Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Warren Park, Hallam North Road

The four black and white photos in this post are of Warren Park, in Hallam North Road. They were taken by John T. Collins on June 22, 1968. There were actually two Warren Parks in Narre Warren, and it took me some time to work out at which property the photographs were taken, but it is Warren Park in Hallam North Road, Lysterfield (more about the other Warren Park, later).

Warren Park
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1078

The location of Warren Park was referred to in 1871 as Warren Park, Narre Warren; 1884 as being Warren Park, Dandenong; in 1888 as 3 miles frontage to the main Gembrook Road...and commanding view of the Bay and Cranbourne township; in 1899 as Warren Park, Hallam's Road; in 1914 as adjoining the Police Paddocks; in 1928 as 5 miles from Dandenong between the Police Paddocks and Lysterfield (1).

The Homestead still exists and was described Graeme Butler in his 1997 City of Casey Heritage Study (2) as this large stuccoed Italianate farm house faces to the west across the valley, surrounded by many mature exotics such as a Moreton Bay fig, oaks, elms, Norfolk Island hibiscus, a bunya bunya...and a hoop pine. The verandah floors and steps are stone and paired timber posts are used to support the concave roof. Cast-iron has been added. Slim half-height side lights are used on the front door which terminate at the window sill height, a configuration typical of the 1860s-70s buildings. The roof is an M hip-form and the cemented chimney mouldings are slimmer than those used later in the 19th century (3).

The homestead sits on what was originally Crown Allotment (CA) 60, Parish of Narree Worran, which was granted to J. Walker in 1865. This was Joseph Frederick Walker.  Walker also held Crown Allotments 71, 72 and 73, they adjoined CA 60. The boundaries of this land were the Police Paddocks to the west, Hallam North Road to the east and Churchill Park Drive to the south - 569 acres in total. He also owned 595 acres on the east side of Hallam North Road - CA 55, 52A, 52B and 53 - the eastern boundary of which was Logan Park Drive and the southern boundary Churchill Park Drive. Some of this land is now under Lysterfield Lake (4).

Part of the Parish of Narree Worran plan. Click on image to enlarge.
Joseph Walker's land is either side of Hallam North Road, north of Churchill Park Drive
 (coloured red on the plan). 
You can see a complete plan on the State Library of Victoria website here

Joseph Walker, who had been Head Master at Yarra Park State School in Richmond, lived in Camberwell for much of his life. In 1903, when he was 73 he married Henrietta Mary Robertson, who was 36. There were no children from the marriage. Joseph died in 1909, you can read his obituary in The Argushere. At the time of his death, according to his Probate papers, he still owned all the land west of Hallam North Road including the Warren Park homestead, described as a stone house of four rooms - this land was valued at £1,994. He also still owned CA 55 on the east side of Hallam Road, 189 acres, which was valued at £663 (5).

Warren Park
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1080

Warren Park was leased for many years, Joseph Walker may not have ever lived there, and the Conservation Study lists some of the tenants as Andrew D. Wilson, a grazier in the mid 1890s; around 1900 George H. Davis, a broker and later Thomas W. Powles (6).  The land is now part of the City of Casey, but was originally part of the Shire of Ferntree Gully which later became the City of Knox and Shire of Sherbrooke, so I don't have access to any Rate Books. However, we can find references to the property in the newspapers on Trove, which tell us who lived at the property over the years.

This is Lost and Found advertisement was inserted by R. Vizard of 
Warren Park in 1871.

In 1871, R. Vizard placed an advertisement in the Lost & Found columns in The Argus, about a dog which had followed him home to Warren Park. In Joseph Walker's Will  he left an interest in some of his property to his niece, Ada Vizard, the daughter of Reuben Vizard and Frances Matilda Vizard (7) so  it is likely that it was Reuben Vizard who had the dog follow him home from Dandenong.  

From around 1880,  the property was occupied by Walter and Isabella (nee Ogilvy) Winsloe and his growing family. Their first child, Eveline was born in 1878 in St Kilda and the next three births were registered at Dandenong - Richard in 1880, Alfred in 1882 and Matilda in August 1884 (8). It was no wonder that in May 1884, Mrs Winslow advertised for a 'respectable' girl to act as a nurse maid at their Warren Park home.

Mrs Winsloe's advertisement for a Nurse maid.

The birth announcement of Matilda Winsloe at Warren Park.

The next occupant at Warren Park was Mr J. Woolf. In 1891, he was mentioned in an article about the proposed railway line from Dandenong to Gembrook. Mr Woolf mentioned the extensive granite deposits at Warren Park and the value of the railway for transporting the stone.  I have no personal information about Mr Woolf.

Mr Woolf, of Warren Park, extols the virtues of Narre Warren granite
South Bourke & Mornington Journal February 18, 1891

The Conservation Study mentions Andrew Wilson was at the property in the mid 1890s. After him was George Davis. Davis was there in 1899, when he advertised 30 bullocks for sale.

Mr Davis of Warren Park has bullocks for sale.

Thomas Powles was the next occupant of Warren Park, and it appears he had troubles with trespassers in 1905 as the notice, below, appeared in the newspaper on a few occasions. Thomas and his wife, Ann Cordelia Powles are listed in the 1912 Electoral Roll at Narre Warren (9) so I presume they were still at Warren Park.

