Charles Draper of Charnwood, Arthurs Creek – Horticultural Pioneer

Complete article

Published May, 2004

Charles Draper amidst his beloved begonias.  ‘His begonias at Charnwood were for many years the finest to be seen in Victoria'.  He was instrumental in bringing the first School of Horticulture in Australia into existence
Charles Draper amidst his beloved begonias. ‘His begonias at Charnwood were for many years the finest to be seen in Victoria'. He was instrumental in bringing the first School of Horticulture in Australia into existence

This article by Bruce G. Draper first appeared in Australian Garden History Vol. 15 No 5 May /June 2004 by The Australian Garden History Society

Charles Draper (1825-1909), a versatile horticulturist, florist, pomologist, orchardist and viticulturist was born at Shepshed in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire. In December 1852, Charles and Catherine Draper with their two small children, Maria aged three and Joseph Charles aged one, left Liverpool in the ship ‘Kate’ bound for Port Phillip. The Kate arrived in Hobson’s Bay on 13 April 1853.

Charles was an experienced wheelwright and blacksmith accustomed to country work. Shortly after his arrival he established himself as a wheelwright at Plenty Bridge on the Plenty River near Eltham, where his skills were greatly in demand. Plenty Bridge (now Lower Plenty) was situated in the midst of a thriving agricultural district on the main road from Heidelberg through Eltham to Kangaroo Ground.

Catherine (nee Chester) was the daughter of a farmer and Charles a self-taught gardener. ‘He commenced the study of horticulture when a young man, in the florist department, … and practised it successfully during his leisure hours’.1 In about 1856, the family established themselves as tenant farmers on the rich black soil of the Donaldson Square-Mile at Kangaroo Ground. Charles acted as an overseer for the Donaldson family. He became an ‘enthusiastic fruit cultivator, who for many years … made pomology his constant study’.2

In 1862, Charles, with his friend John Ryder, wandered over the stringybark ranges to the north of Kangaroo Ground in search of ‘a piece of land on which to locate himself and family, and which he could call his own.’  Under the recently passed Duffy Land Act, Charles Draper selected land, with excellent shelter and running water suitable for fruit growing, along the Running Creek at Arthur’s Creek. He named his property ‘Charnwood’ ‘after his home in the old country’. By repeated selections, he increased his holding to ‘320 acres in one block, besides 196 acres purchased at a short distance.’3

The homestead and original orchard were established on the western side of the Running Creek near the junction with the Deep Creek and Arthur’s Creek. Some of the first fruit trees were brought from Kangaroo Ground. The trees grew with remarkable vigour in the fertile alluvial soil of the valleys.

The work of preparing the country for planting was ‘one of a gigantic nature.’4The first trees occupying only about two acres were planted in 1864. Then new sorts were procured from which to propagate, and the next planting took place in 1867, and has been continued yearly from that time.5While this was being done, dairying was carried on to provide the means of subsistence.6

In July 1871, Charles was elected to the Practical Committee of the Horticultural Society of Victoria, which in 1885 was to become the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria. He was a member of the Fruit Committee and was appointed a Trustee of the Society’s Experimental Gardens at Richmond. He was a regular exhibitor at Monthly Meetings and Horticultural Exhibitions and later became a Vice-President and Fellow of the Society.

At the Second Intercolonial Exhibition held in Sydney in 1873, ‘The fruits exhibited by the Horticultural Society of Victoria and by Mr. Charles Draper of Hazel Glen, made a very fine display, set out, as they were, with great taste in a prominent position in the building, and on a table devoted to them alone.’7 A silver medal was awarded to the society and a bronze to Charles Draper.

The Horticultural Society played a prominent part in the development of the fruit export trade. Charles was one of the first Victorians to export apples, which were included in the shipment arranged by Mr. John Carson of Kew for display at the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873. This was the first time fresh fruit had been exported from Victoria to Europe. Prior to this modelled fruits in wax were sent overseas for display.

In 1876, apples and pears from ‘Charnwood’ were sent for display at the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia. 97 varieties of pears were sent in the S.S. Zealandia as ordinary cargo without a cool chamber, and only three specimens went bad.

 Many varieties of fruit trees were imported into the colony by Charles Draper from America and Europe to be proved at Charnwood and grown for sale. One early variety grown at Charnwood was the Jonathan apple, first introduced into Victoria from America under the name of Marston’s Red Winter.

Fruit from Charnwood was included in the display of fruit from the Australian colonies at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, which ‘appears to have attracted a considerable amount of attention. The idea also appears to be gaining ground that a good market may be found in England for Australian fruit.’8

 In 1878 Charles was appointed a Justice of the Peace and acted as a magistrate in the Eltham and Whittlesea Shires, sitting at Eltham, Queenstown (now St Andrews), and Whittlesea Courts.

 At the International Exhibition Melbourne 1880-81, Charles Draper was awarded a silver medal for his collection of fruits. ‘That one grower (Mr. Draper) tabled a collection of 199 varieties of apples and 49 varieties of pears is noteworthy, in being perhaps an incident that has no parallel in the history of Victorian shows.’ James Lang of Harcourt was awarded a special first prize for his exhibit of 30 apples which, ‘contained not a single inferior example.’9

 Fruit from Charnwood was sent with the trial export to London of fruit and vegetables, partly for sale and partly for exhibition, at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886.  A total of 136 fruit and vegetable growers and exhibitors participated in the experiment. The Victorian Commission administered the sale of fruit. A diploma and medal were awarded to each exhibitor.10

In February 1888, Charles Draper was a member of the party that accompanied Alfred Deakin, Chief Secretary of Victoria and Minister of Water Supply on a visit to Tatura, Mooroopna and Shepparton. At Mooroopna Alfred Deakin delivered a lecture on irrigation in which he advocated the judicious use of irrigation for farming and fruit growing. He stated the experience of a large grower of fruit near Melbourne and emphasised that ‘Fruit growing required a great deal of judgment in selecting the best kind of fruit suitable for the land, and the best kind for the market.’11

Charles Draper acted as a judge at many horticultural exhibitions throughout the colony. He was awarded a bronze medal for services as a juror at the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1888.

