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Journal by itellya


AT RED HILL. After lunch on Monday the party set out for Red Hill, and after a run of 9 miles through country of con siderable promise arrived at the State school about half-past 3. The large gathering of settlers indicated a lively interest in railway matters. At the outset, the Chairman referred to the potentialities of richly productive areas skirting the main road during the greater part of the journey that afternoon, and desired to hear the residents' idea of the proposal of a railway, and also an expression of feeling as to the loading of the land, a policy which the Government had determined on in connection with railway construction for the future. Mr Downward assured the committee that some valuable information would be tendered regarding the fruitgrowing industry.

John Shand (president of the Shire of Flinders and Kangerong) stated he had been orcharding for the past 5 years, and had been sawmilling on the Peninsula for 20 years. He owned 236 acres, and leased 245 acres. Had been sending out 100 tons of fruit per year. The trees in the orchard were young, and in due time he expected to send from 200 to 300 tons of fruit annually. During the past 3 years the area under strawberries in the district had increased considerably. Some of the fruit was carted to Mornington and Bittern-mostly to the former station, but the fruit was knocked about a good deal by being carted long distances to the railway stations. He considered the land in the district was very suitable for closer settlement, as the generality of the country was fairly good, and well-watered. There were also good roads. In that district there were fully 1000 acres of timber suitable for milling purposes, and a very large supply of timber, comprising oak, gum, and mess mate. His property was from 13 to 14 miles from the Mornington station,and about 8 miles from Bittern. He was quite agreeable to have his land loaded to the amount of 1s per acre per year, if that were necessary,towards making up any deficiency in the revenue of the proposed railway. Hay and potatoes were successfully grown at Red Hill, but, so far, not a great deal of that produce had been forwarded by rail. The reason why so much of the fruit was sent via Mornington was on account of the importance of catching the earlier train. If railway facilities were extended to that district, he was sure the line would be largely patronised by the fruitgrowers, as soft fruits especially were liable to damage in carting.

Joseph M'Ilroy occupied 153 acres, 50 acres of which were in orchard, and more of his land was being prepared for cultivation. He was agreeable that his land should be loaded for railway purposes. The orchards in the district paid very well, and there would be a better return when the young trees grew up. His land was worth ?6 per acre. Most of the land holders in the district were the original selectors of the land. If they could get firewood from their land conveyed to Melbourne by train, the return would pay for the clearing of the land, and more settlement and increased cultivation must follow.

Alfred Head had 20 acres in orchard and 20 acres under other cultivation, but the greater part of his land was in its natural state. He had been living on his land for 40 years. They had been agitating for a railway,on and off, for the past 30 years, and he was quite willing to bear his share of the proposed loading. He had always lived on the receipts from his land, growing principally vegetables and fruit. He considered 50 acres were sufficient of the class of land at Red Hill for anyone to make a very comfortable living from.

Henry Percy Prosser(sic) had made a living the past 10 years. There were eight in his household. Having such long distances to cart the fruit, a good deal of time was thus occupied which should be put to better use on the land . He would not object to paying any reasonable loading. He had grown 8 tons of potatoes to the acre at Red Hill, and he believed that crop would be extensively grown if proper facilities for marketing were afforded.

William J. M'Ilroy was the holder of 815 acres, but the greater part of it was not utilised at present. He had a great deal too much land. He valued it at ?3 per acre. About 45 acres were cultivated. He grew principally apples and pears, and also some strawberries. The fruit paid very well at present, but the return would be very much better if the proposed railway were constructed. He would not object to the loading of his land, but was not inclined to part with any portion if his holding, on account of having a large family, and it would all come in useful for them.

John M'Kenzie, engineer for the Shire of Flinders and Kangarong, considered the best revenue for the railway would be from Mornington, but the cost would be a good deal more than by the other routes suggested. By the Bittern route the line would run through good country at Balnarring and Red Hill. About 74,000 acres of very good land would be reserved by the proposed railway. He valued 150 acres near Flinders belonging to Mr R. Anderson at ?5 per acre on the average, and Mr Anderson's Cape Schank property at ?2 per acre including the homestead. On his latter property there very extensive belts of ti-tree, which commanded fair prices as firewood.

At present cargoes of the wool were frequently forwarded by craft. If the Government did not consider it as viable to make a line through to Finders at present a line constructed as far as the village settlement at Red Hill would be of a great service. He had no doubt that if the railway were constructed a good deal more of the land would be cultivated as the soil and climate would be cultivated. If the Bittern and Kangerong route were adopted there would be comparatively little cutting required in the construction of the line. He had some ex- perience regarding the cost of railway work and had gone carefully into the cost of the suggested line from Bittern. According to his estimate, the expense would not be so great as was anticipated.

