<< Previous - Next >>


Journal by itellya

As family names mentioned in this journal will be too numerous to fit into the surname list, they will be listed alphabetically here and followed by the year or other heading under which they appear, such as APHOK (A POTTED HISTORY OF KEILOR) so that researchers can quickly locate the reference and ascertain if it pertains to the family they are seeking. A year or heading followed by C indicates that the name appears in my Comment about an article under that year. Unless there is a special reason, Batman, Fawkner,Hume, Hovell etc will not be included in the index. e.g.

About the only items that I think need to be added to the following excellent broad overview of Keilor's history are the township, grazing, closer settlement and the Spanish invasion.


(3036, 17 km NW, Brimbank City, Hume City, Moonee Valley City)
Gazetted as a township in 1850 Keilor had a Roads Board in 1863 before becoming a shire in 1871 and a city in 1961. Some of the earliest Aboriginal artefacts in Victoria were discovered at the Keilor archaeological area. The first European explorer, New South Wales Surveyor-General Grimes, passed through the area in 1803, followed by Hume and Hovell in 1824, and John Batman in 1835. Settlers arrived in the late 1830s and 1840s, one of whom, Mr Watson, is said to have given the district the name of his father's cattle-breeding property or a rivulet in Forfarshire, Scotland, Other sources suggest keilor was an Aboriginal word for 'brackish water'. The first Keilor Inn was a hut constructed in 1841, rebuilt 20 years later. Keilor was on the main route to the goldfield of Bendigo and Castlemaine; from 1851 hotels and blacksmiths did a roaring trade. A female traveller noted the contrast between the 'pretty little village with a good inn, several nice cottages, and a store or two' and the 'vast expanse of flat and dreary land' of the outlying Keilor Plains.
In 1855 the philanthropist Caroline Chisholm organised the construction of 'shelter sheds' along the goldfield routes to encourage families to accompany their menfolk to the diggings. One was near Bonfield Street in Keilor village and another, named Robertson's after a local landowner, was on the Keilor Plains. Punts and rough log bridges proved unsatisfactory for travellers crossing the Maribyrnong River and a more substantial toll bridge was opened in 1854. The 1868 replacement, superseded in 1964, has been restored.
After the initial excitement of the gold rush Keilor settled into a relatively peaceful agricultural existence for nearly a century with hay production and cattle and sheep grazing being the main activities. One of the original proprietors of the Argus newspaper, Edward Wilson, ran his property Arundel as a model farm and experimental breeding ground. By the 1880s Keilor was most noted for its market gardening and especially its apricot orchards. A local farmer and long-serving shire councillor, David Milburn, pioneered irrigation on his properties, and other orchardists and market gardeners followed his example. Farming in the district received a boost in the early 1900s when Overnewton, the 11 000-acre (4450 ha) estate of William Taylor, was subdivided.
Change came to Keilor from the 1950s when industry and housing developers discovered the area. Both Essendon Airport (built on land first acquired by the Commonwealth in 1921) and Melbourne Airport (built at Tullamarine in 1971) were partly within the Keilor City boundaries. Between 1947 and 1954 Keilor's population trebled to 10 681. By 1961 there were 29 519 residents and in 1981 there were 81 762, attracted to the area by the cheap new houses and manufacturing jobs. By 1981 around 40% of residents were overseas-born, nearly half coming from Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Malta. Transport was another attraction. The Calder and Tullamarine freeways bisect the area, and the West Gate Bridge linked it with the other side of Melbourne from 1978.
Industry was concentrated in Airport West and Niddrie, and the valleys and rises around Keilor village filled with successive waves of mainly brick veneer homes. New suburbs such as Kealba (3021, 15 km NW, Brimbank City), Keilor Downs (3038, 18 km NW, Brimbank City), Keilor Park (3042, 15 km NW, Brimbank City) and Kings Park (3021, 19 km W, Brimbank City) were created, and others such as Keilor East (3033, 13 km NW, Brimbank City, Moonee Valley City), which had already been the site of a garden estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin in 1927, were further developed. Apart from the courthouse and hotel, nearly all the older buildings in Keilor village have been replaced, often with large and luxurious houses. By the end of the 20th century Keilor had become an affluent middle-class and professional dormitory for the western suburbs.
Carstairs, Joan, and Maureen Lane, Pubs, punts & pastures: The story of Irish pioneer women on the Salt Water River, St Albans History Society, Melbourne, 1988. Details
Evans, Angela, and the Keilor Pioneer Research Collective, Keilor pioneers: Dead men do tell tales, St Albans History Society, Melbourne, 1994. Details
Jennison, Susan, Keilor's heritage, Keilor Historical Society, Melbourne, 1997. Details

Like most townships, Keilor straddled a creek, the village of half acre blocks being in the parish of Maribyrnong on the west side of the Saltwater River but suburban blocks intended for farmers were south,west and east of the village. Those to the east were in Horseshoe Bend (parish of Maribyrnong)and section 19 Doutta Galla, which included Keilor Binn Farm, Gumm's Corner and the part of Keilor Park west of Collinson St where the site of St Augustine's was granted and James Harrick built his historic homestead that is now the home of the Keilor Historical Society.

There was another township in the Keilor district,Braybrook North Township. It was south of the line of Clarendon St, Avondale Heights. The township straddled the river,being in the parishes of Doutta Galla and Cut Cut Paw. Because of the West Melbourne swamp, Solomon's ford was the most southerly point at which the Saltwater River could be crossed by travellers heading Geelong way, such as George Russell of Golf Hill. It was accessed via Buckley St, known for decades as Braybrook road until it wasrenamed Buckley St West. Many heritage studies have been sold a pup by Valentine Jones and have declared Clancy's ford to be Solomon's Ford. Peter Somerville, my predecessor as President of the Keilor Historical Society, was convinced, circa 1989,that Solomon's Ford was at the end of North Rd and he was right but I believe this was the second one.

If you google CUT CUT PAW, COUNTY OF BOURKE,you will find many maps of that parish. The Braybrook Township map also provides evidence about the fords. The earliest shows a ford near the bottom of Rhonda St, Avondale Heights with a dotted track heading south near the future site of Braybrook Primary School, this would have been the route used by George Russell and Co.The Braybrook Township map shows streets leading to, and converging at,this ford. It would have been the aboriginal fish trap that stopped Charles Grimes' progress by boat a few hundred yards short of where brackish water became fresh; this point is shown on Melway. Later maps clearly show that Solomon's ford was at the end of North Road and the ramp leading down to it, shown on the Doutta Galla maps, is still indicated by a dotted line on Melway.

In an enquiry into closed roads (of which the K.H.S.should have a copy), Clancy stated that he'd arrived in about 1856 and his first task would have been to clear his land,not of trees but of rocks. He used many of them to build walls which the lovely Mr D., the father of Braybrook and pub owner, had his henchmen pull down scattering the rocks in Clancy's crops. Harry Peck makes it clear in his MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMAN that Mr D's purpose was to drive off Clancy and his fellow battlers so he could graze the horses he supplied to the army in India. Clancy owned land in Cut Cut Paw as well so he may have two reasons to build a ford. His Doutta Galla land was near the point where brackish water became fresh and the former was not much good for watering stock or crops. Some rocks would have been too heavy to lift but they could be rolled into the river.They would not be swept downstream in the next flood. The resultant ford would give him access to his Cut Cut Paw land* and prevent the progress of brackish water upstream during king tides.
(*The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918) Saturday 19 October 1878 p 2 Advertising.
Maidstone, 17th October, 1878.
IN accordance with Clause 265 of the Local Government Act 1874, the following Valuation of the Rateable Property in the Shire is published for the information of the parties rated.WILLIAM PULLAR.
Clancy, Michael, Hampstead nett annual value 2 pounds.

Clancy's boundaries were later adjusted,presumably so people could access his ford which may have been called Solomon's ford by newspapers, such as when Clancy's son had a mishap. The Melbourne Hunt seem to have referred to the North Rd ford as McIntyre's ford but Cr Delahey and Crs Dodd (of Keilor and Braybrook)were in no doubt that it was Solomon's ford.

Not long after Braybook Township was declared, a shorter route became possible and because it was no longer on a busy route, the township died in its infancy. Below follows a potted history of Braybrook North Township from my journal, WHICH FORD WAS SOLOMON'S FORD NEAR AVONDALE HEIGHTS,VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA?

Michael Clancy's evidence at an inquiry into closed roads in 1879 reveals that he had about 35 acres joining Mr.Porter and Mr. Fitzgerald's* properties and had arrived there in about 1856. Clancy and Munro, his neighbour in the township, were prevented from watering their cattle at the river by Derham, who also tore down 28 chains of Clancy's 30 chain rock wall and threw the stones into his victim's crops. Derham had Clancy's lease of the river reserve cancelled. Harry Peck says that Derham, of fair complexion, as husky as a lumberjack, kept the pub at Braybrook and hunted others off hundreds of acres of land where he grazed about 200 horses for the Indian horse trade. Thomas B. Derham lived in Trinifour sometime after 1886 between the occupancies of W.G.Tulloch and E. Henderson.

