Monday, 18 August 2014

Western Port - a short history of early European activity

Both the Cardinia Shire and the City of Casey have Western Port as part of their border. The Bay has been a popular recreation spot for many of us over the years - for instance, we used to go to the beach at Tooradin when I was young; Dad and my uncle had a boat so they used to water ski down there, and Dad used to go fishing there as well. These activities would have been repeated by many local families since the European settlement of the region. Further afield, Phillip Island continues to be a holiday destination for many locals. The Bay has also been used commercially by fishermen. What follows is a short history of the Bay since the arrival of  the Europeans.

Western Port Bay was 'discovered' by George Bass (1771-1803)  on January 5, 1798. Bass had left Sydney (Port Jackson) on December 3, 1897 with the purpose of discovering whether a strait existed between Tasmania (Van Diemen's land) and the mainland. As we know the Strait did exist and it was named after him. Bass named Western Port thus as it was the most westerly port that was known at the time - or as he wrote in his journal I have named the place, from its relative situation to every other known harbour on the coast, Western Port. Bass navigated around what was to be called Phillip Island, but did not realise that the land mass that became known as French Island, was indeed, also an island. They were also unaware of Port Phillip Bay - I wonder what Western Port would have been called if they were. The journey was a remarkable feat of navigation and enterprise, the party was away for eleven weeks, had eked out the original six weeks of supplies they took with them, they sailed 600 miles of uncharted coast line all in an open boat that was only 28 feet, 7 inches (8.7 metres) long.

After Bass, the next official  European activity was carried out in the Lady Nelson, under Lieutenant James Grant (1772-1833) - they arrived  at Western Port on March 21, 1801. The crew planted a garden on Churchill Island and they charted the Bay. The Lady Nelson returned in December 1802 under First Lieutenant John Murray (1775-1803) and harvested the wheat crop planted by Grant the year before, and on January 5,  1802 they 'discovered' Port Phillip Bay. In April 1802, the French Captain Hamelin in the Naturaliste reached Western Port and circumnavigated  and mapped French Island.


Oyster breeding park, Rutherford Creek, Western Port Bay
State Library of Victoria Image A/S22/09/84/15

The French interest in this region prompted the British Government to establish, in 1803,  a settlement at what is now Sorrento, under Lieutenant Governor David Collins (1756-1810). In Western Port, enterprising sealers had moved in - seals were hunted for their skins and their oil. Sealers also abducted Aboriginal women, to act a sex slaves and to exploit their hunting knowledge. In 1826,  the British sent the Dragon, under the command of Captain Samuel Wright and the Fly, under the command of Captain F. Wetherall to Western Port, they landed at what is now Rhyll and claimed formal possession on December 3, 1826 and on December 12 they claimed formal possession of a site near Corinella. At Corinella, a settlement was soon established - gardens, roads, wells, buildings including Government House, military barracks, storehouse, hospital, blacksmiths, stables etc - most of the labour was supplied by the 21 convicts. This was a short lived settlement and was abandoned in January 1828.


Captain Wetherall's 1826 map of Western Port
Source: Western Port Chronology 1798-1839: Exploration to Settlement by Valda Cole (see below)

Later on pastoral settlements took place - in 1835 Samuel Anderson (1803-1863) and Robert Massie settled on the Bass River.  Moving  around to the Bay, to the area now covered by Casey and Cardinia - in 1839 Robert Jamieson and Samuel Rawson settled at the Yallock Station, on the Yallock Creek. Frederick and Charles Manton took up Manton's Old Station in 1840; the Balla Balla run was taken up by Robert Innes Allen in 1839; Thomas Rutherford took up the station (Bourbinandera) based around what was to be known as Rutherford Inlet in 1842; the Lang Waring run was taken up in 1843 by William Willoby. Later on, from around the 1850s,  all these  large runs were broken up and sold and other European settlers arrived.