Mr Powles of Warren Park has a problem with trespassers.
South Bourke & Mornington Journal July 5, 1905

In January 1928, Warren Park, escaped destruction by  a grass fire, as the article below reports. A Mr Fisher occupied the property, but that is all I know.

Warren Park is nearly destroyed by a fire
Dandenong Journal January 19, 1928

The next residents of Warren Park that I can find are Henry and Kathleen Ward. Henry passed away on January 17, 1943, just a month after Kathleen.

Death of Henry Ward of Warren Park.
Dandenong Journal January 20, 1943

In 1948, nine year old Patricia Meiklejohn was living at Warren Park and she wrote the following poem, which was published in the Children's pages of The Age.

The poem written by nine year old Patricia Meiklejohn of Warren Park.

By 1963, the Warren Park property had been reduced in size to 50 acres and it was advertised (see below) as a Gentleman's Estate with a  quaint old farmhouse, recently renovated by the Architect, O.N. Coulson. 

Warren Park - a 'Gentleman's Estate'
The Age December 12, 1963

The stables at Warren Park. They belong to Nugget, Smokey and Patchy.
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1081

The 1980s saw the property reduced in size again and when it was advertised for auction on December 14, 1985, see below, the Warren Park homestead was situated on just over 23 acres.  Much of the original Warren Park farm on the west side of Hallam Road is now part of Lysterfield Park and Churchill National Park.  Much of Joseph Walker's land on the east side of Hallam Road is also part of Lysterfield Park, and as we said, some of the land is now beneath the Lysterfield Lake.

Warren Park, on 23 acres, is auctioned in 1985
The Age November 16, 1985

There was another Warren Park in Narre Warren in Shrives Road and it took me some time to work out which property the photographs were taken on. Warren Park in Shrives Road had this short listing in the 1993 City of Berwick Heritage Study. The homestead citation read - This old weatherboard house, with its unusual concrete render over flax (and possibly other materials) has an earlier section within, dating from as early as the 1850s. Evidence visible from the exterior (including a rendered arch in the interior passage) suggests the building dates from the 1880s at the earliest.....In the 1880s and 1890s, the house was owned by a well known Melbourne judge and used as a country retreat, later to be purchased by a Mr Ellis and then later used as a dairy (10). I believe this house has been demolished.

In  1951, Mr Young held a clearing sale at Warren Park, Shrives Road as he was giving up dairying. Part of his Clearing sale advertisement is below.  Mr Young was Leslie Richard Young and his wife was Dorothy Claire Young. The had two children that I can trace - a son Richard and a daughter Claire (11). 

Part of Mr Young's Clearing sale advertisement.
The Dandenong Journal, September 26, 1951

It was this sentence in  Graeme Butler's 1997 Heritage Study, which confirmed that John Collin's photographs were of  Warren Park, Hallam Road - Perhaps the most significant structure on the property is a cemented conical store and well housing which is sited close to the house over a deep brick-lined well (12).  Mr Collins'  photo of the structure is below.

Warren Park's most significant structure on the property is a cemented conical store and well housing which is sited close to the house over a deep brick-lined well (13). 
Photographer: John T. Collins, June 22, 1968
State Library of Victoria Image H98.250/1079

Some of this information comes from the City of Casey Heritage Study: Significant Places by  Graeme Butler & Associates, 1997, pp. 47-48

Trove list
I have created a list of articles on Warren Park on Trove, access it here.

(1) Location descriptions come from various articles and advertisements in the newspapers, see my Trove list, here.
(2) Butler, Graeme & Associates City of Casey Heritage Study: Significant Places (1997)
(3) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.
(4) Land ownership comes from the Narree Worran Parish plan
(5) Joseph Frederick Walker was the son of William Walker and Sarah Hughes. He died October 20, 1909, aged 79, at his residence, Crendon, Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell. Henrietta Mary Walker, born 1866,  was the daughter of William Robertson and Harriet Mary Tarburton. Henrietta did not remarry after Joseph's death and she died January 5, 1956, aged 89. Joseph's Will and Probate papers are on-line at the Public Records Office of Victoria,  
(6)  Butler, op. cit., p. 47.
(7) Joseph Frederick Walker's Will, available at the the Public Records Office of Victoria,  Reuben Vizard (died 1925, aged 87), Frances Vizard (died 1916, aged 79) and Ada Vizard are listed in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren / Lysterfield.  Ada married Sydney Flockhart Goodsir on December 4, 1907. In Joseph's Will she was left a life-time interest in CA 52A, 52B & 53, facing Logan Park Drive. However, these three allotments are not listed as an asset in his Probate papers, so the Goodsirs had possibly purchased the land previously. The Goodsirs are in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren through to the 1937 Roll. Ada died in 1947, aged 68, in Maryborough.
(8) Birth notices in the newspapers, see my Trove list.
(9) Electoral Rolls available on
(10) Heritage of the City of Berwick: Identifying and Caring for Important Places by Context P/L, 1993, p. 278
(11) Electoral Rolls and various family notices in the newspapers, see my Trove list. 
(12) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.
(13) Butler, op. cit., p. 48.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

The Narre Warren Cool Store

In 1891, William Bailey purchased 50 acres of land at Narre Warren, and began planting out his orchard, which was the first commercial orchard in the area (1). Other orchards soon followed as Narre Warren was considered to be a very suitable area for orchards. The Australasian in April 1919 reported on the advantages of fruit growing in the area -

The orchards and areas available for planting are within comparatively short distance from the railway station, where a central packing shed is in operation; the district is but 22 miles from Melbourne; the climate and soil are well suited for apple and pear culture, and, in addition, the district is settled by progressive fruit growers, who have an intimate knowledge of most matters affecting fruit production. When a district is within comparatively easy reach of the metropolis it has an enhanced value that, while difficult to estimate on an acreage basis, is nevertheless considerable.