Nelson Rudduck, storekeeper and farmer, said there would be no fear of craft at Dromana successfully com- peting against the railway. The fire wood trade was done, so far as water carriage was concerned. It had to be carted to the jetty, then tracked along the jetty to the boat. About 500 tons of goods were brought to Dromana yearly by boat. Two wagons were on the road between Dromana and Mornington, and he thought about 200 tons per year were taken that way. Difficulties in landing goods were experienced by vessels visiting Dromana, and then there was the unreliability as to the receipt or despatch of goods conveyed by water. It would be a distinct advantage to residents to patronise a railway. The passenger traffic to and from Dromana and the surrounding district was very considerable, even under present conditions, and the greater part of that would be trans- ferred to a railway. He was a partner in a large holding of land in the district, and would not object to the proposed loading.

William H. Blakeley had 140 acres of land in the district, 25 acres of which were in orchard. It was fine growing country, and would be greatly developed by a railway. He would not say whether the village settlement at Red Hill was a success generally, but he knew that in cases where the land was properly managed the men had succeeded.

William Oswin, farmer and fruit grower, had a small orchard at Balnarring and also another holding of 80 acres. The respective routes of the suggested railway cut through a corner of his property. He would be greatly benefit by the line, and his property would be much enhanced in value. Consequently be would be will- tag to have his land loaded up to 6d per acre, but, having an intimate knowledge of the country through which the proposed railway would pass, he would say that leading to the extent of 6d per acre would be as much as could be borne in some instances. A central railway, via Kangerong, would be far the most servicable of the respective routes suggested, as it would be the greater convenience to a considerable majority of the people of the district traversed, and be the means of developing a lot of good country. If it were decided that the railway could not be continued to Flinders at the outset, it would be advisable, for the convenience of the Flinders people, instead or terminating it at the village settlement at Red Hill, to continue the line to Hansen's, about a mile and a half further on. The examination of witnesses being concluded, the committee were driven to Mornington, and on the following morning returned by train to Melbourne.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-04-19 00:13:51

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

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by itellya on 2013-04-19 11:06:07

These notes were supposed to go in the journal but,you guessed it,I got the Oh noes page again.

1. In 1900 John Shand had been assessed on 253 acres in the parishes of Wannaeue and Fingal, north and south respectively of the west end of Shands Rd but not in 1910 when this property was occupied by William Shand. John's father Alexander(who died during one of John's terms as Shire President) established a steam saw mill on Main Creek, the only stream with a constant flow, and Roberts Rd was the track formed to carry his timber to Red Hill. (Keith Holmes.)

In about 1900, John married Mary (nee Hope), the widow of John Huntley Junior and by 1910, he was assessed on the Huntleys' 105 acre Hillside Orchard (Melway 191 E3.) He also owned Kentucky and Rosslyn (14A Balnarring, 121 acres) at Nos.214 and 212 Bittern-Dromana Rd just east of Craig Avon Lane (Melway 161 K10-11.)That makes a total of 226 acres, not 236 (which may have been a digitising error I didn't pick up.) (Bill Huntley, rates.)

Much of the leased land was A.E.Bennett's Kent Orchard, 79B, Balnarring of 230 acres (Melway 191 H-J 1, south to the winery and Merricks North/Red Hill South boundary.) (Bill Huntley, rates.)

2.Joseph McIlroy was not a grantee but in 1920 was assessed on 310 acres 23AB and 22AB. 23 was Forest Lodge, which Joseph could not have had in 1906, so his 153* acres would have been 22AB, Kangerong with a Red Hill Rd frontage between Junction Corner and the Kangerong Nature Conservation Reserve.Dunns Creek flowed through his land. (*150 acres 2 roods and 16 perches.) Many entries from Joseph's diary were included in Sheila Skidmore's THE RED HILL.(See the CALDWELL Rev.James and COUNSEL entries in my A-C Red Hill dictionary history.)

3. Alf Head's grants straddled Stony Creek Rd (Melway 190 E-F7 and E-H part 8) and he called his farm Fern Valley but seems to have later called it Musk Creek after the western tributary of Stony Creek, the junction being in Alf's northern grant. He had great success selling vegetables in Sorrento during "the season"and his daughter married a Sorrento lad who shared, with Alf, a lease on Dalkeith circa 1900(Melway 151 C8)at about the time that Vale bought it. (Parish map, rates, Around Red Hill Aug. 1902, Mornington Heritage Study, Trove, etc.)
Full details already in the original Red Hill Dictionary History journal.
The above might give you an idea of why I don't list all my sources (almost 20% of the paragraph!)

