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DAME NELLIE MELBA'S FIRST CONCERT, SORRENTO, VIC., AUST. (Helen Mitchell?)

Grace E. Caldwell's 1921 letter about Dame Nellie Melba's concert, which she organised when she was a girl soon after the Continental opened and Hughes was mine host, to raised funds to fence the Sorrento cemetery, might have been held in January 1885 when Helen Mitchell was a married woman, Mrs Armstrong, aged about 24.Either Grace was wrong to describe her as a girl at the time or there were two concerts, one in about 1876 and another in 1885. See my comment of 2014-12-27 19:39:52.

POSTSCRIPT,FEB.20,2015.
THE FOLLOWING PAR LED TO MY ASSUMPTION THAT NELLIE WAS ABOUT SIX WHEN SHE ORGANIZED THE SORRENTO CONCERT.It is now clear that her first public performance at the age of six,when a playmate saw her drawers,was at Richmond and that her performance at Sorrento to fence the cemetery was as Mrs Armstrong,hardly a girl as Grace Calder described her. Sydney Smith Crispo wrote much verse and conducted a one man show consisting of twenty versatile items that got rave reviews so "the man in the street" was taking a cheap shot at him.

CORNERISMS.
By "THE MAN IN THE STREET."
Tay Pay O'Connor, M.P., who has started a new journal in England, has just published a chapter of history of
Madame Melba, Australia's Queen of Song. By Nellie's own account she was an incorrigible child, and the only
thing in which she showed a reasonable interest was music. At the age of 6 she made her first appearance singing Shells of Ocean and Comin' Thro' the Rye, but on asking a playmate how she sang, the latter replied with scorn "Nelly Mitchell, I saw your drawers!"

Strange that the first public performance she gave was for the fence round a cemetery in our own district (at Sorrento). She saw the fence was in a dilapidated condition and determined on getting up a concert. She did the bill posting herself, and the result was a profit of £20. Perhaps Nellie's success in the world of song has inspired St Crispo to endeavor to make himself famous in poesy.(P.3,Argus,1-9-1898.)

MORE ABOUT MELBA was the title of another fascinating article in the Balnarring and District Historical Society newsletter of August 2011. It is about a concert that Melba gave at the Flinders Naval Depot. It was broadcast by 3LO but a crying baby and interference caused by the telegraph to Tasmania affected the quality.The stamp to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Melba's birth was designed by the great-great -granddaughter of Septimus Planck, Balnarring's first school master. Other details of the concert had obviously been given in a previous issue.

PLANCK LAND AND THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE.
S.Planck,possibly the Balnarring teacher, Septimus, was granted crown allotment 104A of the parish of Bitten on 25-3-1876. The acreage is not recorded on the parish map but it had to be 95 acres 1 rood and 20 perches.It had a frontage of 706 metres to the south side of Myers Rd and today would be occupied by the Bluestone Lane Vineyard and,at the middle of the frontage, No 265 Myers Rd, (roughly Melway 163 B8.)

FLINDERS. Last Saturday morning, a very severe accident befell Eric, the 14 year old son of Mr Chas. Planck of the Telegraph Company.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 15-7-1905.)

A pleasant social gathering took place at Balnarring, on Tuesday evening last, the occasion being a complimentary farewell dinner to Mr S M Planck, head teacher of the Shoreham State School, he having been a teacher in the district for upwards of 11 y ears, and is, it is understood, about to be transferred to a school in a more populous locality, at Avenel. The chair was occupied by Mr Robert Wighton.
(P.9, Argus, 26-6-1883.)

RECOLLECTIONS. " To the Editor of "The Standard." Sir,-The football match, Frankston v Balnarring was a very pleasant game from the start to the finish. I am glad to see such good feeling between these teams, as it reminds me of old times, about 30 years ago, when we used to meet the Frankston cricketers, with either Ben Baxter or Johnny Box as captain of the F.C.C., and S. M. Planck skipper of the Balnarring team. We always had very pleasant meetings for years. Those were the good old days; and I hope the good feeling of last Satur-. day will always remain between those two football teams. I was glad to see our old friend,Mr B.Baxter, sen;, present but we miss a few of the old faces. I will say nothing about the young barrackers this time.
Yours etc.,. - - ROVER. Balnarring, 20 /7 /1910.(P.3,Mornington and Dromana Standard, 23-7-1910.)

Septimus may have left the district but the family remained for some time, with C.Planck acting as treasurer for the Flinders Mechanics' Institute and library.

