Links to our Past - history

Mystery photographs - are they of Dewhurst?

I have been scanning some Shire of Pakenham slides, most are of streetscapes and rural views in the Shire taken in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, some are copies of old photographs, like the ones below.  I know the one immediately below is of the Dewhurst State  School, which operated from 1934 until 1953. But the  rest are mystery shots,although I believe they are also Dewhurst. The original town is now under the Cardinia dam, which was completed in 1973 - so were these photographs collected by the Shire to commemorate the  lost town?  If you can help identify them, I would be very grateful.

Dewhurst State School

Is this the interior of the Dewhurst State School?

Are these Dewhurst State School students?

Looks like a  School play.

A wedding party. Dewhurst had a Methodist Church - is this it?

Federal Electorates in the Casey Cardinia Region

It’s election time, and as you would know, Australians vote for a candidate that represents an Electorate. Historically, for the first nearly five decades of Federal elections,  most of the Casey Cardinia region has been part of the Flinders Electorate. Flinders was named after the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814). Flinders was a navigator and a hydrographer who, amongst other achievements, circumnavigated Tasmania with George Bass from October 7 1798 to January 12 1799 and proved that it was an island and not attached to the mainland. 

Matthews Flinders.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website
Flinders was one of the original 75 electorates constituted after Federation and, in the first election held in March 1901, the seat was won by Arthur Groom (1852-1922)  of the Free Trade Party. Groom was a Stock and Station Agent, with William Hamilton & Co., and they operated yards in and around Leongatha and Korumburra. Groom did not contest the 1903 election.

Arthur Groom, the first Federal member to represent the people of the Casey Cardinia region.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website
There are now 150 electorates, so the number of Federal politicians has now doubled - but considering the population of Australia was around 3.7 million in 1901 and it is now 23 million, a six fold increase, it is interesting that that the amount of politicians hasn’t also increased by the same amount. If it had then we would have around 450 politicians representing us. I love watching the election coverage on election night, but even  I would find that the novelty of having to go through the results of 450 electorates would eventually wear off.
Flinders was originally much bigger geographically than it is today - in 1903 it covered basically Dandenong to Trafalgar, all the way to Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Yarram.  It also covered the Mornington Peninsula to Portsea. As the population grew, new electorates were added and the boundaries of the Flinders electorate shrunk -  McMillan was formed in 1948 and named after Angus McMillan (1810-1865) pioneer and explorer. La Trobe was established in 1949. La Trobe was named after Charles La Trobe (1801-1875) first Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria from 1851 to 1854. As this area began to move from rural to suburban, other electorates were established.  Holt, was established in 1968 which was named after the Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who disappeared whilst swimming off Portsea in 1967.  Casey also also established in 1968. Casey was named after Lord Casey (1890-1976), Governor General of Australia from 1965 until 1969.
Emerald, Macclesfield and Lysterfield had a short time in the Mernda Electorate, although by the 1909 rolls they were in Flinders.

Because Flinders has historically covered the entire Casey Cardinia Region we are going to have a look at three of the past sitting members. Flinders has produced one Prime Minster, Stanley Melbourne Bruce (1883-1967) who was Prime Minister from 1923 to 1929.  Bruce was listed in the electoral rolls as a merchant, as he was part of the firm Paterson, Laing and Bruce, started by his father in 1878. He represented Flinders from 1918 to 1929 for the National party (a different party from today's National Party) and from 1931 to 1933 as a United Australia Party candidate. These parties are both fore-runners of the Liberal Party. Bruce was then appointed High Commissioner to Britain until 1945 and in 1947 was created a Viscount, Lord Bruce of Melbourne. He could then sit in the House of Lords.

Stanley Melbourne Bruce,  Prime Minister of Australia.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website
James Valentine (Jim) Fairbairn, succeeded Bruce as the member for Flinders and he was Minister for Civil Aviation in the Menzies Government of 1939; and when World War Two broke out he was appointed the Minister for Air. He was a keen flier and flew his own plane. Fairbairn was killed in 1940 when the RAAF plane in which he was flying crashed near Canberra Airport. The Canberra Airport is named Fairbairn in his honour. Fairbairn never actually lived in the Flinders electorate; he had a property at Derrinallum in the Western District.  Fairbairn was succeeded by Colonel Rupert Ryan (1884-1952), who did live in the electorate, in very grand style as he had inherited Edrington and 1,000 acres from his aunt, Winifred Chirnside. He did share this inheritance with his sister, Lady Casey, the wife of Lord Casey after whom the Federal Electorate (and the City of Casey) is named. Ryan represented the Flinders Electorate until he died suddenly in August 1952

 This is an advertisement for Colonel Ryan for the 1946 election. It is from the Pakenham Gazette of September, 13 1946. In the interests of electoral fairness, I have also supplied an advertisement for the Labour Party candidate for the same election. This was on the same page of the Pakenham Gazette as the advertisement above. I don't know what Mr Lee's given names were, most reports in the papers years ago rarely used names, only initials.  There were preliminary results in the Pakenham Gazette of October 4, 1946 - Ryan had 33,029 votes and Lee had 27, 430 votes with 915 informal.

For more information on all the Members of Parliament and the men that the Electorates were named after - go to the Australian Dictionary of Biography more information on current Electorates go to the Australian Electorate Commission website voter rolls from 1903 until 1980 are available on Ancestry database which you can access free, at any of our Libraries

Pakenham Gardens or Dr Bruce Cox Gardens at Pakenham

I have recently been scanning some slides, from our Archive, that were taken by the Shire of Pakenham in the early 1980s. Some of them show the construction of the carpark behind Main Street in Pakenham and what was Pakenham Gardens or Dr Bruce Cox Gardens. The Pakenham Library was later built in this area, but the Library, the car park and the Dr Cox Gardens were demolished in 2009 to make  way for a shopping centre.
Dr Cox, and his wife Kath, arrived in Pakenham in 1956, when Pakenham was just a country town. He joined the practice of  Dr George Farrell, who died in April 1962. Dr Cox, like many country doctors at the time, carried out a medical practice as well as working in the Bush Nursing Hospital, undertaking surgery, general health care and delivering babies. In fact, Dr Cox was the first Doctor in Pakenham to allow husbands to stay with their wives during labour. Dr Cox was also the Shire of Berwick Medical Officer*.  Dr Cox passed away in August 1988 and the Pakenham Gardens were renamed the Dr Bruce Cox Gardens in honour of the contribution he had made to the community.
In June 2012, a new memorial garden was opened to honour Dr Cox. near the new Hall and Library complex.

Construction of the car park, circa 1980.

The Pakenham Gardens, taken after the car park was finished, 1980 or 1981.
This slide, above, was developed in August 1982, but I suspect that it was taken a bit earlier as it doesn't show the toilet block, which is shown below, in slides developed in October 1981. 

There were at least 15 slides of this toilet block, it was obviously a source of civic pride, and if you remember what the old toilet block was like in Pakenham, then you would know that it is well worth a photograph (or 15). The old toilet block was in John Street, when it was a dead end, before Safeways was built in the early 1980s. I  remember it was a dark, clinker brick building that smelt of disinfectant blocks. 

