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Journal by itellya

YARNS have disappeared from our way of life. I was fortunate to have interviewed a great many yarn tellers, mostly in their 90's and Ray Cairns ten days after his 100th birthday. Many of these yarns were passed down through generations orally just as the first Australians did with their dreamtime stories. One such yarn teller was Jim McKenzie, who inspired my KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS and one of his yarns was about another yarn teller, Dodd Lane of Dublin Avenue in today's Strathmore.

George Lloyd,in MICKLEHAM ROAD 1920-1952, referring to Bulla Rd in Essendon states:"A very old identity in those days (1930's?)was Dodd Lane who traded in horses and anything connected with the horse industry."

Jim McKenzie recalls Dodd being a real character, and the youth from far and wide,when they rode over Strathmore's open grassy hillscape had as their destination Dodd's place in Dublin Ave. Can you just imagine a group of youngsters hanging on every word of this old character's anecdotes about the old days?

Horses had right of way over cars at one stage and this rule would have pleased Dodd whose most remembered saying was, "Horses came before cars and anyway, cars are only spare parts for horses and carts."

The thing that yarn tellers need most is an audience and unfortunately most of them have retired from their vocation due to the lack of one. Be an audience for your elderly relatives and friends before its too late. Ask them to help you label their old photos with date ,names and place. When you decide to write a family history,it will be too late, otherwise, to obtain the flesh to cover the skeleton that genealogy provides.

Luckily some yarn tellers such as Harry Peck and Isaac Batey committed their yarns to paper. I'd asked Isaac about Fenton's Hill (due to the assistance of Trove)and found out that David Duncan (co-grantee of most of Melbourne Airport and subject of one of my journals)) had built "Roseneath" (Melway 28 G1), the residence of James Hearn when Big Clarke died there, and later of William Salmon. Isaac stated that the Clarkes had bought Roseneath from David and the Essendon and Hawstead map show that he was dead right. David Duncan had been granted crown allotment 10, Hawstead, of 5 acres 1 rood 1 perch. The Clarkes must have also bought Michael Skehan's c/a 11 and 12 (roughly 10 acres)between David's grant and the water reserve (Woodlands Park.)

Here's Isaac's yarn.

Sunbury News (Vic. : 1900 - 1910) Saturday 9 July 1904 p 4 Article
"Big' Clarke was noted as having
crossed Bass Strait in 1839, and conjec-
torally his brother Lewis came over with
him. Lewis was on the Fenton's Hill
station, but whether the two men bought
out the 'Dirty Scotch Company' or not
is a question not to be decided. Any
way, the brothers became possessed of
the company's sheep brand, a capital G,
which according to Brodie from motives
of economy was used on Bolinda for
some years.
If Mr. W. J. T. Clarke was a great
purchaser of land, I do not think his
brother ever owned a single acre out in
the country, and as for the block in Es-
sendon, with its comfortable dwelling
house, my conclusion is that it belonged
to the 'Big Fellow.' This residence
was erected by David Duncan, a carpen-
ter by trade, who was afterwards in
partnership with one Thompson in a
mercantile business in Mellbourne. I
fancy the two men owned Gowrie Park
before the outbreak of the diggings, and
later on it fell into the hands of Messrs.
Ritchie, of whom Malcolm is the last
survivor. Duncan apparently garnered
in the cash but presumably to do the
heavy he acquired some 20 acres of
ground at Essendon on which he built a
house that must have run into thous-
ands, because at the date of its erection
labour and materiel were heavy items.
It fell into the hands of the Clarkes
perhaps in 1856, arnd as ?3,000 was
paid for it along with the ground, the
reader will perceive that Duncan would
not get back more than a third of the
money he had expended on the struc-
ture, which was substantially built of
stone and brick. According to the times
it was a gentleman's residence-besides,
it had nicely laid-out grounds. When
Gowrie went, and, I imagine, Duncan
had bought his partner out, old Davie
was nearly stranded, and when he was
drowned in a fit in a bath*, Mrs. Duncan
with one of her daughters ran a registry
office in Lonsdale-street. Mr. Michael
Loeman said he would rather live under
a soogee bag than get into debt in build-
ing a house, therefore we may conclude
if Duncan had not cut in for a big show,
even if he gulped down brandy by the
tumblerful he could not have died a poor
As for Mr. Lewis Clarke, if he did
go in for land, he was a man of means ;
but for what he had I think he might
thank his brother. Lewis died when
certain of his family were very young,
and any that had reached their majority
at the date of their decease received
?1500 each. As they came of age one
after the other they received a like sum,
and as there were nine of them these
payments would represent ?18,500, but
we must bear in mind that it was the
accumulating interest that would bring
the money up to the sum set down. I
imagine the widow did not survive her
husband beyond five years. Her eldest
son John galloped through his share and
went to New South Wales, where he
came to his end through a fall from
horseback. In later times he was the
most handsome man in those parts, but
he was also the greatest harum scarum I
ever met with. He possessed finely cut
oval features, and had a beautifully
shaped nose, but he was wretchedly defi-
cient in forehead, for from what is
minded of it, it was not beyond three
fingers' breadth in height, whereas his
brother William's frontal development
was splendid.
Billy Clarke as a youth would journey
up from Essendon to see us, and put in
a day or two on this place. (Redstone Hill.)

