Friday, 21 June 2019

The Tivendales of Officer

I did  a blog post a while ago on The Vagabond, a journalist who worked in Melbourne in the 1870s and 1880s (read post, here).  The Vagabond was John Stanley James (1843 - 1896) and after a mixed career in England and America he arrived in Melbourne in 1876 and commenced writing in The Argus, under the name of The Vagabond. As I said in the post, additional research has revealed that The Vagabond was more than likely, the father of J.B. Cooper, the author of the The history of Prahran and the History of St Kilda, amongst other works. This family research was undertaken by Julianne Spring, the great grand-daughter of J.B. Cooper. You can read more on this, here. There is a local connection between J.B. Cooper and this area, but first I will tell you something about him..

I believe the accepted story is that John Butler Cooper was born October 3, 1863 to Mary Butler in Melbourne. Mary was born in Ireland and then moved to England where was employed as a servant to a wealthy family. When she fell pregnant, she was sent to Australia to have her child. It  is thought that she added the name Cooper to the child's name to disguise the fact that she was unmarried.  She lived in Melbourne with members of the James' family and later married The Vagabond's uncle, John James. As I said recent research by Julianne Spring points to The Vagabond as the father of the Mary's child.

I went to a talk by Julianne at the Brighton Historical Society and she mentioned that John Butler Cooper had married Susan Tivendale and I immediately wondered if she was connected to the Officer Tivendales (Tivendale Road in Officer is named for the family) and she was, her brother James moved to Officer around 1889.

Susan and James were two of the nine children of James and Janet (nee Skeil) Tivendale. You can read about James and Janet and their family, here. James (the son) married Eliza Stevenson in 1877 and they had four children - George Frederick (1878 - 1965, married Ethel Georgeann Harris in 1908),  Matilda Elizabeth (1879 - 1956), William Thomas (1881-1955, married Rosetta Amelia Mary 'Dot' Harris in 1916) and Ernest Charles (1885-1960, married Florence Marden in 1913).  Ethel and Dot were sisters, the daughters of  Solomon and Rosetta (nee Sparkes) Harris of Beaconsfield Upper. Susan Tivendale and John Butler Cooper married in 1889 and they had six children between 1890 and 1908.

I am not actually sure if John Butler and Susan Cooper ever ventured down to Officer to visit her brother, James, however it is possible as they could easily have taken the train. James could have picked them up at the railway station in the horse and cart and they could have have spent a pleasant time in rural Officer, in the Tivendale house in Bay View Road and, on a clear day, if they climbed up the hill to the top of the road, they may even have viewed the Bay!

If they did visit they may also have had a close encounter with some wild life.  Ernest wrote this letter to Aunt Connie, who authored a children's page in the Weekly Times. The letter was titled Foxes and Snakes and was written on November 20, 1899 - Dear Aunt Connie,— I am returning my collecting card with the amount collected (£1 10s). Am I entitled to a certificate? There has been a lot of rain here lately. The crops are looking very well. Ours will soon be ready to cut. My brother got two foxes out of a burrow, and my father killed three snakes one day. He sees a snake nearly every day. Your affectionate nephew,— Ernest Charles Tivendale. (Yes, Ernest, and you well deserve one.—
Aunt Connie.)

Ernest Tivendale's letter to Aunt Connie of the Weekly Times
Weekly Times December 9, 1899.

Back to James - James is first listed in the Shire of Berwick Rate Books in 1889/1890 - he is a brick maker and he has a house and 10 acres in Lot 8, Section D, Officer's sub-division. James was one of five brick makers in Officer at the time.

In the 1880's the building trade was booming in Melbourne, and as suitable clay for bricks was found at Officer, a number of brick yards commenced business. At one period five were making bricks. they were Fry's om Starling Road; Holt's, near the Railway Station; Morey's, where the Tile Works are now; Reece's, where Whiteside's Orchard is ; and Tivendale's near where Hick's Pipe Works are. These are now gone, and no bricks are made in Officer.  (From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen: a brief history of the Shire of Berwick published by the Historical Society of the Berwick Shire, 1962) Most of the brick works closed in the 1890s due to the depression and the subsequent downturn in the building industry.

The Tivendale brick works was one of the brick works which did not survive and by 1897 the Rate Books list James as a farmer - he had 40 acres, Lots 5,6,8 & 10, Section D, Officer's sub-division. Where is this land? I am not exactly sure as I cannot find a Parish Plan with that sub-division on it, however the extract, above, from From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen locates Tivendales 'near where Hick's Pipe Works are', which is just to the west of Bayview Road. Hick's kiln and some  structures still remain at 335 Princes Highway in Officer, it has a  Heritage overlay (read this here)  but it is living a precarious existence surrounded by development.

James and Eliza left Officer in 1918 according to this report in the Pakenham Gazette -  Mr James Tivendale, an old resident of the district, is leaving next week, with his wife and daughter, to live in Mornington, his son Mr E. Tivendale having taken over the farm. (Pakenham Gazette, April 19, 1918) James died on November 20, 1921 aged 70 and Eliza died on October 2, 1942, aged 89.

The son who took over the farm was William and his brother, George, had a store at Officer. It was in the 1917/1918 Shire of Berwick Rate Books that George was first listed as a store keeper, but he had  a store as early as 1916 as he was listed as an agent for the South Bourke and Mornington Journal in May 1916. The Pakenham Gazette of June 1, 1917 reported that Messrs Tivendale and Adams, the local storekeepers, are arranging to erect new premises, a step necessitated by their expanding business. 

George Tivendale's store at Officer - his children are in front of the store.
Image is from North of the Line: a pictorial record, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 1996. Image has been cropped.

In 1936, the Dandenong Journal of  January 16 - had this report on George Tivendale's store -
Mr. G. F. Tivendale has leased his grocery business for a term to Mr. S. A. Robinson, of Pakenham, who took over the business on January 4. Mr. Tivendale has been in business in Officer for over 20 years, and has seen many changes in its history. The original store was a small building near the site of Mr. Rudge's home. As the business improved, an enlargement was necessary, and the present corner site was wisely secured by Mr. Tivendale. Last year the store was enlarged again, and electric light was installed. The 'present corner site' was on the west side of the Princes Highway and  Tivendale Road.  Stanley Robinson, who took over George Tivendale's store, had operated a grocery store in Pakenham from 1925 - you can read about the Robinson family and their Pakenham grocery stores, here.

The Tivendales were involved in the Officer community over the years, such as the Officer Union Church where George Tivendale was one of the original Trustees. The Church was officially opened in December 20, 1929. Penny Harris Jennings,  the great niece of both Ethel Tivendale and Dot Tivendale, and the grand-daughter of their brother, Claud, has written a short history of the Officer Union Church, you can read it in the Beaconsfield Banner, here. (Penny's article is starts on page 13)

As this is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the Tivendale family, this is where we will leave them. I have created a list of articles and family notices connected to the Tivendale family on Trove, you can access it here.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Fraser's Hotel at Pakenham

Michael Kelly established a hotel in Pakenham, on the west side of the Toomuc Creek in 1869. From 1881, the hotel was operated by Eliza and Alexander Fraser.

