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Journal by itellya

Was it at the west end of Canning St, Avondale Heights (Melway 27 B8) or at the end of North Rd (27 B5)?
Does information about the Solomons help?

3 Settling on the land
3.1 Squatters
By the time Hoddle made his map of Cut-Paw-Paw, he could mark the location of one squatter's
station in the parish of Cut-Paw-Paw. This was 'Mr Solomon's Station', on the south side of the
Maribyrnong River where the Medway Golf Club is now located. Another station belonging to
Mr Solomon is on the same map, but outside of Cut-Paw-Paw parish, on the north side of the
river in what is now East Keilor(8) . Squatters did not own their land. At first they held their
acreage under pastoral licenses. After 1847 they were able to lease land from the Crown for 14
years at a time, with the option of purchasing part of it when the lease had expired. Joseph
Solomon was the licensee of a run in Cut-Paw-Paw, which he held from 1836 to 1849. Michael
Solomon is said to have also been the licensee of a run at Solomon's Ford, 'Keilor' between 1835
and 1841(9). Eventually Judah Solomon purchased the land on which the golf course now stands(10).
It is said that the first clubhouse used by the Medway Golf Club was a relic of the 1850s,
belonging either to Judah Solomon or William Alison Blair who purchased the property from
Solomon in 1858(11).
8 See map Sydney C10, Parish of Cut-Paw-Paw, Hoddle, 1840
9 R.V. Billis and A.S.Kenyon, Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip, 1974: 142
10 Jones, 1983: 54Environmental History City of Maribyrnong
Jill Barnard Graeme Butler Francine Gilfedder & Gary Vines, 2000: Volume 2: 6
Maribyrnong Heritage Review Volume 2 Environmental History City ...

That does little to help us decide because Joseph and Judah were near the site of Braybrook Township and Michael was near North Rd.

In a book entitled SOLOMON'S FORD, Valentine Jones presented a strong case for the ford at the west end of Canning St, and convinced me, so that I have written many times that the Canning St ford was Solomon's ford. Now I think I was wrong because of three words: TO SOLOMON'S FORD.

But firstly,let's see what Graeme, Gary and Co.say about the Canning St ford.

Ironically, the site most easily identifiable with the first white people to enter the area, the ford across the Maribyrnong found by Grimes and his party on the Maribyrnong in 1803, is said to be a fish trap and ford created by Woi-wurrung people.

The (Grimes) party rowed as far as some rocks that later became known as Solomon's Ford and were situated on the Maribyrnong just south of the western end of what is today called Canning Street, at the boundary of the Cities of Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Moonee Valley. Unable to get the boat across the rocks, they left it
and moved further up the river until they found that the salt water gave way to fresh.

The second excerpt shows that eminent historians placed their money on the same horse as I had. However the words in bold type bring us to the Township of Braybrook map. This township, like Keilor and Broadmeadows (now Westmeadows) was placed on a well-used route and straddled a stream. Braybrook Township was in the parish of Doutta Galla north of the river, and Cut Cut Paw to the south. The Canning St ford was on North Braybrook Township where Michael and Mary Clancy were granted land bounded by the river, Canning St, roughly Langham St,and Duke St. This ford could only be accessed through Clancy land. (Township map in Valentine Jones's book.)

Township of Braybrook - National Library of Australia
Victoria. Surveyor General's Office. Township of Braybrook [cartographic material] 1855. MAP NK 2456/265.

(A second Braybrook Township map is identical online,except that it was signed by assistant surveyor James Reid on 5-1-1855 and shows a dotted line from the south leading to the Rhonda St ford.)

The 1-5-1855 township map,prepared for the early sale of lots with only some parts having been subdivided, shows that Avondale Heights' Raglan St continued south to the river meeting Lacy St on the other side;perhaps a bridge was intended there. Canning St only went as far west as Raglan St but the present west end was called North St and ran between Brown St and the river. There was no ford at Melway 27 B8! Brown St continued to the river following the course of today's Woodbury Court,and the last two sections of Brentwood Drive, to the line of Rhonda Drive which led to a ford! (Melway,27 C9.)Despite the Rhonda St ford (there in 1855), the river is labelled salt water to about the line of Butler St with fresh water written on the part of the river in 27 B8. This accords with what Grimes and Co. found (Unable to get the boat across the rocks, they left it and moved further up the river until they found that the salt water gave way to fresh. The water in 27 B8 (just south of the west end of Canning St) was labelled "fresh" so it must have been the Rhonda St ford that stopped Grimes' party.