In the first case it means that the cost of delivering produce on the market, an ever-recurring expenditure, is far less than that incurred by the up-country grower, and this same question of freight expenditure applies to everything that is purchased for use on the orchard; implements, spraying materials, manures, wrapping paper, cases, and numerous other items that must be obtained from the city, and this also applies to the initial costs connected with settlement. Then, too growers may, if they so choose, put their fruit on rail overnight, and travel to Melbourne by the evening train to sell their own produce. Several hundred acres now planted with fruit trees are within three miles of the local station and packing shed, served by a good level road, and this means easy haulage and expeditious handling of the crop during the height of the season. The co-operative fruit packing shed has been in operation over three seasons, and already there has been some talk of establishing cool stores so that the fruit may be held over for late season marketing (2).

The article also had profiles on local fruit growers including James Bailey, President of the Victorian Fruit Growers' Association (and son of William Bailey). James had 68 acres planted out in fruit trees - 34 acres of apples, 30 acres of peaches and 4 acres of pears (3).

Narre Warren Cool Store

In the endeavour to establish a Cool Store at Narre Warren, the Narre Warren Orchardists' Co-operative Cool Stores Co., was formed in 1923, with James Bailey as Chairman of Directors (4). Mr Bailey was the driving force behind the Cool Store as The Australasian reported - Although possessing a cool store of his own, sufficient for the requirements of his orchard, he has been the dominating figure in bringing about the erection of the new chambers (5).

The method of financing the construction of the Cool Store was reported in The Age newspaper - a first call of 6d. per share was made, which enabled the company to purchase the land. Later the share holders contributed 3/10 per 10/ share, making a total amount of £1700, and £2400 having been advanced by the State Savings Bank, the erection of the store was commenced. They had sufficient machinery to run a store of double the capacity, so that any additions would cost considerably less (6).

Aerial of Narre Warren - taken January 20, 1974. The Cool Store, which is opposite the Narre Warren Railway Station, is circled. The Railway Station moved from original location (west of Webb Street) to it's current location (east of Webb Street) in 1995. 
Image: Casey Cardinia Libraries.

The Cool Store at Narre Warren, built on an acre of land near the Railway Station (7) was officially opened on Saturday, March 7, 1925 by the State Minister for Agriculture, Murray Bourchier (8), who congratulated the share-holders on their enterprise and co-operation, and said he felt honored at being invited to start the machinery working (9).

Narre Warren Cool Store

The benefit to the area of having a Cool Store was explained in The Australasian newspaper - Owing to the demand for Jonathan apples for export, and also because this variety may usually be profitably disposed of within three or four months of harvesting, the cool chambers will be utilised mainly for the storage of the Yates and Rome Beauty kinds which are among the best storing varieties of apples grown. In the past many of the growers have been obliged to part with the bulk of their crops at prices which purchasers considered would leave them a margin of profit after paying storage expenses. With the local stores in operation there is the prospect that much of the fruit will return a more lucrative price to those who hold it until late in the season (10).

The Cool Store was designed to hold 10,000 cases of apples, but provision had been made to add two extra chambers if required. These chambers, each holding 3,000 cases were added in early 1928 (11). 

As with all primary production, some years were better than other and 1933 was a record year for fruit export in the Narre Warren area - Approximately 51,000 cases of fruit - 5000 cases of pears and the remainder apples - were exported from Narre Warren this season. In addition, 8000 cases were sold on the Melbourne and inter-State markets, and it is expected that a further 23,000 cases will be held in cool storage for the late markets. The quantity of fruit exported constitutes a record for the district. Last year two new cool stores were erected by individual orchardists, making four stores for the district (12).

One of these two Cool Stores was erected by Robert Haysey, which held 80,000 cases (13). An unusual cool room was built in 1932 by Arthur Robinson, on his Hillsley property, at Narre Warren North. The Dandenong Journal reported on the construction - a store had been built of bluestone boulders, some of which weigh over one ton; it was cut into the side of the hill, and the walls are built of the huge stones, which were after wards cemented. Mr. Robinson is of opinion he will be able to store many thousands of cases for a considerable period, and that they will keep equally as well as in a cool chamber (14).

Arthur Robinson's bluestone cool storage shed built on his Hillsley property in 1932.
Image: Oak Trees and Hedges: a pictorial history of Narre Warren, Narre Warren North and Harkaway (Berwick Pakenham Historical Society, 2002)

The Narre Warren Cool Store wasn't the first one built in the district. As we saw James Bailey already had one on his property, however as early as 1908 Captain Jones installed a cooling plant in his packing shed at Narre Warren, you can read about it here. Captain David Jones (15) of the Victorian Stevedoring Company had purchased 560 acres of land in Narre Warren around 1898 and established a large orchard (16). Captain Jones' property was called Tan-y-dderwen, which means "Under the oak" in Welsh (17). After his death in 1926, his son Thomas Evan Jones (18) took over the property - Tandderwen Court and Tom Jones Court in Narre Warren North are named after him.

