Historical Tours of the Western District

At the Western District Families Facebook page, I’m soon to depart on a “historical tour” of the Hamilton Highway. After successful “tours” of the Glenelg Highway and Great Ocean Road, it’s time to set off again with photos such as the one below a feature.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38782

CRESSY c1914 Photographer Gabriel Knight. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38782

With the use of “Out of Copyright” photos from the State Libraries of Victoria and South Australia and the Museum Victoria collection, visitors to the page can “travel” the highways and see the sights of the towns and landmarks as they looked fifty to one hundred years ago or more.  The most recent tour of the Great Ocean Road began at Wye River and continued west to Allansford, east of Warrnambool.  It was a trip of contrasts from spectacular coastlines to towering forests and the odd shipwreck.  Lasting almost five weeks, I posted almost 250 “Out of Copyright” photos mostly postcards.  Here are a few of my favourites.

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REMAINS OF THE WRECK “MARIE GABRIELLE” ON WRECK BEACH, GREAT OCEAN ROAD c1909. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/336353

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APOLLO BAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64433

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THE WRECK OF THE FALLS OF HALLADALE. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. PRG 1373/18/17 http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1373/18/17

So now for the Hamilton Highway, beginning west of Geelong at Hesse and “travelling” 180 kilometres to Tarrington around ten kilometres east of Hamilton.  Once again there is a wealth of “Out of Copyright” photos available, a lot more than I expected. I thought this would be a shorter tour than the Great Ocean Road but thanks to the man below, Gabriel Knight of Cressy and his passion for photography, we might be lucky to get to Lismore by Christmas!  I will also post about Gabriel and his family at Cressy along the way.

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GABRIEL KNIGHT. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38823

Drop by the Western District Families Facebook page from 7:00 pm tomorrow night, Friday 25 November and see how the Hamilton Highway used to look.  If you scroll through the feed, you can take the return trip along the Great Ocean Road and Glenelg Highway. If you’re not a Facebook member you can still view the page, just ignore the prompts to join.

While visiting Facebook, the Hamilton’s WW1 page offers something extra too.  From each day of publication of the Hamilton Spectator, I post a daily article from 100 years before depicting life in Hamilton and district. The following are examples of articles posted during November

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“WITH THE COLOURS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 21 November 1916: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390336

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“ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 November 1916: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129389514

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390016

“A ZEPPELIN SOUVENIR.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 16 November 1916 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390016

The page also links to the stories of Hamilton’s enlisted men on the anniversaries of their enlistment, embarkation, and their death or return home.  Here on the blog, I’m continually adding new stories to Hamilton’s WW1 and have now posted stories for around 80% of the men named on the Hamilton War Memorial and similar for Anzac Avenue.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

If you have seen the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index, you’ll notice pioneers have links to their relatives. I will be busy linking this month as six of the fourteen pioneers are related to earlier pioneers.  There is also Walter Henty, father  of one of the men featured in Hamilton’s WW1 Edward Ellis Henty.  And William Chadderton who was practically a neighbour of Walter Henty. There is a link between two of the pioneers, Hamilton’s David Laidlaw and Garvoc’s John Scullion by way of the Hamilton home St Ronans.  Interesting too is the story of William Doig’s will, giving us an insight into anti-German sentiment during WW1.

Any underlined text in the post is a link to further information about the subject.

Harry NORTHCOTT – Died  5 November 1894 at Merino.  Harry Northcott was born in Plymouth, England in 1853 and arrived in Victoria with his parents two years later. They settled at Merino and his father, George Northcott was a builder in the town and later operated the Commercial Hotel (below).

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MERINO 1880 Image Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/22000/B21766_112.htm

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MERINO 1880 Image Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/22000/B21766_112.htm

Harry was apprenticed to his father as a joiner and remained working with him until 1879 when Harry married Alice Leake.  He then turned to work on the land having purchased several hundred acres on the edge of Merino. In 1891, Harry took over the running of the Commercial Hotel from his father. Harry was involved with the Mechanics Institute, a Shire Councillor and was a Freemason. He also enjoyed football, horse racing, and cricket. On 23 July 1894, Harry’s father died. Harry himself had suffered illness at the time and died only three months after his father.

John DARCY – Died 27 November 1905 at Ondit.  John Darcy was born in Milltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland in 1833.  At the age of twenty-two, he arrived in Australia and went to the diggings around Ballarat, Beechworth and Chiltern.  In 1860, John married Catherine Doherty and by 1862, had selected land near Beeac.  John and Catherine went on to raise nine sons and two daughters. John spent six years on the Colac Shire Council and owned several successful racehorses.  At the time of his death, John owned two properties in Queensland run by one of his sons. John’s funeral was held at Beeac and was one of the largest seen there with 126 carriages and thirty horsemen making up the funeral cortege

David LAIDLAW – Died 22 November 1913 at Hamilton. David Laidlaw was born at Selkirk, Scotland in 1831, a son of William and Agnes Laidlaw.  The Laidlaw family arrived at Melbourne aboard the Argyle in March 1841. David attended the Scots School in Collins Street Melbourne then went to the property of his older brother Robert at Heidelberg where he learnt all things pastoral.  He then moved to Port Fairy where his parents resided and continued farming.  It was around that time David gained a reputation as one of the best riders of buckjumpers around.

In 1854, David married Elisa Fraser a daughter of John Fraser of Mount Sturgeon Plains Station, east of Hamilton. Their first child Edith was born in Port Fairy in 1856. Another daughter, Florence was born in 1858 at Port Fairy before David and Elisa moved to Hamilton with Margaret born in 1859.  The family grew with a further seven children born over the next thirteen years. Soon after his arrival in Hamilton, David started a saddlery business in Gray Street.

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 - 1870) 9 November 1861: 3. Web. 12 Nov 2016 .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 9 November 1861: 3. Web. 12 Nov 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194859603&gt;.

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“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 29 December 1869: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194156977

In 1866, David sold the business and in November 1867, took over the ironmongery business of James Allan in Gray Street. By the end of 1869, David had expanded the business to include drapery and groceries.

"VIEW OF HA[?] [?]AM[?]TON VICTORIA." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 17 April 1888: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 13 Nov 2016 .

“VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 13 Nov 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225809074

In September 1875, David entered into a partnership with Thomas Pratt and the business started trading as D.Laidlaw & Co. The partnership continued until 1881 when it was dissolved.  David remained in the business.

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 13 January 1891: 3. Web. 12 Nov 2016 .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 January 1891: 3. Web. 12 Nov 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226083364&gt;.

By 1890, David and his family were occupying St Ronans, a large bluestone home in Dryden Street Hamilton previously owned by draper Sigismund Jacoby and built with the stone of Hamilton’s first post office.  The photo below shows St Ronans while the Laidlaws were in residence.

"HAMILTON." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 2 May 1903 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

“HAMILTON.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 2 May 1903 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

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ST RONANS, HAMILTON TODAY.

From the time David Laidlaw arrived in Hamilton, he had an interest in the future development of the town.  As a result, he was one of the founders of the Mechanics Institute, the Hamilton Hospital, the Hamilton and Western District College and the Alexandra College.  A Presbyterian, David was an elder of the Hamilton Presbyterian Church from 1861.  He also served on the Hamilton Borough Council, first in 1861 and later as Mayor in 1871, 1888, 1892 and 1893.  With his role on council, he was part of the committee for the building of Hamilton’s first Town Hall and was there when Mayor James Wiggens laid the foundation stone in 1872.  He was also a Justice of the Peace and a member of the Caledonian Society.  David Laidlaw’s contribution to Hamilton are still present today as the photos below show and a street was also named in his honour.