The Clancy ford must have been made by Michael to get to his other land in the Shire of Braybrook,for his children to get to Braybrook State School or so he could maintain contact with other members of his family on the other side of the river.
The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918) Saturday 19 October 1878 p 2 Advertising.
Maidstone, 17th October, 1878..
IN accordance with Clause 265 of the Local Government Act 1874, the following Valuation of the Rateable Property in the Shire is published for the information of the parties rated.WILLIAM PULLAR.
Clancy, Michael, Hampstead nett annual value 2 pounds.

The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918) Saturday 10 January 1885 p 3 Article
... slaughtering licenses were granted:-R. Clancy, Braybrook;

Mr. Clancy offered to maintain the Braybrook ford, on the Keilor boundary, for ?10 per annum.
(The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918) Saturday 8 May 1880 p 2 Article)

From Clancy and Porter wanting Errol street, Braybrook cleared -Deferred for the attendance of the Eastern
Riding councillors. (Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922) Saturday 8 December 1894 p 3 Article.)
You will remember that Errol St led to the Rhonda St ford via the riverside road.

The most startling piece of evidence in regard to Solomon's Ford is in the same map. On the west side of the river a road (JUST WEST OF BURKE ST) heads north from Raleigh St (now Cranwell St)to a point level with Clarendon Street (the northern boundary of the township) where it is labelled TO SOLOMON'S FORD. This would seem to be heading to the end of North St. but just to be sure, the Cut Cut Paw map was consulted.

Digital Collections - Maps - Cut Paw Paw, County of Bourke ...

This 1884 map seems to indicate that it was Burke St that headed north to Solomon's Ford from Raleigh St but it now extends south to High St (Western Highway.)After approaching close to the river opposite Clancy's it curved around the bend opposite Canning St and having reached the northern boundary of the township (eastern extension of Somers St), the road made a bee-line for Melway 27 C6 to cross SOLOMON'S FORD and link with the North Road ramp near the western boundary of today's Thompson St Reserve.

Although the Doutta Galla part of Braybrook Township is not shown, a fine line is apparent on a wider section
of the river where the 1855 (and 1803) Rhonda St ford would be,linking to a riverside road that is now a walking track,and from which could be accessed Errol St, leading to the Braybrook State School. I had never thought about where the Clancy, Munro etc. children from North Braybrook Township went to school but now it's painfully obvious.

The surveyors in 1855 and 1884 were in no doubt where Solomon's ford was but Clancy's Ford seemed to have been called Solomon's ford at times.
About 2 o'clock a.m. on Friday morning the look-out man at the Melbourne station gave the alarm of a fire at Braybrook. The local and Footscray brigades were soon on the ground, but as no water was available the premises were consumed. The locality was near Solomon's Ford on the Saltwater River, but at some distance up to the hill. The house was one of four rooms, built of wood, owned by P. Clancy, but let to Mr.Pridham*,butcher. It was not known whether any insurance was on the building or contents.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 17 April 1897 p 9 Article.)

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 12 August 1870 p 4 Article
The body of the boy Clancy, who was drowned in the Saltwater River on Saturday last whilst crossing near Solomon's Ford, along with a man named Morris, was recovered

Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922) Saturday 9 July 1910 p 1 Article
(The Braybrook shire had sent either a cheque or bill)for part cost of repairing Clancy's Ford and pointing out that it was an excellent piece of work and likely to require little maintenance in future. Cr Dodd thought the culvert had been put in higher than the old one and that the water at Solomon's Ford had thereby been raised and made less useful.

The Dodds and Delahey's would have known which ford was the right Solomon's Ford. What he meant (badly paraphrased by the reporter) is that if the water dammed up too much at Clancy's ford, Solomon's ford upstream would be covered with water, making the ford less useful,not the water.

