History and Heritage in Up the Creek: Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District

Introduction

Published Jan, 2018

‘Up the Creek: Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District’ is dedicated to my parents Chester and Beatrice, pictured at their wedding in 1933, who came home to their district and spent their final years at 'Maranui' in Ridge Road, looking out towards the Kinglake Ranges. Photo credit Draper family

‘Mr. Draper established himself up the creek’, records Andrew Ross in the Evelyn Observer on 9 January 1891.

In 1862, under the recently passed Duffy Land Act, my great grandfather Charles Draper selected 80 acres of land for purchase and 80 acres for lease and later purchase on the Running Creek, near the junction with Deep Creek and Arthurs Creek in the Parish of Linton. He called his property ‘Charnwood’, after Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire where he was born. The name of Charnwood and its owner became well known as pioneering orchardists throughout Victoria and the colonies and the property welcomed many distinguished visitors. By the 1890s there were 200 acres of fruit trees, including a fruit collection of ‘about 700 varieties’ of apples.  The fine collection of ornamental Begonias is believed to have provided the stock for those in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens today.

My grandfather James Draper, sixth child of Charles and Catherine Draper, was born at Running Creek, now Arthurs Creek, on 9 January 1863. Jim lived at Charnwood until his marriage to Blanche Hurrey, of Craigie Lee, Yan Yean, in 1900.

Jim and Blanche established themselves at ‘Barton Hill’, Running Creek Road, where they raised a family of five boys and four girls. The property was named after Sir Edmund Barton, who became the first Prime Minister of Australia on 1 January 1901, Federation Day.

My father, James Chester Draper, born in 1905, was the third eldest child and became known locally as Chester, to avoid confusion with his father, Jim. He listened with great interest as his father recalled stories about life in the early days living and working together on the family orchard and farm.

Chester was an avid reader and raconteur. His anecdotes aroused considerable interest in local history, particularly in the hills and valleys of the Arthurs Creek District. Chester lived to the age of 93.

The following articles about ‘Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District’ supplement his work, and were first published in the Community Newsletter. Hence there is some repetition as these were published as stand alone, single articles.  They are dedicated to my parents Chester and Beatrice, who came home to their district and spent their final years at ‘Maranui’ in Ridge Road, looking out towards the Kinglake Ranges.  The spelling of some place names will differ, and in some instances these place names are expressed as per usage at the time.

Our history is part of our ongoing heritage. Many hours of research have been undertaken to collect information and verify details for Up the Creek: Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District. Much assistance has been provided over many years by past and present residents of the district, and I am grateful for their support. Today the Arthurs Creek community faces new challenges as it seeks to retain its identity as a rural community close to Melbourne in the green wedge of the Nillumbik Shire, and there is much to inspire us in the stories of a tight-knit community that weathered floods, fires, droughts and world wars many years ago.

How green was my valley and long may it be so.

