THE RED HILL by Sheila Skidmore, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. :: Genealogy
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Journal by itellya

As my aim is to provide new history and to make history accessible, I need to read what is already available to ensure that I am not repeating information. As some books, such as Pine Trees and Box Thorns, Rosebud Flower of the Peninsula and The Red Hill are not available for loan, I make it part of my role to summarise information in them that is not available in other books. This is not intended to replace the Red Hill journal that I have already started. Where surnames are in bold type, this indicates that additional information will be given at the end of the summary. Short comments appear in brackets.
ADOD = A Dreamtime of Dromana by Colin McLear; MOAS =Memoirs of a Stockman by Hec Hansen.

Sheila Skidmore is a descendant of the Sheehan family. There is no indication of when the book was published. (See comment 1 after journal.) The book may be perused at Mornington Peninsula libraries but not borrowed. The Dromana Historical Society has the book but I don't think they would have copies for sale.(See comment 1 after journal.)

P.9. Andrew McCrae named Bald Hill and his son, George Gordon McCrae, said that they had seen the colour of gold in the 1840's beyond the bald or red hill. (This was probably along Bulldog Creek or Tubbarubba Creek.) Bald Hill was marked on a county of Mornington map and could have been the original name for Red Hill.

P.11. 1862. The parish plan shows an area marked Red Hill marked out with streets and suburban blocks. (I can only assume the location of this settlement to be crown allotment 74, parish of Balnarring, sold as a closer settlement, with blocks of just under 20 acres, in order to cope with the 1890's depression, where the Prossor, Thiele, Nash etc families settled later. Red Hill extends into Kangerong and Wannaeue parishes and there is little indication of "suburban blocks" apart from near "Four Winds" in Kangerong. The first postmaster, William Marshall, bought 19 acres at the north east corner of Prossors Lane; see Post Office.)



M.Peppers had selected the site, later used for a post office, and C.Golding , a cordial manufacturer from Van Diemans Land, an area close by. (Charles R.Goulding was granted crown allotment 9, Kangerong in what seems to have been 1890. This 262 acre block was bounded by Eatons Cutting Rd, Boundary Rd, White Hill Rd and Tumbywood Rd so perhaps the streets and suburban blocks were near McIlroy Rd and "Four Winds".)SEE COMMENT 1 AFTER JOURNAL.

James Wiseman purchased 106 acres on 24-2-1862 and J.Arkwell 142 acres on 5-4-1862.
James Wiseman was born in 1830 in Ruthven, Scotland and sailed from London in June 1851 aboard Captain Godfrey's "Statesman". Arriving at Geelong he spent time with varying success at the diggings at Avoca, Ballaarat, Bendigo , Castlemaine and Otago in New Zealand. After another 8 years plying his blacksmith trade in Melbourne, during which time he married fellow Scot, Christina Bain, and James, John and Christina were born, he moved to Red Hill where Janet and William were born.

John Arkwell was born in Hereford, England in the 1820's. Hannah Lewis, whom he married, was 19 when she arrived in 1854. She was said to have wheeled King Edward vii in his pram. John and Hannah settled at Abbotsford and ran a plant nursery on the site of the Abbotsford Convent. Emily, Alice and Walter were born at Abbotsford while Ernest, Herbert, Clara and Percy were born at Red Hill.
(Detail is given about Wiseman's smithy and Arkwell's house, land and orchard.)
Soon after, these two families were joined by the McKeown, McIlroy, Davis, Kemp, Holmes, Dunn , and Cleine families and later the Blakely and Sheehan families. At this time Red Hill was heavily timbered but there was no scrub so it was possible to gallop a horse between the trees. (Sheila discusses the aboriginal presence, indicated by stone which originated far away from the area, but the lack of scrub was another sign. Frequent burning made it much easier to hunt kangaroo and Wonga, "pigeon" because the prey had nowhere to hide!

P. 12-13.(Shirley discusses Eaton's and Simon's Cuttings and the pioneers after whom they were named. She refers to O'Brien's Cutting but this track was named after John Bryan. See ADOD.)
The McKeowns were the third family in Red Hill. They named Glenbower after the home in Ireland.
They landed in Portland and worked at Tower Hill. Sheila's niece found broken willow china in the Glenbower garden and near the well. (Willow crockery was one luxury common to most peninsula pioneer households!)

The McKeowns sold to Sheila's great grandfather Sheehan . He had come from County Cork, Ireland to Adelaide where he worked as a brickmaker. He married Mr Ewer's daughter and they set off looking for land in their bullock cart, a wedding present. They selected land at Lake Marma, Murtoa, staying 15 years before moving to Red Hill in 1885.

