About this blog

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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lyonville by Eva Weatherhead

Horatio and Eleanor Weatherhead lived at Lyonville, before most of the family moved  to North Tynong in 1909. Eleanor and her youngest child, Eva stayed at Lyonville until Eva finished school around 1914. This letter was written by Eva to Aunt Connie of the Weekly Times and published December 7, 1912.


Weekly Times December 7 1912

Lyonville

Eva Weatherhead, living at Lyonville writes:
Dear Aunt Connie,  I will take for my subject Lyonville. Lyonville is situated on the side of the Dividing Range. The Loddon and Coliban Rivers flow past Lyonville. Not far away there are several mineral springs and the Bullarto reservoir. It supplies Daylesford with water. The reservoir is a nice picnic resort. In Lyonville there are two hotels, two shops, the English and Roman Catholic churches, a hall, two boarding-houses and a school. A great many visitors come here every year to enjoy the mineral water. One of the mineral springs is situated at the bottom of Babington's Hill. It is nice to walk up to the top of the hill. I go to school, and am in the sixth grade. Please may I write again? Age, 11 years. 
(Yes, Eva; write again next month. -  Aunt Connie)

Two Soldier Brothers by Eva Weatherhead

This letter to Aunt Connie of the Weekly Times was written by my Grandma, Eva Rouse (nee Weatherhead) It was published in the Weekly Times on November 6, 1915.  It has an interesting description of the town of Tynong.



Weekly Times November 6, 1915

Two Soldier Brothers


Eva Weatherhead, who lives at Tynong, writes:
Dear Aunt Connie, It is a very long time since I wrote to you. Since then we have shifted from Lyonville, where we formerly lived. Tynong is a small country township situated on the main Gippsland line. In it are two stores, a boarding-house, post office, station, school and some very nice private residences. We live over five miles from Tynong. There are some pretty fern gullies. They are made beautiful by different sorts of ferns and shrubs, with creepers climbing everywhere. Some of the ferns grow to a great height - 30 feet and 35 feet. A very good view can be obtained from the mountains, and on clear days one can easily see the sea. Tynong is on the edge of Kooweerup Swamp. The people around here make a living by farming, dairying, and fruit growing principally. There are many wild flowers out now. Some are very pretty. Kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, foxes, wild dogs, and wombats frequent the bush. We have a pony which I ride and drive. I have two soldier brothers. One is at Seymour and the other at the front. I have three cousins at the front. One was killed, and another wounded. My age is 14 years and 1 month. Please may I write again?
[Yes, Eva. I hope your brothers will come safely home to you all. Aunt Connie.]

The two brothers Eva writes about are Frank and Alf - you can read about them here.

The use of a Sawmill by Eva Weatherhead

This was published in the Weekly Times on January 1, 1916. It was written by my grandma, Eva Rouse (nee Weatherhead) She was the youngest child of Horatio and Eleanor (nee Hunt) Weatherhead.



Weekly Times  January 1, 1916


The use of a  sawmill

Eva E. Weatherhead who lives in Tynong writes:
Dear Aunt Connie - I will take for my subject ' the use of a sawmill'  A sawmill is used for converting logs into  into timber, to be used for building purposes. The trees are cut down in the bush by men, who saw them into the various required lengths. The logs are hauled, by means of a jinker and team of bullocks or horses, or sometimes a traction
engine, to the mill, where they are barked, and made ready to put the saws through. The first saw used is the 'breaking down' saw, which splits the logs into pieces that can be conveniently handled by the sawyer. These pieces are put on to the skids and turned over to the 'running out' saw. This saw, which is usually smaller than the 'breaking down' saw, cuts the pieces into boards, or the timber required. The boards with defective ends have the defects cut off by the docking saw. The timber is then put on a truck, wheeled out, and loaded on to a waggon, or another truck, and taken to its destination by bullocks or horses. The machinery in a sawmill is driven by a steam engine, which burns up all the waste timber. The sawdust is all wheeled away and put in a heap, while the bark off the logs is burnt. My brother, who was in the Seymour camp, was shifted into the 4th F.A. He sailed on November 18. We had a letter from my brother who is at the front. He had narrow escape. A shell landed about nine feet from him, and alongside his mate. The mate was killed, and my brother knocked down and dazed, but not hurt. Thank you, Aunt Connie, for your kind wishes regarding my brothers. T wish 'The Weekly Times" every success. Please may I write again?
[Thank you, dear, for your good wishes. Yes, write again. Aunt Connie.]



This is Eva, aged 14 - taken 1915. 
She was born on August 30, 1901 and she died on February 8, 1982.

Who lived in Koo-Wee-Rup in 1903?

In the last post we looked how lived in Garfield in 1903, now we'll look at who lived in Koo-Wee-Rup. Once again this information is taken from the Commonwealth Rolls, which in 1903 are listed by Polling Place and the Koo-Wee-Rup Roll covers Koo-Wee-Rup and Yallock, the settlement which was based around Finck Road, School Road, Hall Road etc in what is now called Bayles. The rolls tell you the name of the person enrolled; they had to be 21 to enroll, and their occupation. From the roll we can tell who lived in Koo-Wee-Rup and Yallock in 1903.

