7 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections
The History of Portland ---x---- [By Frank Whitcombe, in the "Weekly Times."] (Continued.) Mrs. S. G. Henty, the first white woman in Victoria, was born at Stokesby, Yorkshire, on February 8th, 1817, and married S.J.H. at Frenmantle, W.A., on April 14th, '36. When Captain Fyans took charge of the Portland district in 1837 he estimated the number of aborigines at 3,000, and held that some of the inns were kept by landlords whose sole object was to take down the wayfarer. His picture, no doubt highly colored, was that of an ill looking ruffian surrounded by half a dozen idle, drunken men--the stable keeper always sticking close to his master to swear by him right or wrong for a nobbler. Fights were the order of the day, and mine host generally sported a black eye. The company in the hut doing service as a hostelry would be singing or riot- ing in the intervals of horse-racing for saddles and bridles, and betting on cock-lights. These inns (the house built for £30) would change hands for their goodwill at £800 to £1500 in cash, to be recovered by the ingoing shanty owner from the shepherd with his cheque for two years' wages in consideration of board, lodging and entertainment lasting over, say, five days, until his final stirrup cup of a bottle of rum to help him along, the road home again. Edward Henty's anecdote of his mishap, when ploughing his first fur- row at Portland, is characteristic "I stuck a plough into the ground, struck a she-oak root, and broke the point ; cleaned my gun, shot a kan- garoo, mended the bellows, blew the forge fire, straightened the plough, and turned the first sod in Victoria." John G. Robertson,. Wando Vale, waas the fourth settler, being pre- ceded by Henty, Winter and Pilleau, and took up the country adjoining the Henty's, boundary. Others over- landed and settled down on the land wherever they took a fancy, and thought they had the ability to hold it. When. disputes arose amongst them, Captain Fyans would arrive to keep the peace and adjust the bound- aries ; and his decision was final. Sheep runs were eagerly scrambled for, but great expectations were il- lusory, and. many were taken up by young colonists fresh from Englhand, with no experience, solely on the hope that the sheep would grow suf- ficient wool to make their owners rich in a year or two. The first years of the forties were disillusion- ing. Nangeela run was sold at a sheriff's sale in Melbourne for £230 ; and station property deteriorated to one-tenth of its original value. Many squatters were forced out of their stations by the usury they were ;charged nin those lean years. Chamnpagne for the Horses. There came to Portland from Som- ersetshire in the early days one called Cornish, who essayed to make bricks at Portland, but moved to Murndal, where more suitable clay was obtainable, and while there wit- nessed many onslaughts by the blacks, who would assemble in force and attack, the shepherds, driving off the sheep, and in return would re- ceive retribution, short, sharp and incisive, as many as a dozen being shot, down in a day. According to this authority, the natives not only killed sheep, but also the shepherds, and were themselves shot down as vermin. The gins never washed their chilrien. They threw them into the river, when only two days old, and would plunge in after them. When the shepherd, came to town, or rather when he straggled through on.his way thereto, until he could stand it no longer and met his Water- loo it some intermediate shanty, he and the host and his abettors made the pace very hot. Our old friend the brick-maker tells of a man from a back station on one occasion rein- ing up outside the bar and ordering a bucket of champagne for his horse ; had seven bottles poured into the pail at 15/- a bottle. The horse refused to drink until he was given water, and every man present dipped his pannikin into the wine and cele- brated the advent of the back coun- try band, who reigned as king for three days until deposed and shoved out, and told to go home and earn some more. It was the custom of the time and open hospitality was the habit of the country ; and free drinks and be merry the slogan. On February 10th, 1835, the build- ing of Richnond Cottage, a weather- board construction was begun. It had a shingle roof and was fit for oc- cupation on April 23rd. It later was supplanted by a substantail stone structure, which, with some necessary alterations, has been con- verted into the Richmond Hotel. From files of the "Guardian" of the years 1848-49, it appears that the aboriginal chief- Koort -Kirrup, was indulging his vengeance against the Smoky River mob of natives. It was caused by the latter having pur- loined a lubra and killing ore of Koort's subjects. In