Our first meeting for the year is on Thursday 13 February 2020. The speaker will be Dirleen Bufton whose ancestors came from Europe and settled at Bellbrae and Freshwater Creek. She will tell of their journey to this district, the reasons why they left their homeland and their struggles in this new world.
Dirleen has documented her family history in the book Hardworking and Honest: The Seifferts of Freshwater Creek, Victoria.
The Dee family of Germantown & Thompsons Ck (now Grovedale & Freshwater Ck)
A report in the Geelong Advertiser of a meeting held on Saturday 6 March 1909, details problems faced by farmers in developing areas. The issues of roads, schools and rabbits were common to most districts. Children were not picked up at the school gate and if no horse was available it was a long and tedious journey each day. A horse paddock was usually available at the school and children rode bareback often two or three on each pony. The progress association quickly got results. The phone was connected from Ravenswood to Grassdale by November. The Paraparap School, erected on land donated by Deppeler brothers on the south west corner of Hendy Main Road and Hunts Road, opened on 12 December, with Ralph Heaton as school master. Messrs Purnell, Deppeler, McPhee, Seward and Kilby lent horses and assisted with moving the school building from 58 Villamanta Street, Geelong West. It had previously been used as a schoolhouse by Mr GF Hutton. An added bonus was the use of the school building for Methodist Church services on Sundays and the establishment of a post office. In 1940 only five pupils attended the school and as Mount Duneed only had three, school was part time, sharing a teacher. The school closed on 9 November 1951. Roads in the area were gradually improved. Of course they didn't make much progress with the rabbit problem.
In 1848 David Hill Dow sailed to the Geelong districton on the Aurora, bringing with him his wife Agnes née Lamont, and three sons, John Lamont (11 years), Robert (7 years) and Thomas Kirkland (a baby) and daughter Agnes (9 years) . He became a station overseer and a Barrabool shire councillor from 1867 to 1870. He acquired what had been Hindhaugh's "Forest Station".
Son, John Lamont Dow was born on 8 December 1837 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. He became minister of lands, agriculture and mines in the 1886-90 Gillies-Deakin coalition. He was responsible for the introduction of land tax. He married Marion Jane Orr in 1869 and had three sons and five daughters. The eldest, David McKenzie Dow (1870-1953) was official secretary for Australia in America in 1924-31 and acting commissioner-general in 1931-38. He died in Melbourne on 16 July 1923. Further reading http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dow-john-lamont-3433
Son, Thomas Kirkland Dow was born on 4 July 1848 at Glasgow. He was an agricultural journalist working for the Leader and the Australasian after teaching in a state school near Ballarat for many years. He went overseas for the Age in 1898. He married Margaret Campbell née Keith, daughter of Andrew and Euphemia Keith of Freshwater Creek.. They had two sons and three daughters. He died at Tresco on 2 March 1918.
Son Robert who was born about 1841 died on 27 September 1866 and is buried at the Mount Duneed Cemetery. His mother Agnes Lamont Dow who died on 31 December 1874 is buried with him.
After the death of his wife David Dow left the district to take up a position as a station manager at Great Western, near Stawell. He married Barbara Stewart Marshall and had two more sons. After her death he married Agnes Hodge who was his widow after he died.
The Australian House Museum began in the late 1970s using the vacant land in front of Deakin University at Waurn Ponds. Buildings were arranged in a row in a street named “Common Place”. This project resulted in many buildings being classified and preserved that would have otherwise been demolished. This project ceased as a result of high maintenance of the houses and the need for the land to be used for other purposes. Frank Campbell gathered historic buildings at the campus between 1979 and 1992.
The Freshwater Creek School and residence provided office space and an area for a small artefact museum. These buildings were used by Deakin as a valuable part of Australian Studies. It was planned for other humanities courses and possibly social science ones to use this resource for teaching purposes in the future.
86 Skene Street, Newtown "Hawker's Cottage"
Built in 1854 as a two roomed house, it expanded to three, then four rooms. The detached kitchen was built in 1886. Kitchens began as outdoor fires with rudimentary shelter. They were detached by law for reasons of fire, tradition and hygiene.
Disease was thought to be caused by smells and vapours and drainage usually ended in a cesspit. The kitchen seemed to be designed to create a room for a servant.
After the museum closed this cottage was considered beyond repair and was demolished.
26 Lupton Street, Geelong West "Bromley's Cottage"
This tiny house by our standards housed twelve people in the Bromley family who lived there from 1862 to 1862 in a space 18 feet by 18 feet. Edward Thomas Bromley was transported to Port Phillip Colony at the age of 14 in 1847. His wife was the widow of his business partner, John Sherry. Sherry's family probably lived in the cottage too.
The floor in the front two rooms was originally made from packing cases. As was common at the time the internal walls were lined with hessian and covered with wallpaper to keep out the drafts. It had timber shingles under the corrugated iron roof.
It was relocated to Sun Street, Moolap before being included in the museum in 1984. After the museum closed this cottage was considered beyond repair and was demolished.
69 Fyans Street, Chilwell "Herd's House"
This is a lower middle class house built before the 1892 depression. The cast iron lacework is Indian inspired. The Herds were painters, decorators and plumbers.
In 2004 this house was relocated to 122 High Street, Drysdale.
