Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Mrs Edgar Walker, Pen Bryn, Beaconsfield Upper

On December 27, 1904, according to the post mark,  this postcard was sent from Torquay, in England,  to Mrs Edgar Walker, Pen Bryn, Beaconsfield Upper. It is  a delightful postcard -  a self-portrait of Elisabeth Lebrun. Elisabeth (1755 - 1842) was  a popular French portrait artist who painted Marie Antionette over 20 times.

The card reads - Torquay 1st January 1905 - "A bright and Happy New Year to you" - the initials appear to be FMW.  

So who is Mrs Edgar Walker and what is Pen Bryn? We will start with Pen Bryn (Welsh for top of the hill) - it is the name of a house. The original building on the site was  Beaconsfield House which 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. Beaconsfield House was where the journalist, The Vagabond, based himself when he visited and wrote about Beaconsfield Upper in 1885, you can read about this here.

In 1902, David John Davies Bevan (1873 - 1954) built  Pen Bryn on the site. David Bevan was a barrister and appointed as a judge in the Northern Territory in 1913. In 1924 he married Doris Reed and they had two children.  He was the son of the Reverend Doctor Llewellyn David Bevan (1842 - 1918) and his wife Louisa Jane (nee Willett, 1844 - 1933).  Llewellyn was a Congregational minister and a leader of Protestant intellectual life in Melbourne, according to his Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) entry, written by Niel Gunson,  which you can read here. The entry also includes information on Louisa.

Louisa was just as interesting, she wrote and illustrated hymns and was also involved in the National Council of Women.  The National Council of  Women in Victoria was formed in November 1901 at Clivenden in East Melbourne, the home of Janet Lady Clarke. Louisa Bevan was a foundation member. There was an interesting report of the founding of this branch in the Arena on November 28, 1901you can read it here.  Amongst other things the article tells us what the women were wearing -  Mrs Bevan was a most picturesque figure in black with Maltese lace draping her head and soldiers.  It's a shame it didn't actually tell us what the aims and activities of the Council were, but they included the education and health of women and the suffrage issue.

In 1904, Louisa Bevan was the Vice-President, and Evelyn Gough was the International secretary. Evelyn Gough, has an indirect connection to the area in that her daughter, Doris, married Merric Boyd, the potter. Merric was the son of Arthur Merric Boyd (1862 - 1940) and Emma Minnie A'Beckett (1858 - 1936).  Emma was the daughter of William Arthur Callandar A'Beckett, M.L.C., J.P. (1833-1901) and his wife Emma Mills (1838 - 1906) who built The Grange at Harkaway.

Back to the Bevans  - Llewllyn and Louisa had seven children - the aforementioned  David, who built Pen Byrn,  and three other sons, all with an abundance of given names -  Hopkin Llewellyn Willett (1871 - 1933),  Louis Rhys Oxley (1874 - 1946) and Penry Vaughan Bevan (1875 - 1913).  There were also three daughters  -  Sibyl Ceredwyn (1879 - 1962), Hester Gwladys (1870 - 1968)  and Muriel Eliza Marienne (1876 - 1955),  and an adopted daughter Dorothy Leigh Wilkins (1893 - 1970).

The Bevan family in 1909.
Image: Upper Beaconsfield: an early history by Charles W. Wilson (Upper Beaconsfield Association, 2013)

It is Muriel who is the Mrs Edgar Walker to whom the post card is addressed. Muriel  married Edgar William Walker (1879 - 1942) on  December 4, 1901. The service was conducted by her father, at the Independent  Church in Collins Street. Hester, Sibyl and Dorothy were the bridesmaids.The bride wore ivory crepe de chine, set off with a very handsome train of silvery brocade, the Church was beautifully decorated with an array of flowers and the reception was held at the Independent Hall. You can read reports of the wedding here and here.  The couple lived in Camberwell according to the Electoral Rolls and Edgar's occupation was listed as a commercial traveller. They had three children - Janet, David and Lois.

Sources -
The information about Pen Bryn comes from Upper Beaconsfield: an early history by Charles W. Wilson (Upper Beaconsfield Association, 2013)

The information on the Bevan family comes mainly from Marianne Rocke's Residents of Upper Beaconsfield website https://www.upperbeaconsfieldhistory.org.au/

The lovely post card was given to me by my post card collecting friend, Isaac.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Memorial to Sidney Webb in Narre Warren

In the last post I looked at the Mornington Hotel in Narre Warren - it's a bit of  a mystery, as I can find very little information about it. Here's another story with a bit of  a mystery - the creator of the  memorial to Sidney Webb (1844 - 1920)  at Narre Warren. When I was reading about the Hotel in Early days of Berwick (published 1948, updated 1959) I came across this about Sidney Webb The beautiful oak trees which he planted on the sides of the Princes Highway at Narre Warren stand as a living emblem to his memory. A tablet erected to his memory at the intersection of the North Narre Warren Road and Prince's Highway and unveiled by Sir George Knox in February 1955, at which the Shire President, Cr C. Harris, presided. The tablet bears the inscription -
who planted this row of 
Oak Trees in the year 1890.
The trees as young seedlings came from the Nobelius Nursery at Emerald, a pioneer family of nursery men now in its fourth generation. Mr J. Nobelius of Narre Warren is a member of this well-known family. Mr Smith, the man who designed the memorial was present at the unveiling. He also designed that well-known memorial near the Shrine of Remembrance in St Kilda Road, 'The Man with the Donkey'

The Sidney Webb memorial, unveiled Sunday, February 20, 1955 by Sir George Knox. You can see one of Sidney's oak trees in the background.

There was a report in the Pakenham Gazette of February 25, 1955 about the opening and we will quote from this to add a bit more detail about the occasion  - In a simple but impressive ceremony in the presence if about 200 district residents, a memorial to the late Mr Sidney John Webb was unveiled at Narre Warren last Sunday afternoon. An unobtrusive, yet pleasing memorial at the junction of Prince's Highway and Webb St., it is set amidst an even more impressive and lasting memorial - the magnificent row of oak trees which Mr Webb planted 55 years ago.  Mr Pat Sweeney, President of the Progress Association spoke, followed by the Shire President, Cr C. Harris. Cr Harris mentioned the battle that the Shire had with the Country Roads Board to save the trees when the Highway was widened. [The trees on the south side have since been removed.] The Federal Member, Mr R. Lindsay then spoke and he was followed by Sir George Knox. Sir George spoke about the outstanding qualities of Mr Webb who generally had the record of an outstanding citizen, with a vision into the future. In unveiling the monument Sir George said he did so to the Glory of God and in honour and memory of Sidney John Webb, who planted this row of oak trees in the year 1890. May his memory and all he worked for and achieved be a guide and inspiration to those who come after him. Sidney Webb's son, Harry, responded on behalf of the family and then all present were entertained at afternoon tea in the Narre Warren Hall.

Sir George also mentions the designer of the memorial Mr Smith, who was responsible  for that wonderful memorial in Melbourne, "The Man with the Donkey." He was pleased to see Mr Smith present that day. 