Michael Clancy?s evidence at an inquiry into closed roads in 1879 reveals that he had about 35 acres joining Mr.Porter and Mr. Fitzgerald?s* properties and had arrived there in about 1856. Clancy and Munro, his neighbour in the township, were prevented from watering their cattle at the river by Derham, who also tore down 28 chains of Clancy?s 30 chain rock wall and threw the stones into his victim?s crops. Derham had Clancy?s lease of the river reserve cancelled. Harry Peck says that Derham, of fair complexion, as husky as a lumberjack, kept the pub at Braybrook and hunted others off hundreds of acres of land where he grazed about 200 horses for the Indian horse trade. Thomas B. Derham lived in Trinifour sometime after 1886 between the occupancies of W.G.Tulloch and E. Henderson.

(*M.Fitzgerald had 353 acres, between Balfour Ave. and Somers St., Sunshine, south of McIntyre?s ?Riversdale?.)
In 1900, Daniel Munro had 21 acres, Thomas Derham (Jnr.) 44 acres, A. Pridham 89 acres and Walter Marshall possibly 50 acres. Harry Newman of Maidstone had 10 acres while James Holbery, James Moore and the Melbourne Orphan Asylum of Brighton had parcels of less than 3 acres each. By 1906 about 30 acres of the township had become part of McKenna?s closer settlement farm.(P.45, EARLY LANDOWNERS:PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA.)

SOLOMON. - On the 25th April, at his residence, No. 3 Moffatt street, South Yarra, Joseph Solomon, late of Solomon's Ford, Braybrook, aged seventy-one years. A colonist of fifty-two years.

NOTICE is hereby given that, the Public Pound at Footscray, in the County of Bourke, will be removed from
its present site to Braybrook, near Solomon's Ford in the said County, and that the same shall be henceforth called the Braybrook Pound. By order of the Bench of Magistrates, ROBERT CADDEN, Clerk Petty Sessions,County Bourke. Police Office,Melbourne, March 27th, 1849.(P.1, Argus, 3-4-1849.)

The 1855 Township of Braybrook map shows "Pound Yards" near the bottom right hand corner of Melway 27 D9. This indicates that the ford that stopped the progress of Grimes' boat, where the water was still salty, (at the south end of today's Rhonda St), was the ORIGINAL SOLOMON'S FORD and the one used by early squatters.

John Dempster, aged 15 years, was accidentally drowned at Solomon's Ford, in the Saltwater River, at Braybrook yesterday. He was bathing with other lads about 4 o'clock when he suddenly sank, and the water being muddy it was a quarter of an hour before the body was found. Every means WAS used for restoring (inlnintion?), and Dr. M'Carthy was quickly on the spot, but all efforts at resuscitation proved futile. (P.6, Argus, 21-1-1897.)

("John Dempster, Drowned" search on trove.)
- On the 6th April (suddenly), at his residence, "Edinburgh," Northumberland Rd., Sunshine, ex-Cr.William Robert Dempster, J.P., the dearly beloved husband of Florence Marion Dempster, the devoted father of John (dec.),William (ex-A.I.F.), Henry, 'Martin (dec.), Mavis, Archie (dec.),Flora, Bert (A.I.F.), the devoted
foster-father of Ron (A.I.F.), Harold (A.I.F.), age 60 years on the 14th April.(P.4,Sunshine Advocate, 13-4-1945.)

("Dr McCarthy, Footscray" search on trove.)
Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922) Saturday 29 July 1916 p 3 Article Illustrated.
Footscray and district lost one the worthiest of its citizens, this week when Dr. Chas. L. McCarthy passed away at his residence, Paisley street, Footscray,etc.

A trove search for "Dr McCarthy, Keilor" and "Dr McCarthy, James McIntyre", which produced no real results, indicates that John Dempster drowned at the ford between Rhonda and Errol St rather than the one at North Rd.
(It may also have been Clancy's ford.)

Messrs. Dodd and Derham, members of the Braybrook Road District, as a deputation from that board, requested the co-operation of the Keilor Board in erecting a bridge over the Saltwater River, at Solomon's Ford, on the
boundary line between both districts. The cost was estimated at ?170. After some discussion on tho matter, its further consideration was postponed until tho 9th prox.(P.5, Argus, 29-1-1867.) Cr Dodd of Keilor Shire chaired the meeting. The Cr Dodd of Braybrook was certainly a member of the same family and was probably farming land near Ballarat Rd in the parish of Maribyrnong granted to Mary Delahey.

A bridge eh! If it was built, some relics of timber piles might be found,proving which of the three fords was being called Solomon's ford in 1867.

