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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.[1]

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.[2]

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 <[email protected]> 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 protected]

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.

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.)

4 corrections, most recently by culroym - Show corrections
"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.

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.
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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

11 comment(s), latest 2 years, 3 months ago

THE WATER TOWER AT RYE, VIC., AUST., (and water on the Mornington Peninsula.)

I always wondered about this.
On the corner of Kent Road and Observation Drive there used to be an old limestone building, a water tower and about 100 metres away a Well. All constructed out of Limestone. It was all demolished in the late 1980S . Any idea who owned this property?
Regards Steve

Henry Cadby Wells walked through Rye before it ever existed and probably before anyone lived or quarried lime there. Owen Cain arrived to quarry lime at Tyrone soon afterwards, but after the birth of Henry's daughter on the site of Sorrento's Koonya hotel, (Owen, almost losing his four year old daughter!)Therefore, when Henry's descendant says jump, I ask how high? Another factor that prompted this journal is the lack of discussion regarding water supply on the peninsula. I'm not talking about reticulation by the authorities because it seems that provision of water and electricity to the fort at Pt Nepean had a strong relationship to the coastal towns receiving their supply.

Towns on the peninsula were obviously situated near a water source, such as the spring below the site of the Dromana Bowling club that fed a ti tree swamp or a creek. Rosebud had Adams' Creek (The Avenue), Eeling Creek which now flows under the Tom Salt Park car park and Peatey's Creek (Murray Anderson Rd.) People obviously used tanks, which are most often mentioned in school histories, but I have not seen any mention of who used to bring water when the tank was empty or where they obtained their water. How did the isolated limeburners, such as those at Canvas Town (cnr Tasman Dr and Canterbury Jetty Rd) obtain water?

Bores would have been too expensive for most pioneers. The late Ray Cairns explained how a spring was opened up on a high part of Maroolaba at Fingal to irrigate lower ground. In ROSEBUD:FLOWER OF THE PENINSULA, Isobel Moresby told how Smythe, a Flemington tanner,opened up a spring on the southern half of Burrell's pre-emptive right on Arthurs Seat to water his wattle plantation.

Were there any creeks at Rye and Sorrento with a reasonably constant supply? What were their names? Was it hard washing clothes using bore water? Who refilled tanks? I ask anyone with knowledge of how the pioneers coped in regard to water to supply their information in COMMENTS.

And now back to Steve's query.

I might be able to work out who had it but you must mean the corner of Observation and Valley or Kent and Sussex. Whether the first corner or the second corner that I specified, the tower would have been in crown allotment 12 of Rye Township, the first corner being just inside the south east corner of c/a 12 and the whole township. Therefore, I will examine the 1914 ratebook, which I know describes property locations fairly well, to see who had c/a 12, Rye Township of 98 acres 2 roods and 9 perches..

I thought the tower might have been built by James Little Brown (restorer of rabbit and ti tree infested land into beautiful pasture and councillor after whom Browns Rd was named) but the information I gathered for his entry in my SHIRE OF FLINDERS journal seems to dispel this theory. He did own the land bounded by Dundas, Collingwood and Napier Streets and the south boundary of the Kanasta Caravan Park. His homestead, Hillcrest, at 1 May St was built using lime from the last firing of the big kiln on the fire station site.

South of Brown's crown allotments 1,2,3,section 5 and the cemetery, all the land east of Dundas St was granted to William Allison Blair, a lime merchant. The part occupied by the golf course was situated in crown allotments 10, 11 and 12 of Rye Township, a total of 199 acres 1 rood and 35 perches,the land south of the Dundas St/Golf Pde corner being crown allotments 4, 20 and 21 of the parish of Nepean, a total of 374 acres 2 roods and 37 perches.(The Jennings' Kariah, bounded by Dundas St, Browns Rd and Weeroona St was said to consist of 212 acres but I believe that should be 221 acres, being crown allotments 20 and 21 Nepean, extending north to the freeway reservation.)

On crown allotments 10, 11 and 12, Rye Township was St George's Golf Links, a nine hole course which was constructed in 1935 by John McDonald and his two sons, Jack and Max. The course, bounded by Dundas St and Golf Rde, was subdivided circa 1954 as the Ryelands Estate by a young bloke from the Prentice real estate firm who soon after moved to Rye, but originally parked his car at the end of Lyons St as his office. There's an advertisement for the estate in the Argus Mornington Peninsula supplement in December, 1954.

It seems the water tower, whose location you mentioned was not used to water the golf course unless the details that follow describe a second method of supplying water that made the tower redundant. Water from the bore near the old homestead (now in Athol Court) was pumped into a twenty thousand gallon tank atop of what is now Highview Court and then reticulated to the nine greens." (P.14, Rye Township 150th Anniverary Edition-Southern Peninsula News.)

Although blindness and insanity were rapidly approaching before I made my breakthrough, I have made some progress. By the way, I've made your query the subject of my latest journal in the hope that somebody with personal experience regarding the water tower, homestead and well, all constructed of limestone and in crown allotment 12, Rye Township, will be able to supply further information.I though it was a good opportunity to remind the Nepean and Rye Historical Societies that every time they mention Robert Rowley, they should spare a thought for his lime-burning and cray fishing partner, Henry Cadby Wells.

I chose the 1914 assessment as the best place to start because I knew that property locations were described well. Hoping for a short cut, as the entries are alphabetical in each section, I looked for McDonald and Jennings but found neither. After going through the entire west riding, which took about two hours of squinting at entries written with diluted ink (only one tiny bit more legible than invisible ink),I found no mention of crown allotments 10, 11 and 12, Rye Township (between the Kanasta Caravan Park and the Dundas St/ Golf Pde corner, c/a 4 Nepean, south to the freeway reservation or crown allotments 20 and 21 Nepean, which I assumed to be Dod Jennings' Kariah.

I have a very naughty computer that sends emails (without me clicking send) and it did just that at this point. Steve replied:
Thanks, where do you find this information. It was the corner of Kent & Sussex. We lived on Golf Parade (all dirt roads at that time). At the time it was situated in thick bush. A Greek family (Passouilis) purchased some of the land, demolished the buildings and built a house. The Well was all that remained. On the opposite side of kent Road there was a limestone slab like a pestle (hollowed out on the inside).

The reason I missed the golf course land was because it was referred to as c/a 10, 11, 12, section A, Nepean. I did, however find that David Swan, carter of Rye, was assessed on crown allotment 10 and buildings,Rye. (Folio 84 >, assessment number 1681.) The nett annual value of David's property was 12 pounds; I did not record an acreage, perhaps because there wasn't one recorded but the NAV seems reasonable for a suburban allotment of 52 acres adjacent to the township. I also found that William Laverton Thompson, of Rye, importer, had crown allotments 1,2,3 section 5, immediately north of David Swan's land, that by 1919 had been purchased by James Little Brown.

The fact that Blair had been granted c/a10 and it was occupied by David Swan in 1914 recalls a huge battle between Charles Gavan Duffy and William Allison Blair that I discovered while researching Sidney Smith Crispo. They were acquiring huge tracts of land, Blair in both Wannaeue and Nepean, Duffy only in the latter parish. They were accusing each other of using unfair tactics and Duffy accused Swan, who did much fencing for Blair, of being a dummy bidder for Blair.

In view of Sorrento becoming so successful so early and dominating the west riding, it may surprise you to find that there was no township of Sorrento until well after Rye Township was declared. Crispo of Manners-Sutton/Canterbury (Blairgowrie) and "Eastbourne", who was an official of the Coastal Survey, suggested to the head of the Lands Department that a piece of land in dispute between Duffy and Blair be declared a village because there was no way to determine which had submitted his application first. It was declared soon after and the blocks sold in a flash.

Next, I tried the 1915 assessment, knowing I would at least find Jennings and Kariah. I did! Not knowing their given names, the rate collector had written:

Jennings, Rye, farmers, 221 acres and buildings,c/a 20, 21.(folio 72, Ass. No. 1431.)

My belief that Kariah consisted of 221 acresand not 212 had been proven.

J.L.Brown (called John in practically every assessment, but actually James) was assessed on 202 acres, c/a 10, 11, 12, section A, Nepean.(folio 66, A.N.1310.) I believe he was the builder of the water tower. As well as grubbing out ti tree and installing rabbit proof fencing, he reticulated water to water troughs. The limestone house and well may have been constructed by J.L.Brown as well but may have also been the work of P.and D.Sullivan. The map on page 57 of LAND LIME LEISURE shows: 11, marking the site of their first lime kiln in the Rye area, in almost the south east corner of the township, with the latitude perfect but an underarm throw too far east.

Dennis Sullivan, after Melbourne had been amazed by their gigantic cucumber and his wife, Honora, offended against the Masters and Servant Act, took his family to the Heads where they built a limestone IRISH BOG HOUSE in 1843 and burnt lime.They were dispossessed in 1852 by the construction of the Quarantine Station and son Patrick move lime burning activities to Rye. Blair would have dispossessed them again when he was granted 10, 11, 12 Rye Township (or section A Nepean) on 16-3-1869. I would be amazed if Blair built a homestead because he had no intention of residing on the land, only wanting the lime under it. Therefore, I believe the Sullivans built the limestone house and well sometime between 1852 and 1869.

