to forget the Mairs name, the typesetter was most likely responsible for Main. Only part of the letter is shown here and the paragraphing is mine.
In 1862 a few men met at Flack's hotel, Ballan, and petitioned to have Ballan constituted a Road District. The boundary towards Blackwood was fixed by the petitioners at the northern boundary of allotments near Long Gully, owned by Mr. Andrew. But when the boundaries were gazetted no one was more surprised than myself to find that the more important part of Blackwood was brought within the Ballan Shire. Mr. Steavenson did this work by a stroke of the pen.
The residents of Blackwood in those days were both numerous and prosperous. They, however, never stirred to come under the Act, and thereby committed a grievous blunder, as they might easily have formed a respectable municipality themselves, being then the most important centre in West Bourke. Instead, however,the inhabitants of the various townships of which Blackwood is composed were very jealous that any particular little township would be better served than the other three. It would be amusing reading to publish the details of the various improvement com mittees formed at Blackwood from time to time.
For a great number of years past- perhaps from the beginning, the inclusion of the agricultural portion with the mining portion as one Riding has been immensely unsatisfactory. Our interests tend Marsh wards. Some years ago, in accordance with the wish of my neighbours, Mr. Standfield and myself drafted a petition, the purport of which was the annexation of our territory to the town where we transact our business, viz., Bacchus Marsh. Before the necessary signatures were .attached some person gave out that "if you join the Marsh you will have to pay the ordinary rate, a water rate for Messrs. Pearce Bros., and another for the Water Trust." This story travelled quickly amongst my neighbours, and they would believe nothing else. Hence, from that day I became very indifferent as to the disposition of the Shire funds. Three years ago another friend drew a like memorial for the same purpose, and surely enough another story upset this proposal.
No one here grudges the Blackwood people to vote en bloc, as they did at the last election, but a good many criticised the act of 16 voters here who always vote against any neighbour; which, if added to - the other 20 ratepayers who refrained from voting gave this side a big pull back. - Mr. Hamilton is a native of this neigh bourhood-a live man, full of zeal and vigor, and a son of one of the very best men who ever resided here; still, the 16 true men of Greendale voted against him.
To show the cruel wrong Blackwood is inflicting on this part of the Riding I have to go back a long, long road to the first election of the Ballan Road Board District. Election day was a big event for Ballan, yet Blackwood showed the utmost indifference. About a dozen Blackwood people came over on a pilgrimage to Ballan. Among those I now remember were George Moore (a talented man, who died in his native city, Bristol); William Vigor (a favourite); and J. B. Garland, " Bozzy." All now with the majority.
I need not say how Blackwood had no show of electing anyone on that day ; yet, through the good offices of Messrs. Mairs, Fox, and others, we supported Moore, and had him elected the first representative for Blackwood; but entered into a solemn compact with Mr. Moore that none of the money raised on the agricultural portion should be expended in the forest till our roads were made in the agricultural portion. This proposition was ratified; and as a matter of positive certainty Mr. Moore obeyed it to the letter. So did Cr. Mill yard, who succeeded him, except if he saw the Council in good humour he'd ask for 5 or 10 " to cut a dangerous sideling," &c. He used to superintend the execution of this work himself, and the Council was the gainer, as he always had full value from the best men he employed.
Barry's Reef at this time was growing strong, and not being on the best of terms with the Golden Point people put forward a resident of their own as candidate at a Shire election. The result surprised everyone as the Barry's reef man went within two of being elected. Barry's Reef people were jubilant, as they knew their strength, which kept rapidly increasing till another surprise was sprung upon the ratepayers. This was an additional Riding, necessitating all the members coming out of office. For the new Council Barry's Reef nomi- nated three of its best men, who were easily elected, thereby taking all the representation. And taking our share of the "Municipal fund, or a great portion of it, to make a forest road which we do not require, and our own roads neglected, and disregarding the compact entered into.etc. (P.1, BME, 3-10-1896.)
David Mairs seems to have had a soft spot for Blackwood. This might be because at the time of his marriage in 1857 his address was 35 Roslyn Rd, North Blackwood (according to a genealogical website!) I have had no luck finding any mention on trove of Roslyn Road in Blackwood, Greendale or Ballan. However my search turned up this beauty.
BALLAN. On a recent visit to our much esteemed friend, Mr. Denis Ryan, J.P., I was favored by the brief but interesting intelligence that the East Riding of Ballan Shire in the first Road Board was represented by Messrs. David Mairs, Denis Ryan, and George Moore. (P.3, Bacchus Marsh Express, 10-4-1909.)
DENIS RYAN, HARRY ATHORN AND GEORGE JACKSON.
Ryan's story certainly differs in some respects from that given in ASPECTS OF EARLY BLACKWOOD.Only a part of Ryan's letter is reproduced here.
MOUNT BLACKWOOD. To the Editor. SIR,-George Jackson would, I think make a good living anywhere. I was present at his wedding at Leahy an Egan's, Bacchus Marsh. He, Tom Spice(r?) (Ballan), and Black Charlie, would surprise any mob of wild bullocks in the Pyrete scrub or anywhere else that they were commissioned to muster. Jackson picked up with Harry Athorn, East Ballan hotel, an expert horseman, Bill and Jim Keating (Keating's swamp, Mount Cotterell), Tom Gregory, Disher, and George Whale of Ballan, joined the party, who started in January, '55, on a pilgrimage through the Blackwood ranges, and fixed their tent on the site of Peter Jensen's property, at Golden Point, Blackwood. They worked on with great success, opened up Jackson's gully, and got heaps of gold. Jackson let me know, so one morning early in March John Leahy, John Edols, myself, and Sergeant Roberts, started for Blackwood Towards evening we came to the camp of our acquaintances, and it was a sight to see the immense quantity of gold in pickle bottles (a pickle bottle held about 12 lbs troy). After getting lost a few times we got back next evening late, jaded and careworn. As soon as I could discharge my obligations I made up my mind to try Blackwood.(P.3, Bacchus Marsh Express, 9-7-1898.)