The 'Man with the Donkey' monument, designed by Wallace Anderson and unveiled June 20, 1936.
Image: Photographer: Rose Stereograph Co., State Library of Victoria  H32492/5212.

The 'Man with the Donkey', was  John Simpson Kirkpatrick, known as Jack Simpson, who rescued many wounded soldiers and carted them back to medical help on Gallipoli. You can read his Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) entry, here.

The mystery is that the 'Man with the Donkey' monument  was designed by Wallace Anderson (read his ADB entry, here) and not Mr Smith, so why is it attributed to Mr Smith and who is he? I do not know, but here are three scenarios - 
1. There is more than one 'Man with a Donkey' monument at the Shrine, one designed by Anderson and one by Smith.  I don't believe that is the case.
2. The book and the newspaper both made a mistake attributing the monument to Mr Smith. That is possible but even if the newspaper account is incorrect, then surely that mistake would not have been repeated four years later in 1959 when the second edition of Early  Days of Berwick was published? Or did the book use the Pakenham Gazette as the source? More than possible given that Herb Thomas, the publisher of the Gazette was a founding member of the Historical Society of the Berwick Shire (in 1962) along with Norman Beaumont, an author of Early Days of Berwick. 
3. Mr Smith had a role in the design of the monument. We know that Wallace Anderson was the sculptor and the statue was cast in bronze in Italy. Did Mr Smith design the granite base? The Sidney Webb monument looks plain but it does have some carved detail at the top - the initials SJW - Sidney John Webb, thus Mr Smith has skill in stone carving. I cannot, however,  find any newspaper reports about  the 'Man with the Donkey' monument which mention Mr Smith.

The top of the Sidney John Webb monument showing  his initials, S.J.W. 
Image: cropped from the photo at the top of this post.

Whether or not Mr Smith had a role in the design of the 'Man with the Donkey' monument he did design the Sidney Webb memorial, but who was he? The book and the newspaper refer to him only as 'Mr Smith' not even a first initial. I have done some research on Trove, and have not found any evidence as to the identity of  Mr Smith, so I would be happy if anyone could tell me.

Advertisement for the dance held to raise money for the Sidney Webb memorial.
Dandenong Journal, July 7, 1954. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218510769

The memorial was funded by the Narre Warren & District Progress Association.  They spent a few months in 1954 arguing with the Shire of Berwick and the Country Roads Board to have the memorial erected in their preferred location. An article in the Dandenong Journal of July 29, 1954, quoting Cr Rae said that he understood the memorial was already completed, inscribed and ready to place in position. Unfortunately it gives us no details about the artist.  I have created  a list of newspaper articles on Trove, on the monument, you can access it here. They are from the Dandenong Journal and only go up to 1954, so they are just about the planning and fundraising for the Memorial.

I have also created a list on Trove, of articles on the 'Man with the Donkey' monument. You can access it here

Friday, 22 November 2019

Mornington Hotel at Narre Warren

In 1855, Thomas and Eliza Walton took up land at Narre Warren - 414 acres. Fountain Gate Shopping Centre now occupies some of this land. The Waltons built the Holly Green homestead and occupied the land until 1868, when they moved onto 1,500 acres on the  Tarago River, however they still owned the property and leased it out. Around 1881, Sidney Webb purchased Holly Green. You can read more about Sidney Webb and his contribution to the development of Narre Warren, here.

At Narre Warren, also in Mr Walton's time, there was the old Mornington Hotel kept by Mr J. Gardiner on the corner of the Highway and North Narre Warren Roads. It was later kept by Mr John Payne but eventually dismantled by the late Mr Webb who afterwards owned the property for many years. The  site of the old hotel is marked by the present Narre Warren Fallen Soldier's Memorial Arch. (Early Days of Berwick

So, what do we know about the Mornington Hotel? Not very much at all. The Shire of Berwick Rate Books are missing up to 1874; the 1875 and 1876 ones are a  bit patchy, but we do find John Payne in the 1877/1878 Rate Books, listed as 'House & Land' at Narre Warren. He doesn't appear again until 1879/1880, then he is listed again in 1880/1881. In the 1881/1882 Rate Books he is listed  as a Publican. He does not appear in the Rate books again, so I presume this is the time the Hotel closed.

Entry from the Shire of Berwick Rate Books, 1881/1882 - showing John Payne's listing in Narre Warren and his occupation as Publican.

There was a John Payne, a publican who died October 14, 1903, he was from Collingwood. A John  Payne had the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Brunswick Street in the 1880s and later the National Hotel in Victoria Street. Is this the same John Payne who operated the Mornington Hotel? I cannot tell you. As for the other licensee, J. Gardiner, I have no information about him. Is he connected to Captain Robert Gardiner, early Berwick landowner? That is another thing I do not know.

If you have any information about the Hotel, Mr Gardiner or Mr Payne, I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Cranbourne Railway Station photographs from the Public Records Office of Victoria

The Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) have a collection of photographs produced by the Victorian Railways, Public Transport Corporation and other agencies which they collectively call the  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives - you can access it here (or www.prov.vic.gov.au > Explore the collection  > Photographic collections > Public Transport Photo collection) 

Here are the photographs showing the Cranbourne Railway Station, most likely from the 1950s or 1960s, when Cranbourne was still a country town. To see photographs of Pakenham from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Berwick from this collection, click here

Cranbourne, South Gippsland Highway level crossing, R class steam locomotive departing left side including derm and trailer
PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)
H 5222a b/w signals

Cranbourne, South Gippsland Highway Level Crossing
PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)
H 5223 B/W Signals

Cranbourne, South Gippsland Highway Level Crossing
 PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)
H 5224 B/W Signals

View of Down End Cranbourne Station showing Water Tank 
[the next station in this direction was Clyde]
 PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)
H 5227 B/W Station

View of Down End Cranbourne Station showing Water Tank.
[the next station in this direction was Clyde]
 PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800) H 5225 B/W Station

To see photographs of Pakenham from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Berwick from this collection, click here.

Pakenham Railway Station photographs from the Public Records Office of Victoria

The Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) have a collection of photographs produced by the Victorian Railways, Public Transport Corporation and other agencies which they collectively call the  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives - you can access it here (or www.prov.vic.gov.au > Explore the collection  > Photographic collections > Public Transport Photo collection) 

Here are the photographs showing the Pakenham Railway Station, most likely from the 1950s or 1960s, when Pakenham was still a country town. To see photographs of Cranbourne from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Berwick from this collection, click here

Pakenham Up End Level Crossing and Signal Bridge Flex. 
[This is the Main Street level crossing]
PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)  S1376

 Pakenham Up Home Signal Flex
[looking west]
PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)  S1378

Pakenham Down End Signal Bridge Flex
 [looking East - next station would be Nar Nar Goon]
PROV -  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800)  S1377

To see photographs of Cranbourne from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Berwick from this collection, click here

Berwick Railway Station photographs from the Public Records Office of Victoria

The Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) have a collection of photographs produced by the Victorian Railways, Public Transport Corporation and other agencies which they collectively call the  Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives - you can access it here (or www.prov.vic.gov.au > Explore the collection  > Photographic collections > Public Transport Photo collection) 