My only question remaining concerned crown allotment 4, Nepean,south of the Golf Pde corner to the freeway reservation where it adjoined the Jennings' Kariah. Extending from Dundas St to the parish boundary with Wannaeue, Weeroona St, and consisting of 153 acres and 30 perches,it was granted to Blair on 19-6-1867.S.Lucas of Rye was assessed on 153 acres, crown allotment 4 Nepean in 1915. (folio 72, A.N. 1138.) He was also assessed on 36 section A Wannaeue of 158 acres which was being occupied by Ernest Keal. This latter piece of land,granted to Blair in 1875, was directly across Weeroona St from Kariah and adjoined the Tootgarook pre-emptive right. It must have been subdivided by 1919 and J.R.Jennings had 96 acres of it, according to the rate collector while Edward Keal of Rye was assessed on the whole 153 acres. Sounds just like the Brindle-McKeown debacle on Gracefield at Dromana! Talk about double-dipping!


When I first started holidaying in the Rosebud area in the mid 1960's, I thought it was strange that there were houses between the road and the beach at Rosebud. During my research,I discovered that that this collection of houses is properly termed the Rosebud Fishing Village. In Isobel Moresby's ROSEBUD; FLOWER OF THE PENINSULA, she stated that the earliest fishermen living on the site had been crewmen of the "Rosebud", which was stranded in 1855 at a place marked by a cairn between the bike path and the fence of one of the fishing village blocks.

The first blocks in the Rosebud Fishing Village were granted (bought from the crown) on 16-8-1872. The idea of alienating this land was so fishermen could gain title to the land on which their dwelling had stood for some time. Henry Bucher, from Boston in the U.S.A. was the earliest documented resident there. He arrived in 1863 and his daughter, Rose was born in 1867, thought to be the first white child born at Rosebud. In 1872 and 1873, most of the fishermen had bought their blocks and in 1874 the land was gazetted for the Mechanics' Institute(which was used for the school until part of the present site was purchased from Woolcott in the 1880's.)

None of the other fishermen along the coast were given the right to buy the blocks on which their huts stood, the Watsons near the Heads, the Hutchins at Mornington, later Chatfield at Rosebud West and from about 1913, Walter Burnham on the site of the skate-park near Boneo Rd, his nearby ti tree jetty being painted from east and west by the great Arthur Boyd as a teenager. The Government probably only established the Rosebud Fishing Village because there was such a concentration of dwellings in such a small area.

The alienation of the village made sense because the residents were coastal dependent. Over time the blocks passed to others. For example, Fort Lacco's block on the west side of Durham Place passed to his sister in law, Emily Durham (nee King.) She had earlier married a Greek fisherman and had a son called Tony, who changed his surname when Emily remarried and was the grandfather of Judith Mavis Cock; better known to you as Judith Durham of The Seekers, she was born in 1943 and spent her first six summers in the timber house which has been demolished. Evelyn Gough, early women's libber and grandmother of Arthur Boyd, Edward Campbell, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, George Fountain,the last Mayor of the borough of North Melbourne, and Australia-wide hero, William Ferrier, were some of the later residents of the Rosebud Fishing Village.

My aim here is not to discuss the families that would be mentioned as part of a Heritage Walk along the Rosebud Fishing Village, but if your surname is in the surname list,your ancestors were probably grantees of village blocks/fishermen or ratepayers in 1879, 1900,1910 and 1919 and the Rosebud Fishing Village is part of your heritage. I urge you to support the Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers' and Residents' Association in their opposition to the building of a 3-4 storey apartment/cafe complex at 1A-1B Jetty Rd. If this permit is granted,it will be open slather for all the other blocks and the remaining heritage remnants. It was once described as a pretty little village (see below)but if this is allowed, the heritage of the village will go the same way as that of the once beautiful St Kilda Rd.

I urge you to email the Manager, Strategic Services, Mornington Peninsula Shire on [email protected] and object to the granting of the permit for the 3 or 4 storey apartment/cafe complex on 1A-1B Jetty Rd on the grounds that its bulk and appearance does not conform to the historic character of the 130 year old Rosebud Fishing Village. A copy to the Mayor, Lynn Bowden ([email protected])would be helpful. Submissions close on 14-2-2013.

Read about the pretty village and the hero.

(P.2, South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 17-10-1877; A QUIET OUTING.)
The morning dawning bright and beautiful, we according to arrangement started in good time along an excellent metal road, our guide pointing out, as we proceeded, the beautifully situated seat of the late J. B. Burrell, Esq., J.P., and the South Channel Lighthouse, with the remarkably neat quarters of the lightkeepers. Passing the tidy looking vineyard of Capt. Adams, we suddenly came to the end of the metalled road and delved into pure sand at a place which we were told was called the 'Rosebud' fishing village, consisting, as most fishing villages do, of a number of straggling cottages and huts, the fleet of boats, with their sails glistening under the sun in the distance, accounting for the seeming want of life on shore.

Having made a careful survey of the locality, Captain Ellery has .decided that the most suitable spot in the channel for laying down torpedoes is the nnrrow portion near the little fishing village of Rosebud, just beyond Dromana. The channel here is about two miles wide, but owing to the shallowness of the water on either side only about a mile and a half will have to be laid with torpedoes.

(P.4, Mornington Standard, 29-7-1897.) FLINDERS AND KANGERONG SHIRE. (Extract.)
ROSEBUD. A small fishing village on Port Phillip bay at foot of Capel sound and Arthurs seat; 3 miles from Dromana. Louis Anderson, postmaster. Population, 90.

(P.3, Mornington and Dromana Standard, 9-10-1909; A VISITOR'S IMPRESSIONS OF THE PENINSULA.)
Three miles from Dromana is the pretty little fishing village of Rosebud, which lovers of quietude and nature study might do worse than select for their holiday. It possesses a post office, Mechanics' Institute, jetty, and a fine beach.

(P.2, The Argus, 28-3-1946.)
Crown Land Sought At Rosebud. Mr Galvin, Minister for Lands, was asked yesterday by a deputation from Rosebud and surrounding seaside centres for an acre of Crown land, close to the Rosebud Recreational Reserve, for the erection of public utilities, including a hall, library, and infant welfare centre. He was opposed to the alienation of the people's land unless it could be proved that the use of the land by the public would not be stopped, Mr Galvin said. However, he would inspect the area.(P.2, The Argus, 28-3-1946.)
The footy ground (shown in the Rose series) was on today's Village Green, with its south boundary only about 30 metres from the Rosebud Hotel and the publican's son, Doug Bachli, honed his golfing skills on the ground. Mr Galvin's comments were very similar to the Coastal Management Plan and if the character of the fishing village is to be destroyed by greedy developers, the Crown needs to reverse the alienation of the fisherman's village by resuming the land.

The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Monday 27 November 1905 p 4 Article
... FERRIER THE HERO. The heroism of Mr. William Ferrier, who distinguished himself in rescue work in ... Australia. Mr. Ferrier went out to the wreck in a dinghy, and it is appro priate that the members of the ... This club is forwarding a gold medal for presentation to Mr. Ferrier, with the following inscription:- ... 235 words
Sorry but I didn't have time to open the pages and correct the text.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times (Tas. : 1899 - 1919) Friday 15 December 1905 p 3 Article
... THE HERO OF A WRECK. PRESENTATION TO W. FERRIER. Melbourne, Thursday.-A public presentation puDiic pre sentation was made last night to William Ferrier, the hero of the La Bella wreck at Warroambool on the night of Novem ber 10. The young man waa accorded an enthusiastic ovation. ... 47 words
HERO OF SHIPWRECK 32 YEARS AGO Queenscliff Fisherman's Death QUEENSCLIFF, December 20.
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Tuesday 21 December 1937 p 9 Article
... HERO OF SHIPWRECK 32 YEARS AGO Queenscliff Fisherman's Death QUEENSCLIFF, December 20. Hero of a wreck rescue 32 years ago, Mr. William Ferrier (57), fisherman, of Queenscliff, died after a seizure ... near Warrnambool, Mr. Ferrier put out in a 14ft. dinghy through heavy seas and rescued the captain and ... 200 words
Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Saturday 16 July 1927 p 13 Family Notices
... 1 1 roderick Pi ace perfect peace FrRRIlR- On the 15th Jills it her pirents resid,nee, Rosebud, Beach street Queenscliff, I lien Lobe! (Jean) dearls loved eldest daugh ter of William and I ranees Ferrier dearlv loved slsler ol Aal AMIlic Alice F rink Stelhen Colin, Jack, Nelson Olive Afansls, ... 10052 words

feature story - Wooden Boat
MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival .... the organisation handed over a cheque to his good mate Lewis Ferrier to assist in the upkeep of his boat 'Rosebud.
Rosebud, Victoria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,_Victoria
Rosebud is a sea side town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia .... called the Harbour Master at Queenscliff, gave the same name to his fishing boat. ... ships that Ferrier did on the internal timber lining of the South Pile Lighthouse.
Queenscliff Maritime Weekend - Queenscliff Harbour
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Wooden Boat Shop set up an impromptu office ... Lewis Ferrier's fishing boat Rosebud, was drawn up to the ... wooden boat and more to the point, I love the way ...