(*M.Fitzgerald had 353 acres, between Balfour Ave. and Somers St., Sunshine, south of McIntyre's Riversdale.)
In 1900, Daniel Munro had 21 acres, Thomas Derham (Jnr.) 44 acres, A. Pridham 89 acres and Walter Marshall possibly 50 acres. Harry Newman of Maidstone had 10 acres while James Holbery, James Moore and the Melbourne Orphan Asylum of Brighton had parcels of less than 3 acres each. By 1906 about 30 acres of the township had become part of McKenna's closer settlement farm.(P.45, EARLY LANDOWNERS:PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA.)

The Keilor Plains were formed by volcanic flows. The Maribyrnong River cut its way through the rock producing a valley and exposing the fascinating Organ Pipes not far north of James Robertson's Upper Keilor Homestead. This homestead was constructed with bluestone, as were many others near the river, such as Seafield, Victoria Bank and Oakbank in section 8 Tullamarine and Edward Wilson's dairy on Arundel was built with the stone. Bluestone for the McNabs' Oakbank was quarried close to the house with the resulting depression being cleverly used. (Archealogical Survey.) Many bluestone structures were built using freestone, which could also be used for drystone rock walls, as Michael Clancy did in today's Avondale Heights (see CLOSER SETTLEMENT) and Goudie (or Dodd?)did near the Brimbank homestead (see history board near the homestead.)

Freestone lay everywhere and was a major impediment to agriculture. This was bad at the time but good when closer settlement was commenced because, as stated in advertisements,the land was UNTOUCHED BY THE PLOUGH. Those impressed by this phrase realised that it meant the soil had not been depleted as described in the 1861 article in my CHRONOLOGY OF EARLY TULLAMARINE journal. The land on the Tullamarine side was grazed by the Grant and McNab Ayshires, Robert McDougall's shorthorns. Ritchie of Aucholzie was probably more into sheep like Taylor and Robertson who owned a huge slab of the parish of Maribyrnong across the river.Much later,when R.J.Gilbertson owned Aucholzie and Overpostle on Tullamarine Island,his slaughtermen earned extra money at weekends picking up freestone on Overpostle. (Source: Bob Blackwell or Mr Bedford of Fleetbank or Ed Fanning of Sunnyside-I've forgotten which.)

Before agriculture could commence,the freestone had to be removed. Those with large areas of land could take the easy options of grazing and dairying but there is no doubt the closer settlement pioneers would have cleared the rocks and exploited the still-fertile soil.

See Comment box 2. When the shire borrowed 5000 pounds in 1911 to make new roads, one of these was SETTLEMENT ROAD in the Doutta Galla Riding. Settlement Road was, without doubt North Pole Road,today's Milleara Rd as far south as Buckley St from where North Rd and Military Rd ( both crown allotment boundaries) led to Canning St.
The following four pages would not submit as a whole in the journal or a comment box. It will have to be posted in nibbles.

Oops again. In comment box 6, immediately before the report of the 1937 meeting, I stated that Geraghty's Paddock (block 9)was in the Arundel portion of the Arundel Closer Settlement; I had meant to write: "in the Annandale portion of the Arundel Closer Settlement." The western boundary of Geraghty's Paddock was 1987.7 links* (397.54 metres) east of the boundary between Arundel(section 1) and Annandale (section 2.) Alf Cock's Glenview to the south straddled the section boundary.

2. (*See below in italics how the un-shown boundary between sections 1 and 2 was established.)

How would I know that? I googled TULLAMARINE,COUNTY OF BOURKE and chose the first map:
Parish of Tullamarine, County of Bourke [cartographic ... - Slv

3. As the boundary between sections 1 and 2 is not shown and Joe Thomas's "Tullamar" (as it was called in the airport acquisition map, circa 1960)is wrongly labelled lot 7 instead of 7 and 8, I presume that the 1350 links shown in the north east corner is the northern boundary of lot 7 (almost identical to that of lot 6)and the east boundary of lot 7 was the section 1/ 2 boundary. I also presume that the next distance of 1987.7 links was the northern boundary of lot 8,which was entirely in section 2.

4. Measurements are in links,etc Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to
Measurements are in links, 100 of which equal a chain. 1 chain = 20.1168 metres, which I have rounded to 20 metres for my calculations so Geraghty's Paddocks' western boundary was 399.861634 metres east of Arundel to be exact. Steeles Creek starts near the south east corner of Geraghty's Paddock.

In 1913, the 330 acres of Annandale that had not become part of the closer settlement were divided into two 165 acre farms. As far as I remember, Bill Parr's now-demolished house was in the north east corner of Melway 15 D2. This was in the south east corner of section 2 but north of the course that the unmade section of Annandale Rd would follow to the PRESENT end of Sharps Rd. Bill Parr and his brother Sam were jointly occupying this farm in 1913. Thomas and Arthur Nash were occupying the other 165 acre farm which was probably to the south west with the extension of Sharps Rd being its southern boundary and the homestead fronting the south side of the later Annandale Rd extension.

One interesting thing about the map is that Sharps Rd (the boundary between Tullamarine and Doutta Galla parishes) is shown (with dotted lines) extending about 500 metres farther east than it does today (80 X 20.1168m, 1609.344 metres or a mile west of Broadmeadows Rd.) Why? Because Annandale Rd only ran between Arundel Rd and the east boundary of Geraghty's Paddock and Alf Cock's Glenview. Thomas and Arthur Nash would have accessed their homestead from the end of the Sharps Rd EXTENSION by way of the road north that seems to head nowhere and was obviously a driveway.

Why didn't Annandale Rd go all the way to the present end of Sharps Rd?
The following article makes it pretty clear. The Closer Settlement Board was determined to maximise its profits at the expense of the shire, which was just managing to stay afloat without additional outlays. The board even proposed a low-level bridge such as the ones on the main road that swept away or formed dams so that road approaches were gouged away until Brees' high level bridge was built in 1854. You can bet that the board stipulated that its money was only used on roads within the closer settlement and not an inch farther; Annandale Rd stopped dead at the eastern boundary of the closer settlement.

Now I see how Bertam's ford became Milburn's Weir. The connection to the ford is shown on the aforementioned Tullamarine parish map. If Cr. Milburn had not agreed to let the council open Bertrams ford when the bridge became impassable,this story may never had been written. You will remember that the first contractor's bridge was washed away by the major 1906 flood.
Sunbury News (Vic. : 1900 - 1910) Saturday 20 October 1906 p 3 Article
... Mansfield, a well-known farmer, and his son, William, about seven years of age, together with a lad named ... buggy, leading a horse with a halter, and Mr. Mansfield and his son were in the front. Mr. Mans -field ...

The Keilor Skull was found where Back Creek meets the river at Melway 14 J4.

A special meeting of the Keilor Shire Council was held on Saturday last, when all the members, with the exception of Cr Dodd, were present. Those present were-Cr. Taylor (in the chair), and Crs. Delahey, Harrick, Milburn, O'Neill, Parr, Mc'Nab, and Ritchie.

The object of the meeting was to consider whether the Council would accept the offer of the Closer Settlement Board to provide the sum of ?850 towards the cost of erecting a bridge across the Saltwater River at Arundel, another over Back Creek, and to form about a mile and a quarter of roads laid out on steep hill lines. The board contemplated only a low water bridge, which would cost about ?300 but the council considered that a high level bridge was necessary at a cost of ?600, and that ?250 was altogether too little for the other works. Then the council's surveyor objected to do all this extra work without special payment,which the board contended the council should undertake. It is calculated that there is a loading* of about ?1800 at the Arundel and Annandale estates,which are to be served by these works, and that the costs of surveying and other flotation expenses might reach ?900, and the council had been advised that it would take ?1600 at least to build the bridge and make the roads fit for traffic.
(*Cost of infrastructure included in the price of blocks.- itellya.)

The gross annual income of the shire is under ?900, and when salaries, road maintenance and other expenses are paid there is only about ?100 for new works. Through the purchase of these estates by the Crown no rate can be laid upon the land until it is selected. This year the loss of rates amounts to about ?50.

At the meeting of the council on Saturday last it was mentioned incidentally that all the allotments are taken up on Arundel, and only twelve on the Overnewton Estate remain unselected, these being as good land as many of the others, but destitute of improvements.

The shire engineer, Mr J. S.Jenkins, announced that he had been sent for last Thursday by the secretary of the board, and had been informed that, in order to expedite the erection of a bridge over the Saltwater River, that was necessary, and the formation of the roads, the board would pay him commission if he would prepare the plans at once and carry out the work. He accepted the terms, and the board had sent a letter to the council offering to pay him 5 per cent commission on ?850, and asking that the council should, at its earliest convenience, let the board know whether the work would be anthorised to be done, and when the plans and specifications would be submitted to the Inspector General of Public Works. The engineer reported that if this offer were accepted the council would have to provide the extra cost of the bridge over ?400, which the board had allotted to the bridge, and the site for the bridge on a high level.