Henry Dunn came to the Mornington Peninsula in the mid 1840's.He leased Jamieson's Special Survey (Safety Beach area east to the line of Bulldog Creek Rd, from 1846 to 1851)and then moved up the hill and ran stock on land near the old Red Hill post office. Hebuilt stockyards and bought a property known as "Four Winds" where he bred ponies. It was later purchased by William Calder , Chairman of the Country Roads Board (after whom the Calder Highway was named.)

Charles, the first of the Cleine family came from Groningen, now part of Holland. He ran away from home at the age of 12 to avoid compulsory military training and retained his pacifist belief which caused arguments at Cleine's Corner between him and Mr (CHARLES?) White. He had a certificate for a donkey engine and worked for L.L.Smith building bridges. He married and had a large family. A little grave near the homestead site in the valley is marked by moss roses.

William McIlroy came to Australia in 1860 from Littlebridge, Moneymore, Northern Ireland. Camping in a tent at the top of Elizabeth St, he carried "hod" for builders during the day and repaired boots in his tent at night. When he had saved 72 pounds, he bought tickets for his wife and nine children to join him and sent them home, but he was duped as there was no ship, and had to save again.His family arrived safely in 1862 and lived in a log cabin built on 700 acres of land. William continued to work in Melbourne selling butter, eggs, bacon and cheese from his cart but returned home at weekends.
William John, his eldest son, was 16 on arrival and worked for a butcher and in his spare time worked for two Danes who owned a merry-go-round.At 32, W.J. married Elizabeth Hillis . They lived at "Littlebridge" in McIlroys Rd and had 12 children. He ran sheep on a paddock in Dunn's Creek Rd where some gold had already been found. (Tubbarubba diggings.)

P.15. Details of William John's children compiled by the eldest, John; Sarah became Mrs Prosser. (The 1890's settlers were named Prossor, so she probably married into the family of Henry Prosser, and was related to the Sawyers of Moorooduc/Bittern and the Griffith family of Dromana/Main Creek.
While on the topic, Keith's family was not related to J.Holmes, grantee of land bounded on the east by Red Hill Rd, whose south west corner is now occupied by Vines of Red Hill,and which adjoined the Kangerong Nature Conservation Reserve.)
William John McIlroy's brother, Joseph, married Sarah Hillis and they had nine children. (Details on page 18.)
Photo of early house,(almost certainly Blakeley's house discussed on page 24.)
P.16. Photo of coolstore and rail yard.
P.17. Joseph McIlroy's diary. (Only entries about other pioneers or significant events included here.)
Wed. 20-9-1877. Married in Dromana at 12:30 at Mechanics' Institute by Rev. J. Caldwell of Mornington.Guests at father's house included the McIlroys, Simpsons, Cleines, Whites, Aults, Miss Hopcraft, Miss Kemp and Mr and Mrs Hillis. A week later he started working for Mr Huntley .
On Sunday 2 Nov., he went to Dromana to hear Mr Robinson preach the funeral sermon for Mr (Watson)Eaton. After the service, he went to Rosebud to hear Mr Barker (at the Methodist church on the fishing village block donated by Nelson Rudduck which is now a medical clinic. Possibly Mr E.Barker mentioned on page 32 who was a lay preacher at Red Hill Methodist Church till his death in 1905.) Called at Mrs Pedota on way home. (This meant that he went home via Dromana where Peter Piddota owned the 17 acres between William Watkins' Dromana Hotel and Carrigg St, which is named after Lou Carrigg, a later owner of the hotel.)
In November, Joseph was shearing at Huntley's and clearing at home. On 12 Dec., he picked berries and the next day went to the point (quarantine station and probably a fort too judging by the torpedoes mentioned in 1878)and then Sorrento, shooting a lot of rabbits on the way home. (Underground mutton!)
Dec.26 and 27. Carted fruit to Dromana and Melbourne. (The amount of travel done by Joseph on atrocious roads was extraordinary!) Mr Brady was the preacher at that time.(His daughter in law, Rose-nee Roberts- was a mainstay and organist at the Rosebud Methodist Church mentioned recently.)
P.18.On Easter Monday, 1878, Joseph went to "The Rosebud" to see the torpedoes. Joseph's children and dates of birth were: Henry Joseph 20-9-1878, William 6-11-1879, James 30-11-1881, Thomas Johnston 21-1-1883,
May 13th MAY,1885 (Get it?), Herbert John 20-6-1887, Frederick 3-6-1889, Arthur 28-5-1891.
21-5-1878. Went to see Mrs Counsel through the ranges.
24-11-1880.Went to Mr McConnell's at night with the long rifle.