Here's the submission that I sent to council.(seventh try and...
Oh noes. The page I requested is not here. Again! )

9 comment(s), latest 10 months, 1 week ago


All facets of this story are true, gathered from scores of histories, except for Frankie's family's supposed involvement with them.

I'm a white fella now, so if you happen to come across me on the two bays trail or Eatons Cutting Road, you'll never recognise me. I was born in about 1832, about three years before John Batman (who had plenty of mates from the Sydney mob) and that dwarf, John Pascoe Fawkner, started squabbling over who was the founder of Batmanville, Bearbrass, the Settlement or whatever, finally named after the Prime Minister (instead of the King,because the sandbar would hamper its progress, making William's town a better site.)

I died in 1851 at the age of 19. Now you white fellas probably don't know this, but when we die, we come back as white fellas. That's why the mob on the other side of Nerm took such good care of William Buckley who escaped from Sullivan's Bay near Sorrento in 1803; they thought he was a re-incarnated member of their mob.We usually go walkabout after we die but I decided to hang around in case the other white fellas were not as considerate to my country and Kulin as Georgiana and Henry*, whom I met at the age of 13 while Henry was building Georgiana's house on Wonga. (The house is still there and you call it the McCrae Homestead.) So I've been keeping an eye on your mob (in my retirement!) for 161 years.(*Tuck.)

When I saw itellya's journals at an internet cafe, I just knew he was the bloke to write my story. He told me he was too busy, still having to finish his journals about Melbourne Brindle,the dictionary history of Red Hill and so on, but his obsession finally got the better of him. But he said I had to quote sources so that people would believe what I said. I said, "Listen Sport, (love that word)my people have been keeping their history alive by word of mouth for thousands of years and I don't recall the elders quoting sources. When I told the policemen about the four masons asking the Maori fisherman from Rosebud to take them to the quarantine station, he didn't want sources, just what I saw. And that's what my story is!"

The oldest piece of history I know comes from the dreamtime. I learned it, along with the men's and women's places and so on,when I was preparing for manhood. It was a vast plain with a river running through it where the Boon Wurrung could hunt and fish. We didn't have a name for places; names were more like descriptions of features of the place. Wonga (Arthurs Seat) was our word for the pigeon, very populous in the scrubby bushland on the mountain and our phrase, corrupted to rename the Saltwater River, means "I can hear a ring-tail possum."

My dad and the rest of our clan used to get together with the Wurundjeri where the Fitzroy gardens are now. One day he was standing near the waterfall that used to be near William St, when Surveyor Wedge pointed to the tumbling water and said "Name?" Dad replied, "Yarra Yarra," referring to the tumbling water, not the river, but the river was given this name because of a misunderstanding.It used to flow out between the Heads, with an S shaped course near Corsair Rock which is one of the factors making the rip dangerous, and meet Launceston's Tamar River in Bass Strait. Nerm rapidly filled with water during an incredible storm that was probably caused by earthquakes. We could no longer walk across Nerm to the Werribee River, which was our boundary with the Geelong mob but we still retained the coastal strip, south of the Freshwater River, to Werribee.

We shared a lot of vocabulary with the Wurundjeri, who shared it with other mobs so the pigeon is recalled by places as far apart as Wonga Park and Yarrawonga. We got on fairly well with the Wurundjeri, who lived north of the Yarra and east of the Maribyrnong and owned the famous Mt William axe quarry near Lancefield.The close correlation of our vocabularies probably had as much to do with our marriage partners coming from the other mob as did our shared festivities. We were far more wary of mixing with the mobs near Geelong and Dandenong. (Don't you love the music in our words?)

My dad stayed at George Langhorne's aboriginal mission where Melbourne's botanical gardens are now. He used to help in the garden and remembers when Tullamarine (called Bunja Logan by the white fellas)got into trouble for stealing potatoes. Tullamarine later got into real trouble for leading an attack on John Aitken's "Mt Aitken" but he and Gin gin escaped the first lockup by setting fire to the thatched roof. A fella called John Thomas Smith came down from Sydney to teach at the mission school but the money wasn't much good so he went into business. The next thing you know he's built Ascot House at Ascot Vale and Nyora at Mt Eliza, which became the Ranelagh Guest House.

I remember John Aitken. I was about four, so it would have been in early 1836 that the Chili went aground near Dromana. All of Aitken's sheep had to be carried ashore. Mum and the other lubras, who were collecting yam roots near the shore, called my dad and the other men who helped Aitken save his flock. The terrified sheep were in poor condition and it was only after grazing on what became the "Dalkeith" Run for some time that they were ready to tackle the long walk to Melbourne.

I remember John Pascoe Fawkner too. When the Princes Bridge over the Yarra was almost finished, Georgiana McCrae took me up to see the opening. She went to see her good friend and fellow culture vulture, Governor Latrobe, and took me with her.As luck would have it, the Governor's wife was indisposed and Georgiana pretended to be her. I thought the deception was hilarious but Georgiana swore me to secrecy. Okay, I broke the promise but keeping it for about 113 years is almost 113 years better than the average woman can manage.
(I don't know who janilye is but itellya said I'd better add: janilye excepted!)

Anyway I saw this little man, only 5 feet 2 inches tall, acting as if he owned the place.Georgiana told me how Captain Lancey, on Fawkner's behalf, had arrived at the waterfall, after being warned off by Jemmy Gumm and the others left at Indented Head as watchdogs when Batman returned to Launceston. Fawkner had to be put ashore to settle some financial matters so the Enterprize could leave but he started a seasickness excuse to explain his absence. When I arrived home, I didn't breathe a word about Georgiana's deception despite everyone asking me why I was sniggering to myself.

I did mention Fawker though. My dad told me how he met Fawkner when they both only about 10 years old as the clan moved along the Nerm coast. As boys do, they played at wrestling, climbing trees, drawing on the ground and digging with sticks and making rude noises with their armpits. Dad showed young Johnny two things. The first thing was a game called Marngrook which involved kicking and catching a possum skin ball. Already a budding capitalist, young Fawkner dismissed the idea as a money-making scheme. He stuck to this decision even though dad suggested a name-change might improve its popularity, perhaps something short like AFL.

The second thing was shown during their drawing and digging with sticks. In places where there had been a cooking fire the strange white stuff under the ground had turned to powder. Dad showed Johnny what happened to the powder when it was wet. Captain Collins left Sullivan's Bay soon afterwards to establish Hobart, taking John's father and the other convicts(minus Buckley)as well as the militia and free settlers. Young Johnny was brought up well (in the den of iniquity that Hobart was) by his mother, Hannah (nee Pascoe)after whom a street on Gowanbrae was named at itellya's suggestion, and would have got to know Robert Rowley's parents. Robert's father, a former soldier, drowned while combining boat-fishing and drinking and his mother married Richard Kenyon.Robert's mother and stepfather were the first longtime lime burners near the Heads and John Fawkner was a very early lime merchant in Melbourne. I'm not sure but the Kenyons probably worked for Fawkner.

Talk of Robert Rowley reminds me of when I was about eight or nine and met his mate, Henry Cadby Wells. You might wonder how Wells Rd got its name. Explorers in the Western district raved on about how my people were so clever building eel races there. But we had them everywhere; Solomon's Ford at Avondale Heights, Eel Race Rd at Seaford and so on.Mum, dad and I had one at Eeling Creek that today enters the bay through a drain under the car park on the east side of Tom Salt Park at Rosebud. We had just cooked a huge eel when along came a young white fella and his pregnant lubra. They had followed bullock tracks from Melbourne and despite a couple of day's rest at Stone's hotel to break their walk, they were exhausted, especially the missus.

My dad was a compassionate man so he invited the young couple to share our eel and some conversation, and camp with us for the night which was fast approaching.My dad was also a clever man and a realist.Even though I was a toddler, he insisted that I speak to George Langhorne and other white fellas at the mission school to learn English. He, himself, learnt most of his English from that wonderful man, Protector Thomas, as well as helping Thomas to compile a vocabulary of our language. This mainly happened while Thomas was waiting, with increasing impatience, to get to Tuerong so he could get the Boon Wurrung away from the corrupting influence of Melbourne. Chief Protector Robinson, a well-motivated man, because of his delays, was responsible for the demise of my people-as much as his lack of understanding of connection with country and his decision to settle Truganina's mob on Flinders island led to theirs. Mum and I continued our education at Tuerong until with much wailing and pleading, and lubra's trailing the cart, Protector Thomas was forced to return to Melbourne because of his wife's ill-health.

So it was that we were able to carry on a fluent conversation with the young couple. Hannah told us that they had lost their first child, Mary, (then called Polly at the captain's suggestion)and said that they would give the same name and nickname to their soon-to- be-born child if it was a girl. (It was and they did, Polly being born on the site of the Koonya Hotel at Sorrento, the first child born to permanent settlers on the Peninsula.)