I just noticed a photo at the right of the newspaper result:1976, English, Photograph edition:
Solomon's Ford, end of Canning St, Avondale Heights [picture].Collins, John T., 1907-2001, (photographer.)
Solomon's Ford, end of Canning St, Avondale Heights. It shows a surface on the top of the rocks at Clancy's ford that appears to be concrete. It clearly shows the zig-zag ramp (like the one at Bertram's ford, Arundel Rd.)

As I was ready to resume but trove wasn't, I had a sudden thought; what does Braybrook mean? The meaning of Bray seems to have no connection with the naming of the locality and then I thought of Robbie Burns' song about the banks and braes of Bonnie Doon. Brae means "a hill, especially along a river". The river, being tidal, would be little more than a brook at low tide during the drier weather.

Three squatters who probably used the original ford at Braybrook were all Scottish; George Russell and his brother,Phillip born at Fife , Niel Black in Argyleshire and John Aitken also being a Scot. One of these three, or a fellow Scot, may have coined the name.

50 Creek.95 In 1839 James Patrick Main, who was transporting ...
mvcc.vic.gov.au/.../MVCC%20TEH%20FINAL%202012%20%20with%...‎(i.e. Moonee Valley Thematic Environmental History.)
PAGE 80.
Establishing Victoria?s dairy industry
While the Moonee Valley area was not a well-known dairying district, in the nineteenth century many farmers would have kept at least a small herd for milking. An early dairy farm in the Moonee Valley area was located at what is now Avondale Heights in 1871. The ?First Class Agricultural and Dairy Farm? of 282 acres was located near Solomon?s Ford, with a frontage to the Saltwater River.216
(216 Heritage Alliance, City of Moonee Valley Gap Heritage Study Vol. 1, p. 21 .)

This dairy farm (1871)had to be near Avondale Heights and Solomon's Ford and have a river frontage. Even without looking, I knew where it was! It was crown allotment C of section 9, parish of Doutta Galla,consisting of 281 acres 3 roods 0 perches (281.75 acres.) This was bounded by North Road and the ramp leading down to Solomon's Ford, a northern boundary indicated by the east-west part of Thackeray Quadrant,Riverview Street and a continuation north to include Weyburn Place houses, and on the south by Medfield Avenue and a continuation west (just north of Clarendon Street)to the river, forming the southern boundary of the present Thompson St. Reserve. This dairy farm adjoined North Braybrook Township!

([Parish maps of Victoria]. Parish of Doutta Galla - National Library of ...
Victoria. Dept. of Crown Lands and Survey. [Parish maps of Victoria]. Parish of Doutta Galla [cartographic material] 1860 - 1880. MAP RM 2741/90.)

The vendor of this dairy farm,(whose location and acreage fulfil all the requirements noted above)like George Dodd's family would have known exactly where Solomon's Ford was. Even if it was not the original ford, the North Rd ford was certainly known (by those who knew, not reporters) as Solomon's Ford by 1871. Crs Dodd (of Braybrook and Keilor Shires) and their colleagues were discussing building a bridge here in 1867 (see above.)

N.B. The vendor of the dairy farm, Crs. Dodd and the surveyors (Braybrook Township 1855 and Cut Cut Paw parish
1884)are united in agreement about the site of Solomon's ford,that is, the west end of North St.

I still can't access trove, but will try to find the advertisement* later. Crown allotment 9B of 222 acres, between the dairy farm and Buckley St was granted to,and partitioned by, Davis, Robinson and O'Neil who are discussed in my journal 1888 GEOGRAPHY WITH THE MELBOURNE HUNT.

I stated previously that surveyors made few mistakes but the chap who drew the above Doutta Galla map was guilty of one (John Hall's "Southwaite") and I've discovered another on the same map. He shows Maribyrnong west of Doutta Galla near the North St ford, but seems to be unaware that Cut Cut Paw separates the parish of Maribynong from the river at the line of McIntyre Rd (extended north to the river.) This is where Bruce Rd ran north to link with North Rd via Solomon's ford.