The latter was proposed to be got from Cr Milburn in exchange for a Government road within his fence which could be transferred to him. He (the engineer) recommended the keeping open of the road now existing to the ford from its divergence from the proposed approach to the bridge. If that were done and the new bridge became unusable at any time, the crossing at the ford would still be available . The control of the ford should be kept in the hands of the council. On the motion of Cr Milburn, seconded by Cr O'Neil, the proposal of the Closer Settlement Board was adopted unanimously.

Cr Milburn, after previously intimating that he objected to the keeping open of the road to the ford in the event of bridge being made, withdrew whilst the other councillors discussed the terms of the proposed exchange. On his return-

Cr Delahey moved " That Cr Milburn's offer to exchange the land required for an approach, commencing near the north end of the aqueduct and widening to one chain wide at the bridge, for the road proposed to be closed (the same being an equal area,and including a short piece of the old road leading west to the ford), be accepted. Further, that we accept Cr Milburn's stipulation to close the ford, providing that he guarantees permission to the council to use the approach to the ford whenever the bridge becomes impassable.Cr Taylor seconded the motion. (P.3,Sunbury News,27-1-1906.)

Now we see why the Arundel bridge was so important. There was no road reserve to provide access to the closer settlement from Tullamarine. It is possible that the rest of Annandale Rd (to Sharps Rd)was financed by a huge loan taken out 1911; it was referred to by Cr Dodd as being for new roads and 60 chains of Annandale Rd was one of these works. The parish map indicates that the unmade section of Annandale Rd was only 40 chains but work might have been needed on the steep, winding, original section between the creek bridge and Glenview.

The eastern section of Annandale Rd, from Steeles Creek to the present end of Sharps Rd,was probably made in 1911 when council borrowed 5000 pounds to build "new roads" as Cr Dodd put it. Money had been allocated for 60 chains of Annandale Rd; I calculate this distance to be only 40 chains but major reconstruction may have been needed for the steep winding section from the "Back Creek" bridge to Glenview on the crest of the hill.

Jose Borrell stayed with relatives who were farming at Garden St,near Moreland Rd, Essendon, before buying Gumm's Corner from the Cahills after the 1916 flood. The bluestone homestead was either luckily still standing after a fire which started when the Cahill's were smoking bacon decades earlier or a replacement. Joe enlarged the dwelling, using the bluestone section as the lounge room; his additions have been demolished.A gully ran south through the property so Jose levelled his land with a horse and scoop producing the saucer-like depression we see today. The original south end of Arundel Rd was renamed Borrell St to honour these Spanish pioneers. (Joe Borrell. N.B. the B volume of my DHOTAMA including more detail and grainy photocopies of Joe's photos can be supplied if desired.)

Jack Vert established a market garden in the area now occupied by Vert St, Barcelona Ave and Gerona Court,which I believe was part of David Yates' racecourse. Vert is obviously an anglicised version of his original surname.

Frank Sayers had a market garden on the flats of Brimbank Park. (Page C237, DICTIONARY HISTORY OF TULLAMARINE AND MILES AROUND.)

Emilio Cuartero was assessed in 1943 on land off Keilor Rd. The 1954-5 ratebook reveals that he was rated on a house on 6 acres and a house on 4 acres. Emilio was on section 20 Doutta Galla, as was Louie Foo. (Page C237 DHOTAMA.) The Cuartero property was accessed via Flora St by way of a bridge which was destroyed in the 1974 flood and replaced with a concrete bridge. I presume the farm was called Rio Vista, that being the name of the soil they were selling circa 1990. Frank Cuartero told me that Emilio had come from the famous orange-growing province of Valencia in 1925. He spent two years cutting sugar cane in Queensland and three years at his brother's market garden in Vida St, Essendon before settling at Keilor. (Page C246, DHOTAMA.)
N.B.I am positive that there was an article in the K.H.S. newsletter with much more detail.

I wonder who Elizabeth Watson was? Was she the mother of James Watson?
Unit 13, Year 41, File. 551 Watson, Elizabeth, ?Keillor? run, squatter in District of Bourke

Victoria Hotel Licenses 1842 - Oz History Mine

Publican?s License...Robert Crow...Keillor Inn...Salt Water River...Publican?s License

Michael McEchearn, granted Keilor Keilor Inn' annual Publican's license - source Port Phillip Herald 17 Apr 1845
Michael McEachern wed Mary Lister in 1847 at Church of England St James, Melbourne;
Directory 1847 publican, Keillor
Patrick Mcdonaugh - OoCities

If I remember correctly it was James Watson who gave the run its name (as he did in regard to Flemington), so I presume that he knew how to spell it. The Keillor spelling was common in the 1840's.

IMPOUNDING AT KEILLOR. THIS is to give notice to all parties who have cattle running on the Keillor Run that
unless they are immediately removed they will be impounded.
JAMES WATSON. Flemington, 22nd July, 1847. (P.3, The Melbourne Argus,27-7-1847.)

One of the three historical Keilor souvenirs (1950,1961 and 1963)said that Keilor was a Gaelic word for "plenty" if I remember correctly and that Hunter and Watson were financed by the Marquis of Ailsa (after whom one of the Keilor Village streets was named.)I could not confirm the meaning of Keilor on the internet.It has been claimed that James Watson was responsible for the naming of Flemington, Keilor, Rosanna and Watsonia. Sam Merrifield claimed that there had earlier been a woolshed built by Watson* on the site of Tulip Wright's Lincolnshire Arms at Bendigo Corner (North Essendon.)

(*J.Watson was granted 13D, Doutta Galla on 27-6-1849. Extending south to Braybrook road (Buckley St) this fronted Keilor Rd west from Lincoln Rd to the future reservoir east of McCracken St (Thompson Reserve)where it adjoined the future Mar Lodge,granted to James Robertson Snr of Upper Keilor on the same date.The Lincolnshire Arms was built on the north east corner of 13D. N.B. To get the Doutta galla parish map online,google DOUTTA GALLA,COUNTY OF BOURKE.

Crown allotment 13C, consisting of three farms, one of which was called "Flatfield", was inherited by the bachelor son of James Snr,Francis,who became a member of parliament, and named the property Mar Lodge. The homestead remains at 33A? Forrester St. Another son, James inherited land adjoining Peter McCracken's Ardmillan and James's daughter,Margaret,married Peter's son,Coiler. It is no surprise that Mar Lodge passed into McCracken ownership and they set up a golf course on it. (Documents etc from Deidre Farfor, a Robertson descendant, and THE GOLD THE BLUE, a history of Lowther Hall by A.D.Pyke.)

This comment may have been written by Marcus Breen whose great book, which I read at the Newmarket Library so many years ago, examined the origin of the name of Flemington.

Thanks for so much information in your reply MonicaL. :)
I have done a lot of work on this story of the Melbourne Flemington as I wrote an entry in the Encyclopedia of Melbourne on its naming, and caused a stir. It was obviously named after Flemington Estate of James Rose esq. in Scotland, Elizabeth's father, not the butcher named Fleming as had long been supposed.
A document in the State Library of Victoria claims Alexander Hunter (sen) and James Watson (sen) were boyhood friends, meeting in later life and organising the pastoral concern in which their sons and some Hunter cousins were involved. I have never been able to find that James Watson (snr).
The Marquis of Ailsa and others funded this concern which was doomed to failure.
The Melbourne James Watson married again when Elizabeth died in May 1847. The second wife Anne Hawker gave details on his 1869 death certificate which were incorrect.
I have even visited the area in SCotland and stood outside the Keillor steading - which is now being developed. The origin of the Australian Keillor is often misquoted, giving Hugh as James's father. Hence my original post.
However I have never seen the reference you have given to Margaret Rose being a possible sister. I will pursue these new thoughts
Thank you

The ancestry of James Watson is a mystery but you might like to read some other contributions on this genealogical forum.
Hugh Watson of Keillor and Angus cattle fame Genealogy - RootsChat

An article by my old mate,Bob Chalmers, about James Watson is on this website.
James Watson ? Flemington Heritage

Hugh Glass who bought the Flemington Estate was a Keilor ratepayer in 1868 (the earliest rate book I managed to find in Keilor's strongroom.)Owen Connor was a grantee of much of what became in the early 1900's John Dodd's Brimbank farm (north of the high tension electrical lines running east to the substation near the entrance to Brimbank Park.) Connor had probably lost his farm "Keilor Binn Farm*" to Glass due to an undischarged mortgage.(*KEILOR PIONEERS:DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES.)

A Keillor, saltwater river search on google led to the other side of Watson and Hunter partnership. I forgot which side was said by a Keilor historical souvenir to have eaten up profits with high living but I suspect that it was the horseracing mad Hunters.

