Monday, 29 October 2012

Eumemmerring Run

Doveton, Hallam, Endeavour Hills and the modern day suburb of Eumemmerring  were originally part of the  Eumemmerring Run. This run was 14 square miles (10,240 acres or 4,100 hectares) and was taken up by Dr Farquhar McCrae (1807-1850) in 1839.  It was described as good sheep country. Dr McCrae was the brother-in-law of Georgiana McCrae (1804-1890) who was married to his brother Andrew. Georgiana kept a journal, later published as Georgiana's Journal.  Later the same year it was taken over by Leslie Foster (1818-1900) or to give him his full name -  John Vesey Fitzgerald Leslie Foster, apparently known as 'alphabetical Foster’. Foster is pictured left.  Foster was, amongst other things, a first cousin of Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-1889) who was appointed Victorian Attorney General in 1851 and became Chief Justice of Victoria in 1857. Stawell Street in Cranbourne was named after him, as well as the town of Stawell. Foster also, in 1843, challenged Dr McCrae to a pistol duel over a land sale, when McCrae refused Foster whipped him and his horse with a horse whip. He was later fined £10 and had to pay £250 in damages. He went on to help draft Victoria’s constitution, acted as the administrator of the Colony between the departure of Governor La Trobe and the arrival of Governor Hotham.

Foster held the run until 1842 when it was taken up by Edward Wilson and James Stewart Johnson until 1846 when Thomas Herbert Power (1801 to 1873)  took it on.  The property then went from around the Dandenong Creek/Power Road all the way to Berwick. Power was a member of the Legislative Council from 1856 until 1864 and had land in other areas including Hawthorn, and is the source of the name Power Road. When he died in 1873 the value of his Estate was over £40,000. He still owned, according to his Probate papers 1,848 acres (747 hectares) in the Parish of Eumemmerring  when he died. Part of his Probate papers are reproduced below. You can see some of alloments  in the Eumemmerring Parish Plan, further below.

Part of  Thomas Herber Power's Probate papers. listing his Eumemmerring land, valued at £6006.  Wills and Probates up to 1925 are digitised and available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website.

Eumemmerring Parish Plan (partial) showing some of the land owned by Thomas Herbert Power.
It was apparently Power (pictured right) who called his property Grassmere and the Doveton  area was known as Grassmere or Eumemmerring until it was named Doveton in September 1954. On October 30 1888 Munro & Baillieu Estate Agents offered for sale  the Grassmere property of 3,000 acres (1214 hectares) subdivided into lots of between 1 acre and 20 acres (up to 8 hectares), some of which  was land from the Power Estate. It was described as having  extensive views of both mountains and sea and only a few minutes walk from this happily situated and pretty township, so fast becoming a favourite residential estate. The pretty township was Dandenong, pretty it may have been but even Usain Bolt wouldn't have made it from Dandenong to Grassmere in a few minutes. 

This is the plan of Grassmere which appeared in The Argus of October 30, 1888.  Marked on the map is the proposed railway line to Fern Tree Gully, which never eventuated.

It is highly unlikely McCrae, Foster or Power ever lived in the area, however in  the 1850s there were other land sales, especially around the Eumemmerring Creek, of smaller sub-divided blocks and farmers arrived and created a community - the  Eumemmerring, Denominational School started in 1858 and two Inns and  a race course were established and of course, a bit further east was the Hallam Hotel which began as a general store run by William and Mary Hallam, in the 1860s. These settlers didn't (generally) have roads named after them nor are remembered in any other way but Jean Uhl has listed them, on page 97,  in her book, Call back Yesterday: Eumemmering Parish (published by Lowden Press, 1972)  and they deserve to be recognised here.

Sources: Call back yesterday: Eumemmering Parish by Jean Uhl (Lowden Press, 1972). The photographs of Foster and Power are from the Parliament of Victoria website www.parliament The Probate record of Thomas Power is from the Wills and Probate Papers digitised by the  Public Records Office of Victoria The Grassmere plan comes from The Argus, available on Trove
The information on Leslie Foster comes from the Australian Dictionary of Biography on-line at The original article was written by Betty Malone.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

History Week - October 21 to 28, 2012

Celebrate History Week, October 21 to 28  2012, with these local events.