The Cool-Air machine and oil engine driving it - photographed on Captain Jones' Narre Warren property, in 1908.

I do not know when the Narre Warren Cool Store ceased operation, but in February 1953 the Crossley Engine was advertised for sale by tender.

Tender for sale of the Narre Warren Cool Store engine

The Cool Store was demolished in the late 1970s or early 1980s. 

The Narre Warren Cool Store in the process of being demolished.
Some of the cars in this photo have been dated - a 1977 Torana Sunbird, a post 1978 Datsun 200B and possibly a 1977 Corolla and the green car in the centre is a HG Monaro. These identifications date this photo to at least the late 1970s.
Image: Casey Cardinia Libraries.

Thank you to Tracy Howard, one of our Librarians here at Casey Cardinia Libraries, and her friends, for helping to identify the location of the Cool Store in the 1974 aerial, shown above.

Trove List
I have created a list of articles on Trove, connected to the Narre Warren Cool Store, access it here.

(2) The Australasian, April 26, 1919, see here.
(3) The Australasian, April 26, 1919, see here.
(4) The Age, March 9, 1925, see here.
(5) The Australasian, January 24, 1925, see here.
(6) The Age, March 9, 1925, see here.
(7) The Argus, August 17, 1923, see here.
(8) Murray Bourchier, read his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, here
(9) The Age, March 9, 1925, see here.
(10) The Australasian, January 24, 1925, see here.
(11) Weekly Times, August 21, 1926, see here and Dandenong Journal, April 5, 1928, see here.
(12) The Age, May 23, 1933, see here.
(13) Dandenong Journal, January 26, 1933, see here.
(14) Dandenong Journal, January 26, 1933, see here.
(15) Captain David Jones, read his obituary in The Age, December 28, 1926, here.
(16) Weekly Times, December 26, 1908, see here.
(17) Weekly Times, December 26, 1908, see here.
(18) The following information comes from family notices in newspapers and Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District - Thomas Evan Jones (1898-1964) married Margaret Alice Asling in 1921. Margaret, born 1897, died July 15, 1925 at Tandderwen, at the age of 28. She left behind a son, Evan David, who had been born on March 18, 1922.  Margaret was the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (nee Meade) Asling, of Narre Warren North. 
Tom Jones remarried in 1928 to Alice Asling. Alice Asling was the half sister of Edward and thus an aunt of Margaret.
Edward Asling (1869-1961) was the son of George Asling (1846-1934) and Margaret Neville (1839-1874). After Margaret Neville died in February 1874, George married Sarah Martha Webb (c. 1854-1923) in December 1874 and one of their children was Alice (1889-1972) who became the second Mrs Jones. Sarah Martha Webb was the sister of Sidney Webb of Holly Green, Narre Warren.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Mr Nutting 'invents' a new type of Ute

 The Argus of October 13, 1936 published the following article

A NEW TYPE OF COUPE UTILITY Victorian's Invention
An interesting variation of the coupe utility type of coachwork has been invented in Victoria. It gives all the goods carrying facilities of the usual type, but the tray can be converted to a lorry type in 
a few seconds, or can be folded so that the vehicle is indistinguishable from an ordinary private coupe car. Last week Mr. A. C. Nutting, the proprietor of general stores at Garfield and Catani, who was largely responsible for the design, demonstrated a vehicle built to his specifications to General Motors-Holden's Ltd., who have expressed considerable interest in it. 

Mr. Nutting has used the vehicle for some time in his business, and claims that it has several advantages over the usual coupe utility. For example, it can protect bulky loads from the weather; it can be adjusted to take long articles which extend over the rear of the vehicle; and when folded down does not possess the appearance of a commercial vehicle, and, consequently, does not look out of place for social use.

The construction is simple. The boot cover, which is substantially built, is hinged in two places, so that when unfolded half of it forms an extension to the floor of the boot and the other half forms the rear flap of the goods tray. On this rear flap the two side pieces are hinged. Mr. Nutting's car is a Ford Ten, and the floor space for goods obtained with his patented coachwork is about 5ft. 3in. by 4ft. It is believed that a rather similar type of coachwork has been developed with considerable success in America

This is the image which accompanied the article. The caption reads - Above, as a coupe. In the centre, opened for carrying goods which may extend over the rear platform. Below, as a utility with bows in place for covering in wet weather.

I don't believe Mr Nutting's design went into full production, but it was an innovative solution which allowed him to carry out deliveries in a motor car, rather than having to purchase a truck, and this was the same rationale behind the invention of the standard Utility. There are various versions on the Internet as to how and why the Ford utility was invented - the story goes that  in 1932 or 1933  a 'farmers wife' from Gippsland wrote to Ford Australia asking if they could produce a vehicle which could be used for 'going to church on Sunday and to  take the pigs to market on Monday'. I have read somewhere that the farmer's wife was actually from Bunyip.  The Managing Director of Ford, Hubert French, passed the letter onto Louis Thornet Bandt of the design team and the first Ford coupe utility was built at Ford's Geelong Plant in 1934 (2). The Ford Utility thus predates Mr Nutting's 'invention' by two years, but the benefit of his design was that goods could be carried in the standard boot, or the space could be extended to take longer items and a cover could also be fitted for protection from rain. 