By the way, George Jackson was living in poverty later and Harry Athorn,(in 1854, a publican at East Ballan who also owned two team of bullocks) later became a butcher and was declared insolvent.
AND NOW THE SOURCE USED IN ASPECTS OF EARLY BLACKWOOD.(The part about Blackwood's name is not included.)
James H.Walsh of Ballan was far too kind to G.B. whose "legend" included not one name.
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 Bacchus 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 Gully (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 Athorn 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 a like weight on a dray drawn by 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 easterly 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 "
JAMES H. WALSH. Ballan, Sept. 12. (P.9, Argus,17-9-1927.)
Oh to be in Blackwood town
One hundred years ago,
When axes, picks and shovels
Were a'swinging to and fro.
Blackwood is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Lerderderg River, 89 kilometres north west of the state capital, Melbourne. Blackwood is in the Shire of Moorabool Local Government Area and had a population of 235 at the 2006 census.
The town was founded in 1855 during the Victorian gold rush and at one stage had a population of around 13,000 prospectors. The Post Office opened on 22 September 1855 and was known as Mount Blackwood until 1921.
Attractions include the State Park and Wombat State Forest, a mineral spring, miners' cottages from the 1860s and Mount Blackwood, an extinct volcano offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Blackwood is so-much better described in that one verse than in wikipedia. As I jogged a hundred metres at a time up the Old Blackwood Coach Road, my mind was on a coach driver applying the brake with all his strength so the coach would not overtake his weary team and cruelly kill the horses. As I threaded my way up the ridges between the ruts, I could well imagine axles being broken and passengers, already bruised from the jolting, seeking shade or helping while repairs were carried out.
Blackwood is no Bendigo, Castlemaine or Maldon, time capsules filled with beautiful architecture. But it has the beauty of discovery about it and for those who like to combine fitness with the thrill of discovery,the Blackwood area is just the ticket. Blackwood has a tiny population now but amazingly has a newsletter of such quality that it can truly be called a magazine, and many organisations that require hard working volunteers to serve on many of them, so that the terrific community spirit can be maintained.
The type of hard work described in the first verse of the late Grace Rayner's Blackwood (A haven in the hills) was typified by Ray Meade, who served on the Cemetery trust and progress association as well as being president of the cricket club, social club and crown reserves committee. This history is dedicated to the late Ray Meade.
MARGOT HITCHCOCK. Margot is in the process of writing a history of Blackwood and its pioneers. As my aim is to supplement existing histories, not repeat it,, I will summarise the articles she has written for the Blackwood News so you know what information is available, but not include it in my work. Margot is willing to help people
with genealogical detail about any of their family who have been Blackwood pioneers. Margot would also appreciate any anecdotes, photos etc that you can supply. She can be contacted by email on <firstname.lastname@example.org> or by mail at P.O. Box43, Blackwood Post Office, Blackwood, 3548.
Margot has replied to my email and provided some valuable information.
Tyrrell should be spelt Terrill. The pioneer after whom the backtrack and the street (joining old Golden Point Rd to Golden Point Rd at the pub corner) were named was Byres, not Byers as I had written.
The school site at Golden Point is listed on old maps of Blackwood and a photo of the school is in my Aspects book. Blackwood North was not the main food growing area as food and sheep farms were also in Green Hills, Blackwood and a Chinese Market was where the Sport Ground is.
Mt Blackwood was named after Captain Blackwood of the 'Fly'.
There is information about the aborigines of the area in her books.They are:
1. 'Aspects of Early Blackwood - The Goldfields, The Landmarks, The Pioneers' by Alan J. Buckingham and Margot F. Hitchcock. (89 pages including photos and index - with information on early gold mining days and the pioneers - $ 14 or $16 including postage.)
2. ' Some History of Simmons Reef, Blackwood', compiled by Margot Hitchcock for the Blackwood & District Historical Society.(55 pages and 51 photos plus index with information on the early Quartz mining in Simmons Reef - $13 or $15 including postage.)
�The Story of Blackwood� � a small booklet of 8 pages with brief information on Blackwood � �The Beginnings, Gold, The Diggings, The Township, Quartz Mining, The Surrounding Districts � Barrys Reef, Simmons Reef, Golden Point, The Cemetery, Blackwood Today, and a map of 'Where to Go, - What to see.� Produced by the Blackwood & District Historical Society. Cost $4 from the Society or $5 posted.
Available from the Blackwood & District Historical Society Museum at the Old Police Stables Blackwood, open 1st Saturday of every month 10-30am - 12.30pm. Or can be purchased from the 'Garden of St. Erth', Blackwood Post Office, Blackwood Hotel, Mineral Springs, Caravan Park -or
For orders - contact Margot Hitchcock, email - email@example.com
If I don't summarise an article, it's because I don't have that newsletter.Variations in spelling are as found in articles. Descendants of pioneers who may never have lived in Blackwood are included in the surname list for genealogical purposes.
April-May, 2011.Graves in the Blackwood Cemetery. John Wightman started the first steam sawmill at Barry's Reef, Blackwood in 1866. Details of his wife, children and their spouses.(Kennedy, Dunlop, Thompson, Wolters.)
June-July, 2011.Silas Gay, mine manager, Blackwood. Excellent biographical and genealogical detail. It is interesting that the evidence of Albert Sweet was included in the police report regarding the accidental death of Silas in 1898.
