John, son of Friedrich Wilhelm and Johanna Eleonore (née Hermann) Rechenberg, was born on 26 September 1884 at Geelong.
He married Laura Olive Chapman in 1911. They had the following children:
John Stanley Chapman — born in 1912
Alan Keith — born in 1913
Dulcie Jean — born on 29 November 1914, married Jack Eric Hobbs in 1937, died on 31 July 2012, buried in the lawn section of the Geelong Western Cemetery
Theo Claude — born in 1919 at Geelong, married Jean Corkill McAlpine
John was a thirty one year old labourer when he enlisted for active service. He was wounded in March 1917 and returned to Australia a year later. After the war he leased land in Marshall under the Soldier Settlement Scheme adjacent to Sparrovale.
In March 1923 John received a red polled bull from the private herd of Senator Guthrie who had made six bulls available to returned soldiers settlers to encourage the breeding of good stock.
John was a South Barwon councillor, serving from 1927 until 1933 and from 1936 until 1949. His father, who settled in Grovedale in 1857, was one of the original blacksmiths in the district.
Cr Rechenberg conducted a meeting on Friday 31 May 1946 at St Paul's Sunday School Hall in Grovedale to discuss the possibility of erecting a United Services Memorial Hall at Grovedale. After many discussions it was decided at a meeting held in February 1948, to purchase the North Shore Recreation Hall, and have it erected on land at the Grovedale Recreation Reserve. It was built as a tribute to the men and women of the district who had served their country. They had raised more than £2000 towards the building of the hall. The State Government had granted £1000.
In June 1940 a branch of the Red Cross Society and the Australian Comforts Fund was established in Grovedale. This was the result of a public meeting held at the state school and attended by residents from Grovedale, Marshall and Mount Duneed districts. The meeting was chaired by Cr Rechenberg. The object of the branch was to produce the maximum of war work in the districts.
In March 1923 John received a red polled bull from the private herd of Senator Guthrie who had made six bulls available to returned soldier settlers to encourage the breeding of good stock.
John died on 13 December 1974 at Belmont aged 90 years and was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Laura who had died on 28 July 1954 aged 77 was buried with him.
After returning from WW1, John leased land under the Soldier Settlement Scheme. This land was described as having only a small amount of really good land. The soil varied from a rich black marly loam in the centre of the property, down to a tight cold clay towards the southern end. The northern portion is a red and grey sandy loam. The great variety of soil enabled a fairly wide range of crops to be cultivated. Water is obtained from the Geelong Water Supply Department. The buildings and fencing are just fair to medium. Being old renewal will be necessary before many years. In 1938 land along the Barwon Heads Road was acquired by the Country Roads Board for the purpose of widening the road.
You might ask what are these occupations.
A fellmonger is a dealer in fells or sheepskins, who separates the wool from the pelts. He is the person who prepares the skin prior to leather making. The wool was then scoured. A wool scouring factory might have bought fleeces and then scoured the wool.
A tanner is the person who processes the skins to produce leather.
A currier applies the dressing, and colouring to the tanned hide to make it strong, flexible and waterproof.
Boiling down is the process of rendering fat from animal carcasses to produce tallow. Tallow was used for making soap and candles. It brought the price of old animals up considerably and was a boost to the farmer when animal prices were low.
Glue is produced by the boiling of animal connective tissue.
Bone mills produce fertiliser and glue by processing animal bones.
These industries were an important part of Geelong's economy. Hundreds of men were employed at these factories. At first the river was used to wash the skins. Later they were washed in vats. The area probably smelled like the abattoirs and sale yards at Newmarket in Melbourne which I remember well from my childhood. Maybe it was worse.
A number of streets have names that reflect the activities carried on in the area:
Tanner Street, Leather Street, Currier Street and Fellmongers Road in Breakwater
Woolscour Lane and Tannery Road in Marshall
Some of the owners of factories on the south and west side of the Barwon were (from North):
Charles John Dennys, sold to Samuel Bradley Corrigan
Patrick McDonald and Lawrence Webster, later leased by George Kingsbury and George Connor, later became Corrigans
Charles Frederick Palmer
Joseph and Sharp Brearley
The VFL consisted of six teams (Geelong, Richmond, South Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood and Fitzroy) each playing the other three times. Teams had 18 players and no reserves. Collingwood were premiers and the leading goalkicker was Dick Lee of Collingwood. Richmond took the "wooden spoon". Players were amateurs with players paying their own expenses. Geelong donated profits to war funds.
