Friday, 30 May 2014

Emerald Country Club

The Emerald Country Club was established in the 1920s on part of the land originally owned by Carl Axel Nobelius who operated the Gembrook Nurseries from 1886. After Carl died on December 31, 1921 the nursery was sold to a syndicate who developed part of the property as the Emerald Country Club. Two of Carl's sons, Cliff and Arch, operated the nursery business until 1955.

The land was developed into a Country Club with a golf course, tennis courts and swimming pool and  a housing estate (more on that later). Before the Country Club house was built in 1929, Nobelius' house, Carramar, was used for this purpose. Carramar still exists and is now a private home.

The Argus February 22, 1941

Carramar was sold by the Country Club, perhaps in the 1930s when they were alleged to have gone into liquidation. I don't  have  a photograph of Carramar but I have found this advertisement for the sale of the house in The Argus from February 22, 1941. The house is described as containing three reception rooms, a full sized billiard room, five bedrooms, two bathrooms, excellent domestic and staff accommodation as well as a detached gardener's cottage of six rooms. As the land had the finest collection of trees in the State and was just under five hectares, a gardener was no doubt essential.

Emerald Country Club
State Library of Victoria Image Image H32492/3631

The Emerald Country Club house was completed in 1929 and was designed by Architects Cowper, Murphy and Appleford. Amongst other works they designed the interior of the Sun Theatre in Yarraville (opened 1938); St Moritz ice skating rink (1939); the Dendy Theatre in Brighton (1940); they rebuilt the Regent Theatre in Collins Street to the original design after a fire in 1947 and had  also undertaken interior work on the Palace Theatre in Bourke Street in the mid 1950s.

The citation on the National Trust Heritage Register describes the building as  The clubhouse design follows the American Craftsman and English Arts & Crafts Bungalow precedents in its use of the low gabled form, local rubble freestone (inside and out), and other natural finishes such as the Marseilles pattern terracotta roof tiles, stained and lacquered timber linings and joinery (interior).... This conscious use of natural material is also reflected in the construction of the log lake-side pavillion (presumed originally roofed with paling/shingle). 

When the Club first started the membership was limited to those who purchased land in the surrounding estate which was created by the establishment of Elm Crescent, Poplar Crescent, Sycamore Avenue, Oak Avenue, Nobelius Street and Lakeside Drive, which lead into the Club. A number of houses built from the 1920s on this estate still remain. You can find out more information about these houses and some of the significant trees  here on the Australian Heritage Database.

The Country Club, Emerald
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1154

The Country Club went through various owners - in 1932 club members formed a new Company to purchase the golf course and Club house - the asking price was 14,850 pounds. Five years later another Company was formed and the asking price had halved to 7,000 pounds. In the 1970s the golf course was enlarged to 18 holes and it still in existence today. More of the history of the Club can be found on the Australian Heritage Datebase entry referred to above.

Ist fairway Country Club, Emerald
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/3532

Women's Weekly May 9, 1956  Trove Photographer: John Askew.

This picture is from the Women's Weekly of May 9 1956 and shows Mr Clifford Wright watching an iron shot by Mr Ray Hawkins at the Emerald Country Club. The caption also mentions some of the features of the Club including tennis courts, a natural lake (ideal for swimming and fishing), bowling and putting greens, a scenic golf course with some of its fairways carved out of dense forest.

I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Emerald Country Club on Trove, click here to access the list.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Narre Warren Railway Station - the early years

The Narre Warren Railway station was opened on March 10 1882. When the Gippsland line was established in stages from 1877 to 1879 the only stations between Dandenong and Bunyip were Berwick and Pakenham.

Narre Warren Railway Station, circa 1900 to 1910.
State Library of Victoria Image H2012.171/340. Max Thomson collection.
Photographer Michael J. Drew

Sidney Webb, of Holly Green, Narre Warren agitated for the establishment of  a railway station near his property and his shops - Holly Green is located  where the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre is now and Webb's shops were on the corner of the Princes Highway and what is now Webb street.

Once the Station was opened Sidney Webb agitated again, this time for a a road to be put through to connect 'the township' with the Station (see excerpt, above, from Early days of Berwick)   In reality the 'township' did, I believe, pretty much consist of shops that Webb had an interest in. According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books, in 1888 and 1889 a number of businesses were established in Narre Warren -  Albert Raduchel, a blacksmith; Thomas Woodley, a baker; Thomas Stones, a butcher and James Middleton, a storekeeper. They all leased their premises from Sidney Webb. 

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held April 1, 1882.

