Friday, September 18, 2020

Potatoes for health and beauty

I grew up on a potato farm at Cora Lynn, so I naturally have a fondness for the vegetable. Potatoes are grown worldwide, they are nutritious, relatively quick to grow and an effective use of land as 85 per cent of the potato plant is edible. Potatoes have been grown in the Andes for over 8,000 years and came to Europe via the Spaniards in the 16th century and then spread throughout the world. 

There used to be many potato farms on the Koo Wee Rup Swamp. In the early days potatoes were despatched by rail from local stations, such as Garfield and Bunyip; Catani and Bayles and Koo Wee Rup. In 1912 it was reported that 35 tons of potatoes were trucked from Bunyip Station on one day (1) – that’s not even a B-double load these days, but that’s a lot of bags of potatoes to all be handled manually.  

The Great Southern Advocate of July 1, 1926 had this interesting report, head-lined Koo Wee Rup Potatoes will return £500,000 and then a report of the tonnage sent from local railway stations, which indicates the importance of the vegetable to the Swamp - The potato crop in the Koo-wee-rup district was estimated to reach £500,000. This, according to railway trucks will be very nearly realised. The output of 29,404 tons was distributed: Kooweerup 6952 tons, Garfield 6451, Bayles 5591, Dalmore 3346, Tynong 2580, Bunyip 2057, Nar Nar Goon 1814, Lang Lang 443, Warragul 169. This would realise £294,030 at £10 a ton.

From December 1925 to April 30, 498 trucks (6945 tons) left Garfield and 600 tons during April. From January 1 to May 30, 156,929 bags of potatoes left Kooweerup station and there are still many thousand bags still in storage. (2)


Bags of potatoes at the Bunyip Railway Station 
Weekly Times March 25, 1911 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222241318

The importance of the potato to the area was celebrated each year in the Potato Festival, held from 1973 until 2000 at Koo Wee Rup.

Here's a light-hearted look at the health and beauty aspect of potatoes as reported in the newspapers.

September 1909 - Few women know how essential certain vegetable and fruit acids are to the general health and the retention of a good complexion. For this purpose, the most valuable are potatoes, cabbage, cauliflowers, grapes, oranges and limes (3).

March 1916 - potatoes and lettuces, especially the latter, are excellent for those who suffer from scurvy skins (4). Scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency, causes skin to bruise, bleed and a delay in the healing of wounds. 40 years later in March 1954 there was a potato shortage in Victoria which as a result an outbreak of scurvy could develop among Melbourne's young children unless the present potato shortage ended, Miss M. Honey, chief dietitian at Queen Victoria Hospital, warned last night. She said that potatoes were essential to young children to promote growth and to prevent scurvy (5). 

In January 1918 an article said that It has been demonstrated that a butter and potato diet, together with fresh fruit, soon clears uric acid out of the system (6). Uric acid is a cause of gout, so possibly a diet of scalloped potato may well be the answer.

In May 1936 the League of Nations (a similar organisation to the United Nations) Health Commission Diet Committee released a report to the effect that the use of milled white flour should be decreased and its place partially taken by lightly milled cereals and by potatoes….Potatoes, according to the committee's report, contain more iron, calcium, and phosphorus than milled cereals, and also more of vitamins B and C (7). 

October 1936 - A course of potato-water drinking for the sake of the complexion may cause you to open wide your eyes with astonishment. But if you suspect acid in the system, which usually affects skin as well as the general health, try this: Select old potatoes and scrub them thoroughly. Peel them about an inch thick and throw this peel into a saucepan. Allow two cupfuls of water to each potato. Boil for forty to forty-five minutes. Strain off the liquid and drink it warm or cold an hour or so before meals. Dietitians say that a course of this potato-liquid will not only banish acid from the system but will whiten and beautify the skin. Try it! (8). 

In January 1937 potatoes were recommended as a cure for sunburn - Sea bathing on a hot day tends to make the complexion rough and red looking. The action of the salt and the sun make one feel like a lobster. At night, before retiring, sponge your face in warm water, no soap, please. Peel a raw potato, then gently massage the skin with it for three minutes. Use a gentle massage movement always moving in a circular motion. Allow the juice to dry into the skin and remain on until the morning. In the morning add a few drops of witch hazel to the water and wash the face. This will soon whiten and clear the skin (9).

In August 1937 it was suggested that if you want a complexion like a rose then you should eat a lot of onions; they are particularly good for your complexion. For people who don't like onions, it is a good idea to mix them with mashed potatoes; the onions hardly taste that way (10).

This beauty tip comes from January 1943 - Grated potato makes an excellent eye-pack for relieving tired or strained eyes. Wrap in a thin cotton pad, place over eyes, and lie down a while (11).

We will finish off with this beauty tip from September 1950 - the article shows a photo of a model, with her face covered in fruit and vegetables, with this caption. The cucumber on our model's forehead acts as an astringent and soothes her brow as well as smoothing out a few lines. The pears on her temples and in front of her ears nourish the skin. The banana on her eyes takes away that tired look. You can actually feel it coaxing out the tiredness. The potato on her nose makes it whiter. The peaches on her cheeks, above her mouth and on her chin, feed and revive the dry skin and help to give peaches and cream complexion. The carrots around her mouth take away the lines (12).


A fine crop of potatoes, almost drawfing a Fergie Tractor, 1960. 
The photo was taken by my uncle, Jim Rouse, at Cora Lynn.


Sources
(1) The Australasian, February 3, 1912, see here.
(2) Korumburra Great Southern Advocate, July 1 1926, see here.
(3) The Leader, September 25, 1909, see here.
(4) Bendigoian, March 23, 1916, see here.
(5) The Argus, March 13, 1954, see here.
(6) Geelong Advertiser, January 19, 1918, see here.
(7) The Argus, May 20, 1936, see here.
(8) The Australian Women's Weekly, October 3, 1936, see here.
(9)  The Herald, January 14, 1937, see here.
(10) The Australian Women's Weekly, August 28, 1937, see here.
(11) Gippsland Times, January 4, 1943, see here.
(12) The Argus, September 27, 1950, see here.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

James Rouse selects land on the Koo Wee Rup Swamp

In July 1903 my great grandfather, James Rouse, took up 60 acres at Lot 29, Section N, Parish of Koo Wee Rup East. It was on Sinclair Road (now called Bennett Road) at Cora Lynn. 