December 2011-January 2012. Holes in the rock wall at the sports ground resulting from a competition displaying a skill used in mining; drilling holes in which dynamite was inserted.Results from the 1902 sports. The race behind the spring on the Shaw's Lake side of the Lerdie was constructed by Vincenzo Cocciardi.
(Cocciardi, Strangman, Coleman,Healy, Daymon,Terrill, Kathleen Maxwell.)
Also, World War2 Memories from Jack Rayner and Alan Wellsley Griffin and SOME EARLY MEMORIES OF BLACKWOOD by Don Owen.(Richards, Walker, Simmonds, Bricker,Dr Wisewould, Dwan, Sweet, Tyrrell, Callaghan.)
The historical society seem to have the police stables as its Museum. I'll have to check that out next time I'm up!
June- July, 2012. LAST BIG NUGGET FOUND IN BLACKWOOD.Much genealogical information about Tom Matthews, his spouse and children. (Tom Matthews, William Walters (wrong)/Waters (correct), Brennan/Brannan, Beasley, Considine, Eccleston, Wells.) Also a trip down memory lane by Kathy Blair. (Matthews,Cann, Tyrell, Gribble, Sweet, Shaw, Broad, Denman, Webster, Morgan, Amery, Hill, Walker, Seymour.) Tom Matthews used to play accordian at the dances. Kath used to go to school at Golden Point. I wonder where the school site is!
August-September, 2012.FLOOD AND LOSS OF LIFE AT BLACKWOOD. Two of John and Jane Williams' children had died from Scarlatina and two others were affected, one recovering and the other taken to Melbourne by Jane for treatment. While she was away another son drowned, during a heavy flood in mid 1861, while returning from the post office at Golden Point.(Williams, Harry.)
Also a poem UP HOME (NORTH BLACKWOOD) by Minnie Turner (nee Bawden) circa 1920's, (Elliott, Service, Brown, Bawden, Goudie, Cassidy, Thomas) and DOES BLACKWOOD HAVE A NORTH? by Jimmy Olsen (Dunn,Berg, Rodgers, Lillis, Meredith, Millyard, Donnely, Guppy, Bawden, Wright, O'Connel, Meier, Stewart, Ambler.) In 1865, Charles and William Dunn were the first settlers at Blackwood North, which became the foodbowl of the diggings.
Just two points on behalf of family historians, if you write poems about your family or the people of an area: (a)write notes, giving surnames, maiden names etc for such as Aunt Annie, Uncle Tom; (b)names in a list provide very little information so if you can't work some detail into the actual poem, try to add a note about each surname. For example one family might have had a huge number of children, another might have been a dairy farmer while most others grew spuds etc. For example:
Jack Rayner sat on council;1
War dangers did he face.2
He's living still up in Lourdes Hill3
With fond memories of Grace.4
1.Jack was a Ballan Shire councillor from -- to --.
2.Jack served in world war 2. See details in the December 2011-January 2012 edition of Blackwood News.
3. Grace Power bought the log cabin in Clarendon St, which overlooks Jackson's Gully, in 1938, according to her poem THE LOG CABIN (at the age of 17 according to Jack.)Given the name of the Rayner residence,it is no surprise to see the name, Power,mentioned in her THE CHURCH UPON THE HILL (St Malachy's Catholic Church.)
4.Jack married Grace Power at----on---- etc.
See how much information can be extracted from just one verse but a family historian isn't going to guess what it is and must be told the background. To avoid littering the poem with numbers, I prefer to write a page of notes corresponding to the verse numbers. e.g.
verse 1. Jack was a Ballan Shire councillor from -- to --.
Jack served in world war 2. See details in the December 2011-January 2012 edition of Blackwood News.
Grace Powell bought the log cabin in Clarendon St, which overlooks Jackson's Gully, in 1938, according to her poem THE LOG CABIN (at the age of 17 according to Jack.)Given the name of the Raynor residence,it is no surprise to see the name, Power,mentioned in her THE CHURCH UPON THE HILL (St Malachy's Catholic Church.)
Jack married Grace Power at----on---- etc.
IN THE BEGINNING.
I know nothing of the first inhabitants of the Blackwood area but I hope to remedy this. Despite expecting to find that the first white inhabitants were a lawless lot,quite the opposite was generally the case. I have not had time to ascertain whether the Pyke brothers' run included the Blackwood area,but if they attended Patrick Phelan's meeting at Blackwood, I doubt they would have voted for him.
A cursory glance at the voters' roll for the Mt Blackwood Division of the West Bourke electorate (Page 6, Argus, 22-5-1856)has revealed where the various diggers and storekeepers etc. were resident and the person after whom Vigor St was named. The Mr Langhorne who chaired Patrick Phelan's meeting, was probably Edward Langhorne, a householder at Red Hill, that is, near the present hotel and store. I will leave it for readers to look at the roll; Margot may include it in her book.
A description of several Runs near Blackwood can be found on pages 1 and 4 of The Argus of 3-10-1848. With boundaries described in some instances as ploughed lines,or as adjoining a run leased by a named person, it is difficult to determine which of several runs encompassed the Blackwood area. One item discovered from a description of one of the possibilities, Run 152, is that the native name for Mt Blackwood was Moonia.
Mt Blackwood was obviously named by 3-10-1848 but I have found nothing to indicate after whom it was named. I believe it was named after Vice-Admiral Henry Blackwood (Nelson's third in command who had no surviving children to succeed him as Baronet according to one source but not the one about Francis Price Blackwood), the Hon.Henry S.Blackwood or Francis Price Blackwood. The Blackwood River in Western Australia was definitely named after the Vice Admiral.
