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Journal by itellya

In trying to find a notice of a subdivision sale of 10B, Kangerong, Robert Caldwell's grant, for my Red Hill, post 1940 journal,I've come up with plenty of interesting stuff from the 1880's. Thomas Morton of the Dromana (McCrae) lighthouse was refusing to take responsibility for any debts his wife might incur. William Henry Blakeley tried to sell his Red Hill property in 1884.
The 140 acre property was crown allotment 72A, Balnarring,on the east corner of Mornington-Flinders Rd and Red Hill Rd with the north east corner just east of Sheehans Rd and the south west corner where the road enters Melway 190 D5. If William Henry Blakeley had succeeded in 1884, Helen Blakeley would be writing a completely different book, with only a passing reference to Red Hill and the property would have had a different owner in 1902.

FARM for SALE, 140 acres, well fenced and
watered, subdivided, 36 acres cleared, good
land, large orchard, latest fruit, two houses, sheds,
etc., near Dromana. Apply W. H. Blakeley, 116
Russell-street, Melbourne. (P.4, Bendigo Advertiser, 14-1-1884.)

FAIRY VINEYARD. (Melway 159 K9-12,width of quarry and south to top of 171 J-K 12.)
All that piece of land, comprising 250 (sic) Acres. Known as the FAIRY VINEYARD, on which is erected that beautiful MARINE RESIDENCE, substantially built of weatherboard. The property is well watered and fenced, and for a marine residence the site is one of the grandest of many for which our bay is so justly famed.
(P.2, Argus,24-11-1881.)

Aha,it's "Gracefield",I thought, but just to be sure I found the advertisements for Gracefield in 1871 when William Grace was moving to Rye to be near his daughter, Mrs Patrick Sullivan. Patrick built the Gracefield Hotel on William's grants (most of the present Rye Hotel site) about four years later. But there was a major problem. Gracefield was on the only crown allotment of 250 acres near Dromana, but the homestead was built of brick,not weatherboard. Had the brick house burnt down since 1871?

The photo of the Gracefield homestead taken in 1964 and shown on page 87 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA (despite not being listed in the index)leaves little doubt that it was of rendered brick. So, if Fairy Vineyard was not Gracefield, where was it? Was there another 250 acre property that I forgot to transcribe from the rates?

DROMANA-Fairy VINEYARD,- magnificent views, about 280 acres house, pretty lawn, fruit trees, &c. Stevenson and Elliot. ( The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 11 December 1884 p 8 Advertising.)

In 1879, Stevenson and Matthew Elliot,both coach builders were jointly assessed on 234 acres and buildings,Dromana, which they owned.

Lot 4.
All that piece of land, comprising 290 Acres, Known as the FAIRY VINEYARD, on which is erected that beautiful MARINE RESIDENCE, substantially built of weatherboard. The property is well watered and fenced, and for a marine residence the site is one of the grandest of many for which our bay is so justly famed.

Now we're getting somewhere but did the first advertisement really say 250 acres? No, I was so busy correcting spelling in the digitisation that I didn't check the acreage. It was 290 acres and that has now been corrected. There is only one property that it could be. Crown allotment 4 of section 3,Kangerong, east of "Gracefield" and separated from it only by the wedge-shaped town common that later became the gravel reserve. This was granted to E.Caldwell and consisted of 297 acres. Being north of Boundary Rd,it would have the magnificent views described.

You may care to look back at the first sentence of the journal to realise the irony of the following find (which I knew I would find re c/a 4 of 3, but I had not expected to find 10B,near Red Hill.)

Sale by Public Auction of Two Valuable Properties in the Parish of Kangerong.
RESIDENCE, VINEYARD, ORCHARD, and 297a. 2r. 29p. And FARMING BLOCK of 172a. lr. 36p.
In the Insolvent Estate of Robert Caldwell, By Order of R. E. Jacomb, Esq., Official Assignee
For Positive and Absolute Sale. Terms-One-fourth Cash, Balance 6, 12, and l8 Months, bearing 8 per Cent Interest.

ALFRED BLISS has been favoured witb instructions from R. E Jacomb, Esq., official assignee to SELL by PUBLIC AUCTION, at 82 Collins-street west, on Monday, January 30, at two o'clock,
Tho following landed properties, viz -

Lot 1.-297a. 2r. 29p., parish of Kangerong, fenced in with three-rail fence and subdivided.
Improvements,-Eight room wooden house and cellar, partly plastered, verandah in front, tank and several permanent springs. Large quantity saleable timber. 10 acres of orchard, partly pipe drained. About 10 acres of vineyard, six years planted. About two acres of vegetable and flower garden, shrubs of all kinds. This is the property that Mr. Caldwell has disbursed upwards of ?4000 upon to make into a sea side family residence and vineyard. It is situate three-quarters of a mile from Dromana Jetty, and is admitted to be one of the most beautiful sites in Dromana, and for healthy atmosphere and sea air not to be surpassed.

Lot 2 -172a. lr. 36p., part of Section 10, parish of Kangerong, fenced in with three rail fence.Permanent water-holes and running spring. Rich chocolate soil. Surrounded by farms. About two miles and a half from Dromana Jetty.

Mr. Watkin, of the Dromana Hotel, will direct intending purchasers to the properties. These two lots are for absolute sale by order of the official assignee.
(P.2, Argus,30-1-1871.)

Now that the location of Fairy vineyard has been determined, the next question is whether the name had been coined by the Caldwells or the Melbourne coach builders and importers, Stevenson and Elliot. Nothing personal, but perhaps all the people sharing the surname of Artie Caldwell were "off with the fairies!"

Full particulars obtained at the residence of CUNNINGHAM CALDWELL, ; "Fairy Meadow".
(Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW : 1856 - 1950) Thursday 25 October 1888 p 3 Advertising.)

Well,that seemed like a good theory until I discovered that I had written a journal called ROBERT CALDWELL OF DROMANA HILL. The Dromana Hill Estate included both 10B near Sheehans Rd and c/a 4 of section 3 on which was the PHAROS VINEYARD. Unless Robert decided to change the name of his vineyard between 1867 and 1870 when he became insolvent, it would appear that a later owner coined the name Fairy Vineyard as used by the coach builders, Stevenson and Elliot. Caldwell lived in Footscray but he would have often seen the colonial steamer, Pharos, sail past his holiday farm as he ensured that his 4000 pound investment was paying dividends and it is most likely that his vineyard was named after the steamer.

Three other points of interest are that Caldwell was big in the wine industry, the name Pharos seems to been adopted by someone writing about Caldwell Wines in N.S.W. in 1941, and that Robert Caldwell's insolvency came about at basically the same time (circa 1870) and reason (problems with sheep in Queensland) as that of Hugh Glass of Flemington.

According to Ewart (Melbourne) Brindle's fabulous map of Dromana pre-1918 (available for purchase at the Dromana Museum), Dr Weld's residence was in the south west corner of "Fairy Vineyard".

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2014-11-01 08:18:37

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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