Valedictory. MESDAMES PLANCK AND SAVAGE, FLINDERS.
Mornington and Dromana Standard (Vic. : 1908 - 1911) Saturday 12 June 1909 Edition: MORNING p 2 Article
... Valedictory. MESDAMES PLANCK AND SAVAGE, FLINDERS. Owing to the closing down of the Eastern Extension Cable Co's local branch at Flinders, Messrs Planck and Savage (who were on the cable staff) together with their wives and families, are leaving Flinders for the metropolis, where they intend mak ... 318 words




THE ABOVE ARTICLE REMINDED ME OF AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY WHICH MADE BEING SIDETRACKED VERY WORTHWHILE!

SORRENTO AND MELBA.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS.
Sir-Son onto in Mr MueDonnld s line phrase is the adie, of the State Die iirst mai nugi heiviee wai, s ilenimsetl hele and on Oitiber ii the 1 ill and Countess of stiidbiolL mtenil 1 nig piescnt at the hcrviee that mail (his hist inc event

Another thing, Dame Nellie Melba Queen of Song, gave her first concert in this the queen of watering places. The Continental Hotel had just been erected* (Hughes being mine host ) and Melba was here with her father. Walking one day they came across the grave of a member of the crew of a recent wreck and being told it was a cemetery which they were going through, the girl exclaimed, "And without a fence!" It was explained that it was probably owing to lack of funds that the cemetery was not closed in. She decided to give a concert, and wrote the placards herself being wise enough not to mention her own name for "singing in public makes a young girl bold" was the father's opinion who was then in ignorance of his daughter possessing "a singing voice." The concert was held, and a sum made that erected the fence that is still there, whilst today if Dame Melba repeated the performance, two people would have to occupy one chair, so great would be the enthusiasm to rehear her-
Yours, &c, GRACE E. CALDWELL.
Sorrento, Sept. 26.
(P.10,Argus, 28-9-1921.) My apologies for not correcting the text in the first paragraph but you can see how much fun I had doing the relevant bit!

*The Continental Hotel was built in 1875 by Ocean Amphitheatre Co Ltd of which George Coppin was the Managing Director.( Continental Hotel - About www.continentalhotel.com.au/‎).


Melba, Dame Nellie (18611931)
by Jim Davidson
Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), prima donna, was born Helen Porter Mitchell on 19 May 1861 at Richmond, Melbourne, eldest surviving of ten children of David Mitchell, building contractor, and his wife Isabella Ann, ne Dow. (Australian Dictionary of Biography.)


Mitchell, David (18291916)

by Joan Campbell

David Mitchell (1829-1916), builder, contractor and businessman, was born on 16 February 1829 in Forfarshire, Scotland, son of William Mitchell, tenant farmer, and his wife Anne. In 1846 he was apprenticed to a master mason and on completing his indenture sailed from Liverpool on 6 April 1852 in the Anna, arriving at Melbourne on 24 July.

Mitchell worked as a mason and saved money to build a shanty on a lot in Burnley Street, Richmond. Next year he visited Bendigo and near-by goldfields but returned to set up as a building contractor at his Richmond site, which became the centre of his business operations. In 1856 he married Isabella (b.1833), daughter of James Dow, an engineer at Langlands Iron Foundry, and built a new home, Doonside, to replace his shanty.

The next forty-five years saw his active and successful participation in a variety of business ventures. Work had been started in 1850 on rebuilding St Patrick's Cathedral, Eastern Hill, and in April 1856 Mitchell won the tender for the masonry work for 7760. By mid-1858 he had completed this work on the first stage of the building but it was then decided to demolish the existing structure and to start again with W. W. Wardell as architect.

By 1859 Mitchell had a factory for steam-made and pressed bricks at Burnley Street. In 1874 he became a shareholder in the Melbourne Builders' Lime and Cement Co., formed to break the monopoly of the Geelong limeburners. By 1878 he had bought Cave Hill farm at Lilydale and began working its limestone deposits, later also handling the distribution. In 1888 his extensive workshops at Richmond were destroyed by fire. He rebuilt the works and added two new ventures, the production of 'Adamant' plaster and in 1890, with R. D. Langley as a partner, a Portland cement factory at Burnley using materials from Lilydale.

