Friday, 12 December 2014

Cardinia Shire and the City of Casey turn 20 - Local Government Timeline

Congratulations to the Cardinia Shire and the City of  Casey - they both turned 20 on December 15, 2014 at 4.00pm!

Here is a time line of local government in this area -

1842 -  The Town of Melbourne created - the first local government body in Victoria.

1860 - Cranbourne Road Board proclaimed June 19.  The first members of the Cranbourne Road Board were Dr James Smith Adams, Chairman, who owned Balla Balla Estate ; James Bruce, owner of Sherwood Park ; Richard Burgh Chomley, owner of Tongola at Lyndhurst ; James Lecky, Cranbourne land-owner who also owned the Cardinia Creek property ; Edward Malloy, owner of Mayune property ; Alexander Patterson, owner of St Germains Estate ; Christopher Bond Peed, owner of Springmount ; Patrick Thompson, owner of Oaklands and John Wedge, owner of Johnswood at Lyndhurst. Populaton of the Road Board area was 857. The Road Board met at the Mornington Hotel.

1861 - The town of Berwick and the town of Cranbourne proclaimed on February 25.

1862 - Berwick Road Board proclaimed September 29.  The first members of the Berwick Road Board were John Brisbane (Chairman), early Berwick landowner ; Robert Bain, the owner of the Border Hotel (Berwick Inn) in Berwick ; Francis Barr, a Berwick land owner ; Michael Bourke, owner of the La Trobe Inn, later known as Bourke’s Hotel, at Pakenham; James Buchanan, owner of Ardblair, who later went on to be a Member of the Legislative Council ; David Connor, licensee of the New Bunyip Hotel on the Bunyip River ; John Pitman, Pakenham landowner ; John Startup of Mount Ararat Station ; John Troup, land owner at Narre Warren North and Gotlieb Wanke, a land owner at Harkaway. The Road Board met at the Border Hotel (Berwick Inn)

1865 - Shire of Berwick Council chambers built in High Street.

1868 - Shire of Cranbourne proclaimed  February 24

1868 - Shire of Berwick proclaimed, May 5

1875 - Cranbourne Shire Offices opened March 6

1889 - The Scoresby Ward of the Shire of Berwick, including Scoresby, Fern Tree Gully,  Clematis, parts of Emerald and Avonsleigh was severed from Berwick and became the Shire of Fern Tree Gully on May 23.

1893 - Yannathan and Lang Lang East annexed from the Shire of Buln Buln  to the Shire of Cranbourne on January  23.

1902 - Shire of Berwick Offices move to Pakenham Mechanics’ Institute.

1912 - Shire of Berwick Offices open in Main Street Pakenham, corner of John Street.

1963 - Shire of Fern Tree Gully split and the Shire of Knox was formed on  November 16 (it became a City on July 4, 1969)  The remains of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully were renamed Shire of Sherbrooke on December 23, 1964.

1973 - The City of Berwick and the Shire of Pakenham were formed on October 1,  when the Shire of Berwick split. The Shire of Pakenham continued to use the Main Street Offices and the City of Berwick used temporary buildings in Kays Avenue, Hallam until the Civic Centre opened in 1978.

1978 - Cranbourne Shire Offices officially opened in Sladen Street, April 22

1978 - Civic Centre at Narre Warren opened December 8

1979 - Cr Jeune Matthews first female Shire President of the Shire of Pakenham.

1980 - Cr Jan Bateman, City of Berwick’s first female Mayor of the City of Berwick

1983 - Shire of Pakenham Offices opened July 28 in Henty Way

1988 - Cr Judy Elso, first female Shire President of the Shire of Cranbourne

1994 - City of Cranbourne created on April 22

1994 - The City of Casey and the Cardinia Shire officially came into being on the December 15 at 4.00pm.

The City of Casey was created from the western section of the short-lived City of Cranbourne (Cranbourne, Tooradin, Pearcedale, Devon Meadows, Hampton Park etc) and the entire City of Berwick.

