Monday, 23 June 2008


Dewhurst lies between Beaconsfield Upper and Emerald and was originally known as Beaconsfield North. The Progress Association had the area named Dewhurst in the 1920s. A mail service was established, with Mr Wain as the first mail man, and a Post office was opened in Mr Cation's house. The Dewhurst State School was erected in 1934 and operated until 1953 when it closed down, having at the time, only nine pupils enrolled. In the 1950s the town had the Post Office, a Public Hall, a Fire Station, a Methodist Church, the Falls Guest House. The first house in the area was said to have been built by Dr Louis L Smith in 1888, he called his property Louisville, but is was later known as Bim Bim Be. Other early residents in the area include Mr Mulcahy of Edgevale, later owned by the Harris family; Mr Ricketts; Captain Jones, an Orchardist; Frank Knapton; Mr Shanks, who built the Methodist Church; Mr Spivey; Mr W. Care; Mr Bateman, who ran a piggery; Carl Hepner; Mr Dacks of The Towers; Mr McMeekin of View House and Mr Bunt an orchardist. Most of the residents were farmers or orchardists. The town was in an attractive bush setting, which attracted 'week-enders' one of the most famous being Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia from January 1966 until December 1967. The bush setting also had a dark side, with bush fires being a constant worry. The original town is now under the waters of the Cardinia Dam, which was completed in 1973.

This information comes mainly from From Bullock tracks to Bitumen, a forerunner of In the wake of the Pack Tracks. If you are a reader of Local Histories, published 30, 40 or more years ago, you will know that authors rarely seemed to refer to local identities by their given names, which is why many of the early residents listed above have surnames only. This photograph comes from the book In the Wake of the Pack Tracks. 

1 comment:

Glenn Eaton said...

Is Stan Hamilton related to Doug Hamilton, born around 1962?