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David’s wife Elisa died in December 1906.  David soon spent more time at home and indulged in his great passion for Scottish literature right up until his death on 22 November 1913, taking solace in the great works. He was eighty-two.  On the day of David Laidlaw’s funeral, the bells of St Andrew’s Presbyterian rang out across Hamilton as the townspeople made their way to Church Hill to pay their last respects to a man who had done much for their town.  Appropriately, the Hamilton Scottish Pipe Band accompanied David to his final resting place at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

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“BURIAL OF MR. DAVID LAIDLAW.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 21 November 1913: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225165507 .

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GRAVE OF DAVID AND ELISA LAIDLAW, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY

William Henry DOIG – Died 21 November 1915 at Hamilton.  William Doig was born in Hamilton in 1863.  He worked in the building and carpentry trade and built many residences in the town. In 1885, William married Matilda Graves.  Matilda died in 1912 and William went to live with his newly married daughter Alexandra in Dinwoodie Street Hamilton.  It was where he died in 1915. William’s death came over a year after the beginning of WW1 and a newspaper report about his will brings a twist to William’s tale, but indicative of the times.

"A HAMILTON WILL" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 22 November 1916: 4. Web. 12 Nov 2016 .

“A HAMILTON WILL” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 22 November 1916: 4. Web. 12 Nov 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129390444&gt;.

Williams daughter Alexandra Mary Doig married Eric Gramsch in 1914, the year WW1 started but before the rise of anti-German sentiment in the community.  Eric was born in Berlin and arrived in Australia in 1912. Since William was living with Alexandra and Eric, it may have been an uncomfortable arrangement with William’s strong feelings. The court case made news nationally with the Chronicle in Adelaide running the headline “Married a German” in the 25 November 1915 edition.  The judge did find that Alexandra could inherit her father’s property and a report of the finding was published in the Ballarat Star of 1 December 1916.

William and Matilda Doig were buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery (below)

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Agnes DOWNING – Died 29 November 1915 at Hamilton. Agnes Downing was born around 1844 at St Edmunds, Suffolk and arrived in Victoria with her parents around 1869.  Soon after, they arrived in Hamilton.  In 1871, Agnes married butcher James Willet and they had two sons and two daughters.  Agnes was living in Skene Street at the time of her death and was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

William CHADDERTON – Died November 1916 at Hamilton. William Chadderton was born at Staffordshire England and arrived in Victoria in 1883.  He lived at Buckley Swamp for eight years and during that time married Jane Kirkwood in 1885.  William then purchased Glencoe at Bochara where he bred fine Jersey cattle.  He was a member of the Hamilton Pastoral and Agriculture Society and won many prizes at shows with his stock and produce.  At the time of his death, William left his widow Jane and four sons and two daughters.  He was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

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GRAVE OF WILLIAM AND JANE CHADDERTON, OLD HAMILTON CEMETERY

Robert Pender WILLIAMS – Died 28 November 1916 at Lilydale. Robert Williams was born around 1833 in Cornwall, England. During his early years, he was involved with mining in Victoria possibly on the diggings.  In 1859 he married Honora Mary Corcoran at Hamilton and they lived on a dairy farm at Penshurst.  After retiring from farming in 1901, Robert and Hannah moved to Ararat, living on the Stawell Road. Hannah died the following year and by 1905, Robert purchased Aldersyde at Port Fairy and lived there for a few years before moving to Wee Station at Lilydale.  Robert was buried at Ararat Cemetery.  He left five children, twenty-one grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.  An obituary for Robert in the Advocate, Melbourne, a Catholic newspaper and is on the following link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151841357

Jane COBB – Died 4 November 1917 at Lower Crawford.  Jane Cobb was born in Dorset, England around 1833. She married James Hiscock and they travelled to Australia on the Shand arriving at Portland at Christmas 1854. They first went to Grassdale but soon moved to the Lower Crawford district, living at their property The Elms for the rest of their lives.  James died in 1900. Jane had two daughters at the time of her death.

Walter Thomas HENTY – 25 November 1917 at Hamilton. Walter Henty was born in 1856 at Portland a son of Stephen George Henty and Jane Pace. On 27 November 1881, Walter married Annie Margaret Campbell at St Stephen’s Church, Portland (below).  They spent their honeymoon at nearby Bridgewater.

St Stephens Church Portland

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

Three sons were born to Annie and Walter, Wilfred in 1883 at Hamilton, Archie  in 1884 at Portland and Edward Ellis in 1888 at Portland.  They family moved to The Point at Victoria Valley in the Southern Grampians were Walter farmed. Around 1897, they settled at The Caves, a property on the Grange Burn, very close to William Chadderton (above).  Walter Henty led a quiet life, avoiding public life, but was well-known all the same.  He was well-liked and “highly respected for his sterling and generous qualities”.  Those qualities were also present in his son Edward Henty. Walter’s appears to have been a relatively simple life considering his heritage and the lifestyles of some of his siblings and cousins.  He went about his business of farming, with Archie joining him running The Caves and Annie selling chooks (below).

"Advertising" Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 23 October 1911: 5. .

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 23 October 1911: 5. .

The following photos are from a collection of photos taken by Wilf Henty and held by the State Library of Victoria.  I can’t be totally sure but after looking at Wilf’s other photos and comparing photo descriptions, I believe the photos depict Walter and Annie Henty.  The second photo has three young men and Walter and Annie had three sons close together in age.  Having researched Edward Ellis Henty and seen a number of photos of him, I believe Edward is the young man on the right. If so, the second photo would date back to around 1905-1908, when the Henty’s resided at The Caves.  The first photo shows a younger version of the couple but in front of a weatherboard house.  This is possibly the Henty home at The Point, Victoria Valley.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38928

Photographer: Wilf Henty. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38928

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/42101

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/42101

In 1914, Walter and Annie attended the wedding of their son Edward on 18 November 1914.  Edward was the only one of their three boys to marry and it was a large social event for Hamilton but bittersweet for Walter and Annie. Lieutenant Edward Ellis Henty of the 8th Light Horse Regiment was on leave from camp at Broadmeadows.  Home to marry his sweetheart Florence Pearson. Edward left for Egypt in February 1915 and by May 1915 was off to Gallipoli. Lieutenant Edward Henty was killed during the Charge at the Nek on 7 August 1915, standing little chance. By then Florence was six months pregnant and living at The Caves with Walter and Annie.  Walter and Annie’s only grandchild, Edward Henty Jr was born on 21 October 1915.

Around the time of Edward’s death, Walter’s health began to falter.  A few weeks before his death, he was confined to home. He was just sixty-two. Walter was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery. Annie died in 1921 aged sixty-nine.