For Absolute Sale at on Early Day.
282 Acres, Parish of Doutta Galla,
Nine Miles from Melbourne, Large Frontage to Saltwater River. To New Arrivals, Agriculturists, Investors of Capital,and Others.
GEMMELL, TUCKETT, and Co. have received instructions from the proprietor to SELL by AUCTION, at their rooms, 40 Collins-street west, on an early day, unless previously disposed of privately, A capital agricultural and dairy farm of about 282 acres of excellent land, in the parish of Doutta Galla, having a large frontage to the
Saltwater River, and distant only nine miles from Melbourne.
The Improvements consist of comfortable bluestone cottage, &c, two enclosed cultivation paddocks.
The farm adjoins the properties of Messrs. Dodds and Delahay#. (P.2, Argus, 22-3-1871.)

#The intermarried Dodd and Delahey families received the grants for all of Brimbank Park south of the entrance or transmission towers as well as much of 11A, between there and North Pole Rd. Young John Dodd later owned the northern part (Keilor Binn Farm)which his wife (nee Goudie)insisted should be called "Brimbank".


by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-10-17 08:31:33

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.

Do you know someone who can help? Share this:


by itellya on 2013-10-19 11:50:32

My suggestions of names for the three fords near Avondale Heights are:
1. Between Rhonda St, Avondale Heights and the riverside walking track on the south bank of the river (just west of Errol St, Braybrook )(Melway 27 C9)-Grimes' Ford, Fish Trap Ford, Squatter's Ford, or Braybrook Ford.

2. Just south of the west end of Canning St,labelled "Rock Ford" (Melway 27 B8)- Clancy's Ford.

3. At the south end of the dotted line indicating the ramp down to the ford at the west end of North Rd, Avondale Heights (Melway 27 C6)- SOLOMON'S FORD.

Arguments for the above suggestions.
1 (a.) GRIMES' FORD. This is shown on the 1855 Braybrook Township map and is ]not Solomon's Ford because this map shows Bruce St* continuing past the northern boundary of Braybrook Township, (indicated by a line joining Somers St, Sunshine and Clarendon St, Avondale Heights) and the continuing track is labelled "TO SOLOMON'S FORD".
(* The Braybrook Township map shows this track heading north from Raleigh St (now Cranwell St) JUST WEST OF BURKE ST but the 1884 Cut Cut Paw map shows that the track must have been Burke St.)

The fact that water upstream of the Rhonda /Errol St ford was labelled SALT WATER, accords with Charles Grimes' notes that the ford stopped their progress by boat and after walking further upstream they came to fresh water (marked on the township map at about the location of Clancy's land, circa 1856, and later ford.)

1(b.)FISH TRAP FORD. The Maribyrnong Heritage Study (Graeme Butler, Gary Vines etc)suggests that the ford that stopped the boat might have been a fish trap made by the indigenous pioneers and if this was true, such technology displayed by the so-called backward savages deserves recognition. However examination of the site would be needed to establish that the barrier was not a natural reef.

1(c.)SQUATTERS' FORD. There were two roads in North Braybrook Township planned to go south to the river, Raglan St and Brown St. The former was on the same line as Lacy St south of the river,at its northern end, bent to the south west (Lacy St, Avondale Heights) and continued to the river slightly east of the line of White St, with a future connection possibly intended. Brown St followed the course of parts of a few present Avondale Heights streets (as in the journal), the last being the south end of Rhonda St where "FORD" is clearly seen by the river. Additionally, Queen St,part of which is now the n/w to s/e part of Barbara Crescent (or the park boundary just south of it), connected Raglan St to Brown (Rhonda) St at what was the top of the river bank, right near the ford.

As there was an 1855 connection between Doutta Galla and Cut Cut Paw parishes at the end of today's Rhonda St, both Raglan St and Brown St continuations had doglegs (at Lacy St and Brentwood Drive respectively)indicating an attempt to avoid too-steep slopes or perhaps gullies, the ford was within the township boundaries (townships being places on well-established routes), and the unsubdivided part of the township south of the Rhonda St ford shows a track following a back-to-front "c" course, once again following the most comfortable course, it is likely that Raglan,Queen and Clarendon, Brown (both leading to the ford) were alternative courses taken by George Russell, Niel Black, John Aitken etc. circa 1836. It is likely that Clarendon, Brown was the original course, accessed via Braybrook road (Buckey St, Essendon) almost to the river before following it south. The Raglan, Queen St route may have been shorter or involved fewer bogs,gullies etc.

There is no certainty that squatters used this route rather than the North Rd ford but why would the Government declare a township that was about a mile south of a well-established route?