*David Duncan died in 1864 aged 55. See comment.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2014-03-07 20:24:48

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 2017-10-08 14:15:58

EventDeath Event registration number8784 Registration year1864
Personal information
Family nameDUNCAN Given namesDavid SexUnknown Father's nameDavid Hay Mother's nameIsabella (Blair) Place of birthSCOT Place of death Age55

DUNCAN.—On the 16th inst., of apoplexy, while bathing at St. Kilda baths, Mr. David Duncan, late of Gowrie-park, Tullamarine, aged fifty-five years.
(P.4, Argus, 17-12-1864.)

FRIENDS of the deceased Mr. DAVID DUNCAN,late of Gowrie-park, Tullamarine, are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment
in the Melbourne General Cemetery. The funeral procession to move from his late residence, No. 19 Lonsdale-street west, on Sunday, the 18th inst., about half-past 2 o'clock.(P.8, Argus,17-12-1864.)

Gowrie Park was all of the 640 acre section 14, parish of Tullamarine except the north east corner of 80 acres cut off when Bulla Rd was constructed. The 560 acres property itself was run as two separate farms, Gowrie Park of about 470 acres and the northern portion, Gowrie Side of about 90 acres at various times,and when purchased for the Tullamarine Jetport in about 1960, the last owners respectively being Bill Ellis and the Donovans. See the parish map:

David Duncan was still on the 470 acre portion in 1861 when Tullamarine farms were described, and a visit to it followed one to the Seafield School on section 8.

David and Alexina Duncan (Photos of both.)
Mr. Duncan and his wife Alexina voyaged to Port Phillip on the first settlers' ship, the "David Clark" in 1839. After putting his hand to a variety of jobs, in 1848 Mr. Duncan became a member of the provisional committee to report on the formation of "The Victorian Horticultural Society". In that same year the Port Phillip Farmers Society was formed - consisting of the parent body ( later the National Agricultural Society ) and the Royal Agricultural Society and three branches: Mornington, Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne. For his efforts Mr. Duncan was presented with a five piece silver tea service. The family held the gift for 135 years before his great-grand-daughter, Miss Butcher, presented it to the Royal Agricultural Society in 1987. The first show took place around a ploughing match on "la Rose" farm in Moonee Ponds in 1848. By 1856 the total value of money prizes, portraits of animals, gold and silver medals awarded was £ 640/12/-. Needless to say the show has grown beyond all expectations and continues to delight young and old today.

David Duncan had obviously sold Roseneath by 1858.

Clarke, Lewis (?–1858)
On the 22nd inst., at his residence, Roseneath House, Essendon, Lewis Clarke, Esq., brother of the Honorable W. J. T. Clarke, an old colonist, much respected by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, leaving a widow and family to mourn the loss of a kind husband and affectionate father.(Obituary - Lewis Clarke - Obituaries Australia

by itellya on 2017-10-08 14:34:29

David Duncan's brother would have been on Gowrie Side. The link for the parish of Tullamarine doesn't seem to be working so just type TULLAMARINE, COUNTY OF BOURKE into your search bar.

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