Links to our Past - history

Land sales in the area - real estate advertisements

Here are some interesting land sale posters, from the past 130 years, from the  State Library of Victoria.

Grassmere: the heights of Dandenong - land sales  circa 1888. Grassmere covers modern day, Endeavour Hills, Hallam and Doveton.

This is a close-up of the illustration from the advertisement - I think there is a bit of artistic licence there.

Tooradin, 1889. The advertised blocks run off Tooradin Station Road, nearly up to Lynes Road.

Nar Nar Goon Estate - small farms and township allotments. This is undated but I presume it is the 1880s.

The 'celebrated' Langwarrin Estate, dated 1888. The subdivision on the right is modern day Pearcedale. The land for sale on the left, either side of West Road is in Langwarrin South.

Garfield Township lots, 1906

Logan Park and Sweet Hills Orchard, Narre Warren, 1907. This is Narre Warren North, north of Heatherton Road, in the vicinity of Lysterfield Lake and Logan park Track. 

Hampton Park 1920. The land for sale is on both sides of Somerville Road.  

Martha King - Pioneer woman

Martha Jane King took up the Bunguyan run lease in 1845.  The run was of 15,000 acres and takes in modern day Hastings and Tyabb. Mrs King held the lease until 1859. It was unusual for a woman to have a lease hold in her own name, so in this post we will take  a look at the life of Mrs King, who also had a connection to the Casey Cardinia region. King’s Creek in Hastings was named for Martha King and her family and was the original name for the township of Hastings.
Much of the following information comes from Valda Cole’s research, presented in her book Western Port: Pioneers and Preachers (citation below). Mrs Cole gave a talk about the life of Martha King and the early history of the Hastings Tyabb area at the South Eastern Historical Association Discovery School held in 2012  and other ever since I have been fascinated about Martha and the life she lead as an early pioneer, so even though she only has a short association with our area, her life is well worth recording in our blog.                                                                                                                                                                         Martha was born Martha Jane Henry in County Down  Ireland in 1790 and married Henry King in 1814, who was also from County Down They had seven children (Mary b. 1815-1942), John (1817-1870), Sarah (1819-189), Ellen (1822-1903), Robert  (1825-1883) Alexander (1827-1885) and James (b.1830-d.1831) The eldest son John came to Sydney in 1838. Whilst in Sydney he heard favourable reports about the Port Phillip Region, so returned to Ireland to pass this onto his family. Thus in August 10, 1840 Martha and Henry King and children, plus John King, his wfe Elizabeth (nee Johnstone)  and their two children, Frederick and Annie, all embarked for Australia. Martha and Henry’s daughters, Sarah and Ellen, were listed on the shipping records as dairymaids and their other daughter Mary as a housemaid. 
Sadly, on the way out Martha’s husband, Henry died on October 30 aged 49. The family landed in Melbourne on January 4, 1841, six years after the region had been ‘discovered’ by Eurpoeans such as John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner in 1835 and four years after Governor Bourke proclaimed the town of Melbourne in 1837. Melbourne’s non-Indigenous population in March 1841 was 4,500 and at the end of 1842 it was around 8,000. (Encyclopedia of Melbourne) thus the King family was one of many new arrivals seeking to start a new life in a ‘new’ country.
In spite of the fact that Martha was recently widowed and her daughter Mary died in 1842 aged 27, Martha had to continue on.  The family was living in Moonee Ponds and to support her children she took charge of John Pascoe Fawkner’s dairy herd - 113 head of cattle. Fawkner had become insolvent and so had had to relinquish most of his farm at Pascoe Vale. The herd provided Martha with a source of income as she could sell the cheese that she made from the milk and the herd also provided employment  for her children – daughters Sarah and Ellen were already experienced dairy maids. 
It is this dairy herd that brings Martha King into our region. Martha needed a large area of land to run a dairy herd and she had access to land leased by her brother, Robert Henry. Robert had the Cardinia Creek No.1 run of 5,120 acres from October 1842 until May 1851. It was later taken over by Terence O’Connor. This run was based, as the name suggests, on the Cardinia Creek, the west side. It is believed that Martha took on adjacent land on the corner of Pound Road and Thompsons road to look after the Fawkner herd.  However as we know she wasn’t there for long as in 1845 she took up the 15,000 acre Bunguyan lease  but the family lived in a cottage on the property whilst they were developing  Bunguyan.  

Click on map to enlarge it. This is part of the Cranbourne Parish Plan and shows the Cardinia Creek pre-emptive right of 640 acres, which was once part of the 5,120 acres leased by Martha's brother, Robert Henry. Gunson describes the Cardinia Creek run as being north of St Germains, so I assume that the original run extended west (perhaps to Pound Road) and possibly north of the pre-emptive right. 
Martha and her brother Robert Henry had another close connection as two of Martha’s sons married their first cousins – it was not unusual to marry your first cousin in the ‘olden days’ – the daughters of Robert Henry. Robert King married Annie Henry and Alexander King married Mary Henry. Another of Martha’s daughters, Sarah, married Richard Rogers,  whose brother John married Sarah Henry, Martha’s niece.
Although Martha took up Bunguyan in 1845, the actual formal application wasn’t lodged until 1850 and it was gazetted in the State Government Gazette of December 11, 1850. 

This is notice in the Port Phillip Government Gazette of December 11, 1850 concerning Martha King's lease of the Bunguyan property, near modern day Tyabb.
In 1856, Martha purchased the 160 acre pre-emptive right of Bunguyan (which was on the south east corner of modern day O’Neills Road and Frankston Flinders Road in Tyabb). The property was sold in February 1860. Martha King then moved to the property owned by her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Richard Rogers,  Tanti Grange, in what was then called Schnapper Point and is now known as Mornington. She died there on August 11, 1860 and was buried in the old cemetery that was located on the corner of Queen Street and Victoria Street in Melbourne (now the site of the Victoria market) There is a memorial plaque to Martha King at the Bunguyan Reserve in Tyabb. 

Mrs King's death notice in The Argus of August 14, 1860Trove
Martha’s son John King  was appointed the first Town Clerk of the newly established Melbourne City Council in December 1842 and was later a Member of the Legislative Assembly and later still the business manager of The Argus.  You can read his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here.

Source: Western Port: Pioneers and Preachers by Valda Cole. Published by The Hawthorn Press, 1975.

