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Journal by itellya

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-10-17 08:31:33

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2013-10-19 11:50:32

My suggestions of names for the three fords near Avondale Heights are:
1. Between Rhonda St, Avondale Heights and the riverside walking track on the south bank of the river (just west of Errol St, Braybrook )(Melway 27 C9)-Grimes' Ford, Fish Trap Ford, Squatter's Ford, or Braybrook Ford.

2. Just south of the west end of Canning St,labelled "Rock Ford" (Melway 27 B8)- Clancy's Ford.

3. At the south end of the dotted line indicating the ramp down to the ford at the west end of North Rd, Avondale Heights (Melway 27 C6)- SOLOMON'S FORD.

Arguments for the above suggestions.
1 (a.) GRIMES' FORD. This is shown on the 1855 Braybrook Township map and is ]not Solomon's Ford because this map shows Bruce St* continuing past the northern boundary of Braybrook Township, (indicated by a line joining Somers St, Sunshine and Clarendon St, Avondale Heights) and the continuing track is labelled "TO SOLOMON'S FORD".
(* The Braybrook Township map shows this track heading north from Raleigh St (now Cranwell St) JUST WEST OF BURKE ST but the 1884 Cut Cut Paw map shows that the track must have been Burke St.)

The fact that water upstream of the Rhonda /Errol St ford was labelled SALT WATER, accords with Charles Grimes' notes that the ford stopped their progress by boat and after walking further upstream they came to fresh water (marked on the township map at about the location of Clancy's land, circa 1856, and later ford.)

1(b.)FISH TRAP FORD. The Maribyrnong Heritage Study (Graeme Butler, Gary Vines etc)suggests that the ford that stopped the boat might have been a fish trap made by the indigenous pioneers and if this was true, such technology displayed by the so-called backward savages deserves recognition. However examination of the site would be needed to establish that the barrier was not a natural reef.

1(c.)SQUATTERS' FORD. There were two roads in North Braybrook Township planned to go south to the river, Raglan St and Brown St. The former was on the same line as Lacy St south of the river,at its northern end, bent to the south west (Lacy St, Avondale Heights) and continued to the river slightly east of the line of White St, with a future connection possibly intended. Brown St followed the course of parts of a few present Avondale Heights streets (as in the journal), the last being the south end of Rhonda St where "FORD" is clearly seen by the river. Additionally, Queen St,part of which is now the n/w to s/e part of Barbara Crescent (or the park boundary just south of it), connected Raglan St to Brown (Rhonda) St at what was the top of the river bank, right near the ford.

As there was an 1855 connection between Doutta Galla and Cut Cut Paw parishes at the end of today's Rhonda St, both Raglan St and Brown St continuations had doglegs (at Lacy St and Brentwood Drive respectively)indicating an attempt to avoid too-steep slopes or perhaps gullies, the ford was within the township boundaries (townships being places on well-established routes), and the unsubdivided part of the township south of the Rhonda St ford shows a track following a back-to-front "c" course, once again following the most comfortable course, it is likely that Raglan,Queen and Clarendon, Brown (both leading to the ford) were alternative courses taken by George Russell, Niel Black, John Aitken etc. circa 1836. It is likely that Clarendon, Brown was the original course, accessed via Braybrook road (Buckey St, Essendon) almost to the river before following it south. The Raglan, Queen St route may have been shorter or involved fewer bogs,gullies etc.

There is no certainty that squatters used this route rather than the North Rd ford but why would the Government declare a township that was about a mile south of a well-established route?

If the Rhonda St ford was on the original route to the west of Melbourne's Saltwater River, it may have been the ORIGINAL SOLOMON'S FORD. This assumes that Joshua Solomon purchased the pre-emptive right to the Run that Joseph Solomon had leased in the parish of Cut Cut Paw,establishing that the run was in the vicinity of the Medway Golf Club site. It could be that Joseph Solomon's Run was west of Michael Solomon's Run, which may have been:"Another station belonging to Mr Solomon on the same map, but outside of Cut-Paw-Paw parish, on the north side of the river in what is now East Keilor(8)".(Gary Vines,Graeme Butler etc.) Cut Cut Paw extended north between McIntyre Rd and the river to Melway 14 J12. Therefore the Cut Cut Paw run could have been over the river from North Rd.