We can find out something about the Frasers from a Licence renewal hearing that took place in December 1882 at the Berwick Court and was reported in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal on December 13, 1882.  Mrs Fraser had applied for the renewal of her licence for her hotel and billiard table. This was opposed by Sergeant McWilliams on the grounds that her house was so badly kept that it disturbed the quiet of the neighborhood, and that she had got a husband living with her, therefore was not a responsible person to hold a publicans' license, as she might be called away by her husband at any moment. She had also been fined for Sunday trading. Her hearing was postponed until January 5, 1883 and this was also reported in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of January 10, 1883.  At this hearing, Sergeant McWilliams said that the problems at the hotel were getting worse and that two months ago there was a drunken man lying outside covered with blood, apparently having been in a fight. Mrs. Fraser interfered, when Mr Fraser kicked her and gave her a blow in the face. 

The Sergeant went on to give other evidence against Mrs Fraser - Some time ago, about 17th May, 1882, he was on duty in Berwick about nine or ten o'clock, when he was met by Mrs. Fraser in a great state of excitement, who rushed into his arms, exclaiming that she had run away from her husband, as she thought he was going to kill her. At his persuasions, on that occasion, she, after some trouble, returned home. Shortly after that she telegraphed down for the witness to come up to her hotel for the purpose of protecting her against the cruelties of her husband, which witness did. Afterwards she took out a summons before Mr. F. Call in Melbourne, binding her husband over to keep the peace towards her. He also said the outside buildings were in a very dilapidated condition, and what with its being surrounded by pigs and geese and other animals, it was in a most disgusting and beastly state.

Mrs Fraser's lawyer, Mr Gillott, appeared for her and answered some of the allegations and that she was dependent on the profits of the hotel for the support of herself and three children. Other information presented  about Mrs Fraser included  She had held a publican's licence for thirteen years; eleven years in Melbourne at the Inverness, Royal George, and Kirks Bazaar Hotels. There were twelve rooms in the Pakenham Hotel - Michael Kelly, the owner of the hotel, sworn, stated that if the license was granted he was prepared to put the hotel in proper order. The house had been continually licensed for the last fourteen years. The present applicant had been in it since 15th September 1881.  

Mr. Gillott made an able address, and after joining issue on all of the objections that had been raised, said the only tenable one was her unsatisfactory marital relations with her husband which was not
misconduct on her part but her misfortune for which she should not be deprived of her only source of livelihood and thrown upon the world with only a few sticks of furniture to sell to enable her to commence life afresh. The Court granted her licence to keep the hotel for another year on the condition that it was better conducted and the building put in order. For some reason  the licence for the billiard table was not granted. The next few years the licence was renewed without an issue and at a hearing in June 1886, the licence was formally transferred from Alexander's name to Eliza's name.

Fraser's Hotel was part of allotment 1 & 2, Section 2, to the left (or west) of the Toomuc Creek. You can see Bourke's La Trobe Inn (also called Bourke's Hotel) on the other side of the creek.
The Township of Pakenham, County of Mornington. H. Permein, Assist. Surveyor ; lithographed at the Public Lands Office, Melbourne, April 22nd, 1858 by T. Ham. Victoria. Public Lands Office
State Library of Victoria - see the full map here -

Eliza Fraser (nee Mulcahy) died July 31, 1890 at the age of 43. Her Will lists her property - that piece of land at Pakenham being part of allotment 1& 2, Section 2, Parish of Pakenham on which is erected a weather-board house containing seven rooms, and kitchen and bedrooms detached containing 3 rooms and the said land containing one acre. Also all that piece or parcel of land situate at Pakenham containing half acre or thereabouts. The value of the land was £890 and the total estate including personal property was valued at £915. The Estate was left to her three sons -  John James Ward, Arthur Ward and Alexander Fraser. Eliza had married Arthur Ward in 1869 and he died May 26, 1874. She married Alexander Fraser in 1878 - the year they moved to Pakenham - more of which below.  Her executors were her son, John James Ward, Patrick Kennedy and John Dwyer.

John Dwyer took over as licensee of the hotel after Eliza’s death, according to a Berwick Licensing Court hearing, held on December 5, 1890.  The 1889/1890 Rate books list Eliza as the owner of the hotel, for some reasons in the previous three years she is not listed and in 1885/1886 she listed as renting the building from Michael Kelly, which means it was sometime in that date range that she purchased the building from Mr Kelly.  I am unsure what happened after that - a property was listed in Eliza Fraser's name (either as Estate of or Executors of) up to the 1894/1895 Rate books, the address being Lot 1 Staughtons sub-division - I think that is possibly 'the parcel of land situate in Pakenham' that was listed in the Will, and not the Hotel. The 1895/1896 Rate Books has this property listed as being owned by Mrs F. Allen, occupation Housekeeper. In the 1897/1898 Rates her occupation has been gentrified to 'Lady' - she has the property up to 1905, but that's as far as I went looking.  I cannot find John Dwyer listed in the Rate Books, so I have no information about other owners of the hotel property or the fate of the building.

Before we finish up we will have a look at  Eliza's children - her first son, John James Ward,  was born 1872 in Ballarat. He married Ellen Gertrude Rice in 1891 and, sadly, died  April 12 1893 in his 21st year. Ellen applied for Probate on July 21, 1893 and  the following information was listed - he was a grocer from Pakenham and they had two children - Bernard - 18 months old and John James - 2 months old. Ellen was living in Cowwar at the time.

John's death notice
The Age April 13, 1893

Eliza's middle son, Arthur Ward, was born in 1874 in Ballarat. Arthur enlisted in the First World War, on November 19, 1915 at the age of 42 (Service number 20154).  His address was a miner and he lived at Donnybrook in Western Australia. Arthur Died of Wounds on April 17, 1918. His Next of Kin was his sister-in-law, Ellen Hawes of Cowwarr. Ellen had married Edgar Hawes in 1897. Arthur is listed on the Honor Board at St Patrick's Catholic School in Pakenham, see here.  There is more information on the St Patrick's Honor Board and other Great War Memorials in the Pakenham District on Patrick Ferry's website - A Century After the Guns Fell Silent Remembering the Pakenham District's WWI Diggers 1914-1918

Reference to Arthur Ward's death - 'native of Pakenham' - buried at Vignacourt in France
Commonwealth War Graves Commission; London, United Kingdom; The War Graves Of The British Empire, Hem Farm, Hem-Monacu Suzanne Communal, Suzanne Military, Herbecourt British, Frise Communal, France. 

Death notice of Ellen - John's wife and Arthur's sister -in-law
The Argus November 15, 1955

Eliza's last son, Alexander Fraser,  was born in  Pakenham in 1879. This means that the Frasers were in Pakenham at least two years before they took over the licence of the Hotel in 1881, so I did some more research and found an article about an Insolvency case brought against Alexander Fraser, farmer, of Pakenham. The article tell us that Alexander and Eliza had purchased 165 acres each in June 1878 and that my wife was possessed of and carried on business in the Royal George Hotel, Elizabeth street - so this confirms that this couple are the same ones that held the hotel licence. You can read the full report, here, in The Herald, June 9, 1880. I presume Alexander being declared bankrupt was the catalyst for Eliza Fraser going back into the hotel business. I don't know what happened to Alexander Fraser - either the father or the son -  in the end.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on Trove on Eliza Fraser and her hotel and family, you can access it here.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Ordiyal Estate at Clyde.

The Ordiyal Estate at Clyde was located at in the Parish of Sherwood - Sections 8 and 19, part sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 and Portions 47, 48 and 49 - all up just over 2,469 acres. It has connections to two notable names connected to the history of Victoria.