If the Rhonda St ford was on the original route to the west of Melbourne's Saltwater River, it may have been the ORIGINAL SOLOMON'S FORD. This assumes that Joshua Solomon purchased the pre-emptive right to the Run that Joseph Solomon had leased in the parish of Cut Cut Paw,establishing that the run was in the vicinity of the Medway Golf Club site. It could be that Joseph Solomon's Run was west of Michael Solomon's Run, which may have been:"Another station belonging to Mr Solomon on the same map, but outside of Cut-Paw-Paw parish, on the north side of the river in what is now East Keilor(8)".(Gary Vines,Graeme Butler etc.) Cut Cut Paw extended north between McIntyre Rd and the river to Melway 14 J12. Therefore the Cut Cut Paw run could have been over the river from North Rd.

To prove whether the Rhonda St or North Rd ford was the original Solomon's Ford, the following would be necessary:
(a)Finding an 1850 or earlier Survey map which shows and names the original ford OR
(b)Finding the exact location of the Solomon Run in Cut Cut Paw.
(c)Finding in the notes of George Russell, and other early users of the original ford, that they called it SOLOMON'S ford (rather than historians assuming that they used this name.)

1(d.) BRAYBROOK FORD. The Rhonda St ford obviously led to the Braybrook State School which would have been a major centre for the district's activities but as Clancy's ford also linked the Keilor and Braybrook shire portions of the township, and also seems to have been referred to by this name,it could lead to confusion.

N.B. An examination of the site of the Rhonda St ford should be carried out to see if any signs remain, such as a ramp (such as at Bertam's ford near the new and old Arundel bridges at Keilor), excavation of the surface and perhaps a gully caused by the use of a"drag" to slow the descent of heavily laden drays (carrying supplies for six months or so, furniture etc.)

If so, a history board, including the Township of Braybrook map and any facts ascertained could be placed by the walking tracks on both sides of the river.

No ford was shown at Melway 27 B8, nor a road leading the site in the 1855 Township of Braybrook map. Michael Clancy stated at the 1879 inquiry into closed roads that he had settled there in about 1856. The ford could not be accessed except through Clancy's grants but I have seen an article about his boundaries being re-aligned,perhaps to allow access to the public. There is little doubt that Michael Clancy constructed the ford himself for his own purposes, and possibly to connect his land in the shire of Keilor and the shire of Braybrook (N.A.V. 2 pounds in 1879.)It would seem that Clancy's children attended Braybrook State School. Why else would he be asking Braybrook shire for improvements to the street unless his land was there. Whether this was the Braybrook ford that Michael offered to maintain for a fee and was accused of interfering with is uncertain. One thing is certain; that the "rock ford" at 27B8 can be called CLANCY'S FORD without causing confusion.

Several articles refer to Clancy and Solomon's Ford in the same breath (the Clancy boy's drowning, Pridham's house leased from a Clancy burning down) but Cr Dodd's assertion that a too-high culvert at Clancy's ford would affect Solomon's ford (by causing the water level to rise upstream)make it clear that he saw Clancy's and Solomon's as two different fords.

Clancy's Ford needs to be so labelled on Melway and with a history board including the map in SOLOMON'S FORD by Valentine Jones. Even though Valentine's conclusion was wrong,the map shows Clancy's grants at the location of the rock ford.

The township of Braybrook map (1855) shows the un-named ford at the bottom of Rhonda St, no ford at the site of Clancy's future grants (or track leading there)and a track continuing past the northern boundary of Braybrook Township which is labelled TO SOLOMON'S FORD on its continuation. The Cut Cut Paw map shows the continuation of this track,apparently Bruce St,linking with the ramp from the west end of North St where a Mr Solomon had land at East Keilor.

There is no documentary evidence that the fords at Rhonda/Errol St or near Clancy's grants were called Solomon's ford and the only such evidence of the location of Solomon's Ford comes from two surveyors in 1855 and 1884. The ford "a little south of the west end of Canning St" seems to become known as Solomon's Ford based on very little evidence. Reporters were usually not locals and could easily confuse one ford with another,but the Dodds were well versed in the area's history and surveyors made very few mistakes. Labelling Stewart's 46 acres in Tullamarine as 64 acres and placing John Hall's "Southwaite" in Doutta Galla on "St John's" are the only errors I've found in 25 years.

