Albert Benari ran the Germantown Hotel for 27 years until his death on 27 May 1886. He was postmaster of Germantown probably from the time the post office opened in January 1860 until his death. He was mayor of the Borough of South Barwon from 1866 to 1867 and a councillor of the municipality of South Barown from 1861 to 1875.
In 1858 he married Bridget Hackett.
Albert and Bridget had 7 children:
Albert (born 1859)
Joseph (born 1859)
Fanny (born 1862)
Charles (born about 1864)
Philip (born 1865)
Ida (born 1868)
In 1869 Albert and Bridget separated. Bridget died in 1896 in Geelong Hospital and was buried in an unknown location in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
The Germantown Hotel was situated on 1 acre of land in Germantown (Torquay) Road. It was a 20 roomed wooden building with slate roof and a wooden store with two rooms at the back. By the time of Benari's death the furniture, which had been in use for 27 years, was described as dilapidated and worn. The hotel had been auctioned in 1882. Bidding did not go beyond £500.
When he died at the age of 66 at his home he left an estate of £1273 to his children. He was buried at the Germantown Lutheran Cemetery.
The hotel was a centre of community activity with meetings, political speakers and inquests often being held.
Some of the items sold at the general store were saddlery, furniture, manchester, crockery, hardware, groceries, tobacco, clothing and underware.
Properties in the estate of the late Albert Benari were sold in 1866. Frederick Baensch bought the hotel. An allotment of 4 acres 3 roods was sold to Robert Smith Tuffs.
In September 1872 at a local land board sitting the following applied for land near the old Victoria Inn:
Joseph Asplin — 7 acres
David Davies — 20 acres
Louis Mermod — 12 acres
James Neale — 5 acres
Objections were raised by Messrs Hanson, Miller and JH Sleator concerned that such valuable land was being sold too cheaply. The board decided to recommend that the land be sold by auction in 5 acre lots. In 1873 a number of small sites were advertised for selection.
At the local land board held in Geelong on Friday 4 April, 1873 a number of applications were lodged for rural store licenses for 3 acre sites. These applicants were expected to improve the land before they could claim ownership. They were sold for £10 per acre, a lower price than earlier expected. Many of these blocks were sold within the next few years.
The Victoria Inn was situated north of Waurn Ponds Creek almost opposite Lemins Road. Charles Rowand (abt 1825-1908) arrived in Geelong on the Travancore in 1849. He bought 9 acres in Waurn Ponds and 27 acres in Mount Duneed where he planted 4 acres of vines. He served one term on the Barrabool Road Board in 1861. He became Government Engineer of the Ballarat and Western District. At the time of his death he was the oldest road engineer living in Victoria. Frederick Imer (1836-1907) established a vineyard on 10 acres to the west of Charles Rowand.
Waurn Ponds grew around a pub. In March 1840, 968 acres on the Barrabool side of Waurn Ponds Creek was sold to Captain John Eddington, who had arrived in Australia with his family the previous year. Initially they settled near the Loddon River where the town of Eddington is today. The following year he established the Ballangeich run between Warrnambool and Mortlake.
This land, which has access from Colac Road, was sold to Henry "Money" Miller who built a small stone house on it in 1846 which was let to Martin Priest. Priest was granted the first license for the inn in April 1846. He also ran the Shamrock Inn on the corner of Malop and Yarra Streets, then called North Geelong. In July 1848, on leaving the Shamrock Inn, he took over the license of Mr O'Hara's house at Batesford. He advertised this business as Marrabool Inn. He also announced he had a new and secure yard on his premises which could contain upwards of three hundred head of cattle.
In 1847 Harry Hooton took over the inn. In April 1849 Hooton was granted a license conditional on the erection of extra accommodation. If not completed in two months the license would lapse.
Early maps show a road to Colac following the creek to Mount Moriac. This gave the Victoria Inn, situated on the northern bank a good position to catch the passing traffic. The Inn took its name from Hon Henry Miller's Victoria Estate. During the short time the Victoria Inn was operating it was the district meeting place on many occasions for discussing the roads, bridges and tolls, among other local concerns. In 1855 blocks of land on the south side of the creek in Waurn Ponds were auctioned.