John Joseph SCULLION – Died 13 November 1918 at Terang.  John Scullion was the son of John and Janet Scullion and was born at Dennington in 1866.  The Scullions moved to Garvoc settling at Mount View and John was soon helping his father with the property.  He succeeded his father as a member of the board of Directors of the Garvoc Butter Factory and was a senior partner in Scullion Bros at Garvoc.  He was also on the executive committee of the Garvoc Racing Club.  At the time of his death, John’s sister Lilias Scullion was running a private hospital at St Ronan’s Hospital in Hamilton, the former residence of David Laidlaw in the obituaries above.  His brother, Daniel Scullion had owned the Caledonian Hotel in Hamilton until 1915, and at the time of John’s death, Daniel’s widow was still operating the hotel.

Anne WILLIAMS – Died 17 November 1918 at Colac.  Ann Williams was born in Ireland around 1831 and arrived in Victoria in 1849 aboard the Elgin.  During the Eureka uprising in 1854, Anne was living at Ballarat. She then lived at Geelong before going to Pomberneit in 1869 with her husband Samuel Lord.  Two years prior to her death she moved to Colac.  Anne had an interest in the history of Victoria and knew much about the early days. She and Samuel had five sons and three daughters.  At the time of her death, she had seven grandsons serving with the AIF. One had lost his life and another awarded a Military Medal and Military Cross and recommended for a Victoria Cross.

Grace Murray WILLIAMSON – Died 24 November 1918 at Chetwynd.  Grace Murray was born at Inverness Scotland in 1823.  She married Walter Edgar and they had three children before they left for Australia in 1853. On arrival, they headed for Pine Hills at Harrow where Walter’s brother David resided.

Around 1870, the couple went to Tallengower and by 1876 were at Woodacres at Chetwynd where they remained and had a further seven children.  Devoted to her family, she ran a true Scottish home with much hospitality shown to a wide circle of friends. Grace never went far from her home at Woodacres and during her time there only visited Casterton three times and Coleraine twice. Walter died in 1896.  A stoic Scot, Grace endured the loss of Water and rheumatism she had suffered with for thirty years and in 1908, she broke her thigh. Grace was buried at the Tarrayoukyan Cemetery near Nareen.     

Eliza Ann OWENS – Died November 1918 at Coleraine.  Eliza Owens was born around 1845 at Anglesea, Wales. She arrived in Australia in 1854 aboard the Severn with her parents and younger sister.  Also on board was her uncle Richard Lewis who lived at Rifle Downs. He was importing thoroughbred stallion King Alfred, who went on to sire many successful racehorses in the colony. Other passengers included James Edgar and his family, a brother-in-law of Grace Williamson (above).  Eliza Owens married William Moodie at Portland in 1866 and they settled at Wando Dale, Nareen (below).

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217385

WANDO DALE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217385

Eliza was an organist at the Digby Church of England before her marriage and later at St. David’s Nareen (below). She was well known for growing and exhibiting flowers.

Museums Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767539

ST DAVID’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, NAREEN Museums Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767539

In their later years, Eliza and William moved to Mona Vale, Coleraine.  At the time of her death, Eliza left twelve sons and daughters including one on active service.

Annie HORAN – Died November 1930 at Elsternwick. Annie Horan was born at Warrnambool around 1859. In 1877 she married James Beeching at St Josephs Catholic Church, Warrnambool (below)

They operated the Princess Alexandra Hotel for twenty years, later known as the Grand Central Hotel.  After retirement, they lived in Warrnambool for a few years before moving to Melbourne around 1915.  Annie was buried at the Fawkner Cemetery.

Passing of the Pioneers

Ten pioneers join the Pioneer Obituary Index this month and an interesting group they are.  Previously I have mentioned how bringing the monthly pioneers together revels things they have in common. This month it’s the name Alan/Allan.  There are three pioneers bearing the moniker this month, two of whom were given it as a second name but preferred it over their first.  A reminder that all underlined words are links to further information about the subject.

James WIGGINS – Died 21 October 1896 at Hamilton.  James Wiggins was born in Launceston, Tasmania on 23 February 1833 and arrived at Portland with his parents in 1840.  In the early 1850s, James headed to the goldfields around Eaglehawk before giving up and going to Drysdale near Geelong where he and his brother John purchased the Buck’s Head Hotel for £6000. It was there James met recently widowed Jane Blastock (nee Fountain) from Hamilton, ten years older than himself.  At the time, James was a cross-country rider but Jane did not approve, so on the day before they married in 1859, James rode in and won his last steeplechase.

The couple soon moved to Hamilton, taking up residence at Sandal on Digby Road overlooking the Grange Burn.  James turned to farming with root crops his main priority.  He was also elected to the Dundas Shire and was president for a time.   James was on the first Hamilton Borough Council formed in 1863. As Mayor on 24 May 1872, James laid the foundation stone (below) for the first Hamilton Town Hall in Gray Street.

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FOUNDATION STONE OF HAMILTON’S FIRST TOWN HALL. IT IS NOW LOCATED ON THE SIDE WALL OF THE HAMILTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE.

At the time, James expressed disappointment funds wouldn’t allow for a bigger structure.  Fourteen years after James’ death, in 1910 a new, grander Town Hall was opened in Brown Street to replace the original building (below)

Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/765800

HAMILTONS FIRST TOWN HALL IN GRAY STREET. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au

As a young man, James excelled at competitive sport. He was a “one of the best and boldest footballers” and could “wield the willow as well as most up-country players”.  He also participated in competitive walking and the aforementioned cross-country riding.  After his vow not to ride, James instead owned and bred horses and sat on the Hamilton Racing Club committee.  He also had an interest in greyhound racing.  James was for a time president of the Hamilton Cricket Club and the Hamilton Bowling Club and was a bowls champion. He was a member of the Hamilton Pastoral and Agriculture Society and won many prizes for his roses at flower shows. James received the Commission of the Peace and when he died was, along with David Laidlaw, the most senior Justice of the Peace in the town and was a respected for his attention to detail as a Magistrate. James’ wife Jane lived on for a further five years after his death.  They had no children.

Caroline Agnes HENTY – Died 1 October 1914 at Merino.  Caroline Henty was born in 1849 at Portland, a daughter of Francis Henty and Mary Ann Lawrence.  She grew up at Merino Downs, the large pastoral run of her father.  In 1889, Francis Henty died and left Caroline his property in Portland including Claremont (below).

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CLAREMONT, PORTLAND

Also, Merino Downs  was split three ways and shared between Francis’ daughters Louise, Alice and Caroline. The following year when Caroline was around forty, she married Alexander Magnus MacLeod at Holy Trinity Church, Kew.

"Family Notices" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 22 August 1890: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8429127

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 22 August 1890: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8429127

The marriage set tongues wagging and the difference in age questioned along with Alexanders’s worthiness to marry a woman of high status.  Alexander was in fact only two years older than Caroline and was himself from good standing. His father John McLeod was a member of Victoria’s Legislative Assembly and owned several large properties including Castlemaddie at  Tyrendarra.

"Personal." The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950) 30 August 1890: 3. .

“Personal.” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950) 30 August 1890: 3. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86271136&gt;.

Caroline and Alexander’s first daughter Caroline Agnes MacLeod was born at Hawthorn in 1892 and in 1894, Alexandra Frances MacLeod at Albert Park.  In 1901, Caroline and Alexander built Talisker on Caroline’s share of Merino Downs and they took up residence there.