Berwick Grammar School 1882-1928 and the Vieusseux family

Berwick Grammar School began in 1882 as a private school owned by the Head Master, Edward Vieusseux (1854-1917). Edward was the third son of Louis and Julie Vieusseux who had arrived in Melbourne in 1852. Louis was a Civil Engineer, but in 1857 opened a private school for girls, Valetta House Ladies College, in Clarendon Street, East Melbourne, where the Freemasons Hospital now stands. Edward had two older brothers, Stephen who died at 15 months and Lewis, the eldest boy, who disappeared on a family picnic in January 1858. Lewis, aged seven. was riding behind the family buggy on a stock horse, went off the track to look at something and his riderless pony returned but Lewis did not.  His body was found two years later, by a wood cutter, about ten miles from where he had disappeared.

Edward had worked at Jacob Hessel's boarding school in Harkaway, at the property Ratharnay, from 1880 and previous to this he had taught at Geelong Grammar. His father, who as we know had operated  his own school for many years, financed the purchase of a house in Berwick for his son to operate a school  and so Berwick Grammar school began.

The property they purchased was on the corner of Brisbane Street and Church Street and had been used by Miss Adelaide Robinson as a girls school from when it was built in 1877. It was on 1.5 acres of land.

The Berwick Grammar School, now  a private house.
It is  not known how many boys were enrolled in the early years of Berwick Grammar, there are apparently no school rolls in existence and it is thought that around 400 students were educated there over the life of the school. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal has a report of the first prize night and Mr Vieusseux is reported to have said that attendance has  not been as numerous as it might have been, still there has been an increase during each succeeding quarter; and the many inquiries and promises of pupils for the coming year, lead me to anticipate and excellent commencement for 1884.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 26, 1883
The same article also has  a list of  the honour recipients, which gives us some idea of the subjects on offer and also some of the pupils names.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 26, 1883
The subjects included English, Geography, French, Writing, Latin, Conduct, Mathematics. Gymnastics and  Music. Students in the first year inlcluded F. A'Beckett, R. A'Beckett, F. Britten, A. Brunet, G. Brunet, D. Clark, G. Clark, F. Coppin, G. Coppin,  T. Dwyer, F. Elmes, J. Hennings, A. Kent,  D. MacKinnon and G. Warry, 
Edward Vieusseux unexpectedly died on November 6, 1917, aged 63. the School then became affiliated with the Church of England, who acquired the buildings. The School then went through a succession of Head Masters, eight in eleven years until it closed in 1928 - The Reverend P.P McLaren became Head Master at the start of 1918, he was replaced by the Reverend Charles Zercho in 1920; in 1922 Mr Hancock took over, then the Reverend Douglas Howard, Mr Charles Kenrick, Mr Paul Polan, Mr J. H Morgan and lastly the  Reverend Hubert Brooksbank. The building became the short lived Winchester House Grammar school, then a guest house. From 1949 until 1972.  Mary Blackwood, who was on the staff at the Diocesan Office in St Pauls Cathedral.  used the building to train teachers and for a holiday camp for 'Christian Holidays' for children. The Building was named Mary Blackwood house after her. It then became a Community school, until 1977 when it was used as a place of instruction into the Jewish faith. The Church of England (or Anglican church) finally sold the building in  1990.
There is an Avenue of Honour in Church Street and a memorial plaque to the nine past students of Berwick Grammar School who were killed in World War One. You can read more about this here.
Here's some family information about Edward Vieusseux.  He was married in 1877 to Emily Ross. They had four children -  Lewis John (1879-1890) Edward Telford (1881-1887) Dorothy Jean (1888-1921) and Nellie Phyllis (1889-1914). It was a sad situation that three of the children pre deceased their father and the four of them pre deceased their mother, Emily, who died in 1940, aged 83. All the family are buried in the Berwick cemetery.

John Bellair has written an interesting history of the Berwick Grammar School, which is where I obtained some of the information for this post.  John was sent to board at the School in 1918 when he was eight years old. We have a Reference copy of the book at Narre Warren and you can purchase a copy at the Berwick Mechanics' Institute 15 High Street Berwick
I have created a  list about the Berwick Grammar School and the Vieusseux family on Trove, click here to access the list. 

Guest Houses : Rose Series post cards

Staying at a Guest House in the hills was once a popular holiday activity. The Rose Stereograph Co. produced many post cards of Guest Houses, here are some from our region, taken from the 1920s to around 1954. These post cards are part of  the State Library of Victoria collection and are available on their website

Beaconsfield Upper - Salisbury House  Guest HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2099

Beaconsfield Upper - Runnymede Guest HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/6081

Cockatoo - Eastgate Guest HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/422
  Emerald - Avonsleigh HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/4108

Emerald - Emerald HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/4612

Emerald - Fernlee Guest HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/1403

Emerald - La Belle Guest HouseState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2547
Emerald - Silver Springs LodgeState Library of Victoria Image H32492/3775

Views from the hills: Rose Series post cards.

The Rose Stereograph Co. produced a series of post cards of views of Victoria - they are a great source of historical images  for the local historian and many are available on the State Library of Victoria website In this post we will look at some of these post cards that show views from the hills. They were taken between circa 1920 and 1954.

Beaconsfield Upper - The outlook from Kyogle (a guest house) State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2098
Beaconsfield Upper - The magnificent viewState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2091
Beaconsfield Upper - Outlook over Western PortState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2113
Cockatoo - View from Lovely ValleyState Library of Image H32492/2328
Cockatoo - From Pheasant Hill:  a birdseye view of of CockatooState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2166
Emerald - A magnificent panorama of hill and dale.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2122
Emerald - A glorious panoramaState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2130 Emerald - View from the new roadState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2320
Emerald  - West Gembrook RoadState Library of Victoria Image H32492/2119
Gembrook - Panorama of GembrookState Library of Victoria Image H32492/6117
Gembrook - View showing Beenak RangesState Library of Victoria Image H32492/4108

North of the Line: a pictorial record and a bit about Officer and a bit about Garfield

The Berwick Pakenham Historical Society published North of the Line:  a pictorial record in 1996 and it still provides us today with a great source of photographs of the area in Cardinia which is 'north of the line' i.e the Gippsland Railway line. The photographs cover Beaconsfield and Beaconsfield Upper, Guys Hill, Officer, Pakenham and Pakenham Upper, Cockatoo, Gembrook, Nar Nar Goon North, Tynong and North Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip.