Here are the photographs showing the Berwick Railway Station, most likely from the 1950s or 1960s, when Berwick was still a country town. To see photographs of Cranbourne from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Pakenham from this collection, click here

Berwick Station looking in Down Direction. 
PROV Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800) H 4934 B/W Station

 Berwick Station Reconstruction Flex        
PROV Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800) S 1380

 Berwick Island Platform Construction Down Side Flex
[Next station would be Beaconsfield. Is this 1956 when the line was duplicated between Berwick and Officer? https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Berwick]
PROV Photographic Collection: Railway Negatives: Alpha-numeric Systems (VPRS12800) S 1381

To see photographs of Cranbourne from this collection, click here. To see photographs of Pakenham from this collection, click here

Thursday, 31 October 2019

University of Melbourne Digitised Map Collection

The University of Melbourne has a collection of maps, some of which they have digitised and are available on-line at https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/19 As you might expect from an Institution which started in 1853 - their collection includes both historic and more modern maps - there is the Ronald and Pamela Walker collection of maps of Asia Minor, 1511 - 1774, interesting in themselves and for students of Asian history, but there are also maps for people interested in local history.

There are over 260 maps of Melbourne including Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Plans, Sands and McDougall maps from 1868 to 1899, which show how Melbourne developed in that time.  Of interest to the Casey Cardinia region is the fact that the Melway Street Directory has been digitised from 1966 until 1999. These maps chart the change of this region from farmland to suburbia. The first five editions of the Melway are also available on the Melway Street Directoyr website - https://melwayed1.melway.com.au/

The State Library of Victoria also has street directories digitised from 1912 to 1952 - they don't, however,  cover the Casey Cardinia area - the closest we get is to Oakleigh or Frankston - even Dandenong must have been considered country then. Find these Street directories here - under their 'Popular Disgistised Collections'

The collection also includes some historic maps of Victoria - including this one, below, from 1851.

Victoria or Port Phillip, published by John Tallis & Co., 1851

Excerpt from a 1851 map showing our area - the Great Marsh is the Koo Wee Rup Swamp, north of that is Mt Ararat - the first Europeans who occupied this land were John Dore and Michael Hennessey, who took up the Mount Ararat Run, of 1,900 acres, at Nar Nar Goon  in 1844.  Rutherford is Rutherford Inlet - which goes to Warneet and Cannon's Creek. It was named after Thomas Rutherford who took up the Bourbinandera Run,  also known as Rutherfords for obvious reasons, in 1842. Jamieson is named for Robert Jamieson, who along with Samuel Rawson, took up the Yallock Run (on the Yallock Creek) in 1839. Further around the Bay, Anderson was at the Bass River. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Harkaway by Llywelyn Lucas

I was kindly given this poem by Robyn Browne, whose father had it amongst his papers.  It was typed out and at the end of the poem was written Queensland - Llywelyn Lucas, February 1st 1928. I have discovered more about the author, which you can read after you read the poem.


O Harkaway is far away,
And Harkaway is fair,
The green hills run to meet the trees,
And a child plays there!

O hills run up and hills run down
To meet the Dandenongs
And Harkaway is far and fair
And there a child belongs.

Don’t you remember how the fox
Yelped in the hedge at night
And Narre Warren hid in mist?
And Berwick out of sight?

Don’t you remember magic lakes
With islands of treetops,
And dewdrops scented in the sun
Sliding to bigger drops?

All down the rusty fencing-wire,
And bunnies with white tails
Bobbing among the barley and
The cuckoos at their scales?

(Ah, mournful, lovely, bad cuckoos!
Long since must you be dead;
Yet on and on, and on and on
Your scales go in my head!

And in my heart – age-old, and lost,
The mournful, mournful cry,
Asking and asking endlessly
O where? O where? O why?

Do you remember lilac time,
When lilacs purple and white,
Maddened us with the scent of them
And the young life delight?

Of course you do! And so do I,
And how the cows of sums
Wouldn’t come out: and won’t do, yet!
Not even using thumbs!

How good the hung-up lunches smelt,
Of sandwiches and sauce!
Do you remember “swapping taws”?
You do; you do, of course.

Remember how the “milk: went by,
With brakes that squawked and squealed,
And how the bellbirds clinked and chimed
Like mad at Beaconsfield.

And all along Kardinia Creek
The Christmas bush grew thick,
The bellbirds raced you out of sight
If you weren’t quick.

Do you remember Muddy Creek,
And that pot-holey track
That went beyond the Finger Posts
To people at the Back?

O Harkaway! O Harkaway!
How fair you were, how fair!
The silver huntsman on the hills.
And a horn winding there.

A winding horn, a challenge horn,
Away! Away! ah do!
O Hark! Away! the hunt is up!....
How faint I answer you.

The hunt of life, at dawn, is up,
Away, away we go.
Envisioned eyes, quick-coming breath,
Ho, tally, tallyho!

The hunt is up, the hunt, the hunt!A
Do we look back? Not we!
Ahead the toppling Mountains wait;
Below, the crashing sea!

The deep blue tides of Western Port,
Hard by Port Phillip Bay;
The silver sand’s a laughing lure-
Away! away! away!

A magic horn, a merry horn,
The echo’s never sped…..
No! I shall not go back again-
That kiddie might be dead.

Who was Llywelyn Lucas?   Beryl Llywelyn Lucas was born in 1898 to  Albert Llewellyn Lucas and Mary Janet Mackie. Sadly, her father who was the Presbyterian Minister at Bright, passed away on October 14, 1897 due to diabetes, before she was born. They had one other child, Keith Mackie Lucas, who had was born in  1897 in Bright. Albert Lucas' father, Edward, was the Town Clerk of Brighton from 1874 until his death in 1900.

Llywelyn Lucas
Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927

Llywelyn was written up in the Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927. The article (read it here) was written by Bernice May, and I will quote from it here.  Llywelyn was introduced as a writer of lyrical poetry. She is first and foremost a poet, and after that a joyous Australian girl with the Australian's abiding sense of humor. Mary Lucas was a nurse and she was living at Harkaway when her daughter was born. Llywelyn was educated at Presbyterian Ladies College and she wanted to study medicine after school 'but the war stepped and I went to the School of Horticulture, Burnley, Victoria, to learn gardening instead. Mother - more like a sister than a mother - took up the work with me, and we soon had charge of a big garden in Melbourne, with two men working under us. All through the war and after we worked.'

After the War, Llywelyn had a breakdown in health  and 'I had to have a holiday... and with two other girls as impecunious as myself, I went to England.' While she was away her poetry was published in The Bulletin and she tramped through Italy and France and her account of this trip was published in the Sydney Mail.

Miss Lucas writes of things with the skill of one who, though so young, has touched many different occupations and spheres of life. In a recent letter to me she said ' I once tried motor-driving at Miss Anderson's girl's garage in Melbourne.'

Her brother Keith who served in World War One, trained as a Veterinary Surgeon and took up practice in Brisbane. Llywelyn and her mother gave up their gardening business and also moved to Brisbane. Llywelyn worked at his practice for a while and continued her writing. Bernice May quotes Llywelyn again 'being assistant to a Vet. and writing verse, don't seem to go together, but I make them fit somehow.' During this time she was published in The Bulletin, Australasian and the Sydney Mirror.  