Henry asked dad what the tree on the foreshore with the twisted branches was and why it didn't grow further inland. He was talking about ti tree and dad said that it would be everywhere if we didn't do our regular burns
to maintain open woodlands and make hunting easier. (A trick James Little Brown used to restore a rabbit and ti tree infested hinterland 69 years later.)

Henry had been puzzled by two very faint, and obviously rarely used, dray tracks near Arthurs Seat, one heading up the hill just before a ti tree swamp (and a spring that fed it) and another set that disappeared into the sea near the rocks. Dad explained that drays could get around the rocks on the sand but they had to wait for low tide. I asked Henry where he was going and why. I don't have to tell you where he was going. He was going there to burn lime in partnership with Robert Rowley. Robert had visited the Kenyons in 1839, but probably did not join their partnership,perhaps for personal reasons. He obviously retained his connection with the Apple Isle as he married his bride, Christina Edwards, in Longford, Tasmania. Henry and Robert probably worked together for about half of the 1840's but their market was affected by the 1840's depression, which caused a downturn in demand for mortar. Henry returned to his bootmaking trade in Richmond.More of these two later in relation to crayfishing.

There were few people near Arthur's Seat in the 1840's. There were limeburners from what is now Marks Ave to Point Nepean, the most easterly being established by Edward Hobson before leaving the Tootgarook Run in the capable hands of Peter Purves and tending his brother's Run (and naming the area Traralgon from the local mob's phrase for something to do with rivers.)The market gardening and Masters and Servants Act-breaking Sullivans arrived at the Quarantine site in 1843 but had to move east in 1852, machinery-breaking activist and ex-convict, James Ford supposedly jumped ship, named Portsea, gained a wife and gardening expertise from the Sullivans, and prospered. Owen Cain arrived in the early 1840's and set up his limeburning operation on Tyrone, experiencing heartburn when his 4 year old daughter became lost in the wilderness for four days,refusing to answer searchers' calls in case they were from a savage (Like me!) The Skeltons were early limeburners on Shelley Beach which should be called Skelly (short for Skelton)Beach.

Nearer to Arthurs Seat were the Meyricks on the Boneo Run, a succession of occupants on the Cape Schanck Run, the McCraes on the Arthurs Seat Run and Henry Dunn who leased Jamieson's Special Survey (formerly part of Edward Hobson's Kangerong Run) from 1846 to 1851. It was fairly quiet near Arthurs Seat and there were plenty of kangaroos so there was no need for us to kill sheep or cattle to survive;in the name of SPORT that was soon going to change!

Hang on, I just had a flood of memories from the 1840's.The first one was from Tuerong when I thought the English had two different kings at the same time. Protector Thomas was telling me about the king and his crown, beautiful horses and carriage and so on. When I asked him where the King lived, he pointed to the bit of land sticking out into Nerm where we used to get the fish you call schnapper and said, "Far away over the sea." Then we sang a hymn about the king of Hebben. I asked if this was the king of England and Mr Thomas said he was the king of everywhere.Then I enquired where he lived and he pointed up in the air. That made sense; if you're king of everywhere, you'd need a high lookout to keep an eye on all your subjects.

I became a friend of the McCraes' tutor, John McLure, and George McCrae, and when I was 8, we followed Georgina and a man I thought was a doctor (because his name was Surgeon Franklin) as they walked to the top of Arthurs Seat. I asked George if Surgeon Franklin used a saw and John chuckled," It's Siiiir John because he is a very important man and has been the Governor of Van Dieman's Land. He climbed to the top in 1802 with his uncle, Matthew Flinders, so they could see the size of your Nerm."


I recommend that you read my HILL HILLIS and GRACEFIELD journal first.

The McKeown grants at Red Hill are discussed at some length in my Red Hill and Hill Hillis journals.Colin McLear has much information about the family in his A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, mainly on pages 86-7. As shown earlier, the family's move to Dromana would have occurred in 1885 the year he vacated Musgrove Farm and occupied Gracefield, not 1889 as stated by Colin.

Colin lists James and Catherine's twelve children,providing the birth and death year of each.(if you would like the details request this in comments.) James and his second child,Henry, built the Aringa Guest House in about 1892 on the corner of Foote and Clarendon Sts. (It will be interesting to see if we can find which corner from the 1919 rates!) There is a picture of Aringa on page 49. Confusingly, Colin said, on page 130, that the land set aside for a National School,on the north westcorner of McArthur and Clarendon Sts, was part of the site occupied by McKeown's Aringa guesthouse.

Only two of the seven daughters married and the idea of establishing Aringa was to provide the girls with a livelihood. Colin vaguely states that only one son married but luckily I can find out his name from a man who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day, 2013 for services to the community and veterans. He is Ian McKeown, a retired soldier and long-time member of the Dromana Historical Society. It was Henry (b.1865 d. 1916) whose descendants carry on the McKeown name;Edith was the last of James and Catherine's offspring to die, apparently having chalked up a century (1886-1987), but had become Mrs Bill Dyson.The other daughter to marry was Maud (1876-1945), who married Archibald Vine Shaw.
A descendant of this marriage has requested Cr Graeme Pittock to have a reserve near Edith Place and Atunga Terrace named the McKeown-Shaw Reserve.(Copy of letter at museum in DROMANA FAMILIES folder.) Edith Place was probably named after Mrs Bill Dyson.

Colin said that Bill was the only son who stayed in Dromana and the others moved away to work for the railways or P.M.G. Colin was born too late to know of Arthur's orchard at Melway 159 F 11. Arthur was probably forced off his land by the depression which started shortly after Colin's birth. James (1867-1935), the third child and second son, was one of the railway employees.


After the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof application will be made to the Supreme Court of Victoria in Its Probate Jurisdiction that LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION of the estate of JAMES HUTCHISON McKEOWN, formerly of Dromana, in the State of Victoria, but late of Branxholme in the said State, station master, deceased, intestate, left unadministered by Isabella Hervey McKeown of Aringa, Dromana aforesaid, spinster, deceased, the administratrix of the said estate may be granted to Ethel May McKeown, of Dromana aforesaid, spinster, a sister and one of the next of kin of the deceased.
Dated this 20th day of May 1935 WILLIAM S COOK A, MCCALLUM Temple Court 423 Collins street Melbourne. (P.1, Argus,30-5-1935.)

It mystifies me that beautiful Eva (photo on P.87 of Colin's book) did not find a husband. As well as her looks, Eva, who was fond of ferns, needlework and painting, regularly won prizes related to those interests at the Dromana show. Eva would have been about 16 at the time of the Boer War, in which her brother Ernie fought, and she may have given her heart to one of his comrades who never returned (and could never marry another.) Sounds like a good plot for a women's weepie anyway!

Ernest went to the Boer War with 5VMR (VICTORIAN MOUNTED RIFLES) and settled on the land in Queensland after this elaborate welcome home.
DROMANA. A troop of horsemen rode as far as Mt. Martha to meet and escort back Trooper M'Keown. The cavalcade formed up two deep and gave three cheers. A saddle horse being provided, our soldier had to mount and take his place in the ranks. Reforming, they rode back to Dromana, two greys leading, on one our gallant 5th man, on the other our veteran of the Seaforths, bearing the ensign which was floating gaily over the other's head. People rushed forward to greet the warrior; bouquets and bows were given. At the school Mr Rogers gave the children a few words of Imperialistic exhortation and called for three cheers. Our hero was then escorted home and invited to the social that evening by Constable Edwards.

A concert and social was held in the Mechanics' Institute on 1st May to welcome home Trooper E. M'Keown, of the Fifth Contingent. The hall was packed and crowds at the door could not get in. Amongst the returned soldiers were Troopers Allison and Purves. The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to come together for a real night's enjoyment, and they were fully satisfied ere the meeting terminated. Was nought wi'oot the lassies, 0 !" And the committee were wise in emulating that great king's example in calling on the ladies to help. The result was that the bare walls of the hall were transformed into a leafy bower-verdant with graceful fronds, bright with many a flower ; a special item being a large "Welcome home," in cotton on a red ground, and neat khaki rosettes, with red white and blue ribbon, the handiwork of Mrs H. Wilson.

With rural punctuality, i.e.five minutes past time, Constable Edwards took the chair, a duty which he filled with more grace than ease, but he was favored with the handling of a good programme, each number being filled and well rendered, besides being very appropriate,such as "The Old Brigade," "The Young Brigade," "Charge of the Light Brigade," "Deathless Army" and, best of all, "Home SweetHome," by Mrs H. W. Wilson.