Continuing with some information of the Hunters who spent many years in the Western District.Keillor (North of Melbourne) was the home station of the 5 Hunter brothers,sons of Alex Hunter - Blair & Cowan, solicitors -
'Writers to the Signet' in Edinburgh.

I have the book "Silks and Saddles" and will do lookups.
KEILLOR was the home station of the early Scottish explorer Alexander McLean Hunter (19 years) who in 1839
explored the Delatite, Mount Battery, Devils River area, now Mansfield. He held leases over thousands of acres before Mansfield was designated. He married 1850 to Eliza Ann Bostock born Tasmania to Robert and Rachael.

There were 5 brothers who came from Scotland and all were champion Steeple Chasers. However, I have a story from the old magazine 'Parade' 1967 with a long story of how the 5 brothers were larrikin gentlemen.
"After the formation of the first Port Phillip Turf Club in December 1840, none of the brothers ever missed a race meeting. Needing a secret track for trial gallops, the Hunters and other found a suitable mile square flat
beside the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River. Because it was proved to be the ideal site for a rival racecourse, the specially formed Melbourne Racing Club, with Alex Hunter as Honorary Secretary opened soon after.Thus was born the FLEMINGTON RACE COURSE " end quote.

Often as many as four Hunter were in the one race which put them in the public eye. WATSON and HUNTER were
part of a syndicate from Scotland looking to investment. I have the story of Watson and Hunter if anyone would like me to post to the list. Thanks for your interest.
Thelma (Bostock) Birrell at Maroochydore.
(RootsWeb: AUS-VIC-WESTERN-DISTRICT-L Hunter ... ? ... ? 2004-05)

I've read many websites about the Hunters and forgotten 99% of the information. However I do remember that they gave Devils River its name. They spent a sleepless night camped by the stream because of the racket made by the area's fauna.

See D.T.Kilburn's advertisement in my comment about the locality name Springfield under 1867.

TENDERS will be received until noon of Saturday the 30th instant, from parties willing to contract for forming an additional portion of the approaches to Keilor Bridge, on the Portland road. Tenders to be endorsed " Tender for Keilor bridge approaches," and deposited at the box marked " Tenders for Works and Stores" at the western entrance of the government offices ; or, they may be forwarded by post directed to "His Honor the Superintendent, Melbourne."
Plan and specification can be seen upon application to Mr. Mitchell of the Keilor Inn, and at the undermentioned office. The government will not necessarily accept the lowest tender.(P.1, Argus,25-6-1849.)

Because the early bridges at Keilor were only built from the top of one bank to the top of the other, they became dams when the river flooded,putting enormous strain on the structures but also caused the water to scour the banks, eroding the approaches. Samuel Brees'1854 bridge survived 15 years before being replaced by the flower basket bridge because it was elevated above the highest possible flood level.

FIFTY POUNDS Reward.-The above reward will be given to any person or persons, who will give such information as will lead to the conviction of the party or parties, who, on the 7th inst, stabbed James Laverty's horses, of the North Pole, Keilor Road. JAMES LAVERTY, North Pole, near Keilor. (P.8, Argus, 11-12-1854.)

This entry is not pertinent to Keilor. It is put here to remind everyone that James Laverty's hotel near Keilor was the North Pole Inn. The Harvest Home fronted Mt Alexander Rd at the west end of Hiskins St, Moonee Ponds.

T0 Let.-To be Let, upon such terms as may be agreed upon, the Harvest Home public-house, together with one acre kitchen garden, situated at Moonee Ponds, on the main road to the diggings, doing at present a first rate business. This is a rare opportunity, being one of the first houses on the road.
Apply to JAMES LAVERTY, Harvest Home, Moonee Ponds. (P.8, Argus, 5-9-1856)

Having lost an hour's typing, my summary of the Anderson story will be skeletal this time. William Anderson settled in Keilor as a blacksmith and later ran a store there. He was killed at the bridge when his son, James was quite young but James became a successful man, farming James Wilson's Springbank on the west side of Hoffmans Rd, and, when his mother* died, John Beale's "Shelton" on the east side of North Pole (Milleara) Rd.
(*Catherine Anderson was an early resident of (present) No 58 A and B, Ardmillan Rd and was probably the daughter of Donald Stewart, William's widow and the mother of James, who died at Shelton. John Beale also became an Ardmillan Rd resident, calling his house Shelton.)

James later retired to "Braeside" fronting Green Gully Rd south of Church St. Don,a son of James,had an apricot orchard on Horseshoe Bend and his homestead is now a feature of Horseshoe Bend Park. Peter,son of Don, married a daughter of the Hendersons who ran the brick post office at Tullamarine that was demolished to allow construction of Hendersons Rd. When I interviewed Peter circa 1990 he was living on an eastern corner block on the north side of Church St, Keilor. Here is how Peter's great grandfather died.

Tho city coroner held an inquest yesterday, at the Melbourne Hospital, on the body of William Anderson. It appeared from the evidence that on tho 10th instant, the deceased was returning from Melbourno to Keilor with a load of coals, when his horse took fright, ran against the toll-gate at Keilor, and precipitated deceased vio-lently to the ground. He was taken up in an insensible condition, and on removal to the hospital was found to have sustained so severe an injury to the right leg that it was necessary to perform amputation. He never rallied, and died in the hospital on the 25th instant. Tho deceased was a storekeeper, and has left a wife and four children. The jury found that he had "Died from the effects of injuries accidentally received."
(P.4, Argus,28-2-1862.)

One of the signs of the rate at which our society is ramifying is the recent establishment of an institution dignified by the exalted name of "Sanatorium," but more properly called a private hospital, in the country, under the best atmospheric conditions. " Brompton-lodge," Springfield* ,' just opened by Dr. Crooke, of Fitzroy, for the treatment of cases requiring dietetic andphysical treatment, such as consumption, rheumatism, gout, and " dipsomania," is a rather handsome stone house, standing within an enclosure of about seventy acres, variously cultivated, and situated near the Mount Alexander road, on the Keilor Plains, eight miles from
Melbourne and three from Keilor. The situation appears good, for the clay soil is (etc).
(P.3,The Mercury,Hobart,6-4-1867.)
* The Fosters called section 3 Tullamarine and section 20 Doutta Galla "Springs". David William O'Nial's Lady of the Lake hotel at Tullamarine and a landowner on Keilor Rd were both described as being at Springs which was rather confusing. D.T.Kilburn later bought 400 acres of 3 Tullamarine (Fairfield) but in 1849 he placed this advertisement for his Keilor Rd grants (Fairview.)

FOR a term of years, two adjoining Farms, of about eighty acres each, situated on the Springs, next Main's section, Keilor road, seven miles from town. The land is excellent, and the whole fit for the plough without any clearing being required. Apply to DOUGLAS T. KILBURN.(P.3, Argus,12-7-1849.)

To prevent confusion,the Keilor Rd area was rebadged as Springfield,the name of the farm between Spring Park and the Roberts Rd corner.

After the Church which has recently been built
here was finished, there remained upon it a, debt
amounting to something-like ?170. A tea meet
ing held on the 28th, and a collection made at it,
cleared away a part of this debt; a meeting was
then held to consider the best means of liquidating
the remainder, when Mr. W. J. Clarke, of Sunbury,
with his well-known and wide-spread liberality.
forwarded the committee a cheque for the required
sum, viz., ?127 4s. The thanks of the congrega
tion are indeed due to Mr. Clarke for this hand
some donation, as it would be some time before
they could have reasonably expected to clear off
the incubus.
An industrious farmer named Kelly had the
misfortune to have a stack of hay, containing
about 50 tons, burnt last week. It was caused by
some of his children lighting a fire near the stack.
He estimates his loss at above ?200.
A child named Wright bad a narrow escape from
drowning on Sunday last by falling off a swing
into the river a distance of about 20 feet. A
young man named Ray, who had observed the
accident, at once went in and brought her out, not
much the worse for her sudden immersion.
A team from the Keilor Cricket Club proceeded
to Ascot Vale last Saturday to try conclusions
with the local club, but, owing to some of the
players being rather late in turning up, the game
could not be finished.P.3, The Bacchus Marsh Express, 10-2-1877.)

William John Turner(Big Clarke)was asked what he thought of the spending of his son, William John, (I think at the time Rupertswood was being built)and he replied that he hoped William John got as much fun out of spending the money as he (W.J.T.) had enjoyed making it. Rupertswood and the Melbourne mansion accounted for some of the son's spending but his philanthropy knew no bounds,as indicated below. The grounds of Rupertwood provided a favourite recreational haunt for ordinary people until W.J.'s son, Baronet Rupert, imposed a ban because of irresponsible behaviour. W.J.Clarke was knighted because of his parliamentary service,philanthropy or both, and on the day of his funeral, Melbourne was draped in black and virtually came to a standstill.
For more detail, see:
Sir William John Clarke - Australian Dictionary of Biography

I knew the church would be Christ Church but a google search using those words looked unlikely to bear fruit so I tried "Historic Anglican church Keilor". Bingo!