Miss Lucas has her ambitions, like all girls. She wants to write real poetry; and publish it, also some books that will make people laugh and cry, and perhaps a play that will make them think. (Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927, read it here)

There are many examples of Llywelyn's works that you can read on Trove, which were published in various newspapers -  poetry, plays, short stories and articles on poets and poetry. She also had some collections published -  The Garden, in 1938; On Wings, in 1944; Aphorisms of Llywelyn, in 1964; Brown Boronia: a collection of sixty-six poems, in 1966.  In 1968, Lost kinship and other poems : a memorial to Llywelyn Lucas selected by Edith M. England was published with various poets paying tribute to Llywelyn.

Wedding notice of May Mackie to Albert Lucas
The Australasian, March 14, 1896  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139722839

We will now have a look at the Harkaway connection which was through Llywelyn's mother. As you can see from the marriage notice, above,  Mary was the daughter of James Mackie and Gideon Burnett Adamson of Kalimna, Harkaway.  Other children in the family were Margaret Thompson (born 1856 at South Yarra), Archibald Walter (1858 South Yarra), James Thompson (1860 St Kilda), William Alexander  (1864 South Yarra*), Helen Agnes (1867 Deniliquin) and Llywelyn's mother, Mary Janet, born in 1873 at Deniliquin.

According to Early Days of Berwick (first published in 1948) The pine and other trees along Harkaway Road were planted by Cr W.G. a'Beckett and Miss Mackie of Berwick, at one time  a resident of Harkaway, and her late brother, Archie.  James, another brother of this family, was a member of the staff of the bank at Jerilderie when it was held up by the Kelly Gang.  The only other reference in Early Days of Berwick to the Mackie family was The Mackie family occupied Kalimna, so named from the Aboriginal word meaning "lovely or beautiful," where it commands a magnificent view. Mrs and Mrs Mackie beautified it by planting trees from many parts of the world. The magnificent view was alluded to more than once by Llywelyn in her Harkaway poem.

It appears that Mary Lucas moved backed home to her parent's house after the death of her husband as that is where Llywelyn was born. In August 1915, at the age of 18 years and 10 months,  Keith enlisted in the AIF (his service number was 9315) and his address and that of his mother, who was his next of kin, was Kalmina, Harkaway. Keith had attended Berwick Grammar School, under Edward Vieusseux and is on their Honor Roll (Berwick Shire News February 9, 1916).  In 1924 and 1925 the family were listed in the Electoral Rolls at Hethersett, Burwood Road, Burwood. 1926 was obviously the year they moved to Brisbane as their address was Kadinia, Kitchener Road in Ascot.  It is interesting that they called their property Kadinia, which in spite of the spelling must relate to the Cardinia Creek, which runs through Berwick.

The only other family information I have is this - Keith married Marjorie Hollinshead, who was a dancing teacher,  on November 21, 1932. Marjorie also lived in Kitchener Road in Ascot and she had collaborated with Llywelyn in 1929 in the production of  an all-Australian play for children - Sun God's Secret - Llywelyn being the playwright and Marjorie the choreographer.  (Sunday Mail, November 24, 1929).  In 1933,  Mary Janet Lucas was killed after being hit by a train. In 1936,  Llywelyn was listed in the Electoral Roll as a writer and her address was Flinders, near Ipswich. Llywelyn died in 1967 and Keith died in 1987.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on Trove, relating to the life of Llywelyn Lucas and her family and her works, you can access it, here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.

* I have taken this information from a Family Tree on Ancestry, they have no sources listed. I know he existed as he died in 1939, I just haven't found  an authorative source of his birth.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Victorian Railways tourist's guide, 1885

In 1885 the following book was published Victorian Railways tourist's guide: containing accurate and full particulars of the watering places, scenery, shooting, fishing, sporting, hotel accommodation, etc. in Victoria also a new and complete railway map showing all the present and projected lines edited by Jos. Pickersgill.  You can see a digitised version of it on the National Library of Australia website, here.

There are three pages relating to the Casey Cardinia region - which are reproduced below and also transcribed. There are good descriptions of Dandenong, Berwick, Beaconsfield and the  partially drained Koo wee Rup Swamp. There is an interesting poem about Dandenong. There is also a lot of advice about 'sport' by which they actually mean hunting - wallabies, opossums and game. There is nothing about Cranbourne as the railway line to Cranbourne and beyond did not open until 1888 - 1890 and this guide book only relates to places on the rail network.

A beautiful and favorite place of resort for excursionists from Melbourne, situated under the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, and within easy distance of the celebrated Fern Tree Gullies (about twelve miles). It lies on a flat, and is the heart of the richly-grassed and fertile agricultural and grazing country.  The scenery in the district is very fine, and the air pure and salubrious. Dandenong and the whole of the surrounding neighbourhood afford splendid shooting on the plains and in the gullies. Since the railway line has been extended to this place, a large number of residents of Melbourne have built country villas in and around the township. The hotels are large, commodious, and very comfortable, Dawson’s being the leading hostelrie. Mr. Dawson’s stables are replete with all the necessities in the way of hiring, and a favorite starting point for Fern Tree gullies; and full information can be obtained from the popular proprietor as to the best spots for sport. The local papers are the Advertiser and the South Bourke and Mornington Journal.

Our poet, who has been out for an evening walk, watching the amber and golden glory of the sunset, and seeing the last shafts of the God of Day aimed at the towering ranges to the eastward, comes in and pensively sings this lay:-
“On sunny slope, on mountain tall,
The shadow’d lights of evening fall,
And gentle whispering, scarcely heard,
Save when the drooping leaves are stirr’d
The soft warm zephyr sighs along
Thy pleasant glades, oh! Dandenong

The music of a thousand rills,
That pour from yon o’erhanging hills,
The sombre forest, dim and dark, 
The gloomy gorges, stern and stark,
Such sounds and sights are found among
Thy lovely scenes, oh! Dandenong

The ferny dells, so passing fair,
So sweet the fresh life-giving air,
The verdant plains, and flower-gemm’d groves,
The shady nooks the wild-bird loves,
Fit subject for the poet’s song,
All these are thine, Oh! Dandenong.”

From Dandenong we pass Hallam’s Road and Narree Warren, and at twenty-six and three-quarter miles reach Berwick

On the Kardinia Creek, a place is being rapidly taken up for residential purposes by gentlemen having business in Melbourne. It lies in the heart of a country famous for the beauty of its scenery, having the Dandenong ranges distant, seven miles to the north, and the Gembrook ranges twelve miles north-east. Both these ranges are heavily timbered and well watered, the soil is rich chocolate, and it is over-grown, except where cleared, with fern trees and sassafras. Lying back from the township in the direction of the Dandenong ranges, gold had been found in nearly all the gullies, but the only ground which has been systematically worked is the Emerald diggings, about fourteen miles distant.  Tin has also been found in this locality, and in the gullies of the Gembrook range discoveries of emerald, topazes, amethysts, and sapphires have been made. Hence the name. 