Who was Mr Nutting?  Arthur Clive Nutting was born in Carlton on February 19, 1896 to George and Emilie (nee Sears) Nutting. George was a tinsmith and the family lived at 70 McIlwraith Street in North Carlton (3).  On April 27, 1916 Arthur enlisted in the A.I.F. His occupation was listed as a Clerk and he was 20 years old. Arthur embarked on May 20 and after serving overseas he Returned to Australia July 23, 1919. Arthur also served in the Volunteer Defence Corps in the Second World War (4).  In April 1920, Arthur was admitted as a Licentiate of the Incorporated Institute of Accountants (5).  During the early 1920s he was employed in the Commonwealth Public Service War Service Home Commission until his resignation in November 1922 (6).

In 1923, Arthur married Connie Eunice Grace Smith, the daughter Andrew and Emily (nee Wildman) Smith. They had three children that I can trace - Donald George, Robert Arthur and Heather Elizabeth (7). The family lived  at 292 Riversdale Road in Auburn until 1926 when they moved to Catani to operate the General Store (8). The store had been established by Robert Bush in 1922 (9) in the newly created town on the Koo Wee Rup to Strzelecki Railway line. In November 1927, Arthur successfully applied to the Cranbourne Shire to install a petrol pump in front of the shop (10). He also applied at the same time to the Licensing Court for a Spirit's Merchant's and Grocer's Licence (11). Whilst living at Catani the family took part in the social life of the community - in February 1927 Arthur was the Secretary of the Yannathan and Catani Picnic Race Club and the next year he was the President of the Catani Tennis Club (12).

Catani State School 1931.
Arthur and Connie's son, Don, is fourth from left in the front row (13).
Image: Koo Wee Rup Swamp Historical Society. 

In January 1929, the family had a narrow escape from a fire, an unusual fire, except if you are living in a town on a reclaimed Swamp, like Catani was - this is the report from The Age -  The store of Mr. Nutting, of Catani, narrowly escaped destruction by fire yesterday. The peat near the store had been burning for some days, and yesterday's high wind caused the fire to spread rapidly. Owing to the peat burning some distance under the surface, a trench had to be dug on three sides of the buildings. A large number of neighboring farmers gave valuable assistance in saving the premises. The railway buildings were also threatened at one stage (14).

In 1930, the Nuttings, who had been renting the Catani store from Robert Bush, purchased a store in Garfield, however he still continued to operate the Catani store until 1936, as far as I can tell from the Cranbourne Shire Rate books. They moved to Garfield around 1932 (15).

Arthur was a man who saw a future in motor cars, because in 1934 he applied to the Berwick Shire to have  a petrol pump installed in front of his store and this was granted (16). Once again, the family involved themselves with the community - in 1933 Arthur was elected as President of the Garfield Golf Club and he was later the Secretary; in 1935 Connie was the Secretary of the newly formed Baby Health Care Centre in Garfield and she was also the Vice President of the Mothers Club (17). 

It was in October 1936 when Arthur demonstrated a vehicle built to his specifications to General Motors-Holden's Ltd. (18) The Nuttings, as well as operating the store at Garfield also had a farm as  there are a numerous references of sales of his merino sheep in the Newmarket sales reports (19). The farm was sold in 1945 and the store was sold in 1950, but the Nuttings had already left Garfield for Black Rock in 1943, where they lived at 32 Ebden Avenue (20).

The Nuttings home after Garfield, Black Rock House.
Black Rock House. Photographer: Rose Stereograph Co. 
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/5101

The Nuttings moved (20) to the original house in Black Rock, Black Rock House, which had been built in 1856 for Charles Ebden - the house gave the suburb its name (22). In August 1973, Arthur Nutting applied to the Sandringham Council for permission to demolish the house to build flats. The application to demolish the house was refused, after some involvement from the National Trust and other interested parties. The Age newspaper of August 14, 1973, also published an interesting article, written by Peter Smark, about the building, under the head line - Time to  stop developer - If the hammer falls the council and people of the area will have proved they care nothing about the origins of their place and Melbourne as a whole will have shown it has learned nothing (23).

The garden walls of Black Rock House, Black Rock, the property 
the Nuttings moved to when they left Garfield.
Black Rock House and Fortifications, c. 1905. 
Image is cropped from a postcard. State Library of Victoria Image H90.140/55

Further in the article Peter Smark wrote about the significance of the building Black Rock House was built of timber and sandstone quarried from nearby Quiet Corner area in 1856-57. It was designed by Clauscen and Becker for Mr Charles H. Ebden, and the superb stonework on the garden walls is by John and Patrick Barrow, two of the best stone craftsmen then working in the Port Phillip Bay area.  Mr Ebden was a man of some importance. Before separation he was the Port Phillip District's member in the NSW Legislative Council. He later served as Auditor-General to Lieutenant-Governor LaTrobe and was Treasurer and member of the first Victorian Legislative Council (24).

