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.

PICTURESQUE VICTORIA.
BY "THE VAGABOND."
AROUND BEACONSFIELD.

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 https://www.upperbeaconsfieldhistory.org.au/index.htm. 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
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1422823


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 - http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169514


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.   http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169514


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.