The Gippsland Railway line was the seminal event in establishment of  many of these towns - Beaconsfield, Officer, Pakenham, Nar Nar Goon, Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip. The line had opened in stages -  Sale to Morwell June 1877, Oakleigh to Bunyip October 1877, Moe to Morwell December 1877, Moe to Bunyip March 1878 and the last stretch from South Yarra to Oakleigh in 1879. As well, the Puffing Billy Railway line contributed to the development of Cockatoo and Gembrook. We will now look at Officer and  Garfield as they both developed in similar ways around a timber sliding and then both towns became a centre for the brick making trade.

Officer began as Officer's Wood Siding, as a siding was constructed to take timber from land owned by the Officer family to Melbourne. The Officer family had a fairly illustrious background - Sir Robert Officer (1800-1879) a medical doctor, had arrived in Tasmania in 1822. He married Jamina Patterson  in 1823 and she bore him six sons and seven daughters. In spite of this Jamina lived to be 77 years old and died in 1881. Sir Robert  was at one time the Health Officer for Hobart and a member of the Legislative Council. He was Knighted in 1869.  In the early 1840s he moved some of his interests to the Port Phillip District (Victoria), with the Mount Talbot, Lingmer and Yat Nat Runs in  the Western District, with  his sons Charles Myles and Seutonious Henry. Another son, William, had acquired the Zara Station, near Deniliquin in New South Wales in 1860. The Zara Run was 68, 000 acres and was a sheep stud and remained with the Officer family until it was sold for 250,000 pounds in 1927,  fourteen years after the death of William Officer in 1913. You can read about Sir Robert Officer in The Australian Dictionary of Biography here.

Pakenham Parish Plan, dated 1926 - showing location of land owned by the Officer family at Officer.Click on the map to enlarge it.

 In the Wake of the Pack Tracks  implies that is was William Officer who acquired the Mount Misery run, near Beaconsfield, and after the railway line was opened he used to rail his sheep from Deniliquin to Officer in times of drought. However, the  Pakenham Parish Plan  (see above) which covers Officer, lists an M. Officer as owning 314 acres and 313 acres, north of Browns Road and in between Starling Road and Whiteside Roads ( if we imagine they extended northwards over Browns Road) and south of Payne Road, thus covering where the G.W.S. Anderson Scout Camp is today. Another edition of the Parish Plan has both an M Officer and an R. Officer as owning the land, I presume that is Robert Officer. Regardless of which member of the Officer family owned the land,  it would be interesting to know whether they actually lived in Officer, but I don't believe they did. For instance, when William died was was living at Zara, and his son Ernest, who managed Zara after his father's death, was living at Toorak when he died. In the Wake of the Pack Tracks says that there was a wattle and daub house on the property, to accomodate the men in charge of the sheep and this stood for some seventy to eighty years at Officer. 

Tivendale's Store at OfficerSource: North of the Line: a  pictorial record
The Railway also opened up another business in Officer - brick works. At one time there were five brick yards in Officer.  In the Wake of the Pack Tracks lists them as Fry's in Starling Road; Holt's near the Railway Station; Reece's on Whiteside Road; Tivendale's near Hick's pipes work (I presume this is north side of Highway)  and Morey's where the Tile Works are (I presume this is on the south side of the Highway).  Both the timber and brick industry were no doubt boosted by the 1880s boom period in Melbourne and the growth of new suburbs. Garfield had  a similar history to Officer as the Railway lead to the establishment of two early industries, Jefferson’s Saw Mill and brick works and the Cannibal Creek Saw Mill Company.

Joseph Jefferson established a saw mill in 1877 on the site of what was to become his clay pit, off Railway Avenue. He sent this timber out via Bunyip Station until a local siding, the Cannibal Creek Siding, was built in 1885 to accommodate the timber tramline which was constructed by William Brisbane, a contractor on behalf of Francis Stewart.  This tramline run for about 8 kilometres, to the Two Mile Creek,  the Garfield North road basically follows this tramway.  In the same year, Cannibal Creek Saw Mill Company Limited was registered in October by the Stewart family, with William Brisbane being a minority shareholder. Stewart had already obtained the saw milling rights to 2,000 acres of forest in 1883. Both Stewart and Brisbane had been involved separately and jointly in other mills and tramlines at Berwick, Beaconsfield and Nar Nar Goon.  The Cannibal Creek Saw Mill Company sounds like a very grand enterprise but apparently the Company was in trouble by December 1885, the tramline was disbanded in 1887 and the Company was placed in liquidation in 1888, however it deserves it’s place in Garfield’s history as the Cannibal Creek Siding, became the Garfield Railway Station.

Garfield Railway Station, c.1910Source: North of the line: a pictorial record
Getting back to Joseph Jefferson, his was a very successful business, as well as producing timber products such as fence posts and rails and firewood, he also mined the sand on his property to be used in the building industry in Melbourne and when he discovered clay on his property he began making clay bricks. Like the Officer brick works,  Jefferson benefited from the 1880s  boom time as he could produce over 50,000 bricks per week and fire 75,000 at a time in his kiln. The Depression of the 1890s saw a decline in the building industry which flowed onto his business and the brickworks eventually shut down in 1929.

This is a companion volume to Oak Trees and Hedges: a pictorial history of Narre Warren, Narre Warren North and Harkaway. It is published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society. They operate a Museum, open on Sundays, from 2.00pm until 4.00pm, in the Old Shire Offices, corner of McGregor Road and Main Street in Pakenham (enter from the Highway service road off James Street) Both books are available at the Museum as in In the Wake of the Pack Tracks.

Bush Nursing Hospitals

The Bush Nursing Hospital Movement began in 1910 with the establishment of the Victorian Bush Nursing Association. At the time, the current medical system consisted of big hospitals such as the Royal Melbourne and St Vincents, which were run along charitable lines and whose role was to treat poor people, who could not afford to pay a Doctors fee.  There were also private hospitals which only the wealthy could afford. To help offset medical costs Friendly Societies or Lodges were established which people could join for a yearly fee. This gave them access to the Friendly Society doctor and access to medicine dispensed from the Friendly Society Dispensary. The problem arose when members of Friendly societies needed to be treated in Hospitals and thus most ended up in public hospitals, which were overcrowded, as most people could not afford private hospitals. There was also a growing move to nurse people in their own homes through what is now the Royal District Nursing Service.  People in the city and the suburbs could have a nurse visit them to help recover from confinements and general illness. This type of service took pressure off the public Hospitals. Lady Dudley, the wife of the Governor General, was aware of these visiting nurses and had also seen first hand the need for skilled nurses in the bush, so from these experiences came the idea of Bush Nursing Hospitals.