Berwick 1887 (28 miles from Melbourne)
Taken only two years after the Tourist Guide was written this is how the travellers using the guide would have seen Berwick. Bain's Hotel, mentioned in the guide, is on the left.
Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria photograph album  State Library of Victoria Image H2012.114/2

The town of Berwick, although prettily situated one which, from the summits of its hills, gives a fair view of Port Phillip and Western Port Bay and the surrounding country, is not a place that possesses any special inducement to the tourist for a prolonged stay. It is quiet and rural, and that is all. There is a good Hotel (Bains’) with a fine fruit garden. It is a good dairy-farming, cheese-making, and hop and vine -growing locality, and excellent wine is made hereabouts. But the tourist who wants to enjoy good wallaby shooting may be amply satisfied by a journey of about ten miles to the hills that overlook the Emerald diggings to the north, where, in the gullies, he may find plenty. He may also succeed in bringing down, now and again, a rare black opossum, whose skin makes the very best rugs. On the other side of the hills “digger holes” are frequently deep, and their mouth covered up with a treacherous undergrowth. Another word to the wise, “Look out for leeches”

Proceeding onwards from Berwick, we arrive at the newly formed township of Beaconsfield.

Formerly known as the Haunted Gully Alluvia Diggings, which is rapidly becoming an important place, not so much from its agricultural and pastoral capabilities, which are comparatively small, as from its having been taken up by a number of Melbourne gentlemen as a suitable place for a suburban residences. It is twenty-eight miles from Melbourne, but as three trains run each way daily it suits business men who like to like in the country and yet within easy access of the metropolis. The surrounding country is rather mountainous in character, with picturesque gullies intersecting. The views to be obtained are beautiful - Queenscliff, Sorrento, the You Yangs and Port Phillip Bay being seen to the west and north west. Mount Macedon to the north, the Lilydale Gembrook Ranges to the north-east, the Baw Baw and other Gippsland Ranges to the east, and the Bass Ranges, Western Port Bay, French and Phillip Islands, and Arthur’s Seat to the south-east, south and south-west, respectively. Beaconsfield is a favourite centre for metropolitan sportsmen out for a day’s shooting. Beaconsfield possess good hotel accommodation, as is a desirable place to visit for an outing, whether for sport or for the sake of fresh air, or a quiet trip into the pretty, tranquil parts outskirts of the metropolis.

From Beaconsfield we traverse a long stretch of country now considerably taken up for settlement, and extending along the northern boundary of the far-famed Koo-wee-rup Swamp - a tract that a few years ago was worse than useless being a terror to travellers, and appropriately named the ‘Glue Pots.’ Having been partially drained and cleared, this expanse is rapidly becoming one of the richest agricultural territories in the colony, and it offers an almost illimitable surface for shooting. Go where one will in this district one is bound to find game.

The railway passes through the newly settled townships of Pakenham, Tynong, Bunyip, Longwarry, Drouin, Warragul, Darnum, Yarragon, Trafalgar, and Moe, any one of which may be said to be excellent centres for the traveller bent on shooting and reaches Morwell.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Excursion to Berwick Quarry by the Victorian Field Naturalist's Club in 1916

The Victorian Naturalist, v. xxxiii, n. 389, May 4, 1916 had this report of an excursion by the Club in April 1916 to Wilson's Quarry at Berwick.  The article describes the visit and the various fossils obtained on the day. It is transcribed below.

The Victorian Naturalist, v. xxxiii, n. 389, May 4, 1916

Wilson Quarry, Berwick, 1906

Excursion to Berwick Quarry
Though Berwick is within a reasonable distance of Melbourne, and in the early days of the Club was frequently visited by members in search of insects and plants, the visit on Saturday afternoon, 8th April, was the first arranged for the purpose of studying the geological features of Wilson's Quarry and the physiography of the district. The quarry, which is within a  short distance of the station, is situated on the south-western slope of One-Tree Hill. It has been worked for many years, and is well known to palaeobotanists as it is to geologists, for the many species of fossil leaves which have been obtained there from time to time.  

The north and east faces form  a section which is typical of a high level lead - the sides of the old valley. The infilling rows of basalt - two main ones and several minor ones - the underlying lignitiferous clay - representing the forest grown, immediately preceding volcanic activity - a leaf-bed, and a band of rounded and subangular fragments resting on palaeozoic slates and shales, showing the exact relation of the basalt to the underlying bedrock, and the sequence of evemts during the Miocene volcanic activity.

Having examined the section the party preceded to  a face that Mr Wilson had kindly cleared so that members members might more readily inspect the leaf-bed. Many valuable fossil specimeds were obtained, and Mr F. Chapman has kindly permitted me to use the list of identifications made by him. Later in the afternoon the party ascended One-Tree Hill - a viewpoint from which one may see the main physiographical features of  the district. The general trend of the old stream, both north and south, was indicated by the lateral streams - Narre Warren and Cardinia Creeks- that have cut their way back through the palaeozoic sediments at the edge of the basalt. To the north the couse of the old stream was shown to be ditectly towards the Lysterfield wind-gap, and it was explained that the flats at the head of Dandenong Creek and the Lilydale basalt were directly connected with it. To the south its course was traced on to the pene-plain, and the effect of an east and west fault of large displacement was indicated by  the somewhat steeper slopes of the north. From the hill members had the pleasure of witnessing a glorious sunset, which fitly terminated the day's observations.

The plant remains found in the pipe and carbonaceous clay were as follow: - (?) Nephelites quercifolia, Deane; Tristanites augustifolia, Deane ; Eucalpytus, cf. Hootmanni, Ettingshausen ; E., cf Hermani, Deane;  E. Kitsoni, Deane ; Atherosperma Berwickense, Deane ; Mollinedia helicoiodes, Deane; M. praelongipes, Deane ; M., cf. Muelleri, Deane, previously recorded from Pitfield Plains; cf. Hedycarya, sp ; Lomatia Bosistooides, Deane ; L. dubia, Deane ; L. perspicua, Deane; Fagus Luehmanni, Deane ; F. Muelleri, Ettingshausen ; F., cf.  Risdoniana, Ettingshausen : F (?) sp. nov. ; cf. Poacites australis, Ettingshausen ; also rhizomes and stems, seeds (Carpolithes, spp.), and fragments of (?) conifers. Mr Searle obtained a particularly fine specimen in the end stem of a conifer. -

The Berwick Quarry is now Wilson Botanic Park. Wilson Botanic Park Berwick is one of the southern hemisphere's premier fossil flora locations. Significant Macrofossil Flora Fossils dating back 22 million years where found in the park in 1902 by Australia's foremost Paleobotanist Henry Deane. Many of these represent some of the earliest examples of rainforest in the drying environment in Southern Australia. https://www.casey.vic.gov.au/plant-collections-wilson-botanic-park-berwick

Henry Deane (1847 - 1924) was a civil engineer, specializing in railways, as well as a Botanist. You can read about him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, here. The other botanist referenced in the list of plants above was Costantin von Ettingshausen (1826 - 1897) The Australian National Herbarium Biographical Notes (see here) say that Ettingshausen was one of the first to try to identify the Australian fossil flora.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ercildoune - a farm at Lyndhurst - the McNab family days

In the last post  we looked at the Ercildoune property in Hall Road, Lyndhurst, which was owned by the Hall family from around 1860 (read about them, here) until it was put up for sale in September, 1917. It was then purchased by William and Mary McNab, this post is about their time at Ercildoune.