The land was originally part of John Bakewell's holdings. John Bakewell was a member of the influential partnership of Mickle, Bakewell and Lyall who arrived in the Western Port area in 1851. John Mickle (1814 - 1885) and John Bakewell (1807 - 1888) were business partners in Melbourne from 1847 and they were soon joined by William Lyall (1821 - 1888) whose sister Margaret was the wife of John Mickle.  In 1851 they acquired the Yallock Run (based on the Yallock Creek, south of Koo Wee Rup). In 1852 they acquired the Tooradin run and in 1854 they acquired the Great Swamp run and at one stage they occupied nearly all the land from Cranbourne to Lang Lang.

After Government land sales in 1856 the trio subdivided their jointly owned land. Bakewell’s portion included Tooradin, Tobin Yallock, the Bluff and Warrook on the Yallock Creek. Mickle received the Upper Yallock blocks which he renamed Monomeith. Lyall received the Yallock pre-emptive right and the remaining land. William and Annabella Lyall built Harewood house in the 1850s and the property remained in the Lyall family until 1967. John Bakewell died in England in 1888.

In the 1860s Bakewell leased out his properties - the Ordiyal property, also called Oordiyalyal (and listed as Cordigalgal by Niel Gunson in The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire) was taken up by W.S. Cox, who is the first notable name to own the property. Dr Gunson says that in October 1877, Cox purchased the land. W. S. Cox was William Samuel Cox (1831-1895). He was a racehorse owner, established the Moonee Valley racecourse in 1882 and is the namesake for the Cox Plate horse race. The race was established in 1922 and  is a race for three year old thoroughbreds. It was originally run over 9 and a half furlongs or 2,090 yards and is now 2,040 metres. The Racing Victoria website says that Cox took pains to ensure that the racing was honest and to offer sufficient prizemoney to attract a good class of horse. He also had a flair for timing, and he secured an October meeting on the Saturday before the VRC Derby, which remains today as the meeting at which the Cox Plate and Moonee Valley Cup are run. Today, the Cox plate is the second richest race after the Melbourne Cup.

The first mention I can find in the papers of William Cox at the property was in The Weekly Times of August 17, 1877 Having seen one or two winners by Chieftain at Benalla and Deniliquin, it is evident that he imparts the family characteristics to his stock. He should have a most successful season at Oordiyalyal, near Cranbourne, where Mr. Cox has placed him at the service of the public at the low figure of 5 guineas.  

In 1883, Cox put Oordiyalyal as he called it, up for sale, along with his Sherwood Forest estate, which adjoined it to the south. The State Library of Victoria has a  plan of the properties

Plan of Oordiyalyal and Sherwood Forest Estates, 1883
State Library of Victoria
Click on this link if you wish to see an enlarged version of the plan

I assume it was at this sale that Robert Chirnside (1830 - 1902) the second notable name connected to Ordiyal,  purchased the property.  Robert Chirnside was the nephew of Thomas Chirnside (1815 - 1887) and Andrew Chirnside (1818-1890).  Thomas had arrived in Australia in 1839, and Andrew the next year and they prospered and acquired various farming properties and their wealth was showcased by the construction of the grand mansion, Werribee Park, from 1873 which was completed late 1877 or early 1878. Robert was the son of Peter and Margaret (nee Bell) Chirnside and he arrived in Australian in 1857 to manage the Werribee run for his uncle Thomas. 

Werribee Park mansion built by brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside in the 1870s. 
South East View of Werribee Park Mansion. (The Property of T. and A. Chirnside, Esqs.), 1880. Photographer: Fred Kruger. 
State Library of Victoria Image H24834

In 1868, Robert married Margaret Forbes, whose grandfather was the Reverend James Clow (1790 - 1861).  Clow was a Presbyterian Minister, the first one in Victoria, who arrived in Melbourne in 1837 and had land and a house on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Street. Clow took up the Tirhatuan Run in August 1838. This run takes in parts of modern day Dandenong, Endeavour Hills and Narre Warren  North, and he built  a homestead, just north of what is now Wellington Road, Rowville.  Clow Street in Dandenong is named after him.  Robert was the first cousin of Andrew Chirnside (1855 - 1834) the son of the Andrew Chirnside, mentioned above. Andrew Jnr was married to Winifred Sumner and they owned Edrington at Berwick. The couple both died within three months of each other in 1934 and Edrington passed to Lady Casey and her brother, Colonel Rupert Ryan, niece and nephew of Winifred. Read more on Edrington, here.

Back to Robert Chirnside, he had extensive land holdings apart from Ordiyal. He owned and lived at Mount Rothwell at Little River and he also had Weering, Mowyong and Green Meadows. We know this because in 1886 he put the entire estate up lease for five years, as he was visiting Europe. Weering of 11,172 acres was advertised as being available as a stand alone property, but Little River, Mowying, Green Meadows and Ordiyal were to be let as  a whole - 16, 838 acres, the advertisement said that It has been decided to let these properties as a whole, because they are found to work so well together. The Ordiyal property had a three-roomed cottage, kitchen and bedroom and was described as a fine summer country, and carries a large number of stock, Mr. Chirnside having had 7000 sheep on it from December until the end of April this year, and it carried them well. (Leader October 23, 1886)

Advertisement for the sale of Ordiyal in 1902
The Leader November 15, 1902

Robert Chirnside died on May 3, 1902 and left an estate of  £83,000. The Geelong Advertiser said he was apparently not as wealthy a man as many people expected. The weight of expectation in being a Chirnside! In November 1902 Ordiyal, listed as 2, 469 acres was for sale. It obviously did not sell as in January 1904 it was advertised for lease. In January 1906 it was listed for sale again, by the Trustees in the estate of the late Robert Chirnside - 
This estate comprises several hundred acres of rich black flats, running from the homestead down towards the railway line. It is all maiden country which has not been cultivated for a number of years, and has been used as a sheep run for a very long time, and is now in good heart. The situation is one of the best. The Great Southern line divides the property which runs right down to the Clyde railway station. The improvements consist of a good W.B house and stable. 

The property did not sell this time either and it wasn't until June 1909 that it could be reported that the Sale on behalf of behalf of Mr. Peter Chirnside, of Mount Rothwell, Little River, his Ordiyal Estate, Cranbourne, containing 2,500 acres to Messrs. Hagelthorn and Keenan. (The Argus June 2, 1909) Peter was the third of Robert and Margaret's ten children. Hagelthorn and Keenan quickly moved the property on as The Age reported on July 22, 1909 that Messrs. G. Power and Co. (Frank Boileau, auctioneer), Bourke-street (in conjunction with Messrs. Edwin Eagland and Co. Drouin), report the recent sale of 1200 acres and 248 acres of the Ordiyal Estate, Clyde, purchased in June last by Hagelthorn and Keenan from Peter Chirnside, to W. V. Bailey, or Garden House, Malvern, and Thomas Twyford, of Clyde, respectively, for close on £9500. It is Mr. Bailey's intention to improve his 1200 acres, and submit it to public auction, in small farms in the near future. The remaining 1000 acres of the Ordiyal Estate are under offer to northern and local buyers.

As this is when Ordiyal was sub-divided, then this is where we will leave the history of the property, apart from an explanation of the name.  On December 6, 1932 The Argus reported on a a scout camp at Gilwell Park in Gembrook - The camp will be known as the Lone "Oordiyalyal" a name new to scouting, but familiar to some of the Victorian aboriginals as a term for the "gathering of the tribes." 