Arthur Nutting, World War One veteran, Accountant, Storekeeper and the inventor of a new type of Ute, died November 13, 1978, aged 82 and his wife, Connie, died April 10,  1983, aged 81 (25).

Trove list - I have created a list of articles on Arthur Nutting and his family, access it here.

(1) The Argus, October 13, 1936, see here.
(3) Date of birth from his listing on the Springvale Botanical Cemetery website, here. Address and father's occupation from the Electoral Rolls on
(5) The Herald, April 22, 1920, see here.
(6) Commonwealth of Australia Gazette December 28, 1922, see here and resignation Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, March 22, 1923, see here.
(7) Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages Index; children listed with them in the Electoral Rolls and Donald  served in World War Two He was born August 2, 1924. 
(8) Date of arrival in Catani from the Electoral Rolls - in 1927 they were listed at Riversdale Road, and in 1928 Arthur was listed as a Merchant at Catani. As he became the Secretary of the Yannathan and Catani Pony Races in February 1927,  I believe they must have been in the town in 1926, in spite of what the Electoral Roll says. 
(10) Dandenong Journal, December 10, 1927, see here.
(11) The Argus November 22, 1927, see here.
(12) The Argus, February 24 1927, see here; The Argus, April 3, 1928, see here.
(13) The Photo was labelled with most of the names when it was donated to the Koo Wee Rup Historical Society in 2020.
(14) The Age, January 19, 1929, see here.
(15) Shire of Berwick and Shire of Cranbourne Rate Books. Move to Garfield - based on the 1931 school photo  (above) and newspaper reports in my Trove list.
(16) Dandenong Journal, August 23, 1934, see here.
(17) The Age, April 25, 1933, see here; The Argus, July 25, 1935, see here; The Argus, July 15, 1936, see here.
(18) The Argus, October 13, 1936, see here.
(19) See my Trove list.
(20) Shire of Berwick Rate books, various articles in my Trove list and the Electoral Rolls on
(21) A Colonial Beau Brummell built Black Rock House by John Hetherington,  The Age, October 19, 1963. p. 22. The article said the Nuttings purchased the property in 1943 and lived in part of the old house for a while but now lived in a modern house on the property. The Age article was accessed on, an add-on.
(22) The house has a Friends Group -
(23) Time to Stop Developer by Peter Smark, The Age, August 14, 1973, p. 2. Accessed on, an add-on.
(24) Time to Stop Developer by Peter Smark, The Age, August 14, 1973, p. 2. Accessed on, an add-on.
(25) Springvale Botanical Cemetery website, here.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

The Arthur Streeton painting of the Brown family of Berwick

I was reading Early Days of Berwick (1) and came across the following in the Harkaway chapter - For some time an artist, Mr Ford Patterson [sic], lived on this property. Whilst there he painted on the stable door a stockman which was a very fine piece of work. What became of it is not known. Mr Paterson was the brother of Mrs Geordie Brown, of the Berwick Border Store. Her son represented Australia as a hurdler in the Olympic Games. After her husband's death Mrs Brown married James Gibb, M.H.R. (2).

That was interesting, because it is said (3)  that Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) painted a portrait of the Brown family in their house, Inveresk, at Berwick, but there didn't seem to be any evidence that this family portrait existed, so when I found the reference above about the link between the Brown family and the artist John Ford Paterson (1951-1912), I thought I would investigate further.

John Ford Paterson's Australian Dictionary of Biography entry by Marjorie Tipping, says, in part, as a landscape painter he was not as successful as others in the Heidelberg group. His work was more romantic in mood and his sense of colour, draftsmanship and mystical feeling for the bush placed him among the important Australian artists of the nineteenth century. With such artists as Conder and Roberts he broke away from the Victorian Academy of Art to found the Australian Art Association. In 1888 these organizations amalgamated as the Victorian Artists' Society; Paterson was its president in 1902 (4). The two other men mentioned are Charles Conder (1868-1909) and Tom Roberts (1856-1931).

Clearly, Paterson was an artist of some note, and he knew Arthur Streeton. In July 1888, the fact that they were both elected to the Victorian Artists' Society Council (5) and they exhibited together in May 1892 (6), are examples of some of their connections. This connection strengthened the likelihood in my mind that Arthur Streeton may have painted a portrait of the Brown family at Inveresk.

Inveresk, Berwick, the residence of George Brown, designed 
by Little and Beasley.
Image originally in Building, Engineer and Mining Journal, March 28, 1891 and republished in Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berrick (Berwick Pakenham Historical Society, 2001)

Inveresk was built by George Brown, a draper, of Berwick in 1891 (7). George had been in Berwick for many years and was originally married to Margaret Stewart. Margaret was the sister of Susan Bain, the wife of Donald Bain. Donald had established the Border Hotel, also called the Berwick Inn, in High Street Berwick in 1857. Donald and Susan married in 1859 and George and Margaret married in 1864. George and Margaret had one son, George in 1864, who died in tragic circumstances on May 31, 1887 when he was hit by a train. Margaret died July 28, 1884, aged 50 (8).