William Henry Duncan McNab and Mary Elizabeth Maud Miller were married in 1896 and had six children -
1. Mary Ethel (birth registered at Trafalgar, 1896; died 1901)
2. Henrietta Robertson (birth registered at Trafalgar, 1898. Married Frank Knight in 1938; died 1997)
3. William Donald (known as Donald - birth registered at Trafalgar, 1900; died 1979)
4. Annie Alice (birth registered at Trafalgar, 1901;  died 1995)
5. Charles Malcolm (birth registered at Trafalgar, 1904. Married Mabel Florence McLellan in 1938; died 1991)
6. Muriel Maud (birth registered at Alexandra, 1910. Married John Henry Thorburn in 1935; died 2002)

William died in 1930 and Mary died in 1957. As you can see by the places of registration of the births of the children, the family lived in the Trafalgar and Alexandra area before they came to Lyndhurst.

In 1929, Donald and Charles were interviewed by the Weekly Times September 7, 1929 about the farm at Lyndhurst. Interesting, given that Fred Hall of Ercildoune also gave an extensive interview to  a newspaper about the farm, in 1893 (read it here). You can read the full McNab article here - the parts of the article relating to Ercildoune and Cranbourne are below


It is probably well within the mark to say that nowhere else in the State is dairying conducted with a larger measure of financial success than in the Cranbourne district, which lies about 30 miles from Melbourne on the South Gippsland line.

In that centre not only is there a generous realisation of the value of silage but many, if not most, of the farmers deem it to be essential to make some each season, and they state unhesitatingly that without it they certainly would not be able to carry on so satisfactorily as they do. Various classes of fodder are utilised or the purpose, and all of them, apparently meet requirements.

 Maize, however, appears to be most favored, not only because it produces a big bulk of fodder, but also because it has the capacity for maintaining the stock in excellent condition, thus enabling them to make the utmost use of whatever other materials may be supplied to them. Latterly a fodder which has aroused much interest and claimed considerable cultural attention is Imphee. This is one of the members of the useful family of Sorghums. It is a hardy fellow, thrives vigorously under the conditions which obtain in the neighborhood of Cranbourne, and furnishes a surprisingly large amount of stuff. Amongst those who have a high regard for Imphee are Mr Wm. H. A. McNab, of "Ercildoune," and his two enterprising, keen and capable sons, Donald and Charlie.

When I called at "Ercildoune" on a recent memorable Friday — a day of chilling wind and saturating rain — I found that Mr McNab was absent at Dandenong, convalescing after a serious Illness. His sons were at first somewhat chary about being interviewed on the subject of their operations, but an hour's earnest talk with them revealed that they had a complete grip of everything.

Up to 11 years ago, when "Ercildoune," containing 246 acres, was purchased, the family had been established on the Goulburn at Cathkin. Mr McNab, sen., however, had long had his eyes on Gippsland, particularly the country of which Cranbourne may be said to be the centre, and when the Cathkin property was disposed of he transferred to the present holding, which has been augmented by the rental of an additional 166 acres.

The soil, for the most part, is of black loamy character, with a sprinkling of clay through it, and there is a clay subsoil throughout. This is fairly near to the surface, as is exemplified by the fact that there is scarcely a paddock in which each time it is used the plough does not turn up a certain amount of clay. The paddocks are of varying sizes, but average approximately 20 acres. A good deal more than half of the farm is under crop each year, and the crops grown include oats (about 100 acres), wheat (just a little for feed for the fowls),  Maize and Imphee. Japanese millet was cultivated regularly at one time, but lately it has been replaced by Imphee, which occupied an area of 20 acres last season.

Messrs. McNab are dairy farmers, and they believe in feeding their cows on a liberal scale. In fact, they pointed out, that is the only way to ensure a maximum production of milk. They have a fine herd of highly developed Ayrshire-Jersey cross cattle numbering, roughly, 100 head, and the actual milkers average 75 head throughout the year. There are three pure-bred pedigree Ayrshire cows, and Ayrshire and Jersey bulls are used.

As the whole of the milk is marketed for consumption in the metropolitan area, it is found possible to rear only two or three of the most promising heifers each year. The milking is done by hand. It is an invariable practice to grow a substantial supply of early green feed, and an idea of the character of this season's stand is conveyed by the photograph reproduced on this page in which Messrs. Donald and Charles McNab appear. [below]

Donald and Charles McNab at Ercildoune
Weekly Times September 7, 1929   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224402265

The crop consists of a mixture of barley, oats and wheat, the first named predominating. The seeding was done in February, and at the same time from 80 to 100lb. of super and bone an acre was distributed. Cutting for feeding was begun about the middle of August, when the last of the Imphee silage had been used. The cutting, of course, could have been started earlier had there been any necessity to do so. This crop was the best I saw in the district, where the exceptionally heavy rains have proved more or less detrimental to the later sown stands, which, in numerous instances, are uneven and contain yellowish patches. Messrs McNab cannot speak too highly of Imphee as a cattle fodder and they are of the opinion that all round it is markedly superior to Japanese millet.

They made three sowings during November, the areas having been 9, 8 and 3 acres respectively. The ground was ploughed in September with the mould board to a depth of 6 inches. "Why the mould board?" I inquired, and was informed that "it turns the soil over more effectively, and tends to drain the land better than when the disc is used." A little later a stroke was given with the harrows. The next operation was to roll. That was followed by a second ploughing to a depth of 3 inches and another harrowing preceded the seeding. The seed allowance was 10lb. an acre and the manure applied was bone and super which was used at the rate of 80lb. an acre. The crop made excellent progress, and the harvesting operations were carried out toward the end of April. Had the weather not been so wet the work would have been done earlier.

The intention had been to place the great bulk of the produce in stack for ensilage, but owing to unfavorable conditions, it was possible to utilise only eight acres for that purpose, the remainder of the crop, which stood about 9ft. high, having been cut and fed to the cows in the form of green chaff in the bails. Altogether the 20 acres of Imphee provided sufficient greenstuff to permit of four months' continuous feeding.

The portion of the crop converted into stack ensilage was cut with the reaper and binder. Before the stacking was begun a layer of straw was placed on the ground, with a view to minimise the wastage. I asked Messrs McNab for particulars of the method of building the stack, which they gave as follows : — The plan is to build first from the two sides. The sheaves are laid with the heads pointing toward the centre, and the butts outward, and they overlap one another to the length of the twine band. A second layer is then laid across the first, beginning at the ends, and again working toward the centre. The third tier is laid on the same lines as the first. The fourth layer resembles the second, and so until all the sheaves have been dealt with. Because of the greater shrinkage or pressure there, and so that there shall be slopes toward the ends and the sides, it is necessary to see that the centre is kept higher throughout than the sides and ends. When completed the stack is covered with a layer of straw a foot deep. Pieces of timber are then placed along the sides on top of the straw, and they are kept in position by fastening them to lengths of wire stretched across the stack.