In 1903 there were 284 people listed on the Roll – 212 from Koo-Wee-Rup and 72 from Yallock, there were 138 women and 146 men.  As you would expect the major occupation was farming – there were 109 farmers, including three women, Elizabeth Fraser of Koo-Wee-Rup and Annie Yeaman and Helen Reitchel both of Yallock. Many farms were only 20 acres, with over half being 40 acres or under. There were also five graziers listed - Charles and William Moody of Koo-Wee-Rup, Henry and John Lyall of Yallock and Henry Beattie also of Yallock. I don’t know what qualified a person to call themselves a grazier – if it was based on acres, then according to the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books, Beattie had 1,193 acres and Charles Moody had 647 acres, however Charles’ brother Christopher had over 1,800 acres and he called himself a farmer, so maybe one branch of the family thought they were more gentrified than the other.


Rossiter Road, 1923

The other occupations give us some insight into the commercial activities in the town at the time – Koo-Wee-Rup had Robert Laidlaw the blacksmith; Patrick Bergin the boot maker; Henry Woodman, the butcher; Michael O’Shea, a carrier; Abraham Choury, the draper; William Kilgour, a gardener; Alfred Wilkson, a saddler; George Dempster, the Station Master and Charles Barbour, a railway employee. There were 20 men who had Labourer listed as an occupation. We also had two teachers - Grace McKenzie and John Minahan. Mrs McKenzie started at the Koo-Wee-Rup State School No. 2629 (then called the Yallock school, out on Bethune’s Road) in 1888 and was there until 1911. Her husband George is listed on the roll as an Engineer. Koo-Wee-Rup had three grocers – Elizabeth O’Riordan, James Rundle and John Sykes.

Of the 138 women listed, 132 had their occupation listed as the all purpose “Home Duties” – including both Helen and Florence Lyall, the daughters of William and Annabella Lyall of Harewood, this is in spite of the fact that they both held land in their own names, Helen had at least 250 acres. The Cranbourne Rate Books has “Lady” as their occupation – which I presume means that they were of independent means and didn’t need to work. The other six women were the three farmers, the grocer Elizabeth O’Riordan, Mrs McKenzie and finally Clara May Allardyce, of Yallock, who was listed as a Governess.

The Electoral Rolls give us an interesting insight into our region and many of the names from 1903 are still remembered in the area by road names or some of their descendents are still around - Bethune, Burhop, Gilchrist, Johnston, Lineham, Lyall, Mickle, Moody, Rossiter, Ware, Woodman etc.

Who lived in Garfield in 1903?

The 1903 Commonwealth Electoral Rolls are listed by Polling Place and the Bunyip Polling Place covers Garfield, Bunyip and Tynong. What the list tells you is the name of the person enrolled and their occupation. I have extracted the Garfield information from this roll (which is available on Ancestry database) and there were 174 people enrolled with Garfield as their address of which 76 are women and 98 are men. You had to be 21 to enrol at that time. So, who did live in Garfield in 1903?


Garfield in 1925. Photograph taken by Frank Weatherhead.

As you would expect, most of the men were engaged in farming activities - there were 48 farmers. Some of these farming families are now remembered in the names of local roads such as Brownbill, Campbell, Archer and Brew. According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books the farms ranged in size from 15 acres to over 400 acres with John Lamble having 454 acres and William Shreeve 434 acres. Other occupations listed included two farm hands, four orchardists - William Ellis, John James, Robert Weir Smith (Junior) and William Weir Smith. Albert and George Marshall are listed as being a Station Manager and a Grazier. According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books they owned 318 acres which doesn’t seem large enough to qualify as a Station.

The occupations also give us some idea of the commercial structure of Garfield in 1903. There were three bakers - George Bird, Thomas Farrington and Charles Magnus; two Blacksmiths - George Park and William Ritchie; two butchers - Charles Routley and William Walker. Charles Lobb is listed as a Draper, George Archer, Russell Perl and Alfred Wild are storekeepers and William Campbell is listed as a Grocers Assistant. George and Thomas Ellis were Produce Merchants, Charles Regester was a Driver; Joseph Rutledge was a saddler, Phillip Knight was an Agent and James Towt was a Contractor. Reflecting the growth in the area at the time there was one builder, Robert Weir Smith (Senior) and three carpenters – Ingebert Gunnulson, Samuel Harvey and Phillip Leeson. Joseph Jefferson is listed as a brick maker and John Jefferson as a wood merchant. To satisfy the grooming needs of Garfield, Percy Malcolm was the hairdresser and John Daly, the School Teacher, took care of educational needs.

There were several unusual occupations – Thomas Chippindall is listed as Crown Lands Bailiff, Joseph Walker is described as being of Independent means, William Hewitt was an old age pensioner and David Brunt is described as a Maltster, which is a beer maker. There were two railway employees - Robert Brewer and Charles Mason.


Garfield State School. The School commenced in 1886 as the Cannibal Creek State School. It changed its name to Garfield in 1887. This building was moved to North Garfield in 1914 and became State School No.3489. 
This photograph is from the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society collection.

What about the women? Of the 76 women all had home duties listed as their occupation, except for Florence Mason, the wife of Charles, who is listed as the Post Mistress. This all purpose description of "Home Duties" would not reflect the real role women played in helping to run the family farm or business. Elizabeth Williamson, listed on the Roll, owned 299 acres so was a major landowner in the area, but her occupation was still listed as "home duties". The Electoral Rolls give us a interesting insight into our region, and we should also appreciate the fact that in 1903 women were eligible to enrol to vote. This didn't happen in England until 1918, when women over 30 got the right to vote (women over 21 got the right to vote in 1929). In the United States women couldn't vote until 1920 and there are still countries in the world where women cannot vote.

In the next post we will look at who lived in Koo-Wee-Rup in 1903.