TALISKER, MERINO 1901. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766380

TALISKER, MERINO 1901. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766380

In 1910, Alexander and Caroline were staying at Melbourne’s Menzies Hotel when Alexander died on 19 July aged sixty-four. Caroline returned to Talisker and died there four years later and buried at the Merino Cemetery. Applications for Probate for Caroline and Alexander’s estates were lodged in December 1914, and the joint worth of the couple was a tidy sum for the times.

"Wills and Estates" Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954) 12 December 1914: .

“Wills and Estates” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 12 December 1914: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132723107&gt;.

In 1959 for the purpose of a Red Cross fundraiser, Caroline’s gowns and even her “unmentionables” were displayed by her descendants.  You can see the photos from the Australian Women’s Weekly on the link –  Caroline’s Gowns

Alan McCALLUM – Died October 1914 at Dandenong. Alan McCallum arrived at Cavendish in the early 1860s and worked on stations around the area as overseer and station manager.  He then purchased the Cavendish Hotel and general store and spent time on the Dundas Shire Council.  Alan then sold up and went to Heywood, operating the Commercial Hotel for several years.  He then went to Hamilton taking up the lease on the Prince of Wales Hotel in Thompson Street.  He was soon on the move again, operating a store in Cobden for two years before returning to Hamilton where he remained until 1913. He then moved to Dandenong to live with his sister and remained there until his death the following year.

Emala ILIFFE  – Died 29 October 1915 at Koroit.  Emala Iliffe was born in Warwickshire around 1826.  She came to Australia with her husband Ephraim Brittain in 1855 arriving at Port Fairy aboard the Samarang with a three-year old son Charles and baby Jane.  They spent two years at Port Fairy before moving to Koroit where they remained for the rest of their lives.  They went on to have a total of seven sons and six daughters. Emala attended the Koroit Methodist Church (below).

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63789

KOROIT METHODIST CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63789

Ephraim died in 1904.  At the time of Emala’s death, she had sixty-eight grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Six of her grandsons enlisted for WW1.  

Michael MUGAVIN – Died October 1916 at Crossley.  Michael Mugavin was born in Ireland around 1832 and arrived in Australia sometime between the mid 1850s to 1860s.  Michael and his wife Mary Lineen settled in the Crossley area.  Michael had early success as a farmer, becoming quite prosperous.  He was described as having a “…quiet and inoffensive disposition, honest and thrifty”.  He had a son and four daughters, one of whom was a Catholic nun with the Convent of Mercy at Warrnambool.  Requiem mass was held for Michael at the St Brigid’s Catholic Church at Crossley and he was buried in the Tower Hill Cemetery.

Sarah Ann HICKS – Died 16 October 1918 at Mortlake.  Sarah Hicks was born near Bristol, England in 1844 and arrived at Melbourne in 1863 aboard the Princess Royal with her cousin Mr Fielding.  They then travelled to Logan Station at Mount Elephant near Derrinallum.  In 1864, Sarah married William Whitson and they selected land at Mortlake.  They had a large family of twelve. Despite failing health, Sarah contributed greatly to the Red Cross during WW1.

Catherine MEAGHER – Died 24 October 1918 at Hamilton. Catherine Meagher was born in County Tipperary in 1841 and travelled to Australia when she was fifteen with her parents aboard the Clara, arriving at Portland. After a short time, she went to South Australia to live remaining there around five years.  She then moved to Hamilton where she married Henry Anslow in 1866. They settled on Mill Road and lived there until their deaths. Henry died in 1908. Catherine’s funeral left Hamilton’s St Mary’s Catholic church for the Hamilton Cemetery.

James Allan LEARMONTH – Died 29 October 1928 at Hamilton. James Learmonth better known as Allan, was born at Merino Downs in 1856, a son of Peter Learmonth and Mary Pearson.  By 1859, the Learmonths had taken up residence at Prestonholme, beside the Grange Burn on the eastern side of Hamilton.  Allan attended Wesley College and gained his matriculation.  He then went to work for Andrew Rowan, a Melbourne merchant.

By 1879, Allan was back in the Hamilton district, running his father’s flour mill at Penshurst but his life almost ended soon after. In April of that year, Allan was in the mill’s engine room, leaning on the bed of the boiler and about to start the engine when the boiler exploded, sending it twenty yards away from its base.  Allan was found lying under bluestone, lucky to be alive. The full account of the explosion is on the following link to The ArgusPenshurst Mill Explosion.

In 1881, it was decided Allan and Stanley would travel to Mexico to run their father’s 82,000 acre share of Nacimiento Ranch purchased by David McKellar of Strathkellar. The Learmonths share was called La Mariposa.

"Items of News." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 6 December 1881: .

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 December 1881: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226060700&gt;.

Allan left for Mexico with a heavy heart as he was leaving behind his sweetheart Annie Thomson, a daughter of James Thomson of Monivae, south of Hamilton.  On 2 August 1882, Allan wrote a letter home of his first impressions of the “mystic land”, published in the Hamilton Spectator of 28 September 1882 under the headline – News From Mexico.  Allan’s letters were regularly published in the Spectator during his time there.

Although several years had passed, Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.

"The Portland Guardian," Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 3 September 1886: 2 (EVENING.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63406515

“The Portland Guardian,” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 3 September 1886: 2 (EVENING.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63406515

Allan returned to Mexico with Annie and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of  Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, his father Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  There he built up one of the best flocks of Lincoln sheep in the state.  An all round sportsmen, Allan participated in cricket, golf and bowls.  At the time of his death, Allan left three sons and three daughters.  Annie died two years later and was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

 

learmonth6

HEADSTONE OF JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH AND ANNIE THOMSON, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

Highly recommended further reading on the Learmonths is the book Mariposa:  A Story of the Learmonths of Western Victoria and Mexico, 1834-1930 by Anita Macdonald available from the Hamilton History Centre.

Samuel KING – Died 29 October 1940 at Cobden.  Samuel King was born around 1870 and went to the Cobden district around the age of twenty.  Taking up a life on the land, he soon became a renown breeder of Southdown sheep and Hereford cattle.  That led to show judging with Samuel well known in all states of Australia for his good eye for livestock. He was among the oldest members of the Hereford Cattle Breeder’s Association and the Society of Breeders of British Sheep.  Samuel was also a Councillor on the Heytesbury Shire for three years in the 1920s.  Samuel left a family of five sons and two daughters.  He is pictured below with two of his sons and a grandson.

"DEATH OF WELL KNOWN SHEEP JUDGE" Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) 21 November 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92400968

“DEATH OF WELL KNOWN SHEEP JUDGE” Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954) 21 November 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92400968

Henry Alan CURRIE – Died 10 October 1942 at Burrumbeet. Henry Currie was born around 1868 at Geelong, a son of John Lang Currie of Larra, Camperdown.  Better known as Alan, he attended Melbourne Grammar School and then Melbourne University studying engineering.  He then joined the Victorian Board of Works as a surveyor with the Western Australian Public Works Department working on providing water to Kalgoorlie. After returning from Western Australia, Alan managed Mt Elephant Station near Derrinallum for his father until John Currie’s death in 1896 when Alan inherited the property.