James Rouse's original lease on Lot 29, Section N, Parish of Koo Wee Rup.
4817/130.383 James Rouse Public Office of Victoria Land Selection and Correspondence files
VPRS 5357 Consignment number: P0000 Unit number:3659

The block was inadequately drained and in December 1903 James wrote to the Land Board requesting that he be able to swap Lot 29, for Lot 25, which is on the corner of Murray Road and Bennett Road. This land is still in the family, now owned by James' great grand daughter, Karen, and her husband. I have transcribed the letter, below.


James' letter to the Land Board dated December 29, 1903 (page 1).
4817/130.383 James Rouse Public Office of Victoria Land Selection and Correspondence files
VPRS 5357 Consignment number: P0000 Unit number:3659

29/12/03,
Hon. Sir,
Some months ago I obtained at the Land Board held on July 2, at Longwarry a block of land upon the Kooweerup Swamp, no. 29, section N on the plan. The block is supposed to be drained on 3 sides, it is only drained on one, the south side, by a drain east and west. The drain is about two feet six deep. This is of no earthly use to me, the land is useless as I cannot get on to it. I most respectfully ask that you will allow me to change it for block 25 sec N, giving me credit upon it the money I paid on the other. I am willing to pay the difference in price and I also ask that it be given me under conditional purchase. 

I have now been living here nearly 4 months hoping I  might be able to get on the land but I am as far off it as ever. The drains ought to be at least 6 ft deep so as  to let  a person drain into it. Hoping for a quick reply as the summer is now passing on, 
I remain
Yours truly,
James Rouse    Bunyip South.

Cora Lynn, Vervale and Iona were all known as Bunyip South at this time.


James' letter to the Land Board dated December 29, 1903 (page 2).
4817/130.383 James Rouse Public Office of Victoria Land Selection and Correspondence files
VPRS 5357 Consignment number: P0000 Unit number:3659


James' letter to the Land Board dated December 29, 1903 (page 3).
4817/130.383 James Rouse Public Office of Victoria Land Selection and Correspondence files
VPRS 5357 Consignment number: P0000 Unit number:3659


This is the new lease on Lot 25, Section N, Parish of Koo Wee Rup.
4817/130.383 James Rouse Public Office of Victoria Land Selection and Correspondence files
VPRS 5357 Consignment number: P0000 Unit number:3659


James Rouse was born July 26, 1862 at Stratford on Avon in England and died at Cora Lynn on August 29, 1939. He had married Annie Glover of Clydebank (Victoria) on February 2, 1892 and they had five children.  Sadly Annie, born July 7, 1865 died on February 7, 1899 aged 33. She was pre-deceased by their two daughters Ruth and Annie. Another daughter Emily died in tragic circumstances  - she was found drowned in the Yarra on August 24, 1919, aged 25. Lucy (born September 2, 1895) died October 27, 1981. Finally, my grandfather Joseph Albert Rouse was born at Clydebank on November 9, 1892 and died September 3, 1954. Joe had come with his Dad to Cora Lynn, Emily and Lucy remained in Clydebank or Sale (not sure where) for a few years with some aunties.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Yallock Estate and Henry Beattie

Henry Beattie's Yallock Estate at Koo Wee Rup was sub-divided and placed up for sale in August 1915. It was an exceptional opportunity, according to the advertisements, only 41 miles from Melbourne and  close to the Monomeith Railway Station, thus farmers could send their milk to Melbourne. It was also rich flats - suited to onions, potatoes and maize and had no rabbits.


The sale was extensively advertised - see the the full advertisements here and here.

Henry Beattie was born in St Kilda in 1868 to Henry and Margaret (nee Stiven) Beattie (1). After his arrival from Scotland in 1854, Henry Snr, worked with John Aitken at his Mt Aitken Station, in the Sunbury area. Beattie later purchased Mount Aitken, operating a Hereford cattle stud (2).  Henry also purchased the Yallock Station, previously part of Mickle, Bakewell and Lyall's Western Port holdings,  in May 1875 for £13, 600 (3). At the time it was 2,719 acres but by 1913, the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books list the Beattie property as 1,243 acres (4) made up of the 640 acre Yallock Pre-Emptive Right; 553 acres of Section 2 Parish of Yallock and another 50 acres.  Henry Jnr  lived on the Yallock property from at least 1885 as he was elected to the Council representing the Yallock Riding that year (5).  He married Sarah Jane Allardyce in August 1895 and they had two children - Constance Margaret born in 1896 and Henry Gordon in 1901 (6).  Sarah died July 26, 1937 aged 59 and Henry died February 23,  1940 aged 72 (7).  They are buried at the Burwood Cemetery.


Parish of Yallock plan - showing the Yallock PR - Pre-Emptive Right - and Section 2 - all up 1,193 acres, the bulk of Beattie's Yallock Estate, which he sold in 1915. These two blocks were south of the South Gippsland Highway, the Monomeith Station was located in Monomeith Road. The meandering creek is the Yallock Creek. 
State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/296564


The sale of the Yallock Estate was the subject of an article in The Leader of August 14, 1915 (read it here) It is transcribed below and is illustrated with the four photographs from the article.
THE YALLOCK DISTRICT.
While the greater part of Victoria was stricken by drought during the last 12 months, there was one part of the State where the climatic conditions were more than favorable. In this locality all the crops were prolific, and whether it was for his hay, his potatoes, his grain, his onions or his dairy produce, the farmer of the Yallock and Kooweerup and Monomeith districts received returns much more handsome than usual, as the result of his year's work.

This record is in keeping with previous experience. Since it was first occupied half a century. ago, the lands of the Yallock and adjoining districts have never known a drought. There has always been a fruitful response to cultivation. The tiller of the soil has obtained his richest rewards in years when other parts of the State were suffering severe losses because of drought conditions.


For Years Devoted to Sheep

So far the richest lands in the Yallock district have been mainly devoted to pastoral pursuits. The rich stands of rye grass and clover which prevail, enable three sheep to the acre to be kept all the year through. Encouraged by the remunerative nature of the grazing industry large holders of some of the richest areas were loth to dispose of them. Practical farmers, keen on getting a plough to work in these virgin soils with their exceptional fertility, could only admire them from the outside of the fence. To-day, a different state of affairs prevails.

One of the largest properties, "Yallock Estate," has now been made available for subdivision, and can be secured in holdings to suit the requirements of buyers. This is the first time the property has been on the market. It is confidently expected that practical onion and potato growers will take full advantage of the unique opportunity.