Lady Dudley spoke publicly of the need for nurses in the bush and a concert, with Dame Nellie Melba as the guest star, was organised to raise initial funds for the Bush Nursing Hospital Movement. This concert was held in November 1909 and Lady Casey’s mother, Mrs Charles Ryan (nee Alice Sumner), was one of the organisers.  An inaugural meeting was held in the December and the Draft Constitution for the Australian Order for District Nursing was drawn up. In the end, a nationwide system did not eventuate; however local areas took the idea on and began raising funds for their own Bush Nurse. The local community had to raise the money to fund the cost of the nurse’s salary, board, uniform and a ‘means of locomotion’. The salary was set by the Bush Nursing Association at the rate of around £80.00 per annum, the rate of pay for a hospital nurse with five or six years experience.

The first Victorian nurse was appointed to Beech Forest in March 1911 and other early appointments were Gunbower, Buchan and Panmure. Eventually some towns provided cottages for the nurses to provide accommodation for both the nurse and the patient. Koo-Wee-Rup was an early example of this where the original nurse, Nurse Homewood, started work in the bush nursing centre in July 1918; this was later replaced by a Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

Koo-Wee-Rup Hospital, 1923Photograph: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society
Both Pakenham and Berwick had Bush Nursing Hospitals which are still remembered by many locals. Pakenham was established in 1926 in a house in Rogers Street with Sister Kerville in charge.  In the first year the hospital treated 110 medical and surgical cases and 45 midwifery cases.  In 1928, a new hospital was built on the Princes Highway and in 1929 a nurse’s quarters was opened.  The Hospital was funded by the Community, by subscriptions and patient fees. There were with 190 subscribers in the first year. The Pakenham Race Club was a large supporter of the Hospital holding annual Charity Days to support both the Pakenham and Koo-Wee-Rup Hospitals. The Hospital provided medical services to Pakenham and the surrounding areas until the early 1990s.

The official opening of the Pakenham and District Bush Nursing Hospital on Saturday, February 11, 1928. The Hospital was opened by the State Governor, Lord Somers. The local scouts formed a guard of honour. Photograph: North of the Line: a pictorial record compiled by the Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society.
The Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital was opened on March 9, 1940 in a building on the corner of Gloucester Avenue and Gibbs Street. This building had been used as a private hospital for the previous thirty years and, for the twenty years before that, as a Private School. Membership fees were set at £1.10 per annum for a married man, his wife and any children under 18; membership for a single person was 15 shillings and this allowed the subscriber to hospital admittance for half the regular fee. A new building was opened in 1953 and called the Dr Percy Langmore Block in honour of the Berwick Doctor who provided medical services to generations of Berwick folk from 1907 until he retired after World War Two. The Berwick Hospital was taken over by the St John of God Health Care group in 2003.

Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital.Photograph: Bush Nursing in Berwick: the first fifty years by Eileen Williams (see below)
Sources and more information:
This article was first published in Pages from the past : snapshot histories of people, places and public life in Casey and Cardinia.

Western Port - a short history of early European activity

Both the Cardinia Shire and the City of Casey have Western Port as part of their border. The Bay has been a popular recreation spot for many of us over the years - for instance, we used to go to the beach at Tooradin when I was young; Dad and my uncle had a boat so they used to water ski down there, and Dad used to go fishing there as well. These activities would have been repeated by many local families since the European settlement of the region. Further afield, Phillip Island continues to be a holiday destination for many locals. The Bay has also been used commercially by fishermen. What follows is a short history of the Bay since the arrival of  the Europeans.

Western Port Bay was 'discovered' by George Bass (1771-1803)  on January 5, 1798. Bass had left Sydney (Port Jackson) on December 3, 1897 with the purpose of discovering whether a strait existed between Tasmania (Van Diemen's land) and the mainland. As we know the Strait did exist and it was named after him. Bass named Western Port thus as it was the most westerly port that was known at the time - or as he wrote in his journal I have named the place, from its relative situation to every other known harbour on the coast, Western Port. Bass navigated around what was to be called Phillip Island, but did not realise that the land mass that became known as French Island, was indeed, also an island. They were also unaware of Port Phillip Bay - I wonder what Western Port would have been called if they were. The journey was a remarkable feat of navigation and enterprise, the party was away for eleven weeks, had eked out the original six weeks of supplies they took with them, they sailed 600 miles of uncharted coast line all in an open boat that was only 28 feet, 7 inches (8.7 metres) long.

After Bass, the next official  European activity was carried out in the Lady Nelson, under Lieutenant James Grant (1772-1833) - they arrived  at Western Port on March 21, 1801. The crew planted a garden on Churchill Island and they charted the Bay. The Lady Nelson returned in December 1802 under First Lieutenant John Murray (1775-1803) and harvested the wheat crop planted by Grant the year before, and on January 5,  1802 they 'discovered' Port Phillip Bay. In April 1802, the French Captain Hamelin in the Naturaliste reached Western Port and circumnavigated  and mapped French Island.

Oyster breeding park, Rutherford Creek, Western Port BayState Library of Victoria Image A/S22/09/84/15
The French interest in this region prompted the British Government to establish, in 1803,  a settlement at what is now Sorrento, under Lieutenant Governor David Collins (1756-1810). In Western Port, enterprising sealers had moved in - seals were hunted for their skins and their oil. Sealers also abducted Aboriginal women, to act a sex slaves and to exploit their hunting knowledge. In 1826,  the British sent the Dragon, under the command of Captain Samuel Wright and the Fly, under the command of Captain F. Wetherall to Western Port, they landed at what is now Rhyll and claimed formal possession on December 3, 1826 and on December 12 they claimed formal possession of a site near Corinella. At Corinella, a settlement was soon established - gardens, roads, wells, buildings including Government House, military barracks, storehouse, hospital, blacksmiths, stables etc - most of the labour was supplied by the 21 convicts. This was a short lived settlement and was abandoned in January 1828.