During WW1, Alan served with the Royal Field Artillery, suffered wounds several times and was awarded a Military Medal. After his return from war in 1920, Alan sold Mt Elephant and purchased Ercildoune Estate at Burrumbeet.  He also developed a group settlement scheme for returned serviceman.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/283228

ERCILDOUNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/283228

At Ercildoune, Alan became a renowned breeder of Merino sheep owning the only flock with descendants of John Macarthur’s Merinos. Alan’s interest in horse racing began while still at Mt Elephant.  He owned Mala a champion two and three-year old and a winner of the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in 1910.  His horses also won the Grand National Steeple and Grand National Hurdle. Such was his passion, he even purchased a thoroughbred while on leave in England during WW1.  Alan was elected to the committee of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club in 1909 and was chairman in 1910.  He resigned from the committee because of the war but returned in the 1920s, and was later was chairman.  In 1937, Alan Currie was knighted.  Five years later Alan died at Ercildoune and was buried at Learmonth cemetery.  There is more information on Alan in his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry on the link – Sir Henry Alan Currie

 

100 Anzac Heroes

My side project, “Hamilton’s WW1” has reached a major milestone with 100 published stories of Hamilton men who enlisted to serve. Just as the group of “Hamilton Boys” photographed below were a diverse bunch, so are their stories.

'HAMILTON BOYS' c 30 April 1915. Photo Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no.DAOD1060 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAOD1060/

‘HAMILTON BOYS’ c 30 April 1915. Photo Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.  https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAOD1060/

WHY THEY ENLISTED…

Early on most Hamilton men enlisted for adventure and to answer the call to serve their King and country. As time went on, it was a duty to brothers and friends who went before and made the ultimate sacrifice.  There was still the adventure factor, but mostly among the younger men desperate to follow their older brothers to war. They didn’t know the reality, shielded by censorship and urged on by propaganda.  So keen was nineteen-year-old George Basil Lance to enlist in 1916 and unable to obtain his mother’s permission, he crossed the border and enlisted in Adelaide as twenty-four-year-old Lance Basille  For other men, enlistment was an escape from sadness, grief or societies glare.

WHO THEY WERE…

The lives the men were leaving behind varied greatly too.  Some were husbands, fathers, and widowers already experienced in life’s hardships such as George McQueen (below).  

GEORGE WILLIAM McQUEEN. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

GEORGE WILLIAM McQUEEN. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

Others were mere children. Ivan Shaw (below) eighteen at enlistment thankfully did return home but any of his boyish innocence was stolen away during three years of service.

Ivan Thomas Shaw. Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no.

IVAN THOMAS SHAW. Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no.

They came from loving homes and broken homes while others were born out of wedlock and raised by grandparents. They were rabbiters and drovers, teachers and law clerks.  There were the privileged and well-educated having attended Victoria’s leading private schools.  And those less fortunate for whom an education beyond the local state school was not an option.

 

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AT WAR…

Just as their lives at home were different, so were their war-time experiences.  Some served from Gallipoli through to the last days of the war and were lucky to see the shores of Australia again but most were broken physically and mentally and early deaths were common.  There were those killed in the first month at Gallipoli and others during the last throes of the war when hopes were rising they would see home again.  There were others who died in Melbourne or England before reaching the battlefields.  

Some were killed instantly, while others lingered with wounds or succumbed to common illnesses such as pneumonia or the more exotic malaria.  Others were killed during the first action they faced, their eyes still wide from the horrors unlike those hardened from a string of battles. Those men suffered too. Pozieres proved even the most dedicated man could lose his sense of purpose, question officialdom and maybe begin to buck the system. They were buried in France and England, Syria and at sea. Many of their bodies were never recovered and the only evidence they lie on foreign soil are their names on memorials at Lone Pine, Villers-Bretonneux and the Menin Gate. 

THEIR STORIES…

Hamilton’s WW1 offers a snapshot of life in all towns and cities across Australia during those war years and the men are indicative of all Australian men who enlisted. You can read the stories of the Hamilton men on the link-Hamilton’s WW1 or via the “Hamilton’s WW1” tab at the top of this page. There you will find a link to all names of enlisted men with Hamilton connections. Click on those underlined to read their WW1 story. Visiting the Hamilton WW1 Memorial page will take you to various Hamilton war memorials.  Again, any of the underlined names are those with a completed story.

Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page offers a daily article from the Hamilton Spectator from 100 years before and the stories of the men are posted on significant anniversaries during their service.

Even though I’ve reached this milestone, it’s not time to stop.  There are still over two hundred men from Hamilton, just as deserving to have their stories told.  I also cannot forget Hamilton’s WW1 nurses and I will begin adding their stories soon.

Passing of the Pioneers

There are fourteen new pioneers this month, including two old colonists Cecil Cooke and Jane Fountain.  There is Thomas Rutledge born in Port Fairy in 1846 and  a son of one of that town’s prominent early residents. Don’t forget if you see underlined text, you can click on it for further information about the subject.

Cecil Pybus COOKE – Died 30 September 1895 at Condah.  In 1836 when Major Thomas Mitchell returned to Sydney after his third expedition taking in Victoria’s Western District he described as Australia Felix, word spread far and wide.  In England, Cecil Pybus Cooke heard of the “good country” in the new-found part of the colony and set off to see for himself.  Cecil was a son of a Madras Civil Servant William Cooke and was born in India in 1813.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334502

CECIL PYBUS COOKE c1870. PHOTOGRAPHERS: JOHNSTONE, O’SHANNESSY & CO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334502

Cecil sailed to Launceston and arrived  on 3 April 1839 along with two servants.

"Shipping Intelligence." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 5 April 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 .

“Shipping Intelligence.” The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839) 5 April 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4159238&gt;.

During the voyage, Cecil met George Winter, on his way to join his brother Samuel Pratt Winter who had already made his way to the Western District.  Travelling with George was his sister Arbella who caught Cecil’s eye.  Just a month after they disembarked at Launceston, Cecil and Arbella were married at St John’s Church, Launceston.

"Family Notices" Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 .

“Family Notices” Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84751097&gt;.

Soon after, the newlyweds boarded a schooner for Victoria arriving at Portland Bay on 10 July 1839.  Cecil even travelled with his own accommodation, bringing a hut from England and he set it up in Portland. Soon after, he took up a run on the Smokey River, or Crawford River as it more commonly known.  In 1842, a daughter Emily was born and she died the following year. Cecil and Arabella went on to have five sons.  Cecil was finding pioneering life tough and things were not going to plan so he went further north to Harrow in 1845 and set up the Pine Hills Estate. More bad luck came when a fire went through the property in 1846.  By 1849, Cecil had sold Pine Hills to David Edgar.  He then bought Lake Condah Station.  In 1864, Cecil sold Lake Condah but the purchaser was unable to make the repayments so he retained it.

One of Cecil and Arbella’s sons Samuel Winter Cooke inherited Murndal, west of Hamilton from his uncle Samuel Pratt Winter in 1878. He employed his brother Cyril Trevor Cooke as manager from 1883. Samuel later became a Member of the Legislative Council for the Western Province. Cecil and Arbella spent a lot of time at Murndal. The photos below are a collection of photos of or relating to Cecil Cooke held by the State Library of Victoria with most taken at Murndal.