The Cardinia Shire was created from the Shire of Pakenham, the eastern end of the City of Cranbourne (Koo-Wee-Rup, Lang Lang, Yannathan, Bayles, Catani etc) plus Emerald, Clematis and Avonsleigh which were annexed from the Shire of Sherbrooke.  Langwarrin and Carrum Downs went to the City of Frankston from the City of Cranbourne.

The City of Cranbourne, Shire of Pakenham and City of Berwick ceased to exist on December 15.

2014 - Cardinia Shire Offices opened on November 17 in Officer.

2014 - Cardinia and Casey  both turn 20 on December 15.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Papers Past

Many families have  a New Zealand connection - it was not uncommon in the 1800s for family members to migrate from England to New Zealand, then Australia or vice versa or for one family member to come to Australia, one to New Zealand or Canada or some other corner of the British Empire. Papers Past http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ is a great source of New Zealand history  - it's similar to the digitised newspaper collection on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper, which I use all the time.

According to their website,  Papers Past contains more than three million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 92 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

I have selected three articles with  a local Casey Cardinia connection,  to show you the range of information you can discover on Papers Past and of course, if you come from New Zealand then it would be an especially valuable resource for family and local history.


The Press  November 18, 1905

This is a report of the marriage in Christchurch, of  George Hobbs and Muriel Simcox, and there is a double Casey Cardinia connection as George had  a connection to Berwick and Muriel to Officer. George is the son of John and Alice Hobbs, of Berwick, who both lived to the grand age of 90, John dying in 1940 and Alice in 1945, they are buried at Berwick Cemetery. Muriel died in Christchurch in 1948, aged 64 and she is buried in the same grave as her father, Samuel James Simcox who died in 1916 and I believe that George died in 1912, aged 32. I haven't found out the Simcox/Officer connection but will keep trying.


Mataura Ensign February 10, 1908

The Kerr family had large land holdings in Tynong; in 1903  five years before Edmund's death, they had around 1000 acres - north of the Highway around Fogarty Road; south of the railway line where Kerrs Road is, land closer toward Garfield plus some Tynong Township allotments.  I found another interesting reference to Edmund Kerr, I assume he is the same Edmund Kerr as above, in Table Talk newspaper on Trove which says that John Kerr of Tynong discovered the Kimberley mines in South Africa and they then fell into the hands of Cecil Rhodes, who went onto establish Rhodesia.  The Kerr family is thus a perfect example of the reach and influence of the British Empire in the Victorian era. 


Table Talk February 8, 1900



New Zealand Herald  September 23, 1933

This is an interesting article for two reasons, Mr C.D Lloyd  is Charles Duplan Lloyd (1863-1937) who purchased the Holly Green property (where Fountain Gate Shopping centre is) in 1924, from the Webb Family, and moved his Glen Iris jersey cattle stud from Glen Iris to Holly Green. The other reason it is interesting is that it shows how important rural industry was at the time, in both Australia and New Zealand, that farming matters were reported in the daily papers. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Officer - aerial photographs

The Cardinia Shire has recently moved their offices and Council Chambers from Pakenham to Officer, November 17 2014 was the first official day of business. The Shire had been in their 'old' building since it was opened  on  July 28, 1983 and you can read about that building here. As well as the new Council buildings, Officer has recently seen a lot of development with  housing estates so I thought it was time to see how the area has changed in the past 20 years. These are some aerials from 1994 and 1996, not really that long ago, but they show Officer when it was still a country town.


This is Officer  May 4, 1994, starting from the far right is the Recreation Reserve on the corner of the Princes Highway and Starling Road. The next intersection is Officer South Road and Tivendale Road. The small patch of remnant bush is in the vicinity of the new Council Offices. The intersection on the left is the Highway with Brunt Road and Whiteside Road.


The same view as above but shows Beaconsfield in the distance. The photograph is undated but I believe it is October 1996.