These are aerials of the top section of Western Port, taken January 22 1970 - not exactly what the early Europeans would have seen, but I can never resist using an aerial photograph! You could only imagine what these early explorers and cartographers would say if they could see the land they charted today, from an aerial or satellite image. The township is Warneet. The land mass on the left is Quail Island, Rutherford Inlet separates Quail island from Chinamans island. Quail island was originally known as Harris Island, it was named for Surgeon John Harris, member of the N.S.W Corps. Chinamans Island was so named as Chinese fishermen were said to live on the island.


This is Warneet, again, and Cannons Creek. We also see the top of Quail Island and Rutherford Inlet.


The land mass on bottom right is Quail Island, with Watson Inlet to the left. From the middle top, there is an L-shaped road - this is Craigs Lane. The road running down to a creek/inlet on the right is Vowell Drive.


This connects to the aerial above - on the right is Vowell Drive. On the left is Tyabb-Tooradin Road and Callanans Lane, this forms a triangle, where the Pearcedale Conservation Park and  Moonlit Sanctuary is located. There is Watson Inlet, part of the Yaringa Marine National Park, again. The inlet is named after  John Watson, whose property 'Freehall', was near to the Inlet.  John Watson was the owner of considerable property in the Parish of Tyabb, a prominent citizen and a member of the Mt. Eliza District Road Board. A Mornington Peninsula Shire  Council Ward is named after him (Personal correspondence from historian, Valda Cole)

Sources:

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Nirvana Park and Nirvana Dairy

I had a query about a property called 'Nirvana Park' in Cranbourne. As I knew nothing about it, I went to Trove and typed in 'Nirvana Park' and I found it was a property owned by Frederick David Spottiswood from about 1944 to around the mid 1960s.

The 1945/46 Rate Books list about 60 acres in various parcels owned by Spottiswood and shows  he also leased land from the Crown and the Railways - the railway land was from the Railway line, north to Camms Road, with High Street/South Gippsland Highway being the western boundary and Narre Warren Cranbourne Road,  being the eastern boundary.  Mr Spottiswood operated an  Illawarra Shorthorn stud at ‘Nirvana Park’. An article in the Kiama Reporter of July 4, 1945 (left) reports that Mr Spottiswood  who has achieved distinction for the extensive milk retailing business he has built  up in  Malvern and in a similar manner to the model business thus established, he aspired to the creation of  a model stud farm with the noted Australian Illawarra Shorthorns the breed to be utilised. More about the milk retailing business later.

I have spoken to a long term Cranbourne resident, Val,  and she told me that his dairy was  a red brick building on Camms Road.Val also told me that the Spottsiwoods moved from the original farm in Camms Road to another property in Cameron Street, south of Sladen Street or Berwick-Cranbourne Road as that part of Sladen Street is now called  (about opposite the back entry of the Cranbourne RSL) where they also had  a dairy. Fred and Vevers Spottiswood are listed in the Electoral Rolls in Cranbourne until 1968 and by 1972 they are in Frankston.

Mr Spottiswood was a Shire of Cranbourne Councillor from 1949 until 1955 and he was Shire President from 1951 to 1952. He was also on the Committee of the Cranbourne Turf Club and Chairman in 1951/52.

Fred  Spottiswood is on the right of this photograph. It was taken at the 1964 Cranbourne Cup presentation.
Source: Of heath and horses:  a history of the Cranbourne Turf Club by Mark Fiddian (Published by the author, 1993)

Before he came to Cranbourne in 1945,  Mr Spottiswood operated the Nirvana Dairy (hence the name of his farm) on the corner of Waverley Road and Belgrave Road in Malvern East.  If you know the area, it is where Dairy Bell ice cream factory still operates today.  Many of us from this area are familiar with the Dairy Bell factory as we had to use  Malvern Road before the South Eastern Freeway (which ended at Toorak road) was connected to the Mulgrave Freeway which finished at Warrigal Road (about 1989 they were connected by the South Eastern arterial)