The Land on Being Ploughed

As our illustrations indicate, the rich black soil at Yallock is peculiarly suited for potato culture.  There is over a foot of a free black loam resting upon a rich dark clay, having unusual capacity for the retention of moisture. This feature will at once appeal to the practical man familiar with the possibilities of intertillage in the presence of a well soaked subsoil. Onion growers also find much that is attractive in the Yallock soils. Specialists in this industry, with experience of other onion districts are already at work on the property, and state that the Yallock soil compares favorably with other onion soils of the State. Onion growers from the Western districts are now in possession of Yallock land, and express themselves as pleased at the manner in which the young onion plants are growing.


Will Produce Rich Crops of Potatoes Like This

The South Gippsland railway runs conveniently to the Yallock Estate, the Kooweerup and Monomeith stations being within a mile or two of it. Lest the mention of Kooweerup should suggest reclaimed land, with heavy rates due for drainage and with the possibility of occasional inundation, it may be pointed out that Yallock is high and dry land, well above flood levels. While especially suited for the cultivation of potatoes and onions, it also yields heavy crops of Algerian oats. Laid down in grass, the soil produces heavy growths of rye grass and clover, which, as is well known, constitute a pasture unexcelled for milk production. The fertile character of the land, its generous and dependable rainfall, and the fact that it is situate, within 41 miles of Melbourne are features that make the Yallock Estate of unique interest to practical men desirous of making a home on the land. The terms of sale are exceedingly favorable. These, with all other details about the property, may be obtained from Smith, Nicholson Pty, Ltd., land salesmen, next Metropole Hotel, Bourke-street, Melbourne.


And Prolific Yields of Onions


Trove List  I have created a list on Trove of newspaper articles connected to the Beattie family and the sale of Yallock Estate in 1915, access it here.

Notes
(1) Henry Beattie arrived in Victoria from Scotland in 1854.  He married Margaret Stiven in 1860. Her surname is listed in the Indexes to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages as Simpson, Stephens, Stivens, Stiven and Stivin but I believe Stiven is correct. They had five children that I can trace, possibly more - Walter (1861-1937), Annie (1864-?), Henry (1868-1940), John (1871-1937), Jennet Violet (1873-1901). Henry Beattie (son of Walter and Jennet Beattie) died 1906 at the age of  75. Margaret (daughter of James Stiven and Ann Cairncross) died 1890, aged 56.
(2) This information is from Henry Beattie's obituary in The Australasian August 18, 1906, see here.
(3) Gunson, Niel The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire (Shire of Cranbourne, 1968) p.128.
(4) The original size of the Yallock Estate comes from Gunson, op. cit p. 128.
(5) Gunson, op. cit p. 261. Beattie resigned from the Council in January 1887.
(6) Henry and Sarah's marriage notice was in The Argus August 24, 1895, see here. Constance Margaret was born July 24, 1896, see her birth notice in The Argus, of August 22, 1896  here. Henry Gordon was born October 29, 1901, see his birth notice in The Argus November 5, 1901, here.  Henry and Sarah's children are the executor's of Henry's will and are listed in  Henry's Probate application notice in The Argus, February 27, 1940, see here.  Constance was a Spinster and Henry was a Solicitor. They were still living at the family home in Lumeah Road, Caulfield.
(7) Sarah's death notice was in The Argus July 27, 1937, see here and Henry's in The Argus February 24, 1940, see here.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The history of Yallock - Part 3 by H.J. Boxshall

The following account of the history of Yallock was written by Henry John Boxshall (1880 - 1968) a pioneer Yallock resident.  The history was written in March 1957 for the pupils at the Yallock School and was published in the Koo Wee Rup Sun of July 3 1968.  This is part 3 and you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

The history of Yallock - Part 3 by H.J. Boxshall
Mr. H. J. Boxshall concludes his interesting series of articles on the early history of the Yallock area.
In starting this article Mr. Boxshall goes on with his section of local residents of the early period. He mentions a former member of Parliament named Tetherly, who at one time represented Ballarat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and who had a block on the Yallock Creek bank. He had put up his tent and had started to clear some of the land for a garden but after a few weeks the creek flooded and washed him out. He gathered up his belongings and left, never to return.

On the next block Mr. T. Pretty also built a home right on the creek bank and when flooding occurred the water was soon running through the house. Mr. Pretty and his family had to wade knee deep through the flood to take refuge with a more fortunate neighbour. By midnight on the same day the house was half submerged and later M. Pretty took only a short time to move his home to higher ground.

Another sufferer from the flood was Mr. Taylor, who built himself a wattle and daub hut close to the creek. The water rose so fast that Mr. Taylor, who was an elderly man had just sufficient time to get onto the roof of his home where he remained all night until rescued the following day by Mr Ware. The rescue was carried out by Mr. Ware who rode his horse a powerful draught through the flood and then did the return journey to higher land with Mr. Taylor as a passenger. This experience was enough for Mr. Taylor, who elected to depart and not to return.

Mr. David Gray then took over the blocks vacated by Taylor and Tetherly and later bought Mr. Petty's farm. After World War 1 he sold the place to the Repatriation Commission. Mr. H. V. Izzard (late A.I.F.) lived there for some years but owing to ill health, he had to leave and go on to a small farm at Hallam Valley. Mr. L. W. Finck, junior also a former serviceman now owns the property.

I would like to record here the name of Mr. Fred Crespin who was a share farmer on "Quamby" for a few years prior to 1914. He enlisted soon after the outbreak of the war. Mr. Crespin was an accomplished organist and piano player. During his residence at Yallock he was organist at St. Saviours Church of England and was also in great demand as a pianist at local dances. He was also a good cricketer and captained the local eleven during his stay at Yallock. On his return from the war he was unable to take up farming again owing to failing health and was given employment in the Land's Office at Melbourne. He died soon after taking up the position and his passing was greatly regretted all who knew him.

ENTERTAINMENT BEFORE THE HALL WAS BUILT
Before the hall was built the people held their parties and dances at different houses and in Mr. D. Ware's barn, although the space was a bit restricted at times, these gatherings were greatly enjoyed. One of our earliest and well known settlers, Mr. Arthur Cox who was a good violinist and one of the two local lads with accordians who were always on hand to provide music.

A few years after the hall was built, it was enlarged and later in 1914, the big hall was built. The contractors were Mr. F. Simmill and Mr. J. C. Hatty. After the war a supper room was added as a Soldiers' Memorial and to house the Honour Roll.

Mr. L. W. Finck senior was secretary of the Hall Committee. He was a very efficient secretary and the fine honour roll was due greatly to his efforts. A few years after the close of the war, the hall was sold to the residents of Bayles. The supper room was retained and is now the Yallock Hall. The honour roll was unveiled in the school in 1925 by the Hon. A. Downard, M.L.A. before a large gathering of residents. Mr. W. S. Nance was the teacher in charge at the time and Mr. H. Boxshall, secretary of the school committee. Councillor Geo. Burhop and W. T. Sage attended.

