James Noble, eldest son of William and Jane (née Gray) Noble, was born in 1821 in County Tyrone, Ireland. He was the first of his family to arrive in the colony in 1840 at the age of 19 on the ship Ferguson. He initially set up business as a grocer. He was followed to the colony by his brothers John and William and sister Mary Jane in 1848. Two other brothers, George and Charles, and his father William came later. His mother died in County Tyrone, Ireland on 29 April 1855. Two sisters did not emigrate. He invested in vast amounts of real estate in the Geelong district and other areas as they were opened up for farming. He also had many business interests.
When Ewing Blyth was 21 in 1853, he left Norwich England to come to Australia on the Earl of Charlemont. His name on the passenger list was Ewing Bligh. He had been accused of shooting the squire's bullock and was in fear of being deported as a convict. He had allowed his name to be incorrectly used so his whereabouts could not be easily traced. After the ship was wrecked, he repeated this event by shooting a bullock to feed the survivors off the ship. This beast belonged to James Tait who had settled at Tait's Point on Lake Connewarre and who later became his father-in-law.
Ewing Blyth gained work in the district and two years later married Agnes, the 16 year old daughter of James Tait. They spent all their lives living in Lake Road on the banks of the Barwon River. Their family of five boys and 5 girls were:
James Tait Blyth — born 1860 in Connewarre, died 1942 in Preston
Frances Blyth — born 1862, married William Spencer 1888, died 1940 Geelong
Ellen Blyth — born 29 October 1864 in Connewarre, married John Elijah Kempton 1888, died 19 May 1953 Geelong
Benjamin Blyth — born 1 April 1867, married Ann Ford 1895, died 24 November 1918
Ewing John Blyth — born 1869, married Emma Isabella Taylor 1905, died 26 October 1951
Robert Ewing Blyth — born 1872, married Elisabeth Ann Martin Cameron 1896, died 1949
Mary Ann Blyth — born 1874, married John Ford 1897, died 1945
Bessie Blyth — born 1877 at Mount Duneed, died 1898
Agnes Blyth — born 1879 at Mount Duneed, married Charles Marriott Burt, died 24 November 1952
Annie Blyth — born 1882 at Mount Duneed, died 22 May 1914 at Geelong
Alexander Tait Blyth — born 1884 in Mount Duneed, married Esther Hannah Challis in 1910, died 1970 in Connewarre
He was a South Barwon Shire councillor serving from 1874 until 1875.
Agnes died on 25 February 1920 and is buried in the Church of England section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Ewing died on 1 June 1925 and is buried with her. Their daughter Annie who died on 22 May 1914 is buried with them. Ewing Blyth Drive, a road which runs south from the Barwon Heads Hotel, is named after him. Many of their descendants still live in the district.
Six of these blocks purchased by William Batten have a frontage to Boundary Road, four have a frontage to Batten Road and two have Barwon Heads Road running through them. When he died he owned four farms in the Parish of Connewarre which were mentioned in his will by the names Robert's Farm (leased to M Muller), Hill's Farm (leased to Thomas Cadwallader), Munro's Farm (leased to John Bogan) and Mount Batten (leased to M O'Dea). He owned other blocks in Marnock Vale, Newtown and Geelong.
Four blocks in section I on the corner of Brearleys Lane, Sparrovale and Tannery Roads, Marshall were purchased from the crown on 23 July, 1855 by William Roberts Batten
Hillside is a single storey homestead built of basalt with a slate roof. It was substantially altered by the addition of an early 20th Century art nouveau style veranda.
Alexander Fyfe erected Hillside in 1862. The land was originally taken up by him in 1855 and was intended to be a two storied home. After the ground floor was completed, Captain Fyfe chartered a ship to bring decorative temple stones from Burma for the second storey. The ship was lost at sea and the captain was unable to complete his home. He died on 8 May 1903 at the age of 76. He arrived in Australia with his wife in 1848 on the ship Stag. All of their ten children survived. He was a very prominent public figure in the early days of Victoria and Queensland, having been elected to the first Legislative Council for Geelong in the middle fifties at the early age of 24 years. He was the first person to open up a foreign trade between Geelong and the East Indies, having as many as five sailing vessels trading between these places. Migrating to Queensland in 1861 he took over a large squatting property. In 1868 he was elected to represent Rockhampton, and held the seat until 1874, when he returned to Victoria.
James Henty then purchased the house, adding the land to his holdings nearby and used it as a country holiday home for a few years.