To prove whether the Rhonda St or North Rd ford was the original Solomon's Ford, the following would be necessary:
(a)Finding an 1850 or earlier Survey map which shows and names the original ford OR
(b)Finding the exact location of the Solomon Run in Cut Cut Paw.
(c)Finding in the notes of George Russell, and other early users of the original ford, that they called it SOLOMON'S ford (rather than historians assuming that they used this name.)

1(d.) BRAYBROOK FORD. The Rhonda St ford obviously led to the Braybrook State School which would have been a major centre for the district's activities but as Clancy's ford also linked the Keilor and Braybrook shire portions of the township, and also seems to have been referred to by this name,it could lead to confusion.

N.B. An examination of the site of the Rhonda St ford should be carried out to see if any signs remain, such as a ramp (such as at Bertam's ford near the new and old Arundel bridges at Keilor), excavation of the surface and perhaps a gully caused by the use of a"drag" to slow the descent of heavily laden drays (carrying supplies for six months or so, furniture etc.)

If so, a history board, including the Township of Braybrook map and any facts ascertained could be placed by the walking tracks on both sides of the river.

No ford was shown at Melway 27 B8, nor a road leading the site in the 1855 Township of Braybrook map. Michael Clancy stated at the 1879 inquiry into closed roads that he had settled there in about 1856. The ford could not be accessed except through Clancy's grants but I have seen an article about his boundaries being re-aligned,perhaps to allow access to the public. There is little doubt that Michael Clancy constructed the ford himself for his own purposes, and possibly to connect his land in the shire of Keilor and the shire of Braybrook (N.A.V. 2 pounds in 1879.)It would seem that Clancy's children attended Braybrook State School. Why else would he be asking Braybrook shire for improvements to the street unless his land was there. Whether this was the Braybrook ford that Michael offered to maintain for a fee and was accused of interfering with is uncertain. One thing is certain; that the "rock ford" at 27B8 can be called CLANCY'S FORD without causing confusion.

Several articles refer to Clancy and Solomon's Ford in the same breath (the Clancy boy's drowning, Pridham's house leased from a Clancy burning down) but Cr Dodd's assertion that a too-high culvert at Clancy's ford would affect Solomon's ford (by causing the water level to rise upstream)make it clear that he saw Clancy's and Solomon's as two different fords.

Clancy's Ford needs to be so labelled on Melway and with a history board including the map in SOLOMON'S FORD by Valentine Jones. Even though Valentine's conclusion was wrong,the map shows Clancy's grants at the location of the rock ford.

The township of Braybrook map (1855) shows the un-named ford at the bottom of Rhonda St, no ford at the site of Clancy's future grants (or track leading there)and a track continuing past the northern boundary of Braybrook Township which is labelled TO SOLOMON'S FORD on its continuation. The Cut Cut Paw map shows the continuation of this track,apparently Bruce St,linking with the ramp from the west end of North St where a Mr Solomon had land at East Keilor.

There is no documentary evidence that the fords at Rhonda/Errol St or near Clancy's grants were called Solomon's ford and the only such evidence of the location of Solomon's Ford comes from two surveyors in 1855 and 1884. The ford "a little south of the west end of Canning St" seems to become known as Solomon's Ford based on very little evidence. Reporters were usually not locals and could easily confuse one ford with another,but the Dodds were well versed in the area's history and surveyors made very few mistakes. Labelling Stewart's 46 acres in Tullamarine as 64 acres and placing John Hall's "Southwaite" in Doutta Galla on "St John's" are the only errors I've found in 25 years.

I'd be delighted if the Surveyors, Cr Dodd and I can be proven wrong but until then, I agree with Peter Somerville's assertion in 1989 that SOLOMON'S FORD was at the west end of NORTH ROAD.

