Nicholas, son of John and Johanna (née Darcy) Ervin, was born in 1837 at Kilmoylar, Tipperary in Ireland. He married Ann Daffy (née Pardy) on 27 February 1862 at Duneed (#591). They had the following children:
John James — born about 1863
Nicholas — born 1865, died 25 June 1895 at the Geelong Hospital of Phthisis aged 30, buried at Mount Moriac Cemetery
Thomas Joseph — born in 1868, married Elizabeth Margaret (Bessie) Buckley in 1904, died on 20 November 1947 at Mount Moriac, buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery with Elizabeth who died in 1972 at Newtown (Geelong) aged 90
Mary Ann — born on 12 January 1866 at Pyramid Hill, married John Simpson Tilley in 1892, died on 24 November 1891, buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery
Daniel Edward — born in 1867, married Catherine Eliza Downes in 1895, died on 1 October 1918 at Mount Moriac aged 50, buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery. The cortege comprised the hearse, two landau carriages, 98 conveyances, 8 motor cars and 28 horsemen. The procession was a mile long.
Margaret Ellen — born in 1871, died in 1891 at Mount Moriac, buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery
Nicholas died on 29 March 1883 aged 46 and was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery.
Thomas Ervin was a Barrabool Shire councillor from 1914 for 25 yeaars. Thomas and his brother Daniel bought the Mount Moriac Hotel and hall diagonally opposite.
Nicholas' sons, Daniel and Thomas, became proprietors of the Mount Moriac Hotel. They carried on farming at first. They also acquired the land diagonally across the junction of Colac and Hendy Main Roads, on which they built a hall, after enlarging and renovating the hotel. This hall was used for public purposes until it burned down in 1962, but remained part of the hotel property for many years. After many accidents caused by runaway vehicles it was decided to build a new hall at the Recreation Reserve.
After Daniel's death in 1918, his wife and son, Winter, who died 1964, conducted the hotel for a long period.
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.
A Presbyterian school which opened in 1856 on the north east corner of Mount Duneed and Pettavel Roads had 31 pupils by 1858. It was originally named Duneed with William Savage as head teacher. A stone church was later built on the Mount Duneed Road site by the Presbyterians. — J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria
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.
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