This is a continuation of the photograph above, it is dated October 31, 1996. The intersection at the bottom is that of the Princes Highway and Brunt Road and Whiteside Road.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Railways and their contribution to the developement of the Casey Cardinia region

I have written about railways before in this blog, as I have an interest in railways, because of the influence they had on the growth of towns and settlement patterns. When I was at High School at Koo-Wee-Rup in the 1970s the school bus used to run out to Bayles and followed the path of the old railway line and if I could go back in time I would love to have seen the trains chuffing along this line to Bayles, Catani and beyond.  I wrote this article for the book Pages from the past: snapshot histories of people, places and public life in Casey and Cardinia.

The photographs are from the Public Transport Corporation: Photographic Collection of Railway Negatives available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website www.prov.vic.gov.au. Click here to search this collection.

Railways have been pivotal in the development of the Casey Cardinia Region. The Railways have always been used for personal travel - to go to work, to go into Dandenong or Melbourne for reasons such as shopping or to access medical services - but they have also influenced the location and growth of towns, transported produce to markets and tourists to holiday destinations. We have had four railway lines traversing the region and three are still operating. The earliest line is the Gippsland line to Sale which was opened from Oakleigh to Bunyip in October 1877 and fully opened in 1879. The Great Southern line commenced construction in 1887 and was fully operational from Dandenong to Korumburra by June 1891. It was later extended to Port Albert. It now only goes as far as Cranbourne. The famous Puffing Billy line, officially called the Fern Tree Gully to Gembrook line, opened in December 1900. Finally the Strzelecki line from Koo-Wee-Rup to Strzelecki opened on June 29, 1922 and closed in stages until it was completely closed in February 1959.


Pakenham Up End Level crossing and Signal Bridge
VPRS 12800/P5, item S 1376

The Railways effected settlement patterns in the region. Early towns, such as Cranbourne, Berwick or Pakenham, were established on roads or coach routes. Other towns, such as Gembrook or Emerald, developed around the nucleus of people who stayed in the area after the mining activities ceased. Some towns, such as Iona and Yallock, were part of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Village Settlement Scheme. When the Railways came they sometimes passed through the existing towns but often by-passed the town so new settlements developed around the Railway Station or Siding. For example, Pakenham East developed around the Railway Station, initially in opposition to the ‘old’ town of Pakenham which had developed around the La Trobe Inn (also known as Bourke’s Hotel) on the Gippsland Road, near the Toomuc Creek. Lang Lang grew around the Railway Station and superceded the original town of Tobin Yallock, on the South Gippsland Highway, to such an extent that by 1894 most of the businesses and public buildings had transferred to the new Lang Lang near the Railway Station. Finally, the Village Settlement of Yallock declined after the establishment of the Railway Station about a kilometre away. The Station was called Bayles and gave its name to the new settlement.


Cranbourne, South Gippsland Highway level Crossing
VPRS 12800/P1, item H 5224


Cranbourne, South Gippsland Highway level crossing, 
R class steam locomotive departing left side including derm and trailer
VPRS 12800/P1, item H 5222A

The Railways also opened up the area to industry. The Sale Line opened up the timber industry from Berwick to Bunyip. Officer’s Wood Siding opened in 1881 to enable firewood to be sent to Melbourne from William Officer’s property. The Cannibal Creek Siding was created in 1885 to accommodate Cannibal Creek Saw Mill Company. The townships which developed around these Sidings became Officer and Garfield. From the 1890s orchards were planted in the hills from Narre Warren North to Garfield and this produce was railed to Melbourne to be exported interstate and overseas.  Milk, livestock, and potatoes grown on the newly drained Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp were sent to market on trains from Catani, Bayles and Koo-Wee-Rup on the Strzelecki line and Garfield, Tynong and Nar Nar Goon on the Gippsland Line.  Timber products and potatoes were loaded at the Gembrook Station on the Puffing Billy line. Carl Nobelius, the founder of the Gembrook Nurseries at Emerald sent his trees sixteen miles to the Narre Warren Station by dray but when the Puffing Billy line was established he had his own Siding erected. At is peak, before the start of World War One; Nobelius had over three millions trees in various stages of cultivation for sale.