George Brown married again in January 13, 1887 to Mary Jane Paterson. He was 50 and she was 32 and a widow (9). Her first husband, Thomas Esson, had died in Scotland around 1881 and Mary Jane came to Australia with her son to join other family members, who were already in Melbourne (10). Her son, Thomas Louis Buvelot Esson (1878-1943) was the playwright, poet and Socialist (11). Mary Jane had two other brothers in Melbourne, apart from John Ford Paterson; her brother Hugh was also an artist and the father of artists Esther Paterson (1892-1971) and Betty Paterson (1895-1970). Another brother Charles was a decorator whose firm, Paterson Bros later monopolized the decoration of wealthy homes and such public buildings as Government House, Melbourne Town Hall, the Parliamentary Library and the Prahran Public Library (12).

George and Mary Jane had the one son, Francis Paterson Brown on November 13, 1887 (13). Louis Esson's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography said that Francis was his mother's favourite and that Louis considered his mother to be flighty and economically irresponsible (14). In 1891, George and Mary Jane built, as we said, Inveresk at 93 High Street, Berwick.   It was made of local Berwick bricks, roofed in slate imported from Wales and designed by architects were Little and Beasley, who had who also designed the Berwick Grammar School  at 76 Brisbane Street (15).  John Little and Hillson Beasley had formed a partnership in January 1891 (16). John Little was later in partnership with John Grainger, the Architect and Civil Engineer, a man overshadowed in life by his famous son, Percy Grainger (17). Hillson Beasley's previous work included the East St Kilda Congregationalist Church on the corner of Hotham and Inkerman Streets and in 1896 he moved to Western Australia where he became the Chief Architect of the Public Works Department (18)

It was at Inveresk that Arthur Streeton was said to have painted the portrait. This has been an on-going mystery for myself and others for many years. In 2013, a colleague of mine, Alice Woolven, asked what I knew of this portrait and she then emailed Dr Anna Gray at the National Gallery of Australia who kindly contacted Oliver Streeton, the grandson of Sir Arthur Streeton and this was his response.

Dr Anna Gray has forwarded on to me your e-mail to her of 8th April. I have no knowledge of a print by Arthur Streeton of “Inveresk”, Berwick, but a portrait of a child, Frank P. Brown '91 has been offered for auction three times, according to the Australian Art Sales Digest record: Joels 22/11/1995 - lot 108 - unsold; Joels 27/11/1996 - lot 111 - unsold; Joels 3/8/1999 - lot 246 - unsold.

The date '91 is possibly a mis-reading of the date inscribed on the painting because there is mention of a visit to Berwick in two letters of Arthur Streeton; to Tom Roberts, June 1892, “... - I’m off this week to Berwick to work at the two £10 commissions I have......” ; to Tom Roberts, 29th June 1892, Berwick Sunday Evening; see the text of these letters in Letters from Smike; the letters of Arthur Streeton 1890 - 1943, edited by Ann Galbally and Anne Gray, Oxford University Press, Australia, 1989 - pp 51 - 54.

There is mention of a possible portrait of Mrs Brown, but I do not know if one exists. When I find a better image of the portrait of young Frank P. Brown, I will try to examine the date to determine what has actually been inscribed. As the painting appears to have remained unsold, I suppose there is a possibility that it can be tracked down from Joels vendor records.

There are two early watercolours by Arthur Streeton, Berwick (Joels, 13/4/1988 - lot 1219 and Joels, 20/4/1993 - lot 150) and Haystacks at Berwick (Joels, 8/11/1978 - lot 521 and Joels, 27/5/1981- lot 509). Both watercolours are undated but appear to me to be in an mid-1880s style. So far I have not come across any reference that would explain Streeton’s visit to Berwick at this time. I attach an image of the Frank P. Brown portrait below.
With best wishes,
Oliver Streeton

Portrait of Frank P. Brown, 1891 by Arthur Streeton,who credited Leonard Joel for the image.

Frank P. Brown - is surely  Francis Paterson Brown, the son of Mary Jane Brown, nee Paterson,  and the nephew of artist, John Ford Paterson. Frank Brown, attended Scotch College, and played for Melbourne and St Kilda in the Victorian Football League. He was an all-round athlete and Australian Hurdles Champion, and represented Australia at the Festival of the Empire Games held in London during the festivities held during the Coronation of King George V in 1911 and won the 120 yards Hurdle at an International meet in Berlin in 1912, but I can find no evidence he competed in the Olympic Games, as stated in the Early Days of Berwick.  Frank served in the A.I. F during World War One. He was the boxing and athletic editor of the Sporting Globe, when he died at only 41 years of age in  November 26, 1928. One of his obituaries in The Herald is written by C.J. Dennis (19).

Francis Paterson Brown during his Scotch College days.

There may well still be a portrait of the Brown family, painted at Inveresk by Arthur Streeton, waiting to be discovered, but I am of the opinion that Arthur Streeton did paint a portrait at Inveresk, but it wasn't of the Brown family, it was of their son, little Frank Brown. 

Thank you to Alice Woolven, Dr Anna Gray and Oliver Streeton. It was Alice, who in 2013, was curious enough to email  Dr Gray, who contacted Mr Streeton. Between the  four of us, we have (1 believe) solved  a mystery. 

