Land in the parish of Barrabool was surveyed in 1839, just two years after the survey of Geelong. The first land sales were held in February 1840. Several allotments were of 600-1000 acres, effectively excluding small farmers. Most were purchased by speculators.
Section 4, originally bought by Benjamin Baxter, was sold to Hon Richard Gilbert Talbot of Ballinclea in 1841. He established a farm close to Waurn Ponds Creek at Raven's Springs (where John Raven had first squatted).
Section 4 was subsequently subdivided and sold in small farms. John Heard purchased 262 acres in the late 1850s. It is assumed that the call for tenders for a sandstone dwelling in the Geelong Advertiser in 1860 was for the Ballinclea homestead. He sold a small area at the north west corner of his land (near the corner of Polleys and Ballanclea Roads) to the Bible Christian church for £5. The foundation stone for the church was laid on 17 November 1856. About 150 people attended and partook of the tea in Heard’s large barn. An evening service followed. The occasion raised £89-90. In 1858 the chapel was the scene of a meeting of the Barrabool Hills Temperance Society. The building was believed to be the site of the first school in the area.
John, son of Devon farmers John Cockram and Elizabeth Banbury (née Cory) Heard, was born in 1813. He emigrated with his brothers, Thomas and Samuel, sister Elizabeth Crouch and her husband John. They sailed on the William Bentick, arriving in Victoria in August 1844. John was a pioneer of efficient farming and improved tools. He married Elizabeth Heard on 18 April 1844. They had the following children:
John Thomas Cory — born in 1846 at Melbourne, married Sarah Ann Carpenter Bromell on 2 April 1874 at the home of her father, Hensley Park near Hamilton, died on 4 September 1895 aged 49 years at Horsham
Francis Richard — born in 1849 in Melbourne, married Margaret Anderson on 13 November 1878 at Merrawarp in Echuca, the home of her brother
Samuel Arscott — born in February 1854, married Regina Tryphena Grills on 14 November 1901 at the Wesleyan Church at Coghills Creek, died on 30 April 1905 aged 51 years at Barrabool Hills, buried in the Methodist section of the Highton Cemetery
Louisa Ann — born in 1857 in Geelong, died on 29 April 1873 aged 16 at Ballinclea
Emily Jane — born in 1858 at Barrabool Hills, died on 27 May 1873 aged 14 at Ballinclea
William Henry — born on 24 April 1860 at Barrabool Hills
Henrietta Catherine — born on 3 February 1862 at Barrabool Hills, married Joseph Grills in 1895, died 12 April 1936 aged 73 at Ballarat, buried at Coghills Creek Cemetery
Albert Nathaniel — born in 1865 at Barrabool Hills, married Emily McKim in 1897, died in 1927 at Geelong
Sarah Elizabeth — married John Sundercombe on 13 October 1874 at Ballinclea
In March 1870 a sale of stock and farming implements was held as John was intending to lease part of his farm and use the remainder for grazing purposes. In 1875 John sold 259 acres on the north east corner of Hendy Main and Colac Roads and stretching north to Waurn Ponds Creek. This farm had been leased by John Argus. In 1878 he bought Roslyn in Highton.
John and Elizabeth celebrated their golden wedding anniversary a few months before Elizabeth, aged 72, died on 13 October 1894. John died on 23 June 1899 at Ballinclea and was buried in the Methodist section of the Highton Cemetery with Elizabeth. After John died the farm was run by sons, Samuel Arscott and Albert Nathaniel, until Samuel's death in 1905 and 1911 when Albert retired. On 29 March 1911 Albert auctioned horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and farm plant as he had leased Ballinclea.
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