P.19. 9-3-1881. Got to Mr Hillis place on the way home from Frankston with a steer and stayed the night. (The pregnant Sarah and her two youngster were probably staying with grandpa, whose place was not really on the way home.)
15-6-1881.Went out to Riddell's Plains in the morning. (This area was almost certainly named after John Carre Ridell after whom Riddells Creek was named. With his partner, Hamilton, he established Cairn Hill near Gisborne and the Camieston Estate at Tullamarine with the one acre blocks between Bulla Rd, now Melrose Drive, and Derby St named Hamilton Terrace. He was probably a squatter fattening bullocks near Red Hill in the early days. Keith hadn't heard of Riddell's Plains; perhaps somebody else would know its location.)

21-8-1881. Went to the diggings with W. Sherwood.
5-1-1882. Went to Mr Gray's for the wheel of the sewing machine we got last week.
Easter Monday 1882. Went down to the lighthouse. (I thought that it may have been moved to the top of Arthurs Seat at the time but this occurred in 1871 according to Colin McLear.)
9-11-1882. Went to Mrs Hindmarsh's funeral.
7-10-1884. Mr Huntley died this morning. 6-1-1885. Mrs Huntley died.27-4-1888.
27-4-1888. Joseph's daughter was burnt and he took her to the doctor at Schnapper Point on the 28th.
29-4-1888. Back home and the Hon. Thomas Langton called in.
P.22. 16-6-1890. Mrs Gibson died. 20-10-1890. Got orders to stop work at Huntley's.
26-9-1892. Took a lease of Huntley's for 5 years.
24-7-1893. Went down to PINEGROVE and bought the mare for 5 pounds from Mr John Davies. Went to Dromana to vote for my brother, William.

P.23. The Post Office. At first the mail came to Schnapper Point, later Dromana, by boat and was conveyed to Red Hill on horseback. About 1871, the post office opened with the first postmaster,Alex Marshall, being paid 10 pounds p.a. He was followed by S.Davies in 1873, Emma Maloney in 1876. Blakeley purchased the P.O. for George Cousins (or Cussens, as I have seen it written) his son in law).
The Misses Baker earlier had a bakery at cnr. Sheehans and Mt Arthur Rd (the original south end of White Hill Rd before Wiseman's Deviation was built)on land previously owned by Messrs Brown and Jackson.
P.24. Details of W.H.Blakeley's origins, expertise, Melbourne workshop and purchase of the consolidated school site from the grantee, R.Holding who was Red Hill's first teacher and lived in a log cabin (which is probably the one shown on page 15.) Blakely and Captain Billy Moore were partners in the "Fear Not", a 2 masted schooner that carried firewood from Dromana and returned with provisions. It was wrecked on sandbanks far offshore when it put to sea in a northerly.
P.O. (CONT.)Elizabeth Wheeler from 1878 followed by Ethel M.Wheeler 11-11-1925, Miss A.Liversidge, F.Molloy in 1954, L.H.Dawson, R.Kinder.
P.25. Telegraph 1912, telephone 1924. Receiving office at Red Hill Sth from 22-1-1923 : Mrs C.Harding, A.Greaves 1925, D.G.Stevenson 1930, T.B.Erlansen 1935, W.Pedley 1945, M.Connell 1965. C. Harding, "Darkie" was a champion Somerville footballer a decade later; was the first postmistress his wife? T.B.Erlandsen might have been a descendant of Erland Erlandsen- see Lime Land Leisure.)
P.26. Photo of the first school.
P.27. Education. 1860's, school 77 on James Wiseman's land at the north end of Arkwell's Lane, first teacher Mr Gournan. Became a state school on the same location on 1-1-1874 with the students being: Wiseman 4, Arkwell 3, Cleine 3, McIlroy 1, Davis 3, Blakely 3, McKeown 3, Hillis 1, Turner 3, Head 2, Bendy 4, Pearse 3, Griffith 1. The Griffith family was near Moat's Corner.( The Griffith family had rented land on Jamieson's Special Survey since about 1860 that was known as Griffith's Flats, Melway 160 H4.)
The first teacher, R.Holding, had a negro servant called Mumford. George Beattie, who took over after three months had many problems. Tanks and toilets were brought on the "Rosa Mary Jane" by Captain Pedota (Pidota) and installed by James Morton. Henry Ault painted the school in 1875. William Henry Collins was the next teacher, followed by Ada Adelaide Thompson in 1882.
P.28. Land for the new school was purchased from W. Holmes and the new school opened on 16-9-1920 with Richard Rodda as H.T. A second room was built in 1928, the H.T. being H.Amos.Red Hill South opened in 1932 with Miss Marsh in charge.
P. 29. Other teachers at Red Hill were Mr F.Volk, N.Deckert, H.Campbell and C.Werry. Mrs A.Sheehan, who'd taught at the old school, filled a void in W.W.2.
Land was purchased from the Blakeley family in 1945 for the Consolidated School which opened on 6-2-1951, despite building starting in June 1948, because of water supply problems.
P.31-6. CHURCHES. Wesleyan Methodist 1884 on James Wheeler's block near the P.O. but a little further up the hill. Trustees-Edward Barker, William Kemp, James Wheeler, Jonathon Davis, Alfred Head, Nelson Rudduck and William McIlroy.The only debt when the church opened on 25-1-1885 was 24/- owed to Jonah Griffith .
The first to be married there were Jonathon Davis and Elizabeth Kemp . Organists were Miss Thompson till 1890, Misses Head and Wheeler then alternating until the latter married. Ernest Arkwell was appointed Chapel Steward in 1890 and took over as a lay preacher following Mr E. Barker's death in 1905.
Main Creek Methodists opened in 1914.
In 1920, Mr Rudduck resigned as a trustee (replace by Charles Trewin) and Mr Kemp died(replaced by his daughter, Mrs Elizabeth Davis.) In 1932 the church was moved with Rev.L.Coulthard on top lifting wires. Other trustees were Mr E.Trewin (who died in 1962 after 38 years as a trustee), and Messrs J.Simpson, J.Holmes, R.Thurstain, and V.Trewin.
The church was closed in 1962 and sold to Peninsula Gardens(Melway 170 J9)in 1968 as a chapel for holiday makers.

