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Some Early History of Rosedale

Gunaikurnai people are the traditional owners of Gippsland. Brayakaulung people, one of the five clans of of the Gunaikurnai, live around the current site of Sale, Providence Ponds, and the Avon and Latrobe rivers; west of Lake Wellington to Mount Baw Baw and Mount Howitt.

The first European visited the area around Rosedale in 1842, and by 1844 the squatting era had begun. The large amount of land on both sides of the Latrobe River contained 24,300 hectares surrounding what was to become Rosedale was named Snake Ridge. To the west on the south side of the river was the Loy Yang run, while on the north side was known as the Rosedale run. East was the Holey Plain run on the south side of the river with the Kilmany run on the north side. The runs were unfenced and squatters employed shepherds. Rosedale Station on the north side of the river and about eight kilometres upstream of the present town of Rosedale was taken up by David Parry Okeden who is thought to have named it after his wife Rosalie.

Around 1848 a shepherd's hut was built in the middle of Snake Ridge run, on the south side of the river. The first occupier of the hut was a Chinese man who was blind in one eye, his name is not known but he was colloquially known as Blind Joe and the area then became known as Blind Joe's Hut. That area is now known as Rosedale township.

Four grandsons of Phillip Parker King, the third Governor of New South Wales, were amongst the early squatters in the Rosedale district.

earlyhistory01 John King (1820—1895) was only twenty years old when he was appointed manager of the Snake Ridge run, and became a major landholder in the district.

earlyhistory02 William Essington King (1821—1910), John King's brother, also had much to do with early Rosedale.

John and William Essington King both become Rosedale Shire Councillors and Presidents at separate times.

earlyhistory03 Edward Crooke (1861—1940) The Crooke family bought the Holey Plain lease in 1844 and are still in residence today. Edward Crooke became a Rosedale Shire Councillor in 1891 and resigned in 1901 because of other commitments. He rejoined the council in 1908 and retired in 1940 after having served almost 40 years as a councillor. In September 1893 Crooke became an M.L.C. and he represented Gippsland for almost 29 years; he resigned in 1922.

Two of the first selectors were James Rintoul/Rintoull who was the former occupier of the Loy Yang run and John Rowley who arrived in Tasmania as a convict before coming to Victoria. The Rowley family has perhaps the longest connection of any family with Rosedale.

How well do you know the history of Rosedale? Take our History Quiz (20 Questions)

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