I am not sure when Fred Spottiswood started the Nirvana Dairy, the earliest reference I can find to it is in November 1934 when the Dairy won a prize for the best 'four wheeled light delivery turnout'  in a parade of business vehicles held in Malvern. Spottiswood is first listed in the City of Malvern Annual reports as an ice cream manufacturer in the 1936/37 year.   The City of Malvern Annual reports  can be found here. They are,  surprisingly, interesting reading as many businesses had to registered under the Health Act, and they are listed in the reports and thus the reports present an interesting  picture of the area at the time - for  instance in 1936/37 there were 32 other  ice cream manufacturers in the City of Malvern as well as the Nirvana Dairy.

Nirvana Dairies opened  a new building on October 28, 1938. I believe this is the existing Dairy Bell building.  It was opened by the Minister of Agriculture,  Mr Hogan, who described the dairy as sanitary, of durable interior, having ample space, good lighting, ventilation and drainage.  The story of 'Nirvana Park' and Nirvana Dairy is a good example of the connection between rural and urban industries that was once obvious to most Australians and is now largely lost. It was the Minister for Agriculture opening the new dairy because it was recognised that rural industries, such as the dairy industry, needed secondary industries, such as the 33 ice cream manufacturers in Malvern,  to sell their product to. Small factories like the Nirvana Dairy, often had a house attached where the owner lived  and they were part of the fabric of every suburb; unlike today where the industrial area in many towns is set well away from the residential area.


Account of the opening of the Nirvana Dairy in Malvern
The Argus October 29, 1939  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12528044

On a personal note - Frederick David Spottiswood was born October 4, 1903 and died June 12, 1992. He married Vevers Hemsworth (nee Lasslett)  in 1942. Vevers was born January 31, 1915 and died May 31, 1999. They are both interred at the Bribie Island Memorial Garden in Queensland, his plaque describes him as 'always optimistic' and her plaque describes her as 'stylish and witty'.

 I have created a list of newspapers articles about Nirvana Park and Nirvana Dairy on Trove, click here to access the list.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Opening of the Shire of Pakenham Offices on July 28, 1983

In the last post we looked at the some photographs that showed the view from the top of the hill before the Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers were built. In this post we will look at the opening  ceremony of the offices, which were officially opened  by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray on July 28th, 1983. The picture below shows the Governor  with the Shire President, Cr Austin Bastow, at the opening ceremony. These buildings are still being used by the Cardinia Shire, even though they are moving to a  new building in Officer in a few months.


The official opening of the Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray with the Shire President, Cr Austin Bastow on July 28th, 1983.



The Governor, Sir Brian Murray, addressing the audience.


The same scene, as above, but from a different angle.  The woman seated directly behind the Governor is Mrs Bastow, wife of the Shire President; further along the row is Cr Bastow and Mrs Murray. 


Cr Bastow addressing the audience. 


The Governor, being greeted by the Shire President, on arrival.


The  Vice-Regal tour of the new building.


The Governor shaking hands Russell Broadbent; Mrs Broadbent is next to Russell. The then Federal member for McMillan, Barry Cunningham is on the right of the photograph.


Two views of the audience.



The photographs, above , were taken by a professional photographer (perhaps some-one from the Pakenham Gazette) and we also have some coloured 'snaps' taken at the same event.








Monday, 28 July 2014

Views of Pakenham from the Cardinia Shires Offices in 1983

The Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers, in Henty Way, were officially opened  by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray on July 28th, 1983. We have a series of photographs that were taken before the Offices were built, on its commanding position on the hill,  that show what Pakenham was like in 1983. The group of photographs were labelled 'Photos of Pakenham outside our Office, before it was built'


This is looking east towards the Pakenham Consolidated School, (the white roofed building just left of centre) which was located between Main Street and McGregor Road and moved to Rundell way in 1997.


This is also looking east and adjoins the photo above.