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Cecil Cooke was a Justice of the Peace and held court at the Branxholme Magistrates Court.  He was Church of England and contributed to the building of St Thomas’ Anglican church at Condah. Arbella died on 1 May 1892 and Cecil had a church built at Spring Creek (below) near Condah in memory of his wife with the foundation stone laid on 24 March 1894.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

ST. PHILLIPS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, SPRING CREEK 1983. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

Just two years after his wife, Cecil was buried at Murndal Private Cemetery with Arbella. On 13 March 1900, a memorial window was unveiled for Cecil Cooke at the Condah Church of England.

Jane FOUNTAIN: Died 10 September 1901 at Hamilton.  Jane Fountain was born in Cowick, Yorkshire, England on 5 December 1823.  When she was eighteen, Jane married James Blastock and soon after the newlyweds left England for Australia, arriving in Melbourne in July 1841.  In 1843, they travelled by bullock wagon via Hamilton to Heywood.  Jane and James remained there for a short time before returning to Hamilton, then known as the Grange and in 1844, they purchased the Grange Inn. The only other businesses then were a shoemaker and blacksmiths.  The photo below shows the Grange settlement when Blastocks ran the Grange Inn and shows land nearby owned by James Blastock.

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EARLY MAP OF THE GRANGE (HAMILTON) FROM INTERPRETIVE BOARD AT HAMILTON WETLANDS

One of the guests at the Grange Inn during the Blastock’s time there was Charles Latrobe prior to his appointment as Lieutenant Governor.  They sold the Grange Inn and purchased the Mooralla Station, north of Hamilton with James’ brother-in-law Mr. Malcolm.  Leaving Mr. Malcolm to run Mooralla, Jane and James returned to England for a visit.  On their return, they sold Mooralla and built the Victoria Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton.

"Advertising" Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 17 September 1855: 4 (EVENING). Web. .

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 17 September 1855: 4 (EVENING). Web. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71572794&gt;.

1930 Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

VICTORIA HOTEL, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON 1930 Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

In 1857, James Blastock died aged forty-six and in 1859, Jane married James Wiggins.  They spent some time living in Geelong then returned to Hamilton and settled at Sandal on Digby Road overlooking the former site of the Grange Inn.  Jane was a member of the Wesleyan Church and was involved with the Sunday School.  She had an excellent memory of the early days of Hamilton and was often called on for her recollections.  In 1893, journalist The Vagabond called on Jane and she was able to show him the route Major Mitchell took when he crossed the Grange Burn in September 1836. On 24 August 1899, the Hamilton Spectator published an article “The Infancy of Hamilton” featuring Jane’s memories.  At the time of her death, Jane was Hamilton’s oldest resident.

George SMITH: Died 8 September 1916 at Byaduk. George Smith was born in Devonshire, England about 1843.  He arrived in Victoria in 1852 at Portland before moving on to Warrnambool. George moved north to Muddy Creek where he attended the local Primitive Methodist Church.  After a few years, he moved to Byaduk, working as a carrier.  George left a widow, five sons, and two daughters at the time of his death.

Hannah GREGORY: Died 9 September 1916 at Penshurst. Hannah Gregory was born at Preece, Shropshire, England around 1825 and arrived in Sydney around 1864.  Hannah then went to New Zealand where she met her husband James Chesswas and they returned to Australia, settling at Penshurst around 1873.  They lived in Bell Street and James worked as a tanner and currier.  James died in 1896 and Hannah continued on at Penshurst until her death at age ninety-one.

Hanorah RYAN:  Died 30 September 1917 at Kirkstall. Hanorah Ryan was born in Ireland around 1845 and arrived in Australia at the age of twenty, marrying William Pye in 1865.  The couple settled at Kirkstall and went on to have five sons and six daughters.  Hanorah was buried at Tower Hill Cemetery.

Elizabeth BYRNES:  Died 30 September 1917 at Terang.  Elizabeth Byrnes was born at Scarva, County Down, Ireland around 1835.  She married Thomas Kearns in Ireland and they arrived in 1856 aboard the Anna Maria with their two-year-old daughter to Port Fairy.  They settled at Woodford and had four sons and six more daughters.  Around 1911, Elizabeth moved to Terang to lived with her eldest daughter until her death.

Thomas Forster RUTLEDGE:  Died 6 September 1918 at Toorak.  Thomas Rutledge was born at Port Fairy in 1846, a son of well-known resident William Rutledge and Eliza Kirk.  His first home was most likely Emoh below, dating back to 1849 and sold by William Rutledge in 1863.

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EMOH, COX STREET, PORT FAIRY

In 1876, Thomas married Edith Ritchie.  Eventually, Thomas and his brother took over their father’s Farnham run.  The 5000 acre property covered the area from the Merri River near Dennington Killarney, further west.  The two sons split it, with Thomas taking up Werronggurt and his brother the remaining Farnham run.  Thomas bred Lincoln sheep and was known as one of the best judges of Lincolns in the state. He also imported and bred Shorthorn cattle and imported many Clydesdale mares from Scotland.  A popular and charitable man, Thomas was one of the first directors of the Farnham butter factory and on the board of the Rosebrook butter factory. He also served on the Warrnambool Shire.

Thomas gradually sold off his holdings and he and Edith moved to Bell Park at Geelong. At one stage, Thomas and Edith spent time living in New Zealand then returned to Geelong. They eventually moved to Woodford in Toorak.  At the time of his death, Thomas left his widow Edith and five daughters and one son, Geoffrey, at the time a 2nd Lieutenant with the Australian Flying Corps.  Another son, Noel was killed at Ploegsteert, Belgium on 3 June 1917 while serving with the 3rd Division Artillery.

Marie GWYTHER:  Died 8 September 1919 at Hamilton.  Marie Gwyther was born in Pembroke, South Wales on 2 March 1824. She arrived in Melbourne around 1855 with her three brothers, George, William, and Henry. They stayed in Melbourne a week before moving on to Portland then arriving in Hamilton on 2 August 1855.  At the time, the rent on a hut was one pound and a bag of flour ten pounds.  Marie was a Presbyterian and attended the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone by William Skene of Hamilton’s first Presbyterian church (below) on 21 October 1857.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

HAMILTON’S FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TO THE RIGHT WITH THE HAMILTON ANGLICAN CHRIST CHURCH ON THE LEFT. c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

During the 1870s, Marie spent time at Harrow working as a cook at the Hermitage Hotel.  Marie never married and was “loved by all with who she came in contact.” She lived in Goldsmith Street and as a keen gardener always had a lovely garden.

Isabella McDONALD:  Died September 1942 at Geelong. Isabella was born at Mortlake around 1864.  Her father Alexander is thought to have built Mack’s Hotel at Mortlake before purchasing the Camperdown Hotel. In 1888, Isabella married John Charles Haugh and they remained in Camperdown.  John worked as a baker and they had a family of six sons and two daughters.  John Haugh died only four months after Isabella on 19 January 1943.

John PITMAN:  Died 4 September 1943 at Portland. John Pitman was born at Macarthur around 1865.  While still a teenager, John took up land at Patyah north of Edenhope.  In 1897, he married Ellen Montgomery of Neuarapurr.  John was interested in athletics and in his early years was a boxer, athlete, cricketer.  In his later years, John took up bowls.  He retired to Portland in 1921.