Sunday, October 21
Fishermans Cottage Museum Open Day.
Visit the 1873 Fishermans Cottage Museum, fitted out with period furnishings, managed by the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society. There is also a collection of items relating to the history of Cranbourne and Tooradin in the old school room.
Free entry, refreshments available.  Foreshore Road, Tooradin, 10.00am to 4.00pm.
More information: Polly Freeman 5998 3454.

Wednesday, October 24
Berwick Mechanics’ Institute Open Day.
The Berwick Mechanics’ Institute has provided a Library service in Berwick since 1862 and to celebrate their 150th anniversary they invite you to their Open Day.
See some of the treasures of the collection including original 19th century books, the Lord Casey collection and silk paintings by Ellis Rowan.
Free, refreshments served. BMI 15 High Street, Berwick, 10.00am to 4.00pm. More information: 9707 3519

Friday, October 26
The Dovetons of Doveton.
Discover the exciting story of the life of John and Margaret Doveton, after whom the suburb of Doveton was named. Local History Librarian, Heather Arnold, presents some fascinating facts about the couple.
Doveton Library, 10.30am to 11.30am. Free. Bookings essential. or Doveton Library 9792 9497.

Friday, October 26
Local History talk, Radio 3SER 97.7FM. 
Bryce Eishold joins local history enthusiast, Judith Dwyer, to present the Local History spot on Radio 3SER at 5.30 pm, on the last Friday of the month. This months guest is Chris Keys, the President of the Dandenong and District Historical society.

Sunday, October 28
Cranbourne Cemetery tour.
Join the Narre Warren & District Family History Group on a tour of Cranbourne Cemetery. Come and hear a few of the 3,000+ stories behind the headstones as they explore Cranbourne’s early history and the 
accomplishments and tragediesof some of the district’s early settlers. 
The 90 minute tour will cost $5 per person paid on the day – however bookings are essential.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Aerial photos of Doveton, Eumemmerring, Hampton Park and Dandenong

These aerial photographs were taken on March 3, 1970. The label says they were taken at  a 'height of 1,500 feet generally, down to 1,000 feet'. That is 450 metres down to 300 metres.  All the photographs have 'Eummemmerring Bypass from end of Mulgrave Bypass to South Gippsland Highway" on the back.  I presume that they were taken along the route of the proposed road between Stud Road and the Princes Highway East, which would act as a by-pass to the City of Dandenong. This work started in 1969 and was finished in 1972. The photographs are from the Shire of Berwick and have been annotated on the front  at some stage by a Council employee. 

This is the Princes Highway at Hallam/Eumemmerring, showing Kays Avenue at the bottom right and the General Motors Plant in the centre of the photograph. The South Gippsland freeway now runs to the left of  Kays Avenue and the right of General Motors. It's page 91 of the Melway Street Directory.

Kays Avenue is in the centre, the Princes Highway bi-sects the photograph, Doveton Avenue is to the right and  you can see the General Motors factory, centre left. 

Looking west (or towards Dandenong) up the Prince Highway. Kays Avenue is just below centre right.

This is looking south, over Eumemmerring and  General Motors to Hallam/Hampton Park. Kidds Road is at the bottom, right. General Motors Holden is at the centre, towards the top of the photograph. Florence Street is in the centre. It doesn't exist in the Melway anymore.

Another view across towards General Motors Holden.  Power Road is bottom right.

This is the South Gippsland Highway and Pound Road intersection at Hampton Park, looking north to General Motors Holden factory. It's page 96 of the Melway Street Directory.

The same intersection as above, the corner of the South Gippsland Highway and Pound Road. If you have been along here recently you would know that there have been some massive changes since this photograph was taken. To see another aerial photograph of this area, click here.

 This is Gladstone Road in Dandenong, looking towards where it intersects with Brady Road and further on Halton Road.  It's Map 81 of the Melway Street Directory.