SUPPLIES HARD TO GET
For some time the settlers had some difficulty in getting supplies, the nearest store was at Yannathan, owned by Mr. W. Nelson. At Kooweerup North (Five Mile) was a store run by the Government for the convenience of the settlers in that area. Mr. W. Stuart had a store at the canal bridges. Mr. John Denham had a store and blacksmith's shop on the Kooweerup-Bayles road.

BREAD BY PACK HORSE
Bread was first brought into Yallock by packhorse, the baker being Mr. J. Foster of Lang Lang. Mr. Henry Woodman had a butchers business on Chairman's property, which he rented for some time. Later he had a business and slaughter yards where the township of Bayles now stands. The first butcher to deliver meat to settler's homes was Mr. Thompson of Heath Hill and the butcher on the cart, Mr. Tony Ridgway had a most difficult job, owing to the lack of any sort of road in most places. Many settlers walked long distances to meet him as he could not get anywhere near some of the homes.

Mr. A. Flintoff of Lang Lang was another butcher to deliver meat at Yallock in those early days. At this time the price of meat was very cheap, a hindquarter of heavy mutton could be bought for three shillings and six pence. Many housewives found it necessary to bake their own bread and flour was also relatively cheap at 200 lbs in a sack for ten shillings.

THEY MUST HAVE BEEN "SUPER MEN"
One of the hardest and most difficult undertakings in connection with the draining of the Swamp country must have been that of making the first surveys and the men doing the work must have been "Super Men". The survey camp was on the creek bank near the residence of Mr. Andrews and the head surveyor was a man named Livingstone.

The men had to walk long distances ever boggy country and it was no minor task. In the winter time they would leave camp in the early morning darkness and arrive back home at their base in the evening, long after sunset. They had to walk because it was impossible to get a horse anywhere near where they were working.

ROADS A LONG TIME COMING
It was some years before the tracks along the banks of the drains became anything like good roads and even the coast road or Southern Highway was bad in places. The road from Tooradin to the inlets near Harewood Mains was a heavy sandy track and was very hard going for both the horses and bullock teams which used it. The carrier who moved the household goods and furniture of the Boxshall family from Fitzroy, took two days to reach Bourkes stockyards and not liking the corduroy across Lyall's Swamp, decided to camp for the night as his two horses were very tired. He finished the trip in the morning, unloaded and started back to Melbourne after lunch. It had been a four day job and he was paid £2.10.

CARLOS (sic) CATANI
Mr. Carlos Catani, the Surveyor General of Victoria, who was responsible for the work on draining the Kooweerup Swamp was considered to have done a good job on what was a very difficult undertaking. Mr. Catani was well known to most of the men employed on the drain work. No matter how far away or how small the drain, he would insist on having a look at it to see how the work was progressing. He got to know many of the men by name and would sit on the bank of the drain and have his lunch with them. These trips meant long rides on horseback and often longer distances on foot, but it was all in a day's work for Mr. Catani.

TIMES WERE HARD
In order to give the younger generation an idea of what the country was like at Yallock while the drain works were being carried out, I would like to record the following incident. A party of the workers were travelling home along the No. 6 drain about two miles east of Abel's corner where they stopped to help one of the settlers pull out a cow bogged in the drain, one of the men suffered a severe strain and was in great pain and unable to walk. His mates procured a couple of ti-tree poles and improvised a stretcher out of coats and an old sack. One of the party hurried ahead to get a horse and cart to meet the men and take the injured man to his home. The nearest the horse and cart could get to the No. 6 drain was on the school road, near where Mr. T. Light now lives. At this spot the injured man was transferred to the cart and then taken to his home. He had been carried on the improvised stretcher for a distance of two and a half miles.

TOM BELL WAS THE MAN TO PULL YOU OUT OF TROUBLE
A man whose name will be remembered by early settlers at Yallock and surrounding districts was Mr. Tom Bell, who lived on the farm now occupied by Hogden Brothers on the Bayles to Kooweerup road. With a dentist hard to get, Mr. Bell was the answer when a person had a troublesome molar. Although not a recognised dentist, Tom had a deftness in his operation for the removal of a tooth. The patient was seated in an ordinary chair, clamped in position by one of Tom's big young son's arms and was ready for the removal job.

Mr. Bell would then produce his forceps from an inner coat pocket, fasten on to the tooth and have it out in a twinkling of an eye. It was all done in cold blood, no anaesthetic or any pain killer of any kind. A person suffering with an aching tooth reckoned that the temporary pain of the extraction was worth putting up with for the relief obtained afterwards. After the tooth was out, the mouth would be washed out with warm salty water. I have never heard of anyone suffering with after effects or Mr. Bell meeting up with any tooth he could not deal with. He is remembered by many old settlers for the relief he gave them in the early days of hardship.

CRICKET CLUB FORMED
A cricket club was formed at Yallock in 1898 although there wasn't an association on the Swamp at this time. Matches were played against teams at Yannathan, Tooradin, Nyora, Longwarry and Monomeith.

FIRST FOOTBALL MATCH
The first football game was played in 1895 on "Quamby" where the first cricket pitch was later laid down. Central umpires were J. O'Brien for the first half of the game and Mr. Desmon took the second half. Rafferty's rules and hard bumps were endured but good humour prevailed. A return match took place at Kooweerup soon after on land where the Kooweerup hall now stands. I do not recollect which side won either game. After World War 1 the Yallock interest in cricket and football shifted to Bayles in the 1920's.

During World War 1 a very active branch of the Red Cross Society was formed and large sums of money were raised for funds. One notable effort was a Queen Carnival in which Lang Lang, Kooweerup, Yannathan and Yallock took part. After a fancy dress procession through the town, the Lang Lang Queen was declared the winner with well over £1,000. Yallock was a close second being only a few pounds behind. Nearly £3,000 resulted from the effort. Miss Myra Leeson was the Yallock Queen.

Not many of those first comers to Yallock lived to reap any benefits from their labours and hardships. All have now passed away and the present generation owe a debt to those men who by their hard toil and endurance paved the way to make Yallock prosperous and the high producing district it has become.
FINIS

This is part 3 of Henry Boxshall's history of Yallock. You can read  part 1 here and part 2 here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The history of Yallock - Part 2 by H.J. Boxshall

The following account of the history of Yallock was written by Henry John Boxshall (1880 - 1968) a pioneer Yallock resident.  The history was written in March 1957 for the pupils at the Yallock School and was published in the Koo Wee Rup Sun of June 26 1968.  This is part 2 and you can read part 1 here and part 3 here.