Blackwood, Francis Price (1809�1854)by Ann Mozley
Francis Price Blackwood (1809-1854), naval officer, was born on 25 May 1809, the second son of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood and his third wife Harriet, n�e Gore. He entered the navy at 12 and obtained his first commission in August 1828. In 1833 on the East India Station he was appointed to command the Hyacinth, in which he first visited Australia and contributed hydrographic data on the north-eastern coast. He was promoted captain in 1838.
In 1841 Blackwood was appointed to command the corvette Fly in the first hydrographic survey commissioned by the Admiralty for exploring and charting the north-east Australian coast. The Fly, fitted with costly instruments, and carrying two scientists, Joseph Jukes, geologist, and John MacGillivray, zoologist, sailed from Falmouth in April 1842 with the cutter Bramble, under the charge of Lieutenant Charles Yule. After a stop in Hobart Town from August to October, the two ships called at Sydney and began the survey in December 1842.
In the next three years the Fly charted from Sandy Cape to Whitsunday Island, including Swain Reefs and Capricorn Islands and the broad passages between, and marked the outer line of the Barrier Reef from 16� 40' S. to 9� 20' S. Early in 1844 a beacon was successfully erected on Raine Island to mark the best passage through the reef. Meanwhile the Bramble completed a survey of Endeavour Strait. Late in 1844 the Fly visited Surabaya and returned in April 1845 to chart a track for shipping from Bramble Cay to Endeavour Strait (Great North-East Channel) through Torres Strait. The expedition then surveyed 100 miles (161 km) of the south-east coast of New Guinea, charting the dangerous off-shore shoals and the mouths of several rivers. The discovery of the Fly River commemorates their work. After a call at Singapore, the Fly returned to Sydney by way of the Swan River, and in December 1845 sailed for England. Next year Blackwood entered Jesus College, Cambridge, and on 12 October 1848 he married Jemima Sarah Strode. He died on 22 March 1854.
The records compiled under Blackwood were important not only for hydrography but also for the detailed sailing directions, many of which still appear on modern charts. In addition to the astronomical observations for the hydrographic survey, magnetic observations on sea and shore were made. The expedition was one of the earliest to visit Papua and bring back detailed reports of the natives.
The Hon. Henry S. Blackwood is appointed one of the Queen's Messengers for foreign service. (P.4, The Argus, 25-9-1849.)
And something closer to home for the next Blackwoodians' trivia night:
Maurice Baldwin BLACKWOOD - (born 1882 Britain died 1941 Australia).
Captain of the Stonecrop, a British E-boat sunk in the First World War,
became an admiral in the Royal Australian Navy in the Second World War.
A great grandson of Sir Henry Blackwood.
(Dennis Bell Burnaby, B.C. on rootsweb. The Blackwoods were also prominent in the U.S.A.)
THE ROADS AND THE ORIGINAL TOWNSHIPS.
4 corrections, most recently by culroym - Show corrections
MOUNT BLACKWOOD DIGGINGS.(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)24th September, 1855.
"What is Mount Blackwood like?" This question is frequently asked of a visitor from these diggings when in town. As it is likely to prove a very interesting place in many ways to the community at large, in the gra- dual development of the prodigious wealth known to exist there, it may be not uninteresting to your distant readers to give a brief description of the district in question.
In the first place, it is certainly a very mountainous one consisting entirely of a continued series of precipitous ranges, generally running, as near as may be, north and south, covered by a dense forest of trees and numerous perennial plants and shrubberies. Golden Point, where the Government Camp is located, and where a township is in process of being surveyed in allotments, is situated on a large sloping bank, close upon the main creek. On either side it is hemmed in, east and west, by very steep ranges. Further up the main creek, about a mile or so, is the celebrated Red Hill, where a considerable quantity of gold has been obtained. Both at the Red Hill and Golden Point, from the want or utter absence of any thing in the shape of sanitary regula- tions or preconcerted arrangements for that important object,an intolerable stench salutes the nostrils of the passers by , and from the same unfortunate cause, one may easily predicate that when summer comes on death and the doctor will be actively engaged among the inhabitants of those two abominably filthy spots At the Red Hill, the main creek is divided into the important tributaries, one coming down from the Yan- kee's, or Acre's Quartz Mining Reef, and the other from Simmons's Reef, numerous other smaller tributaries running into them, along the high ridges overlooking the Yankee Creek tributary.(P.6, Argus, 25-9-1855.)
THE OLD BLACKWOOD COACH ROAD.(Shown as King St on a Bushwalkers' association map.)
The Old Blackwood Coach Road went straight to Golden Point, which makes sense because that's where gold was first found on 14-11-1854. It emerges onto Clarendon St between Albert and Victoria Sts,closer to the latter. The original continuation was the North Blackwood Road. Heading south the road climbs very steeply and for this reason huge ruts,almost on the scale of the Grand Canyon, develop in rainy weather so it must have been worrying for coach drivers and very uncomfortable for passengers. The only good thing about the ruts, when I was running to heaven up this road, was that having to look intently for a safe footfall, so I wouldn't break a leg, distracted my mind from the climb ahead that went on and on and on. This road (also known as King St) meets the Morning Star track, a continuation of Golden Point Rd.
THE NORTH BLACKWOOD ROAD.
In DOES BLACKWOOD HAVE A NORTH? (P.5, Blackwood News August-September 2012), Jimmy Olsen states that this was the main route in and out of town in the 1800's,the Fern Hill-Blackwood Rd.
SETTLEMENT AT NORTH BLACKWOOD.TRENTHAM, WEDNESDAY.