The information about the Chirnside family comes from Wool past the Winning Post: A history of the Chirnside family by Heather Ronald (Landvale Enterprises, 1978) Mrs Ronald (nee Lambert) and her husband Peter lived at Pakenham at Koo Man Goo Nong; P.B. Ronald Reserve is named after Mr Ronald, who was  local Councillor. Mrs Ronald's mother, Violet Lambert (nee Barry)  has the distinction of being  the first woman in Victoria to be elected a Shire Councillor, when she stood for the Shire of Fern Tree Gully in 1931. There is some information on the Barry family, who lived at Lysterfield, here.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on the Ordiyal property at Clyde on Trove, it can be accessed here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.

Monday, 13 May 2019

'Around Beaconsfield' by The Vagabond

On November 28, 1885 The Argus published an article by the journalist, The Vagabond, on his trip 'Around Beaconsfield' You can read it here, on Trove, but it is also transcribed, below. I have also added some footnotes about people and buildings mentioned in the text.  It is an interesting look at Beaconsfield, Upper Beaconsfield and Berwick from 130 years ago. The Vagabond was John Stanley James (1843 - 1896) and after a mixed career in England and America he arrived in Melbourne in 1876 and commenced writing in The Argus, under the name of The Vagabond. His first article was A night in the model Lodging House, published April 15, 1876. You can read it here. In 1877,  a collection of his works was published in a book The Vagabond Papers: Sketches of Melbourne Life, in Light & Shade. You can read James' entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, here.

There has been more recent research into his life by Michael Cannon and Monash University Press republished his works with additional chapters (click here for link to our Library catalogue) Additional research has revealed that The Vagabond was more than likely, the father of J.B. Cooper, the author of the The history of Prahran and the History of St Kilda, amongst other works. This family research was undertaken by Julianne Spring, the great grand-daughter of J.B. Cooper. You can read more on this, here. There is a local connection between J.B. Cooper and this area - you can read about it, here.


Bound to Gipps Land, my first halt in search of the picturesque is at Beaconsfield, 28 miles out from Melbourne. One of the pleasantest of " saunterings by rail " will be found in the journey thither. The much needed Victorian Railways Tourists' Guide more particularly describes this. Past Caulfield it is as far as the line is concerned quite new ground to me. But I have some souvenirs of travels hither by road. We pass the cottage where nine years ago I spent some pleasant days and nights. I think of the mud baths my learned and athletic host delighted in, and the hard work he did in the garden before, having " worked off the steam," he sat down, quietest of men, at the breakfast table. I was solicited to join in the morning's amusement, but with my witty friend and fellow guest stood out. We left the trial to one of Victoria's gilded youth who, in his after career exploring in Queensland and Western Australia never had such a rough time as in the quick run across country from the mud hole. This form of exercise would be impossible now. Cottages and farms and market gardens are dotted over what was then wild heath and primitive paddock.

At Dandenong again come memories of a halcyon day spent in a ride from thence in goodly company to Sassafras Gully, the most charming experience I have had in Australia. As my first trip into the bush it remains fixed m my memory. But the drive back to Melbourne was spoilt by the dust. As a means of getting into the country I find that the rail is for preferable. This Gipps Land line has thus been taken advantage of by many townspeople and at all the stations within easy distance well known Melbourne citizens are seen to alight. They have left the strife and cares of business to seek their nightly or weekly rest in pleasant rural homes.

Dandenong and the neighborhood deserve special notice in the annals of "Picturesque Victoria." But that will be given in the account of the " beauty spots " immediately surrounding Melbourne, which I hope some day to write. In the meantime I acknowledge the kind invitations I have received from residents of this district. Near Berwick, the neighbourhood of the railway line, is especially lovely. Green fertile slopes and hedges blossoming with the white hawthorn of English May give a "home" touch to the landscape. At Beaconsfield station quite a goodly company leaves the cars. We find a collection of wheeled vehicles to drive us to our destination, for this is not Beaconsfield itself, although there is a pleasant cottage by the side of the line, and a charming little country hotel where
travellers can sojourn and be well treated by Mrs Gissing (1) The Beaconsfield Hotel (2) waggonette is filled with visitors, and the Professor takes charge of me, and drawn by the good horse "Punch," and with the black retriever "Soudan" barking ahead giving notice to all whom it may concern that they had better clear the track, we drive due northwards from the main Gipps Land road. The track is a good one, winding after a time up the steep hillsides, not too steep, however, for comfortable driving.

This is the charming little country hotel at Beaconsfield, referred to by The Vagabond. Photo from the early 1900s. 

At every turn in the road one gets glimpses of the landscape below. The picturesque wooded gullies remind me of the ranges between Nar-be-thong and Marysville. As we ascend the air gets lighter and purer. One feels a sense of mental expansion, and also of physical hunger. Five miles from the railway line we come on a small settlement, then turning eastward I shortly receive my first welcome to Beaconsfield, an English welcome to be remembered, at the house of Professor Halford (3) A little further on is the Beaconsfield House (4)  or as it is commonly called here " the Big House " Here, two hours and a half after leaving Melbourne we sit down 1,200ft above sea level, and five miles from a railway station, to as good and acquire a meal as the most exigeant, of holiday makers need desire. And whilst Mrs. Somner (5) tells tales of her travels and experiences at Port Darwin, two Englishmen, old schoolfellows, who meet here swap yarns of their youth, and two others, mates in Adelaide in 1849, exchange records, and I am more than ever convinced that this is a very small world indeed.

The physical man satisfied, we seek the open air. Monsieur and Madame, who, I hope, thoroughly enjoy their visit here, sit in the rose-embroidered verandah; others lounge on the garden seats or the sloping lawn. The daughter of the house is playing dreamy music in the parlour. A sense of blissful content steals over one. We are here, away from all the noise and struggle of man, on the highest point of the spur, above all other habitations, above everything which could interfere with our content. We have left our cares in the city. The Professor forgets his pupils, the architect his specifications, the accountant his balances, the veteran his double on the Derby and Cup, the business man his profits. I for a moment forget my editor and his demand for "copy." Our young couple forget everything except each other. Far below us there are twinkling lights of residences, to the south-west a bright flash shows Queenscliff, a will-o'-the wisp, as it seems, denotes the presence of some vessel in Western Port. Then the moon rises, and costs great shadows from the ranges and down the gullies. The distant plain is bathed in soft rays.
' The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelled In celestial light
The glory and the freshness of a dream."

The scent of roses perfumes the air. I feel that I could lie here and dream for ever, that I could easily lose all sense of my own poor personality, that I could fancy myself Endymion resting on the classic Mount, waited on by the invisible nymphs of Diana. Is that the rustle of their wings ? Jove ! it is a mosquito which reminds me that I am still of the earth earthy, and that it is not good for old men to lie long at nights on the cold ground. Also I wish to see the sun rise, so with a night cup I retire to bed to rest in the best room I have occupied in any holiday place in Victoria, 'twixt sheets which smell of lavender and rosemary and cause me to dream of boyish days in merry country homes in England.