Bags filled with sand are next laid along the timbers to prevent the 6-inch layer of sand, which is ultimately placed over the top of the straw covering, from slipping or washing off. By building the stack in this manner a good, even compression is secured, and the loss of fodder on the outside extends in to a depth of only about six inches. The feeding of the silage is usualIy begun toward the end of June. The sheaves, which come out in beautiful order, are put through the cutter, mixed with oaten chaff, and fed in the bails. The silage is relished by the cattle, which milk splendidly on it.

Maize is deemed to be practically indispensable, and an area of 9 or 1.0 acres was devoted to the crop last season. At one time Hickory King was grown almost exclusively, but lately it has been almost entirely replaced by Red Hogan. which has proved the more successful. Seeding is begun toward the end of October, and continued until about Christmas, three or four separate sowings being made. The maize has been used for ensilage as well as for feeding in the green state.

Last season, when only two lots were sown, the fodder was chaffed and fed night and morning with oaten chaff in the bails. The seed is distributed through a maize drill, which places the rows about 2ft. 3in. apart, so that the scuffler can be used to keep the weeds down and conserve the soil moisture. About 1 cwt. Of No. 2 complete manure an acre is applied. On occasions the crop has attained a height of 12ft., but the average is approximately 8ft. The maize is harvested with a cornbinder, which is a fine labor-saving machine. Before it was introduced three men took half a day to cut sufficient maize to meet the needs of a day. With the binder, Messrs. McNab's informed me enough fodder can be cut in an hour to suffice for two days.

Last season the oats on "Ercildoune" did remarkably well, and the crop in one paddock aroused wide spread interest in the district, because of its exceptional growth and admirable quality. The average height exceeded 5 feet, and the chaff has been going 110 lb. to the new-bag. The paddock of 24 acres on which it was grown, has produced eight crops in 10 years. The variety favored is Algerian, and the sowing for the main crop is done from toward the end of March and into April, 2¼ bushels of seed and 80 to 1001b. of manure an acre being distributed. Hay cutting takes place usually about mid-November. The only concentrate fed to the cows is bran, which is supplied during about nine months of the year. Its use in spring is not considered to be necessary. Each member of the herd in milk receives a couple of large handfuls of bran in each feed.

All of the ploughing on "Ercildoune" is done with a tractor, which has no difficulty in hauling a four-furrow implement and gives a satisfactory service.

What else do we know about the family? The McNab family are written up in the book, 100 Years in Skye, 1850 – 1950 by Dot Morrison (Mornington Peninsula Family History Society, 2004) Mrs Morrison has this interesting anecdote about Donald – in 1910 he was badly bitten by bull ants and as a result of this his leg was amputated. Around 1920 he became an accountant after studying by correspondence.

Being of Scottish descent it is not surprising that the family was involved with the Presbyterian Church at Lyndhurst and Cranbourne – there are reports of Mrs McNab holding a ‘house party’ at Ercildoune to raise funds for the Church. I think 'house party' had a different meaning then than what it does now.  Charles’ marriage to Mabel McLellan united the family with another of Scottish descent, the McLellans.  Mable was the daughter of George and Margaret (nee Close) McLellan, who had a dairy farm at Taylors Road in Skye. Just before the wedding took place, the couple were entertained at a social gathering in the Lyndhurst Hall before their marriage. They received a tea set from the Lyndhurst Presbyterian congregation, and a chiming clock and silver fruit dish from Lyndhurst residents and the social club. (The Argus, March 17, 1938) Their marriage which was written up in various newspapers, took place at Scots' Church in Dandenong.

Mrs Morrison also writes that after William died the farm was divided between the two sons, Donald and Charles. Donald had the Ercildoune homestead block and Charles had other land which he named Strathlea.  Charles had a Guernsey stud on Strathlea and that was still in the McNab family until at least 2004.  In 1960,  Ercildoune was sold to Harold Grieves and Donald and his sister Annie, who were both unmarried, moved to Cranbourne.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on the Ercildoune property on Trove, you can access it here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Ercildoune - a farm at Lyndhurst - the Hall family days

In this post we will look at the history of a farm at Lyndhurst,  Ercildoune, in Hall Road. It was occupied by the Hall family from around 1860 until it was put up for sale in September, 1917 and purchased by William and Mary McNab, read about them, here.

Frederick Hall was born around 1830 to William and Grace (nee Tucker) Hall. Fred married Elizabeth Hunt in 1849 in Brighton and they had the following children:
1. Louisa (birth registered at  Brighton, 1850. Married James Close in 1867; died 1923)
2. Frederick (birth registered at  Western Port, 1857; died in 1857, aged 5 months)
3. George (b. c. 1859. Married Anna Mary Anderson in 1881;  died in 1929 aged 70)
4. William (birth registered at  Lyndhurst, 1859; died 1942)
5. Frederick (birth registered at  Lyndhurst, 1861. Married Emma Carol Gaunt in 1896; died 1942)
6. Elizabeth (birth registered at  Lyndhurst, 1864. Married Percy Teychenne in 1886; died 1892)
7. Emma (birth registered at  Cranbourne, 1866. Married Christopher John James in  1888; died 1941)
8. Susannah (birth registered at Cranbourne, 1868. Married Daniel Tierney in 1907; died 1955)
9. Fannie (birth registered at  Cranbourne, 1870. Married Thomas James Stephenson in 1891; died 1940)
10. Walter Henry (birth registered at  Cranbourne, 1873; died 1922)
11. Florence (birth registered at  Cranbourne, 1875. Married Richard Ernest Einsiedel in 1899; died 1962)
12. Alfred (birth registered at Cranbourne, 1878; died 1929.)

We are fortunate that in 1893, Fred was interviewed by the Australasian newspaper, so we have some idea of his life and his farming methods. The article said  that Fred had been on his farm at Lyndhurst, for 33 years, which is 1860; however as one child was registered at Western Port in 1857 they were obviously in the area earlier.  Frederick Hall died in 1896 and Elizabeth died in 1916. They are both buried at Cranbourne Cemetery.

The Australasian  July 1, 1893

The interview with Fred is transcribed here and you can see it on Trove, here.

One of the most advanced and successful dairymen in Gippsland is Mr. F. H. Hall, of 'Ercildoun'e, whose farm is situated a few miles from Cranbourne, on the Frankston road. Mr. Hall has been engaged in dairying for probably a longer period than any other farmer in the colony, and on that account his experiences and the system he adopts in managing his herd are of exceptional interest and value. He arrived in Victoria when quite a young lad in 1833, and has, therefore, had sixty years of colonial experience. What a long time to look back, and what changes he must have witnessed in the development of the country. For the last thirty-three years Mr. Hall has been engaged in dairying on the farm where he now resides.