Berwick Station, Platform and Goods Shed
VPRS 12903/P1, item Box 027/08

We tend to think of this area as only producing agricultural and horticultural products but the rail had a key role in the expansion of the Wilson Quarry at Berwick as the Quarry supplied the ballast for the Sale line. The trains transported bricks to Melbourne in the 1880s from the five brick works at Officer and Jefferson’s brick works at Garfield. Later on, sand from Sidings near Bayles was also transported by rail in the 1920s and 1930s and in Cranbourne, two spur lines were built to the sand mines around the town.

The third influence of the Railways had on this region was on the Tourist Industry.  An 1899 Guide Book to Upper Beaconsfield tells its readers of 'the reviving and restoring virtues of the Ranges' and talks about the scenic Gullies and Drives.  There is also railway timetable information for trains to the Beaconsfield Railway Station and a note that trains are met daily by coach to transport holiday makers to the Hills.

Tooradin was known as a “Sportsman’s Paradise” in the 1880s due to the fishing, quail shooting on Quail Island, deer shooting and other typical pursuits of the time. Sadly, for Tooradin, the Tooradin Station was built some kilometres out of the town which was on the South Gippsland Highway. But visitors were once again met by a coach at the Station to take them to their “Sportsman’s Paradise” at Tooradin.

Finally, the most obvious connection that Railways had to the Tourist Industry is the Puffing Billy train. The train was popular with the locals from the start and also opened up the area to holiday makers and week-enders. Due to declining revenue the line was recommended for closure in 1936 however a public outcry kept the line open for goods. A landslide near Menzies Creek, in August 1953, blocked the line and it was announced that it would close permanently in mid 1954, but once again the public rallied. The Puffing Billy Preservation Society (P.B.P.S) was formed in 1955 and operated Puffing Billy trains between Upper Ferntree Gully and Belgrave until this part of the line was electrified. Work began to re-open the line beyond Belgrave by by-passing the land slide and laying new track and the Puffing Billy tourist line was officially opened to Menzies Creek in July 1962. Three years later in July 1965 Puffing Billy returned to Emerald, ten years later in 1975 to Lakeside and finally in October 1998 it returned to Gembrook. Puffing Billy has carried 8 million passengers since it re-opened in 1962 and is now a tourist destination in its own right.



Train narrow gauge, to excursion, Paradise , Gembrook
VPRS 12800/P1, item H 3075

The Casey Cardinia region would have developed without the Railways but settlement patterns would have been different, the region may not have been a leading producer of apples or dairy product or potatoes due to the problems in the early days of transporting these goods to market and even tourists would have found it more difficult to visit our natural features such as the hills and the coast without the Railway.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Mobile Library towns - back in time

Casey Cardinia Library Corporation (CCLC)  has a Mobile Library which services various towns throughout the Cardinia Shire.   If you aren't  a regular Mobile Library user but happen to be meandering around the country side then you should pop in and take a look if you see it stopped and open for business. The Mobile has a good collection of  items - books, DVDs, CDs, magazines etc - you just use your regular CCLC membership card.  Click here to access the timetable.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look back in time, at the towns where the Mobile Library stops.

On Monday, it stops at Bunyip, Garfield and Tynong.


Bunyip - Main Street,  1908.
Photograph: Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest.


Garfield - Looking down Main Street, 1910.


Tynong - Looking west

On Tuesday, it stops at Beaconsfield Upper and Gembrook.


Beaconsfield Upper - Wilson's store
Photograph: Upper Beaconsfield: an early history by Charles Wilson



Gembrook - Walker's Store

On Wednesday,  it stops at Beaconsfield.


Beaconsfield - Woods Street
Photograph: Beaconsfield History Group

On Thursday, it stops at Maryknoll and Cockatoo.