The car park after the construction of the toilet block, most likely taken 1981.

The gardens are still called the Pakenham Gardens. This photograph is from a series of Shire of Pakenham photographs that we have, taken in the mid to late 1980s.

The construction of the previous Pakenham library in John Street, which was opened in April  1991 and demolished in 2009. The gardens have been renamed Dr Bruce Cox Gardens.

*Information from Somebody's baby: history of Pakenham & District Hospital 1926-92 by Heather Shallard (published by The Hospital, 1992)


The Bunyip Historical Society has republished Call of the Bunyip: History of Bunyip, Iona and Tonimbuk 1847-1990, written by the late Denise Nest. This is a comprehensive look at the social history of the area and covers the Churches, Schools, the Hospital, Sport and Community Groups such as the Red Cross, Country Women's Association and Masonic Lodge. There is also a section on the War Memorial and the Returned Services League. Lastly, there is a section on local families. The present town of Bunyip owes its existence to the Railway line. The Gippsland line to Sale opened in stages - Sale to Morwell in June 1877; Oakleigh to Bunyip on October 8 1877; Moe to Morwell in December 1877; Moe to Bunyip in March 1878 and the last stretch from South Yarra to Oakleigh in 1879.

A reporter from The Argus did the trip to Bunyip, a few days before the official opening, and presents a fairly bleak picture of the township, as we can see from the article reproduced below.  Bunyip did overcome this bleak start and soon community institutions developed - the Bunyip State School opened in January 1880; the Anglican Church began services in 1879 in a hall and the picturesque St Thomas Church opened in December 1902. The Methodist Church opened in October 1899. A Mechanics' Institute opened in 1906. The Post Office had opened with the Railway Station and moved into town in 1906. A Police Station was erected in 1903.

 The Argus, October 4, 1877From Trove
Both Bunyip and Garfield benefited by the drainage of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp which opened up thousands of hectares to farmland to the south, after settlement started from 1893.
Before the railways there were two other townships called Bunyip. In 1847  a road was surveyed from Dandenong to Gippsland along the edge of the ranges and when this proved to be impassable in places, a new road, which became the coach route, was surveyed in 1859.  Where this road crossed the Cannibal Creek, a small settlement was surveyed in 1860 and the township of Cannibal Creek was born and the Pig and Whistle Inn was established.  The road continued basically along the modern day road of Ellis Road to the old township of Buneep on the Bunyip River. The Melbourne to Sale telegraph line followed this route in 1865, which eventually gave the road the name of Old Telegraph Road (see mud map*). 
In 1867,  David Connor’s New Bunyip Inn was  built on the Bunyip River on the Gippsland Road, as the Princes Highway was then called. The coach route then changed direction at Cannibal Creek and turned south east to this Inn, and became known as Old Sale Road (see mud  map). A small settlement developed around the Inn, including the establishment of a bakery by William Snell.  However, with the arrival of the railways, the new settlement at Bunyip eclipsed the Old Sale Road settlement. 
You can buy a copy of the book from the Newsagency in Bunyip or you can email the Bunyip Historical Society on
* I made up the map and have no cartographic training whatsoever, so it is more a representation than a map. Heather

Bunyip aerial photographs 1985

Last week I posted some aerial photographs of Garfield, taken by the Shire of Pakenham in November 1985. Click here to see these photographs. This week we will look at aerial photographs of Bunyip, taken at the same time also by the Shire of Pakenham.

 Bunyip, looking south, towards Recreation Reserve. The intersection is of High Street, Princess Street on the right, A'Beckett Street on the left. High Street then continues as Nash Road.
Bunyip, looking north. The intersection is of Bunyip-Modella Road with the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road and the railway line. Bunyip-Modella Road becomes Hope Street, north of the railway line. 

Almost the same shot as above - Bunyip, looking north. The intersection is of Bunyip-Modella Road with the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road and the railway line. Bunyip-Modella Road becomes Hope Street, north of the railway line. 

Bunyip, looking east. This is the intersection of Hope Street and Princess Street (running off the left) across to High Street. 

 Bunyip is on the Gippsland Railway line to Sale. The line runs from top to bottom, on the left of the picture (or west to east). Further left is the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road. On the right of the line are the shops, hotels and Public Hall in Main Street. 

Bunyip Recreation Reserve. The road to the west of the Reserve is the Bunyip-Modella Road. You can see the Railway line, running from the top (west) to the right. 

Garfield aerial photos 1985

These photographs are from our Archive collection and were taken by the Shire of Pakenham and are dated November 1985.

The road that comes in from the centre left is Garfield Road, which runs out to the Princes Highway. It intersects with the Gippsland railway line; the south side of the railway line is Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road. 

Garfield, looking south. Garfield is on the Gippsland railway line. North of the line is Railway Avenue and that's Campbell Street running of Railway Avenue. South of the line is Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road. The road that is parallel to the strut of the plane wing is Fourteen Mile Road, with the Recreation Reserve beside it. The little street on centre right is Beswick Street and the building to the right of it is the Garfield Picture Theatre. 

Aerial photograph of Garfield, looking south east. Garfield is on the Gippsland railway line to Sale and the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road. The road that comes in on the centre right, at right angles to the railway line, is the Thirteen Mile Road 

 Photograph showing the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road, which runs next to the Gippsland railway line. Photograph labelled 'Cr Matthews, Garfield', presumably the property of Cr Jeune Matthews which was on the Tynong side of Garfield. 

Squizzy Taylor Myths

Let me start this by saying that I consider Squizzy Taylor to be nothing more than a common criminal and I think that his criminal lifestyle should not be glamorised, as it seems to be at the moment. However, over the years I have been asked if Taylor ever spent time in this area and have been told of possible sightings - so in this post I intend to try to work out fact from fiction.

First myth: Squizzy Taylor's sister, Mrs Bufford, ran the Hallam Hotel and he was a frequent visitor there. (Click here for an account of this)  According to a report in The Argus of July 12, 1927 Elsie Bufford took over as licensee of the hotel in July 1927. Previous to this she had been at the Commercial Hotel in Yea, and a report in the Alexandra and Yea Standard said Mrs Bufford sold this hotel in  February 1927. Squizzy Taylor died October 27, 1927, so he may have been a frequent visitor for the three months before he died, but she wasn't his sister.  According to the Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages, Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor had three sisters and four brothers - one of his sisters, Irene,  died as an infant; Gladys married Leslie Mouldey and Alice married Alfred Wiggin. His parents are listed as Benjamin Isaiah Taylor and Rose Jones. Elsie Bufford was born in Corowa in 1892 to Dougal McDonald and Maria Green. She married George William Bufford in 1916, it was obviously not a happy marriage as an article in the The Argus of April 14, 1937 (reproduced below) shows she was granted a divorce from her husband on the grounds of desertion.

Elsie held the Hallam Hotel licence until October 1933. I am not sure where she went after that but she was at the Colbinabbin Hotel from at least 1936 until August 1938.  She married Reginald Skews in 1938 and died in Red Cliffs in 1956. So the myth is that Taylor visited the Hallam Hotel because the licensee, Mrs Bufford, was his sister. Mrs Bufford was not his sister and she only had the Hotel for three months before he was killed, so I am saying that this is a myth and has no basis in fact!