All Brimbank Data - Brimbank City Council

Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
2000 Study Site N 088
36 Keilor
Statement of Significance
Christ Church, Keilor, is of regional historical, architectural and social significance as the second oldest
church in the Brimbank area and the oldest Anglican church in the municipality. For many years it was
the only non-Catholic church in Keilor. (An early Presbyterian church became derelict by the early
years of the 20th century.) It has been associated with a number of early Keilor families, including
Milburns, Goudies, Seulings and Bonfields. The simple design of the church reflects the limited means
of the local community. Its bluestone construction is also a reflection of the available resources and
local geology which determined much of the early building design in Melbourne's west during the
nineteenth century.
Other listings: NatTrust, VHR
A small plain brick church on bluestone foundations with steeply-pitched slate roof. The porch
features a bell-wall, while solid buttresses and Gothic, pointed arch windows break up the side walls.
Contrasting brickwork is used to pick out the corners and window surrounds. Modern additions in brick
for the community centre have been added to the building, involving opening up the interior to
provide a side chapel which was subsequently altered for other uses. The Taylor Gates (1947), in
clinker brick and wrought iron, have been constructed at the corner of Church Street.
HO Christ Church, Keilor (Anglican Church)
Map Reference: 14 H6
Heritage Overlay: 093
Recommended Level of Significa Local
Reg No: 3703, nominated
PAHT: 8 Developing Australia's cultural life
SUBTHEME 8.6 Worshipping
AHC Criteria: A4, E1,G1
HO status:
Church Street
print version 23-Jan-09 Page 1 of 2Brimbank City Council Post-contact Cultural Heritage Study
This small church in the heart of Keilor village was built in 1876. It was dedicated on 28 January 1877
by the Dean of Melbourne, Dr. McCartney. Previously, local members of the Church of England
worshipped in a corrugated iron building on the west side of Bonfield Street. The committee formed to
build the new church included John Beale, Ebenezer Bonfield, David Milburn, John Eagling, Henry
Joyce, David Luck and Henry Seuling. The church was part of a large parish, extending to Bulla and
Broadmeadows. The first vicar of the parish, Rev. Richard Rodda (1877-1906), lived at Broadmeadows
and would travel on horseback to visit parishioners and take services. The John Roskel Milburn
Centre, a community hall and centre, was added to the east side of the Church which was opened on 12
December 1976.


CHILD NAMED WRIGHT. (Thomas Bennett Wright?)

Keilor residents enjoyed organised sport from very early times. Despite the gold rush having ended,Keilor had not become quite such a sleepy hollow as Bulla and Broadmeadows townships. Cricket teams were always formed in country areas before football teams but in many places formation of clubs did not occur until the 1890's depression when sport helped to lift people's spirits as Phar Lap did during the depression of the 1930's. In the 1890's, Keilor fielded its own footy team but Bulla,Broadmeadows(Township)and Tullamarine needed a combined team.

Keilor Road would have meant the Keilor- Melton Rd (thus Sydenham's original name of Keilor Road Station), while the road between Flemington and Keilor Village retained its single name, Mt. Alexander Road, well into the 1900's. Taylor's western land was basically between Keilor Rd and Taylor's Rd.

Just as the Lagoon (now filled in and one of the most well-used parks I've ever seen) was a feature of Keilor,the reservoir on the site of Thompson's Reserve (north east corner of Mar Lodge which was probably owned by the McCrackens by this time)would have been a landmark for Keilorites heading to and from the Big Smoke.

As farmers did not sell produce every week, although they could be self-sufficient in regard to food,the piggy bank could become empty without an additional source of revenue such as road maintenance contracts. James Harrick must have kept his piggy bank pretty full because a decade or so later he bought Kilburn's 400 acre "Fairfield" fronting the north side of Sharps Rd,west of Broadmeadows Rd in Tullamarine,later dividing it into two farms, the eastern half, now occupied by houses, becoming the Bakers'Preston Park/Tommy Loft's"Dalkeith".

A FIRE took place on Thursday last at Keilor Road in Mr. Taylor's estate, extending over a distance of four miles, and about 650 acres of fine grass was burned before the flames were extinguished. The origin of the fire is not definitely known, but as some matches were found near the place, it is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary.

A special meeting of the Keilor Shire Council was held at the Council chambers last Saturday for the purpose of accepting tenders. There were eight tenders received for the lagoon contract, and the successful tenderer was Mr. P. L. M'Guire, who proposes to excavate 3,000 yards of clay at 8d.per yard.

The next contract for laying metal on Mt. Alexander road was let to Mr. James Harrick at 1s. 3d. per yard.

A large reservoir is in course of construction at Essendon for the purpose of supplying Essendon,Flemington and Moonee Ponds with water,(etc.)
(P.3, The Bacchus Marsh Express,5-3-1881.)

The exact location and dimensions of the hotel are given in KEILOR PIONEERS: DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES; also a photo.

SHORTLY before seven o'clock on Saturday night a fire occurred at the Racecourse Hotel, Keilor, which burnt the building to the ground. In years gone by this old hostelry was a stopping place for the hundreds of adventurers
bound for the Castlemaine gold fields and was well-known in those times as the Waggoners' Arms. The hotel was a substantial structure but being built entirely of wood the flames soon obtained a firm hold and, as there was no water available, the onlookers had to content themselves with rescuing all the furniture they could lay hands on. Both the local brigades were called out, but the fire was too far away for them to attempt to reach it. (P.2, Independent,Footscray,SATURDAY*10-5-1890.) BOTH WHICH BRIGADES??????????

ANDERSON- On the 10th inst., at her son's residence, Shelton Farm, Keilor, Catherine, relict of the late
William Anderson of Keilor, aged 87 years. (P.1, Argus, 12-9-1892.)

The following have been duly nominated candidates for the election of one councillor for the Doutta Galla Riding of the shire of Keilor -
Mr William Delahey, of the Oaks,
Mr James Anderson, of Spring-bank Farm.
A POLL will therefore be TAKEN before me at the polling booth, Old Tollhouse, Keilor bridge, on Thursday, the 22nd day of August, 1895, commencing at 8 o'clock a.m. , and closing at 4 o'clock p.m.
WILLIAM M. GOUDIE., Returning Officer. Keilor, Aug 10, 1895. (P.2,Argus,12-8-1895.)

McPhail, Anderson and Co. report holding an important clearing sale on behalf of Mr. Jas. Anderson. "Buckley Park,*' Essendon, on Tuesday. 26th ult., owing to the property having been sold. As evidencing Mr. Anderson's popularity, after his long residence in the district, a great concourse of buyers attended, with the result that very high rates ranged right through, cattle, horses and plant selling splendidly.

The cattle were in grand condition, but the major portion of them had been calvedsome time, prices ranging to ?26 for milch cows, and to ?25 10s for heifers in milk: springers sold to ?27, the whole herd making an extremely high average. Cows backward in calf sold to ?20; do. heifers. ?18: fat cows to ?17: heifers, in lines, 2-year old. ?13 5s: yearlings to 18 months old. ?7 17s 6d. ?8 2s 6d., ?8 10s and ?9 10s; calves,just dropped, to ?2 12s 6d: poddy heifer calves, from ?4 to ?6 15s: draught horses to ?28: light horses, to ?20;
yearling draughts. to ?14; child's pony, ?21.

The plant and sundries sold equally as well, sets of light harness making to ?8 10s: buggies, .?17; drill. ?18 10s; plough. ?13. (P.3,Flemington Spectator, 7-3-1918.)

William Hoffman's Butzbach was on the east side of Hoffman's Rd (extending halfway to Lincoln Rd) but he'd bought land on Main's Estate on the other side of the road which may have taken on the same name. The Butzbach homestead block is indicated by the bend in Price St and Croft St. Croft, who worked in the postmaster General's Department (P.M.G.) probably bought Butzbach at the time of W.W.1 when anti-German sentiment was so strong that many wanted to get rid of the name Essendon because they thought its origin was Essen in Germany rather than the home village of William Pomeroy Greene of "Woodlands". It was probably Croft who changed his property's name to "Buckley Park". The land over Hoffmans Rd was once called Main's Estate but the use of this locality name had died out so to fill a void Croft's name was applied also in the area now called Niddrie. The current name could not be used at the time because it was the name of the Morgans'farm between Spring Park and Treadwell Rd on the NORTH side of Keilor Rd.)