It is proposed to place 200 families on some very rich land near Laver's Mill, close to Fern Hill, North Blackwood. Each family is to have two acres of land for a building site and garden and then there will be in addition to this 1,000 acres on the fringe of the state forest to be worked by the men in occupation of the two acres. They will work on the company system, dividing the profits made out of it on equal terms.
(P.6, Argus, 19-10-1893.)
While searching for "Fern Hill",I discovered an article (P.6, Bacchus Marsh Express,6-10-1906) which mentions the Fern Hill Railway Station and Charles Dunn, who with brother William,pioneered Blackwood North.
Mr. Charles Dunn, jun.,it should be mentioned, is a most public spirited man, and, with his father, pioneered this region over 40 years ago, living for two years in a hollow tree (big enough to turn a dray in) while subduing the wilderness. He thinks nothing of walking all day in these acclivities and declivities, and on Sunday last walked to Blackwood and back to send a message by Cr. Walters to Ballan to the Ed. to invite the party to luncheon on the Tuesday.
THE OLD TRENTHAM ROAD.
If you head down Martin St from the pub and ignore the curve to the left (the Trentham road until the bypass was built),continuing straight down to the river past Whalebone St, you're on the old Trentham Road. It intersects with Yankee Road after a fairly steep climb. I've run up this hill once and down once with much discomfort resulting each time. (See FUN? RUNS AND STROLLS.)
GOLDEN POINT ROAD.
This road, starting at the pub corner, curved slightly to the north before heading due south into Jacksons Gully to a leftie hairpin and a climb back to the direct route (with Hettie the Hen on your right!) This section has been replaced but can be clearly seen, with a plaque on the slight curve to the north. It states that gold was first found at Jacksons Gully by two teamsters on 14-11-1854. Golden Point Rd runs east to the river, turning right at the big rock to climb steadily past the log cabin, zig zag around a gully and pass the Byers Back Track before levelling out.At thispoint,it becomes the Morning Star Track which heads west and south west to meet the Greendale-Trentham Rd, intersecting with Thompsons Rd on the way.
OLD GOLDEN POINT RD.
As mentioned previously, the Old Blackwood Coach Road is very steep and is easily eroded.When the present centre of Blackwood (Red Hill) also became an important mining venue, it made sense to make a new and slightly less steep road directly to that area. I believe that old Golden Point Road skirted the upper reaches of Jacksons Gully to connect with Clarendon St, Golden Point.(Jack Rayner thinks my theory makes sense.) Old Golden Point Rd east of Campbell's Cutting is a dead end but has two houses of interest. Norm Campbell, a steward on Merchant ships, loved Blackwood and built Cambrae from whatever material he could scrounge in 1939.
The next house was owned for ages by the Simmons family. Across the road is a gum tree which was planted by Mr Simmons but was accidentally pruned with a mower, resulting in today's fascinating three gigantic, conjoined trunks.
THE WALKING TRACKS.
FUN RUNS AND STROLLS.
Before you cross the bridge at the mineral springs there are two short walks you can take. If you go left for only about a hundred metres,the track comes to a waterhole and a big rock from which children love to launch themselves into the water. This provides a good opportunity to teach water safety, such as how water holes can be very deep in places, and rocks, submerged logs etc can be hidden under the surface so exploring by wading should come before jumping, while noting current strength and planning exiting points should be taught.
If you follow the river to your right, you will find some interesting information about the gold mining era.
If you cross the bridge and turn left up some steps, the track will take you to Shaw's Lake where there are information boards in regard to history and walks. Primary school children can manage the climb with a few rest stops and it's a good jog for the athletically minded being not too steep and not too root and reef affected once you get up the hill a bit.
You can also drive up the North Blackwood road to Shaw's Lake Rd and try some of the circuit walks near the lake. Jogging up to the lake on the North Blackwood Rd is less difficult than the Old Blackwood Coach Rd (King St) but the climb does go on and on.
If you go straight down Golden Point Rd past the North Blackwood turn off till you reach the river, you will see a huge rock across the river. We always called the rock "The Sphinx" because it had the lion shape, even including the haunches, the absence of a human face not detracting too much from the comparison. It can be climbed fairly easily and safely by children of eight or so, presenting a splendid photo opportunity and making them feel like heroes. Jumping into the waterholes is a no no, being far too dangerous, but a short swim is possible, even in dry weather.
Golden Point Rd turns right and commences a long climb near the sphinx. Blackwood is a great place for stirring the imagination, not just historically as in Grace Rayner's THE DESERTED SHACK. No matter how tired the children were after walking to the sphinx, they just had to walk part of the way up the hill. For there was the Three Little Pigs' house;a log cabin sitting right beside the road. They didn't have to be inside it to provoke a bit of Drama.
The bridges at the springs and at the start of the North Blackwood road could not be crossed by the children without dad spending at least ten minutes being a troll!
My favourite runs were from the springs to Shaw's Lake returning down the North Blackwood Rd, the Byre's Back Track to O'Brien's Crossing, the Golden Pt Rd/Morning Star Track/Greendale-Trentham Rd and old Golden Point Rd circuit,and the previous circuit shortened by going cautiously down the Old Blackwood Coach Road.
One glorious hot moonlit night, I fancied a naturally illuminated run up Old Trentham Rd from Martin St to Yankee Rd, but when I turned after the bridge I ran straight into a puddle, and learning my lesson quickly, slopped back home. One day, feeling extra heroic, I tried the North Blackwood, Yankee Rd, Old Trentham Rd circuit and again came to grief on the last-named track. Reefs were a worry in places on the way to Five Ways,on most of Yankee Rd and for a while as I turned left for the last leg. Soon the road smoothed and, hearing some thumps, I took the opportunity to spot the roos. You guessed it; I tripped on a reef and did my very best Superman impression,removing most of the skin from my forearms and knees. And it was a long way to the Lerdederg, even if it was downhill!
