Buninyong and District Historical Society Inc.

Reg. No. A0030085Y
Web Site http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis
PO Box 98, Buninyong, Vic. 3357


October 2008

Warrenheip St

Warrenheip St. photo taken in 1970s. The house on the right was demolished soon after, and the old grocery shop of George Whykes, built in the 1860s, became a second-hand shop, restaurant, tea shop, etc.etc. It was almost demolished in 1993, but found tenants as a gift and garden shop. Building had a major restoration in 2007 and re-opened in August 2008 as a gift shop specialising in interesting garden ornaments. (Photo courtesy of Michael Whiteside)

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 16 October, at 7.30p.m., at the Court House History Centre (Town Hall complex) Our guest speaker will be Dr. Fred Cahir, who will present an illustrated talk about the original Aboriginal custodians of our area, the Wathaurung people, and their interaction with European settlers. Fred completed his doctoral studies at the University of Ballarat on this topic, and he really is the expert. Visitors very welcome.

We will be having dinner at the Crown Hotel before the meeting, at 6.00p.m. Any members who would like to join the table, would be lovely to see you.


August-October 2008

GOSLING family

At Burnt Bridge, 1850s, and also at Meredith, running hotels. Sold the Burnt Bridge hotel in 1858. We discovered a map on the National Library of Australia website, that shows the exact location of the hotel. (By the way, for those of you on the Web, this is a marvellous site.)

GRAHAM, William

Mine manager 'One and All' mine', Magpie, in nineteenth century. Scottish family, buried at Buninyong Cemetery. ..


Born Yorkshire 1824, carpenter, migrated 1854 with his family. Mining in Hiscocks-Magpie area. Child and wife died soon after, and he married Sarah Wells of Magpie in 1859, and selected land at Hiscocks, where he had an orchard. Mignon Preston's family history of the Wells family, Of All the Mad Pursuits, has much information.

If readers know anything about any of these names, and can help, please contact the secretary, Anne Beggs Sunter, a.beggs-sunter@ballarat.edu.au.

The Gippsland-Buninyong Connection

By Anne Beggs Sunter, Secretary Buninyong and District Historical Society, 2008 (with great assistance from Jillian Durance, Secretary of the Korumburra and District Historical Society.

Many people from the Buninyong area moved to South Gippsland in the 1880s seeking new opportunities. By 1880, all the land in the Buninyong Shire had been selected, and the children of the first generation of settlers had to look to new horizons if they wished to have their own farm.

There was considerable publicity being given to the availability of cheap and fertile land in Gippsland. A Land Act of 1884 opened up the two most inaccessible forest areas of Victoria - the Otways in the South West, and the dense forests of South Gippsland. (Susan Priestly, Making their Mark, 1984) The railway had reached Mirboo North from the main Gippsland line and was due to reach Leongatha in the early part of the 1890s. (Ellen Lyndon, The Story of Mossvale Park, Woorayl Shire Historical Society, 1994, p. 11)

Thus a number of enterprising young men set out from Ballarat to explore the possibilities of selecting land in the fertile forests of South Gippsland. Their story is told in The Land of The Lyrebird, a book of reminiscences that was conceived by the former Buninyong settlers and pioneers of South Gippsland in 1913. The book was published in 1920, and reprinted in recent times by the Korumburra and District Historical Society. More detail of the contribution of these families comes in Jillian Durance's book Still Going Strong: The Story of the Moyarra Honor Roll, published in 2006.

In fact a mutual interest in World War One military service brought Jillian and I together to explore intriguing links between our two areas. The starting point was Sister Rainbow, whose name appears on the Honor Roll of the Clarendon School and Hall, as well as the Honor Roll of the Presbyterian Church in Kongwak.

The Rainbow family of Mount Buninyong. Matilda Rainbow (1831-1908), a widow with a large family, was a farmer at the foot of Mount Buninyong from the 1860s, and a committed member of the Presbyterian Church at Buninyong. Her sons Joseph, William, Henry and James worked on the farm These four sons, and daughter Matilda , selected land in South Gippsland in 1883. Joseph, William, Henry, James and Matilda all had adjacent blocks in the parish of Jumbunna East or Kongwak, not far from Korumburra.(The Land of the Lyrebird). The men married local Scotsburn-Clarendon girls, and took them to Gippsland. The widow Matilda sold her Buninyong land in 1890 and moved to Dandenong, where her children often visited her. Matilda was buried at Buninyong with her husband, who had died in 1864.

The Williams family of Mount Buninyong. William John Williams married Euphemia Downie/Downey (of Clarendon) in 1885. Their second son (Alfred born 24 June 1887, registered at Korumburra) was "the first white child born in Kongwak". Euphemia's account of settlement in Land of the Lyrebird is moving, especially when you realize that the son she speaks of dies on the Western Front battlefields, as she is writing her account. Mary Ann Williams, born 1862 at Ballarat, married Matthew Allison who grew up at Scotsburn, in 1885, and they moved to the Leongatha area. Emma Williams born 1866 married William Russell in 1895, and they settled in Gippsland. George, born 1879, moved to Gippsland. Hester born 1881 married George Chandler and moved to the Leongatha area. One of the Williams children married one of Joseph Rainbow's girls (Williams family history compiled by Russell Dawe, copy in Buninyong and District Historical Society Collection)

Matthew Allison of Scotsburn moved to South Gippsland, four miles north of Leongatha, in 1882. He had been travelling in Gippsland for the previous eight years looking for land to develop a farm. In 1882 he was also elected President of the Shire of Narracan, then meeting in the town of Trafalgar. In 1885 Matthew returned to Buninyong to marry Mary Williams of Mount Buninyong, taking her to his property Mavis Bank, near Leongatha.(History of Scotsburn, 1988, pp.5-6)

John James Coote, son of Northern Irish Presbyterians who settled between Scotsburn and Clarendon in the early 1850s, moved with his family to the Poowong area in the early 1890s, and members of the family farmed on the rich soil of dairying country well into the twentieth century.

