Monday, 20 January 2014

Postcards of Tooradin

These are a series of postcards from the 1940s or 1950s of Tooradin. Tooradin, has always had  a reputation as a 'Sportsman's Paradise' and by that they meant there was plenty of good fishing and hunting (ducks, quail and swans seemed to be the target). There is a first hand account of this sport in Around Tooradin : the Sportsman's Paradise by Hawkeye. It was published, in serial form, in late 1888 and early 1889 to promote the sale of land around Tooradin. Hawkeye described the journey to Tooradin by train, the fishing, local hospitality. Hawkeye's observations have been re-published in Tooradin: 125 years of Coastal History.

Tooradin township was first sub-divided in 1869 and cottages were built along Sawtell's Inlet. The Cranbourne Shire Historical Society manages one of the few remaining Cottages as a Museum. This Cottage was built circa 1873 and you can see it in the circa 1900 photograph, below. As you can also see, sailing and promenading were also popular past-times.

Sawtell's Inlet, Tooradin - circa 1900. The people in this photograph have been named as  (left to right) Ateyo girls, Edith Walker, Frederick Atyeo snr, Mr Lemme, Bob Basan, Vic Lemme, Larry Basan.*

The Foreshore, Tooradin.

Moored boats on the Foreshore - the c.1873 cottage, referred to above, can be seen just to the right of the yacht's mast.

Jetty and Anchorage, Tooradin.

Another view of Sawtell's Inlet. Sawtell's Inlet was named after Melbourne merchant Edwin Sawtell around 1840. Sawtell had  an early interest in the Tooradin run, which was taken over by Frederick and Charles Manton in 1840. Sawtell died at the age of 95 in 1892.  The fisherman's shop is visible on the left. A long time resident told me that this was where the fishermen stored their boxes and their catch until a larger boat came and collected it. Locals used to buy fish direct from the fishermen from there.

Camping Ground, Tooradin.

Causeway from Children's Pool, Tooradin

There were two pools in Tooradin - one near the old State School, on the inlet, opposite the Tooradin Public  Hall and the other was at the end of Bayview Road, near Isles View guest house. This appears to be taken from the Bayview Road pool. 

The Causeway, Tooradin. 

The photograph is looking towards the garage that was on the corner of the South Gippsland Highway and the Foreshore. the garage was built in 1920 by John Colvin. Behind the garage is Cova Cottage cafe. The original bridge over Sawtell's Inlet was built possibly 1858, as the State Government Gazette lists a contract being accepted for erecting three bridges over the Tooradin inlets at Western Port in the edition published April 23, 1858 (see below). The contract was let to Arbut Brown and the cost was two thousand, four hundred and twenty pounds.

State Government Gazette April 23, 1858

The Shire of Cranbourne advertised for tenders to repair the bridge, in The Argus of December 27, 1872.

The Flood Gates, Tooradin

The Flood Gates over Sawtell's Inlet were constructed in 1904 with Turnbull Brothers being the Contractors. In an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 26, 1904 (see below) it appears that the cost for the 'extensive work' would amount to 1000 pounds, double the contracted price. The purpose of the flood gates was to control the flow of water during the many floods on the surrounding Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp, however they have been unpopular with farmers who feel that they impede the flow of flood waters from their properties and a report in a newspaper from 1917 complains that the restricted flow of water has caused the inlet to be silted up. 

South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 26, 1904

This is the cover of the post card collection.

*The circa 1900 photograph of Sawtell's Inlet was reproduced in the book Tooradin: a history of a Sportsman's Paradise and the first 100 years of State School No. 1503 by David Mickle, published 1975. This book formed the basis of Tooradin: 125 years of coastal history.

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