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
Joseph married Jane Hillard's sister, Margaret, on 25 March 1852 at St James Cathedral, Melbourne. Their children were:
Joseph Henry "Harry" — born 1853, married Mary Elizabeth Gillot on 20 September 1881, died 29 June 1918 at 5 Crimea Street, St Kilda aged 65
Hannah — married Johann Christian Richard Ohiff on 30 May 1881
Rebecca Elizabeth — born 1857, married William James Joseph Gallagher in 1883
Josephine Louisa — born 1859, married Robert Imray on 1 May 1882
Annie Maria — married Conrad Kollmann on 22 December 1889
Victoria — born 1862, married Ernest Castles on 19 May 1885
Robert George Hillard — born 30 June 1864
Margaret "Maggie"— born 1866 at Hawthorn, died 18 November 1901
John Frederick William — born 1868 at Kew
Edna — married Alan Roberts
Alfred — born 1871, died 29 July 1972 at Clifton House, Studley Park, Kew
Joseph was prominent in local sporting organisations and was elected a member of the Geelong Town Council, serving from 1864 until 1966. During the 1880s he left Geelong and moved with his family to Melbourne where he went into the leather business.
Margaret had a severe stroke on 6 June 1885 and died at her residence in Waltham Street, Richmond the next day, aged 53. She was buried in the Church of England section of the Boroondara Cemetery. Joseph died on 24 May 1911 at Balaclava, his daughter Rebecca Gallagher's home, aged 88. He was buried with his late wife.
St Cuthbert's Church of England, built in 1911, was situated between the two cypresses on the Marshall Reserve in Marshalltown Road. It was built beside an old church which had originally been used also as a school. The old church was replaced by a Sunday School in 1922. When the congregation moved to Heyers Road, Grovedale the old church was moved to Cobbin Farm in Grove Road, Grovedale where it is often used for weddings.
A grand meadow fete was held in 1899 to procure funds to renovate the interior of the old church and to build a chancel if possible. By all reports in the Geelong Advertiser the fete was a huge success. A profit of £83 6s 5d was made. In appreciation of the hard work of the ladies, the church committee invited them to a picnic. By 1901 the advertisement for another meadow fete to be held was in aid of the new church building fund. For a number of years, before and after 1911, fetes and tea meetings were held to raise further funds. In 1913 it was a wisteria fete where the interior was decorated with wisteria which gave a dainty and pleasing effect. The new church was dedicated by the Archbishop of Melbourne on 10 June 1911. Councillors and officers of the Shire of South Barwon were invited to attend. In 1916, after the debt on the church had been paid, the proceeds of the fete went towards gas lighting in the church. In 1917 two honour rolls were unveiled. Parishioners, relatives and friends of those whose names were on the boards attended the church for the service on Sunday evening 15 March. There was a parade of the Young Men's Club, whose roll contained 18 names of members who had enlisted.
Until the Marshalltown Post Office was closed on 30 June 1979, it was reputed to be Victoria's smallest post office. At 6 feet 6 inches square it had stood on the Marshall station platform since 1873 until the station closed in 1953. It was then shifted across the road to the front yard of a former Victorian Railways residence that was once the station master's home. Mrs Elsie Taylor, the last post mistress and her husband Angus, who was a foreman at the VR works depot at Spotwswood donated the building to the Bellarine Railway. The little building was taken on a trailer to the Drysdale station on Saturday 19 April, 1980. It was placed on the platform and became the booking office when the tourist railway began operating. In 1989 when a replice station building was completed at Drysdale it was moved to Lakers Siding.
The Geelong Harbor Trust took over the farm of 1077 acres in 1908. The trust's operation of the farm was always subject to criticism, and when the trust was reconstituted in October, 1933 the new commissioners decided to relinquish control of this land. The farm, being a Crown grant, reverted to the Lands Department and was disposed of at a Government land sale. The trust was credited with the amount of the sale, at the upset price of £10,500. On 9 December 1936 this land was sold to WH Bailey of Woodside Buangor. The improvements included a substantial residence.
A clearing sale of bloodstock was held on 1 March 1944 under instructions of WH Bailey and also the trustees of the estate of his father Stephen Bailey, who had died on 18 October 1943 at Suma Park, Queenscliff. Top price paid was for "Much to Say", a brown mare, bought by Mr McMeekin of Geelong for 205 guineas. "Patricia Lorraine", a brown mare, went to Mr PM Darcy of Birregurra for 67 guineas.
In 1955 the property was sold to CO Lorimer for £70,000. In 1964 it was again sold to the Perkins family partnership, Sparrovale Pastoral Company.
It was planned that an area of 3.7 hectares would be acquired for a 22 metre wide drainage channel and a weir with removable drop boards to temporarily drain water from the Armstrong Creek East Precinct until it can be replaced by future wetlands.
It is now thought that a large wetland system to protect against flooding in Armstrong Creek will be needed. This will abut the Ramsar listed wetlands. More than 500 hectares will be required to create the wetland before housing can begin in the "Horshoe Bend" precinct. These wetlands are to be known as Sparrovale.
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