Captain Wetherall's 1826 map of Western PortSource: Western Port Chronology 1798-1839: Exploration to Settlement by Valda Cole (see below)
Later on pastoral settlements took place - in 1835 Samuel Anderson (1803-1863) and Robert Massie settled on the Bass River.  Moving  around to the Bay, to the area now covered by Casey and Cardinia - in 1839 Robert Jamieson and Samuel Rawson settled at the Yallock Station, on the Yallock Creek. Frederick and Charles Manton took up Manton's Old Station in 1840; the Balla Balla run was taken up by Robert Innes Allen in 1839; Thomas Rutherford took up the station (Bourbinandera) based around what was to be known as Rutherford Inlet in 1842; the Lang Waring run was taken up in 1843 by William Willoby. Later on, from around the 1850s,  all these  large runs were broken up and sold and other European settlers arrived.

These are aerials of the top section of Western Port, taken January 22 1970 - not exactly what the early Europeans would have seen, but I can never resist using an aerial photograph! You could only imagine what these early explorers and cartographers would say if they could see the land they charted today, from an aerial or satellite image. The township is Warneet. The land mass on the left is Quail Island, Rutherford Inlet separates Quail island from Chinamans island. Quail island was originally known as Harris Island, it was named for Surgeon John Harris, member of the N.S.W Corps. Chinamans Island was so named as Chinese fishermen were said to live on the island.

This is Warneet, again, and Cannons Creek. We also see the top of Quail Island and Rutherford Inlet.

The land mass on bottom right is Quail Island, with Watson Inlet to the left. From the middle top, there is an L-shaped road - this is Craigs Lane. The road running down to a creek/inlet on the right is Vowell Drive.

This connects to the aerial above - on the right is Vowell Drive. On the left is Tyabb-Tooradin Road and Callanans Lane, this forms a triangle, where the Pearcedale Conservation Park and  Moonlit Sanctuary is located. There is Watson Inlet, part of the Yaringa Marine National Park, again. The inlet is named after  John Watson, whose property 'Freehall', was near to the Inlet.  John Watson was the owner of considerable property in the Parish of Tyabb, a prominent citizen and a member of the Mt. Eliza District Road Board. A Mornington Peninsula Shire  Council Ward is named after him (Personal correspondence from historian, Valda Cole)

Nirvana Park and Nirvana Dairy

I had a query about a property called 'Nirvana Park' in Cranbourne. As I knew nothing about it, I went to Trove and typed in 'Nirvana Park' and I found it was a property owned by Frederick David Spottiswood from about 1944 to around the mid 1960s.

The 1945/46 Rate Books list about 60 acres in various parcels owned by Spottiswood and shows  he also leased land from the Crown and the Railways - the railway land was from the Railway line, north to Camms Road, with High Street/South Gippsland Highway being the western boundary and Narre Warren Cranbourne Road,  being the eastern boundary.  Mr Spottiswood operated an  Illawarra Shorthorn stud at ‘Nirvana Park’. An article in the Kiama Reporter of July 4, 1945 (left) reports that Mr Spottiswood  who has achieved distinction for the extensive milk retailing business he has built  up in  Malvern and in a similar manner to the model business thus established, he aspired to the creation of  a model stud farm with the noted Australian Illawarra Shorthorns the breed to be utilised. More about the milk retailing business later.

I have spoken to a long term Cranbourne resident, Val,  and she told me that his dairy was  a red brick building on Camms Road.Val also told me that the Spottsiwoods moved from the original farm in Camms Road to another property in Cameron Street, south of Sladen Street or Berwick-Cranbourne Road as that part of Sladen Street is now called  (about opposite the back entry of the Cranbourne RSL) where they also had  a dairy. Fred and Vevers Spottiswood are listed in the Electoral Rolls in Cranbourne until 1968 and by 1972 they are in Frankston.

Mr Spottiswood was a Shire of Cranbourne Councillor from 1949 until 1955 and he was Shire President from 1951 to 1952. He was also on the Committee of the Cranbourne Turf Club and Chairman in 1951/52.

Fred  Spottiswood is on the right of this photograph. It was taken at the 1964 Cranbourne Cup presentation.
Source: Of heath and horses:  a history of the Cranbourne Turf Club by Mark Fiddian (Published by the author, 1993)
Before he came to Cranbourne in 1945,  Mr Spottiswood operated the Nirvana Dairy (hence the name of his farm) on the corner of Waverley Road and Belgrave Road in Malvern East.  If you know the area, it is where Dairy Bell ice cream factory still operates today.  Many of us from this area are familiar with the Dairy Bell factory as we had to use  Malvern Road before the South Eastern Freeway (which ended at Toorak road) was connected to the Mulgrave Freeway which finished at Warrigal Road (about 1989 they were connected by the South Eastern arterial)

I am not sure when Fred Spottiswood started the Nirvana Dairy, the earliest reference I can find to it is in November 1934 when the Dairy won a prize for the best 'four wheeled light delivery turnout'  in a parade of business vehicles held in Malvern. Spottiswood is first listed in the City of Malvern Annual reports as an ice cream manufacturer in the 1936/37 year.   The City of Malvern Annual reports  can be found here. They are,  surprisingly, interesting reading as many businesses had to registered under the Health Act, and they are listed in the reports and thus the reports present an interesting  picture of the area at the time - for  instance in 1936/37 there were 32 other  ice cream manufacturers in the City of Malvern as well as the Nirvana Dairy.

Nirvana Dairies opened  a new building on October 28, 1938. I believe this is the existing Dairy Bell building.  It was opened by the Minister of Agriculture,  Mr Hogan, who described the dairy as sanitary, of durable interior, having ample space, good lighting, ventilation and drainage.  The story of 'Nirvana Park' and Nirvana Dairy is a good example of the connection between rural and urban industries that was once obvious to most Australians and is now largely lost. It was the Minister for Agriculture opening the new dairy because it was recognised that rural industries, such as the dairy industry, needed secondary industries, such as the 33 ice cream manufacturers in Malvern,  to sell their product to. Small factories like the Nirvana Dairy, often had a house attached where the owner lived  and they were part of the fabric of every suburb; unlike today where the industrial area in many towns is set well away from the residential area.

Account of the opening of the Nirvana Dairy in MalvernThe Argus October 29, 1939
On a personal note - Frederick David Spottiswood was born October 4, 1903 and died June 12, 1992. He married Vevers Hemsworth (nee Lasslett)  in 1942. Vevers was born January 31, 1915 and died May 31, 1999. They are both interred at the Bribie Island Memorial Garden in Queensland, his plaque describes him as 'always optimistic' and her plaque describes her as 'stylish and witty'.