This is the view The Vagabond would have seen during his time at Upper Beaconsfield.
Outlook over Westernport, Upper Beaconsfield.
 Photographer: Rose Stereograph Co. 
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2113

Mr Alfred Smith (6) and Mr Somner (5) get me out of bed, according to contract shortly after 4 a.m. The first grey dawn of the morning is stealing over the ranges. There is a subtle scent of fresh earth and of flowers from the garden. Soon in the east, flashing to the north and the south, are rosy rays, then the hills are tipped by a golden light,whilst the valley below is yet steeped in shadow and mist. Then with a bound old Sol rises once more and sets at work another day of Nature. The shadows disappear, the mists roll from the gullies and the plain, and we have a full view of nearly 360 degrees all around the horizon. The last time I saw the sun rise was from a coach driving across barren downs in Western Queensland. Very different here. I place this with my experiences of early morn in midwinter on the Alps as the most charming of the sort I have known in Australia. I do not know where one can get a more extended view than from the Big House. To the south are the level plains of Mornington county, dotted with many fertile fields and large and small homesteads. Townships too, as at Cranbourne and Frankston and Hastings. Woodland patches here and there and a dark fringe of scrub around the great Koo-wee-rup Swamp, 78 miles in extent. Farther ahead the inner waters of Western Port Bay, flecked by the white sails of a yacht. French Island and Phillip Island border the horizon in that direction. More to the west Port Phillip Bay gleams in the sunlike ocean itself. Faint smoke from seagoing steamers floats over its bosom. The You Yangs are a dim line beyond whilst Mounts Eliza and Martha and Arthur's Seat are plainly visible. In another direction is the Bass Range, and the level country towards Gipps Land, watered by many streams. To the north the Dandenong Ranges and the Harkaway Ranges are fringed with the State Forest. Standing sentinel at the end of this chain is Mount Baw Baw, and due northwards from us is Mount Juliet, which I last saw from Healesville.

One has a view here which takes in every adjunct in a landscape-mountain, plain, valley, woodland, stream, and sea. It is the most perfectly beautiful summer resort I know of in Australia. The most extraordinary thing is that till the other day I, like thousands of Melbourne people, was totally unaware that there was such a place as Beaconsfield where one can enjoy a charming villiegatura within easy distance of town, getting The Argus and one's letters at half past 9 a.m. , and with a telegraph office at the hotel by which you can wire to your wife or your chief that you have missed the morning train. These ranges are, in fact, almost a terra incognita to the rest of Victoria. They were first explored by the wandering prospector, who the historian of our goldfields points out, is one of the most useful members of Australian society:-
"His position is humble, he is despised for his nomadic restless habits, and jeered at for his devotion to the search for a will-o'-the wisp. But when it is considered how much the colonies owe to the gold discoveries the prospector may be said to have done to Australia is important services as any other class of men. With his pick and shovel over his shoulder, his blanket slung behind his back, and his billy and quart pot hanging by his side, he tramps over the most rangy and inaccessible regions of the colonies, sometimes digging in the lonely gullies, sometimes working on the sheep stations at shearing time, and nearly always as poor as a wandering Arab"

Leaving the Gipps Land road at Berwick the wandering prospector toiled through the scrub  northwards to the ranges, and struck gold at Emerald on the slopes of the Dandenongs. There was a small rush thither. Afterwards tin was discovered on Sir William Wallace Creek, and so the country became opened by packhorse roads. But gold and tin gave out. A few selectors came, and took up the good land near the Zoological Society's reserve at Gembrook but the discoverer of picturesque Beaconsfield was Mr Snell (7) draper, of Collingwood, who in 1875 took up the very pick of the district, 320 acres, on the height at the end of the spur, and built a four roomed cottage there, which has now blossomed into the "Big House. " Mr Snell however, shared the fate of most pioneers, in that he did not profit by his foresight. He sold out to Mr. W. Brisbane (4) in 1877, who claims to be the father of the district. The house was added to, and a " Sanitarium" on temperance principles started here, Mr Brisbane, like myself, being a believer in the virtues of cold water ; only I use most of mine in my bath. People came and were entranced with the view and the combined mountain and sea air.

Professor Halford was one of the first to recognise the salubrity of the situation and early erected a house here. Many Melbourne residents followed, and took up 320 acres or 20-acre blocks, and now Beaconsfield has a summer society of professors, lawyers, doctors and well-to-do business men, some of whom leave their families here all the year round. There are 100 good private houses within a circle of two miles, two stores, state school, an excellent public hall built by subscription and used for religious services, balls, and other social entertainments. A Ladies' College is being built and, I should imagine, would be a great success and local industries are represented by timber getters, carpenters, and a brickfield. The only thing which annoys me here is that I did not secure 20 acres of land to build me a retreat for my old age. But I am thankful for the Big House, the best kept and nicest holiday hostelry I know of. There may be a bar here, but if so it is located in some out of the way corner. In this respect everything is so different to the ordinary bush pub and many town resorts. In the garden there is a wealth of flowers, as well as of strawberries, and gooseberries, and asparagus and bushes of lavender and rosemary. Then there is a menagerie in the shape of a pet wallaby, a caged eagle and half a dozen magpies. There is a fernery, and Californian sequoias and pines surround the lawn tennis ground, and altogether there is everything to satisfy one here. I would be quite content to lie on the lawn and look at the sheen on the far away waters and the blue haze over the distant hills, and talk to the telegraph clerk.

It is a blazing sultry hot-wind day in the city, yet here, though warm, it is still pleasant, especially so on the lawn. But Beaconsfield having got me here will not let me rest. A committee of citizens takes me in hand, and in two days drives me around the country to the show places and picturesque points. Very lovely drives are these there are fresh points of beauty everywhere. The bush itself is far more luxuriant than the scrub on the flats. There are many graceful wild cherry trees here. Pines which have been planted on some selections flourish well. One finds here most beautiful specimens of the Australian heath, the epacris. There is the native currant in flower, side by side with the sensitive, "the fly eating " plant. This, which bears a pink flower, is a harmless looking weed : but its thin stem is tough and strong, and will hold a great weight. Flies and spiders resting on its leaves are enclosed in a deadly grasp , their life is sucked from them to nourish the plant. In California, before I ever thought of coming to the colonies, I had a long talk with Mr Harry Edwards, well known, I believe in Melbourne, on the flesh eating plant of California. He, although a good botanist, as well as an old Victorian, never claimed that we possessed this curiosity. But the wild flowers on these Beaconsfield hills are found in the greatest profusion. There are violets, flowers "which stand first with most but always with a lover." New chums, perhaps are not aware that we have many kinds of violets in Australia, some scentless, some with a perfume.In Southern Queensland one can lay ones handkerchief over a bed containing hundreds of these. Here I find as many different kinds of wild flowers as there are in England. We twine them round our hats like lads going a Maying. There is a variety of colour in all. Many a specimen of pink and crimson orchids. Very profuse is a brown golden flower like a broom - the Planta genista, worn by my Norman ancestors. I do not think it is a real broom, but I am just as happy with these flowers as it I knew the name of every one like the Baron (8) or Mr. Guilfoyle (9)

Nature worship is firmly planted in all of English blood, wrote The Vagabond. I am sure he was impressed by the wonderful fern gullies around Upper Beaconsfield.
Fern Gully at Upper Beaconsfield
Photographer: Rose Stereograph Co. 
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2107

Nature worship is firmly planted in all of English blood. Our early poets are full of it.We may not be aesthetic, but in English country life there is a good healthy love for woodland and meadow, and stream and copse,  for wild flowers and birds and beasts. I was brought up in this cult, and to day in these surroundings my youth comes back. All nature sings a song of gladness. The aroma from the gum trees is as healthy as from the pines in Californian or Columbian forests. The Professor explains to me that the sea breeze at this altitude acts on the gum forests and turns oxygen, a very good thing in itself, into the finest quality of ozone, of which you cannot imbibe too much. You are, in consequence always ready for the next meal or drink, here. How the locusts chirp as we drive between sloping hills, past fern tree gullies by the depths of the stream, to Hughenden. where Mr J A Kitchen (10)  has built himself a fine brick house and cleared a quantity of land at the expense of about £30 an acre.