Second myth: Squizzy Taylor attended the races at Nar Nar Goon and Garfield. According to the book by Hugh Anderson The rise and fall of Squizzy Taylor:  a larrikin crook, Taylor was a keen race goer and started his 'legitimate' working  life as a apprentice jockey. Garfield held races from 1902 to 1933 and there were races at Nar Nar Goon until 1942. Both towns were on the train line, so access was easy. So, this myth is plausible.

Third myth: Squizzy Taylor frequented Cannons Creek. Why first reaction to this is 'Why would he bother?' Today, of course, this area is a pleasant town but in the 1920s, and before, it was really nothing but coastal scrub - the first land sales in the area didn't take place (according to the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books) until 1930, three years after Taylor died, so at the time there would have been nothing but a few fishing shacks, the holiday house of Sir Aaron Danks and the house of the fisherman, Nicola Nicolella. There were no shops and no hotel, it was around seventy kilometres from Melbourne and past Cranbourne the roads would have been dirt tracks. It was a long way from the bright lights and social activity of Taylor's inner Melbourne haunts. Anderson has reports of him in Frankston (which was a holiday destination in the 1920s)  and St Kilda, so there were plenty of closer places to go to the beach.  I am saying that, once again, this is a myth and has no basis in fact.

Fourth myth:  Squizzy Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield.  There is a property in North Garfield Road that is currently on the market and this connection is one of the 'selling points'. Once again, my reaction is 'Why would he bother?' In the 1920s North Garfield was pretty remote, the property that is for sale is 5 kilometres north of the highway and about the same distance again into the township and about 85 kilometres from the inner suburbs, Taylor's usual haunts.

Apparently, Taylor was on the run from police from around mid 1921 until September 1922. According to Hugh Anderson it was impossible to say where Leslie Taylor spent all his time during those months, but fantastic stories were current throughout his Pimpernel period of him being seen, here, there and everywhere, in many disguises as a quick change artist. Anderson said he may have spent time  in the cellars beneath the old Bijou Theatre, then a flat in East Melbourne and in the summer he lived in St Kilda. He was also nearly caught during a robbery in Elsternwick during this time. Taylor wrote various letters to the newspapers at the time to taunt the police. It takes both money and connections to be able to hide out from the Police for over  a year and  for Taylor, his sources for both would be found amongst his supporters in the inner city. Garfield was a small town, strangers would have been noticed, and as Taylor carried out at least one robbery during this time, it would seem that he didn't have a years supply of money under the bed to maintain his lifestyle and there are more targets to rob in the city rather then Garfield.

Another rumour I have heard connected to Garfield is that a female acquaintance of his grew marijuana on the hide out property and took the train to town periodically to sell it, on his behalf. It seems like an awfully long supply chain - it was nearly ten kilometres to the Station, along some fairly quiet roads; Taylor had both enemies and the police looking out for him all the time, it just sounds like a woman would be fairly vulnerable to being captured or attacked by either parties. So the myth is that Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield. I am saying that this is just  myth and has no basis in fact.

If you are a Taylor supporter, then I am happy for you to present facts to prove that I am wrong!

Beaconsfield Upper history

A history of Beaconsfield Upper has just been published. The author, Dr Charles Wilson and his wife, Yvonne, moved to the 'charming, loosely structured hilltop village' as he describes it, in 1977. They lost their house in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, but re-built and stayed in the community. Dr Wilson started to research the history of the town and had amassed extensive notes, but sadly passed away in 2010 before he could convert the notes into  a book. His family and the Upper Beaconsfield Association were keen to see a book published and so commissioned Jennifer Coates and Wendy Eldridge to undertake this project, with Jennifer compiling the work and Wendy project managing it. The result is a handsome, well indexed, authoritative work, which predominately looks at the non-indigenous history of the area. It starts with the squatting runs, Panty Gurn Gurn and Mount Misery, then Bowman's Track and the early selectors and land owners. There is a section on local places and properties, local families and chapters on Guys Hill and Dewhurst.  You can purchase a copy of the book from places in the town - more information is available on the Upper Beaconsfield Association website. We also have copies for loan, check here  for availability.

Just a note on names: Beaconsfield Upper is the official  name of the town, although many locals prefer Upper Beaconsfield. It does seem that the two versions of the name have been used interchangeably over the years, in fact a search on Trove reveals around 3,900 uses of the term Upper Beaconsfield from 1880 to 1980 and around 4,100 uses of the term Beaconsfield Upper in the same period.

State Library of Victoria

I am going to tell you today about some of the treasures at the State Library of Victoria. They have lots of treasures, but these ones relate specifically to local history.  Firstly, they have  a huge range of digitised photographs and secondly they have  a great range of digitised historic maps. I did  a search on Gembrook, but could have chosen any other town in Victoria and I found this Real Estate poster, advertising 'Holiday home blocks'. It isn't dated but it is after 1900 when the Ferntree Gully to Gembrook railway line opened on December 19. This railway line is of course the Puffing Billy line.

Gembrook Hills holiday home blocks [cartographic material]. State Library of Victoria collection.
People came to Gembrook for the fresh country air and the spectacular scenery, as shown in these images below.

Fairies Delight, Gembrook 1908.
State Library of Victoria  Image H2009.192/3. Ferns in the Gully, Gembrook.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2170

If you want to know what resources the State Library of Victoria  have in their collection which relate to your town, then go to their website and just type in  a name.  You can then narrow the search by item type such as Maps or Photographs. Happy searching!

Dandenong Stock Market

The Dandenong Market was originally located on the corner of Lonsdale and McCrae Streets and opened in 1866. It moved to its present location on Clow Street around 1926 and in 1958 the stockyards moved to Cheltenham Road.  The Dandenong Stock Market was the last municipal owned and operated facility in Victoria, and closed on December 22, 1998. The stock market site is now Metro Village 3175, a housing estate.

The Market isn't part of the City of Casey or Shire of Cardinia, but  the history of our area is historically linked to Dandenong as it was a service town to the surrounding area. For instance, Dandenong had a large public hospital with specialists. It was also where the local children went to High School (read more about the Dandenong High School here). Dandenong was also the major shopping area for people from the surrounding area  and in the 1970s, when I was at Koo-Wee-Rup High School,  a trip to the Dandenong market to buy clothes and other goods was a ritual for many. Plus, Dandenong also had a Lindsay's store (which became Target) near Vanity Court. I remember both my sisters had a skirt from Lindsays - one had a bias cut, checked 'maxi' skirt and the other a short, checked, almost sun-ray pleated skirt. We were a family of home dress makers so it was quite unusual to buy clothes.

Farmers from the surrounding area also took their produce to the Dandenong market. When my father was fifteen, in 1948, his family purchased a Austin A40 ute from Brenchley's Garage at Garfield. Dad taught himself to drive and although he was underage, he used to drive his parents from Cora Lynn to the Dandenong market where they sold their eggs, chooks and calves (all carried on the back of the ute). Apparently not having a license was no obstacle to driving in those days.