James Stewart tendered for a four year lease of 682 acres for the years 1875-1879.
Andrew White arrived in Australia in 1853 with wife Emily aboard the James L Bogert. He ran livery stables in Geelong which were well established by 1856. Emily died in 1861. His second wife Jane died in 1871. He had large land holdings in Connewarre. He purchased Hillside in 1878 and moved from Stretton Park with his family soon after. He became a councillor in the Barrabool Shire in 1878 and served until 1886. In July 1885 he was appointed a justice of the peace. He was also a South Barwon Shire councillor and served for ten years between 1878 and 1899 with several terms as president (1878-1879, 1885-1887, 1889, 1894, 1895-1896 and 1898-1899). He died intestate on 28 May 1900 in his 72nd year. His estate was valued at £51,147. His children at this time were:
Alfred Gilbert White of Hillside Mount Duneed
Emily Ann McGregor of Morangarell, NSW
Henrietta Jane Whitelaw of Fitzroy Street, Geelong
Adeline Charlotte Collins of Prospect Road, Newtown
Laura Amelia Richardson of Pevensey Crescent, Geelong
His third son Alfred Gilbert (1868-19 January 1946) purchased Hillside from his father's estate in 1900 and lived there until his death. He was a former pupil of Mount Duneed School from 1878 until 1880. He was the municipal clerk at South Barwon Shire from 1894-1900, and served on the South Barwon Council for 46 years from 1900 until his death on 19 January 1946 being president for the following terms — 1903-1904, 1906-1907, 1921-1922 and 1931-1933. He married Elizabeth Orchard Matthews. His children were Mildred Bessie (born 1895), Constance (born 1897), Ruth Audry (born 1899) Douglas Alfred (born 1900), Noel Stretton (born 1902) and John Wilfred (born 1907).
The prefabricated iron cottage, shown above, at Summerhill, 155 Mount Duneed Road, Mount Duneed is a rare example of a two room prefabricated iron cottage. It measures 24' x 12' in plan and is 9.5' high to the top of the segmental arched roof. The roof and walls are of 5" corrugated iron, with no supporting frame. The prefabricated iron cottage is of scientific, historic, social and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It is notable because it demonstrates British technical accomplishment in the history of prefabricated building construction. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register number H1131.
Mr and Mrs Joseph Williams and their two sons George and James with their niece Elizabeth Frear arrived in Melbourne by sailing ship 'Lochiel' in 1853. They erected the cottage in 1854. They lived in the iron cottage with its rounded roof, until a weatherboard house consisting of four rooms was erected in 1860 with further additions in the 1870s. Joseph Williams was a South Barwon Shire councillor from 1860 until 1861. He was looked after at Summer Hill by his son for 21 years prior to his death on 13 Jun 1892. His wife Hannah was the daughter of Captain Joseph Wilson. She died on 19 December 1863. They are both buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
George Williams was the oldest resident of the district, when he passed away on 4 November 1919 at Summer Hill. Born in Liverpool in 1836 he had resided at Mount Duneed since coming to Australia with the exception of ten years, which were spent in Melbourne working for the Geological Department. For many years he was engineer and secretary for the Shire of Barrabool. He was a Barrabool Shire councillor serving from 1870 until 1872. He was active in church affairs as a trustee, class leader and steward of the Methodist churches of South Melbourne and Mount Duneed. He left a grown-up family of two sons and three daughters. His wife Elizabeth née Frear pre-deceased him by 19 months. They are buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
The stone shed (in the picture below) and stone wall (surrounding the south side of the house), was also built in the 1860s. Mr GWF McIntyre purchased this property and Mr and Mrs S Seiffert, with their two sons Lindsay and Murray, were the tenants for many years.
On 6 September 1865 his son Robert Johnston Tuffs drowned at the age of 16.
Another son, John Robert Tuffs born in 1866 at Grovedale, was the second engineer of the Shire of South Barwon from September 1890 to 1915 and the engineer of the Borough of Newtown and Chilwell from 1900 to 1921. He had wide experience at other shires. Living at Leigh Creek he became secretary and engineer of the Bungaree Shire Council about four years prior to his death on 12 August 1942.
He died while driving his car to Melbourne when he was overcome by a heart attack. He lost control of the car, which crashed through a fence and fell over a 20 foot embankment. The mishap occurred within three of four miles of Bacchus Marsh on the Ballarat side, in the vicinity of the Pentland hills. He left a widow and two daughters. He was buried at the Ballarat Cemetery.
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History