In 1890 Mitchell formed a company to mine a channel and tunnel on the Yarra River at Pound Bend, Warrandyte, and employed gangs of Chinese to work three miles (4.8 km) of riverbed for gold. By 1894 he had cheese, butter, bacon, ham and soap factories at Cave Hill, housing them in a complex of well-designed brick buildings. In 1888 his dairy had operated the colony's first mechanical milking device. By 1900 he owned vineyards and wineries at Yeringberg, Coldstream and St Hubert's. He acquired several large stations in various districts, including the Bethanga estate on the upper Murray, Jancourt in the Western District, Gooramadda, Dueran, Barjarg and Colbinabbin, most of which were subdivided and sold.

Among his many large structures Mitchell built the Menzies Hotel in William Street (1857), the Paterson, Laing & Bruce warehouse, Flinders Lane (1871), Scots Church, Collins Street (1873-74), the Presbyterian Ladies' College, East Melbourne (1874), Prell's Buildings (1887), the Masonic Hall, Collins Street (1888), the Equitable Insurance Building (1893), the National Bank and the New Zealand Loan Co.'s wool and grain warehouses at Kensington. His grandest venture was the Exhibition Building, which employed 400 men and was opened in 1880. He retired from building in 1899 and concentrated on his other business interests.

Mitchell had given support to the eight-hour movement in 1856 but was not very active in public affairs. He was a member of the Council of the (Royal) Agricultural Society and of the Builders' and Contractors' Association. As a Presbyterian he was a long-time member of Scots Church choir. His musical interests included playing the violin at home and encouraging the talents of his daughter Helen, later Dame Nellie Melba, but even when she became world famous his natural reticence prevented him from openly praising her singing. Predeceased by his wife in 1881, he died on 25 March 1916. Of his ten children, he was survived by Frank, Charles and Ernest, Dame Nellie who travelled extensively after 1886, and three married daughters living in Melbourne.

A portrait is held by the David Mitchell Estate Ltd., and another by Hugh Ramsay is in the Castlemaine Art Gallery. (Australian Dictionary of Biography.)

P.226, MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMEN, Harry Peck (available online on trove, digitised newspapers and more.)
David Mitchells name so far has only cropped up incidentally
as the holder at different times of Yering, St. Huberts, Dairy, Killara
and Pendleside, but in reality David Mitchell for fully half a century
was the colossus of the Upper Yarra, standing head and shoulders
over all of the district in his multifarious transactions. He was also
widely known as the father of the world-famous Dame Nellie Melba,
herself born at Lilydale. F o r many years David Mitchell was a
member of the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society and, as a
member of the works committee, was a host in himself, for be it
remembered that as the contractor he built both the Melbourne
Exhibition Building and the Equitable (now the Colonial Mutual
Assurance building) at the corner of Elizabeth and Collins streets.
Like his famous daughter he had a voice of silver, and sang for years
in the choir of Scots Church in Collins street. His speaking voice
was equally mellow and soft and his whole personality pleasant.
W earing the full beard of his day, slightly titian and early tinged
with silver, of medium height and weight, David Mitchell was ever
a man of easy approach, even for the most humble. He held a number
of stations, owning Jancourt near Camperdown, Dueran near
Mansfield, Bethanga Park and Gooramadda in the north-east, and
Colbinabbin near Rochester.

No doubt the great Cave Hill lime quarry on the boundary of
Lilydale township and still going strong after 80 years working, was
the foundation of his fortune and it is still worked by his trustees.
In connection with the lime quarry and works there are about 1000
acres of well-grassed lands and 50 to 60 years ago Mr. Mitchell sent
drafts of fat sheep and lambs fattened thereon regularly to
Newmarket by hoof, before the Lilydale railway was built. As is
generally known Dame Nellie Melba bought a property of about 1000
acres just beyond Coldstream some 10 years before her death, and
built thereon a fine home (Coombe Cottage), where her son Mr.
George Armstrong now resides. He has improved the property
considerably by top-dressing and has been a regular supplier of fat
bullocks to Newmarket.

2 comment(s), latest 1 year, 11 months ago

SALTBUSH BILL, AUSSIE ICON, RESIDENT OF BALNARRING, VIC., AUST.

Balnarring and District Historical Society Inc
Postal: PO Box 183,Balnarring VIC 3926
Email: ?

The above society has done some wonderful work in preserving the area's history. Today I was given a loan of its August 2011 newsletter to further my research on the Connells and I couldn't stop reading. Every article was fascinating. I had heard of Saltbush Bill and seen Eric Jolliffe's comic strips but little did I know that Banjo Paterson had created the character or that he was based on a Balnarring (and Heatherton) pioneer.