Arthur PERRETT:  Died September 1948 at Colac.  Arthur Perrett was born in January 1884 at Camperdown and married Gertrude Swayn at the Pomberneit Presbyterian Church in 1911.  They settled at Derrinellum where Arthur ran a boarding house and grocery store.  They returned to Camperdown and Arthur worked for Kleine’s Bakery as a delivery driver. He then obtained work at the Werribee Research Farm before managing a branch of the farm at Boisdale in Gippsland.  Arthur and Gertrude returned to the Western District in 1921 when Arthur took up a dairy farm at Pirron Yallock, west of Colac. In 1929, Arthur bought a block in the Reads Estate at Dreeite further north.  At both Pirron Yallock and Dreeite, Arthur was on the local state school committee.

John TEHAN:  Died 10 September 1953 at Camperdown.  John Tehan was born at Heathcote in 1872 and arrived in the Western District as a young man and worked at Youngers at Warrnambool. He then worked for Morrisons General Store in Manifold Street Camperdown for sixteen years. In 1900, John married Jessie Peter.  They had two sons and two daughters. In 1907, John opened his own shop in Manifold street.  In 1913, he called for tenders to build a large new brick store on the site.  In 1934, John demolished the shops had four new shops built in their place.

"BUILDING ENTERPRISE" Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954) 15 December 1934: 2. Web. .

“BUILDING ENTERPRISE” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 15 December 1934: 2. Web. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27397193&gt;.

Thomas Stewart LORD:  Died 12 September 1954 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Lord was born at Port Campbell around 1882 and was the first boy of European descent born there.  His parents William and Jessie Lord had settled there in 1876.  Thomas attended the Port Campbell State School but did spend two years at school in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.  He returned to Port Campbell and worked in the local store from the age of fifteen. Thomas was the first secretary of the Port Campbell Football Club and a member of the school committee.  He was also a director of the Cobden and District Pioneer Butter Factory (below)

Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772409

COBDEN BUTTER FACTORY 1933. Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772409

Thomas’ funeral was one of the largest funerals seen in Port Campbell.

 

Major Mitchell Homeward Bound

We left Major Mitchell on 13 September 1836 as he and his party left camp near the Grange Burn, east of what is now Hamilton.  They made their way to the southern tip of the Grampians but Sydney was in their sights.  They were heading home.  By the end of the day, Mitchell’s party had reached the base of Mount Sturgeon where they camped for the night.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53338

MOUNT STURGEON – c 1870-1888 – PHOTOGRAPHER: THOMAS WASHBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53338

From the camp, Mitchell could see Mount Abrupt just to the north-east and on the morning of 14 September, he set off to climb to its summit.

1870-1888 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53112

MOUNT ABRUPT – c1870-1888. PHOTOGRAPHER THOMAS WASHBOURNE. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53112

Of the experience, he wrote,

…from the summit of Mount Abrupt I beheld a truly sublime scene; the whole of the mountains, quite clear of clouds, the grand outline of the more distant masses blended with the sky, and forming a blue and purple background for the numerous peaks of the range on which I stood, which consisted of sharp cones and perpendicular cliffs foreshortened so as to form one grand feature only of the extensive landscape, though composing a crescent nearly 30 miles in extent: this range being but a branch from the still more lofty masses of Mount William which crowned the whole. Towards the coast there was less haze than usual, for I could distinguish Lady Julia Percy’s Isle which I had looked for in vain from Mount Napier, a point twenty-four miles nearer to it. Here I could also trace the course of the stream we had crossed that morning from its sources under the eastern base of the mountains to a group of lower hills twenty-seven miles distant to the westward; which hills, named by me Dundas group…

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VIEW FROM MOUNT ABRUPT TO THE SOUTH-WEST INCL. MOUNT STURGEON, LAKE LINLITHGOW AND MOUNT NAPIER. Image courtesy of Graeme Tressider

He continued,

From this hill two other ranges branch off to the south; the western being marked Victoria range on the map, the eastern, the Serra, from its serrated appearance, the broken outlines they present being highly ornamental to the fine country around. On the northern slopes of the range are some forests of fine timber but in general the higher summits are bare and rocky.

Upon his descent, the party travelled east.  They had only gone a few miles when one of the bullocks collapsed from exhaustion near what is now Dunkeld.  It was a long journey for the bullocks made worse by the soft winter ground of south-west Victoria, so Mitchell decided to set up camp. There was also a broken axle to repair. Mitchell sent his second in charge, Granville Stapylton ahead to see how much further before the ground improved. On his return at nightfall on 15 September, he advised Mitchell that it was only another three or four miles.

Before setting out the next day, it was decided to leave some of the party behind to work on the broken axle. Also, half of the equipment would stay but all the bullocks would go ahead with the remaining equipment then make a return trip to collect the rest.  The reduced party set out again on the morning of 16 September and found the soft ground was also littered with sharp stones. They travelled eleven miles before they “encamped near a small lagoon on a spot where there was excellent grass”.  The site was around six kilometres south-west of what is today Glenthompson.

The bullocks returned to the previous camp and arrived back to the leading party the next day, exhausted and unable to go on until Mitchell conceded,”…they had enjoyed at least some weeks of repose”.  Low provisions did not allow such a break and it was time for what Mitchell described as “mature deliberation”.  The resolution was he and most of the party would go ahead to Sydney, while Mr Stapylton and a smaller party would stay behind with the bullocks and equipment.

…the camp in which Mr. Stapylton’s party was to remain two weeks was in as favourable a place for refreshing the cattle as could be found. The ground undulated and was thickly clothed with fresh verdure; a grassy swamp also, such as cattle delight in, extended northward into a lake of fresh water which I named Lake Repose. The peaks of the Serra Range and especially Mount Abrupt were landmarks which secured the men from even the possibility of losing their way in looking after the cattle.  

(Mitchell, T. L. (Thomas Livingstone), 1792-1855 and University of California Libraries Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia; with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales. T. & W. Boone, London, 1839. Chapter 3.11)

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236368

Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236368

On 19 September 1836, Mitchell bid farewell to Stapylton and turned his horse’s head for home.  At points along the way, he buried letters for Stapylton, of which he later found four.  Mitchell arrived back in Sydney on 3 November 1836 much to the surprise and relief of his family who thought him dead.

There is a last chapter in the story of Major Mitchell’s party at Lake Repose coming soon.

SOURCES

Mitchell, T. L. (Thomas Livingstone), 1792-1855 and University of California Libraries Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia; with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales. T. & W. Boone, London, 1839.

Monument Australia – Thomas Mitchell Memorial Cairn – Glenthompson

 

Major Mitchell Crosses the Grange

We left Major Mitchell on his return to camp north of Mount Eckersley after an excursion to Portland Bay. Mitchell’s next target was Mount Napier to the north-east.  The party headed in that direction on 2 September but the heavy going slowed the wagons.  They set up camp on 3 September and the following day, Mitchell set off with a smaller party for Mount Napier.  Swamps and later volcanic rocks, a feature of the countryside hampered the journey, but soon the mountain was before them.

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MOUNT NAPIER. Image courtesy of Tony Esh.

Mitchell climbed to the summit and discovered the crater.  The idea of an extinct volcano was of great interest to him.  Looking around, he could see the Grampians and Mount William to the north.  Meanwhile, the sun was setting and before Mitchell knew, it was too late to return to camp.  He ascended and camped the night at the base of Mount Napier in unfavourable weather.  In the morning, fog hung over the mountain until 10:30 am and he returned to camp twenty-six miles away.