PRESBYTERIAN. Dromana opened June 1888. (See P.121-3 of ADOD.) 1890 Red Hill services in school house. 1922 building committee Cr George Higgens and Messrs T.Chapman, R.Holland, A.Haig (former councillor), W.Haig and R.McSwain.Services in Red Hill Hall from 1927 due to increased population near station.The new church opened on 4-2-1934 with much of the building having been erected over 30 volunteers over 2 days (not quite as quick as the Rosebud church in front of the Rosebud Beach Safeway site!)
Organists Mrs H.J.Skidmore (who started the choir) and Mesdames Bowring, Buntrock, Blakely, Warnecke and Miss A.Liversidge*. (*See Red Hill P.O. A member of the family might have been the great goalkicker in the early years of Rosebud Football Club, formed 1929!) There were memorials in the church for Cr Higgens, and James Wiseman, Ken Davis and Ralph Erskine, three members killed in W.W.2.

CHURCH OF CHRIST. First service at Glenbower, home of Mr and Mrs Robert Sheehan in late 1885. Later they were held in alternate homes and the old State School. A Sunday School was run by Mrs John Sheehan, assisted by Mr Bowring. In early 1910 three sites for a chapel were considered andthat on Mr W.Holmes' property opposite Arkwells Lane was chosen. A small wooden chapel was built by Mr Harvey in April 1911; prior to this, baptisms were held in the sea at Shoreham and Dromana. In 1939, the hall was built and in 1956, the manse was built on land donated by Mr M.Wright.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. The Vicar at Flinders held some services at the school and at "Devona" (mainly for the Jarmans.)Rev. Watts of Hastings used to leave his motor bike at Merricks and walk along the railway line to Red
Hill in the winter (the roads being quagmires.) About 1949, Rev.Goodison conducted services in the Mechanics' Institute. The old school was bought on 1-6-1955 and named St George's with Rev. Reddrop conducting services.
p.36. Photos of Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

P.37. ROADS AND STORES. The cutting nearest the top of Arthurs Seat, Brien's (Bryan's)was mainly used as a bullock track for hauling timber to Dromana.Simon's Cutting was halfway down the mountain and extremely steep in places but a fair walking track.Eaton's Cutting reaches Arthurs Seat Rd almost the Consolidated School. Although formed and gravelled, it was subject to severe erosion. James Holmes was lucky to escape death when his motor buggy rolled backwards over a steep bank and overturned. (A village settlement pioneer, Thiele, was killed on Eatons Cutting Rd and Hec Hanson gives a great description of the surface in Memoirs of a Larrikin. I will be producing another journal about Red Hill based on Hec's memories, such as rescuing Mr Rodda from the open fire in the schoolhouse. In 1904, W.H.Blakely bought a Crestmobile (picture on P.62.)The Country Roads Board was formed in 1913 and tenders were awarded to Byrne Bros. and Vansuylen Bros. respectively for forming and metalling White Hill Rd. Mornington-Flinders Rd was declared a public highway in 1914.
P.38. Although some people such as William Shand still walked to Melbourne, it was more usual to travel from Dromana on vessels such as the Gertrude, Awaroa and S.S.Reliance which berthed at Little Dock (which catered to Lime and later firewood trade) or the famous steamers, Ozone, Hygea (sic) and Weeroona. Later Harry Cairns conducted a carrier business using a covered wagon drawn by two horses. This was about the only service from Red Hill to Melbourne.People walked, very early, to Moat's Corner to meet the wagon which got them to Mornington Station (very slowly) but in time to catch the 9a.m. train. Later a walk to Kennedy's Corner and a ride in a two horse coach to Bittern Station became popular.
(The late Ray Cairns' father, Harry, was called "Hill" Harry, and farmed at Maroolaba near Patterson Rd at Fingal. It was his cousin "Carrier" or "Rabbity" Harry Cairns, who lived near Melway 253 B9 and commenced his pick up of fish, rabbits and passengers at Cape Schanck.)