George Matheson of Clarendon (listed as a labourer in the 1879 Shire of Buninyong Voters Roll) decided to move to South Gippsland in 1883, when the Rainbow boys decided to move. His father John had arrived in Victoria from Scotland in 1852 and after his wife died, raised his six children on his farm at Clarendon. (Victoria and Its Metropolis, 1888, Vol. 11A, p. 211) In 1867 he was on the Board of the Clarendon School, and both John and George signed a petition in 1868 to protect access to water in Williamson's Creek. George had read reports in the newspaper praising 'the garden of Victoria, a land flowing with milk and honey'. (Land of the LyreBird, p. 276). His son James was the first to be born in Moyarra and was also the first to enlist in World War One. He joined the 8th Battalion, was at the Gallipoli landing, then survived the whole war in France without serious injury. He took up a soldier settler block at Redcliffs near Mildura and grew fruit. The Mathesons were great friends of the Nicholsons, another Clarendon family who moved to Gippsland. The Mathesons, Nicholsons, McLeans and Rainbows were all staunch Presbyterians.

Another Clarendon family to move to Moyarra were the Nicholsons, by about 1900. . John Nicholson senior established a farm at Moyara in South Gippsland, next to the Rainbow selections. John senior died in 1915, and his son John at the age of 43 enlisted with the 29th Battalion in March 1916, and in March 1917 died of wounds near Bullecourt in France. The Nicholsons lived near the Mathesons, another Clarendon family. John Nicholson's name is on the Honor Roll pf the Clarendon School and the Hall, as well as the Moyarra Honor Roll in Gippsland.

Francis Moss, nurseryman of Buninyong, Episcopalian, left his son William Esmond to run the Buninyong business, and in 1887 purchased 1000 acres of virgin bushland on the Tarwin River halfway between Mirboo North (the terminus of the railway from Melbourne) and Leongatha, starting the new "Mossmount" nursery.

Moss appointed William Gould from Warrenheip, in his youth apprenticed to Brunnings Nurserymen and Seedsmen in the 1860s, to run his Gippsland nurseries from 1898 till 1917, and his son George was his assistant from 1910 till 1917. Gould was paid annually, and traveled to Buninyong on his Christmas leave to receive his pay, and holiday with his family at Warrenheip.

James Edward Hedrick, born at Buninyong in 1879, worked in the grocery shop that his father owned, went to Kongwak for a time, then worked in Melbourne on the railways. He was a member of the Buninyong Choir, and married a Buninyong girl in 1909.

It is interesting that these settlers travelled back and forth between Gippsland and Buninyong, bringing stock from Ballarat to their new farms, and in Moss's case, sending plants raised in Gippsland to his nursery in Buninyong.

A Launch at the Moorabool Reservoir

On Sunday 5 October I was delighted to represent the Buninyong and District Historical Society at a celebration of the work of the Friends of the Reserve, who are caring for the Lodge and gardens. Lovely to see our old friends Roy and June Huggins from Gordon, who help out there every Tuesday. A visit is highly recommended.

Lal Lal Reserve Video Launch

On the same night as our AGM, a video of the Lal Lal 'Walk to the Moorabool Falls' will be launched. A copy has been promised for our records, for it features interviews with our own Pauline Holloway, and Anne Beggs Sunter.

Canadian Valley Outline Development Plan -

Latest from Ballarat City Council's Development Bulletin.

Ballarat City Council has prepared planning scheme amendment C95 to change the Ballarat Planning Scheme to introduce protection for native vegetation, koala habitat and landscape values in the Canadian Valley.

It has been prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the Canadian Valley Outline Development Plan, the Native Vegetation Mapping and Review of the Vegetation Protection Overlay 2005 report, and the Koala Plan of Management.

Specifically Amendment C95 proposes to:
* amend the Ballarat Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS);
* introduce new policies into the Ballarat Planning Scheme for Canadian Valley, and Koalas and Koala Habitat Protection;
* introduce a Framework Plan for Canadian Valley;
* introduce new urban growth boundaries for Mt Clear, Mt Helen and Buninyong;
* extend the mapping of Vegetation Protection Overlay 1 - Native Vegetation Protection Areas, and revise the ordinance of this overlay in accordance with the Native Vegetation Mapping and Review of the Vegetation Protection Overlay 2005 report;
* introduce a new Environmental Significance Overlay 5 - Koala and Koala Habitat Protection;
* and include all three strategies as reference documents in the scheme.

This Amendment was referred to a Panel Hearing, which was held on 19, 20 - 23, 26 and 28 November 2007 at Ballarat. The hearing resulted in a report outlining the Panel's comments and recommendations. It contained a number of complex issues for Council's consideration.

It is expected that Council will consider the issues raised by the Panel Report in October.


16 October 2008 AGM of Buninyong and District Historical Society.
Note: Memberships are due for renewal following the AGM.
Online Membership form
Saturday 25th October, 11 am Visit to Mossmount. Meet at the Buninyong Town Hall.
Sunday 16 November, 1.30 p.m. Spring Wildflower Walk at Clarendon
Tuesday 9 December, 7.30 pm Ballarat Historical Society visit to Buninyong and joint meeting with B & DHS
Every second Monday morning at 9.00a.m. Cataloguing. We work for two hours, then take coffee at a local cafe. Helpers always very welcome!
1st Sunday of each month Court House open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
3rd Saturday of every month Buninyong Farmer's Market, from 9.00a.m.
Back To top of page