Rhododendron and ivy give beauty in the garden; there is a lovely shade of green on the sloping hillsides between which a peep of the flat plain and Western Port Bay is framed. It is for all the world like a bit of North Wales, like that home in the Eryri Mountams where two young Australian ladies of my acquaintance once lived, and to the British and American tourists passed as daughters of the land, artlessly replying, "Dim Sassenach!" to all questions. Two such refined pretty girls," said my informant," but could not speak a word of English. A nice house, too, Plas Coch. I cannot understand how they can bring children up here in such ignorance. I suppose you and Henry Stanley could not speak English till you went to America." "I'm not Welsh my friend, " I replied, " and you have been sold. The young ladies of Plas Coch were born in Melbourne.

Mr Kitchen has solved the capabilities of the soil here. He has 80 acres planted with apple trees, 20 with stone fruit, 10 with gooseberries. Nothing but a large expendíture of capital could have so changed the face of nature, for the country for some miles northwards from the railway towards the Ranges is really only adapted for residences. And very pleasant residences are dotted up and down the slopes. Now, in fault of not possessing the Big House, I would prefer Professor Halford's bungalow, and after that "The Hut," belonging to Messrs Smith and Johnson (5), where the green sward in front, and the honeysuckle embowered verandah, tempt me to linger. The next best view is, perhaps, from Mr Elms' (11) but from every site there is a grand panorama. Mr Walford (12) is known as possessing a capital spring of freshwater I shall always remember with the greatest of pleasure the kind reception given me by the ladies of Beaconsfield, and especially at Miss Moon's (13) poultry farm, the Steyne, name which recalls memories of Brighton. Up and down hill you drive past Mr Bullens (14)  towards Mr A Beckett's. (15)  The new cottage is on the left of the road. There is an older residence with a few acres of ground opposite it for sale. I wish I could purchase this. At the Steyne white Hamburgs, Polands, game, and other pure bred domestic fowls have a good time of it. Corralled in small yards they have shelter sheds from the sun, cool water, dust baths, and everything a fowl could desire. The only want they cannot satisfy is to sit. The incubator does that for most of them. It is a luxury reserved only for a few favourite fowls. This establishment is evidently conducted on first class business principles. The motto Mens sana in corpore sono is illustrated by the fact that here a lady who for some years has devoted herself to successfully cultivating the muscle of female young Victoria has a home in which there are the most charming traces of artistic culture. I should like to buy Miss Moon out, and devote my energies to chicken raising.

Holm Park owned by Mrs Armytage, described by The Vagabond as a 'champion showplace'
Holm Park, Beaconsfield, c. 1957.
Photographer: Colin Caldwell
State Library of Victoria Image  H84.276/7/23A

The champion show place around Beaconsfield is Holm Park, (16) the property of Mrs Armitage (16) This is about two miles from the railway line, and a mile from the road, the approach being by a private drive bordered with pines and English trees. On a high knoll with a broad view below Holm Park is certainly a place to be coveted, a charming adjunct to Toorak and Mount Sturgeon station. Another show place, which interests me even more, is the state school. This is far inland from the junction or cross roads near the Assembly hall, and where the new store and Mr Goff's (17) house are situated.

Past the Pinegrove Hotel (18) we descend into a hollow very like that of Nar-be-thong. Here we find Miss Russell presiding over 18 children, only six of whom are girls. When I was in Kara Kara the other day I found the proportion of the sexes quite the other way. A large number of children here are of German parentage, selectors who have taken up land towards Gembrook. At this Beaconsfield state school I am particularly pleased with the rules of the playground code of honour which are hung on the wall. These, signed by a committee of the scholars, set forth that at all games, " truth, gentleness and good temper must prevail; defaulters will be expelled from all games for the day." The like punishment will fall on " anyone calling names." This, I expect, is rough on the girls unless liberally interpreted. In selecting sides at cricket " choice of ' first pick' will be decided by throwing at a mark." I have visited many state schools in the colonies, and have seen nothing so sensible as this code of honour instituted by Miss Russell (19) It ought to be generally adopted by the department. Also, I think, this school should be a little nearer to the centre of population at the junction.

On our return we halt at the pleasant Pinegrove Hotel, a great stopping place, kept by a worthy German settler (18).  Here some new chums, sawyers and splitters, have made the occasion of my visit an excuse to knock off work and imbibe colonial beer. These are men from the midland counties, who came out as immigrants to Rockhampton, but soon took the chance of migrating south. They are pleased that I know "the old smoke" of the Black Country. I am pleased to meet a hardy pioneer, one of the first selectors in the Gembrook district. He is ploughing a paddock close by with a team of oxen and to gratify him I take the handles for a few minutes and strike a fairly straight furrow. The farmer gives me his views of the necessity of a light railway or tramway from the main Gipps Land line to Gembrook. It appears that this was included in Mr Bent's bill (20) and partly on the strength of that land was purchased and residences erected. A light line could be easily made, the gradient not exceeding 1 in 40, and only that at one or two places. I have just come from railway journeying in Queensland over grades 1 in 33 and 1 in 25 ! Not only are there the number of private residences on Beaconsfield heights causing traffic which would make a tramway pay, not only would it open out a new locality to pleasure and health seekers bringing Beaconsfield within an hour and a half of the city, but, above all, and this seems to me a special reason, there is a rich and valuable country at and around Gembrook, on which at the present moment small farmers are struggling for a living, owing to their distance from market.

The land at Gembook is far richer than at Beaconsfield. Much clearing has been done, and a vast amount of labour expended in converting dense bush into good grazing or agricultural land. Mr Crichton (21) has the largest place and the best improved. Dr Bromby (22),  and Messrs Alexander (23), Sharples (24), Godfrey (25), Le Souef (26), Whitfield (27), Tyler (28), Ford (29), and Nash (30) Captain Page (31)  and Mr McMahon (ex mayor of Fitzroy) (32) have properties here. Mr Curtois (33), Government engineer, who surveyed the route of the proposed line, reporting on its practicability, also adds - "The land is really good at and beyond Gembrook, where the general appearance of the country is very similar to Mirboo and neighbourhood, but owing to the cost of transit very little cultivation is carried on and that only tor local use. Mirboo, I believe, is one of the richest districts in Gipps Land , and so I hope Gembrook will soon get its railway. Our engineering authorites will here have a chance of inaugurating a series of light and inexpensive lines as feeders to the main railways.

Good bye to Beaconsfield. I leave with regret, and hope to come here again. It is not my own will which carries me back to Melbourne, but duties connected with the Cup Carnival. I would much prefer to linger on the lawn at the Big House to mixing with the throng on the lawn at Flemington. I carry away with me the pleasantest of souvenirs of a real good health giving time and kindly attention from the residents Even the splitters offer me 7s a day if I like to stop here with the proviso however that I find my own axe.