The article in that newsletter, headed SALTBUSH BILL:THE WHIP CRACKER, with information from the internet and Mary Karney, states that Roderick William Mills, the subject of several Banjo Paterson poems was a nephew of Georgina Mills who married Balnarring pioneer, John Oswin.Roderick, or Dod as he was known to the family, was born in Balnarring in 1869. The Mills family had land at Balnarring*. As a teenager, he went to outback Queensland......Dod married Hannah Porter in 1888. His last concert was in Boomerang Hall in Dandenong in 1926.During his life he ran a market garden in Old Dandenong Rd, Heatherton.

(*W.Mills was granted crown allotment 34B (section 12), parish of Balnarring,consisting of 131 acres 3 roods and 8 perches. This land fronted the south side of Stanleys Rd from No 41 to the Merricks/Balnarring locality boundary, with Merricks Creek just inside the eastern boundary, and went south halfway to Frankston-Flinders Rd, adjoining John Oswin's 35B.)Oswin's "Newstead" was 2km away, bounded by Bittern-Dromana Rd, Merricks Rd and (the future)Kentucky Rd.)

Graham Whitehead's City of Kingston heritage website has saved me a heck of a lot of typing. The article was written by Sylvia Roberts (grand-daughter of Saltbush Bill.) Google SALTBUSH BILL, STOCKMAN and this story will be right on top. There are some great photos but not the one at Government House,Brisbane, included in the newsletter article. Saltbush was a plant common in outback Queensland where Bill began working at the age of 14. Dod performed for the Duke of York during a royal visit in 1901 and soon after began touring the world, demonstrating his unbelievable skills with whips nearly as long as a cricket pitch. In about 1912 came his command performance at Buckingham Palace.
READ SYLVIA'S ARTICLE!

Eric Jolliffe gave Saltbush Bill a visual dimension, so it's only right to give him a mention.

Eric Jolliffe
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eric Ernest Jolliffe (31 January 1907 � 16 November 2001) was an Australian cartoonist and illustrator.

Born in Portsmouth, England, he was the youngest boy in a family of 12 children. The family migrated to Perth in 1911. The family then moved to Sydney after six months, where they settled in Balmain. Eric left school at the age of fifteen, where he spent the next six years in the country New South Wales and Queensland, working as a boundary rider, rabbit trapper and in shearing sheds. A visit to Angus & Robertson bookstore, whilst visiting his family in Sydney, led to the discovery of a book on drawing. He afterwards reflected: 'I learned to my surprise that art wasn't necessarily a gift divine but a craft that could be studied and worked at'.

Jolliffe enrolled in an introductory course at East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School), where his teachers commented on his lack of talent. During the depression he worked as a window cleaner, during which time he inundated The Bulletin with cartoons, which they subsequently rejected. Eventually they began to buy his cartoons and by the beginning of World War II he became a regular contributor, taking over Andy from Arthur Horner. During the war he served as a camouflage officer with the RAAF and spent time in Arnhem Land.

After the war he joined Smith's Weekly but resigned and began freelancing selling his cartoon strips, Saltbush Bill and Witchetty's Tribe to Pix Magazine.[1] Another cartoon strip by him, Sandy Blight, appeared in Sydney's Sun-Herald. In 1973 Jolliffe began publishing his own magazine, Joliffe's Outback. He was particularly fond of "bush" subjects.

Jolliffe died at the age of 94 in the Central Coast, New South Wales on 16 November 2001.

1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 7 months ago

WARNING:PLACE OF BIRTH, MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC., AUST.

The place of birth means the place where the birth was registered. Often, as in the case of Dromana Pioneers, the Clydesdales, the place of birth of children can be used to track a family's movement before they finally settle for good. However there were many children whose place of birth was listed as Schnapper Point when it is certain that their parents were not living there.

A registrar or deputy registrar was only appointed in declared towns (which were also entitled to a school and a post office) and the schoolteacher or postmaster often doubled as the registrar. When Susan Peatey delivered a child on Jamieson's Special Survey or at Rosebud in the 1850's, the place of birth was probably recorded as Point Nepean (the Quarantine Station), Kangerong or Wannaeue, because there was no Dromana, Rye or Mornington (1861) or Rosebud (1873) declared settlement.