These photographs are of the Dandenong Stock Market at its Cheltenham Road location, and were taken by the City of Berwick on October 27, 1992. They are labelled as 'University site suggested by Dandenong', so I assume it was once considered a possible site for the Monash University campus that was built in Berwick.

Stock pens at the market.

Stock pens.

 With stock markets, come stock crates.  
Loading bays.

Wash down bays for the trucks. What you don't get with these pictures is the stench of  effluent, that was all  pervading.

Poultry sheds.

The mystery of Minihan's Road

Monahan's Road is in Cranbourne; it runs from Sladen Street up to Breens Road. There is a park on Monahan's Road called Minihan's Reserve. However, I believe that Monahan's Road was originally called Minihan's Road after the Minihan family.  So, the mystery is why is it now known as Monahan's Road and what happened to Minihan's Road?

1963 aerial of Cranbourne  (photograph taken December 14, 1963). Monahan's Road is on the left hand side of the photograph,and ends at what appears to be  a ploughed area, but is now, I think, part of  SP Ausnet Cranbourne Terminal Station.  You can see the beginnings of a new housing estate, centered either side of Camms Road, to the left of the Railway Line. This includes streets such as Evelyne Avenue, Virginia Avenue, Rosalie Avenue etc. Also off Camms Road and between  the railway line and the South Gippsland Highway, you can see the development of Circle Drive, to the north of this is Clairmont Aveneue and Fenfield Steet . What looks like a quarry is now Donnelly Reserve. 
The Minihan family were listed in the Shire of Cranbourne Rate Books from 1868. William Minihan is listed  as owning 54 acres (about 22 hectares) in Section 5, Lot 9 in the Parish of Lyndhurst. William Minihan is buried in the Cranbourne Cemetery. He was buried in Janauary 1911, having passed away aged 88. In the same grave is his wife Mary (nee Coffey) who died in 1905, aged 76 and their daughter, Mary, who died in 1896, aged 32. Also buried in the cemetery are some of their other children - Catherine, who died in 1947 aged 87; Ellen who died in 1896 aged 31 and Patrick who died in 1926 aged 70. There were two other children - Johanna, who married Patrick McGrath in 1896, aged 26 and  a son John, who died in 1936, aged 69.

John and Patrick are listed in the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books, as owning land in Cranbourne, from the 1880s. All the land owned by the family is in Lots 7,8,9 and 10 in the Parish of Lyndhurst. This is exactly the same area where Monahan's Road is today. So we know from the Rate Books that the Minihans owned the land from the 1860s until 1937, when it was sold after John died.  I presume that they were dairy farmers as it was the most typical farming activity in the area at the time and there are reports in various papers of John selling dairy cattle.

This is a sketch map produced around for the publication of the book Cranbourne: a town with a history, published by the City of Casey in 1996. (You can access an on-line copy of this book here). A long term Cranbourne resident, Mrs Kelsall, identified the location of Cranbourne residents in the 1930s and 1940s and shows John Minhihan's house on Monahan's Road.

We also know there used to be  road called Minihan's Road. The Cranbourne Shire meeting minutes were reported in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, and in the paper which was published November 7, 1900 a contract is let to 'from and gravel'  part of Minihan's  Road.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal, November 7 1900.From Trove
When John died in 1936, the family notice in The Argus, lists his address as Minihan's Road in Cranbourne, though seen on the sketch map, above, his house is located on Monahan's Road.  The notice is reproduced below.

John Minihan's death notice in The Argus, February 17, 1936, showing his address as Minihan's Road.From Trove
I believe that Monahan's Road was originally called Minihan's Road. We know that there used to be a Minihan's Road in Cranbourne; we know that the Minihan family lived on what is now called Monahan's Road and that they owned land on either side of Monahan's Road for seventy years. The mystery is, why was it changed? I do not know.  In sporting parlance, if I was a Minihan, I would say 'we was robbed'.

Narre Warren and Narre Warren North - aerial and road photographs from the 1980s.

These photographs of Narre Warren and Narre Warren North were taken by the City of Berwick in the 1980s. In the thirty years since these photographs were taken the area has changed considerably, especially the areas shown in the last two photographs. 

Aerial of Narre Warren North Road and Memorial Drive, Narre Warren North, looking south west. Narre North Road is shown coming in from the top left (or south) of the picture. 

 Photograph labelled 'Grantchester Road Estate.' Grantchester Road runs between Avonwood Road and Belgrave-Hallam Road in Narre Warren North. 

Narre Warren North aerial showing Heatherton Road. From the centre right Heatherton Road intersects with - Narre Warren North By-pass Road; Randle Court on the left, with Casdar Court running off  it. Tom Jones Court is on the right. The street coming off at an angle is Main Street. The last intersection at the bottom left is Memorial Avenue. 

Photograph is labelled 'Narre Warren North By-Pass Road, looking west'. The court on the right side of the picture is Tandderwen Court, which runs off Tom Jones Court. The road running to the top (or west) of the photograph is Heatherton Road. 

Narre Warren Caravan Park, now known as Casey Gardens Residential and Tourist Village. It is bordered by Centre Road/Fullard Road, Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road, the Gippsland Railway line to the north and the Narre Warren Creek to the west. The intersection at the top left of the picture is of Narre Warren- Cranbourne Road and the Princes Highway. The trees at the very top.are part of the Narre Warren Recreation Reserve.

 Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road, looking south, at the intersection of  Fullard Road and Saxonwood Drive. This is also shown in the aerial above.

 Vehicle turning into Pound Road from Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road, Narre Warren. 

Light Horse and Field Artillery Museum at Nar Nar Goon North

Every three months the Local History Reference Group (LHRG) meets.  The LHRG consists of members of the heritage groups in the City of Casey and Shire of Cardinia, a  Councillor from each municipality, Council Officers, the Information Services Librarian and the Local History Librarian (that's me!) of the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation. We talk about heritage matters, undertake joint projects and have the opportunity to network. We held our recent meeting at the Light Horse and Field Artillery Museum  at 200 Bessie Creek Road, Nar Nar Goon North. The Museum is owned by Bernie Dingle, who is also the curator.

The Museum has an interesting collection of  restored First World War horse-drawn transport vehicles and a large collection of First and Second World War equipment and weapons. There are also exhibits on two Victoria Cross winners, Major J.H Bisdee and Lieutenant F.H Tubb.

There is also an extensive collection of Honour Boards, from businesses and banks, which Bernie has restored. Many of these were turfed out in the 1980s by uncaring corporations, rescued by Anzac House and then passed onto Bernie to preserve for the future. It was obviously important at the time that the businesses recorded the names of their staff who served in both Wars  and we should be grateful to Bernie that he has given the time and energy to the community to preserve these boards or they would have been lost forever

The Museum is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm seven days a week, but ring first on 03 5942 5512. Group visits are welcome.  With the centenary of the commencement of World  War One in 2014 and then the centenary of Gallipoli in 2015 this collection of World War One material will have an even more important role in our history and will be  a valuable resource helping us understand the impact the war had  on the Australian community. This is the website of the Museum

Old Cheese Factory in Homestead Road

The Old Cheese Factory Complex consists of three c.1875 buildings and a number of re-located other buildings. It is the three 1875 buildings that are of historical significance. The whole complex was once part of The Springs property (later called Springfield). The first owner of this property was Sir William John Turner Clarke (1805-1874) or ‘Big Clarke’ although it is unlikely that he ever actually lived at the property. Clarke and his wife Elizabeth (nee Dowling 1801-1878) had arrived in Hobart in 1829. Clarke set himself up as a butcher, was granted 2,000 (809 hectares) acres of land, ran cattle and sheep and by 1853 he owned 80,000 acres (32,000 hectares) of land in Tasmania.