 I have created a list of newspapers articles about Nirvana Park and Nirvana Dairy on Trove, click here to access the list.

Opening of the Shire of Pakenham Offices on July 28, 1983

In the last post we looked at the some photographs that showed the view from the top of the hill before the Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers were built. In this post we will look at the opening  ceremony of the offices, which were officially opened  by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray on July 28th, 1983. The picture below shows the Governor  with the Shire President, Cr Austin Bastow, at the opening ceremony. These buildings are still being used by the Cardinia Shire, even though they are moving to a  new building in Officer in a few months.

The official opening of the Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray with the Shire President, Cr Austin Bastow on July 28th, 1983.

The Governor, Sir Brian Murray, addressing the audience.

The same scene, as above, but from a different angle.  The woman seated directly behind the Governor is Mrs Bastow, wife of the Shire President; further along the row is Cr Bastow and Mrs Murray. 

Cr Bastow addressing the audience. 

The Governor, being greeted by the Shire President, on arrival.

The  Vice-Regal tour of the new building.

The Governor shaking hands Russell Broadbent; Mrs Broadbent is next to Russell. The then Federal member for McMillan, Barry Cunningham is on the right of the photograph.

Two views of the audience.

The photographs, above , were taken by a professional photographer (perhaps some-one from the Pakenham Gazette) and we also have some coloured 'snaps' taken at the same event.

Views of Pakenham from the Cardinia Shires Offices in 1983

The Shire of Pakenham Municipal Offices and Council Chambers, in Henty Way, were officially opened  by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Brian Murray on July 28th, 1983. We have a series of photographs that were taken before the Offices were built, on its commanding position on the hill,  that show what Pakenham was like in 1983. The group of photographs were labelled 'Photos of Pakenham outside our Office, before it was built'

This is looking east towards the Pakenham Consolidated School, (the white roofed building just left of centre) which was located between Main Street and McGregor Road and moved to Rundell way in 1997.

This is also looking east and adjoins the photo above.

Looking nearly south east, this photograph adjoins the one above. The house you can see on the left of the photograph (white house, silver roof) is on the corner of Rogers Street and McGregor and the McGregor Road Railway crossing.

Looking south - this photo adjoins the one above. 

Looking north towards St James' Anglican Church on the corner of Main Street and McGregor Road. 

Looking north again towards St Patrick's Catholic Church on the Highway.

Looking down the hill to Pakenham High School

Looking  north east to the Lily Pond

I believe the photograph above and the three below complete the view from the hill so they looking from east  (Cardinia Road) to south (HenryRoad) - or vice versa.

Garfield North School. No. 3849

Dr Ron Smith has written a history of Garfield North Primary School. The book is called The school on the small plateau: the history of Garfield North State School, No. 3849. The book was officially launched on July 13, 2014 by past student, Alan Forte, whom some of you may know as he operates a veterinary surgery in Pakenham. Alan did all his primary schooling at Garfield North. His father and uncle, Ian and Terence Forte also attended the school as did some of his relatives from the Towt family. Ron Smith taught at the school in 1970 until the end of 1972. Ron then moved on to another local school, Catani.

There was at school at Garfield, the Cannibal Creek State School which had opened in 1886. The School was located on the Princes Highway, west of North Garfield Road. In 1887 the School, the Railway Station and the town changed their name to Garfield. In 1899, the School building was re-located to Garfield Road at the top of the hill, half way between the Princes Highway and the Railway Station. In 1910, the Garfield School No. 2724 moved to a new building on its present site near the Railway Station. The old school building was removed in 1914 to North Garfield where it became State School No.3489.

Mrs Agnes Towt  was very active in getting a school at North Garfield. She was a trained teacher and a mother of three children. A petition to the Education Department from the locals in 1910 came to nothing (the petition had been presented to the local MLA in December 1910, and an Inspector was sent to make  a report in April 1911 and did not recommend a school) so in June 1912 Mrs Towt wrote to the Education Department and another Inspector made a report in June 1912 and this time recommended that a school be provided. In the mean time, Mrs Towt found a suitable site for the school and organised the purchase from a local land owner. The section of this land that the school was situated on, was described by the Public Works Department as a 'small plateau', hence the title of the book.  In October 1913, the Public Works Department recommended that the old Garfield school building  be removed to North Garfield, however  this did not happen until July 1914 and the school finally opened on July 20 1914 with Miss Daisy Body as the first teacher  and 15 children enrolled.

 Due to declining numbers the school closed down on March 6, 1973. In April 1978 it opened as a outdoor Education centre.  The book is well illustrated with many interesting stories and anecdotes; there is a full list of students and teachers. You can borrow  a copy of this book, click here for availability. If you wish to purchase you own copy, then it is available from the Post Office in Garfield.

Langwarrin, Carrum Downs and Skye aerials

Before the Council amalgamations of 1994, the Shire of Cranbourne used to cover Langwarrin, Skye and a part of Carrum Downs. Although they had been with the Shire of Cranbourne (and it's predecessor the Cranbourne Road Board)  since 1860 they did not become a part of  the newly created City of Casey as some other parts of Cranbourne Shire did; these areas went to the City of Frankston.  The original western boundary of Cranbourne Shire with the City of Frankston was basically Dandenong Frankston Road (or Western Port Highway) to Ballarto Road; Ballarto Road to McClelland Drive; McClelland Drive to  Golflinks Road; Golflinks Road  to Baxter-Tooradin Road at the six way intersection where the Baxter Primary school is  -  Baxter-Tooradin Road was the boundary between the Cranbourne Shire and Hastings Shire and this boundary went south of Pearcedale along the aptly named South Boundary Road to Western Port Bay.

This map of the Cranbourne Shire and various boundaries is from The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson
We have a collection of aerial photographs of this area, which we recently lent to Frankston Library and they have digitised the images and put them up on Flickr - you can access them by clicking on this link.

Here are a few of these aerials, from 1970, when most of these areas were still undeveloped.

Carrum Downs 1970 - starting from the top - is Wedge Road - it goes across to the edge of the aerial - the Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve can be seen on the top left.  The road on the left side of the photo, running at right angles from Wedge, Road is Cadles Road - it has a bit of  a dog leg - this road is Brunnings Road and then Cadles Road continues down to Hall Road. The Road (just right of centre) that intersects Wedge Road and Hall Road and runs north south is McCormicks Road.