The history of Yallock - Part 2 by H.J. Boxshall
Mr H.J. Boxshall continues his article of the early history of the Yallock area. He mentions some of the landowners and some of the troubles they encountered. At the end of the article last week, Mr. Boxshall was talking about some of the churches in early history.

A short while after the building of St. Saviour's church at Yallock, a Methodist church was erected on Mr. Bateson's property, and this was done by voluntary labour. Mr. T. Pretty did almost all the work on both churches, refusing, any payment for his labour.

METHODIST CHURCH BUILT AT YALLOCK
The Methodist church was well attended in the years prior to the outbreak of World War One. After the war many of the supporters of the church left the district and the church was later moved into Kooweerup.

Methodists to preach at Yallock were Mr. Upton, Mr. Sherlock, Mr. G. Shinkfield, Mr. Val Trigg and Mr. C. C. McPhee, the latter was a very popular minister and was a prominent member of both the cricket and football teams. He enlisted in the war and on his return had to resign from the Ministry due to some throat affliction. There were others who preached there whose names I cannot recall.

The first Church of England organist was Miss Alice Cox who later married Mr. Fred Simmel. Mrs. Simmel was present at the service held at St. Saviour's in November 1955 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the church. She died the following year in her 82nd year.

EARLY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
Early Sunday school teachers whose names I recall were Mrs. J. Jones, Miss Ridgway and Miss Collyer. Miss E. Games was superintendent of St Saviour’s Sunday School for many years, assisted by Miss B. Boxshall who succeeded Miss Games when she left the district to live in Melbourne. Miss Games was also the organist at the church for many years, one of my sons Mr. O. Boxshall now holds the position.

I would like to pay a tribute to the memory of Mrs. Jones, whose name is mentioned above. Mrs. Jones was the wife of one of our earliest arrivals at Yallock. She was a qualified midwife and was always ready and willing to go to the help of anyone who was ill or in trouble, any hour of the night, wet or fine - she was truly a Christian woman. After leaving Yallock, she conducted a private hospital at Wonthaggi, where she passed away, when well over 80 years of age.

GATES BLOCKED THE ROADS
When the early settlers arrived here they found all roads leading to this area blocked by gates.To get on to the Monomeith Road, three gates had to be opened. There was a gate near the No. 5 drain bank leading into "Quamby" Andrew Lyall's property; another into Monomeith Park and then another had to be opened to get on to the road at Bourke's stockyards. A gate across the No. 5 bank or Creamery Road, as it is sometimes called, blocked the road to Kooweerup and the way out to Yannathan was also blocked. It was sometime before the landowners responsible, fenced their land to give the settlers free access to their blocks.

There was no bridge over the Yallock Creek, where the present one is located and the settlers filled the creek bed with ti-tree so as to make a ford to enable them to get across to Kooweerup.The river could only be crossed when the Creek was low and when the river rose too high, Kooweerup could only be reached via Monomeith and the highway.

An old creek bed in "Quamby" had to have about five chains of corduroy laid to enable traffic to get to the Monomeith Road. The work was done by the settlers, who organised working bees. Works of this sort had to be done by the settlers themselves as it was useless to ask for assistance from the Government and this area was called "No man's land" as far as adjoining Shires were concerned.It was some time in the late nineties that the Cranbourne Shire took over and valued the area. Mr. A. Facey, the Shire Engineer was the valuator.

THEY LOST A DAY'S PAY TO GET THEIR WAGES
I would like to record here another inconvenience men on the drain work had to contend with. No matter where they were working they had to travel to Kooweerup to pick up their fortnightly pay.The pay office was at W. Stuart's store, situated by the canal bridges. (The house still stands there and must be one of the oldest, if not the oldest building in Kooweerup township).

The Paymaster was Mr. Clowser, assisted by Mr. J. O'Brien, (one of the overseers of the drain work and who at one time became one of the largest land owners at Yallock). Picking up your pay nearly always meant losing a day's pay, because as the work advanced it took the men further away from Kooweerup, where the drain work was started. Long tramps over very rough tracks, that a horse could not travel had to be undertaken.

On entering the office to receive your pay you would find alongside the Paymaster the local butcher, baker, storekeeper etc. with their fortnightly accounts and after these accounts were settled the wage-earner had what was left, which was at times very little.

The story is told of one hardy old pioneer who was walking slowly away over the canal bridge and was hailed by one of his work-mates. "What is the matter Tom? You don't look too happy this morning". "Happy", said Tom, "and what do I have to be happy about? I just picked up my pay and look what I have left". He disclosed a few coppers in the palm of his hand and with that, tossed them into the waters of the canal and dejectedly walked on.

THE EARLY SETTLERS
The following are the names of the first commers to Yallock—
Starting at the corner of Finck's Road -  the No. 5 Road, corner block was occupied by W. Donaldson, bricklayer then A. Renfrew, furniture salesman; H. Treeby, labourer; then my father T. Boxshall, landscape gardener. Mr. Boxshall was for a period of 14 years foreman of the Exhibition Gardens, Carlton and had laid out a large area of those particular gardens.

An elder brother of mine, A. Boxshall, engine driver, Victorian Railways was next. Then followed H. Scharf, carpenter. He had left Germany to escape militarism. His two sons later enlisted in World War 1 and were both killed in France. W. Chance was next followed by O. W. Reitchel, bricklayer and on the corner block at the hall road was M. O. Donald, mail contractor and stud master. The last four allotments mentioned are now occupied by Mr. George Peck.

The block now owned by Mr. Deppeler was occupied by E. Rossiter; the 60 acres now owned by Mr. Still belongs to the Lyall family; on the corner block, now F. Stephens, was Mr. Simmil, blacksmith; Mr J. Jones was first on the block now owned by Mr F. Ashby. Then followed Mr Arthur Orford, labourer, and his house was burnt down during the 1898 bushfires. The owner left the district shortly after.

The first on the block opposite the hall and now belonging to the Bailey family were Mr. Kroschell, Mr. Glowasky, whose son was later a very well known member of the Victorian Police Force. Mr. Chas Woodman owned these allotments for some years.