James Connell's birth in 1854 was recorded as being at Moorooduc. It would be great to know how, and by whom, it was registered because that was where he was born,in the PARISH OF MOOROODUC,near Old Moorooduc Rd. I wonder if the Justice of the Peace acted as a registrar before towns were declared.All of his children were recorded as being born at Schnapper Point but it is likely that many of them were born in the same place as their father was, with the assistance of the local midwife.

When I interviewed the late Ray Cairns, he told me that he and his brother Charlie were both born at South Melbourne. I asked him if his dad (Hill Harry) was working in town.He explained that his dad was busy on their farm Maroolaba near Pattersons Rd in Fingal and his mother, Michael Cain's daughter, would stay with her maternal grandmother (Mrs Neville*) until 10 days after the birth. I wonder if South Melbourne was given as the place of birth for Ray and Charles. If it was, Cairns diggers might be tempted to think,as I had, that the family had moved. I have seen many cases where the first child was born at either grandma's place.

(*Neville and Murray Streets on Owen Cain's "Tyrone", between Rye and Canterbury Jetty Rd get their names from girls that married into the Cain family.)

Sometimes, when a difficult birth was expected, the missus would go to a private hospital in Schnapper Point. I was puzzled when a child from a Catholic family on the Peninsula was born in the late 1800's in Fitzroy, a place with which the family seemed to have no links. That was until I found out that St Vincent's Hospital had recently opened in a row of terrace houses.

A different place of birth from the last child or known residence could simply be a matter of the factors outlined above but if it happened during the 1890's or early 1900's, it was probably due to Government cost-cutting. The 1890's depression caused much unemployment leading to a reduction in income from taxes and the Government was broke. The Shire of Flinders and Kangerong was in the same boat because many farmers, unable to pay rates and meet mortgage repayments, simply walked off their farms. The Government liked Father Tucker's ideas and set up many Village Settlements such as the Red Hill Village Settlements(at our Red Hill and also between Bunyip and Longwarry!)Many fathers hit the road as swaggies in the hope of earning enough money to pay the rent and keep a roof over the heads of the Missus and kids.In Port Melbourne another tactic was to blow through when the rent was due and find another house, and I'm sure that was not the only suburb!

In 1905, the Government was still adopting stringency measures and planned to make the Rye children walk to the Rosebud school.I have not researched it but it is possible that the same plan was tried with Registrars. If this was so, families would again appear to be on the move.

RED HILL DISTRICT NEAR DROMANA IN 1906 (VIC., AUST.)

5 comment(s), latest 3 years, 7 months ago

DICTIONARY HISTORY OF RED HILL (A-C), NEAR DROMANA,VIC., AUST.

1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 7 months ago

MORNINGTON DISTRICT JOTTINGS (1), VIC., AUST.

By the Mornington district, I mean any places likely to be mentioned in the Mornington News. Obviously more interested in the area's history than the other two Peninsula papers, the News has for some months been running an excellent series of extracts from old newspapers. Apart from history, what makes this paper (and the Southern Peninsula News) such good reads are the humorous articles and the critical eye kept on Mornington Peninsula Shire. Good as the historical articles are,I have two criticisms:
1. the same extracts are used in the Southern Peninsula News, when they should involve Dromana, Red Hill, Rosebud, Boneo, Rye, Sorrento and Portsea;
2. many of the articles are meaningless to someone who lacks a fair background understanding of the area's history.

DAD DID IT!
That's what the Mornington News editor, Mike Hast, said in the 16th April, 2013 edition. Now dobbing in your parents is hardly the done thing but Mike wasn't really dobbing. I just wanted to use a sensationalist headline! Mike's headline was Don't forget history:market is 34 this year. The Leader and the Weekly have both published articles this week about the market celebrating its 30th. Knowledge of its true age has been lost because of "many changes in the personnel at the chamber" according to Alan Caton, former boss of the Mornington Chamber of Commerce.

Mike's father, Cr Tom Hast, started the market on 26-9-1979. It was a very different Mornington in those days. Only two years later the railway was closed, obviously because of poor patronage. This was partly due to the small population but another factor would have been the extra travelling time caused because Mt Eliza residents opposed a direct route and the line having to go through Mornington Junction (Baxter.)

Tom ran the market from the arcade near the Grand Hotel and overcame resistance from some traders by suggesting that they display slow-moving goods on the footpath. This brought life to Main St on its slowest trading day, Wednesday. Shops had traditionally been closed on Wednesday, as well as weekends. Tom's idea had been backed by Mornington Shire but by only a few members of the Chamber. The market's success ensured that the other members came on board and the Chamber took over responsibility in the 1980's, with Maree Abbott in charge.