Keilor Secretary Resigns
Called specially to "consider the removal" of Mr. James C. Sinclair from his office as secretary, the Keilor Shire Council, on Thursday night went into committee. Mr. H. E. Poole, Inspector of the Public Works Department, was in attendance, and it is understood presented Mr. Sinclair's resignation, which was accepted.
No announcement was made regarding the still missing books, but it is stated that they are beyond recovery.
Mr Croft, an officer, appointed on the recommendation of the Public Works Department, has spent several days in
straightening out affairs and he will engage in the work next Monday and continue until it has been oompleted.
As required by the Act, the Council will advertise for applications for the secretaryship, but it is anticipated that Mr. James Hocking, at present acting secretary, will be appointed.
(P.5, Sunshine Advocate,17-12-1927.)

Mr. James Hocking Appointed Keilor Shire Secretary
At the Keilor Council meeting last Saturday, Cr. Stenson moved, and Cr. Nash seconded, that Mr. James Hocking be appointed shire secretary, collector and interim valuer.
The motion was carried nem. con.

The President , Crs. McFarlane, Stenson, Burkitt, Parr, Nash, and Stevens congratulated Mr. Hocking upon his
appointment.The Secretary, in thanking the council, said that in his 26 years experience he had not dreamed that it was possible for the affairs of a shire council to get into such a tangled position as he found those of the Keilor Shire, and he was afraid that it would take a full twelve months before the office could be put in order. It was a most difficult position,but he would do his best, and hoped that it would be satisfactory, and that when the time came for them to part, as it must some day, they would do with respect on both sides. (hear, hear). (P.1,Sunshine Advocate,14-1-1928.)

Mr. N. A. Woods, the recently appointed secretary to the Shire of Keilor, was officially welcomed at the council meeting on Saturday last. The President (Cr. J. H. Stevens), said he believed that the council had
selected the most suitable applicant for the position. Mr.Woods was a young man who had given promise of achieving big things, and for a growing district like Keilor, a young, capable official at the helm was
necessary. He trusted Mr. Woods would have long and honorable service with the shire,and extended to him the good wishes of his fellow councillors.

Mr.Woods, in reply, said that he realised that he had a standard to keep up in following in the footsteps of Mr. Hocking. He would, by hard work and strict attention to detail, try to convince the council that their
confidence had not been misplaced. He had had good experience under excellent management at Broadmeadows, and
he would do his best to emulate the good work of his predecessor.

Mr. Woods' handling of the business of the meeting was characterised by efficiency and tact, and augurs well for the future of the shire. (P.1, Sunshine Advocate,23-1-1931.)

A good choice indeed. Good experience indeed. The President trusted correctly!
next 7 lines won't submit After four attempts to submit just 3 lines here,comments re Norm Woods have been posted in comment box 7.

Viewed: 3793 times
by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2014-10-09 05:10:16

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.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by itellya on 2014-10-10 19:42:43

The gremlins have struck again again with edits not submitting in the journal.I will try submitting CLOSER SETTLEMENT in comments.

by itellya on 2014-10-10 23:44:05

One of the causes of the Eureka Stockade was that most of the land was locked up and the little man could not buy his own patch of turf. Townships could have solved this problem but many blocks, especially the large suburban ones, were bought by large landowners who outbid the battlers, such as Big Clarke near Sunbury, W.A.Blair near Rye and Walter Clark near Bulla.
Tullamarine was probably more closely settled (in terms of land occupancy) in the early 1850?s than most non-gold mining areas because Bulla Rd was the GREAT ROAD TO THE DIGGINGS. J.C.Riddell subdivided his Camieston Estate east of today?s Melbourne Airport land FOR PROFIT and J.P.Fawkner provided, through his land co-operative, small farmlets on 6/7 Tullamarine (partly occupied recently by the Bombers ), 13 Tullamarine near the soon-to-disappear Mansfields Rd, and 10 Tullamarine on Tullamarine Island. He did this because of his ADMIRATION OF THE YOEMAN FARMER (C.P.Billot.) and had similar projects such as at Box Forest south of Robertson?s* Gowrie Park and west of ?Glenroy?. (*Robertson was not a Keilor farmer as claimed by Andrew Lemon in BROADMEADOWS: A FORGOTTEN HISTORY.)
The Fosters leased the part of 3 Tullamarine east of Bulla Rd to such as D.W.O?Nial who ran the Lady of the Lake while John Beech established the Beech Tree Hotel on Fawkner?s subdivision across the road; Beech ran a store at first but O?Nial?s pub had been destroyed by fire by 1861 and Beech filled the void.
E.E.Kenny?s Camp Hill was divided by Bulla Rd in 1847 and the part on the Keilor side (west to Broadmeadows Rd) was sold. The village of Gretna Green was proposed on this triangle but like Braybrook Township, it died in its infancy because Bulla Rd was no longer the GREAT ROAD TO THE DIGGINGS. Samuel Brees? 1854 bridge at Keilor had seen to that.
Gretna Green, Opposite Colonel Kenny's Estate, Parish of Tullamarine.
Subdivision of part of portion No. 4 of Section 4, the property of A. M'Donald, Esq.
Subdivided by the proprietor specially for the accommodation and convenience of newly-married couples, carriers, little shopkeepers, farm laborers, gardeners, and immigrants.
All pegged off as you go along just on the other side of the toll-bar*, Deep Creek- road.(P2, Argus, 22-1-1859.)

(*The toll bar must have been near the east end of the present Caterpillar Drive, formerly Sharps Rd, to extract tolls from such as the Mansfields, Guthries, Grants, McNabs and other Tullamarine residents who could do a ?Melbourne Hunt? to avoid the later site, (Green?s Corner), across present Mickleham Rd from Camp Hill Park.

The small blocks enabled by Fawkner and Riddell prevented rotation of crops, leading to depletion of soil, and many of them were consolidated into larger properties by such as the Spiers, Loves and Andersons (sections 6/7),the Mansfields (section 13) and Paul Tate of Pleasant Vale, (section 10 on Tullamarine Island) who married a Milburn girl.

The government?s closer settlement schemes were prompted by the depressions of the 1890?s and 1930?s. In the latter era, the government may have been embarrassed into action by Father Tucker who established a settlement of small farms at Carrum Downs where families of the unemployed need not starve to death. (See my journal about my neighbour Gordon Boyington.)

The 1890?sdepression hit its peak in 1892, spelling the end of the proposed railway to Bulla via Bulla Rd or Keilor. C.B.Fisher, father of the Australian Turf (as he was called in MARIBYRNONG: ACTION IN TRANQUILITY) bought much land in the West Essendon area (as described by Dorothy Minkoff in her History of Ave Maria College/ Kiwi Ramsay?s Clydebank, and shown on an online Doutta Galla map) in case the Keilor route was chosen.

The effects of the depression lingered well into the new century with many shires, such as the shire of Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula being nearly broke. A Closer Settlement Act passed in 1904 allowed the resumption of the Overnewton Estate and got the Arundel Closer Settlement underway. Access to Arundel from the future Calder Highway was by Bertram?s ford, just west of the present bridge.

A contract was let for a bridge but a major flood* in 1906 destroyed the partly- completed structure, ruining the contractor. A new contractor built the bridge which was officially opened in 1907. (*Joe Borrell told me the major floods were in 1906, 1916 and 1974. His Gumm?s Corner
farm, bought from the Cahills by Joe?s father after the 1916 flood, was a lake in 1974, as shown by many graphic photos.)

Other closer settlements were at Avondale Heights, then called Maribyrnong, and west of Green Gully Rd on Taylor?s Overnewton Estate. Two prominent settlers in the Avondale Heights scheme were Ahearn (over Canning St from Avondale Heights footy ground, see Ahearn Place) and Hicks of Riverview Tea Gardens fame. One of the Keilor Historical Souvenirs, probably the 1950 Keilor Village Centenary, has a lengthy article about the Ahearns and a K.H.S. newsletter has a terrific article written about the Hicks family and the tea gardens, with many photos.

McCrae Boulevard at Green Gully should really be McRae Boulevard. I am not sure whether I was responsible for the mistake; I hope not! In the late 1880?s the Oaklands Hunt Club was formed following a ride along a trial laid by Farquhar* McRae heading south from Warlaby. Farquhar was in charge of the hunters of the partners leasing the late Walter Clark?s Genara Estate. The Mansfields? farms adjoined Glenara so, unsurprisingly a McRae lad married a Mansfield girl. (Full details available if required.)
(*Because of the given name, I might have assumed that the Bulla McRae?s were related to Dr. Farquhar McCrae, grantee of ?Moreland? who moved onto La Rose (Pascoe Vale South) until J.F.L. Foster challenged him to a duel because he?d been dudded re transfer of a run near Dandenong (where streets are named after both.) The good? doctor also failed to repay a loan his brother had given him. Twenty yearsago I did consider it possible that the Bulla McRaes had dropped a C from their name because of such behavior.)