One of the earliest settlers was Mr. F. P. Stephens, farmer, who donated the land for the Church of England. His son now resides on the property and next to him, Mr. Priestly snr. Mr. E. Batson followed him and lived on the property some years. Mr. Batson was a member of the first School Committee, he donated the land for Methodist Church. The Ashby family now own the farm. Mr. Geo. Wright, builder lived on the corner block, later owned by Mr. C. Brazil.

Names I recall further east and on McKay's Road are G. Richardson, Geo. Casey, J. McKay, J. Orchard, B. Lineham, W Cadee, L. Coates, J. Ieckleson, T. O'Shea and W. Cameron. The land for the hall was given by Mr. Fred Simmill.

Next on O'Briens Road was T. Harker, now owned by Stephens and Thompson; Mr J. McGee was next and this property is now occupied by Mr. F. Lineham. Mr. W. Harker owned the block at the corner of O'Briens Road and No. 6 Road. Also on the same road lived Mr. J. T. O'Brien, a local Cranbourne Shire Councillor for many years. He was a former overseer on the drain works. Mr. James Stevens, a sailor, was next. This farm was later owned by Mr. A. Dalyrimple, a member of the school committee for a number of years. After his departure it was taken over by Mr. Horace Barr (A.I.F.). Mr. W. Fechner now owns it.

The first to live on the block now owned by Mr. W.Thomas was Mr. A. T. (Dick) Priestley, son of Mr. Priestly mentioned previously in this article. Mr. Priestly later had a store in Lang Lang and a farm at Yannathan. Next to Priestly's was Mr. E. Powis who kept a boarding house at Dandenong. His son H. Powis lived on the block. He was a well known footballer with Dandenong and had previously played with Essendon in the League. He was also a member of the local football and cricket clubs.

Early commers who did not stay long were Chas.Williams and a man named Rogers. The latter was the first on to the block lived on by the Gudgin family for years. Mr. Gudgin  senior was followed by his son William and then his grandson Harold. The property is now owned by Mr. Geo. Light. On the school road and close to the school was Mr. C. J. Izzard, saddler, who donated the ground to the school. Mr. Izzard was the first Yallock Progress Association secretary.

Robert Fountain was the original settler on the  block now owned by Mr. Light, next was Mr. D. Ware, Mr. E. Collyer, one of the school's earliest committeemen.

Others associated with this road were W. Hatty, Senior; Mr. Savage, D.Cahill and S. Flewin, Mr. W. Hatty Junior, Mrs. W. Brown. Mr. D. Abel now owns a number of these blocks. Mr. W. A. Cox lived for a while on one of the blocks now owned by Mr. A. M. Bethune.

The first to live on the block now occupied by Mr. T. Light was Charles Ware, a former road contractor. On the next block was Thomas Kirwin, farm labourer and next Mr. A. J. Cox, bootmaker, Mr. J. C. Hatty was first on the block now occupied by Mrs. Humphrey. Mr. Wise (late A.I.F.) also lived there for some years.

Early settlers on the No. 6 or Catani Road were Mr. F. O'Neill, E. Giggins, W. R. Donaldson, V. Blythe. The latter was an ex-serviceman and was for some years president of the local branch of the V.D.A.

On Finck's Road adjoining Donaldson's were J. Yeaman, engine driver; next B. J. Cox, father of George who now lives there. H. Reid was next, and he left his house when it was destroyed by fire. On the Finck's Road and No. 6 Road where Mr Kane lives was W. Nichol and later Chas. Woodman. The block over the road was first owned by W. Scanlon. Mr. L. W. Finck senior was next. He was secretary of school committee for any many years and also secretary of the hall committee.

This is part 2 of Henry Boxshall's history of Yallock. You can read  part 1 here and part 3 here.

The history of Yallock - Part 1 - by H.J. Boxshall

The following account of the history of Yallock was written by Henry John Boxshall (1880 - 1968) a pioneer Yallock resident.  The history was written in March 1957 for the pupils at the Yallock School and was published in the Koo Wee Rup Sun of June 19, 1968.  This is part 1 and you can read part 2  here and part 3 here.

The history of Yallock - Part 1 - by H.J. Boxshall
This portion of the Kooweerup Swamp was made available for selection in the latter part of the year 1894. Many of the first settlers came from Macedon where a village settlement was formed in 1893, the land there was not suitable for closer settlement and the settlers were removed to Yallock. Permits to occupy twenty acres were issued to the settlers and they were required to pay fifteen shillings per twenty acres per annum for the first three years, then a lease was given for twenty years. After the expiration of that time and, provided all payments and conditions had been complied with, a Title to the land was given.

After much agitation by the local Progress Association of which the late Mr. C. J. Izzard was Secretary, and who with the great assistance of the then Member for Mornington, the Hon. Alfred Downard, M.L.A., Parliament agreed to forego all interest on the half yearly payments, otherwise it is doubtful if the settlement would have survived. Mr. Downard was a good friend and a big help to the settlers and was always ready to do what he could to obtain any concessions for the settlers who had to fight so hard to get on.

In those early days of settlement living conditions were bad and the settlers had to endure onsiderable hardships, it was hard on the men, very few of whom had any experience of farming life and knew nothing of stock management. Most of them were used to city life, many being capable tradesmen but owing to the big depression of the early 1890's had lost their savings and unemployment was rife. The Government of the day instituted the Village Settlement Scheme to get as many of the unemployed out of Melbourne as possible.

HOUSING WAS POOR
When the head of the family went on his allotment a tent was put up and then a shelter of sorts was erected, not many could be called houses. Many were merely bag humpies and the families lived in these make-shift places until more substantial wattle and daub were built. Life was hard for the wives and children of those early settlers most of whom were town bred and used to the amenities of city life.

In the summer months water was scarce and had to be carted, and in many cases carried long distances. In the winter, water was at times too plentiful as families living near the creek found to their cost. In the summer when water was when water was scarce, the weekly wash was done down at the creek, where firewood and water was plentiful.

One of the worst hardships the settlers had to endure was the lack of medical attention, the nearest doctor was at Dandenong and the nearest telephone was at Monomeith Railway Station. If a doctor was urgently needed, as in a case of life or death, it had to be the latter. There were two cases here at Yallock where the mothers of two large families died because medical help could not be obtained in time. In both cases all the doctor could do was to give a certificate of death.

Another big drawback was the lack of a school. The children had to go either to Yannathan or McKenzies School, the latter being situated on the corner of Bethunes Road opposite Hodgen Brothers' farm on Kooweerup Road. The teacher's name was Mrs. McKenzie. This school was later moved to Kooweerup. Mrs. McKenzie was the first teacher. Most of the Yallock children attended the Yannathan school and, as that school was outside the three miles limit, it was inevitable that the attendances were a long way from 100%. This was not to be wondered at as the children often had to wade through water to reach the school and to sit wet footed all day. In summer they had to traverse snake infested paddocks and were expert snake killers.