I'd be delighted if the Surveyors, Cr Dodd and I can be proven wrong but until then, I agree with Peter Somerville's assertion in 1989 that SOLOMON'S FORD was at the west end of NORTH ROAD.

Digital Collections - Maps - Cut Paw Paw, County of Bourke ...

by itellya on 2013-11-11 23:15:54

Additional information supplied to Brimbank Council's Co-ordinator, Strategic Planning, following the discussion she had requested, along with this journal.

This journal (below) would contain most of my information about the three fords including their precise locations and arguments for my choice(s) of names. It would be great if the cities of Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong and Brimbank funded a joint study in regard to correcting the misconception that the rock ford shown in Melway 27 B8 was either the original crossing place or Solomon's Ford.
The original ford would have been the ford or fish trap that stopped the progress upstream of Grimes' boat in 1803 but not that of salt water which Fleming stated changed to fresh water as they walked upstream some way. The ford so-named in heritage studies as the original ford did not even exist in 1855, as shown by James Reid's map of Braybrook Township but the ones at 27 C9 (which did not stop tidal flow) and 27 C6 did, the latter designated as Solomon's Ford on both Township of Braybrook maps, the connection with Braybrook and North Pole Rd (now Buckley St, Essendon and Milleara Rd, East Keilor respectively) via North Rd confirmed by the Cut Cut Paw and Doutta Galla parish maps.

Michael Clancy arrived at the Braybrook Township in 1856 according to his evidence to the closed road enquiry of 1879, and he obviously cleared many rocks from his land, using many to make rock walls, which Thomas Derham had his henchmen throw into Clancy's crops. He probably used the larger rocks to make a dam so that the fresh water (shown on both Township maps) which his property* fronted would not be contaminated during high tides. It would have been handy to access land he bought in the parish of Cut Cut Paw. Eventually there was a re-alignment of his boundaries, obviously to allow public access to the ford that Michael had made.
(*Shown on a later Township of Braybrook map reproduced in Valentine Jones' SOLOMONS FORD, which may be in the Brimbank Library collection,or perhaps, Moonee Valley's.)

If the ford south of Canning St, built by Michael Clancy after his arrival in 1856, had been the original ford:
1. it would have been shown on the 1855 Township of Braybrook maps;
2. the access track would have been used as crown allotment boundaries by the surveyors,and the later re-alignment of Clancy's boundaries would not have been needed: North Rd and the ramp to Solomon's ford were used as crown allotment boundaries and so were the tracks leading south from Raglan St (including Queen St) and Brown St in Avondale Heights to the ford in 27 C9.

N.B. Melbourne Hunt Club reports circa 1890 refer to McIntyre's Ford*. In checking where James McIntyre's grant was on the Cut Cut Paw map I just made a vital discovery. J.Solomon was granted 22B, Cut Cut Paw of 353 acres 3 roods and 20 perches. After the track north to Solomon's ford passed through the western area of Braybrook Township, its final 1390 links (278 metres) passed through Solomon's grant. James McIntyre's 22A was north of Solomon's grant with a western boundary of 7000 links (1400 metres) which continued the line of McIntyres Rd to the river.

I vaguely remember a family connection between the McIntyres and their neighbours to the north across the river (Dodd/Delahey) and that a later Cut Cut Paw map shows McIntyre as the owner of TWO crown portions.
The first recollection would give McIntyre a reason to cross the river at 22B/ North Rd rather than using the long detour via Keilor Village and North Pole Rd, and the second indicates that he may have purchased 22B from Solomon. It is extremely likely that McIntyre's ford was Solomon's ford at the end of North Road.
(*Exact source can be supplied from my journal 1888 Geography with the Melbourne Hunt.)


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by itellya on 2013-11-18 16:15:07

The Shire of Keilor engineer could be expected to know the right name for the ford that everyone and his historically-minded dog has called Solomon's ford. What did he call the ford just south of the western end of Canning Street in 1905?

The day men have been engaged during the past month in general road repairs, chiefly raking in loose metal, and binding parts of that newly laid ; picking in wheel tracks on North Pole and Barbiston and Cemetery roads; spreading gravel in Keilor and at
Clancy's Ford; burying two dead beasts drowned in creeks, etc.. etc.
(P.2, Sunbury News, 9-9-1905.)

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