Langwarrin 1970 - this is the L-shaped  Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. The road to the left of the Reserve is McClelland Drive; the arch on the left is the railway line that runs to Baxter Railway Station which is  a junction station (which is why Baxter Railway Station was originally known as Mornington Junction Railway Station). The Baxter to Hastings line opened in September 1889 and reached Stony Point in December 1889. The other line used to run from Baxter to Mornington with stations at Mooroduc, Mornington Racecourse and Mornington. It also opened September 1889 and it closed June 1981.

Syke, Carrum Downs and Langwarrin 1970. The road running  from left to right (or west to east) at the top is Hall Road. The road running down the centre of the photograph (north to south) is McCormicks Road. It intersects with Ballarto Road, towards the bottom of the photo. The two roads running off Ballarto Road are McClelland Drive on the left and Potts Road on the right.

Carrum Downs

Historically, the township of Carrum Downs was always split between the City of Frankston and the Shire of Cranbourne - however after the 1994 Council amalgamations all of Carrum Downs was consolidated into the City of Frankston. So because Carrum Downs has spent 108 years as part of the Shire of Cranbourne,  I feel it deserves a place in this blog.

Carrum Downs grew out of  a farming settlement that was sub-divided about 1908 - cattle, oats, onions and potatoes were some of the agricultural products to come out of the area.

Mornington and Dromana Standard August 22,  1908
The first school  in the area opened on March 22, 1909 in a house owned by Mrs Blades. The purpose built school opened on Frankston Dandenong Road on September 11, 1911. The head Teacher, Evelyn McIntire was in charge of  sixty students. Growth in the area was steady until 1960 when the school population rose to 100 and two more rooms were added*

Frankston and Somerville Standard  May 17, 1930
The Carrum Downs Memorial Hall was opened with a ball on Wednesday, May 21 1930 as  this article (above) attests.The School was on the Frankston side, the hall was on the Cranbourne side as was the Recreation Reserve in Wedge Road and the Scout Hall. Early on the locals were obviously not happy with either Frankston or Cranbourne as in 1910 there was a movement to secede from both and go to Dandenong!

The Argus May 20 1910

In the Shire of Cranbourne part of Carrum Downs was the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement for unemployed people. The founder, Father Gerard Tucker (1885-1974) believed there needed to be an alternative to being unemployed and subsequent slum living conditions in the inner cities. The Carrum Downs settlement was established in 1935 with the object to provide men and their families simple shelter and a place to produce their own food. The settlement had  a community farm and  the country location enabled the children to live  a healthy life away from the bad influences of he inner city.  In 1946 had become  a home for aged people and it still operates in this way.

The Argus May 4,1935
These photographs of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement are form the State Library of Victoria.

Croquet lawn  and Cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1622
 I suspect that the croquet lawn was developed when the village became a place for elderly residents, rather than the unemployed.
Single cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1625
Cottage Hospital. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1619
There is an interesting account of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement that was written as a submission for a 2004 "Inquiry into sustainable urban design for new communities on outer surburban areas" - click here

* Vision and Realisation: a centenary history of State Education in Victoria.

Richard Grice 1858-1911

On page 31 of the third edition of the book Early days of Berwick and it's surrounding districts is this short reference to Richard Grice and a tablet which was erected in his honour in Berwick Boulevard (or High Street Berwick as we know it today.)

The plaque is no longer there, it was removed when the public toilet was built in High Street. One of the long term City of Casey officers made  a few enquires for me and found that the plaque was stored safely at a Council depot. They sent me a photograph of it, see below.

Who was Richard Grice? Here's what I have found out about him. Richard Grice was born in 1858 in Collingwood. His parents were Richard Grice (1813-1882) and Ann Lavinia Hibberson (1822-1905).  Richard Grice senior, had arrived in Victoria in 1839, being ‘amply supplied with funds by his family’. He and his business partner, Benjamin Heape, set up in business together. Grice was soon a leading pastoralist and his land holdings included the Mount Alexander run near Castlemaine. In August 1844 he married Ann Lavinia Hibberson and they eventually settled in Melbourne. Heape returned to England and Grice set up partnership with Theodotus Sumner.  Later, Sumner’s daughter Annie married Grice’s son James and the firm became known as Grice, Sumner and Co. As a matter of interest, Alice Sumner, another daughter of Theodotus, married Charles Snodgrass Ryan and they became the parents of Maie Casey (Lady Casey). The firm Grice, Sumner and Co was one of the oldest mercantile houses in Australia and held large tracts of land in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Grice senior, died in Fitzroy in 1882 and left an estate valued at £320, 000 - a substantial amount of money.

Richard senior and Ann had twelve children, but there were only seven living when he passed away in 1882. One son, John, was given a Knighthood and was Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University and had substantial business interests. Another brother, James, was a foundation member of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club and Chairman on a number of occasions. As you can see, the Grice family was well connected and part of the Establishment.

This brings us to Richard Junior, the man whose name is on the plaque that was previously located in High Street, Berwick.  Richard married Louisa Jane Currie (1858-1908) in 1884. Louisa was the daughter of John Lang Currie. Currie, described as a ‘pioneer squatter’, had arrived in Victoria in 1841 and when he died in 1898 he left an Estate valued at over £517,000. He left his daughter, Louisa Grice, £30,000 of which she had already received £7,000. Given that the average wage in the manufacturing industry at the time was around £130.00 per annum, that’s serious money.

Richard purchased 710 acres in the Shire of Cranbourne in 1884 and in 1887 he purchased 234 acres in the Shire of Berwick. It was on the Cranbourne property that they built the wonderful house, Eyrecourt most likely in 1887 or 1888.   When the house was built the property was known as Eirruc (Currie spelt backwards, perhaps indicating that some of Louisa’s family money paid for the Estate).

Eirruc or Eyrecourt by Charlie Hammond
This is Eirruc, later known as Eyrecourt, built by Richard and Louisa Grice. This illustration is from the Sketchbook of Charlie Hammond, held at the State Library of Victoria. The sketchbook contains both photographs and illustrations of various houses in Victoria. The book has been digitised by the State Library of Victoria and can be seen here. This house is on the City of Casey Heritage Study - to see the full citation click here. They have it listed as Eyre Court, so you will need to type this into the search box.

