THE SPRINGFIELD HOTEL THAT STOOD ON THE SITE OF THE A.J.DAVIS RESERVE ON KEILOR RD. (VIC., AUST.)
It was in a few typed pages that came into my hands somehow. I read it about a quarter of a century ago but while chasing some information about the Keilor Road Board asking the Bulla Road Board to use Dewar's metal on Grant's Lane,Tullamarine in about 1863, upon seeing the following, I realised that I had found proof about a snippet of oral history.
The few pages were written by Garnet Price who was the city engineer of the City of Keilor. He and Richard Kelly, the town clerk, had apparently been engaged in a power struggle and although Garnet,whom I never met, had moved to the City of Sunshine by 1974, this power struggle led to Keilor Council being sacked in 1975. See my journal, THE CITY OF KEILOR. Garnet St,between Buckley St and Rosehill Rd,on Dugald McPhail's old "Rosehill" is named after Garnet Price.
Garnet did a great job recording Keilor's history in the 1960's and produced at least one of the celebration booklets (1961-Proclamation as a city; 1963-Centenary of road board formation.) A lot of the information came from old timers whom Garnet interviewed. The few pages recorded the memories of an old council employee, (James?) O'Donnell, who mentioned a hotel had once stood where the A.J.Davis Reserve now is.
On the north side of Keilor Rd in 1863 from "Essendon Cross Roads" where the Lincolnshire Arms had stood for just over a decade was the former Essendon Common, sold off in 19 acre lots the previous year, where John Harbinson (mentioned in the 1950 souvenir of the Keilor Township as an orange-growing doctor from Northern Ireland)had land near Orange Grove (Melway 16 E 12.) From Treadwell St to where Keilor Rd crosses the Calder Freeway was land granted to Thomas Napier of Strathmore fame; this became Henry Stephenson's "Niddrie". Farther west to a line indicated by Miriam Court (Melway 16 H 8) was Spring Park,granted to Owen Connor and Patrick Phelan. The next farm was"Springfield, which extended west to Roberts Rd.
The hotels in the village of Keilor are well documented but if you'd had a drink at each hotel along Keilor Rd, you'd be drunk before you got to the village! The Lincolnshire Arms,the Springfield,the North Pole at the west corner of "the Essendon road" (North Pole/ Milleara Rd)and Henry Eldridge's Sir John Franklin at the east corner of Collinson St, would have seen most travellers spring a leak before they descended Curley's Hill to Samuel Brees' wooden bridge.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20.
That Magnificent and Celebrated
Known as Springfield,
Substantial Dwellinghouso, Out-offices, &c.
The Property of the Late James Kavanagh, Esq.
To Capitalists, Farmers, and Others,
FRASER and COHEN have received instructions
to SELL by AUCTION, at their rooms, 33 Collins
Street west, on Friday, February 20, at half-past eleven
That magnificent and justly celebrated farm,
known as Springfield, on the Keilor-road, the
property of the late James Kavanagh, Esq.,
consisting of l61 acres of land, situate at Spring
field, and lying in one block on the right-hand
sido of the road from Melbourne to Keilor,-and
eight miles from the former place.
There is a stono house containing 25 rooms on the
land, which was formerly occupied by James Kava
nagh, and known as tho Springfield Hotel. (P.2, Argus, 17-2-1863.)
on 2014-06-20 05:04:46
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.