However, Clarke did not confine his property acquisitions to Tasmania and in 1837 he shipped 1,600 ewes across Bass Strait to Victoria and soon acquired pastoral leases of 30,000 acres (12,600 hectares)
Five years later he set up a boiling downs work and progressively acquired more land including around 60,000 acres (about 25,000 hectares) which went from Sydney Road to Sunbury.

In 1850, he moved to Victoria and in 1854 acquired this land in Berwick which was apparently used as holding or fattening paddocks for his Gippsland cattle.  Clarke was also the member for the Southern Province in the Legislative Council from 1856 until 1870 and had shareholdings in various banks and insurance companies. He died at his home in Essendon in 1874. He left an estate of £2,500,000 as well as 215,000 acres (87, 000 hectares) of free hold land. His will left £800 per annum to his wife, from whom he was living apart and his Victorian properties went to his son William John. These properties were valued at £1,500,000.

Sir William John Clarke (1831-1897)  was born in Tasmania and educated in both Tasmania and England. When he returned from England he worked on his father’s properties in both Tasmania and Victoria. He married Mary Walker in 1860 and they lived in Victoria at Sunbury and also had a house in St Kilda.  They had four children and Mary  died in 1871. Two years later he married Janet Snodgrass and they had seven children. In 1874, he built the mansion Rupertswood at Sunbury. Clarke represented the Southern Province in the Legislative Council from 1878 to 1897 and became a Baronet, a hereditary title, in 1882.

However of more importance to us is that Sir William had an interest in and encouraged scientific farming.  Clarke was on the Committee of the Ballarat Agricultural Society and the West Bourke Agricultural Society and he gave prizes for the best exhibits at shows. Clarke gave his tenants long leases at moderate rents and encouraged them to be progressive. Clarke built a model cheese factory and also provided  state of the art cheese making machines. His cheese maker was Murdoch McDonald.

The Cheese Factory was specially designed by architect G Browne. The lower floor of the two storey dairy structure was used for the making of the cheese and the upper floor for its storage and maturation.  The building was designed to maximise insulation and features a cavity brick wall with a nine-inch external wall and an internal wall of half that thickness with galvanised iron wall ties linking them together. The external brick bond is an unusual variant on the Flemish bond, with three stretchers alternating with one header.  The roof is also double-layered for insulation with hardwood shingles (visible inside) beneath an outer corrugated iron cladding. Windows are tiny, to limit heat transfer, and have flat brick arches. The eaves are supported by heavy timber brackets which have a decorative effect.  This information describing the construction of the Cheese Factory comes from notes supplied by Natica Schmeder of Context Heritage Consultants

Murdoch McDonald,  the cheese maker, was born about 1832 on Kintail on the west coast of Scotland, up near the Isle of Skye. His parents were John McDonald and Flora McVicar. He arrived in Victoria in October 1849 when he was 16 with his mother who was 57, his brothers Malcolm aged 35 and John aged 25 and his 21 year old sister Ann. It is believed that the McDonald Brothers leased this property from 1865. They are listed in the earliest remaining Shire of Berwick Rate Books that we have from 1876 as leasing 3,180 acres (around 1,200 hectares) from W.J. Clarke and the three brothers appear to be joint tenants until 1883 when in the next year Miss Margaret McDonald is listed with her father.

The homestead was built the same time as the cheese factory.
Murdoch married Elizabeth Tulloch in 1858 and they had six children although only two would out-live Murdoch. Flora was born in 1859, was married in 1880 and died the next year; Margaret was born in 1861, married Robert Hooper in 1888, had two children and died aged 88 in 1949; Elizabeth was born in 1862, married and had two 2 children and died aged 28 in 1891. Kenneth lived from 1864 to 1939; David died aged 22 in 1888 and the last child Ann also died a year after she was married in 1894 aged 24. Murdoch died in 1909 aged 77 having outlived his wife, Elizabeth, who was only 39 when she died in 1878. They are both buried at the Berwick cemetery.

According to an article (partially reproduced here) from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of November 17, 1880 Murdoch McDonald employed a dozen workers by 1880 and milked 200 cows daily and made 150 cheeses each week. Murdoch was at the property until December 1888 when in due to the  expiration of his lease a clearing sale was held on December 13 and 14. Two hundred and twenty four head of pure and half bred Ayrshire cattle were advertised for sale as well as a 300 gallon copper cheese tub, four double cheese presses and a 100 gallon churn.  It is therefore likely that cheese making at this site ended in 1888.

In 1904 Clarke’s Berwick Estate was sold, the homestead portion being purchased by William
Wilson Junior, and renamed Springfield. Wilson Junior leased it to the Anderson Bros. who
trained and raced ponies, from 1904 to 1912. William was the son of Pioneer settlers and brothers, James and William who came to Berwick with their sister Anne in 1854, and purchased land from Robert Gardiner. They had arrived in Australia from Ireland with their parents in 1841. Upon arrival in the area they lived in tents until they built a small one room house, which was later extended and became Quarry Hills, which is one of the oldest in Berwick. The brothers grew wheat, potatoes and later went into dairying. In 1858 William (1830-1907) married Euphemia Brisbane and he kept Quarry Hills. They had three sons and two daughters including William Junior (1860-1936).

A basalt quarry was opened on William Senior’s land in 1859 (where the Wilson Botanic Park is today) when he gave contractors the right to remove stone. The quarry expanded after 1874, with the building of the Gippsland railway line to Sale as it provided ballast for the line, and William Junior took over its management in 1877 and provided blue metal for roadmaking. William Junior became a well known figure in public life as a representative on Council and through running the quarry.

Wilson later leased the property to the Willmott family  from 1912 until 1928. There were eleven children in the family and  William (1865-1923) and Katherine (nee Gervasini 1870-1940) Willmott paid £95 per quarter for the 1 square mile property, although some of the land was very poor and often under water during winter. The farm was used as a dairy farm and 60 cows were milked daily by hand. They also grew oats and hay and had 30 horses.  The seven sons all slept upstairs in the old Cheese Factory and the four daughters slept in the homestead with their parents. The property was purchased by The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission in 1925 and later subdivided and became Solder Settlement farms.  The family stayed on until 1928 when they moved to Thompsons Road.

The last family to live at the property was the Hatten Family. Charles Hatten (1891- 1980) served in the First World War and reached the rank of Second Lieutenant. He married Elsie Gell (1892-1970) in 1921. They moved onto their Soldier Settlement block in 1936 when their sons, Bruce and Neville, were 13 and nine years old. When the family arrived there was no garden, in fact, a crop of potatoes had been planted right up to the house. Mrs Hatten set out the garden. The family remained at Springfield until 1980 and as Mr Hatten had never taken up the option to purchase the property it was resumed by the Crown after his death. It is now owned by the City of Casey.