4.Henry Prossor of Red Hill came from the parish of Fingal (south of Limestone Rd)and bought land in the Village Settlement on both sides of the lane named (correctly thank to Keith Holmes) after him. His son Norm later farmed on part of Alf Head's land. Henry Prossor is not to be confused with Henry Prosser, fisherman, pioneer of the Frankston Fish Company and councillor. The latter's daughter married Isaac Sawyer and, after his death, Amis Renouf. (See my journal RENOUF ON THE PENINSULA.)

by itellya on 2013-04-20 01:52:27

5.William John McIlroy,like Joseph,was a son of William McIlroy, who came to Australia in 1860. Sheila Skidmore has much detail in THE RED HILL about William,including having to save twice for his wife's passage out. She also included details about William John's children, compiled by his son,John.

William John McIlroy received the grant for 26B and 25A,Kangerong, consisting of almost 320 acres, on 7-8-1902. The south west corner of 26B adjoined the south east corner of the Dromana/Red Hill boundary in Melway 161B9. The north east corner was at 485 Dunns Creek Rd. James Clydesdale's 26A of 48 acres occupied the western 200 metres of the Dunns Creek Rd frontage of crown allotment 26 and went about three quarters of the way to the south west corner. Crown allotment 25A, roughly 161 E8, adjoined 26B and fronted Dunns Creek Rd on its sou-sou-east course.In 1910 he was assessed on the 320 acres but also on 577 acres and buildings.

The 577 acres would have included 16B and 14 AB, granted to his father, a total of 294 acres. C/A 16B is roughly indicated by Dunns Creek Estate and Ellisfield Farm on the McIlroys Rd frontage, the western boundary of the Kangerong reserve extended south, the northern boundary of Vines at Red Hill continued east, and the north-south section of Donaldsons Rd continued to McIlroys Rd. C/A 14 B was south of 16 B including the site of Rosebank Cottage B&B and having a long frontage to Station Rd and a short one to Mechanics Rd. C/A 14 A was west of 14B, fronting the rest of Mechanics Rd to Arthurs Seat Rd.I believe his other 283 acres would have consisted of:
17AB,154 acres, granted to Francis Windsor, fronting the south side of McIlroys Rd from just west of the Bowrings Rd corner to a point halfway between Nos 209 and 146.
16A, 88 acres, granted to T.Milner, fronting McIlroys Rd from 17B to (almost) the Dunns Creek Estate (i.e.16B.)
That's a total of 242 acres, so where were the other 41 acres? I'm afraid I have no idea. No wonder that councillor from near Sorrento wanted proper description of properties! If the newspaper was right in stating that William John had 815 acres in 1906, that would be his grants (320 acres)plus 495 acres, not 577. Perhaps W.J. had, since 1906, purchased Francis Windsor's grant, 13C of 83 acres, east of the line of Andrews Lane, north of the Kindilan property and bisected by the start of Dunns Creek in Melway 191 A-B3.

by itellya on 2013-04-20 05:46:49

74D. Henry P. Prossor was assessed in 1902 on 40 acres on 74D, 74C obviously being leased to Edward Bowring. As mentioned previously Henry was assessed on 40 acres (74 E and 74C) and 12 acres (part 74E).C.A.74E was stated as being vacant in the 1902-3 rates and later was bought in two parts, the northern (74E1)of 7 acres by Fred Nash and the southern (74E) of 12 acres by Henry Percival Prossor. Therefore, the 40 acres consisted of 74D and 74C in 1919.
Also assessed in 1919 was Norman Prossor. He had 43 acres and building, part 71A1 Balnarring. This crown allotment, bounded on the west by Mornington- Flinders Rd, on the south by Stony Ck Rd, with its eastern boundary and northern extent indicated by Pardalote Dr, consisted of eighty three and a half acres so Norman's portion probably fronted Mornington- Flinders Rd with the western tributary and Musk Creek forming the eastern boundary; Musk Creek joins Stony Creek in 190 G9.One might ask why there was a 71A1 when there was no 71A. I believe that 71A was to be alienated in two parts, but the grantee, Alfred Head, bought both parts on 26-5-1882 after obtaining the grant for 71B,of 116 acres south of Stony Creek Rd, much earlier.

Norman Prossor married May Holmes, the daughter of William and Emily Holmes.(Sid Prosser, their son, and brother of Norma Bright.)
Henry Percival Prossor was at Boneo before he moved to Red Hill in about 1893. (Sid Prossor.)

