Family Histories

Greenwood “Eildon Springs” Family history

John Greenwood migrated to Australia from the family’s village Baildon in West Yorkshire, arriving in Sydney in 1838. By 1842 he is farming in Collingwood where he remains until he purchases the property that is to become “Eildon” in the Crown Land sales of December 1855. He marries Elizabeth Binney and they have two children, William and Mary Anne. William takes over “Eildon” after the death of his father in 1887 and marries an Addington girl, Jane Harvey. They have two sons, John and George. William is killed in a riding accident on the property in 1899, leaving Jane Greenwood to bring up two small boys and run the property. In 1906, she leases the property to Jim Coutts and moves to the family’s other station property at Litchfield out of Donald. After George returns from WW1, it is decided that “Eildon” should be sold to the Coutts family, Grant Coutts succeeding his father as owner. After the Coutts came the Loaders and two short term owners before the property is finally re-purchased by the Greenwood family. Andrew and Carol Greenwood returned in 2002 to run Eildon Springs Fine wool Merino Stud.

Group-of-Eildon-Springs-rams

 

Albert and Tess Pope

Albert and Tess Pope came to Waubra as the licensees of the Springs Hotel in January 1940.  Prior to this they had lived at Nhill.  Conditions at the Hotel were simple, with matting floors that required cleaning each day, no hot water and an irregular cold water supply as the hotel was last on the town bore supply line.  Many a washing day saw water being bucketed over the fence to fill the laundry copper.  Wood chip heaters were used to heat the bath water for guests and family alike.

From these beginnings Tess and Albert spent 35 happy working years at the hotel and in the Waubra community.  Over these years many characters, both local and from afar crossed the bluestones steps and warmed their feet by the old wood stove in the kitchen.  Many a swagman sharpened Tess’ knives and scissors for a warm hearty meal or some food to take on the “wallaby”.

During the Second World War many American soldiers based in Ballarat visited the hotel.  Tess nursed several back to health after attacks of malaria, staying in Tess’ homely care rather than returning to the impersonal treatment of the field hospital.

Popey involved himself in the sport of the district at all levels.  Football and bowls were his favourites, being a life member of both clubs.  His biggest contribution likely was the stern words and early nights he enforced on the eager young local men, sending many home on a Thursday night with the promise not to return until Saturday, after all you can’t play good footy with a skin full from the night before.

As the years passed the amenity of the Springs Hotel was gradually improved with its own bore and windmill, sewerage tanks replacing the outside dunnies which were emptied by the Dunn boys each week, hot water, steel barrels for the beer rather than wooden kegs, and of course refrigeration instead of ice.

The end of the “six o’clock swill” as it was known in 1966 and the return to more sensible opening hours changed the way the hotel operated and its clientele, allowing both husband and wife to enjoy a visit to the establishment.  Many had found a welcome draught at the end of the day impossible to obtain legally with six o’clock closing.  The Pope’s had worked with this and secret entries through the back door, by rattling the doorknob, kept community spirits high.  The occasional raid from the local police kept both patron and publican on their toes, however the worst injury was to the pride of the “sprung locals” usually at the next local minstrel show.

“The Pope” as Albert became known locally retained his licence at the Springs and it became affectionately known as “Vatican City”.  Though not of any particular religion, Albert enjoyed being the Pope and held the Vatican Hour every Sunday after the local church services concluded.  Albert fondly told the tale of meeting the Bishop of Ballarat in a game of golf, introducing himself as the Pope, and suggesting that due to his seniority he might be expected to win the round.

Ballarat Cup was always a special day.  The pub would be closed until Albert and Tess returned home after the second last race, opening for their clientele who had something left to spend after the day out.  In 1956 The Popes, with the financial help of Leo Troy and Jack Flood, purchased the freehold for the Hotel.

Remembered as people of great humour and manners, the Popes are fondly thought of when we think of the auction sign that mysteriously appeared on the White Hart Hotel one new years eve, playing hookey or riki tiki in front of the open fire, Albert with bumps on his head from the cow shed roof, shooting a galah or two from the front door of the hotel before breakfast, or sending an unhappy patron on to either Learmonth or Lexton to get a beer because “you won’t get one here until you behave”.

Albert and Tess retired to Ballarat in 1974 after 34 successful years at the Springs Hotel.

(Source – Walkabout, a short history of Waubra, 1989)

 

The Torney Family

George and Mary Torney married on the 25th February 1928.  George had come from Kingston to extend the families chaff milling business, and Mary was the second youngest daughter of the McDonald family of “Springfield” Waubra.

George became a general produce merchant and manager of the Waubra Farmers Association, running the very successful Co-operative Store from the railway yards adjacent to the chaff mill.  In 1946 the family moved to Ballarat to educate their children, with George commuting to Waubra daily to run his business until the chaff mill burnt down in the late 1950’s.

Mary was heavily involved in the Waubra and then the Ballarat communities, becoming a children’s court magistrate.  In 1968 she was awarded an OBE for her community work.  George and Mary’s children, Noreen and Geoffery have both had successful careers in Ballarat.

(Source – Walkabout, a short history of Waubra, 1989)

 

The settlement of Glen Brae

By the late 1880’s in Victoria the processing of alienated land for agricultural purposes had practically been completed, however the demand for new land to be opened up had not diminished.  To overcome this the State began to purchase privately owned land, some of which formed portions of the large pastoral runs in the district.  Under the guidelines of the 1906 Closer Settlement Act this land was made available for purchase.

The Glen Brae estate was the northern section of the Ercildoune pastoral run and was bought and sub-divided by the Land Purchase and Management Board into 46 allotments in 1904, ranging in size from 27 to 48 hectares.  The name Glen Brae comes from the property name used by the first new settlers to the district, John Fisher and his family.

Because of confusion with mail deliveries to Ercildoune, John Fisher was asked at a public meeting if his property name, Glen Brae could be used to define the area.  With this agreed, mail then came to the Fisher’s home where it was collected by the local families.  The name Glen Brae is thought to be taken from a locality of the same name in southern Scotland, between Glascow, Edinburgh and Stirling.

The names of the original settlers on those 46 allotments are:

  • Loader, James & Harriet,
  • Fisher, John & Bessie, Lots 26 & 27“Glen Brae”
  • Molloy, Thomas, Lots 43 & 44, “Marys vale”
  • Parker, Frank
  • Abbott, “Heatherlea”
  • Hannah, Mac, Lots 7 & 8,“Garvagh”
  • McKerrow,
  • Brewster, Lots 9 & 10
  • Coutts, William & Mabel, Donald, Lot 37 “Quoin Hill”
  • Coutts, Alf,

Do you know other names from the original Glen Brae settlement?  If so please contact us.

(Source – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, a history of Glen Brae, 1989)

 

The settlement of Addington

By the late 1880’s in Victoria the processing of alienated land for agricultural purposes had practically been completed, however the demand for new land to be opened up had not diminished.  To overcome this the State began to purchase privately owned land, some of which formed portions of the large pastoral runs in the district.  Under the guidelines of the 1906 Closer Settlement Act this land was made available for purchase.

The Addington estate was the Eastern section of the Ercildoune pastoral run and was bought and sub-divided by the Land Purchase and Management Board into 11 allotments in 1911.  The name Addington, is thought to be taken from the ancient parish of Addington, some 20 km south of the London CBD.

(Source – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, a history of Glen Brae, 1989)