Mike's article includes an Age article of 24-10-1979 by Sarah Chester which states that Tom had got his idea from seeing successful markets in English and European towns the previous year and that (within a month)the shopkeepers' turnover had increased by 20% on market days.

JAMES GRACE OF MOONDAH.
Moondah, built in 1888 for James Grice was an opulent 42 room Victorian Mansion with beautiful gardens and a vineyard. The gatehouse is very similar in design to the gatehouse in Parramatta Park in Sydney. It is believed this was used as a basis to building Moondah's gatehouse.When built, Moondah had a golf course, tennis court, croquet green and polo field for the entertainment of visitors.Sir Reginald Ansett purchased Moondah in 1947 and restored the building into a 5 star luxury hotel. This he called Manyung Hotel. It was the most luxurious hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. Ansett sold Manyung Hotel to the Australian Administrative Staff College in 1957. It is now run as the executive training centre for the college.
The balance of the Moondah was bequeathed to charity on the passing of Lady Ansett in 2003.

The Mornington Standard article of 19-4-1913 gave the Moondah owner's name as Grice and trove's digitisation as Grlce. The News must take full responsibility for the error.

The following were also mentioned in the 19-4-1913 extract.

MR EDGAR OF THREE CHAIN ROAD.
The article stated that Messrs Edgar and son had suffered a heavy loss when a haystack on their Three-chain road farm, containing over 20 tons of hay, was destroyed by fire after being wet by heavy rain.

Thee Chain Road was Moorooduc Road and the Moorooduc Station now houses the trains which make regular trips between Watt Rd in Mornington and Moorooduc, the peninsula's version of Puffing Billy.

Messrs Alex Scott and Co will hold a large clearing sale on account of Mr J. P. Edgar, on the property, one mile from Moorooduc Railway Station on...etc. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 20-11-1915.)
If Alex Scott meant one mile south,the farm might have been near the Wooralla Drive corner. The Tullys might know where it was, perhaps the Dandridge farm just south of the Tully produce store.

Jack Edgar might have been J.P.'s son or grandson. He had Tuerong in the 1950's.

NEARLY 200 carloads, mainly family groups, attended the polo carnival in aid of the Orthopaedic Hospital at Tuerong Park, Mornington, on Saturday.....Mr and Mrs Jack Edgar, owners of Tuerong Park, with their son Jonathan lunched with Mr Aubrey Gibson honorary secretary of the Melbourne Hunt Polo Club and Mrs Gibson.
(P.8, Argus, 3-3-1952.)

Tuerong Park was basically the Tuerong pre-emptive right. Its homestead is now the office of the Dromana Estate of Tuerong Winery(Melway 152 B2.) The east half of the northern boundary was Tuerong Rd east to about the creek. Its south west corner was at the bend in Vineyard Lane and the south east corner was the end of Gillett Rd. Three Chain Road runs through the pre-emptive right.(Google "moorooduc, county of mornington" to see it on the parish map.)



BLACKS CAMP, SOMERVILLE.
The article mentions that the Shire of Frankston and Hasting's application to use an acre of a reserve known locally as Black's Camp was to be considered by the local land board at Somerville on 29-4-1913.

The reserve is at Melway 148 D2. Blacks Camp Rd leads to it from Jones Rd. But Austin Rd,named after George Austin, a Frankston Real Estate Agent who subdivided the area, was also referred to as Blacks Camp Rd in 1901.Crown allotment 54 Moorooduc consisted of 101 acres 3 roods and 36 perches. It was bounded on the east by Blacks Camp (Austin) Road for 618 metres north to the 6 acre 2 rood water reserve. Its Bungower Rd frontage was 524 metres and the South East Water storages are just inside its north west corner.It is likely that the Finlayson farm was bought by Murray Gomm's grandfather,William Henry (Paddy) Gomm and later passed to Billy Gomm (Somerville F.C. Legend, along with Murray's father, George.)