As we can see from the Shire of Berwick Minutes, Captain Wauchope, requested that the new road to the station be called Roseneath Road.  The Council did agree at the time. I don't know what happened to Roseneath Road, is it now Webb Street?.

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held April 29, 1882.

The name Narre Warren originally referred to the township of Narre Warren North. George Rae established a store at Narre Warren North, in the corner of John Troup’s paddock in 1857 and the town was surveyed around  1860. I don't know the exact date when the decision was made to call this new station Narre Warren but it appears that the Shire of Berwick had  role in the naming of the station, as it was mentioned  in the minutes of the April 29, 1882 meeting that the name for the new station had been 'noted'. (see above) Sadly, that's all I can find of this issue, it would be interesting to know if any other names had been suggested.

Shire of Berwick Minutes from the meeting held May 27, 1882.

This entry from the Shire of Berwick Minutes of May 27, 1882 (reproduced above) is the first mention I can find of the Narre Warren Railway station, actually referred to by that name.  It also talks about the formation of the new road and the fact that the Council had accepted a tender of 39 pounds from Rumph Brothers (of Harkaway) for the metalling of the new Roseneath Road. 

This is from the State Government Gazette of  May 11, 1883 where there is a list of works approved by the Governor in Council that the undermentioned services be preformed without tenders being advertised. The works, costing 200 pounds, were  to construct the new road to the Narre Warren Railway Station and Walton's Road. Is this  another road to the Station and not Roseneath road,  which going by the evidence above  was finished a year earlier in 1882?. The State Government Gazette also mentions Walton's Road. I presume that this has a connection to Thomas and Eliza Walton. Thomas & Eliza arrived in Narre Warren  1852 and built Holly Green. They left in 1877 and Sidney Webb purchased Holly Green in 1880. 

The Argus  February 13, 1883, page 10 

An article in The Argus of February 13, 1883 lists a schedule of railway works which have been undertaken and completed or partially completed since July 9, 1881 when Mr Bent took office as Minister for Railways. As you can see it includes the Narre Warren siding and platform.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quarries and Sand mines

This is a series of quarry photographs - taken in the 1960s and 1970s. Basalt quarries were north of the Princes Highway in Berwick and Harkaway and sand quarries were south of the Princes Highway in Lyndhurst and Cranbourne.

This is the basalt quarry where King Road becomes Robinson Road in Harkaway. It was taken December 1963.            

These are the two basalt quarries south of A'Beckett road and west of Harkaway Road in Harkaway. The photo was taken in January 1978.

This is the basalt quarry in Noack Road in Harkaway and one of the A'Beckett Road quarries can also be seen.  Photo was taken in April 1978. I don't know when they started quarrying in Harkaway - the earliest reference I can find on Trove is from the Dandenong Advertiser of September 23, 1915. 

This is a report received at the Berwick Shire Council meeting held September 18, 1915. 
Dandenong Advertiser of September 23, 1915.

This is Wilson Quarry in Berwick - another basalt quarry. You can read all about the history of the Wilson Quarry here. The quarry opened in 1859. It is now Wilson Botanic Park.  Photograph taken December 1963.

This is a quarry in Hallam, taken in January 1970. That is General Motors Holden Factory on the left and the Freeway now passes between GMH and the Quarry. The Gippsland Railway line is south of GMH and the quarry. The section of this railway line between Oakleigh and Bunyip opened October 1877. You can read more about this line here. I have no information about this quarry, but I suspect it was a sand mine.

Taken in January 1972 this is the Lyndhurst/Hampton Park sand quarry. It is now the 'Hallam Road landfill'. The South Gippsland Highway runs along the left of the photograph. At the bottom right corner is part of the Cranbourne Golf Club.

This is the sand mine either side of Thompson's Road in Cranbourne. Photograph was taken January 1970. The road on the left of the photo is Narre Warren - Cranbourne Road. They still mine sand on the south side of Thompson Road. Apart from Cranbourne there are still sand mines in other parts of the region, especially around Lang Lang and Yannathan.

This aerial is from February 1964. These are the sand pits below the racecourse at Cranbourne, some of which now form the Botanic Gardens. Just to the south of the racecourse, where Earlston Circuit is now, was the Earlston Sand Mine, who had their own railway siding, from around the mid 1930s.  I believe there was also a line that went from the sand pits to Camms Road level crossing to service the  Cranbourne Sand Company, from the mid 1920s.

The South Bourke and Mornington Journal of September 6, 1917 had an article about 'A new Industry for Cranbourne'.  If you can;'t read the article, above, click on this link and it will take you to the article on Trove. Sand mining has thus been an industry in Cranbourne for nearly 100 years.