Heritage Festival April 21, 2013

The City of Casey and the Casey Cardinia Branch of the National Trust present their second annual  Heritage Festival which will be held on Sunday, April 21 2013 from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Venue: The Old Cheese Factory, Homestead Road, Berwick.

Have  a high tea in the 1870's homestead or take a tour of the c. 1875 cheese factory. Heritage groups from the region will be on hand to answer your local history questions. Have your antiques appraised by a professional  valuer - you might find out that the hideous vase you inherited is worth  a fortune! Lots of free entertainment  for the whole family.  Free entry.

Creeks and Rivers

When you drive along the Princes Highway or the South Gippsland Highway around the Dandenong, Doveton area you cross over the Dandenong Creek and the Eumemmerring Creek. When I do this I try to imagine what the landscape would have looked like to the Early European settlers and the Bunurong People. These water courses were generally the location of the first European settlements as they provided the water needed for the settlers and their livestock.

The Dandenong Creek, taken between 1920 and 1950.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1334
The Dandenong and Eumemmerring Creeks are now, in parts, concreted. These creeks used to run into the Carrum Swamp. Drainage works on the Carrum Swamp began in 1869 when the Carrum outfall drain (now the Patterson River) was created and thus the creeks now flow into this outfall drain. The Dandenong Creek was the site of the Bigning Run (also called  Bangholme or Bangam) taken up in 1837 by Joseph Hawdon. This, plus the neighbouring Ballymarang run, was taken over by the Wedge Brothers in 1839 and the 42 square mile (10,000 hectares) property was known as Banyan waterholes.

The 14 square mile (3,600 hectares)  Eumemmerring Run, based on the Eumemmerring creek, was taken up by Dr Farquhar McCrae (1807-1850) in 1839. Later the same year it was taken over by Leslie Foster  (1818-1900) or John Vesey Fitzgerald Leslie Foster, to give him his full name.  Foster held the run until 1842 when it was taken up by Edward Wilson and James Stewart Johnson who held it until 1846 when Thomas Herbert Power (1801-1873) took it on. The property then went from around the Dandenong Creek/Power Road all the way to Berwick.

Further south, the Clyde creek formed the border of the Mayune and Garem Gam Runs. Mayune was taken up by the Ruffy Brothers  1840, the same year James Bathe and T.J Perry took up the Garem Gam run. Mayune was 32,000 acres or nearly 13,000 hectares and Garem Gam was, in comparison, a tiny 3,200 acres or 1,00 hectares.

This is an aerial taken January 1970 and shows the Clyde Creek. the Creek is the dark line running diagonally from left to right. The road at the top of the photo is Patterson Road and Ballarto Road runs parallel to this at the bottom of the photograph. The Clyde Creek formed the border of the Mayune and Garem Gam Runs (see above).
Further east are the Cardinia and Toomuc Creeks which used to flow into the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp. In 1876, swamp reclamation works carried out by the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp drainage committee created drains which carried the water from these creeks directly to Western Port Bay. Around 1916, Deep Creek was channelled into the Toomuc Creek drain.

This is the Cardinia Creek in its natural state, taken January 1972, at Clyde North/Officer. The creek meanders across the landscape. In the bottom left hand corner is Thompson Road.

Contrast this photograph of Cardinia Creek with the one above; the Cardinia Creek has been 'tamed', no casual meandering across the countryside any more. The aerial was taken in December 1971 and shows the results of the 1876 drainage works carried out by the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp drainage committee talked about above. The drain coming  in from the top left is the channelized Cardinia Creek. This channel meets up with the channelized Toomuc Creek and Deep Creek at the bottom of the photograph. The Toomuc Creek is the one on the left of these drains that comes in at a 45 degree angle at Ballarto Road. Wenn Road crosses this drain. This is just east of the Cardinia township.
There were various runs either side of the Cardinia Creek. Cardinia Creek 1 run (5,120 acres or 2,000 hectares)  was taken up in October 1842 by Robert Henry. The Cardinia Creek 2 run was taken up in September 1838 by Terence O'Connnor. The Gin Gin Bean Station of 7,000 acres  (2,800 hectares) was first leased in 1840 and  then taken over in April 1846 by James Lecky. James Lecky purchased the 640 acre (one square mile) pre-emptive right of Gin Gin Bean in 1855 and built his homestead, Cardinia Park, on the Cardinia Creek, three miles south of Officer. Lecky was also an original member of the Cranbourne Road Board and the Cranbourne Shire Council. The Lecky’s owned the property until the 1930s.

The Cardinia Creek, in its natural state, at Harkaway. Photo not dated, but looks like the 1920s.State Library of Victoria Image H36420/20
Also on the Cardinia Creek was the 5,760 acre (2,330 hectares) St Germains Run. First leased in February 1845 by James Buchanan it was taken over in January 1848 by Alexander Patterson. Patterson (1813-1896) was an original member of the Cranbourne Road Board when it was established on June 19, 1860 and an original member of the Shire of Cranbourne when it was established February 24, 1868. The current St Germains Homestead was built in 1893.

I.Y.U. Station was the Toomuc Creek. This 12,945 acre (5,200 hectares) Station was first leased in October 1839 by William Kerr Jamieson. In October 1850 William Waddell took over and in June 1866 George John Watson became the owner. Watson (1828-1906) established the Melbourne Hunt Club, which moved to Cranbourne in 1925. The Cardinia Creek and the Toomuc Creek were also the location of two of the earliest hotels in the area – the Gippsland Hotel (also known as Bourkes Hotel) and the La Trobe Inn.

 This is the Toomuc outfall drain, created in 1876, taken at Manks Road in July 1938.Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photograph.
As we go further east there is the Ararat Creek around which was based the three Ararat squatting runs. Mount Ararat 1, a mere 1900 acres (760 hectares), was taken up in August 1844 by John Dore and Michael Hennessy. Mt Ararat 2, a Station of 16,000 acres (6,400 hectares) was  located six miles east of Pakenham and was south of Mt Ararat 1. Mount Ararat 2 was said to extend to just outside of Drouin. It was first leased in August 1844. There were various leaseholders until April 1870 when John Startup took over. Startup was an original member of the Berwick Road Board which was established September 29, 1862. The third Station was Mt Ararat Creek. This was of 5,120 acres (2,000 hectares) and was first leased in September 1846 by William Walsh.

The Main Drain of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp or the Bunyip River, taken at the Eleven Mile bridge in 1939.Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photograph.
The next water course was the Bunyip River. This river originally flowed out over the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp until the sixteen mile (25 kms) long Main Drain, which was dug from 1889 to 1893, took the water directly to Western Port Bay.

Further around the Bay is the Yallock creek, where Samuel Rawson and Robert Jamieson established the Yallock Station in 1839.  Then further south is the Lang Lang River, the site of the Tobin Yallock or Torbinurruck Station. This was of 1920 acres (770 hectares)  and taken up in July 1839 by Robert Jamieson. In June 1913 the Lubecker Steam dredge started work on this river, described at the time as a ‘wandering creek’ and dredged it to prevent flood waters backing up across areas of the Tobin Yallock Swamp lands.