John Mansfield bought the Melbourne Airport terminal site from J.C.Riddell in early days and by 1906, his son William John was living there. He set off to St Albans with two boys to take a horse to young McRae. His son, William John, sat beside him while young Hill from Danby Farm sat in the back of the jinker holding the reins of the led horse. To cut a long story short, there was no bridge and in crossing Bertams ford, they were all swept into the river with only young Hill surviving because he had disobediently wrapped the reins around his arm and the led horse pulled him to safety. The Hill family later (after W.W.1) moved to the Overnewton closer settlement, their block being nearer to St. Albans.

Not all the successful applicants below received the grants for their blocks. Google TULLAMARINE, COUNTY OF BOURKE to get an online parish map showing the closer settlement in the south west corner. The homestead block and block 10 are two cases in point.
Block 10 was granted to my great uncle Alf Cock, who probably met the Woods family of Longwarry while he was visiting his brother, my grandfather, at Bunyip. Alf?s daughter later married a Woods girl. J.D.McFarlane , who was Shire President, is remembered by the ornate gates at the south west corner of the Keilor Recreation Reserve. If not for J.D.?s grandson, Gordon Henwood, Tullamarine?s history would still consist of one and a half foolscap pages and there would be no itellya.

We take the following from the Sunbury News :-As a result of the special land board, held at the Lands office, the whole of the Arundel and Annandale portions of the Overnewton estate were allotted to settlers, and not one-half of the applicants for blocks could be supplied. The land was subdivided into 22 holdings of areas ranging from seven to 122 acres, with values ranging from ?185 to ?1,175, and in the case of the homestead, ?3,100, the total value being about ?16,000. - Altogether 50 applicants appeared before the board, and these, it was shown by their applications, were worth, on an average, about ?300 each, in a number of cases being persons worth over ?1,000. Evidence of the applicants was taken, and great difficulty was experienced in determining between the claims in many cases.
The following were successful: Block 1, 66a., Patrick Fox, Keilor; block 2, 61a.,T. L. Andeason, Bacchus Marsh; block 3, 52a., J. Angus, Moonee Ponds; block 4, 59a., E. Angus, Moonee Ponds; block 5, 70a., A. Wallace, Cranbourne; block 6, 80a., J. Buchanan, Launching-place; block 7, 86a., A. Williamson, Moonee Ponds; block 8, 113a., Elizabeth Williamson, Moonee Ponds; block 9, 120a., M.Geraghty, Keilor; block 10, 114a., G.Woods, Longwarry; block 11, 32a., C.Youren, Albert Park; block 12, lla., J.M'Farlane, South Yarra; block 13, 9a., R. Griffiths, Keilor; block 14, 12a., J.Wallace, Clyde; block 15, 7a., A. Birch, Ascot Vale; block 16, 7a., J. Barr, Arundel ; block 17, 9a.,Mary Angus, Moonee Ponds; block 18, 7a., T. Birch, Keilor; block 19, 8a., Ellen Hassed, Keilor; block 20, 8a., Edward Hassed, Keilor; block 21, (homestead), 122a., Alee. Cobden, St. Kilda; block 22, 57a., Emma Cobden, St. Kilda.
Two allotments of the adjoining Overnewton estate were also selected, leaving 17 still to be taken up. (P.3,The Bacchus Marsh Express,16-12-1905.)

by itellya on 2014-10-11 00:11:56

I take no responsibility for the missing apostrophes of possession and a few quotation marks in farm names. Thanks a lot gremlins!

Block 2 should read T.L.Anderson. The Wallace family was heavily involved in the Market Gardeners' Association with Don being president at one stage if I remember correctly. He was on block 5 but I can't recall his farm's name but it's somewhere in my 10 000 pages of history.(Elm Grove?) Yes,page C, TULLAMARINE BEFORE THE JETPORT.

by itellya on 2014-10-11 00:30:26


by itellya on 2014-10-11 06:59:59

The McShane family is discussed in some detail in KEILOR PIONEERS: DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES. Donald McDonald wrote a nature column for The Argus. I believe I have included an article about his boyhood rambles in the vicinity of Arundel and Turner's in my journal HOW GLENGYLE BECAME ARUNDEL.

The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Saturday 1 June 1940 p 14 Article Illustrated
P.G.McSHANE, the first Fitzroy captain, was a very fine athlete.Like my late colleague, Donald Macdonald, he came from Keilor, and played for Essendon before taking charge at Fitzroy, He was described in the "Footballer" thus:-"One of the
club's mainstays; always plays with great dash and untiring energy; runs well with the ball; is a fair kick and good mark; judges time and ball with success." He led Fitzroy for two years,and played cricket for East Melbourne, gaining a place in the Victorian team, and taking part in three Test matches.

"THE SAME OLD" ESSENDON Players and Records
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Saturday 25 June 1938 p 21 Article
Players and Records
By Old Boy
"FOUUNDED by Collier (the first captain) and Alex McCracken (the first secretary) in 1873, Essendon is this year celebrating its 65th birthday. It began in McCracken's paddock, between Ascot vale and Essendon, and there the club played for nearly 10 years until, feeling that it was too far from the centre of things, arrangements were made, in 1882, with the East Melbourne Cricket Club for the use of its ground, and there Essendon established its home. Among the early names one finds such players as P.G.McShane, from Keilor, who subsequently became the first captain of Fitzroy; ETC.

Robert McCracken's"Ailsa" paddock,the first home ground,was probably on the site of Filson and Harding St, subdivided after the Same Olds' move to East Melbourne by Filson; the maiden name of his wife was Harding. As most of the early players were equestrians rather than cricketers, the club had been denied use of Windy Hill.

by itellya on 2014-10-11 19:15:04

(It is explained below why I didn't use KEILOR ROAD in the heading.)
I was looking in my EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA for FARMER KELLY re my 1877 entry and decided that this excerpt might be of interest. You will note that I had swallowed Valentine Jones' arguments about the location of Solomon's ford at the time of writing. Sections 17-19 straddled the road to Keilor between the present Treadwell St and the Keilor bridge. This section of the road was entirely in the shire of Keilor.

KEILOR RD. (Sections 17, 18, 19.)
There were four hotels between the eastern end of Keilor Rd and the Maribyrnong River. The first, geographically, was the Lincolnshire Arms built by Tulip Wright (a native of Lincolnshire) in 1852, at what the diggers called Bendigo Corner. Fifty years later, the intersection was commonly called Essendon Crossroads, as one could travel in five directions from this point. Carnarvon Rd was originally known as Mawbey?s Rd and then Lincoln Rd or Street. Keilor Rd was still being called Mt Alexander Rd in Keilor?s rate book of 1900-1. Keilor Rd was the road to Melton.

The next hotel was hard to determine. Was it the North Pole Inn or the Springfield Inn? The latter was almost certainly the one next to the blacksmith?s shop on the site of the A.J.Davis Reserve.(O'Donnell interviewed by Garnet Price.)POSTSCRIPT-IT WAS; SEE MY JOURNAL ABOUT THE SRINGFIELD HOTEL.
I originally thought that the North Pole Inn was on the corner of Hoffman?s Rd because of the attached farm being described as 183 acres and the neighbours (Phelan, Hoffman) mentioned in an advertisement of 1859. It was described as being at the corner of the Essendon road and I took this to be Hoffmans Rd. Hoffman?s farm was immediately east and Phelan?s only 800 metres west. But two things worried me. Firstly, the frontage to both the Keilor and Essendon Rds was stated to be about 3000 feet while 17D has an eastern boundary of only about 700 feet. Secondly, why would North Pole Farm (18D) be 1? miles west?

Measuring the appropriate boundaries of 18 D, I found that they were 2640 feet each, close enough to the stated frontages. Then I recalled that John Corcoran?s farm had been wrongly described as 183 acres (instead of 180 acres 3 roods) in the 1868 ratebook.
Apart from the name, acreage and frontage was there any other connection between the inn and farm? Yes. James Laverty bought 18D from the grantee in 1850, and when he failed to sell the inn and noble (but heavily mortgaged) estate of Spring Vale in 1859, John Laverty and Robert Linay took over the hotel in 1860. John was charged with abandoning the hotel on 4-3-1863. James Laverty had mortgaged the farm (and lot D of section 18D) several times and about this time John Catto gained ownership. He sold it to Corcoran on 6-12-1864.
Although title memorials concerning 18D made no mention of the inn, the above pieces of evidence, and the one following, make it almost certain that the North Pole Inn was at the western corner of Keilor and Milleara Rds.

The Essendon road of 1859 was officially known as North Pole Rd until about 1947 when its present name of Milleara Rd came into use. It is unclear whether the road gave its name to the hotel or the reverse. It is likely that the Corcorans renamed Spring Vale after the road or the hotel.

(POSTSCRIPT 12-10-2014. I now believe that the hotel was named because of the road and in the days before roads were constructed and properties fenced, poles were erected in the parish of Cut Cut Paw (south and west of the river)and near the present Buckley St/Milleara corner to guide travellers to Grimes' Ford at the bottom of Avondale Heights' Rhonda St. By 1850, (when Clancy's ford is not even shown on maps) travellers would have veered right from the NORTH pole along North Rd to the second Solomon's ford.)