There was a small general store at the post office and William Hillis started a butcher's shop at the top of post office hill.Later there was another general store almost opposite the Presbyterian Church which was later used as a haberdashery and bootmaker's. The Red Hill Sth post office housed a general store and another general store was operated by Mr and Mrs W.E.Craig.(W.S.Craig played his 200th game of footy with Somerville in 1936 while living at Pearcedale, where there is a Craig Rd. Perhaps W.E.Craig was his cousin.)

P.39. On Monday afternoons the doctor (Weld?) came from Dromana and saw patients in the back of Craig's store.Also on Mondays the very small National Bank near the railway line was open for business.
P.40. Photos of an orchard and Holmes' valley in 1921.

P.41-3. THE VILLAGE SETTLEMENT. The Dromana Historical Society decided to reprint Sheila's book without any alterations. Hopefully there is now an index. Sheila's description of living conditions is excellent and settlers are quoted without mentioning any names. As in the case of an original pioneer, Frances Windsor, these later settlers have not been mentioned.

P.44. Photos of the first Red Hill Show and Clearing the showgrounds. (I have seen a reference, which I can't find, to the showgrounds area being called Arkwell's Bush, and Bob White carting the timber that was cleared to Rosebud for firewood in his bullock dray.)

P.45. GOLD. In the 1880's B.F.Eaton wrote a letter to council asking permission to to cut a watercourse for mining purposes. He found 7 ounces of gold in 7 years. In Lime Land Leisure, the history of the Shire of Flinders, C.N.Hollinshed mentioned the gold mining brother of Watson Eaton but did not supply his given name. Why? Colin McLear had obviously given him a manuscript that was published after Colin's death as A Dreamtime of Dromana. Colin did not know the brother's name and Charles did not bother to find out.

I eventually discovered that the gold mining brother's name was Bernard in a Dromana Trades Directory of 1888.
I also discovered that Benjamin Eaton, a librarian, was paying rates on a Dromana property and suspect that he was paying rates for Maud Eaton, whom Colin discusses in some detail. Another librarian, Thomas Eaton, could have been another Eaton brother who had come out with the Griffith family from the United States.

Bernard F.Eaton would have known well how to cut a watercourse for mining purposes (a race); Wise's directory of 1868 had the following entry in the Alphabetical section: B.F.Eaton, race owner, Creswick.By supplying the initials, Sheila has turned the suspicion that Bernard was the Creswick race owner into a certainty.

Watson Eaton settled on a 150 acre block (7B, no section, Kangerong) at the west corner of Eatons Cutting Rd and Arthurs Seat Rd. Colin discusses his service as a doctor to the district, recalled by a plaque kept in a church and now in the Dromana Museum, which continued for many years until his death as a result of a fall while riding to a patient in 1877. Colin said that he'd had some medical training before leaving America but Watson, himself, denied that he had been to University or received medical training. (Report of an inquest in my "Dromana, Rosebud and Miles Around on Trove".)

The Eatons and Griffith families had started off on the Survey and their neighbours there, the Peateys and Clydesdales who lived east of Moats Corner, were among those who worked at Bernard's mine at Tubbarubba. The Moats probably found the missing evidence from the 1874 Schnapper Point Murder trial while working for Bernard.

P.46. Photos of woodchoppers at the first show and a special train to the first show

P.47. MURDER. This gives limited detail of the SCHNAPPER POINT MURDER of 1874, which was given that name rather than the Tubbarubba Murder because the initial hearing was held at Mornington.

The following is an extract from my "The Female Drover: A History of Moorooduc". Articles are from The Argus.