7.Robert Anderson of Barragunda was mainly connected with Red Hill residents in his capacity as a shire councillor and Justice of the Peace. When Robert Henry Adams applied for a licence for land between that of his in-laws (Hopcraft) in the angle formed by the north end of Tucks Rd and Mornington-Flinders Rd, the documents were witnessed by Robert Anderson.

8.Although he was a storekeeper at Dromana, Nelson Rudduck was much involved at Red Hill, particularly with the Methodist Church. Hewould often have passed through the area on the way to his properties on the north side of Browns Rd and in the parish of Flinders (south of Shands Rd and east of Main Creek.)

Whether he was a big time money-lender or he was just doing a favour to an old friend, the loan he provided to George and Susan Peatey in 1878 helped them to move from their grants in Bitten-Dromana Rd to a 2 acre property on the south corner of Jetty Rd and McDowell St in 1888 and set up Rosebud's first produce supply.
(Pine Trees and Box Thorns, Rosalind Peatey.)

9.William Henry Blakeley's 140 acre block on the east corner of Arthurs Seat and Mornington-Flinders Rds was granted to Robert Holding and today houses the Consolidated School in its north west corner. Descendants still live on part of the block. Blakeley was a sawmaker with premises in Melbourne where deputations to Ministries would often meet before presenting their case.

by itellya on 2013-04-20 07:26:02

10.William Oswin's orchard may have been on Newstead (Melway 192 A1.) The Oswins had an early association with Red Hill through the unfortunate Lawrence Wadeson.

John Oswin and his son, William were both Flinders and Kangerong Shire councillors.

OSWIN P.190.Willie Oswin was called Grampas by the family.P.1.Mary Oswin, sister of John, married Lawrence WADESON (who with John Holmes was granted the 208 acres on the north and west side of Red Hill Rd between Vines of Red Hill, inclusive, and the south boundary of the Kangerong Nature Conservation Reserve.The southern 104 acres became the Huntleys' Hillside Orchard; John Huntley Snr may have had a lease from the Crown for the whole 208 acres before rate records started.)
John Oswin was known as DADAS according to a caption under a photo of John -page number not recorded.

by itellya on 2013-04-20 22:05:49

William Oswin certainly knew Red Hill, although like most pioneers, he was a bit vague about the spelling of his fellow pioneers' names. He was suggesting an extension of the line to Hanson's, not Hansen's, for the benefit of Flinders residents. The Red Hill station was on the site of Red Hill Centrepoint and if the line was continued for exactly one and a half miles in a straight line from the station (parallel with the start of Callanan's Rd)It would reach Tucks Rd between the sites of the Maritime and Mount Rouge Estates. This was the western boundary of crown allotment 70B, Balnarring, which extended south to a point opposite No.114 Tucks Rd. Tucks Rd would have been a shorter route from Flinders than the Mornington-Flinders Rd, which has undergone much re-alignment according to parish maps.

Both 70A (adjoining Alf Head's Fern Valley)and 70B were granted to William Hopcraft but Hans Christian Hanson must have bought 70B in about 1887. The Hansons called their double-storey house Alpine Chalet. It is unclear whether Alpine Chalet was William Hopcraft's old homestead or was built by or for Hans Christian Hanson. It was described thus:
""Alpine Chalet" was the name of our two storey family home. Looking out from the back verandah, we could see across Stony Creek's gully to the houses belonging to Bob and Esther Wilson and the Laurissens.Ours was a beautiful old home with cherry trees along one side of the house and apple trees along the other.

In about 1919, the house and part of the property was sold to the Lessings, a family of thirteen from Carrum Downs and Alf Hanson, son of Hans Christian Hanson, had a new house,also called Alpine Chalet,built on the northern 20 acres of 70B by Littlejohn.

Hans Christian Hanson,who was born in 1857,probably in Norway,and died in 1938 at Prahran, had been a bridge-building contractor and carpenter who worked on all the bridges between Melbourne and Bright.He married Ellen Olson (or Olsen)who was born in Norway in 1846 and died at Malvern in 1923. Alfred George, the fifth of six children,was born in Newcastle, N.S.W. on 18-5-1884. In 1906, Alf married Frances Ada Elizabeth Purves, the ninth of ten children of James Purves (son of Peter Purves,the true pioneer of Tootgarook) and Emily Caroline (nee Quinan, daughter of Robert Dublin Quinan, the Dromana schoolteacher who committed suicide because the shire's books didn't balance!)

(Balnarring parish map, rates,MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMAN by Hector V.J.Hanson and Petronella E.Wilson, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA,TROVE.)

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