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.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Martha King - Pioneer woman

Martha Jane King took up the Bunguyan run lease in 1845.  The run was of 15,000 acres and takes in modern day Hastings and Tyabb. Mrs King held the lease until 1859. It was unusual for a woman to have a lease hold in her own name, so in this post we will take  a look at the life of Mrs King, who also had a connection to the Casey Cardinia region. King’s Creek in Hastings was named for Martha King and her family and was the original name for the township of Hastings.

Much of the following information comes from Valda Cole’s research, presented in her book Western Port: Pioneers and Preachers (citation below). Mrs Cole gave a talk about the life of Martha King and the early history of the Hastings Tyabb area at the South Eastern Historical Association Discovery School held in 2012  and other ever since I have been fascinated about Martha and the life she lead as an early pioneer, so even though she only has a short association with our area, her life is well worth recording in our blog.                                                                                                                                                                         Martha was born Martha Jane Henry in County Down  Ireland in 1790 and married Henry King in 1814, who was also from County Down They had seven children (Mary b. 1815-1942), John (1817-1870), Sarah (1819-189), Ellen (1822-1903), Robert  (1825-1883) Alexander (1827-1885) and James (b.1830-d.1831) The eldest son John came to Sydney in 1838. Whilst in Sydney he heard favourable reports about the Port Phillip Region, so returned to Ireland to pass this onto his family. Thus in August 10, 1840 Martha and Henry King and children, plus John King, his wfe Elizabeth (nee Johnstone)  and their two children, Frederick and Annie, all embarked for Australia. Martha and Henry’s daughters, Sarah and Ellen, were listed on the shipping records as dairymaids and their other daughter Mary as a housemaid. 

Sadly, on the way out Martha’s husband, Henry died on October 30 aged 49. The family landed in Melbourne on January 4, 1841, six years after the region had been ‘discovered’ by Eurpoeans such as John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner in 1835 and four years after Governor Bourke proclaimed the town of Melbourne in 1837. Melbourne’s non-Indigenous population in March 1841 was 4,500 and at the end of 1842 it was around 8,000. (Encyclopedia of Melbourne) thus the King family was one of many new arrivals seeking to start a new life in a ‘new’ country.

In spite of the fact that Martha was recently widowed and her daughter Mary died in 1842 aged 27, Martha had to continue on.  The family was living in Moonee Ponds and to support her children she took charge of John Pascoe Fawkner's father's dairy herd - 113 head of cattle. John Fawkner had become insolvent and so had had to relinquish most of his farm at Pascoe Vale. The herd provided Martha with a source of income as she could sell the cheese that she made from the milk and the herd also provided employment  for her children – daughters Sarah and Ellen were already experienced dairy maids. 

It is this dairy herd that brings Martha King into our region. Martha needed a large area of land to run a dairy herd and she had access to land leased by her brother, Robert Henry. Robert had the Cardinia Creek No.1 run of 5,120 acres from October 1842 until May 1851. It was later taken over by Terence O’Connor. This run was based, as the name suggests, on the Cardinia Creek, the west side. It is believed that Martha took on adjacent land on the corner of Pound Road and Thompsons road to look after the Fawkner herd.  However as we know she wasn’t there for long as in 1845 she took up the 15,000 acre Bunguyan lease  but the family lived in a cottage on the property whilst they were developing  Bunguyan.  



Click on map to enlarge it. This is part of the Cranbourne Parish Plan and shows the Cardinia Creek pre-emptive right of 640 acres, which was once part of the 5,120 acres leased by Martha's brother, Robert Henry. Gunson describes the Cardinia Creek run as being north of St Germains, so I assume that the original run extended west (perhaps to Pound Road) and possibly north of the pre-emptive right. 

Martha and her brother Robert Henry had another close connection as two of Martha’s sons married their first cousins – it was not unusual to marry your first cousin in the ‘olden days’ – the daughters of Robert Henry. Robert King married Annie Henry and Alexander King married Mary Henry. Another of Martha’s daughters, Sarah, married Richard Rogers,  whose brother John married Sarah Henry, Martha’s niece.

Although Martha took up Bunguyan in 1845, the actual formal application wasn’t lodged until 1850 and it was gazetted in the State Government Gazette of December 11, 1850. 



This is notice in the Port Phillip Government Gazette of December 11, 1850 concerning Martha King's lease of the Bunguyan property, near modern day Tyabb. 

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


Mrs King's death notice in The Argus of August 14, 1860

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

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

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Berwick Grammar School 1882-1928 and the Vieusseux family

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

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

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


The Berwick Grammar School, now  a private house.

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


South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 26, 1883

The same article also has  a list of  the honour recipients, which gives us some idea of the subjects on offer and also some of the pupils names.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 26, 1883

The subjects included English, Geography, French, Writing, Latin, Conduct, Mathematics. Gymnastics and  Music. Students in the first year inlcluded F. A'Beckett, R. A'Beckett, F. Britten, A. Brunet, G. Brunet, D. Clark, G. Clark, F. Coppin, G. Coppin,  T. Dwyer, F. Elmes, J. Hennings, A. Kent,  D. MacKinnon and G. Warry, 

Edward Vieusseux unexpectedly died on November 6, 1917, aged 63. the School then became affiliated with the Church of England, who acquired the buildings. The School then went through a succession of Head Masters, eight in eleven years until it closed in 1928 - The Reverend P.P McLaren became Head Master at the start of 1918, he was replaced by the Reverend Charles Zercho in 1920; in 1922 Mr Hancock took over, then the Reverend Douglas Howard, Mr Charles Kenrick, Mr Paul Polan, Mr J. H Morgan and lastly the  Reverend Hubert Brooksbank. The building became the short lived Winchester House Grammar school, then a guest house. From 1949 until 1972.  Mary Blackwood, who was on the staff at the Diocesan Office in St Pauls Cathedral.  used the building to train teachers and for a holiday camp for 'Christian Holidays' for children. The Building was named Mary Blackwood house after her. It then became a Community school, until 1977 when it was used as a place of instruction into the Jewish faith. The Church of England (or Anglican church) finally sold the building in  1990.

There is an Avenue of Honour in Church Street and a memorial plaque to the nine past students of Berwick Grammar School who were killed in World War One. You can read more about this here.

Here's some family information about Edward Vieusseux.  He was married in 1877 to Emily Ross. They had four children -  Lewis John (1879-1890) Edward Telford (1881-1887) Dorothy Jean (1888-1921) and Nellie Phyllis (1889-1914). It was a sad situation that three of the children pre deceased their father and the four of them pre deceased their mother, Emily, who died in 1940, aged 83. All the family are buried in the Berwick cemetery.


John Bellair has written an interesting history of the Berwick Grammar School, which is where I obtained some of the information for this post.  John was sent to board at the School in 1918 when he was eight years old. We have a Reference copy of the book at Narre Warren and you can purchase a copy at the Berwick Mechanics' Institute 15 High Street Berwick www.berwickmilibrary.org.au

I have created a  list about the Berwick Grammar School and the Vieusseux family on Trove, click here to access the list.