We return by the night train from Berwick, Mr Elms escorting me thither. We have lost our bugler, and the drive is a quiet one. Berwick is on the main Gipps Land road, on the banks of the Kardinia Creek. It lies in a hollow, green hills sloping down to the township, the fertile paddock of Mr. Buchanan (34) and Mr. Gibbs (35) being prominent features. A very pretty township this, the elms and poplars in the streets giving it an English look. Quite a live place too, centre of a dairy farming. district which helps to supply the metropolis. Berwick owns two churches, the Presbyterian a new and fine building, two banks, a state school and mechanics institute. Bain's Hotel (36)  however is the principal institution which concerns the passing traveller. This is the "Border House," sign of the time when all beyond was the unknown district of Gipps Land. Here we take our evening meal, and I feast on the best of strawberries and the thickest of cream, and stroll, talking theology with the Presbyterian pastor, in a walled-in garden rich in flowers and fruit. Everything here is thoroughly home-like. Peace and prosperity reign together.

The last train from town brings its contingent of citizens, and amongst them a worthy Collingwood blacksmith who has a nice country residence here. Then a "crack" with the landlord on geology, a drive to the station and a meeting with an esteemed correspondent. I find in the cars a fellow passenger in Mr Fairbairn, whom I last met on the Peak Downs. We agree that this is considerably better than Northern Queensland, although he certainly has the pick of his district there. Also, I agree with Mr Fairbairn that our railways have been made on far too expensive a system. Queensland could give us a lesson in that," says he: "we want a man like Mr Ballard (37) to teach Victorians how to make light and cheap railways, and so open up places like Beaconsfield. " So mote it be !

Foot Notes:
(1) Mrs Gissing was born Maria Brooks, married to George Gissing. You can read more about the Gissings on  Marianne Rocke's excellent and extensive website, Residents of Upper Beaconsfield George's entry is here and Maria's entry is here.
(2) The Hotel at Beaconsfield was called the Gippsland Hotel, established by Janet Bowman in 1855. It is now known as the Central Hotel. Read more about  it, here.
(3) Professor Halford - George Britton Halford (1824 - 1910)  Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(4) Beaconsfield House was built by William Brisbane (1842 - 1910) in 1877, on the highest point in the town on what was to become St Georges Parade and Salisbury Road. Most of the building was destroyed by fire on the night of May 30, 1893. Sadly, we do not have  a photo of the building. This information is from Upper Beaconsfield: an early history by Charles W. Wilson.  More information on William Brisbane can be found Residents of Upper Beaconsfield  
(5) Mrs and Mrs Somner  - Arthur Hay and Grace (nee Foreman) Somner operated Beaconsfield House Residents of Upper Beaconsfield - Arthur's entry is here and Grace's is here.
(6) Alfred Smith - Upper Beaconsfield resident, Alfred Louis Smith (1831 - 1907)  Architect. He designed, with  his partner, Arthur Ebden Johnson (1821 - 1895)  the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, Como House and the Supreme Court buildings. Both men are written up in   Residents of Upper Beaconsfield  Alfred's entry is here and Arthur's is here.
(7) Mr Snell - Henry Snell (1839 - 1910) first person to build a house in Upper Beaconsfield Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(8) The Baron - Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Mueller (1825-1896) Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.
(9) Mr Guilfoyle - William Robert Guilfoyle (1840-1912) Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.
(10) J. A. Kitchin -  John Ambrose Kitchen (1835 - 1922) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(11) Mr Elms - William Elms (1825-1903) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(12) Mr Walford - James Oliver Walford (1831 - 1896) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(13) Miss Moon - Caroline Mercy Alice Moon (1855 - 1894) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield  The Steyne was built in 1878. When Alice Moon sold the property in 1888 it was bought by Amelia Noble and  later became the Guest House Kia Ora owned by Katie Hudson. (Upper Beaconsfield: an early history by Charles W. Wilson.) Caroline Moon shared the property with Harriet Elphinston Dick, Residents of Upper Beaconsfield  
(14) Mr Bullen  - George Bullen (1842 - 1925)  Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(15) Mr A'Beckett - Edward Fitzhaley A'Beckett (1836 - 1922)  Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(16) Holm Park and Mrs Armitage - Holm Park was built in 1879 by George Ramsden. In 1884 Caroline Morell (nee Tuckwell) Armytage became the owner, she was the widow of Charles Henry Armytage of Como House fame. Read the Victorian Heritage Database citation on Holm Park, here. Read about the Armytage family here - Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(17) Mr Goff -  William Henry Goff (1842 - 1906) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(18) Pinegrove Hotel - Pine Grove Hotel in Upper Beaconsfield was built around 1880 and was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday fires in  1983. The 'German settler' referred to is Hubert Lenne (1843 - 1926) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(19) Miss  Russell - Alice Russell (1861 - 1939). Head Teacher at the School from 1884 to 1889. Married John Robert Alp in 1886.  Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(20) Mr Bent  - Sir Thomas Bent - Commissioner for Railways, Premier of Victoria. Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.
(21) Mr Crichton - William Alexander 'Sandy' Crichton (1835 - 1921) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(22) Dr Bromby- Reverend John Edward Bromby (1809 - 1889) Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.
(23) Mr Alexander - Charles Stiffing Alexander (1824 - 1889) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield
(24) Mr Sharples - John Sharples (1833 - 1896) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield
(25) Mr Godfrey - possibly F.R Godfrey, listed in In the Wake of the Pack Tracks, as selecting land in Pakenham Upper 'around the Raleigh property'
(26) Mr Le Souef - Albert Le Souef, early land owner at Gembrook. Le Souef was a member of a syndicate who applied for a lease to prospect for gemstones, in a creek he had called Gem brook. Many early settlers found small gems such as emeralds, garnets and sapphires in the area. Le Souef was also the first official settler in the area when he purchased 129 hectares (320 acres) of land in July 1873. He called this property Gembrook Park. (Forest to Farming: Gembrook an early history by Genseric Parker)
(27) Mr Whitfield - no other information at the moment
(28) Mr Tyler - possibly J.C. Tyler listed in In the Wake of the Pack Tracks, as selecting land in Pakenham Upper 'around the Raleigh property'
(29) Mr Ford - possibly Thomas Ford (1832 - 1921) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(30) Mr Nash - William Douglas Nash (1852 - 1924)  Residents of Upper Beaconsfield
(31) Captain Page - Captain Page was the manager of Albert Le Souef's property. (Forest to Farming: Gembrook an early history by Genseric Parker)
(32) Mr McMahon - John McMahon, Mayor of Fitzroy 1880 - 1881. McMahon owned The Grange, Huxtable Road, Pakenham Upper.  He also founded the Fitzroy Football Club. You can read the Victorian Heritage Database citation on The Grange, here.
(33) Mr Curtois - Willoughby Curtois (1844-1934) Residents of Upper Beaconsfield 
(34) Mr Buchanan - James Buchanan (1827 - 1914) Member of the Legislative Council, Berwick resident. Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.
(35) Mr Gibbs - James Gibb (1843 - 1919) Member of the Legislative Assembly, owned Melville Park (later known as Edrington) in Berwick at one time. His wife also owned the Tulliallan property in Cranbourne, read here.
(36) Bain's Hotel - Information on the Bain family and the Hotel can be found, here.
(37) Mr Ballard - Robert Ballard (1839 - 1912) Read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Hampton Park land sales

This is the earliest advertisement that I could find for land sales in Hampton Park, it was in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of July 26, 1917. This Estate was named the “Hampton Park” estate by the developer Edward Victor Jones of the Equitable Building in Melbourne. You can read a short history of Hampton Park, here. This same advertisement was running in the paper until April 1918.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal  July 26, 1917.

