Saturday, 8 August 2009

Endeavour Hills - Farms and Housing Estates

In a previous blog post we looked at the development of the suburb of Endeavour Hills. This blog will look at some of the earlier history of the area.
An early landowner of the area was Thomas Herbert Power who had owned the Eumemmering Run from the 1850s. Power’s land extended from Power Road, almost to Berwick and north to Heatherton Road. Power sold some of his land, known as Grasmere in 1888. The land for sale on October 30 1888 was advertised some of the choicest land in the colony. Other land originally owned by Power had earlier been sold and a purchaser, Dr John Tremearne, built the Four Oaks homestead around 1885. Two of the original four oaks still remain.

Four Oaks homestead (c.1885) and one of the two remaining oak trees. Photograph was taken in 1987.

The suburb was named after Captain Cook’s ship, the Endeavour. Other suggested names at the time included Pine Hill and Piney Ridge, due to the number of pine trees in the area. The pine trees were also reflected in the names of farms in the area - from 1894 Captain Jules Commans owned land in the area, called The Pines. By the time he sold the land in November 1922 he owned 1330 acres (about 540 hectares) - both north and south of Heatherton Road. Commans was a stevedore and was one of the directors and founders of the Victorian Stevedoring Company. He died in 1937, aged 79. One of Comman's daughters, Ruby, married Frederich Fischer and their grandson is Tim Fischer, the former leader of the National Party, deputy Prime Minister, and now the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See. The Comman's land was later subdivided and sold off and one of the early purchasers, in 1930, was David Brown of the Essex Dairy in Dandenong. He called his farm Essex Park. Brown sold to Edgar and Dorothy Anderson around 1940 who built the house pictured below.

Essex Park homestead (c.1940).

Piney Ridge was the name of a 645 acre (260 hectares) farm owned by Charles & Ellen Hartley from 1942 and managed by Viv Campbell. This land at Crown Allotments 7 & 8, Parish of Eumemmering was also once part of Captain Comman's land and had been originally owned by Thomas Power. It was a Jersey dairy stud and notable for the high boundary fences built to keep out trespassers and to protect the prize cattle. It was also used in the Second War World for manoeuvres by the American and Australian troops camped at Rowville. The Jersey cattle were sold at a Clearing sale in 1950 and the Hartleys then raised beef cattle. The 117 cattle sold for over 8,000 guineas or about 8,400 pounds. To put this in perspective, an average house in the outer suburbs of Melbourne at the time cost about 3,000 pounds. Mr Campbell kept a scrapbook of the newspaper articles related to the Hartley enterprise and the breeding of Jersey cattle, which we have a copy of in our Archive.

The Advertisement for the sale of the Hartley Jersey stud, from the Gippsland & Northern Co-operator of November 2, 1950. This is from the Campbell collection of newspaper articles referred to above.

Another early farm in the area was Mossgiel Park, of 745 acres (300 hectares). This farm was owned from 1904 until 1943 by the Winter family and called Danderago. Later owners, Robert and James Picken, called their farm Mossgiel Park and this become the name of the housing estate, though according to the Shire of Berwick Rate books the Pickens only owned the farm from 1950 until 1954. Mossgiel Park was named after a farm of the same name leased by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

The Mossgiel Park Housing Estate off Heatherton Road was conceived in 1974. The plan above shows the 'conceptual layout' showing parks, schools and shops and the 'density of persons per acre'. The developers were Development Underwriting Limited. Another Housing Estate north of Heatherton Road was Chalcot Lodge Housing Estate. This was an A.V Jennings Estate, and started around 1974.


A photograph from the Chalcot Lodge development brochure produced by A.V Jennings. The photograph was captioned The Avenue, and shows some of the Endeavour Hills pine trees.


JimmyJames said...

What a great post about the History of Endeavours, I never knew that home on essex park was so significant!!

Im interested in the Cholcot Lodge estate area.. is there any infomation and history on that area. It would be really interesting about the development of that area.

Cool said...

Wow I've found out a lot about my suburb thx

Bethany hansen said...

I've been trying to find the history of 10 skipton place Endeavourhills, because I used to live there and had experienced some weird stuff there as a kid