Bruce G. Draper

Miss Beatrice Violet Jullyan (born in 1906) married Mr James Chester Draper on December 16th 1933 at St Mary’s in Caulfield. Photo credit Draper family
My father, James Chester Draper (born in 1905), pictured fourth from left, served in the mounted police and had many interesting and entertaining stories to tell of early days in the Arthurs Creek district. Photo credit Draper family
The author's mother Beatrice at 'Barton Hill' Arthurs Creek, during her courting days with our father. Our parents moved to Heyfield, a gateway to the Victorian High Country, in 1939. By this time our mother already had three children and riding ceased, with her main leisure activities being tennis and the church choir. She was an accomplished tennis player and won many tournaments. Photo and information credit Elaine Lewis and Bruce G. Draper
Volunteers in the Heyfield Urban Fire Brigade 1952. Rear L to R: Ray Leyshan, Angus Jennings, Jim (Chester) Draper, Russell Brander, L. Hogg. Front: G. Cullen, Fraser Leyshan, N. Russell, R. Frazer. Jim Draper was Captain of the volunteer Rural Brigade in 1938. He was instrumental in forming the Urban Brigade in the early 1940s serving as Captain of both brigades until the mid-1950s. From 1959 to 1969 he served a number of CFA Brigades including Eltham. In 1969 he and his brother Merv joined the Arthurs Creek CFA and were still serving in 1995 when Jim was aged 90. Photo courtesy of James Chester Draper and Bruce G. Draper
'Weatherbeaten Wisdom: Colourful Characters of the Victorian High Country' by the author's friend, Ian Stapleton, contains a chapter about Bruce's father and the time he spent in Heyfield. Jim Chester Draper is pictured here, top right, on the back cover of the book. The Harrietville Bakery is one of the many High Country shops where you can purchase Ian's excellent books. Photo credit C. Ashley
The RAAF Tiger Moth involved in the air rescue of an injured stockman from Wombat Plain, January 1944. Just before take-off, some more helpers arrived. J.C. Draper, 3rd from right. In 1995 Jim Draper recounted the story of this war time rescue operation, conducted on horseback in the rugged mountains of the Victorian High Country, to Ian Stapleton for his book ‘Weatherbeaten Wisdom’ published in 2008. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
In 1944, J.C. Draper was part of a dangerous rescue operation in remote country around Mt. Wellington. The rescue was conducted on foot, on horseback and by aeroplane. The pilot set an Australian record on 19 January 1944, when he landed a Tiger Moth at 5,000 feet (1,500 m) on Mt. Wellington to retrieve the injured stockman. The patient, Bob Goldie is on the horse. Jim Draper is on the right. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Mounted First Constable Jim Chester Draper of Heyfield (standing behind horse) at a Wellington River crossing, January 1950. The man standing on the right may be Dr Richard Bligh. Jim was described by contemporaries as a superb horseman. Such was the regard and esteem the local inhabitants held for him that he had a street in Heyfield named after him in the late 1970s, Draper Road. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Front row left to right: James Chester Draper, Beatrice Draper, Elaine Draper. Back row: Robert Draper, Alan Draper, Bruce Draper. Photo credit Draper family
Yan Yean Reservoir, photo by Fred Kruger, c 1877, National Gallery of Victoria. My parents lived opposite the reservoir for many years at their property, 'Maranui'
Blanche Draper (nee Hurrey, 1880 - 1968) and James Draper (1863 - 1940); the parents of James Chester Draper, and Bruce G. Draper's grandparents. Pictured during their engagement. They were married in 1900. Photo credit Draper family
Text is from the 1st Edition. Copyright Bruce G. Draper 2018. This book is copyright, but the author welcomes the dissemination of material therein for sharing, study or review providing the authorship is acknowledged. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication Entry. Author: Draper, Bruce G. Title: Up the Creek, Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District. ISBN 978-0-6483636-0-6. Published by www.talesfromthetreehouse.com.au. Printing by BookPOD www.bookpod.com.au. Cover Painting (detail): 'Arthurs Creek', A painting by Harry Harward in 1878, reprinted with permission
Text is from the 1st Edition. Copyright Bruce G. Draper 2018. This book is copyright, but the author welcomes the dissemination of material therein for sharing, study or review providing the authorship is acknowledged. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication Entry. Author: Draper, Bruce G. Title: Up the Creek, Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District. ISBN 978-0-6483636-0-6. Published by www.talesfromthetreehouse.com.au. Printing by BookPOD www.bookpod.com.au. Cover Painting (detail): 'Arthurs Creek', A painting by Harry Harward in 1878, reprinted with permission

Special thanks go to the Committee of the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute for their enthusiastic support, particularly Gayle Corr and Lois Stubley as editors of the Community Newsletter, and Colette Apted as Chairperson of the Historical Committee.

Text is from the 1st Edition.  Copyright Bruce G. Draper 2018. This book is copyright, but the author welcomes the dissemination of material therein for sharing, study or review providing the authorship is acknowledged. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication Entry Author: Draper, Bruce G. Title: Up the Creek, Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District ISBN 978-0-6483636-0-6 Published by www.talesfromthetreehouse.com.au Printing by BookPOD www.bookpod.com.au Cover Painting (detail): ‘Arthurs Creek’, A painting by Harry Harward in 1878, reprinted with permission.

Web Note: On this website, there are photos and captions that were not in Bruce’s original book.  His collection of photos and documents is vast and was gathered over many years of meticulous research in Australia and the UK.  In many instances photos have been added in cooperation with local families and organisations.  In all cases these photos are reproduced with their kind permission and a great deal of gratitude for the additional information.  Some photos were shared without the owner requiring an attribution.  If you would now like to be credited, please get in touch and we will be happy to assist.  Should you encounter any errors, or wish to add photos or information, please use the Contact Us page.

Below is an example of the many fine historic photos from around Victoria that were in Bruce’s collection.

Lavender fields, Dunolly Scent Farm, 1890’s. The Scent Farm, Dunolly, Victoria is in the Shire of Central Goldfields. Established in 1891, and operational until 1899, it was then abandoned. The site is of regional significance and is listed in the National Trust Database. The farm originally comprised 20 acres and was an innovative example of a novel industry supported by government and intended to diversify and complement more conventional local farming activities. According to an article in the Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate of Friday 23 Oct 1891, the farm was intended to grow Seville Orange trees, Bergamot trees, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose-Leaf Geranium and indigenous varieties of Wattle. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper. Information credit trove.nla.gov.au and vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au

You can see more photos highlighting the link between Charles Draper at Arthurs Creek and the Government Scent Farm at Dunolly by reading Charles Draper of Charnwood, Arthurs Creek – Horticultural Pioneer

Got a question or some interesting facts?  Leave a comment and we’ll reply.

