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Journal by itellya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-01-28 04:32:03

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

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