reprisal Koort attacked and carried off a Smoky River damsel, killing two of her rela- tives on sight and leaving another tribesman dying. Settler McDon- ald, of Snowy River (sic), presumably for having protested against Koort Kir- rup's lawlessness, was twice threat- ened with death by this lawless chief. G. P. Winter, who arrived in 1837, had a station called "Merino," a few miles from the Herys on the beach, and usually spent the week-end with them. Hon. Winter Cook was a nephew. The Old Stations. C. J. Latrobe, by command of His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, advertised in the "Guardian" regarding claims for leases of Crown lands, made by the following : Alfred Henry and Edward John Bates in respect of the Rokeby or Kaladbro Estate, a property hav- ing an estimated area of 28,000 acres and a grazing capacity of 4,000 sheep. Other runs applied for were --l)ccenllcer, 1818, No. 701, John llairn, .inrr., f-r Co(.,rulie or- Ilaw din'i upper Iri1n1, inert estimated at 57.01i0 aicrts, cairrying calra'city 1000 u'll!e rnln 5h000 shlllc i; Nir. 81, Mar garitr. Ilutchinrisrn (per A. Dunn), inmine if run ;rrrrror Ginrini, irrert Ill, 21t acres, crpircily 20(I cattle arind .t,1 11m10 sheep; No. 8:, Derwas Owcve Jrllea, rlllnte if rtun Tillinnger??l I, 37, 1210 icres, graing anpacllity, 350 cattle. JiurirrIry, I .18l : I11n N'. , : )1 " Neil Iliick nnl Co., name of. run, W ilrrclrengil, lreciil I ;,ll0 lncr'us, :1000 shireep ; Run No. .0, Neil Bllck andtl 0Co., r /ni re' if cunr, 'rite ,isdters. In IMarchI : iEledward lulnce,'r McCallum, AnlrtinO . rtin, :-2,1)!)0 i"cires, caimiity 8 e00 p sllep. In Seltermlber : John Mcehellhn, Tulloch 1tun, 20,00r0t nicres, 40)00 sheep. John Pearson, the Ite fuge', 96,000 acres, ,10,000(i shleeip. Wrc'deks rotrund Portland include thie Inimeri of tihe brirure hilulla, :180 tons, fronm Launrcestoll, at Cape Nelson; total wreck, April 183:18. A French whnler, -100 tons, niimre un known, wrreeked in ,the winter of S1841), with nIl hnnds,. ol the iback co?nst of Portland. Schooner Cap tain Cook, 7-1 tons, ait Crapr Grant;
total wreck. Barque Marie, 450 tons, Cape Bridgewater ; total wreck, August, 1851. Barque Merope, 311 tons, March 1858, 15 miles east of Portland ; total wreck. Schooner Elizabeth, 58 tons, November, 1844 ; total wreck. Sally Ann, 52 tons, November, 1844 ; total wreck. The brig Elizabeth. 25(0 tons, laden with whale oil- an( wool ; total wreck, No vember, 18.16. Schooner Mary Jane, 81 tons, May, 1852; total wreck. Schooner Margaret and Ag nes, 10l tons. July, 1852 ; total wreck. Schoooner Henry, 53 tons, Sepcteoltber, 1853; total wreck. Ship New Zenander, 130(10 tolls, De. cmlller, 185:3; burt at anchor. The bIrtltque Nestor, .185 tons, total wreck, October, 185.1 ; sprng a leak. The barque Australasia, 485 tons, laden with wool ftrom London ; total wreck, March, 1855. Ship Constance, 525 tolls, Murch, 1855 ; total wreck. At a meeting of the Portland His tirical Committee, held in June, of last --'cir, it was stated that Cronin's pullic house was 'in existence in No vember, 1840. John Crtonin had the Goldent Fleece, corner Gawler & Percy streets : Donald -Cameron, Portland Bay: Hotel, .June 1841, at Yankee Doodle corner; Commer cial Innt , Bentinck street, George Dale, :August, 1842 ; London Inn, Gawler street, Johnt Wiggins, 1843 (transferred to corner'of Julia and Bentinck streets, 1847) ; Stearn Pac kct Inn, Bentinck street, Sam Hlutch inson (became: Mrs. Edkin's Temper ancte Hotel on Christmas Day, 1848); Union. Inn, Julia street,- Robert IIer bertson;, 1842 (sold :after his death in- My, 1843, by anuction : he died on January 24th,l 1843 ; :Lamb. Inn; Henty street, Thonaus Field, '1847 (transferred to corner Tyers asnd Percy streets, September, 1850) ; Duke of Richmniond Inn and Tasmnania Inn (the sutme), Percy and Gawler streets, rWilliam:Jones, 18.18 ; Build -.rs' tInnt, Gawler street, John Leahy, 1841l (called the Builders' Arms in 1.850) ; Shepherds' Arms, Percy itreet, Robert Taylor, 1840. The Convincing Ground. The name of the Convincing. Ground, marked on some old survey maps, is said to have been given to a stretch of beach whereon rival whale- boat crews adjourned to settle which boat's harpoon had first entered the body of the whale that several boats were attempting to capture, with the object of establishing ownership. Another explanation attributes the origin of the name to its being the arena in which aboriginal tribes sel- ected their chiefs ; requiring the candidates to fight duels with stone axes. The decision arrived at in each case was, no doubt, by similar methods of procedure. From an- other source (the late Jerome Min- ogue) the Convincing Ground was east of the present Maretimo House, not far from where a party of blacks was ambushed and the leader