Why would Milleara Rd have been the original road south to Essendon? I believe that this track was formed, before 1840, by people (such as George Russell) travelling from the Geelong area. Solomon?s Ford was the nearest crossing place to Melbourne on the Saltwater River. It was at the western end of Canning St.WRONG! Once across, they would go west (Braybrook Rd i.e. Buckley St) if travelling to Melbourne or north if heading towards Mt Macedon. William Cherry, best remembered by the lake at Altona, probably used North Pole Rd to travel to his grants near Bertram?s Ford at the Arundel bridge site. At the pole those travelling to Essendon, which was declared in 1854, would turn left along Buckley St, which was called Braybrook road for another three decades.

The second hotel was therefore the Springfield and the third was the North Pole. The fourth was Henry Eldridge?s Sir John Franklin Inn at the eastern corner of Keilor Rd and Collinson St. Keilor Village also boasted several hotels, which are described in fair detail in ?Keilor Pioneers: Dead Men do tell Tales?.

by itellya on 2014-10-13 01:45:59


A good choice indeed. Good experience indeed. The President trusted correctly!
In 1945, when Glenroy, Strathmore and Pascoe Vale wished to secede from the shire of Broadmeadows, A.T.C.(Albert) Cook had been the shire secretary for 37 years.(P. 172, BROADMEADOWS:A FORGOTTEN HISTORY, Andrew Lemon.)
Until 1928 when the new shire hall was built on Pascoe Vale Rd, Albert had lived in the residence attached to the original shire hall near the bridge in Broadmeadows Township. Wishing to live near his work, Albert moved to a house on a site now occupied by Red Rooster near the footbridge over Pascoe Vale Rd from Peck Avenue.This house was built on John Murray Peck's Lebanon Estate, and may have been a wedding present given to Peck's daughter who married William Allison Blair.

The couple lived in the house for some time and young Blair must have given it the strange name of Wannaeue. People who've read every word of my journals would guess why this name was chosen but I'd better spill the beans for the other 99%. William Allison Blair Snr.,who lived on the site of Essendon Technical School (including Coleman Mews),was a lime merchant and bought many grants near Rye and farther east at Rosebud West in the parish of Wannaeue that later became the Woyna Estate (Terry St, Woyna Ave etc.) Lime deposits were extensive from Boneo Rd to the Heads. The house was almost certainly named after the parish.

Albert was a well known man and Pascoe Vale kids such as Jim McKenzie in the 1930's, referred to Wannaeue as Cook's Cottage. The cottage was demolished stealthily and illegally, possibly in the 1970's; I remember the reports in the Broadmeadows Observer.

"WHAT DO BROADMEADOWS AND ROSEBUD WEST HAVE TO DO WITH KEILOR?" YOU ASK! A boy named Norman Wood! I have a feeling that one of the Keilor souvenirs (1950/1961/1963)had a lengthy article about the long-serving Keilor Shire Secretary having grown up in the household of long-serving Broadmeadows Shire Secretary,Albert Cook. At about the time that the new Broadmeadows shire hall was built, Normie gained his qualifications that allowed him to attain a position as shire secretary.

Broadmeadows Shire Council.
Kilmore Free Press (Kilmore, Vic. : 1870 - 1954) Thursday 7 June 1928 p 2 Article
Cr Hayes said Mr Norman Wood passed as secretary and he thought the council could assist him by taking over certain work with the secretary as experience,-Agreed to and Mr Cook thanked Cr Hayes for bringing the matter forward.

Kilmore Free Press (Kilmore, Vic. : 1870 - 1954) Thursday 5 August 1920 p 2 Article
From Central Loan committee, re 2nd Peace Loan.-Received, certain literature to be posted to householders, and the riding councillors were appointed committee, on motion of Crs. Cargill and McBain. Mr Norman Wood was appointed secretary of the committee, and Mr Cook said be would render him every assistance possible.

It looks as if I'll never find proof on trove about Norm growing up in the Cook households (at Westmeadows and Strathmore) but it does seem that Albert took more than purely professional interest in young Norman's progress.

How well did young Norman cope with a crisis at Keilor? Bit of a giggle especially as John Fox's "Geraghty's Paddock" on the Arundel portion of the Arundel Closer Settlement was only 30 chains (600 metres)from Bill Parr's "Arundel". (See 1937.)

Tradition Was Disregarded
Cr. Parr Wins the Keilor Presidency
In full view of the ghosts of former Presidents which frowned down on them from a beautiful honor roll the Keilor Council outraged tradition and actually competition for the position of Shire President at its
meeting on Saturday last. Despite the fact that the "oldest inhabitant" could not remember when a Councillor did not receive the position of President unopposed, Cr. J. Fox, unrepentant and unashamed nominated Cr. Hilbert in opposition to Cr. Parr, who had already received the favor of Crs. Gooch and Parsons. With that careless abandon so characteristic of him, Cr. Dickson assisted Cr. Fox in transgressing the unwritten law by seconding the nomination. Ye gods! The bursting of the bombshell so desecrated the atmosphere that some councillors actually swooned. The chairman, Cr.Stenson, was so overcome that he was unable to think a way out of the difficulty, and suggested that the names be put into a hat. That bright personality, Mr Norman
Woods (shire secretary)
with difficulty retained his composure, and came to the rescue of the chairman
by stating that a vote of councillors, had to be taken, and in the event of a tie, the Local Government Act stipulated that the names had to be placed in a hat, and the one drawn out would be the president. Con-
sternation was apparent on the faces of the ratepayers' representatives, and Mr Walters (engineer)with his usual flair for sport, observed that if each candidate recorded a vote for the other their honor and dignity would be satisfied.

This they accordingly did,but Cr. Hilbert could only command the support of Crs. Dickson, Fox and Parr, whilst the latter had Crs. Gooch, Stevens, Parsons, Stenson and Hilbert in his favor, and thus secured the honor of becoming president for the coming year. Responding to the expressions of congratulation, Cr. Parr said when
he came to the meeting he had no idea that he would be elevated to the chair. It was the first time he could remember that two candidates had contested the position. He would do his best to serve the ratepayers and knew that he would have the assistance of his fellow councillors in carrying out the position.

Cr. Hilbert, who had to suffer in silence sorrowful references to his youth (he is only 27 years of age)and suggestions that his time was not yet, gave the retort courteous by stating the council had elected a man who had had more experience than himself. He knew that Cr.Parr would carry out the position well, and he would be pleased to congratulate him at the end of his term for service well done.

Cr. Gooch, of Sydenham, would have received the position had he cared to stand, but he declined nomination on account of pressure of business. Cr. Parr was president two years ago and did not spare himself in attending to his duties, and won popular favor among ratepayers.(etc.) (P.6, Sunshine Advocate, 10-9-1937.)

Although the Fox Family had been granted lots 1 and 2 of the Arundel Closer Settlement and Michael Fox owned Barbiston adjoining lot 1, his son, John Fox, owned land south of "the road to Keilor" and was a councillor for the Doutta Galla Riding. A Mr.Quinn, who was a longtime Keilor Park resident told me a quarter of a century ago that when the Albion-Jacana Line was built John Fox sold some of his land near the railway to T.M.Bourke. And, as in the case of Norman Wood, I stray from Keilor to Rosebud!

The Quinn family (possibly related to my Keilor Park informant) developed estates at East Keilor and Tootgarook as indicated by names of streets and reserves. The firm (whether still under the Quinn name or another) has an office on the peninsula and was changing the decor. They ordered a skip from Express Bin Hire which is owned by my brother in law. Peter,knowing of my obsession,had put some items aside. Not desiring to write a local history of the world, I had little interest in some items but then I saw MILLEARA. Yes,a huge framed copy of Quinn's MILLEARA RAILWAY STATION ESTATE. As East Keilor is now in the City of Moonee Valley, I decided to present it to Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society who was delighted and quite eager to allow Susan Jennison's Keilor Historical Society to borrow it to display.

The station? Perhaps, they'll build one when trains go to Melbourne Airport!

by itellya on 2014-10-13 07:55:15

Four pages entitled THE ARUNDEL CLOSER SETTLEMENT AND ROADS would not submit.
Geraghty's Paddock (previous comment just before the 1937 meeting) was in the ANNANDALE portion of the Arundel Closer Settlement.

by itellya on 2014-10-13 18:45:37

THE ARUNDEL CLOSER SETTLEMENT AND ROADS is being submitted in the journal under A POTTED HISTORY OF KEILOR in my CLOSER SETTLEMENTS comment as is the fact that the original portion of Milleara Rd was called Settlement Road in 1911.

by itellya on 2014-10-19 07:39:42

Due to an almost non-existent internet signal in my usual workplace since the last comment, work on this journal has been suspended until this situation improves.

Register or Sign in to comment on this journal.