Late one overcast afternoon I was about to reach a crest as I climbed Golden Point Rd from the sphinx when I saw an Alsatian's head appear. Oh no,a feral dog! But it was a kangaroo which received as big a shock as I had
and took off like a dragster. Another day on the Byre's Back Track, I heard a single thump behind me as I commenced a zig zag around a gully. It was a koala which had jumped to finish its descent of a big gum.Magic! I eased my way slowly towards the lovely creature which stared curiously at me.I crossed its too-close line and up the tree it went with a speed that would put Spiderman to shame. Magic!
Easter is a busy time at Blackwood with the woodchop, parade and concert being major events. Dances were once higlights when I was much younger.
Recalling the first verse of Grace Rayner's poem,which starts this journal, where she wished she could be in Blackwood "one hundred years ago", if you have the same desire, you can combine it with the chance to become an Australian Champion. The Australian Gold Panning Championships will be held at the Blackwood Cricket Ground on 24 March 2013. Results do not depend on luck. For details, contact Marcus (0418 474 427) or Geoff (0408 396 644). Powered sites are available at the mineral springs caravan park for only $25 per night but it would be wise to book early on 03 5368 6539.
See comment 2.
BONEO AND FINGAL IN 1902, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC., AUST. (Cairns,Crichton, Russell, Williams, Patterson etc.)
Round Flinders and Kangerong, BY VIATOR. "Blow winds and crack your cheeks," but whether the wind cracked its cheeks or not it certainly did blow on Tuesday, 17th inst., when I started on my ride round. Starting from Dromana and on through Rosebud to Boneo (the proper name of which, by the way, is Boniyong), I found all crops looking very well indeed. At present the only crops showing are oats for hay, and with a fair season there should be a good return. Messrs Cain and the Cairns family--or I should rather say- clan and Crighton, have areas varying from 10 to 50 acres under hay, and the last-named has a considerable area under barley for his cows. About 30 acres of the old house paddock of the Barker's estate are under crop so that the purchasers have not lost much time in commencing operations- The blocks sold are all fenced with wire and netting and there is really good feed on the uncultivated portions. The chief business at Boneo, at present, is the milk. Messrs Crighton, with about 40 cows; Cairns and Russell, 20 cows; Williams, 20 cows; McGillvray, the same, besides Messrs Purves, Cairns and others at Green Hills, make up the greater portion of the cream suppliers to the butter factory at Mornington, and were it not for Boneo, I hear, the factory might have to shut down for want of cream. How is it that the Shoreham people do not produce more milk? I They seem to have every advantage-land that will will grow any kind of crop, ro? or otherwise-and yet they seem to make no provision for winter f g. There must be a .... woeful lack of energy on the part of the young men in that part. To return to our matter, the idea seems to have got abroad that all the Barkers' Estate is sold. This is not so. There are about 500 acres at Boneo unsold and 1500 acres about the homestead and a good part of this is really first class land, quite equal to that on which onions are now being grown, concerning which more later on: ' After passing Boneo, we come to Cairns'- in fact, to several Cairns' and Pattersons'-all of whom have con- siderable areas under crop, and, as in the other cases,all looking well. All things considered, crops looking well, good feed and milk a good price, the prospects for Boneo this season are extremely good. The only drop of bitterness in the cup that I heard of was the ravages of the bot-fly, Mr A. Cairns, senr., having lost a valuable draught mare from this cause. Mr Sherlock was called in, but what the result of his investigations are I have not heard. So much for Boneo . (To be continued.)
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-6-1902.)
A BIT EXTRA.
John Cain was the son of Owen Cain who established Tyrone, between Rye and Canterbury Jetty Rd where streets are named after family members (Michael)and maiden names of wives (Murray, Neville). Hill Harry Cairns married the daughter of Michael Cain and his wife (nee Neville.) John Cain owned two crown allotments in Boneo Rd which included the high school site and the historic limestone house just south of Bunnings, in which John's unmarried daughters lived. John also had land fronting Main Creek Rd so he would have passed through Boneo quite often. In earlier days he was the correspondent for the Board of Advice, which looked after the welfare of all the schools within the Kangerong Road District. It is no wonder that Hill Harry became acquainted with a Cain girl.
Donald McGillvray had the land between Little Scotland and the Rosebud Country Club site in 1900.
Edward Williams had land on the north and south side of Browns Rd just east of Truemans Rd. He had a butchers shop in Sorrento but the competition from the H.W.Wilson& Sons must have been too strong and he moved to Eastbourne before 1900 and was looking after the grantee, Sidney Smith Crispo, one of the Peninsula's greatest characters when he died.
THREE YEARS LATER.
The 1902 article mentioned that all the blocks sold on Barkers' were wire netted. The state governmment provided wire netting loans to shire councils so that farmers could protect their farms and the nation. Once a farm was enclosed, the threat within was trapped and could be eliminated. Ten percent of the loan could be repaid each year by the shire but if the farmers didn't pay their ten percent the shire would be short of money for road maintenance. John Cain hadn't been paying his. Firstly, in case you don't know what the threat was:
The rabbit-proof fence was built to protect Western Australian crops and pasture lands from the destructive scourge of the rabbit. Introduced to Australia in Victoria in the 1850s, the pest rapidly spread across eastern Australia. By 1896 it had been found as far west as Eucla and 200 kilometres further west at Twilight Cove, near Esperance. The fence represents a unique, if inadequate, response to an overwhelming environmental problem.