Looking nearly south east, this photograph adjoins the one above. The house you can see on the left of the photograph (white house, silver roof) is on the corner of Rogers Street and McGregor and the McGregor Road Railway crossing.


Looking south - this photo adjoins the one above. 


Looking north towards St James' Anglican Church on the corner of Main Street and McGregor Road. 


Looking north again towards St Patrick's Catholic Church on the Highway.


Looking down the hill to Pakenham High School


Looking  north east to the Lily Pond


I believe the photograph above and the three below complete the view from the hill so they looking from east  (Cardinia Road) to south (HenryRoad) - or vice versa.
  







Monday, 21 July 2014

Garfield North School. No. 3849

Dr Ron Smith has written a history of Garfield North Primary School. The book is called The school on the small plateau: the history of Garfield North State School, No. 3849. The book was officially launched on July 13, 2014 by past student, Alan Forte, whom some of you may know as he operates a veterinary surgery in Pakenham. Alan did all his primary schooling at Garfield North. His father and uncle, Ian and Terence Forte also attended the school as did some of his relatives from the Towt family. Ron Smith taught at the school in 1970 until the end of 1972. Ron then moved on to another local school, Catani.


There was at school at Garfield, the Cannibal Creek State School which had opened in 1886. The School was located on the Princes Highway, west of North Garfield Road. In 1887 the School, the Railway Station and the town changed their name to Garfield. In 1899, the School building was re-located to Garfield Road at the top of the hill, half way between the Princes Highway and the Railway Station. In 1910, the Garfield School No. 2724 moved to a new building on its present site near the Railway Station. The old school building was removed in 1914 to North Garfield where it became State School No.3489.

Mrs Agnes Towt  was very active in getting a school at North Garfield. She was a trained teacher and a mother of three children. A petition to the Education Department from the locals in 1910 came to nothing (the petition had been presented to the local MLA in December 1910, and an Inspector was sent to make  a report in April 1911 and did not recommend a school) so in June 1912 Mrs Towt wrote to the Education Department and another Inspector made a report in June 1912 and this time recommended that a school be provided. In the mean time, Mrs Towt found a suitable site for the school and organised the purchase from a local land owner. The section of this land that the school was situated on, was described by the Public Works Department as a 'small plateau', hence the title of the book.  In October 1913, the Public Works Department recommended that the old Garfield school building  be removed to North Garfield, however  this did not happen until July 1914 and the school finally opened on July 20 1914 with Miss Daisy Body as the first teacher  and 15 children enrolled.

 Due to declining numbers the school closed down on March 6, 1973. In April 1978 it opened as a outdoor Education centre.  The book is well illustrated with many interesting stories and anecdotes; there is a full list of students and teachers. You can borrow  a copy of this book, click here for availability. If you wish to purchase you own copy, then it is available from the Post Office in Garfield.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Langwarrin, Carrum Downs and Skye aerials

Before the Council amalgamations of 1994, the Shire of Cranbourne used to cover Langwarrin, Skye and a part of Carrum Downs. Although they had been with the Shire of Cranbourne (and it's predecessor the Cranbourne Road Board)  since 1860 they did not become a part of  the newly created City of Casey as some other parts of Cranbourne Shire did; these areas went to the City of Frankston.  The original western boundary of Cranbourne Shire with the City of Frankston was basically Dandenong Frankston Road (or Western Port Highway) to Ballarto Road; Ballarto Road to McClelland Drive; McClelland Drive to  Golf Links Road; Golf Links Road  to Baxter-Tooradin Road at the six way intersection where the Baxter Primary school is  -  Baxter-Tooradin Road was the boundary between the Cranbourne Shire and Hastings Shire and this boundary went south of Pearcedale along the aptly named South Boundary Road to Western Port Bay.


This map of the Cranbourne Shire and various boundaries is from 

We have a collection of aerial photographs of this area, which we recently lent to Frankston Library and they have digitised the images and put them up on Flickr - you can access them by clicking on this link.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/39368267@N02/sets/72157633269098525

Here are a few of these aerials, from 1970, when most of these areas were still undeveloped.