A special feature of the evening was a presentation of a travelling bag to Trooper M'Keown from his friends and town men. The bag is fitted with all toilet requisites and a silver plate, suitably inscribed outside. The
honor of presenting fell by election on Mr Buchan who, wearing the medal and clasp for Imperial service in Central Asia Chitral-spoke feelingly on the sore point in connection with the Fifth, and said many people condemn those gallant men, themselves never disturbed at night by more than a fox in their hen house, whereas
that troop of men were placed in one of the most trying ordeals men were ever called upon to endure, but they had behaved right well, and so wisely that Wilaumsrust, as far as they are concerned, was no bug-bear on the history of Australia, but, with all the other gallant acts, went towards the great flag of peace which, if slowly, was surely being woven o'er the veldt of South Africa. "We present this bag to you," he said, "as a token that we esteem you as a townsman and admire you as a soldier and a man." Trooper M'Kcown suitably
responded, after which " Rule Brittania" and "National Anthem" brought the enjoyable proceedings to a close. Supper was then served in true Dromana style, and games and dancing occupied those who are of the " light fantastic' till the sma' oors o' the morn. Amongst those who contributed to the musical programme were Messrs Rogers, Wheeler, Simpson, Moore, B. Wilson and Miss E. Boag.

The festive spirit of Dromana was fully gratified on Tuesday night at an "At Home," given by Mr and Mrs M'Keown, of " Aringa," in honor of their soldier son. Seventy-three people assembled and a happy evening was spent by one and all. Untiring in their efforts the Misses M'Keown, ably assisted by Miss Kellet, were able to see their preparations developing into fruition of full fun and frolic Young folks, old folks and folks of middle age in each room--some few and some more numerous--engaged according to taste in different games-shooting gallery, quoits, music, singing and dancing.

Supper was served at 11 p.m, during which one person, at least, got a shock and surprise. Mr Buchan was quietly listened to as he gave an account of how, when the the Caledonian Singers were being driven by Mr F. Counsel, a horrible accident was averted by his (Mr C.'s) careful and steady handling of the 3 horse team. A bolt had broken in the brake lever, consequently the pressure relaxed and the drag got away on the horses. It was on Red Hill cutting it occurred, where certain death for a few moments stared us all in the face, but to a kind and gracious providence we felt our gratitude was to our plucky driver, and I was commissioned by the Caledonian Singers to present you, Mr Counsel, with the token of their gratitude and regard (The article
consisted of a neat morocco case, enclosing two razors) Mr Counsel showed by his silent eloquence that he was too much taken by surprise to speak, too grateful to express his feelings.

A hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr and Mrs M'Keown and family for the happy evening. The roosters again being awakened early by the sound of retreating hoofs at - o'clock.

(P.2, Mornington Standard, 10-2-1902.)

Colin was born in 1928, so this helps to give a time frame to his statement on page 86: "The Gracefield orchard was a magnet in my childhood for the local boys with a streak of Huckleberry Finn in them. By then Bill McKeown looked after it and here he kept hundreds of beehives, the honey from which was marketed by Barnes Honey. He also traded honey and vegetables down the Peninsula." (Mr Barnes, who had a holiday house in Rosebud, probably organised the contract himself.)

In 1900, James McKeown was assessed on 250 acres, 14 acres, 2 lots, Kangerong. Pretty meaningless, but at least you'll remember that the 250 acre property was "Gracefield". We'll possibly get some detail on the others later. The penny dropped in 1910 and James was assessed on the 22 acre Gracefield homestead block instead of the whole 250 acres.He was also assessed on 1 lot 2 of 3 Dromana,and 14 acres 2 lots and buildings Kangerong.

Arthur John McKeown,orchardist, of Dromana was also assessed in 1910. Arthur (1873-1937) was the sixth child and fourth son. He had 34.5 acres (four fifths of 2, 11, 13, 14 Kangerong) and 36 acres near tower (late Rudduck) Kangerong. The description again is vague but luckily I had researched the exact 36 acres in the course of writing ADAMS'CORNER.

Crown allotments 5 and 6 of section D of 18.0.20 and 18.0.13, a total of 36 acres and 33 perches, were granted to Captain Henry Everest Adams on 27-11-1863. This land was located on the western side of Towerhill Rd and today adjoins Arthurs Seat Park to the north and west, its southern boundary being a straight line just north of Arthurs Seat Rd and touching in places,with its corners at the parking area near Arthurs (Hotel) and Seawind Lane/Fitzgerald Rise (part of Towerhill Rd.)Roughly,its location can be given as Melway 159 right half E11 and left half F11, with Nestle Court being on c/a 6.

Adams' neighbour across Towerhill Rd was George Henderson, a butcher and Flinders and Kangerong shire councillor, and Ben Hards who had a large grant across Pindara Rd in the parish of Wannaeue also received the grant for allotment 4, downhill from the old sea salt's grant. As you can see, "near tower" was a fairly apt description of the 36 acres. Was it just a bushblock? In the notes I made, the land was fenced by 1874 (soon after Henry's son, Robert Henry Adams had married the 19 year old Mary Jane Hopcraft, Gentlewoman, with Robert claiming that his parents had married before his birth!) Mary Jane had soon resolved not to live in the same house (later called Hopetoun House, on the site of the McCrae Carwash) as Henry not only over-indulged in the consumption of his Vivyan Vineyard produce but wanted Mary Jane's children to try it.By 1877, Robert had applied for a lease of land in the acute angle formed by the north end of Tucks Rd and Mornington-Flinders between the grants of William Hopcraft across the former road and John Hopcraft across the latter.

By 1880, the young couple had virtually kicked the captain out of Hoptoun House and he went to live with friends in South Melbourne. He didn't live much longer. I've spent two hours or more looking, in vain, for a circa 1880 advertisement placed by Captain Adams who was leaving the district and wished to sell his 36 acres.

THE Friends of Mr HENRY EVERIST ADAMS,of Dromana, are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment,the Melbourne General Cemetery.(P.8, Argus, 4-11-1881.)

NOTICE is hereby given, that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication of this notice application will be made to the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, in its Probate jurisdiction, that PROBATE of the LAST WILL and TESTAMENT of HENRY EVERIST ADAMS, late of Vivyan Vineyard, near Dromana, in the colony of Victoria, landowner, deceased, be granted to Eliza Adams, of Vivyan Vineyard, near Dromana aforesaid, the widow of the said deceased, and sole executrix named in and appointed by the said will.Dated this 7th day of November, 1881.HUGHES and MICHIE. 53 William-street, Melbourne, proctors for the said Eliza Adams. (P.3, Argus, 7-11-1881.)

By 1882, Robert Adams was assessed on the 36 acres,a situation repeated until 1887 inclusive. In 1888 an unknown person was leasing the 36 acres from the owner, R.Adams. From 1889 until 1896 inclusive, Nelson Rudduck was leasing the 36 acres from Robert Adams.From 1897 to 1903 Mrs Jane Rudduck (not a widow!) was assessed on 136 acres (100+36) and in 1906 on 36 acres near the tower.I think that this is a reasonable chain of evidence that the Rudducks had Henry Everest Adams' grants.

By 1919, Arthur had 66.5 acres, being crown allotments 3 to 6 of Section D, Dromana (Township.) This took his boundary north to adjoin the present back fence line of the houses on the south side of Wunda St (Melway 159 F9.) He may have been forced off his land by the depression circa 1930 while Colin McLear was still a toddler, which would explain why Colin remembered Bill but not Arthur.

Bill had 23 acres and orchard, crown allotment 2, section E, Dromana (Township.) This is a poor description because c/a 2 consisted of 15 acres and 14 perches. I believe that the 23 acres was a description of c/a 1 of 23 acres and 2 roods immediately over Palmerston Ave from Verdon St. To quote Colin:"(James and Henry) also developed another orchard on the side of Arthurs Seat above the head of Verdon St." I believe crown allotment 2 was called the orchard and Bill, still tending the Gracefield orchard and keeping hives there as well, lived on c/a 1. Therefore his land was between Towerhill Rd and Caldwell Rd (adjoining Gracefield) from Palmerston Ave (the freeway) to the Maud Rd/Michael St midline. I believe that when Bachelor Bill died, the 23 acre c/a 1, fronting Palmerston Ave was left to his sister Maud (Mrs Archibald Vine Shaw), after whom Maud St seems to have been named, or perhaps a portion, with another portion going to Mrs Bill Dyson (nee Edith McKeown)after whom another street would appear to have been named.

James McKeown's mystifying 14 acres in 1910 was probably crown allotment 2, section E, Dromana Township of 15 acres and 14 perches, where he and Henry "had developed an orchard above the head of Verdon St,the same block that I presume was Bill's orchard in 1919." His two lots, Dromana, were probably crown allotments 9 and 10, section 2, Township of Dromana,granted to fellow Red Hill pioneer, F.E.Windsor.Being on the north (beach) side of Clarendon St between Foote and McArthur Sts, this makes sense of Colin McLear's claim that Aringa was: (a)on the corner of Foote and Clarendon; (b)on the north west corner of McArthur and Clarendon.


I happened to notice that a large proportion of the surname list for the ASCOT VALE HERITAGE WALK journal had disappeared. The missing surnames are listed here and in this surnames list so I can check that none disappear from this surname list too.



The same thing happened here so I will break this into part 1 and part 2.
Part 1 will contain a surnames list for the first 24 surnames (Higgins to Drew) above.