The party had to move on, so Mitchell headed them north toward Mount Napier. He thought the knowledge he gained on his earlier trip would see them bypass the swamps but soon swamps were again in their path, slowing the wagons.  Mitchell decided to set up camp about eight miles away from Mount Napier, possibly on the Lyne Creek or Camp Creek west of Byaduk North.

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MOUNT NAPIER FROM THE BYADUK/PENSHURST ROAD. Image courtesy of Kiri’s Images

From the camp, Mitchell set off again for Mount Napier.  At the summit the view was hazy, but occasionally it cleared enabling  Mitchell to sight and name Lake Linlithgow and Mount Rouse to the north-east.  Mitchell and the party spent the following day around Mount Napier before packing up the base camp on September 11 and setting off in a northerly direction.  His journal entry for 11 September read,

AGAIN REACH THE GOOD COUNTRY.

About that time a yellow flower in the grass caught my eye and, remembering that we had seen none of these golden flowers since we left the beautiful valley of the Wannon, I ventured to hope that we were at length approaching the good country at the head of that stream. Such was my anxious wish when I perceived through the trees a glimpse of an open grassy country, and immediately entered a fine clear valley with a lively little stream flowing westward through it and which I named the Grange. This was indeed one of the heads of the Wannon and we had at length reached the good country.

So Mitchell thought he had crossed the Grange.  Most  likely it was Violet Creek.  They followed the creek north until it veered to the west and the party continued on to the north.  The following day, 12 September 1836, they came to what is likely to have been Muddy Creek. They then met a “smaller stream” we know today as the Grange Burn,

We proceeded next along a continuous ridge of fine firm ground covered with excellent grass, and soon after we saw before us a smaller stream flowing under a broad grassy vale and, having crossed it also without difficulty, we encamped in one of the valleys beyond, where this tributary appeared to originate. A finer country could scarcely be imagined: enormous trees of the mimosa or wattle of which the bark is so valuable grew almost everywhere; and several new varieties of Caladenia were found today. The blue, yellow, pink, and brown-coloured were all observed on these flowery plains.  (Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia : with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales by Major T. L. Mitchell, Volume 2, Chapter 3.9)

The point at which Mitchell crossed Hamilton’s Grange Burn is not entirely obvious but it is generally considered it was close to the Digby Road bridge where the Grange settlement would begin a few years later (below).

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SITE OF THE GRANGE SETTLEMENT, DIGBY ROAD HAMILTON

In 1884, the Hamilton Spectator published an article entitled “Early Settlement of Australia Felix” charting the path of Major Mitchell.  Along with Mitchell’s description, landmarks from the 1880s were included.

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“EARLY SETTLEMENT OF AUSTRALIA FELIX.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 20 November 1884: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2016 .

After crossing the Grange Burn, it’s thought Mitchell’s party moved roughly north-east along what is now Lonsdale Street.

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LOOKING SOUTH-WEST ALONG LONSDALE STREET

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LOOKING NORTH-EAST ALONG LONSDALE STREET

Don Garden in his book “Hamilton, A Western District History” also suggests Collins Street as a possible route. With Mitchell’s limited description, there is nothing to say they didn’t follow the course of the Grange Burn because, by the end of 12 September, they had set up camp on the Grange near Strathkellar, east of Hamilton.

"EARLY SETTLEMENT OF AUSTRALIA FELIX." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 20 November 1884: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2016 .

“EARLY SETTLEMENT OF AUSTRALIA FELIX.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 20 November 1884: 3. Web. 8 Sep 2016 .

Along the way, Mitchell saw and named Mount Bainbrigge (now commonly known as Mount Baimbridge), to the north and Mount Pierrepoint to the south.  On September 13, the expedition moved off from the Strathkellar camp.  Mitchell’s journal entry for the day read,

We broke up our camp early this morning and on reaching the highest ground we discovered a large lake on our left: it was nearly circular, about half a mile in circumference and surrounded by high firm banks from which there was no visible outlet; I named it Lake Nivelle.  

(Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia : with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales by Major T. L. Mitchell, Volume 2, Chapter 3.9)

Lake Nivelle is known today as Lake Doling Doling, on the Doling Road at Strathkellar.  From there Mitchell’s party headed toward the southern point of the Grampians.  We’ll meet up with Major Mitchell again on 18 September when it will be 180 years ago since he passed near Glenthompson.

SETTLEMENT OF HAMILTON

News of the “good country” soon spread on Major Mitchell’s return to Sydney. Within two years, interested parties were on their way to see for themselves.  Charles, Richard, and Edward Wedge were the first to arrive in 1838 taking up the Grange run.  

Early arrivals at The Grange as Hamilton was known, were James and Jane Blastock in 1843. James purchased the Grange Inn in 1844, very close to where Major Mitchell passed less than ten years earlier.  The map below shows the Grange Inn or Blastock’s Inn, near the crossing of the Grange on Digby Road.

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PHOTO OF MAP ON INTERPRETIVE BOARD AT THE SITE OF THE GRANGE SETTLEMENT, DIGBY ROAD HAMILTON.

James Blastock died in 1857 and his widow Jane married James Wiggins.  In 1893, journalist The Vagabond made a return visit to Hamilton, having previously visited in 1884.  For accurate information on the early settlement of Hamilton, locals suggested he visit Hamilton’s oldest resident Jane Wiggins at her home Sandal on the Grange Burn, not far from where she had lived with her late husband at the Grange Inn.

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From her cottage’s verandah on the hill on Digby Road,  Jane Wiggins pointed out the track Major Mitchell travelled along and the site of the former Grange Inn.

"HAMILTON" Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918) 25 November 1893: .

“HAMILTON” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 25 November 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196644733&gt;.

HAMILTON’S CENTENARY

In 1937, Hamilton celebrated the 100th anniversary of Major Mitchell’s passing through the area with a week of activities including a “Back to Hamilton”. You may wonder why it was not held in 1936. The organising committee did consider September 1936, but thought since the first settlement was in 1838, early 1937 mid-way between the two events was a better option.  Early on in the planning stages, the committee had problems with funding and raising public interest.  That may have also contributed to the later date.  Despite the early problems, the celebration was a roaring success. A highlight was a lecture by historian Alfred S. Kenyon on the summit of Mount Napier where a memorial cairn was unveiled in 1915.

"CENTENARY AT HAMILTON" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 13 March 1937: 24. .

“CENTENARY AT HAMILTON” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 13 March 1937: 24. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11049077&gt;.

Another highlight was the unveiling of a Major Mitchell memorial cairn at Hamilton on 15 March 1937.  Just off Lonsdale Street, the acting premier Francis Old unveiled the cairn before several hundred people.  Also, Thomas Mitchell’s grandson presented the town with a photo of his explorer grandfather.

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MAJOR MITCHELL MEMORIAL CAIRN, HAMILTON

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SOURCES

Garden, Donald S. (Donald Stuart) and Hamilton (Vic.). Council Hamilton, a Western District history. City of Hamilton in conjunction with Hargreen, North Melbourne, 1984.

Hamilton Spectator at Trove Australia

Mitchell, T. L. (Thomas Livingstone), 1792-1855 and University of California Libraries Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia; with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales. T. & W. Boone, London, 1839.