Construction of the Number 1 Rabbit Proof Fence began in 1901. It stretched 1834 kilometres from the south coast to the northwest coast, along a line north of Burracoppon, 230 kilometres east of Perth. Unfortunately by 1902 rabbits had already been found west of the fence line. The Number 2 Rabbit Proof Fence was built in 1905 in order to stem their advance. Stretching 1166 kilometres from Point Ann on the south coast through Cunderdin, 150 kilometres east of Perth, the new fence joined the original fence line at Gum Creek in the Murchison area.
A meeting had been called at Dromana to deal with the council accepting a 200 pound payment by John Cain when he should have paid more. This humorous extract from the meeting report contains a dig at Boneo, detail about some of its pioneers such as Harry Cairns (most likely Hill Harry, who was Michael Cain's son-in-law) and finishes with another dig about Sidney Smith Crispo's Australian Capital City, Federanium.
A report was going about from that famous town of Boneo, from one of the petitioners' own party, that they intended suing each councillor for the recovery of interest. Mr Anderson: Kindly give the name, as the statement is not correct. Cr Clark: Very well, it was James Patterson. Mr Anderson denied that he had spoken to him on the subject. Cr Clark said it was also asserted that the council had suppressed portion of the terms of the settlement. This was at down right lie. (Applause.) He defied any man to prove such a statement. Everything that had been done in private went through the council's books, and was read to the public. Mr Harry Cairns, another Boneo representative, had criticised the council in the Standard for dealing with the subject in committee. Mr Cairns was not an authority upon municipal matters,-in fact he was not aware that he was an authority upon anything. (Laughter.) When a question of law was involved, he considered the council was quite justified in going into committee. (Applause.) He was not siding with John Cain in the matter-it was a scandal that the money should have been owing -but had the council gone to law the first man they would have had to prosecute would have been Robert Anderson. He thought there would have been more trouble to get the-200 pounds out of " Bob " Anderson than there would out of " Jack" Cain. (Laughter.) Mr Anderson : I'm not " Bob " to you. (Renewed laughter.) The Chairman requested Cr Clark to avoid personalities. Cr Clark said there was no more show of getting any interest from John Cain, as there was of Boneo getting the Federal capital. (Laughter.) (P.5, Mornington Standard, 1-7-1905.)
FEDERATION. WHAT OUGHT TO BE.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 5 May 1898 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... 'Federanium.' The streets a mile and two miles long. S: 8. CRISPO ...
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Thursday 17 May 1894 Edition: MORNING. p 2 Article
... sugar beet and sugar making. The 'meeting was convened by Mr. S. S. Crispo of Eastbourne, Rosebud, who ... that the meeting considers it advisable to cultivate sugar beet for the purpose of sugar making, seeing that the land about Boneo district is suitable. The motion was carried and Mr. Crispo then read ... 863 words
N.B. Sydney Jim is a real mystery. The name indicates that he was from Sydney but the lack of a surname indicates that he may have been aboriginal. Angela Evans said that he was a half caste but no proof has been found. If Angela was correct, how would a half caste who obviously came from Sydney have ended up in Victoria? My theory is that his father was one of John Batman's dusky friends that he took to Van Dieman's Land and later to the Port Phillip District to help in negotiating his well-meaning treaty.
I had earlier assumed that Sydney Jim was a mounted trooper but Bezza's suspicion that mounted constable 245 was George Couser proved to be correct.
State of Victoria Early Postal Cancels (and History) Illustrated
Post Office opened in June 1855.
When the village of Broadmeadows, on the banks of the Moonee Ponds Creek, was proclaimed in February 1850, the naming may have had a lot to do with the Scotsmen in the region - there is a Broadmeadows near Selkirk - and a large number of the original purchasers of land in the April and August sales were also Scots including J.H.Ardlie*, and one John Bryan who tried unsuccessfully for the next three years to get his pub licensed.
(*John Martin Ardlie)
Churches had more luck; by the time there was a licensed hotel in town there were three places of worship
- Anglican from 1850 (although attendances were generally poor), Catholic from 1851 (they did a bit better), and Free Presbyterian also in 1851 (which did a roaring trade).
"The settlers....complain much of the want of a bridge across the Moonee Ponds....At present no direct
communication can be effected....and much inconvenience is the consequence. There is a Flour Mill at Campbellfield, and there is an abundance of wheat at Broadmeadows, but the wheat can no more get to the
Mill than the Mill to the wheat, which entails on the former the cost of further cartage, and on the Mill-owner
the loss of custom." In 1852 a subscription was raised to build a bridge, and soon Messrs Barber & Low's Flour
Mill was getting plenty of custom.
The village picked up quite an amount of passing trade from travellers heading north in their quest for gold, and from at least the middle of 1854 there was a loose-bag mail service to the Broadmeadows Hotel from the
contractor who delivered to Bulla and beyond. As was shown with the Bulla Post Office, deliveries ceased
when the Mail Contractor was killed toward the end of 1854, and it took six months before the department
could find someone else to fill the position, when Thomas Chadwick, mine host of the Broadmeadows Hotel, and John Bethell, Esq., got their pockets together and employed a bloke on the twice-weekly run from the
beginning of June 1855.
The local surgeon, George Smith Harris, got the nod as Broadmeadow's first official postmaster a couple of
weeks later. He continued as both postmaster and Deputy Registrar until his finances went belly-up toward
the end of 1857, and he resigned both positions. Sarah Cullen took over the postal duties for 12 months before
John Bethell became Postmaster. Our Mr. Bethell was a busy lad; he was heavily involved in local politics and
took an active interest in the formation of the Broadmeadows Road District which was proclaimed at the end of November 1857.