This journal (part 2)is to place ( and hopefully keep)the following surnames in the surnames list:DIXON, BREEZE, FLEMING, BLOOMFIELD, BULLEN, BRUNTON, LEITH, MCCULLY, CURRIE, TAYLOR, FENTON, COLE, MCDOUGALL, POMEROY, CLARK, CAMERON, BUCHANAN, TURNER, PUCKLE, RILEY, WREN, NATHAN,(22 names.)


I happened to notice that a large proportion of the surname list for the ASCOT VALE HERITAGE WALK journal had disappeared. The missing surnames are listed here and in this surnames list so I can check that none disappear from this surname list too.


The same thing happened here so I will break this into part 1 and part 2.
Part 1 will contain a surnames list for the first 24 surnames (Higgins to Drew) above.


Contacting the Essendon Historical Society

Location Address:
Cnr Kellaway Ave and Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds.

Mail Address:
768-770 Mt. Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds 3039

Email: [email protected] Phone:03 9370 4607

(Please remember that our members are volunteers, and may not be able to take your call due to work or other commitments. Often e-mail is the best method of contacting the Society.)

President: Judy Maddigan [email protected]

Vice President: Bob Chalmers

No matter how much they love their parents, adopted children often have a desire to meet their birth parents. Probably millions of people around the world are researching their family history for, I think, the same reason; to find out where they come from. When we can recount Aunt Polly's eccentric ways, somehow it adds to the sum of "being me".

Councils spend a lot of money in an effort to produce a sense of community. Australia Day festivities attract large crowds and a shared sense of being an Aussie is evident but the level of community spirit developed is nowhere that experienced by pioneers, and as soon as a community event is finished, many people go back to their homes, fortresses with high fences that act as barriers to community engagement.

By pioneers, I don't mean a century or more ago. Personally, I have fond memories of Tullamarine in the first half of the 1970's where people were working together to establish activities for children, develop the hall, get a kindergarten and so on. The person that did not know and enjoy the company of close to a hundred fellow residents was rare indeed.

Any attempts to develop community spirit without a knowledge and appreciation of where that community has "come from" is like expecting an orphan (from birth)to develop a sense of family. The prime aim of historical societies should be to help residents know where their community has come from (as well as helping family historian tell their potential readers whey they come from,of course!)

And that's just what Alex Bragiola and Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society are doing! I have known Bob for ages, through cricket and teaching,but more about him later. I have known Alex for over a decade. He gave me great assistance when I was researching EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA, finding items in the archives at the Court house museum and providing information about historic, but less well-known houses between Glass and Woodland Sts.

Bob, among his numerous services to the community was a long-time secretary of the Essendon (and district) Churches Cricket Competition, (which had several name changes)and the Essendon State School Sports Association.
I followed him in the latter role and had to wear three pairs of socks at once because his shoes were so big to fill; without the checklists and guides he gave me I just would not have coped. He had written several books including THE ANNALS OF ESSENDON and histories of Aberfeldie Primary School and the cricket comp.He was inspired by the titles information in my EARLY LANDOWNERS (which was mainly about farms) and set about finding title information about section 14, Doutta Galla, bounded by Lincoln Rd, Woodland St,Moonee PondsCk-Fitzgerald Rd and Buckley St.

The history walk took place last weekend and attracted 60 people. Those who missed out can conduct their own walk by obtaining a copy of the superb booklet produced by Alex and Bob. As well as having 55 illustrations (mainly photos of the houses whose history is discussed in detail), it even tells you when to cross the road!

Those pioneers discussed are listed below. As too much detail in the booklet would not have made the walk progress smoothly, I have added some information about one or two.

William Fletcher, Andrew Binns, Charles and Joseph Bradshaw, Charles Stuart Mossman, William Hoffman, Edward Byam Wight, John Watson, Harry Jennings, Alfred Nation, William Stanford, William Aitken, Alexandra Hiskens, Archibald Herbert Cox, W.S.Cox, Arthur Vaughan Hiskens, Samuel Bruce, Walter Sylvanus Melbourne Bruce, Mrs Allison, J.F.Gibbons, John McWhae, Elizabeth Henderson McWhae, George William Deighton, Augustus Jones, John Quinn, John Parry, Mrs Anne Evans, George Holmes, Thomas Hill, William Black, Daniel R.Dossetor, Muller Bros., Hillson Beasley and Little, Angel Bros., Thomas Coker, Patrick Higgins, Thomas Williams, Cunningham John McFarlane, Rev. Donald Macrae Stewart,Jessie Stewart, Robert John Fairbairn, Fiszel Kawka, Sarah Ann Barlow, John Thomas Smith, Rev. John Martin Strongman, William Jackson, William R.Morgan, Morgan&Mackintosh, Henry Byron Moore, Alexander Gillespie, Samuel Goth Cook, John Murdoch, Mary Ann Murdoch, Edward Nathaniel Abrahams, Murdoch McKenzie, Katherine Jane Anderson, Pastor James Burchett, John Little, James Rawsthorn, James Henry Davey, Elizabeth Hoffman, John Willman, Mr Drew, R.Dixon, Mary Anne Breeze, Robert Fleming and his sister Mary Ann, John and Hannah Bloomfield, Rogerson Bullen, Thomas Brunton, Stuart Dudley Brunton, G.B.Leith,John James McCully, James Currie, Taylor and Currie, Arthur Fenton, Henry Samuel Cole, Dugald Gordon McDougall, Redmond Ross Pomeroy and his wife Teresa, John and Annie Clark, John Cameron, James Buchanan,George Napier Turner, Charles Murray Puckle, Rev. Edward Puckle,John Riley, John Wren, Benjamin Nathan, William Cox.

That's 93 names and 55 photos etc in a 16 page booklet and it doesn't even look cluttered. I wrote in the title of one of my journal "names in a list ain't much good" and I can assure you that there is much detail about each name, for example, Augustus Jones was the Secretary of the Meat Preserving Company on the Saltwater River. Some of them were architect or builders of houses and bridges, others business partners of house owners.

JOHN WREN. There are an extensive biography and wikipedia entry about this Collingwood fanatic whose gifts of a fiver for a good game would have seemed like a fortune to the footballers during the depression.The wikipedia entry wrongly states that Wren was involved with the establishment of the Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Wren 's course was on the site of the Wingate Ave housing commission estate.

W.S.COX. Samuel Cox and William Samuel Cox, both butchers, the latter from Errol St, North Melbourne, leased Kensington Park, using it as the Kensington Park Racecourse for some years until the lease expired in 1882 and the land was subdivided. Cox soon leased (Feehan's?)Farm at Moonee Ponds and I have never seen any mention of an eleven year old John Wren being involved! Full titles information is available free if you request it. Buy the booklet to find out about the Secretary of the club/son-in-law.

THOMAS BRUNTON. One of the main roads of Roxburgh Park is named after Brunton, who came from Roxburgh in Scotland according to Alex and Bob.(By the way, in case you are commentating on the Essendon District Football League,Roxburgh rhymes with Edinburgh, not iceberg, you dummies!) Another main road is named after the grantee, Cameron, who named the property "Stoney Fields." (Broadmeadows Rate book 1863.)The late Donald Cameron's son John, who died aged 43 in 1882, had used this unattractive name so it must have been Charles Cameron (dead by 1895) who changed the name to Ruthvenfield. A Cameron grant just east of the Broadmeadows Railway Station was called Ruthven. There was a huge legal wrangle to sort out before the land could be sold to Thomas Brunton. (See ACTION AGAINST LAND BOOM SYNDICATE on page 10 of The Argus on 22-2-1893.)

The Kernans (see thanks for documents below) were pioneers of Somerton and John Kernan in the Pascoe Vale/Strathmore area where he named Loeman Rd after his great mate, Michael Loeman of Glenloeman on Tullamarine Island.
This comes from the Craigieburn History Interest Group's website.

Roxburgh Park Homestead as it was in 2001, photo courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Thanks to Yvonne Kernan and her family for the documents relating to the sale of Roxburgh Park in 1949

In a "Heritage Study of the Former Shire of Bulla District, 1998' Roxburgh Park was described as 'of regional historical and architectural significance' first house constructed early c.1850's and second house constructed 1895.

The first owner was Donald Cameron a Scot and he named the property 'Ruthvenfield', again reflecting its Scottish origins as Ruthvenfield is a village, in the parish of Tibbermore, county of Perth, Scotland and the bluestone and granite house built sometime after 1848. In the 1949 sale for the property it is stated 'A Granite Quarry of Monumental & Building Stone of excellent quality, a valuable asset is situate on the Southern Boundary' this is possibly where the materials for the original bluestone and granite dwelling house were extracted from.

In 1882 the dwelling was then described as 4 rooms built with stone walls and partitions of brick with a slate roof and timber cottages used for bedrooms along with various outbuildings and various family members seem to have been running the property after Cameron died.

Thomas Brunton a flour miller purchased the property in 1895. It was not long before plans were made to build a red brick house on the property and said to be the present building on the site. Brunton is attributed to being the person who named Roxburgh Park after his birthplace in Roxburgh, Scotland. It was again described in the 1949 sale as 'of brick' and built on an elevated position'. Brunton bred cattle, horses and Shropshire sheep on the property 'originally established by the late Hon. Thom Brunton, MLC as a country home and Stropshire Stud Farm'.