11-11-1871. LAND ACT 1869. Schedule of applications to be heard at the local land board, Mornington on 13-11-1871. James Flood Jnr (Bittern 106.0.30, 1 a and b), Frank Counsel (Kangerong 121.1.27, lot 21), Richard P.Counsel (Kangerong 126.1.15, lot 20), Samuel Sherlock (Moorooduc, 30 acres, a reserve), James Wilson (Moorooduc 230 acres, part of reserve), James E. Cook (Moorooduc 76 acres, lot 21 and a reserve), James D.Allison (Moorooduc 2 acres, a reserve), George Jackline ((Moorooduc 6 ac, a reserve), William Grover (Moorooduc 30.0.5, a reserve), James Holcombe (Moorooduc 8 acres, a reserve), Benjamin Benton(Moorooduc 30 acres, part of a reserve).
One would assume that Reserve would mean a timber or water reserve but I think that it must mean with-held from sale (alienation). Benjamin Bentons 30 acres could have been the farm mentioned in regard to lot 3 on 3-12-1877 or 32 acres west of the junction of Tuerong and Three Chain Rd, crown allotment 26A, for which he received the grant on 8-2-1876. Melway references are given where the lands location is known.
Jas. Flood Jnr. (actually 166.0.30 Island View Drive), F.Counsel (161 D10-12)
R.P.Counsel (west of F.Counsels ), S.Sherlock (probably near Green Island Avenue), James Wilson , J.Cook (possibly near Paperbark Dr. and Hyperno Way), W.Grover (possibly north east of the beach end of Main St).
James Wilsons land was possibly part of a surrendered pre-emptive right such as near the Mornington Racecourse or east of Tuerong station, where E.M.Wilson received a grant of nearly 160 acres in 1888. John and Agnes Wilson were on Tuerong Station in 1874 when the Schnapper Point Murder took place, and were witnesses at the trial. J.B.Wilson selected 163 acres between Tuerong Station and The Briars in 1875, that later became Cheshires Moorellen. As J.H.Wilson was John, J.B.Wilson could have been James.
Charles Wilson, the train driver who became President of Mornington Shire, and after whom the C.B.Wilson Reserve in Wilsons Rd, Mornington was named, was a child of the marriage of a Wilson lass from Tuerong and an unrelated Wilson lad from Mornington.

21-9-1874. Several residents near Three Chain Road were witnesses in the case of the Schnapper Point Murder. James Firth and his brother had come to see John and Agnes Wilson, who were occupying the Tuerong Station following Ralph Ruddells insolvency, to borrow some arsenic. James helped the constable to find the body. John McCusker, who was a sheep farmer living north of the two vineyards that are now located on Foxeys Rd, and his cousin, Peter Donnelly, were also key witnesses. Patrick Shannon was acquitted of murdering John Moriarty (Argus 19-10-1874.) One mystery that remained was what had become of some items that Moriarty was known to be carrying at the time of his death. The Hobart Mercury reported on 22-7-1895 that Charles and Frank Moat had found Moriartys watch and scales, but stated that if these items had been available at the trial, the verdict would have been the same.
Charles and Frank Moat owned land between Moats Corner and the racecourse (which is now a Recreation Reserve (Melway 160 H-J6.) By 1895 Charles had married a Rye girl and had become a Rye resident. However the depression of the 1890s was at its worst and the Moats (and Clydesdale and Peatey lads) were probably working on the Tubbarubba diggings for Bernard Eaton (the mysterious Mr Eaton mentioned by Colin McLear and C.N.Hollinshed.)
Further details of the trial are mentioned in my Tuerong.

P.48. Photos of Chamber's Mill crew and the Red Hill hall.

P.49. THE GREAT WAR. Sheila lists Red Hill men who enlisted in the great war, giving details of deaths and diabilities resulting. They were Charles Trewin, William and Joseph McIlroy, William Hind (Merricks), Richard, Robert,Arthur and Herbert McIlroy, Reg and Sid Sheehan, Walter Champion, Jack Gibson, Walter Brown, Sam McKay, Joseph Smith, Andrew and Bert Nicholson, Harry Harrison, Chris, Ernie and Fred White, and Dave Barker from Main Creek. (Some names here confirm my choice of boundaries for my dictionary history journal.)

W.W.2. Sheila listed Bob Trewin, Jack Wiseman, Ken Davis, Ralph Erskine and Ern Radford, who all lost their lives. (Members of the Red Hill Football Club who enlisted are in the RED HILL ENLISTMENTS entry in my DICTIONARY HISTORY OF RED HILL journal.) The R.S.L. was formed in 1916 and the Dromana sub-branch in 1922. Red Hill received its charter in 1947, meeting in the Red Hill hall before purchasing two blocks at the end of the hall road (Mechanics Rd?)

P.50. Photos of the first train arriving and the railway opening.

P.51. A meeting in July 1882 in which Joseph McIlroy was involved and formation of the Mornington Peninsula Combined Railway League in June 1889 did little to help Red Hill and the depression of the 1890's (put a halt to Tommy Bent's massive expansion of railways, with Henry Gomm getting a station next to "Glenhoya" and his future Somerville Hotel just in the nick of time. I though Henry worth mentioning because his grandson, George, married a Wilson girl from Red Hill.) At a meeting at the Red Hill schoolhouse in 1899 (at night in atrocious weather conditions; I have read the newspaper article,a reformed railway league was formed with) William McIlroy as Chairman in the absence of Mr Downard M.L.A. (Downward). Office bearers elected were: William Harrison (Pres.), A.Bennett (Sec.), Robert Sheehan (Treas.) W.H.Blakeley, Mr Davey, William McIlroy and Thomas Cleine were appointed as a deputation to gain a railway extension to Red Hill and were to meet at Blakeley's premises in Lonsdale St (No.115 according to the 1919-20 rates.)There were arguments about alternative routes.