In November 1849 Robert Tweedy opened the inn in a new stone building. He had previously held the license for the Hibernian Hotel in South Geelong. On 10th August 1852 Tweedy, aged 38 years, died after "a long and distressing affliction." His funeral took place at the Bridge Inn, South Geelong. The following year his widow, Ann Jane née Irwin, applied for the license. Robert (from Northumberland) and Ann (from Armagh) came to Australia separately in 1841 as bounty emigrants on the George Fyfe. They married the same year. After Robert's death she married Thomas Fitzgibbon and they kept the inn going until 1858, the year they both died.
Esther, widow of Martin Priest applied for the license in 1859.
In 1860 George Marsh applied for a license to run the inn, but failed to obtain it, probably because he failed to appear in court. He was insolvent and his hotel and household goods were sold.
After this the inn became a private residence. In 1861 the farm was leased to Bankin brothers.
It became known as Victoria Heights when it was occupied by the family of Robert Shaw Hunt and his wife Harriet nee Bone from the 1890s until his death in 1845. In 1902 their two year old daughter Vera drowned in Waurn Ponds Creek.
In 1874 Louis Mermod had his colonial wine licence transferred from his Pettavel store to Waurn Ponds where he held a rural store license. His land was near the corner of Cochranes Road and Colac Road, now named Waurn Ponds Drive. This venture was probably not successful as he was trying to sell his rural store site by late 1875. He subsequently appears to have moved to Korong Vale. The block on the corner marked "camping" is now Waurn Ponds Memorial Reserve. The reserve is maintained by a local committee to commemorate local residents who served in World War 1.
Clifford had a blacksmith, hotel, church/school, post office and store.
It took its name from Lawrence Trewin’s Clifford farm on the corner of Colac, Devon and Cape Otway Roads. He moved to Echuca in 1875.
A store was run by Herbert Cotton, who also ran a licensed store and hotel in Russell Street, Chilwell. He married Elizabeth Trewin in 1862 and had 9 talented children who entertained with singing and dancing and playing two violins, a cornet, a piccolo and a piano.
Stephen Sleator was the next licensee. He also ran the Argyle hotel on the corner of Aberdeen and Coronation Streets. He also ran the store at Clifford. He moved to the Wimmera in 1876.
Trewin then called tenders for the lease of the store and hotel for three to five years. James Gorell, who owned a business at 517 Moorabool Street, South Geelong, was the successful tenderer. The hotel was destroyed by fire in May 1877. Although both Trewin and Gorell were insured, the hotel did not re open, probably because of the declining population in this area. Subsequent generations of the Gorell family have been successful businessmen in Geelong.
The post office, originally named Amblerton opened on 17 September 1868, was renamed Clifford on 1 October 1868 and closed on 28 May 1877.
A blacksmith, John Murray, operated in the early 1870s. His advertisements appeared in the Geelong advertiser from 1871-74.
A Church of England school was established on 15 August, 1853, with John A Boyd as its first teacher and an attendance of 21. Its name was Colac Road but was changed in 1856 to Duneed. It became Common School No 187 in 1869 when it had 42 pupils. The name was changed again in 1871 to Clifford. It closed on 18 August, 1875. Arthur Streeton's father, Charles, was school teacher at this school from 1 August 1865 to 13 June 1869. Arthur was born at the school house.
The many motorists who drive towards Mount Moriac on the Princes Highway would probably not guess that a settlement near the corner of Cape Otway Road and Devon Roads was a very busy little centre in the nineteenth century. The long climb up the hill from Waurn Ponds made a natural spot for weary travellers and their horses to take a rest. Numerous wagons and vehicles obstructing the road outside the Clifford Hotel drew the attention of the Moriac police who were eager to get rid of "this nuisance".
Further down Cape Otway Road a Wesleyan church at Wellington was active for about fifty years.
To the east a number of buildings in Pettavel Road bore the name Pettavel including a railway station, which was a great asset to the district, a school and a church.
The church had been used as a hayshed before an arsonist set it alight on 19th December 1972. The fire could not be extinguished without dismantling the building. This took all day. The police kept watch and late in the day the culprit turned up and was apprehended.
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