John Bethell was Postmaster for only 12 months, and then it appears the post office wandered around the town, generally finding a home with whoever happened to be the Deputy Registrar at the time, until it landed at
George and Mary Couser's store in 1873. George had first turned up in Broadmeadows as a Mounted Constable about 1860, liking the area enough to raise a family there and become interested in the local politics of
The Post Office remained with the Couser family into the 20th century; not an exceptionally arduous job because
the Broadmeadows Shire was mostly small farm holdings until the 1950s. (etc)
Hi XXX, it has been said that there is an aboriginal buried in the (WILL WILL ROOK) cemetery, the nearest I have come to possibly being one is a Sydney Jim d 1864 Bulla b NSW informant is George Couser then it looks like underneath his name, "M.Cons 245 Broadmeadows" the death was registered in Bulla & Tullamarine by Samuel Lazarus, parents unknown consumption a few hours not certified or a medical attendant... Did you ever find that George was also a policeman??
No. George was the storekeeper/postmaster in Broady Township for yonks and was an electoral/ births and deaths registrar for Broadmeadows and Bulla for much of that time,but not in 1864 when the electoral registrars were William Bethell (Bulla), John Bethell (Broadmeadows) and James Hendry (Tullamarine.) John Bethell returned to England, possibly in 1864 and was obviously replaced by George Couser.
I Hereby notify that GENERAL LISTS for the Broadmeadows Division of East Bourke District and South Province are PRINTED, and ready for INSPECTION at my office up to the 18th October, 1865. George Couser, Electoral registrar, Broadmeadows. (P. 2s, Argus, 4-10-1865.)
Samuel Lazarus, who registered the death was the second teacher, after John Cassidy, at the Seafield National School in Tullamarine,according to the Historic site assessment below,which quoted my journals extensively (although itellya did not exist until 2011) and has so many mistakes that I'll have to write a journal to correct them. The school was at Melway 4 about halfway down the boundary between J6 and K6. Lazarus was at the Seafield school by 1859 until 1866 (at least) as shown by birth and death notices (below.) He resigned as registrar and was replaced in May 1868.
Samuel must have been teaching at Bulla in 1855 when he was appointed as a registrar because the Seafield and Tullamarine Island schools did not open until 1859.(P.10 Tullamarine Before The Jetport.)
APPOINTED AS DEPUTY REGISTRARS OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS.
Wm.Hastings, for the district of Bulla, vice (in the place of) S.Lazarus, resigned;
(P. 7, Argus, 9-5-1868.)
DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS
-The Governor has appointed the undermentioned gentlemen to be deputy-registrars ,of births and deaths:-Dr. Andrew Plummer, for the district of Emerald Hill and Sandridge ; Mr. W. Latham, district of Yan Yean ; Mr. Samuel Lazaras, district of Bulla, vice Mr. Latham, resigned. (P.7, Argus, 24-10-1855.)
It is possible that Fanny,whom Lazarus had married, was John Cassidy's sister. (see marriage notice below.) If I remember correctly, a Bulla Shire Secretary ran off with Cassidy's wife (and a heap of money!) See the CASSIDY entry in my BULLA DICTIONARY HISTORY journal.
On the 25th ult., at the house of Mr Boreham,Campbellfield, by the Rev. P. Gunn, Samuel Lazarus,Esq., Master of the Deep Creek Schools, Bulla, son of J. G. Lazarus, Esq., of Liverpool, to Fanny, youngest daughter of the late Captain F. Cassidy, of H. M. 60th Regiment. Liverpool and Derby papers, please copy.
( The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 5 January 1859 p 4 Family Notices)
On the 10th inst., at Seafield National School, Tullamarine, the wife of Mr. S. Lazarus, of a daughter. (P.5 Argus, 14-11-1859.)
LAZARUS. -On the 6th inst., at Seafield, Tullamarine,the wife of Mr. S. Lazarus of a daughter.
(P. 4, Argus, 11-6-1866.)
ADDEY-WILSON--LAZARUS. -On the 13th ult., at All Saints Church of England, Northcote, by the Rev. C. P. Thomas, George, second son of G. Addey-Wilson, Esq. of Gippsland, late of Moonee Ponds, to Elizabeth Henrietta, younger daughter of Samuel Lazarus, Esq., of Hatherlie, Clifton Hill, and granddaughter of the late Captain Frank Duff Cassidy, of H. M. 60th Rifles, formerly private secretary, Castlereagh Ministry. (P.1 Argus,3-2-1891.)
Historic Sites Assessment - Department of the Environment
May 2, 2014 - The Tullamarine area was settled early in Melbourne's history with ...... The first teacher was J. Cassidy followed by Samuel and Fanny Lazarus ...
While consulting Doutta Galla parish maps to find when John Aitken had been granted section 8,I found one map with a large area of land outlined that only Dorothy Minkhoff and I would understand. Dorothy wrote the history of Ave Maria College in West Essendon which has Clydebank, the mansion of Ramsay (the inventor of Kiwi shoe polish) on its grounds. In her book, Dorothy discussed C.B.Fisher's vast land acquisitions in the above modern suburbs.
Although it is probably 20 years since I read Dorothy's book,the mere sight of the map had her words tumbling out of the hidden recesses of my brain. A precise match! You will notice that Hurtle St (named after the older brother of, as MARIBYRNONG:ACTION IN TRANQUILITY puts it,the father of the Australian turf)runs the precise length of the Ascot Wale West land.
Thought I'd share our secret. The map, described below, has 29 in bold type in the top left corner and 94 in red ink in the top right corner.
Doutta Galla, County of Bourke [cartographic material].
Melbourne : Photo-lithographed at the Department of Lands and Survey ... by J. Noone, - Parish maps of Victoria. 1882 English Map; Single map 1 & Online