There always were arguments! Mt Eliza residents opposed a commonsense proposal to have a railway run directly to Mornington instead of the lengthy detour through Mornington Junction (Baxter.) A railway was proposed to Sorrento and Dromana actually had a "Railway Estate" bounded by Palmerstone Ave and Jetty and Boundary Rds. (1919-20 rates.) It was proposed that the railway go through Red Hill but a deputation from Moorooduc pointed out that a line passing through Moorooduc would save considerable distance and cost. Observer of Dromana probably owned much of the Railway Estate! (Google "railway, Sorrento, Red Hill, Moorooduc; e.g. Frankston and Somerville Standard 24-4-1925 p.1, Argus 23-4-1925 p.9.)
Alfred Downward was a much respected member of Parliament but it is amazing how his name was rendered as Downard from Rye to Red Hill by the pioneers.

P.53.The Railway's official opening on 23-9-1921 was organised by a committee that included Sam Tuck, a resident of Manton's Creek for 77 years and James Wiseman who was too sick to attend the opening, dying a few days later.Mrs Haig, aged 92 and a resident of 45 years helped the minister cut the ribbon.Messrs McIlroy, Haig and Calder were among the 25 speech makers.

P.56. Slow and late trains and William Calder's improved roads led to a lack of railway patronage and the last train left in June, 1954. Another photo of the opening.

P.57. FIRE. Cr George Higgens chaired a meeting in 1940 to form a fire brigade with Thomas Erlandsen, G.Jarman and Robert Holmes being elected as President, Secretary and Captain. In 1942 there was a serious outbreak at the back of Yuille Wilson's property near the O.T.dam. (See TREWIN in the dictionary history re Yuille Wilson, his wife, Bess and his twin daughters. See A Dreamtime of Dromana regarding the name of the dam.)
P.58. Karl Cleine was the captain in 1946. As they had no truck they used Bob Holmes' truck. Cr Keith Holmes was appointed Secretary (of a building committee? my notes not clear!)and a fire station was built on (redundant!) railway property in 1955. Bob Holmes resigned as Captain at the age of 70 in 1955 and Geoff Sandford took over. Following the death of Mr G.Laurissen, Alan Bowring was elected President. A team was entered in Regional demonstrations in 1958 with Ted Littlejohn, Russell Simpson and Kevin Holmes as Lieutenants.
Annual picnics at Shoreham, concerts in the old school and Methodist church, and later socials in the Church of Christ or William Holmes' fruit shed, the school's bird day and visits to the "tunnel" between Simon's and Eaton's cuttings are discussed.

P.59. THE RIFLE CLUB. 1900, Pres. Mr McLear J.P. Some others involved were J.Shand (Capt.), H., J.W.and Joseph McIlroy, A.Head, Jonathon Davis, D.Mairs, Huntley and Simpson. The range was at McIlroy's Ranges paddock rather than Palmer's Point as first proposed. (David Mairs, who may have been a grantee of much land now part of Essendon Aerodrome was not a Red Hill resident but was the grantee of ----acres of land at-----. See the David Mairs journal about a probable marital link to the Huntleys. The Simpsons may have lived near the Mairs.)

P.60.HORSE RACING. The racecourse near Moat's Corner and Jonah Griffith's two horses that won everywhere.
FOOTBALL. Report of a Dromana v Red Hill match in which A McIlroy (B.O.G.), K.Cleine, R.Sheehan, G.Laurissen, R.Wilson, R.Trewin, Holmes and Prosser (sic) were the best players. The early jumper was like Joseph's coat of many colours. The club was (re)formed in 1929. (The same clubs had played on Red Hill's football ground circa 1891!)
In 1917-8, 6 acres of land was purchased from the Arkwells at 10 pounds per acre. (In his brief history W.J.Holmes called this "Arkwell's Bush" and said that Bob White had carried much cleared timber to Rosebud in his bullock dray to be sold as firewood.)The Red Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Society held their shows at Dromana before 1915. Reformed, with the same name, this body held its first show at the coolstore at Red Hill in 1922, the President being R.McIlroy and the secretary J.Holland. There was a break from 1939 due to the war and shows resumed in 1947 with W.Milburn Pres. and W.Kleehammer Sec. (I wonder if Mr Milburn was a descendant of Basket Davey Milburn of Keilor!)
CRICKET. The Kangerong club of 1899-1900 was mainly made up of Red Hill men.The first pitch in Red Hill was laid out on the property of Andrew Haig (to be detailed in my Dictionary History journal). With Russ Trewin as captain, Red Hill played their first game against Main Ridge on 27-1-1923. Red Hill joined the S.P.C.A. in 1923-4 and did moderately well. The next season Cecil Eeles was appointed captain-coach and led J.Holland, C.Beck, S.Maine, G.Hansford, E.Haig, K.Cleine, R.Edwards, B.Shearing, R.Siggers and Robbins to a premiership. By this season a pitch on the Rec.Res. was being used.
TENNIS was first played on "Wildwood" and later at the recreation ground.Miss Janet Wiseman and Andrew Haig were among the earliest players.