13 McNicol Street, Geelong West "Werner's House"
This building is presumed to have been two separate one roomed miners cottages built about 1855 and relocated from the goldfields. The two dwellings were combined and divided into rooms to form a four roomed house about 1865.
Originally the cottages had no ceilings or walls. These were added by Jacob Werner after he moved in. He was a German musician, who settle in Geelong and became a painter and decorator. Originally the roof was covered in whitewashed timber shingles. This house may have been relocated in central Victoria.
22 Coronation Street, Geelong West "Arthur's house"
This 1854 prefabricated house in Geelong West was recommended by the Geelong West City Council for inclusion in the project at Deakin University to allow the site in Coronation Street to be redeveloped. When the house was at this site the front of the house was on the boundary with the front doorstep on the footpath. The house is considered to be of architectural significance and as such was protected under the Geelong Regional Commission's Interim Development Order. Developers planned to donate the house and contribute $500 towards the cost of its removal.
The house was a rare example of a prefabricated timber house believed to have been built in Singapore in 1853 to help meet a housing demand caused by Victoria's gold rushes. Factories set up by the British in Singapore employed Chinese craftsmen making thousands of houses to meet the demand. Alexander Fyfe who built Hillside in Williams Road, Mount Duneed imported many of these houses.
When the museum was being wound up Arthur's House hit the road again for its new home facing a tree-lined park in 21 Brewongle Avenue, Hamlyn Heights.
The Winchelsea Goods Shed
The shed which originated at Winchelsea on the Geelong-Warrnambool line is similar to many others. A similar shed was once at Birregurra on the same line. Built in 1876 it came to the museum in 1987 and was used to store recyclable building materials. After the project closed the shed was moved to the Muckleford station on the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
It is available for hire for parties or for corporate events as well as Victorian Goldfields Railway training and general activities.
Police Lock-up, East Street, Inverleigh
This lock-up, which was erected in 1888, is very secure as it has a steel cage concealed under the timber. Almost 200 of these were installed throughout Victoria at small police stations. They were used from the 1870s until the 1960s. They were cold in winter and hot in summer. They were mainly used to hold drunks overnight. The policeman's wife had to supply meals.
When the museum closed it was returned to Lawsons Park, East Cambridge Street, Inverleigh.
Natimuk Open-Air Pavilion School
Natimuk Open Air Pavilion School was constructed by the Public Works Department in 1914 as an open air classrom at the Natimuk State School. It was the only building in the museum not to have originated in the Geelong area and was moved to the museum in 1988. The room held up to 48 children. Three sides had canvas shutters fitted above three feet. Forty four of these classrooms were built between 1911 and 1914 in the hope of creating a healthier environment at a time when Tuberculosis was at plague proportions. These classrooms were unpopular with teachers in the winter.
The room was returned to 28 Noradjuha Road, Natimuk, in the grounds of the Natimuk School in 2002.
The Freshwater Creek State School
The local Freshwater Creek community contacted the museum to suggest that their school be moved to the Waurn Ponds site, as they felt it was doomed by eventual road widening. The building comprises a teacher's residence and a schoolroom with a capacity of 60 children.
After demolition of chimneys the bricks were moved to the university. A large front room added in the 1950s was also removed. The roof was cut off as the gothic style school was too high to travel in one piece. It was then moved in two sections. After relocation the building has been fully renovated.
The three two metre finials on the gables had to be remade, a new verandah, new rear porch and balconies and walkways constructed.
Most schools of the 19th century have been well researched and the design of original features could be taken from this knowledge and by research from the people of Freshwater Creek.
This type of school and residence was designed by the government architect, based on traditional designs which evolved slowly in the 19th century. The schools were built in a set of standard sizes. The teacher's residence has two bedrooms, built in an era when five or more children per family was usual. The schoolroom was heated by an open fire.
After the museum closed the school was returned to its original site. In 1994 the school was once again on the move, this time because of the merging of Freshwater Creek, Connewarre and Mount Duneed State Schools. The school is now in the grounds of Mount Duneed Regional Primary School and is used as a classroom.
He was also engineer at the Borough of Newtown and Chilwell for 25 years and while there he designed the Newtown Fire Station in Pakington Street. The station, which had a bell tower 40 feet high, was opened on 27 September 1884. To celebrate the opening of the new station, a dinner was held. He also designed the Prince Albert Bridge which crossed the Barwon River at the end of Shannon Avenue. The bridge was opened on 31 May 1889 at a final cost of £2,600 to which the government contributed £1,000. It had a span of 240 feet and piles 64 feet in length were driven deep into the river bed. At the opening the contractor, JW Tait of Western Australia, stated "The bridge is of sound timber and will last fully half a century." The bridge lasted until 1959 when repairs became necessary to prolong its life. In 1965 the road was re routed to less flood prone land and a new bridge was built 220 yards upstream. The Country Roads Board bore 80% of the cost and the two councils 10% each.
He was a committee member of the Geelong Permanent Investment and Benefit Building Society which began in 1867.
He died on 27 July 1890 at the age of 62 and is buried in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. At the time of his death he owned two small farms at Germantown. These were sold in 1902. One of nearly 41 acres, was sold to Mr Andressen for £19/5/- per acre. The second, which comprised 18 acres, was purchased by Mr O Renzow for £21/15/- per acre.
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.
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