Brunton sold the property to a Mr. E. A. Porter who carried on a 'Lincoln Sheep and Shorthorn Cattle Stud'. The Hon. Thomas Brunton, MLC died at his Ascot Vale home in 1908 which was interestingly named 'Roxburgh'.

In 1926 the property seems to have then passed into the hands of Thomas Ellis Silvester Esq. and was advertised when auctioned in 1949, as being situated as Somerton - Broadmeadows - Greenvale District. The property was described then as situated 13 miles from Melbourne, 8 miles from Essendon and 3 miles from Broadmeadows at the end of the Melbourne - Pascoe Vale Road and you can see this demonstrated clearly by the plan of the property when auctioned.

The Roxburgh Park of old was originally located in Somerton, with Roxburgh Park only becoming its own
suburb when developed by the Urban Land Authority/Urban Rural Land Commission.

The house on his grant at the corner of Kensington and Epsom Rd was called "The Ridge", its name recalled by a street named The Ridgeway. Holy Trinity Church of England (now an eastern orthodox church) was built on part of the grant, donated by the Wight family.

Patrick was involved in the construction of the road to Mt Alexander near Keilor and bought several blocks on the north side of this road, being part of Keilor Township in section 19 Doutta Galla (west of Collinson St.)If I remember correctly, there is more detail in Angela Evans' KEILOR PIONEERS: DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES.

His Butzbach homestead was accessed by an extremely long driveway from Buckley St. It was located near Croft St (named after a later owner) and the bend in Price St, east of Hoffmans Rd.Butzbach (later called Buckley Park, hence the name of the Douttas' home ground) extended about a half mile east of Hoffmans Rd.

John Agnews Bruce (actually John Vans Agnew Bruce-see comment 1) owned the northern 1000 acres of Jamieson's Special Survey between Bruce Rd and the Martha Cove Waterway, extending east to Bulldog Ck Rd (Melway 151 K12.) He was a partner in Cornish and Bruce who built the Mt Alexander and Murray River Railway.The southern majority of the Survey was owned by Big Clarke who was supposed to have(a) given the 1000 acres to his son in law as a wedding present (A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA) or (b) sold it to him at a handsome profit (LIME LAND LEISURE.)Sam and Walter Bruce were possibly related to John, whose address was given as Essendon in a Flinders Shire ratebook (wrong-see comment 1)seen while I was researching Louis Edwin Tassell, his tenant until he died circa 1868, after whom the waterway (Tassells Creek) was named.

COKER. On the 30th ult., at his residence, 390 Latrobe-street, Thomas Coker, well known in sporting circles, aged 75 years.(P.1, Argus, 2-10-1889.) Thomas Coker may have been an early Ascot Vale resident buying 10 acres in June 1870 and subdividing the block into nine allotments. He financed the building of a number of houses in Ascot Vale Rd in the 1870's and 1880's.

Seven times Mayor of Melbourne, Essendon/Flemington and Keilor councillor, Member of Parliament, short term teacher at George Langhorne's aboriginal mission on the site of Melbourne's before launching into business, builder of Ascot House in Fenton St, Ascot Vale, grantee of the north west corner of the parish of Moorooduc which became the Ranelagh estate at Mt Eliza (plaque at entrance); not really that much to say about him!!

ARTHUR FENTON. Later owner of Ascot House. If I remember correctly he was a daring young man in a flying machine.

2 comment(s), latest 2 years, 9 months ago


It might just be that a family tree circles member has found that a relative bought land in this estate in the late 1920's and is wondering if there is any connection with Milleara Rd in East Keilor. There is!

I must firstly thank Peter Warren of Express Bin Hire in Colchester Rd, Rosebud West. Knowing of my interest in local history, he has seen the 84 year old framed green, black and white plan of the Milleara Railway Station Estate in one of his bins and instead of dumping it at the tip, he asked me to have a look at it.
This plan will be given tomorrow to Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society and will be available for inspection at the society's Old Court House Museum between Queens Park and Moonee Ponds Junction.

The Milleara Railway Station Estate can be found at Melway 15 D9. It was bounded by Keilor Rd and the Albion railway line (under construction), containing Slater and Webber Pde blocks to their junction. This was the north west (almost) half of 18D, Doutta Galla.Street names remain the same but Tunnecliffe Ave has been closed, replaced by freeway interchanges; thIS avenue was obviously extended west when the freeway was being built and the extension remains as Tunnecliffe Crt.The north end of Webber Pde is now the end of Ely Crt. In my historic Melway, Prendergast Ave is written as Pendergass; I hope they've fixed it by now.

If a railway station had been built, it is likely that this estate would be proudly residential rather than industrial. Luckily the Albion-Jacana line, with its two massive bridges over the Maribyrnong and the Moonee Ponds Creek, was finished before the Wall Street crash hastened the depression which was the first of many excuses for not catering for passengers.

Newspaper articles below are about John Quinn after whom Quinn Grove on John Beale's "Shelton" is named. He probably came up with the name "Milleara", part of the name of his company which was formed at about the time this plan was drawn. Despite the depression, 1933 was a busy time for the Scotts; the Quinns were having trouble paying their rates. This plan had most likely hung in the Quinn Group boardroom or foyer for many decades until a facelift was considered necessary and this treasure was placed in storage.

When Milleara Rd was first mentioned in Keilor Shire rates, it only covered a small section of road while other residents were described as being in North Pole Rd.The original route to the Swing bridge at Canning St, (built so munitions could be carried from Maribyrnong to the munition depot, Melway 15D11, where streets now carry the names of cricketers in the Pavilion Estate), was Milleara Rd, North Rd and Military Rd. Milleara Primary School is still shown on North Rd, Avondale Hts on Google maps.

As I have stated elsewhere, Milleara Rd was originally, and still when this plan was drawn, called North Pole Rd. The council was referring to Milleara Rd by 1933 but everyone else seems to have still called it North Pole Road until at least 1937. I believe this name was bestowed in Melbourne's early days when settlers such as George Russell and Niel Black needed to travel up Flemington Hill and continue north west for about three miles before turning to the west along Braybrook Rd (Buckey St.) After reaching North Pole road, they would head cross country to the present west end of Canning St, no doubt straight toward a pole located on the north side of the river. Having crossed Solomon's Ford, they were in Braybrook, the reason Buckley St had such a strange name.

The crossing was so well-used that the authorities proclaimed a township there but Raleigh's Punt at Maribyrnong in 1850, Brees' Bridge at Keilor in 1854 and Lynch's punt, followed by his bridge, on the most direct route to the west, made this a ghost township. North Braybrook Township became the province of small farmers such as Clancy near the ford, who like many of his neighbours had his drystone walls dismantled and access to water reserves prevented by the owner of the (present) Tottenham Hotel, and oft-times President of the Braybrook Shire. (Harry Peck's MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMAN, transcript of Clancy and Munro's evidence at a government inquiry.)

KEILOR SHIRE COUNCIL There was one absentee from the monthly meeting of the Keilor Council on Saturday, namely, Cr. Davis from whom a written apology was received. Correspondence. From Messrs James Hall & Sons intimating that Messrs John Quinn & Co. have agreed to council's offer in regard to payment of rates and a settlement will be made at the end of the month.
Good, progress has been made with bitumen seal coating works and the following roads have been completed: Sharp's road, part of Milleara road, Prince, Greville and Birdwood streets and a small section in Bulla road.
(P.6, Sunshine Advocate, 7-4-1933.)

As an aside, the newspaper's name recalls three interesting pieces of history. Firstly, Sunshine was originally called Braybrook Junction, being so-called when one of Victoria's greatest railway disasters happened there. Secondly, it was renamed when A.V.McKay, inventor of the combine harvester, set up his Sunshine Harvester Co. factory there; McKay was associated with two properties in the Sire of Bulla (see I.W.Symonds' BULLA BULLA.) Thirdly, a dispute at this factory led to the Harvester Judgement being made by Judge Higgins, probably assessing the evidence in the solitude of Heronswood at Dromana. This judgement led to the basic wage. Judge Higgins enjoyed swims daily at Anthonys Nose and often walked up Arthurs Seat, the last time on the day he died. He was buried at Dromana, as was his son, a casualty of war.

From Scott's Estates Pty. Ltd.,offering to transfer to council the several park and playground reserves set apart in the Milleara Garden suburb subdivisions of the company-These reserves are of a total area of about 35 acres. (P.2, Sunshine Advocate, 7-7-1933.)

Milleara Land Development Co Pty Ltd, land and estate agents, &c. Capital, £2000 in £1 shares. Names subscribed to memorandum John Quinn, 1 share; Annie Quinn, 1 share.(P.12, Argus, 10-2-1928.)