Although close upon seventy years of age Mr. Hall is still a robust, healthy man of fine physique, and a typical specimen of a jovial, burly yeoman. He performs some light work every day, either among the cows or in the paddocks, for he says he was accustomed to active employment in his early life, and complete idleness would soon kill him. His "yarns" about the digging days and the troubles of early settlement in the colony would interest many of those desirous of going on to the land to-day, and would prove to them that the present depression and difficulties are trivial compared to what they were before the discovery of gold in the fifties. "Times are considered bad enough now," said Mr. Hall, in our conversation, "but I have seen them very much worse." "I remember" he went on, "when quite a big, strong fellow, and able and willing to undertake any kind of labour, that wages
were far lower than they are now." He had worked as hard as any farm hand has to do now for 3s. per week and his keep, and he even ventured to marry on a salary of 15s. a week. Young men turn up their nose at such a wage nowadays, but Mr. Hall not only made progress but reared a family on it. Of course, the comparative value of 15s. now and fifty years ago are two very different things, yet it is refreshing to hear an old pioneer like Mr. Hall speak of the present dull times with a lightness of heart which indicates the great confidence he has in the future prosperity of the country.

The area of the farm is 250 acres. The land is all first-class, however, and above the average in quality of the soil in the Cranbourne district. It was originally pretty heavily timbered, but nothing like to the country further south about Korumburra or Leongatha. Similar land could be cleared to-day for about £6 an acre. The system of farming pursued is simple, but methodical. Nearly everything grown on the place is converted into milk and batter. A number of pigs and poultry are kept, but the chief pursuit is dairying. About 80 acres for hay are cultivated each season for the sole use and benefit of the cows, which are all fed liberally in their stalls throughout the winter, or whenever the grass becomes scarcer. Mr. Hall grows, also, a large quantity of green crops for mixing with the hay. At the present time there are about 10 acres of green fodder, consisting chiefly of barley and rye, ready for cutting, and which would, have been ready before now but for the dry autumn experienced. A continuous supply of this green feed is provided by sowing at different periods. A quantity of maize is generally grown for summer and early autumn feed, but the maize failed last season on account of the dry weather. When the maize crops are finished, a rotation of green barley, oats, or rye is available, and they are severally used for mixing with the chaff and bran ration. Mr. Hall has been farming on this system for years, and he finds it to be much more profitable than the usual plan of allowing the cows to dry off in their milk for want of feed.

As already indicated, the cows are exceptionally well provided for at 'Ercildoune' in the shape of food. Unless in the season when the grass is flush and verdant, they are liberally hand fed in the byre or shed at very considerable expense. Mr. Hall says that feeding the cows well is the only way—and he speaks from a long experience—to make dairying profitable. Yet the majority of farmers who make butter do not feed their cattle in winter. The question is whether they or Mr. Hall is right. I venture to assert that the latter makes most money at the business, and that surely is the main object, without discussing the relative cost or trouble attached to the two systems of feeding v. starvation. Mr. Hall also believes in providing shelter for his cattle. His milch cows are stabled every night all through the winter—a practice too seldom adopted in Gippsland, or any other part of the country. It involves a deal of extra Iabour and expense in cleaning out the stalls daily and in providing
bedding; but Mr. Hall has proved that the system pays better than allowing the cows to sleep out on the cold wet ground. He considers it is of little avail feeding a cow well, unless shelter is provided at the same time. Shelter, of course, is the equivalent of food, and the greatest abundance of fodder is wasted on any animal that is exposed to severe cold. Our own personal feelings tell us that in order to be well and healthy we must put on extra clothes in winter, and, further, that we will gain more benefit by the shelter and warmth obtained therefrom than by taking an extra quantity of food. Either man or beast is to be pitied who cannot secure sufficient clothing or shelter from the cold, and if we only consider how tender and sensitive an animal a milch cow is, the folly of expecting her to yield a large quantity of milk under such conditions is at once apparent.

The first immediate result of feeding and stabling the cows is the much larger quantity of milk they yield. Mr. Hall was at one time in the milk trade, but he now makes butter exclusively. Since he procured a cream separator he finds butter-making quite as profitable and easy as selling the whole milk. On an average his cows yield 8lb of butter per week throughout the year. The farmers who do not feed and shelter their cows obtain less than half of that return. If the cost incurred in the better treatment of the cows amounted to the value of the extra produce there would be no profit gained; but this extra expenditure Mr. Hall declares is all returned in the benefits resulting from the manure which is collected and applied to the land. The manure is the medium which enables him to produce heavy crops of hay, green fodder, and grass, and these in turn enable him to keep nearly double the number of cattle he could do otherwise. He, therefore, gets all the extra butter produced for
nothing, so to speak, and besides, from having so many more cows on the place, his aggregate returns and his profits are just about double of what they would be if the cattle were treated on the starvation system. It is easy to see from the good residence and steading, and the fine appearance of the farm generally, with everything in excellent condition, that Mr. Hall has prospered. He would assuredly have been a poor man still if he had not fed and sheltered his cows. Dairymen who follow his example will never, I feel sure, regret giving up the ruinous practice of starving their animals in winter.

When Fred died in 1896 his address in the death notice was Malvern Grove in Caufield. Family members worked the farm and in 1905 George Hall advertised the farm for lease. The ad below is from The Leader February 25, 1905.

In September 1917, the farm was put up for sale and it was purchased by William and Mary McNab, (read about them, here.) The sale advertisment, from the South Bourke & Mornington Journal  September 6, 1917, for the property gives some idea of what the farm was like at that time. You can read it here, on line, and it is transcribed below.

SATURDAY. OCTOBER 13 At the Homestead, on the Property at 3 o'clock To Dairy Farmers, Small Holders, Farmers, Onion Growers and Others SUBDIVISIONAL SALE (in the Estate of the late F.Hall), situated within two miles of Cranbourne Subdivided into four farms, homestead and 80 acres, and three farms averaging about 55 acres each Some of the best land in the Cranbourne district.  KEAST, MORRIS AND  MILES and STEWART AND WOOD (in conjunction) have received instructions from the executors in the estate of the late F. Hall to sell by public auction that -
Very Fine Property, containing 245 acres,subdivided into four convenient farms, namely, homestead and 80 acres of land, and three farms averaging about 55 acres each. The homestead block will be sold together with all improvements, consisting of a brick and w.b. house, large milking shed, hay shed, stables and numerous outbuildings. All the blocks have a frontage to a good metal road, and the land consists chiefly of beautiful black banks, nice undulating rises, and is considered by good judges to be one of the best farms in and around the Cranbourne district, being situated only about 2½ miles from the Cranbourne railway station, the land now being occupied by Mr Strong, whose lease expires within a short period. We would draw special attention to the sale of this land, which is very suitable for dairying, potato and onion growing, mangles and maize, and in fact all kinds of root crops. The district has a splendid rainfall, and is considered to be one of the safest in any part of Victoria. The property has been in the Hall family for very many years, and is now being sold to wind up the estate, and intending purchasers can inspect with confidence. Buyers will be met at the Cranbourne railway station, and shown over the property, by giving one day's notice to the auctioneers.Liberal terms will be given. Plans on application to the agents. For further particulars, or arrangements to inspect, apply Keast, Morris and Miles, 140-6 Queen-st., Queen's House, Melbourne; Stewart and Wood, Alexandra Chambers, 46 Elizabeth street, Melbourne.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on the Ercildoune property on Trove, you can access it here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.