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Abbey FamilyAirey FamilyAlfred DeakinAllen FamilyAllwood StationAlma Shanahan (1923-2015)A Mountain Muster by Ian StapletonApologies & Appendages by Ian StapletonApted FamilyArdchattan StationArthurs Creek CemeteryArthurs Creek Cemetery: a History (Revised Edition) by Lindsay MannArthurs Creek Cricket ClubArthurs Creek Football ClubArthurs Creek Fruit GrowersArthurs Creek Mechanics Institute at a GlanceArthurs Creek Mechanics Institute by Bruce G. DraperArthurs Creek Mechanics Institute HallArthurs Creek Methodist ChurchArthurs Creek Post OfficeArthurs Creek Primary SchoolArthurs Creek Rifle ClubArthurs Creek Uniting ChurchAtkinson FamilyAustralian Garden History SocietyBarr FamilyBarton Hill StationBassett FamilyBatman TreatyBear's CastleBear FamilyBegoniasBoadle FamilyBoer warBraeside StationBrain FamilyBrennan FamilyBrock FamilyBushranger BurkeCharnwood StationChristian FamilyChurch of the Irish MartyrsClarke FamilyCleir Hills StationCorr FamilyCraigie Lee StationDeep CreekDishleigh StationDoctors Gully RoadDoreen VillageDraper FamilyDuffy Land ActDunolly Scent FarmEarly BlacksmithsEllis Cottage Historical Precinct by Nillumbik Historical Society on WikinorthiaEltham District Historical SocietyFay Thomas Collection by Yarra Plenty Regional LibraryFernvale StationFlintoff FamilyFrank Dalby DavisonFriends of Burnley GardensFrom Drovers To Daisy-Pickers by Ian StapletonFrom Fraser's To Freezeout by Ian StapletonFrom Laggan To Arthur’s Creek by Ross McDonaldFruit Cool StoresGillian FamilyGlen Ard StationGlenburn StationGlen Donald StationGray FamilyGreen FamilyGrimshaw FamilyHairy-Chested History by Ian StapletonHall FamilyHazel Glen CemeteryHazelglen HallHazel Glen SchoolHazel Glen StationHazel Glen Wesleyan ChurchHealey FamilyHeidelberg Historical SocietyHenry ArthurHerbert FamilyHeyfield GippslandHickey FamilyHickey’s CornerHowitt FamilyHulme FamilyHurrey FamilyHurst FamilyJohn LoxtonKenneth JackKirkliston StationLaidlay FamilyLang Fauld StationLeon Saper (1928-2005)Linton CemeteryLinton FamilyLinton Grange StationLobb FamilyLobbs HillLodgeLodge FamilyMacfarlane FamilyMacmillan FamilyMacpherson FamilyMann FamilyMcDonald FamilyMcKay FamilyMcKimmie FamilyMcLelland FamilyMills FamilyMountain Rescue 1944Murdie FamilyMurphy's CreekMurphy FamilyMuseums Victoria CollectionsNillumbikNillumbik Heritage GuideNillumbik Historical SocietyNillumbik Reconciliation GroupOf Pioneers & Perseverance by Ian StapletonPeter Laycock (1927-2009)Pine Hill StationPioneers and Painters: One hundred years of Eltham and Its Shire by Alan MarshallPlenty RiverPresswell FamilyPublic Records Office VictoriaRAAF Base East SaleReid FamilyRobert (Bob) Mair (1943- )Ronald FamilyRoyal Historical Society of VictoriaRoyal Horticultural Society of VictoriaRunning CreekRussell FamilyRyder FamilyRyders Flat ReserveSchultz FamilyScrubby CreekSeeds of Yesterday : the Fruit of Tomorrow by Pam GoodeyShire of Nillumbik Local Historical SocietiesSlabon FamilySmith FamilyState Library VictoriaSteer FamilyStewart's PondsStewart FamilyStubley FamilyThe Andrew Ross MuseumThe Last Cry by Mick WoiwodThe Melbourne Book written by Clive Turnbull ; drawings by Kenneth JackThomas FamilyTregowan StationTroveUnderwood FamilyUp the Creek : Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District by Bruce G. DraperVersdale StationVerso FamilyVictorian CollectionsVictorian Collections Eltham District Historical SocietyWaitui StationWeatherbeaten Wisdom by Ian StapletonWhittlesea Agricultural SocietyWhittlesea ShowWikinorthiaWild Horses BrumbiesWilliam Jock FraterWinter Majetin AppleYan Yean : A History by Dianne EdwardsYan Yean Primary SchoolYan Yean ReservoirYarra Plenty Local HistoryYarra Plenty Regional Library