This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator. Heather Arnold.
The Cora Lynn was opened in 1907 by George Petrie Murdoch Junior. As we saw in the last post George and his father, George Senior, were some of the earliest owners of township allotments in Cora Lynn. Murdoch operated the store until 1922 when Alex Chisholm took over. Chisholm was there until 1927 when the Dillon family took over the store and operated it for decades. It closed 1999.
Cora Lynn store, c.1910. Peter Corcoran standing in front with bicycle.
(Photograph from the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society collection)
Cora Lynn township plan. This shows the original township allotments and the first owner of the allotments after the Government land sales. In Section T some of the sales must have taken place in 1904 as Allotments 14a to 14c have a purchase date of June 28, 1904. Land sales were generally advertisedin the newspapers and I have found this report in the Argus of October 5, 1909 with Allotments 10b, 10d and 10f of Section T for sale - each about half an acre. According to the Plan, above, George Petrie Murdoch Senior and Junior purchased this land and the other adjoining allotments. George Junior also operated the Cora Lynn store.
This is from a report, in the South Bourke and |Mornington Journal, 100 years ago this week, of the Berwick Shire Council Meeting held on Saturday, January 11 1913 and refers to applications to make Ice Cream at Garfield and Bunyip.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal January 16, 1913 page 5.
In the 1914 Electoral Roll, Catherine Louch was listed as the Newsagent at Garfield. Margaret Bell of Bunyip is listed as a 'Confectioner'. Commercial production of ice cream was relatively new in Australia. According to the book Cream of the Country: a history of Victorian dairying by Norman Godbold (Dairy Industry Association of Australia, 1989) ice cream became popular around 1910 and there were many manufacturers. They originally used custard in the ice cream but this was revoluntionised by Fred Peters, an American, who had arrived in Sydney in 1908 with his mother's ice cream recipe which used only pure dairy products. It took Peters four year to accumulate enough money to go into the ice cream business and when he did in 1912 the demand for his 'American' style ice cream was amazing. Peters Ice Cream is now part of Nestles.
I don't know how successful the new ice cream making ventures of Catherine and Margaret were, however in the 1919 Electoral roll Catherine is still listed as the Newsagent, but in the 1924 Electoral roll there is a Catherine Louch listed in the St Kilda area and her occupation is listed a 'Confectioner', so it seems likely that her career started in Garfield. You can read more about Margaret here.
The Cheese Factory at Cora Lynn is a prominent landmark, and as you can see by the date on the factory, it was established in 1910. This photograph was taken in 1998 and it has since been refurbished. I have tried to find out the exact date of the opening, but can only conclude from the following newspaper reports that it was either December 1910 or January 1911. The factory was extended in the 1930s and in 1932 had around 500 regular suppliers, however it was closed in the late 1940s.