Gembrook derived its name from the property owned by early European settler, Albert Le Souef who was the first official settler in the area when he purchased 129 hectares (320 acres) of land in July 1873. He called this property Gembrook Park.  The original Gembrook settlement was south of today’s town and the community that grew around the Ure familys Silver Wells property was to the north of today's town. However, the commercial focus of the town shifted to around the Gembrook Railway Station when it opened as part of the Puffing Billy railway line. The Fern Tree Gully to Gembrook Railway, as it was officially known, was a narrow gauge railway of 2 feet, six inches and opened December 19, 1900.
                           Gembrook Railway Station, taken between 1920 and 1954.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2159
Dorfmans Ranges Hotel Gembrook. Wolf Dorfman was licensee between 1935 and 1946.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/4109 
The Argus Wednesday 27 November 1901 page 11
One of the earliest buildings in Gembrook is the Ranges Hotel.The Berwick Shire Rate books list Jessey and Isabella Sykes as having a Hotel at Crown Allotment A11 in Gembrook from 1894, however in The Argus of November 27, 1901 (reproduced above)  there was an application from Jane McMahon to obtain a licence for the premises'about to be erected'. It seems likely therefore that a hotel was on the site from 1894 and that after the Railway line came through a new and bigger hotel was erected. From around 1907, the hotel was operated by brothers,  Fred and Howard Pitt. In 1921 it was taken over by John and Catherine Beacham who transferred the licence to Wolf Dorfman in February 1935. Dorfman transferred the licence to Daphne and Alfred McGregor in 1946. The Ranges Hotel is currently closed.
 Another view of the Hotel, most likely taken in the 1940s or 1950s.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/267 
                              Panorama of GembrookState Library of Victoria Image H32492/4110
Other community buildings followed the Hotel -  an Anglican Church opened  in 1905, a Catholic Church in around 1922 and various shops. The Memorial Hall was opened in December 1921 and later a Library and a Meeting Room was built under the Hall, as it was on a sloping block. The Memorial Hall was demolished in 1981 and replaced by a ‘community centre’. 
There was an earlier privately owned hall which, from 1906 until 1915, was used for State School No.2506, which had previously been located in Gembrook North. This School began in 1879 as the part time school No.2110, sharing the same number as Emerald State School,  and became full-time in 1889. Classes took place in the Union Church from 1884 until it moved to the Main Street in 1906. In 1915, a new building was built and the School moved to its current location.  There were four other Gembrook Schools -  Pakenham Upper School, No.2155, was called Gembrook South from 1879 until 1916, when it was renamed Pakenham Upper. It became part of Pakenham Consolidated School in 1951.  Gembrook West, No.3211, operated for just over a year from August 1894 until October 1895. The second Gembrook West School, No.4073, operated from 1921 until 1923. Finally Gembrook South East, No. 3468, opened half time with Nar Nar Goon North in March 1904 and closed in December 1908.
Finally, Gembrook is the home of the Gilwell Scout Camp, established in 1926 and visited by Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Scots movement,  in 1931 and 1935. 

The Grange, Harkaway

The Grange was built  for the Honourable William A'Beckett, M.L.C., J.P. (1833-1901) in 1862 or 1866 (depending on sources). It was designed by local architect George Washington Robinson. The house had views over Port Phillip Bay and was off A'Beckett Road, even though the original entrance was from Halleur Road as A'Beckett Road was made after The Grange was built.  A'Beckett married Emma Mills in 1855 and one of their daughters, Emma Minnie (1858-1936), who was an artist married fellow artist, Arthur Merric Boyd (1862-1940).  In 1948, The Grange  was purchased by Arthur and Minnie's son, the author, Martin A'Beckett Boyd (1893-1972) and his nephew, Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) painted murals in the house. Sadly, this grand house was sold in 1955 and then re-sold in 1963 to a Quarry.
On November 26, 1967  photographer, Peter Dunbar, took some photographs of The Grange and the murals and his widow, Margaret has kindly allowed us to reproduce them here. This is a rare opportunity to see the murals, in situ

Peter Freeman, the author of Brick Homes of Berwick* saw The Grange before it was demolished and wrote (possibly circa 1963)  It is now owned by the quarry - which owns the whole property, and it is slowly being surrounded by overburden, cracked by heavy blasting work and is bound to be demolished in the near future. It is  a tragic end to a beautiful and historic house. I do not the exact date The Grange was demolished, but as it was standing in November 1967, then 1968 would be  a likely date

Along with the photographs was this, undated, newspaper article from The Age, written by Geoff Maslin,  about the murals.  In the article, Melbourne Art dealer, Joseph Brown, says that when they removed the murals steel frames had to be made to fit around each section of the four walls and a mobile crane and a semi-trailer were needed to cart them away. At the time the article was written (circa 1990) the murals were being stored at a Canberra warehouse by the National Gallery.

*Brick homes of Berwick by Peter Freeman. We have a photocopy of this typed manuscript in the Archive, it is undated, but written possibly circa 1963.  Mr Freeman looks at The Grange and other early brick homes of Berwick, Harkaway and Narre Warren North.

German settlers at Harkaway

Many of Harkaway’s first European settlers were German Lutherans and in this post we look at some of these families. As we will discover many of these families were connected not only by their faith but by inter- marriage. Most of this information comes from Early Days of Berwick (henceforth referred to as Early Days)  and Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District. According to  Early Days the first of these settlers was Johann Gottlieb Scholz (1807-1884) and his wife Eleanor (nee Fellenberg 1807-1887). The couple and their eight children had arrived in South Australia in 1838, where their last child was born. They settled in Harkaway in 1844. The next year, John Martin Friedrich Fritzlaff came to the area, left to try his fortune on the gold fields and was apparently successful as he retuned, with his wife Johanna (nee Reiger 1825-1917) and purchased land with Wilhelm Wiese, a carpenter and builder, in 1855.  Fritzlaff established the first Post Office and store in Harkaway.

State Library of Victoria image Image H36420/11. Labelled 'The 1st house in Harkaway' Photographer E.J Frazer. 
Also around 1855 Gustav Koenig (1817-1887) arrived and ran a dairy farm. Koenig gave his name to Koenig Road, which was anglicised to King Road around the First World War, due to anti-German sentiment. His first wife, Charlotte (nee Weidenberg) died on the voyage out to Australia and his second wife Henrietta (nee Finger) died in 1863, aged 37, having given birth to nine children in the thirteen years of their marriage. Joseph Walsdorf (1803-1881) was another early settler. He and his wife Agnes Schmitt (1810-1889) lived ‘on the gully at the back of Harkaway’, according to Early Days. Their daughter, Christina married Henry Edebohl (1826-1904). He was a road contractor, bridge builder and a farmer and the source of the name Edebohls Road.