The Grices sold off parcels of land  from around 1906 and the Eyrecourt homestead (at 211 Grices Road, Clyde North)  in 1908. Grice did retain some Berwick property as he was living there when he died on September 6, 1911. His Probate Record lists all his assets and, amongst other property, Grice had 66 acres in the Shire of Cranbourne; a weatherboard house, Wonalta,  described as  seven rooms, plus kitchen, bathroom, scullery and outbuildings on three acres in Berwick; a block of land on Station Street (Gloucester Avenue) and another block on Elgin Street in Berwick.

Richard was described as a pastoralist or grazier and, like his brother James, had an interest in horse racing. They owned Hova who won the Newmarket Handicap in 1894 and was ‘beaten by a neck’ in the 1895 Melbourne Cup by Acracia. They also owned Crysalite who won the Australian Hurdle Race in 1899. Grice was also a member of the Victorian Racing Club, the Melbourne Hounds and the Mornington Farmers Society. He was a Shire of Cranbourne Councillor from 1894 until 1903 and Shire President 1898-99.

Richard and Jane had three children - John Alan born 1885; Henrietta May born 1889 and Annie Elinor Lula born 1894. This is what I could find out about Richard’s children.
John - The Ancestry database has the New South Wales Electoral Rolls from 1930 and John is listed in 1930 at Corowa, but he is not listed in the Victorian Rolls before 1930, so I assume that he was in New South Wales for most of his life.  I haven’t been able to find out if he was married or had children and there is no wife listed with him in the Electoral Rolls. John died in 1932 in Corowa.

Henrietta May - I found her in the Victorian Electoral Rolls in 1914 at Mount Elephant at Derinallum. Her grandfather, John Lang Currie, owned Larra at the foot of Mount Elephant and when he died in 1898 it was taken over by his son, John Lang Currie junior, so I assume she was living with her Uncle and cousins. According to the social columns of many Australian newspapers, May (as she seemed to be called) married Auburn (sometimes written as Aubyn) Wilson in London in May 1915. There are a few other reports about her staying with her sister in London at this time. She died on February 28,  1922 in England.

Annie Elinor Lula married Lieutenant Percy Robert Murdoch Collins in London in May 1915. Sadly, he was killed in action near Ypres in France on June 25, 1917 and Annie died on December 8, 1918 in London. Percy was the son of Henry and Isabella Collins of Frankston and in October 1925 a stained glass window in St Paul’s Anglican Church in Frankston was dedicated to the memory of Percy and Annie.

Richard and Jane are buried at the Berwick Cemetery. In 1912 the plaque was erected to the memory of Richard Grice in High Street in Berwick. It was erected by the Berwick Town Improvement Association. It was decided at a meeting in June 1912 to erect the plaque (see article from Berwick Shire News dated June 19, 1912 next page)  but I haven’t been able to find the exact date the plaque was placed in High Street.

Berwick Shire News June 19, 1912
• Ancestry Family History database. Available at Casey Cardinia Library Corporation.
• Australian Dictionary of Biography - on-line at This provided information about Richard Grice senior and John Lang Currie.
Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette
• Berwick Shire and Cranbourne Shire Rate Books
Early days of Berwick and its surrounding districts (Berwick Pakenham Historical Society 1979)
The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson (Cranbourne Shire, 1968)
• Richard Grice’s will and probate papers available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website
• Trove Digitised Newspapers  Information about Richard’s brothers and Percy and Annie Collins came from various newspaper reports accessed on Trove.

Motor Garages or Service Stations

Here are a few photographs of service stations in the region. Service Stations or motor garages were established in most areas after the First World War and into the 1920s. 

This is the garage opened by Lawson Poole in December  1919 on the corner of High Street and Sladen Streets in Cranboure - right opposite the Shire Offices. I believe that the garage was built by Lawson's father, William Burdett Poole for his only son. You can read more about Lawson Poole and his wife Laura, and their contribution to the Cranbourne community here.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal 18 December 18,  1919
 Lawson's 21st birthday party was also held in the newly opened garage as this report on the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of December 19, 1919 attests.
Lawson Poole's garage Cranbourne Shire Historical Society photograph
Another view of Poole's garage, above, looking west down Sladen Street - the house next to the garage belonged to the Pooles.

Dusting's garage, Koo-Wee-Rup circa 1926 Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photograph
The building on the right, above, is Dusting's garage in Koo-Wee-Rup It was built around 1926 by Ernie Mills and taken over by Robert Dusting around 1930. As you can see by the picture below at sometime fashionable Spanish Mission style architectural details were added to the building - the bricks were rendered and the terracotta tiles were added to the parapet. The building is still standing in Rossiter Road and is now a vet's surgery.

  Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photograph

The upgrading of Dusting's Garage may have coincided with Mr Dusting securing a Ford dealership - this advertisement was in the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun of September 8, 1932.
 Mills and Davey garage, Koo-Wee-RupKoo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photograph.
The photograph, above, shows Mills and Davey's garage in Station Street in Koo-Wee-Rup It was built about 1923. They were agents for Dodge motor cars. The building is still standing in Station Street in Koo-Wee-Rup.

This is an advertisement from the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun of January 1924 - for Mills and Davey's 'up to date motor garage' with a 'first-class mechanic, late of Dodge Bros, America'

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 ClubState 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, EmeraldState 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, EmeraldState 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.

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.

Early days of Berwick page 92
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.

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 January 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, so the quarry must be where the Freeway is now. The South Gippsland Railway line is south of GMH and the quarry. The railway line  once went all the way to Port Albert but now stops at Cranbourne. You can read about it 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.

These are the sand pits below the racecourse at Cranbourne, some of which now form the Botanic Gardens. Just to the east of the racecorse, 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. 

Heritage Festival May 4 2014

The City of Casey National Trust Heritage Festival is on again - this Sunday at the Old Cheese Factory in Homestead Road in Berwick. This is a free event - here are some of the activities -  
  • Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Wurundjeri Elder, Bill Nicholson
  • Local Heritage Groups will have displays and can provide information
  • Heritage plays on the history of the Old Cheese Factory  by the Woodland Players
  • Free antique appraisals (no stamps, coin or jewellery)
  • Live music by the Berwick & District Folk Club
  • High Tea (please book on 8786 7900)
  • Animal farm for children  and more.
The event is from 11.00am to 4.00pm and it's free. All welcome.