Carrum Downs 1970 - starting from the top - is Wedge Road - it goes across to the edge of the aerial - the Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve can be seen on the top left.  The road on the left side of the photo, running at right angles from Wedge, Road is Cadles Road - it has a bit of  a dog leg - this road is Brunnings Road and then Cadles Road continues down to Hall Road. The Road (just right of centre) that intersects Wedge Road and Hall Road and runs north south is McCormicks Road.


Langwarrin 1970 - this is the L-shaped  Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. This Reserve was originally the Langwarrin Military Reserve. The road to the left of the Reserve is McClelland Drive; the arch on the left is the railway line that runs to Baxter Railway Station which is  a junction station (which is why Baxter Railway Station was originally known as Mornington Junction Railway Station). The Baxter to Hastings line opened in September 1889 and reached Stony Point in December 1889. The other line used to run from Baxter to Mornington with stations at Mooroduc, Mornington Racecourse and Mornington. It also opened September 1889 and it closed June 1981.


Syke, Carrum Downs and Langwarrin 1970. The road running  from left to right (or west to east) at the top is Hall Road. The road running down the centre of the photograph (north to south) is McCormicks Road. It intersects with Ballarto Road, towards the bottom of the photo. The two roads running off Ballarto Road are McClelland Drive on the left and Potts Road on the right.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Carrum Downs

Historically, the township of Carrum Downs was always split between the City of Frankston and the Shire of Cranbourne (Frankston Dandenong Road being the boundary)  - however after the 1994 Council amalgamations all of Carrum Downs was consolidated into the City of Frankston. However, because Carrum Downs has spent 134 years as part of the Shire of Cranbourne and its predecessor the Cranbourne Road Board,  I feel it deserves a place in this blog.

Carrum Downs grew out of  a farming settlement that was sub-divided about 1908 - cattle, oats, onions and potatoes were some of the agricultural products to come out of the area.


Mornington and Dromana Standard August 22,  1908    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70085197

The first school  in the area opened on March 22, 1909 in a house owned by Mrs Blades. The purpose built school opened on Frankston Dandenong Road on September 11, 1911. The head Teacher, Evelyn McIntire was in charge of  sixty students. Growth in the area was steady until 1960 when the school population rose to 100 and two more rooms were added*



Frankston and Somerville Standard  May 17, 1930  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73516919

The Carrum Downs Memorial Hall was opened with a ball on Wednesday, May 21 1930 as  this article (above) attests.The School was on the Frankston side the hall was on the Cranbourne side as was the Recreation Reserve in Wedge Road and the Scout Hall. Early on the locals were obviously not happy with either Frankston or Cranbourne as in 1910 there was a movement to secede from both and go to Dandenong!




In the Shire of Cranbourne part of Carrum Downs was the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement for unemployed people. The founder, Father Gerard Tucker (1885-1974) believed there needed to be an alternative to being unemployed and subsequent slum living conditions in the inner cities. The Carrum Downs settlement was established in 1935 with the object to provide men and their families simple shelter and a place to produce their own food. The settlement had  a community farm and  the country location enabled the children to live  a healthy life away from the bad influences of he inner city.  In 1946 had become  a home for aged people and it still operates in this way.


These photographs of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement are form the State Library of Victoria.

Croquet lawn  and Cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1622

 I suspect that the croquet lawn was developed when the village became a place for elderly residents, rather than the unemployed.

Single cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1625

Cottage Hospital. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1619

There is an interesting account of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement that was written as a submission for a 2004 "Inquiry into sustainable urban design for new communities on outer suburban areas" - click here
http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/osisdv/Sustainable_Urban_Design_for_New_Communities/Submissions/OSISDC-Sub-22_BrotherhoodOfStLaurence.pdf


* Vision and Realisation: a centenary history of State Education in Victoria.