Maryknoll - Post Office and General Store, 1969.
Photograph: Maryknoll: history of a Catholic Rural Settlement by Gael White (2002)


Cockatoo - Fairbridge's store

On Friday, it stops at Lang Lang and Koo-Wee-Rup. 


Lang Lang - Main Street
Photograph: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society collection


Koo-Wee-Rup - Rossiter Road, 1923
Photograph: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society collection.

On Saturday, it's back to Bunyip.


Bunyip - Pearson and Company store, c. 1905.
Photograph: Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest

If this has inspired you to visit the Mobile Library then click here for the link to the time table. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Trove Digistised Newspapers and the Bailey family, Orchardists, of Narre Warren North.

It's been some time since I have written about Trove Digitised newspapers and, as it is one of my favourite historical resources, I thought it was time to look at it again. Trove Digitised Newspapers, found at https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper, currently have over 14 million pages of Australia newspapers digitised from 1803 to recent times, depending on the newspaper.  The 14 million pages can all be searched using the one search box and you can then print off the articles, save the articles, just browse the entire newspaper or even create your own reference list on any topic you may be interested in.

The reference list facility is wonderful. You just need to sign in and create an account, It's free, you don't need to pay any money. You sign in and log in, using the buttons on the top right hand corner, see below.



This is a copy of the front page of Trove Digitised Newspapers -  you sign up for an account and you log into the account on the top right hand corner.

Once you have created an account you can then create lists of articles - this mean that you can do a search, save the article to whatever list you want, and then you can go back and review all the articles without trying to find then again (which is what I used to do before I discovered this facility!) You can make the lists public which means that anyone can access them or you can keep them private, so only you can access them.

As an example, I have created a list of articles on the Berwick Boys Grammar School, which operated from 1882 to 1928. Click here to access the list.  I  also have  a list on the Emerald County Club, click here.

Trove is adding content all the time. Just recently they have added 47 new titles from all over Victoria from 1914 to 1918 as part of the State Library / PLVN Digitising World War 1 Victorian Newspapers project.  They have also uploaded 25 other titles from various States covering various years.

Trove truly is a treasure trove of  information, covering local history, sporting history, world news, family history - if it was in the papers at the time you can find it. Don't just restrict your search to Victorian papers or to papers from your own area, you might find a mention of your town or family in a wide variety of newspapers. As an example,  I have created  a list about the Bailey family of Narre Warren, who were early orchardists in the area.  I have found articles from five states and at least ten different newspapers. You can see the list here.



This is James Bailey and his son, Sidney James Bailey, taken c. 1918 in their Narre Warren North orchard.


William & Fanny Bailey settled in Narre Warren North in 1894 and established the first orchard in the area on Bayview Farm at the eastern end of Bailey Road.   The Baileys had nine children. Their eldest son, George (1875-1960), had a General store in Narre Warren, operated by family members until the 1970s. George and his wife Florence built Brentwood (later called Clarinda Park) in 1904. In 1993, the address was 271-299 Narre Warren North Road, I don't think it still exists.  Another son James (1877-1962) married Lucy Agnes Webb, the daugher of Sidney and Anne Webb. He was also a fruit grower. They built Araluen in 1903 and their daughter, Lucy,  lived there until she died  in 1999/2000 and the land was sub-divided. Araleun bunt down in mysterious circumstances a few years ago.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Land sales in the area - real estate advertisements

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


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


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


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



Nar Nar Goon Estate - small farms and township allotments. This is undated but I presume it is the 1880s.
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/167795



The 'celebrated' Langwarrin Estate, dated 1888. The subdivision on the right is modern day Pearcedale. The land for sale on the left, either side of West Road is in Langwarrin South.
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/130984



Garfield Township lots, 1906
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169522



Logan Park and Sweet Hills Orchard, Narre Warren, 1907. This is Narre Warren North, north of Heatherton Road, in the vicinity of Lysterfield Lake and Logan park Track.
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169647 


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