P.62. Photos of W.H.Blakeley's Crestmobile and Red Hill Tennis Club in the early 1920's.

P.63. Orchards and Gardens. In the Spring of 1862, the first of many apple trees, provided by the Government, were planted. Joseph McIlroy daubed trees with cow dung, possibly to cover saw wounds and cuts. (Much detail from an article called Around Red Hill in August 1902 has been provided in the Village Settlement journal and other orchards and gardens will be included in the Dictionary History journal.

P.65.The coolstore was started in December 1919 and finished in May 1920. The directorate was A.Haig, H.Prossor, S.Holland, F.Butler, W.Jarman, and J.Holland (Sec.)It was destroyed by fire in May, 1929. In 1920 a meeting was held to (re)form the Red Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Society and the Red Hill Fruitgrowers' Association.

P.66. Mr E.Bowring Snr was the manager,for two years,of the packing shed erected in 1927 just west of the first coolstore. Passiflora grew passionfruit near Moat's Corner in the 1930's. ( Colin McLear's A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA gives much detail about this company and the O.T. company, which Sheila also mentions.)

P.67. Ben Benson cut sleepers for the Geelong railway in 1857. At the turn of the century there were two saw mills (at Red Hill.)The earliest was established by William Holmes and Major Shaw had a mill opposite Lester's garage site for four years. (See Dictionary History journal re Major Shaw.) John Shand had a mill near Merricks and Chamber's Mill was at Main Ridge. (Chamber's Mill is mentioned in the Conservation Study.)

P.68. Photo of the(second) Red Hill coolstore in the 1930's.

P. 69. Nostalgic memories.


by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-07-31 04:29:44

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 2012-08-01 06:27:09

Sheila Skidmore's "The Red Hill" was launched by Cr Keith Holmes in the 1970's. The Dromana Historical Society has reprinted the book and copies can be bought from them.The museum opening times should be on their website. Because the book can be bought, my summary will not be as extensive.
Keith Holmes is a goldmine of information about the history of Red Hill and tonight revealed that the old post office with Blakeley's added bakery is still standing in a lane off White Hills Rd north of McIlroys Rd. This lane would have been one of the streets of the early settlement to which Sheila referred.
Sheila was not referring to the village settlement. She writes about this settlement on pages 41-3 but unfortunately gives no specific information about the settlers that would be of benefit to family historians. Keith has promised to supply me with information about each of these families, their relationships to other families through marriage, the use to which they put their village blocks and so on.

by itellya on 2012-08-06 10:28:27

Imagine you lose a ball on the golf course and, as you endure thorns and burrs while looking for it, you discover a gold nugget. That's how I feel right now. I was trying trove to find out about the village settlement pioneers (which Sheila did not mention by name.)
I found out about most of the other residents, not just those on the village settlement. The Late Mr Arkwell was the first to plant strawberries at Red Hill, and they supplied flowers to Melbourne's florists. Mr Hunt, late of Wandin, managed the saw maker's property. The Heads and Harveys named their properties because of a love of ferns. Mr Marshall tried peaches and apricots but the weather was a bit colder than Victoria's first irrigator, Basket Davey Milburn, experienced at Keilor (where they did so well). All this and more is on page 2 of the Mornington Standard of 30-8-1902. It's a fascinating read.

Another interesting find was that Red Hill had a footy team and a footy ground in 1891. Sheila did not know of this but I expected to find it. Red Hill 5-8 beat Dromana 2-4. See Mornington Standard 18-6-1891, page 3.

by itellya on 2012-08-21 04:09:19

I found the old post office, which is in great condition at 710 White Hill Rd (Melway 160 K12.)
Much McKeown genealogy now in the section about the Village Settlement. The McIlroy and McKeown family both had a marital connection with the Hillis family.
By the way, Colin McLear refers to HILL Hillis and I have seen that once in a rate record but never on a parish map. Was HILL a nickname used for WILLIAM HILLIS because he lived on a hill?

by itellya on 2012-08-22 02:30:32

My information about the pioneers on the Village Settlement, regarding Sherila's pages 41-3, has been removed from this journal and transferred to a new journal entitled PIONEERS OF THE VILLAGE SETTLEMENT AT RED HILL, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.

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