of the firing party cried out, "That ought to convince them we are not killing whales for them." According to Mr. Noel Learmonth, secretary of the Portland Historical Committee, Captain William Dutton was not the first white man to visit Portland Bay, but was preceded by Wishart and the Frenchman, Bau- din. Be that as it may, he was a skilled navigator, a successful sealer and whaler, and in middle age re- tired to his farm with- in sight of the sea, a married man. It would appear that he and, his wife held opposing views on the subject of strong drink, and he resorted to smuggling tricks to get it up to the house. On one occosion, when his good woman sutspected the grocery delivery cart concealed contraband, she advanced to supervise the un- loading ; but by prearrangenment, the driver, in great excitement, an- nounced something wrong with a cow down in the paddock. Mrs. Dutton, before going to investigate, placed the'keg of rum in the fork of a tree, out of reach of the captain, knowing that as he was crippled with rheu- matism he would be unequal to the task of reaching it. But he, not to be over-reached, hobbled out with a gun and a bucket, which he well and truly laid underneath, and, shooting a hole in the keg, cried, "There she spouts !" caught the contents, and hobbled home with the liquor, while his better half led homne a calf. The Museum. In the albsenice ofi a museumt iii ., district so well suited to supply' a111 teriall for tile "urlpose, Mr. Lh- M. Keurte haus stepped into the, 'breach with a heterogenous collection - of shells from tile scishore, harpoons used ill the 10's itn the Bay; the fig urehead of the "Constance' wrecked in 1855 ; a 300-year-oldt German' bible with t:ood-cuts by. Martin Lu ct' tirel tilhter' dignitaries of the I me ; ailoigitnal wenllns, tile ship's g;tun of Ilenty's "Thistle" ; tnd ntmany i ther things, interesting but "too numerous - to imentlon." One' curio which llnty not be ipassed over, mncs Vti'ing 18ft. x I2ft., is the original inttt occultpying the site of the. present ltordon loitel. It was securedt by ,~it. KurtLe and removed in sections end re-erected- in his 'garden: as a etorelonol. Platneil Tasmanian ptal -tgs were used for tile walls,il and •odtr for the dtoors, live in nuniber, at every nine feet along tile verith lit ;uand tile whold len-gthl of the biuiling waits utilised for ai bar, the tictuber of ldotrs facilitating ejdect: moet by making use- of the "exit" inearest to the partticulntr "undesir alle." Oi, for the good old datys -N 'earemders -have seen tetn journ allstlc ventutres o which two relnailn, this: -'firtst.-Icintg .- the,.-.C;.ualttrdtitnn (18.12) and the "Observer" (1890). OSf the' rest the "Chronlcle" (after twards "Westerni T'l'nies") :hald the tlongest run., - It ipassed out In 1872. The ."Observetr" was started by .I. Goltlsmnithl'und E.. Davis.; :The first itantedt dieid li I !120,'tind :'the Iiaper thas sinice Iten ctarriecd on' by ILMr. E; The laute 'rT. A. Peltit, it well-lknown' c;lpshttl-nd-. jotirtnalist, purchasedt ithe "(Gut'rdlinu. over 30 yeurs ago, sild tio .. R'. Kennb, tnud iafter a long thy termt of piroprletorshlip by that gentlemtant, l tlllit tssummd conttrol, llsing lhis itllLIerests on to: his yountg es!, .on (Mr. O . Pu I'ettlt) in ll 1l, who 'still roetIlins posssesslon. 'The Iortlutnd iChtonicle' wa stanrtted by thi.'lato Mlr E. F. Hughes in .nnuary, 1855 ; iand In litter years iwas leased 'lto 'Gir'itey, bIrother of Covenctry Putmtnore,'andl. ltedr to Rob I-1t Pal te.rsiot ere ptassing out. Ble tore leaving Elnghlnd Mr. IIughes hnd gained sOIIe fnnlon.tt it hymn writer, his litst work being "The Benightedtl I'raveller tandt Other Poems." In lthis 'ircncrredl "Ilow Kiltd Is 'the Sav inur, Ilow Great is ILs Love," it hynmn foiundl ill Ameriennl ll ngllsh ttld Aiustraliian collectiont, viz., Burn hInm's. Cholral ''Trensury tindl in Aiustral cfi.llls by ,". J".l. Howinlds. It is also •"L to IIcItlIi. "Hiern rd(l," ai dralnml, lts pulllislihed .in EInglandt ; and af ter settliilg in PoirtInntl, he cotlposed "le?,s fort- Thoughltful Worker's," Dlnum o~plls. "The Millenium," anl o;pit' niteltl i teti books titdt 20(0 stage. : Ibesides nltlnmotll?s otheli' wortks thlat stince his deathitt. at Ctxton Park lhave FL F'. lHughes, hlil son, wits one of the litst six dihectors of thie Co-opltrutive Coutntiry Press ofi Victoria, atd wits frmiiinerl'v protirletor of the CtLstcrtoli "News.'
Another paper, which does not ap "pcar to have outlived 'May, '1865, ended up with an authority given to George Claridge to receive nill monm= lee due to the Portland Bay' Exam riter. Signed David Ilargrave, with Edmd.' (sic) C. Dunnl as witness, The Pbrtlnud "Gazette"' is indn tioned by W. G.Osbourne,:as having been started by Youngman, who sQld to Captain Osbourne.