The settlers lost no time in agitating for a school and a meeting was arranged to meet an inspector who was sent up by the Education Department to discuss the matter with the parents. As there was a big attendance of children of school age, over 40 being present, the inspector could see the need of a school and promised to send a teacher along as soon as a suitable building was available and a place for the teacher to board could be found.

About this time the settlers saw the need of a hall for a meeting place, recreation, etc. A hall was built and rented to the Education Department to hold the school, which was started in 1899. Mrs. Agnes Curtin was the first teacher and boarded with Mrs. James Stevens. She was a very capable teacher and stayed two years. She was followed by Miss Ellis, who did not stay long. Then Mr. F. Oldfield took charge sometime late in 1902. He was a splendid teacher and a hard worker for the general good of the Yallock people. He taught at Yallock for about 12 or 13 years, the longest term of any Yallock teacher. He was a fine man and was greatly respected by both scholars and parents. He was the first to teach in the new school, opened in 1912. Miss Doris Savage was first Sewing Mistress in the new school, Miss M. Cox having held that position when the school was held in the hall. Miss Savage was followed by Miss V. Games. Miss B. Boxshall (my daughter) was the last to hold that position at the Yallock School. The school residence was built in 1921 and the first teacher to occupy the house was Mr. George Coughlan.

Most of the early settlers found employment excavating the drains. The' earth was dug out and loaded on to barrows and wheeled out on planks. The drain banks were later formed into roads. The work was hard and often men had to work waist deep in water. The settler was allowed to earn £5 on the drain work and then required to do improvements on his block to the value of £5, when he would be given a ticket to go back to the drain work and earn another £5. This drain work was not very regular as time went on, as the money granted for the work would be used up and the work would be held up until more money was made available.

Flooding also caused interruptions. The water would come down and wash planks and barrows away. Many of these would be found later lodged in the ti-tree along the creek (most of the settlers owned a Government barrow). Owing to the irregularity of the drain work, and the farms being a long way from self-supporting, many of the settlers left their wives and families to carry on with the farm work and took jobs of draining, clearing and picking up (cleaning up after burning off) in Gippsland forest country, others who could see no chance of making a living from such small holdings left their blocks and sought field and new pastures. The vacated blocks were allotted (in some cases by ballot) to the remaining settlers, who were now allowed to increase their holdings to the value of £250 (approximately 50 acres) thus holdings were increased as time went on, by the settlers selling out to neighbours. So many families leaving the district and Bayles Township getting a school was the cause of reducing the attendance at the Yallock School from over 40 to its present low number.

It was some time before it was possible to make a living from the land owing to the difficulty of clearing and preparing for ploughing and grassing down. After the first light ti-tree scrub stumps were cleared the land settled, and large ti-tree stumps showed through. After these were dealt with there were large patches of gum tree stumps known as "Cat-Heads", and it was some years before all the stumps were dealt with. Fences made of the stumps were a common sight: the stumps were also handy for enclosing cow yards and pig pens. These stumps were eventually used up as firewood when post and wire fences were erected. For some years the price of all farm products were very low. Cream delivered to Wood and Company Butter Factory at Lang Lang brought five pence per pound (Commercial butter), milk was delivered for three pence per gallon to Wood and Company Creamery, situated on Mr. R. Peck's property near the Yallock creek bridge, and other farm products were at equally low prices.

The nearest Post Office was at Monomeith Railway Station. After some months the Postal Department made up a loose bag for Yallock and the mail contractor, "Monomeith to Heath Hill" - Mr. John Ridgway, of Yannathan had to be met at Bourkes Stockyard three times a week to take delivery of the bag. The mail was looked after by the Boxshall family for ten years. For some time the mail was delivered daily to the school. Later a post office was granted and looked after
by Mr. R. Games. This office was closed some years ago, but the loose bag is still delivered at the same place now occupied by Mr. Deppeler.

The first religious service was held in Mr. T. Boxshall's house by the Presbyterian Minister Rev. Colin Robertson of Cranbourne. Services were also held at the home of Mr. W. Donaldson by Mr. Robertson and also the Anglican Clergyman Rev. A. A. Wiltshire who was the first Church of England Minister to hold a service at Yallock. At the time Yallock was in the Cranbourne Parish and Mr. Wiltshire had to travel long distances, on horseback, over rough and stumpy tracks. He would hold a service at Cardinia in the morning then on to Yallock for the afternoon service, then back to Cranbourne for the evening service. This meant a Sunday journey of over 40 miles but, Mr Wiltshire never failed and was always on time.

A meeting was held at Mr. Boxshall's house to go into the matter of building a Church, both Mr. Wiltshire and Mr. Robertson attended, it was seen that there were not sufficient followers of either or any denomination to support a Church so, it was suggested that a Union Church be built. Mr. Wiltshire was strongly opposed to a Union Church. On Mr. Izzard's suggestion it was decided to build a hall, services of different denominations could then hold there. Until the hall was built sometime about 1899, services were held in a small wattle and daub building, the roof being thatched with swamp reeds, this place was built by Mr H. Reid for a blacksmith's shop on Mr. Jones' property (now owned by Mr. F. Ashby). The venture was not a success and services were held there by different Protstant denominations until the hall was opened.

The building of St. Saviour's Church at Yallock was started in November, 1905, the first stump was put in by Mr. John Mickle, a local Shire Councillor, on the 15th of that month. The whole of the work of the building the Church was done voluntarily by Mr. Thomas Pretty, a carpenter who had a farm on the Yallock Creek. Mr. Wiltshire left Yallock before the Church was built. He was sent to the Euroa District, not long after taking charge there he met with a fatal accident. He was taking snaps with his camera on the rocks above a deep gorge when he slipped and fell to the rocks below, he was killed instantly. His passing was deeply regretted, he was highly respected and loved by all who knew him. It will give a better idea of the time of Mr. Wiltshire's ministry at Yallock when I tell you we were waiting at the hall before the service started, on his arrival and after greeting us Mr. Wiltshire said, "I have good news for you, before leaving Cranbourne this morning, word came through that the siege of Mafeking was ended and the Boers have been driven off."

A few months before the church was built the first Bishop of Gippsland, Bishop Pain arranged for an amalgamation of the Kooweerup and Lang Lang district. The Priest in charge was Rev. E. H. Smith. The Rev. Henry Lane was the last minister to come from Cranbourne to preach at Yallock. After leaving Cranbourne, Rev. Lane was made Chaplain of the Melbourne General Cemetery.

