A HERITAGE WALK IN ASCOT VALE, ( VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.)& two Bruce families.
Contacting the Essendon Historical Society
Cnr Kellaway Ave and Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds.
768-770 Mt. Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds 3039
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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@example.com
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.
A BIT EXTRA.
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 http://www.nla.gov.au/
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.
EDWARD BYAM WIGHT.
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.
JOHN THOMAS SMITH.
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.
on 2013-01-30 03:51:23
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.