Charge of Assault.-At the District Court yesterday, Richard Lacey, a bullock-driver, was charged with assaulting Mr. Laverty, the landlord of the North Pole Inn, Keilor. It appeared that the defendant was driving his master's dray over the land of the complainant, who turned the team of bullocks off the road, throwing a load of hay which was on the dray into a ditch. Lacey proceeded to set the hay on the dray as well as he could, and was again proceeding in the same road, when Laverty again came before his team and turned the bullocks off the road. Lacey then struck Laverty, and a scuffle ensured; the complainant then gave the defendant into the charge of trooper C R Wilson. Mr Miller appeared for the complainant, and Mr Read for the defendant. Captain Vignelles, JP, fined the defendant 10s. with costs. (P.5, Argus, 8-1-1855.)

TO Let Sixty Acres of Land, at Springfield. For further particulars apply to James Laverty, North Pole, near Keilor, 148 feb 13. (P.1, Argus, 9-2-1855.)

FARM to Let at Springfield, of 120 Acres more or less, with Three-Roomed Cottage erected on same, and garden laid out: forty acres have been under cultivation, and is all fenced in with substantial post-and-rail fence. This farm has one-half mile frontage to the Mount Alexander-road, and only eight miles from Melbourne. Apply to Mr. JAMES LAVERTY, Harvest Home Inn, Moonee Ponds._69 mar 14.(P.8, Argus, 13-3-1856.)

Reports that a large motor transport was seen on a back road at Keilor on Tuesday of last week are regarded by detectives as a clue in the missing truck mystery.All yesterday a ground and air search was continued for the motor transport waggon which has been missing with its driver John Thomas Demsey of Essendon since Monday of last week.

Residents of the sparsely populated area along North Pole road Keilor, told the detectives yesterday that a motor transport resembling the missing vehicle had been seen travelling on Tuesday of last week along North Pole road toward Ballarat road the beginning of the Western Highway. They said they had never seen a motor transport on this road before.So much importance was attached to the report that Senior detective McKeogh and Detective North spent the day interviewing residents searching all tracks leading off North Pole road and examining the many deep gullies in the area. etc. (P.3, Argus, 21-10-1937.)
(To get from North Pole Rd to Ballarat Rd would require the crossing of the swing bridge at Canning St before heading south along Wests and Hamstead Rd.)

James Laverty owned land on the north side of Rosehill Rd, west of Steel St and in partnership with Alex Blair if I remember correctly; details are in my BLAIRS OF ESSENDON journal. Some Essendon/Keilor historians have claimed that the Harvest Home Hotel was in Keilor Rd. The Harvest Home was not far on the Melbourne side of today's Moonee Ponds Tavern (formerly Dean's Hotel, the original section of which was built by a Greenvale pioneer in 1852); it was in Melway 28 J7 immediately south of where Hinkins St would meet Mt Alexander Rd if extended.
A spring arising at about Elray Crt (Melway 5 K 12), a "constant source of fresh water" according to an early survey,was the start of a creek which flowed through section 3 Tullamarine and directly south of it, section 21 Doutta Galla. William and John Foster called this land "Springs", while the land between Fosters Rd (now Keilor Park Drive)and the Saltwater River was called "Leslie Banks". It is likely that Leslie Park,the Fosters' "run" on which they were given a 10 year lease in 1840 (but was probably cancelled in 1843)went south of Spence St, to Keilor Rd. Thus O'Nyall of the Lady of the Lake (Melway 5 H11) and Laverty (15 E9) were both described as being at "Springs".

This obviously caused confusion and the Keilor Rd area was called Springfield instead. Like Greenvale an area got its name from a farm.Springfield was east of Roberts Rd, which with Hilbert St are the main roads within it, and A.J.Davis Reserve, named after the councillor who sent a written apology, is at its south east corner. Between Springfield and Niddrie, meeting the latter between Grange Rd and Bowes Ave, was Spring Park.
Two other farms named on the spring theme along Spring Gully or Steele's Chain of Ponds were Springbank (Wilson then James Anderson)and James Robertson's grant Spring Hill, where his son, James,built a mansion called Aberfeldie. And of course, James Laverty called his farm Springvale.

Walter Burley Griffin designed Milleara Estate to include land west of Milleara Road through the suburbs of Avondale Heights and East Keilor. 19 internal reserves were a feature of this subdivision. Few remain, but Tuppal Reserve is one of them. (East Keilor Sustainability Street website.)

TROVE.(and the Patterson-Kennedy link.)

Perhaps the greatest favour a family historian has ever done this local history researcher is to tell me about trove. An informal group of family historians used to (and probably still do) get together in the local history room at the Rosebud library. While we chatted during my three solid weeks or more of transcribing rate records in August 2010, one of them put me onto trove.

This is a digitised treasure trove of newspapers and other material, courtesy of the National Library of Australia. I have found that the quickest way to access old newspapers is to enter trove NLA,click on trove-home, click on digitised newspapers, and then type in the name you're researching. If the article is specified, such as by me, enter the year, select the month and then the day number. Then select the newspaper name and when it comes up, select the page number.

I have written THE FEMALE DROVER: A HISTORY OF MOOROODUC and DROMANA, ROSEBUD AND MILES AROUND ON TROVE (up to about 150 pages, just a start, but not touched since I started writing journals here) based almost entirely on trove. Just recently, I entered BRINDLE-LEGGE to find out if Arthur Brindle had married a Legge girl (because Melbourne Brindle had stated on his map of Dromana that Harold Legge was his uncle.)

Some surnames make searches on trove very tedious, such as colour names such as White and others of adjectival tendency such as Bright. I never realised there were so many Rosebuds (including "rosebud of health" in advertisements) and if I'm researching the southern peninsula prior to 1914, I always type Kangerong rather than Flinders, for the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong so I won't get Flinders Island, the interstate Shire of Flinders etc. Frustration leads to the development of such time-saving tricks.The Argus is a good paper to select (to refine your search) if you want to eliminate most of the interstate stuff but if you confine your searches entirely to this paper,you could miss personal pars, obituaries etc which usually appear in local papers.

If you wish to copy articles, you must do it using the digitised text. Most of the time this looks like a foreign language and needs to be corrected.While on duty at the Dromana Museum recently, I met a Mr Adams who is working for the Mornington Shire Council under the Cemetery Trust, doing what Neil Mansfield did at the Bulla cemetery; digitising grave photos and information. He showed me a photo of the Stenniken grave at Rye and I mentioned that there was a grave nearby that seemed to be in the wrong cemetery but I couldn't remember the names. (An inspection two days later revealed the names were Sarah Kennedy and her parents, Rachel and Ralph Patterson.)

The Pattersons were mainly involved on the Survey prior to 1864(Safety Beach area east to Bulldog Creek Rd), at Fingal since about 1870 near Pattersons Rd, and, by 1910,again on the Survey north of Wallace's Rd (which Colin McLear said was known originally as Patterson's Lane. I believe the Patterson-Kennedy connection came about in Fingal (where James Kennedy was leasing about 159 acres in the 1870's, or near the junction of Point Leo and Frankston-Flinders Rd in the parish of Balnarring where the Kennedys had land straddling Stony Creek and R.Patterson (not Ralph if I remember my rate research)was also a grantee about a mile away between the latter road and the coast. Why would residents in the parishes of Balnarring/Flinders and Fingal/Kangerong be buried at Rye. Peter Wilson and Ray Cairns answered that question in THE CAIRNS FAMILY OF BONEO. Many marriages took place between the Russell family and the Patterson and Cairns families.

Edward Russell was a shipmate of John Watts and Tom Bennett (1). His mates jumped ship some time after Watts went ashore at Skelly's beach(now called Shelly beach) to obtain fresh water for his ship and met a six year old Skelton girl whom he said he'd marry one day, which he did, and they lived in the cottage which has been moved to the pioneers' garden next to the museum at Sorrento (2).Edward did not desert his ship but when it reached Melbourne, the vista that greeted the crew would have been amazing;a forest on the water! Countless ships were anchored together, their masts swaying like forest trees in a gale and the remaining sailors, except Edward, followed the rush to the diggings(3).

The 17 year old Edward Russell walked for two days to work for J.Purves Snr, probably at Tootgarook, and later worked for the Sullivans, most likely as a lime burner.He drove bullocks to the goldfields for the Skeltons in the 1850's and then built a kiln. This was just north of the corner of Dundas St and Glenvue Rd and Edward and his old shipmate, Tom Bennett,shared a house at the south corner of Napier and Bowen St. This is the Russell
connection with Rye, explaining the Patterson connection. When Blair obtained a grant for the land on which Edward's kiln was situated (1), he farmed further east and obtained a grant for the 103 acre block immediately west of the present Truemans Rd tip site. From here he was quite close to the Cairns and Patterson families to whom he was probably introduced by Edward Williams whose property was just east of Truemans Rd (4).
(1. LIME LAND LEISURE p.147 AND MAPS. 2.THOSE COURAGEOUS HARDY WOMEN. 3.My creation based on the stranded, crewless ships mentioned in so many Victoria and Melbourne histories. 4. Ratebooks and parish maps.


In response to my comment about the need to make corrections to the digitised version in trove, Mr Adams explained that the problem was caused by the newspapers being photographed rather than scanned.

Despite the difficulties mentioned, Trove is still a wonderful source!