5 October 2017 at Mount Duneed Hall
The old bluestone school at Modewarre is just up the Cape Otway Road near the corner of Considines Road. On the opposite corner of Considines and Batsons Roads Henry Lawrence operated a store and post office from 1861 which he upgraded in bluestone in 1864. The store was replaced by Lawrence's son, George, in about 1900, after the earlier building had been destroyed by fire in 1899. This building survives at Modewarre today.
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.
In 1853 the Act for Making and Improving Roads initiated the beginning of road boards. One of the earliest road boards was the Barrabool Road District which began in 1853. These organisations were the earliest form of local government. Tolls were collected to maintain and build roads and bridges at gates set up at well used sites.
Toll gates were:
Duneed Toll Gate, Main Colac Road
Duneed Toll Gate, Loutit Bay Road
Duneed Toll Gate, Duneed Creek Road
Modewarre Toll Gate, Main Colac Road
Kardinia Toll Gate, Barrabool Hill Road
East Duneed Toll Gate, Germantown Road
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.
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History