ALEX SCOTT & CO. (in conjunction with J.E. WORRELL) under instructions from the Union Trustee Co. of Australia Ltd., 339 Collins Street, Melbourne, in the estate of the late James Finlayson, will sell by public auction, a valuable Block of Land, Containing 70 acres or thereabouts, being portion of Crown Allotment 54, parish of Moorooduc, county of Mornington. This property is situated at the corner of Bungower and Blacks Camp roads, only three quarters of a mile from the Somerville Railway Station, and adjoining Mr J. Murray's orchard and opposite Mr J. Scott's. (P.2, Mornington Standard, 26-9-1901.)

Blacks Camp was a lagoon, thus its reservation as a water reserve. Crown allotments 55-58 also adjoined the reserve and of course nearby farmers had access via the two Blacks Camp lanes (which is all they were until George Austin became involved, with trees growing on them!) The bank teller was required to test his pistols at regular intervals and on one occasion one of the Gomm lads went with him and they fired the bullets into the banks of the lagoon.

Incidentally, Graf Rd, the boundary between crown allotments 55 and 56 (and 54 and the water reserve), is named after cricketer, Sean Graf,the name being suggested by a member of the Somerville Cricket Club (not a Gomm.) His ancestor was the station master at Somerville and when Henry Gomm's daughter fell in love with him, Henry had him tranferred (courtesy of his mate, Tommy Bent) to Ascot Vale but the girl fled to him and was cut off from her family. It was years later that Paddy Gomm brought the Grafs back into the fold after Henry's death.

T.J.SUMNER, BALLANRONG, 18-5-1880 (NOT 1858), VIC., AUST.

The purpose of this is to reach the attention of anyone who happens to see my claims that Sumner bought the Ballanrong P.R. in 1858 or 1856 and alert them that the date of the grant was actually 18-5-1880. The reason for my mistake is included in the apology in the T.J.SUMNER OF BRUNSWICK, COOLART etc journal.

EARLY MAPS OF FRANKSTON, VIC., AUST. AND SUPERIMPOSING CROWN ALLOTMENTS ON MELWAY.

By some fluke, when I was researching the reason for Gomms Rd being north of Eramosa Rd, rather than on "Glenhoya", I found the Frankston parish map online. Luckily I superimposed the Gomm and Firth grants on my Melway maps in SUPERPAGES (and the nearby Baxter, Sage, Sumner etc grants) because subsequent attempts to find the map failed.

Before I detail the maps available online, I will tell you how I manage to superimpose crown allotment boundaries on Melway and warn you about the Melway maps on Superpages. Having found the Frankston parish map again last night ( because I remembered that the word PARISH did not appear on it but COUNTY OF MORNINGTON did), I was excited to find that the grants of McMahon, Carr and Liardet adjoined each other.They all had eastern boundaries of 4000 links so it was going to be easy to find out the dividing boundaries; Skye Rd and Beach St-Cranbourne Rd were exactly a mile apart.But when I put my ruler on the map in SuperPages, it told me that the roads were 1400 metres apart. So I tried it in Melway and found that they were actually 1620 metres apart. This showed that (a)the SuperPages maps are only seven eighths of the scale of Melway maps; (b) the surveyors were a chain (cricket pitch) out in their measurements or one of the roads has been re-aligned further away from the other.

A mile equals 80 chains or 8000 links. Sharps Rd, Tullamarine, west of Broadmeadows Rd, (the south boundary of Section 3 Tullamarine)was 8000 links. When I decided to transpose the parish map onto Melway, I imagined complicated calculations on a calculator being the order of the day. But when I measured this distance on my ruler,it was exactly 8 centimetres. As the scale is one millimetre to a chain (20 metres), it is fairly easy to plot boundaries and accurately describe road frontages (if measurements are given on parish maps!)

If you happen to google FRANKSTON PARISH MAPS, you will find (a)four 320 acre crown allotments east of Frankston Village with description of the land; (b) two village maps that seem to be almost identical and name many grantees; and (c), after THE WELLS STORY and ST PAUL'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, a map showing crown allotments in the parishes of Frankston and Moorooduc. The last map (1854) shows only one grantee, Yuille,who seems to have preferred his grant over the homestead block (Pre-emptive Right)of Ballanrong, which was granted to T.J.Sumner two years later. This map shows how Old Mornington Rd led to the Three Chain (Moorooduc) road via Mt Eliza Way and Wooralla Drive. It also shows fences and other features as well as how the government roads followed old tracks with a few modifications.

If you want a map, with grantees,measurements etc. that will show where your pioneering ancestor was granted land, you need to google:
FRANKSTON,COUNTY OF MORNINGTON.

The maps are there waiting for you. Go to it, Frankston "diggers".