(1) Early Days of Berwick and its surrounding districts, compiled by Norman E. Beaumont, James F. Curran and R.H. Hughes (3rd edition published by Rotary, 1979), p. 74. The book was originally published in 1948.
(2) The reason I was looking up Early Days of Berwick was to see what information they had on Franz Schmitt, who had the Steinberg vineyard at Berwick. Early Days of Berwick referred to a property owned by a Lotha Schmidt who operated a vineyard and winery and this was the property that John Ford Paterson lived on for a time.  Franz Schmitt, Lotha Schmidt their vineyards are a story for another time.
George Brown died December 29, 1896 and Mary Jane married James Gibb on July 30, 1898, when she was 43 years old and he was 55.  The Hon James Gibb (1843 - 1919) was the son of Alexander Gibb of Campbellfield. James was the M.L.A for Mornington from 1880 to 1886 and also owned at one time, Melville Park (now Edrington in Berwick, the former home of Lord and Lady Casey).  Gibb was also a draught horse breeder and described as one of the most enterprising farmers in the State - a champion ploughman, gentleman an politician.   He was a Shire of Berwick Councillor for 30 years and the Federal Member for Flinders from 1903 to 1906.  In 1904, Mary Jane Gibb purchased the Tullillan property in Clyde Road. She died on July 30, 1932 aged 78. Read her obituary in the Shepparton Advertiser of August 1, 1932, here.
(3) The Heritage of the City of Berwick, researched by Context P/L and published in 1993, quotes (page 320) A Brief Cultural Review of the City of Berwick by Helen Millicer, which was produced in 1991. I have not seen the Millicer document.
(4) Read John Ford Paterson's entry, written by Marjorie Tipping,  in the Australian Dictionary of Biography
(5) The Argus, July 26, 1888, see here.
(6) The Argus, May 14, 1892, see here.
(7) The Heritage of the City of Berwick, researched by Context P/L and published in 1993
(8) Family information from various notices in the newspapers and Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District researched and published by the Narre Warren & District Family History Group in 2010. George Brown, junior married Emily Gissing on August 14, 1885, she was the daughter of George Gissing of St Kilda. You can read an account of the Inquest into his accident in the South Bourke & Mornington Journal, of June 8, 1887, here
(9) Marriage certificate of Mary Jane Esson and George Brown.
(10) Louis Esson's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, written by D.R. Walker,
(11) Ibid.
(13) Scotch College, Melbourne website
(15) The Heritage of the City of Berwick, researched by Context P/L and published in 1993
(16) The Age, January 3, 1891, see here.
(18) Hillson Beasley - East St Kilda Congregationalist Church  Australian Dictionary of Biography entry
(19) Frank Brown - Football career is listed on the Scotch College website; Other information - Obituary Sporting Globe, November 28, 1928, see here; Obituary The Argus, November 2, 1928, see here; Obituary by C.J. Dennis, The Herald, November 27, 1928, see here.

Monday, 16 August 2021

Pakenham Consolidated School photographs - Part 1

I came across these photographs of Pakenham Consolidated School on the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV). The Pakenham Consolidated School was officially opened on May 29, 1951 with 258 pupils, on the site of the Pakenham State School, No.1359, in Main Street. The original Pakenham School had opened on a site near the Toomuc Creek in January 1875 and it moved to the Main Street site in 1891. I went to Pakenham Consolidated School on the Grenda's school bus, Bus 7, from Vervale from 1964 until 1970. My two sisters and my brother also went there. You can read more about the formation of the school, here.

When the school was established, new class rooms were constructed, however some of the school buildings were also transferred and used at the school and some of these buildings are shown here. This post also has photos of the opening of the school and exterior shots. The PROV also has many photos of the construction phase, which I have not included here, but you can see them on their website,, Part 2 has photographs of students in class rooms and other interior shots and some school bus photographs, see here. The photos were taken in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Old School Buildings

The original Pakenham State School, No. 1359.
Exterior of old school,  PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/10, F225

The original Pakenham State School, No. 1359.
Construction scenes and exterior shots  VPRS 14517/P0001/55, C148

Some of the old schools, the one on the left is Toomuc Valley School, No. 3034.
Old classrooms, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B986

More old school buildings, the little one in the middle is Nar Nar Goon South, No, 4554.
View of old building,  PROV  VPRS 14517/P0001/55, C259

Nar Nar Goon North No. 2914.
Construction scenes and exterior shots,  PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/55, C146

View towards the original Pakenham School, love the little girl looking through the window.
Construction views, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/55, C173

The Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony, May 29, 1951.
Opening ceremony at Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B995

Opening Ceremony, May 29, 1951.
Opening ceremony at Pakenham Consolidated, VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B996 

Opening Ceremony, May 29, 1951.
Opening ceremony at Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B997 

Opening Ceremony, May 29, 1951.
Opening ceremony at Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B998

Opening Ceremony, May 29, 1951.
Opening ceremony at Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B999 

Exterior photographs

The houses for the teachers
Teachers' residences, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B975

The toilet block and the shelter sheds
Toilet block, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/54, B985

Exterior of playground, Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/19, H738

Exterior of playground, Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/19, H739

The classroom wing on the west side, against Dame Patty Avenue.
Front exterior, Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/19, H740

Front of the school
Front exterior, Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/19, H741

Exterior of playground, Pakenham Consolidated, PROV VPRS 14517/P0001/19, H743

This post shows some of the old school buildings transferred to the site, the original Pakenham State School; the opening ceremony and exterior shots. Part 2 has photographs of students in class rooms and other interior shots and some school bus photographs, see here.