Henry Bruhn (1816-1908) brought 120 acres in Harkaway in 1856.which he farmed with his wife Caroline (nee Hubner 1833-1917) Also in the same year Carl Metzenthein (1815-1901)  bought land on the bank of the Cardinia Creek at Harkaway. Carl had seven children from his first wife, Auguste Schultz (or Scholts) and another four by his second wife Johannes Weniger. Reinhold (1846-1909) the son of the first marriage was a boot maker in Berwick and according to the story in Early Days, in 1869 evangelist, Mr A.J Hamill, called in to have his boot repaired as he was walking back to Prahran after preaching in Pakenham. Mr Hamill began to preach the gospel and at a later visit he baptised Reinhold and his wife Elisabeth (nee Meyer) in the Cardinia Creek and they congregation grew and became the Church of Christ.

State Library of Victoria Image H36420/9. Labelled 'Post Office Harkaway. 
Photographer E.J Frazer.
J.F Wilhelm Aurisch (1826-1911) was married to Caroline Tschirner (1835-1871) the daughter of Harkaway pioneers Gottfried and Rosina Tschirner who built the original farmhouse at Rowallan Farm in Harkaway.  Wilhelm’s brother Johann Gottlob Aurisch (1817-1898) also arrived  in 1854 and they each purchased part of the original 640 acres purchased by Dr Wanke in 1853 (more of the Wanke family later). Johann was married to Dorothea Scholz, the daughter of original settlers Johann and Eleanor Scholz. Another Aurisch brother, Carl (1818-1901) also came to Harkaway, with his wife Christine (nee Wolfe). They had four children.

John Jacob Meyer (1808-1882) arrived in Australia in 1852 with his second wife Sabine (nee Schwarz) who sadly died the next year. His son Benjamin, from his first marriage, had attended the Academy of Hofyl in Switzerland, an experimental school established by Gottlieb Fellenberg, the father of Eleanor Scholz. Benjamin was a builder who built many local houses and in 1868 married Auguste Metzenthin, the daughter of Carl and Auguste and the sister of Reinhold. Reinhold in the same year married Elisabeth Meyer, the half sister of Benjamin.

Ernst Gottlob Wanke (1823-1897) was a medical student who had nearly finished his degree when he came to Australia as a ships doctor. Like many others, he deserted from the ship in Melbourne and went to the gold fields, before buying land in Harkaway in 1853.He was known as Dr Wanke and according to Early Days, his medical knowledge was of great value to the Harkaway settlers. Dr Wanke also donated land for a school and chapel and served on the Cemetery Trust. Ernst Wanke Road is named after him. His first wife and child had died in Germany and he came out with his second wife, Pauline (nee Schurmann 1822-1904). They had one son, Immanuel (1856-1934) who married Bertha Aurisch, the daughter of Wilhelm and Caroline Aurisch.

State Library of Victoria Image H36420/13. Labelled 'Wanke's dairy farm, Harkaway'Photographer E.J Frazer. 
Dr Wanke’s brother, Johann Gottlieb Wanke (1814-1889) also came to Harkaway.  He was married to Helena Muller and they had five children. Their daughter, Caroline married another local settler, Peter Erdmann (1827-1872) who arrived in 1853 and had land in A’Beckett Road in Narre Warren North and was one of the original trustees for the Harkaway Lutheran Church. Ida Erdmann, a daughter of Peter and Caroline, married Charles Weist (1859-1941) who had  a block of land near the Harkaway cemetery.

Halleur Road is named after Rudolf Halleur (1826-1912, or von Halleur as Early Days calls him.) He arrived in Australia in 1852, deserted his ship and went to the gold fields, then settled in Harkaway in 1858.  He married Johanna Scholz (1838-1932) another daughter of Johann and Eleanor. He was a sail maker by trade and turned this skill into making harnesses and boots. Rudolf and Johanna had nine children.

Johann Hillbrich (or Hillbrick, 1814-1899) purchased land in Hessel Road in 1855, where the family operated a dairy farm. This property was then passed onto son, Ernst (1842-1914) and then to his son Stanley, who farmed the land until 1959 when it was sold out of the family. It is now part of Timbarra Estate. Johann was married to Maria Wagner (1821-1888) and they had ten children.

Hessel Road was named for Jacob Hessel (1833-1904) the inaugural teacher at the Harkaway State School when the Harkaway Lutheran School was taken over by the Education Department in 1876. The Lutheran School had started in 1856 with Traugott Friedrich Warmbrunn (1803-1885) as the original teacher, though it is believed that Eleanor Scholtz taught local children before that. Warmbrunn was very active in the Lutheran community, but his teaching career was hampered by his lack of English, so he had to resign, however he remained in Harkaway. The next teacher was Carl Hubner, who took over in 1857. Once again, his poor English meant he had to resign, which he did in 1861. Jacob Hessel started at the school in 1862 and was there until 1883.

State Library of Victoria  Image H36420/10. Labelled 'State School Harkaway'. Photographer E.J Frazer. 

Other German Harkaway settlers included Gustav Warmbrunn (1836-1912), the son of the teacher, who lived near the School in the 1860s according to Early Days. He was married to Wilhelmina Scholz, another daughter of the original pioneers, Johann and Eleanor. Wilhelmina (1840-1928) gave birth to eleven children. Lotha Schmidt had a vine yard and winery in Harkaway. August  Dubberke (known as Martin, 1843-1926) settled in Victoria in 1864 and farmed at Harkaway. He was married to Augusta, daughter of Johann and Helena Wanke.  Carl Fleer (1832-1904) was a baker and also had a small farm at Harkaway. He was married to Emma Metzenthin (1841-1927) another daughter of Carl and Auguste. Peter Rumph (1820-1895) and his wife Catherine (nee Chenmel 1831-1879) purchased their land in 1854. He was a builder and helped build the Berwick Inn.

Frog Hollow Reserve, Endeavour Hills

Frog Hollow Reserve in Endeavour Hills has a number of sporting fields and is also an established wetlands  and  provides  a significant environmental and landscape corridor along the southern fringe of Endeavour Hills. The land has always been a bit swampy, low lying and  flood prone, due to its proximity to the Eumemmerring Creek, as well as a frog habitat and thus the name Frog Hollow was suggested by Cr Keith Wishart for the Reserve* which was established around 1993. These photographs were all taken by the City of Berwick.

These two photographs, above and below, were taken in May 1993, before replanting.

 There has been substantial planting of indigenous species since the establishment of the Reserve - the photograph above was taken in  August 1993. This planting has been continued by the Friends of Frog Hollow, which was established in 2002. The Friends have planted over 60,000 native trees.

September 1994. 

Pavillion at Frog Hollow, taken September 1994.

This photograph is labelled ' Eumemmerring creek works opposite Frog Hollow' and was taken in September 1994. The friends of Frog Hollow are currently advocating for a walking/cycling track from Frog Hollow to Lysterfield Lake; this link should also improve wildlife habitat. There is an interview with Stephen Hallett, the President of the Frog Hollow Friends Group, which is part of the 52 stories in 52 weeks project, initiated by the Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne. Click here for the link to the interview.
If the link doesn't work, you can find the interview, plus some other interesting interviews with local people who volunteer their time to make a difference to the Community at and then click on Media.

*Place names of Berwick by Debbie Stephan (City of Casey Historical pamphlet 3, November 1994)