Digital Collections - Maps - Cut Paw Paw, County of Bourke ...

by itellya on 2013-11-11 23:15:54

Additional information supplied to Brimbank Council's Co-ordinator, Strategic Planning, following the discussion she had requested, along with this journal.

This journal (below) would contain most of my information about the three fords including their precise locations and arguments for my choice(s) of names. It would be great if the cities of Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong and Brimbank funded a joint study in regard to correcting the misconception that the rock ford shown in Melway 27 B8 was either the original crossing place or Solomon's Ford.
The original ford would have been the ford or fish trap that stopped the progress upstream of Grimes' boat in 1803 but not that of salt water which Fleming stated changed to fresh water as they walked upstream some way. The ford so-named in heritage studies as the original ford did not even exist in 1855, as shown by James Reid's map of Braybrook Township but the ones at 27 C9 (which did not stop tidal flow) and 27 C6 did, the latter designated as Solomon's Ford on both Township of Braybrook maps, the connection with Braybrook and North Pole Rd (now Buckley St, Essendon and Milleara Rd, East Keilor respectively) via North Rd confirmed by the Cut Cut Paw and Doutta Galla parish maps.

Michael Clancy arrived at the Braybrook Township in 1856 according to his evidence to the closed road enquiry of 1879, and he obviously cleared many rocks from his land, using many to make rock walls, which Thomas Derham had his henchmen throw into Clancy's crops. He probably used the larger rocks to make a dam so that the fresh water (shown on both Township maps) which his property* fronted would not be contaminated during high tides. It would have been handy to access land he bought in the parish of Cut Cut Paw. Eventually there was a re-alignment of his boundaries, obviously to allow public access to the ford that Michael had made.
(*Shown on a later Township of Braybrook map reproduced in Valentine Jones' SOLOMONS FORD, which may be in the Brimbank Library collection,or perhaps, Moonee Valley's.)

If the ford south of Canning St, built by Michael Clancy after his arrival in 1856, had been the original ford:
1. it would have been shown on the 1855 Township of Braybrook maps;
2. the access track would have been used as crown allotment boundaries by the surveyors,and the later re-alignment of Clancy's boundaries would not have been needed: North Rd and the ramp to Solomon's ford were used as crown allotment boundaries and so were the tracks leading south from Raglan St (including Queen St) and Brown St in Avondale Heights to the ford in 27 C9.

N.B. Melbourne Hunt Club reports circa 1890 refer to McIntyre's Ford*. In checking where James McIntyre's grant was on the Cut Cut Paw map I just made a vital discovery. J.Solomon was granted 22B, Cut Cut Paw of 353 acres 3 roods and 20 perches. After the track north to Solomon's ford passed through the western area of Braybrook Township, its final 1390 links (278 metres) passed through Solomon's grant. James McIntyre's 22A was north of Solomon's grant with a western boundary of 7000 links (1400 metres) which continued the line of McIntyres Rd to the river.

I vaguely remember a family connection between the McIntyres and their neighbours to the north across the river (Dodd/Delahey) and that a later Cut Cut Paw map shows McIntyre as the owner of TWO crown portions.
The first recollection would give McIntyre a reason to cross the river at 22B/ North Rd rather than using the long detour via Keilor Village and North Pole Rd, and the second indicates that he may have purchased 22B from Solomon. It is extremely likely that McIntyre's ford was Solomon's ford at the end of North Road.
(*Exact source can be supplied from my journal 1888 Geography with the Melbourne Hunt.)


Link to this journal provided.

by itellya on 2013-11-18 16:15:07

The Shire of Keilor engineer could be expected to know the right name for the ford that everyone and his historically-minded dog has called Solomon's ford. What did he call the ford just south of the western end of Canning Street in 1905?

The day men have been engaged during the past month in general road repairs, chiefly raking in loose metal, and binding parts of that newly laid ; picking in wheel tracks on North Pole and Barbiston and Cemetery roads; spreading gravel in Keilor and at
Clancy's Ford; burying two dead beasts drowned in creeks, etc.. etc.
(P.2, Sunbury News, 9-9-1905.)

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