The first advertisement in the Melbourne papers was in the first week of August.

The Age August 3, 1917

The land was still being advertised a year later - this time as poultry farms.

The Argus October 24, 1918

This is the advertising poster produced for the Hampton Park Estate -
 'Clean rich virgin soil - Magnificent red gum timber'
State Library of Victoria - click on this link to see the original on the SLV website of download a high-resolution copy -

This is an enlargement of the sub-division plan from the advertising poster - Pound Road is at the top, Somerville Road, in the centre and what would be Fordholm Road at the bottom - the road on the left is South Gippsland Highway.

A lovely rural scene - one of the photos from the poster

One of the magnificent river red gums

Somerville Road perhaps? Is this Mr E.V. Jones? Perhaps.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Webb Street, Narre Warren - 1990s

These are photographs of Webb Street Narre Warren, taken in the 1990s, by the City of Berwick (when Councils focused on the traditional 3 Rs - Roads, Rates and Rubbish) Back in the days before large shopping centres such as Fountain Gate, which opened in March 1980, and Centro at Cranbourne, which opened in 1979, were built, people used to do all their shopping at strip shopping centres such as Webb Street or High Street in Cranbourne or Main Street in Pakenham. If you wanted something special you went to Dandenong to the shops or the market or even 'into town' i.e. Melbourne.

This is Webb Street in 1992. You can see the Signal box from the Narre Warren Railway Station in the back ground. The Signal box is now at Myuna Farm. The Railway Station moved from original location (west of Webb Street) to current location (east of Webb Street) in 1995. 

Almost the same view as above, but a better view of the Signal box, early 1990s.

Webb Street, early 1990s. If the sign is accurate then this must have been taken before November 1992 as this was when the Narre Warren Library moved from Malcolm Court to next to the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. 

This is Bailey's supermarket, taken in 1992

This is a bit earlier than the other photos but shows, on the right, Bailey's supermarket, being constructed. The main building is the old cool store, which is being demolished. Some car fans have dated some of the cars in this photo -  a 1977 Torana Sunbird, a post 1978 Datsun 200B and possibly a 1977 Corolla and the green car in the centre is a HG Monaro - now apparently worth $100,000! Anyway, these identifications date this photo to late 1970s. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Columnar Basalt at Narre Warren North

Max Thomson, published this photograph of Columnar Basalt at Narre Warren North,  in his book Little Hills 1839-1977. Sadly, these impressive and interesting basalt columns have been destroyed, but I have found some information about them

Columnar Basalt, north of A'Beckett Road, 1960'
Image: Little Hills 1839-1977 compiled by Max Thomson

Information from Little Hills 1839-1977 compiled by Max Thomson on behalf of the State School No.1901 Centenary Committee (Narre Warren North State School Centenary Committee, 1977) pages 45 & 46.

Mr Thomson wrote this about the basalt columns - 

On the north side of a'Beckett Road was once a fine example of columnar basalt. The late Mr Crsobie Morrison a well known field naturalist and also editor of "Wild Life and Outdoors' visited the area in 1943. An illustrated article appeared in the magazine later.

Mr Morrison wrote as follows: "On a peaceful dairy farm we found a hole in the hillside by  a clump of gum trees and wild cherry, and  a wall remaining in parts as true as any mason ever dressed a stone. At the end of the wall was a pillar - an absolutely regular six-sided pillar built in sections as any pillar might be: part of it still standing in its original position, but other sections which fitted accurately and were dressed to the same regular outline lay strewn about the floor of the depression"

"The remains of the wall were particulary striking. The rectangular stone which composed it were enormous; probably it would require half  a dozen men to lift one of them. And instead of being laid horizontally, their greatest dimension was vertical.  Between them was a mortar almost as hard as the rocks themselves. Whoever said that these were ancient ruins could scarcely be blamed for his conclusion.The similarity to  human handiwork is most convincing."

"In spite of their convincing resemblance to the handiwork of man these relics, it seem are examples of Natures' craftsmanship. The rock of which they are composed was once molten lava pouring from some ancient volcano long extinct."

"Their form is sufficient evidence in itself that this was once a thick lava flow, which extended over Narre Warren North and away beyond Berwick."

"Then there is the puzzling 'mortar'. This does not seem to be a general feature of columnar basalt formations. In the case of these ruins it is probably due to the weathering and cementation over very long ages."

"The Sydenham Organ Pipes are a comparatively recent formation - they belong to the Newer Basalt series in Victoria, or Pleistocene age.  The Narre Warren North example is Older Basalt, of the Lower Tertiary. Much more time has elapsed here to permit the washing of  minerals into cracks between the columns, and the deposition of the minerals out of  solution to form a secondary rock that serves as a 'mortar.' It  is just what was needed to give the final touch of realism to the spectacular natural phenomenon."

Information from Early Days of Berwick, 3rd edition, pages 101 & 102

The book Early Days of Berwick, first  published in 1948, has this to say about the columnar basalt -

To geologists, and also of general interest, is the spectacular natural phenomenon which occurs in Cr. George Rae's property, of columnar basalt. This was the subject of a very interesting illustrated article on "Wild Life' magazine of  June 1943 , by Mr Crosbie Morrison. "Dr A.V.G James, the recognised authority on the volcanic rock formations of Victoria, sets out that the rock of which this is composed was once molten lava pouring from some ancient volcano, long extinct. Volcanic lavas, on cooling, assume many different forms, and sometimes the flow of lava has remained intact and very thick. The evidence is that this was once a thick lava flow which extended over Narre Warren and away beyond Berwick. As it cooled it formed  a solid crust above, beneath, and at the sides and ends of the mass. Solid rock being  a poor conductor of heat, the interior cools slowly, once the initial crust has been formed. The outer crust, as it cools, tends to contract, but is not flexible. As it contracts, something has to give way, and the rock, being fine grained and homogeneous, the stresses are distributed evenly through it, so that when it finally gives way, the cracks occur at regular distances in every direction, the final result being, when all the rock is hardened and cooled, a series of hexagonal columns, not all vertical,  but extending from the periphery of the molten mass and meeting at the centre."

The Narre Warren North example belongs to the older basalt series of formation in Victoria of the Lower Tertiary Age. The same formation occurs at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, the Tesselated Pavement and Organ Pipes of Southern Tasmania, and the Organ Pipes of Sydenham, Victoria - thus Narre Warren North has a formation of uncommon interest.

Information from Volcanoes: An Introduction to Systematic Geomorphology Volume 6 by Cliff Ollier (Australian National University, 1969) Available on-line at

The only other reference I could find regarding Columnar Basalt in the Narre Warren area, was this photograph from the book, above. I don't believe these are the same columns as in the photo above - so there must have been more than one example of the phenomenon in the area. Do any still remain?

The top photo is captioned 'Lava Flow at Narre Warren, Victoria, showing lower colonnade with vertical columns, a central entablature, with curved columns and an upper scoriaccous  zone without columns (A.A. Baker)'  The photo at the bottom is The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, as mentioned in the Early Days of Berwick article.
Image: Volcanoes: An Introduction to Systematic Geomorphology Volume 6 by Cliff Ollier 

When were they destroyed?
Mr Thomson's book, published in 1977,  says there was once a fine example of columnar basalt. The photo in his book is dated 1960, so the destruction date range would be sometime between 1960 and 1977.  What of the example published in Mr Ollier's book in 1969?  I don't know if they still exist, but I doubt it, or when they were destroyed.