This is part 1 of Henry Boxshall's history of Yallock. You can read  part 2 here and part 3 here.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Infectious Diseases

With the Corona Virus/Covid 19 impacting on our lives, I thought we could look at other diseases from the past and their impact on the community. Infectious diseases had to be notified to the Board of Health and the Shire Council Medical Officers included a list of the diseases in their Annual Report. In 1912, Dr Harkness submitted his annual report to the Shire of Cranbourne for 1911 and it included - six cases of diphtheria in Cranbourne, one at Clyde, two at Lang Lang, all of which recovered. There was one case of typhoid fever at Kooweerup, which unfortunately ended fatally. One case of typhoid fever at Heath Hill, recovering in this instance. Measles was epidemic at Tooradin, Yannathan and Lang Lang (1).  Thirty seven years later in the 1948 annual report, the Shire of Berwick medical officer, Dr Farrell, reported there had been seven cases of scarlet fever, one each of polio, malaria, puerperal fever and tuberculosis and none of diphtheria (2).

If a person was sent to hospital with an infectious disease then it was reported to the local council and this became part of the medical officers report at Council meetings, thus we learn that in July 1910 Mr. T. Roper from Cora Lynn had typhoid (3) and that in March 1917 Harry Evans from Cora Lynn had pulmonary tuberculosis (4).  No privacy in those days.

Koo Wee Rup had seen a diphtheria epidemic in June 1898, in fact a newspaper had the headline A grave state of affairs (5). Dr Bennie from Berwick investigated this and the cause of the outbreak was blamed on night soil (sewerage) contaminating the drains which were used for drinking water (6). He also said the settlers were too poor to obtain proper food and clothing, and have had a very bad season, so that with poor food, poor clothing and tainted water, it is astonishing that the outbreak has not been more extensive (7).

Before antibiotics, other drugs and vaccinations communities tried all sorts of methods to slow the spread of diseases including the hot issue of the moment - Should we close down the schools?  The report of Dr Harkness to the Shire of Cranbourne in 1912 said that the schools at Tooradin, Yannathan and Lang Lang were closed for the measles outbreak and the school at Clyde for the diphtheria outbreak. There was also a diphtheria outbreak at Koo Wee Rup North State School in 1925 and the school building was condemned and classes were held in the hall (8). In July 1919, Bunyip and Longwarry State schools were closed due to Influenza (9). The Spanish influenza pandemic infected forty per cent of Australia’s population, and caused the death of 15,000 Australians. The Australian population at the time was just over five million.

Children were also kept home from school due to chicken pox outbreaks. The Dandenong Journal of October 2, 1930 reported that An epidemic of chicken pox is raging in the town, and over 20 children are away from the school - enjoying themselves, playing in the street (10). This was in Cranbourne, clearly the concept of self-isolation wasn’t being heeded.

In August 1937, Bunyip school was closed due to polio or infantile paralysis as it was known (11). 1937-1938 was an especially bad time for polio in Australia and the majority of the cases were children. Once again, the Dandenong Journal reported on parents whose children were home from school, but not isolated. A feature of the later stages of the epidemic of infantile paralysis has been the co-operation given by parents to the expert Consultive (sic) Council in its effort to restrict opportunities for the spread of the disease. When the schools were first closed, complaints were made that parents were permitting their children to go into crowds, thus negativing the purpose of closing the schools. Since then, however, most parents have been careful to keep their children at home - in the danger area at any rate. There have been some individual cases of parents becoming panicky, but in the great majority of instances this is not so. Even in Parliament care has been taken not to encourage panic (12).

In the summer of 1949/1950 my Dad, Frank Rouse, and other members of the Cora Lynn Scout Group had a camp on Fraser Island in Queensland. One of the boys at the camp developed polio and the whole camp had to be quarantined for a week; because Dad was only young, he thought it was great - an extra week’s holiday, however polio was a serious disease with lifetime consequences.

One of the causes of infectious diseases was insanitary drains. In March 1914 there was a series of reports in the papers regarding the drains at Bunyip. Apparently, the drains were not cleaned during the summer months and thus they became a catchment for refuse water and odorous filth  (13) and this caused disease. The Berwick Shire disputed the state of the drains and said there had been no infectious disease in the town and that statements that disease had entered every house in the town were untrue. The newspaper reports of the state of the health of the town of Bunyip led to a drop in tourism numbers - The Easter holidays passed off very quietly in Bunyip, not half the number of visitors of previous years coming to the town or district. The reason for this is hard to understand, unless it be that many people stayed away because of the absurdly false reports spread by one or two "ratty" individuals that infectious diseases were rampant in Bunyip (14).

Typhoid was also prevalent and after the December 1934 flood there were fears of a typhoid outbreak at Koo Wee Rup, due to the pollution of the water by dead animals. It was recommended to boil all water before use (15).

There were some interesting cures written up in the newspapers in the 1880s and 1890s including drinking absinthe to cure cholera (16). Absinthe had a very high alcohol content, so maybe if you drank enough the pain of the symptoms such as headaches, nausea, abdominal cramps just went away. Another interesting cure was tobacco smoke which could be used as a disinfectant to kill the cholera germ (17).  Of course, we do not recommend taking up the consumption of absinthe or tobacco to protect yourself from cholera or any other infectious disease.

Trove list - I have created a list of newspapers articles on Trove, connected to and used in this article, access it here.

Sources:
(1) South Bourke and Mornington Journal March 7, 1912, see here.
(2) Dandenong Journal  March 30, 1949, see here.
(3) South Bourke and Mornington Journal July 27, 1910, see here.
(4) South Bourke and Mornington Journal, March 15, 1917, see here.
(5) South Bourke and Mornington Journal, June 8, 1898, see here.
(6) The Argus June 14, 1898, see here.
(7) South Bourke and Mornington Journal, June 8, 1898, see here.
(8) The Argus August 10, 1925, see here.
(9) Weekly Times July 26, 1919, see here.
(10) Dandenong Journal  October 2, 1930, see here.
(11) Dandenong Journal August 26, 1937, see here.
(12) Dandenong Journal  August 19, 1937, see here.
(13) The Age April 9, 1914, see here.
(14) Bunyip Free Press  April 16, 1914 see here.
(15) The Herald  December 11, 1934, see here.
(16) South Bourke and Mornington Journal  November 4, 1885, see here.
(17) South Bourke and Mornington Journal  May 27, 1891, see here.