At the Centennial Horticultural Exhibition held at Richmond Park in March 1889, Charles was awarded first prize for 50 and 24 varieties of apples, and also for 50 and 24 varieties of pears. ‘Apples and pears especially were remarkably fine, the effects of irrigation being visible in the great size attained by some of them, particularly the pears, which however were not improved in colour, some of them being very pale. It was also distinctly proved that fruit capable of taking a high place at an exhibition can be grown without irrigation, as in the case of Mr. Draper’s apples, which gained first prize for 50 and 24 varieties.’12

The Leader of January 25, 1890, in an article headed Charnwood, noted that,  ‘Mr. Draper has planted a few vines by way of experiment, which are doing well, and he is of the opinion that the whole of the hills might be advantageously covered with wine grapes.’ … ‘Of the kinds of fruit now grown, Apples occupy the largest area. Of these Mr. Draper has got together from Europe and America, about 700 varieties, besides seedlings raised by himself and others in the colony. The whole of these are under cultivation, but only the most approved sorts are propagated.’… ‘The ornamental portion of the grounds is quite as interesting or even more so than the orchards. …  But we have left to the last Mr. Draper’s special favourites, tuberous Begonias, … a gentleman who has recently returned from England, and who visited Laing’s and some of the other great growers, declares that some of the varieties are superior to any he saw there, whether for size, form or colour.’13  ‘His begonias at Charnwood were for many years the finest to be seen in Victoria, …’14

Mr. W.L. Hartland of Creswick, officer in charge of the State nursery, and champion begonia grower of Victoria,15 purchased the begonia collection from the Charnwood estate in June 1909. The Hartland collection, including the Charnwood collection, is reputed to have been a significant addition to the Ballarat collection.

In May 1890, Charles Draper was one of the fruit and vine growing experts who accompanied the first Parliamentary Visit to Mildura, at the joint invitation of the Mildura Shire Council and the firm of Chaffey Brothers Limited. Charles Draper advocated ‘the establishment of an experimental plantation, on which the growth of new and old varieties might be carried out on a small scale, so that the settlers might learn both what to cultivate and what to avoid, and also the best method of culture.’ He expressed his confidence ‘that Mildura will develop into a large and important settlement.’16

On May 12, 1890, the pioneer Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association was formed with Charles Draper as President, P.W.J. Murphy, Secretary and J. Herbert as Treasurer.  Charles Draper was to serve as President for the next 14 years. The early efforts of the Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society, formed in September 1884, provided the foundations for the advancement of the fruit growing industry in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts.

In May 1890, the committee of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria, after considerable discussion of the financial position of the society, proposed to place the society’s experimental gardens at the disposal of the Government for the purpose of establishing a school of horticulture. At a meeting of the Society in January 1891, ‘The treasurer announced that the Agricultural department had taken charge of the gardens and paid over the sum of £1400, the amount arranged for between the society and the Government. This covers the debentures and liabilities of the society.17 Messrs. William Anderson, Charles Draper and Henry Boyce were nominated to the Board of Advice for Management of the Horticultural Gardens. The Government appointees were David Martin, Secretary for Agriculture, Chairman, Joseph Harris and James Lang. George Neilson was appointed Curator. The Board of Advice was appointed on 16 February 1891. In May 1891, the first School of Horticulture in Australia came into existence.

The name of Charnwood and its owner became well known throughout Victoria and the neighbouring colonies and attracted many visitors. By the 1890s there were 200 acres of fruit trees. The mode of pruning attracted attention as well as the practice of keeping apples in store and ‘camps.’18 Mr. Draper’s axiom is to shape the tree into its proper habit prior to maturing then the necessity for pruning is minimised.’19

At the second conference of Australasian Fruitgrowers held in Hobart during April 1895, Charles Draper ‘gave his experience in growing filbert and other nuts.’20 An Intercolonial Fruit Show was held in conjunction with the conference. ‘Where Tasmania, Victoria and New Zealand came into competition was in the section open to all Australasia for collections of apples. Mr. C. Draper, Hazel Glen, Yan Yean, Victoria, took first honours. The judges awarded it to him for the large number of varieties, the excellence of the exhibits, and the correctness of the nomenclature.’21

Charles took an active part in local affairs. He was a member of the Whittlesea Agricultural Society Show Committee, a Trustee of the Arthur’s Creek Mechanics Institute and Free Library, and a Trustee of the Linton (Arthur’s Creek) Cemetery for close to 42 years following the inception of the Trust in 1867. In 1896 he was elected a Councillor for the Whittlesea Riding of the Shire of Whittlesea. He served as Shire President in 1900 and 1903, and from 1905 to 1907 was a Councillor for the Yan Yean Riding.

In December 1902, The Garden Gazette in an article headed ‘A Visit to Charnwood’ reported that  ‘After dinner our next move was across the creek and up the opposite slope,  … to the vineyard, and through the vines, which were looking lusty and vigorous with promise of a good crop, after which we naturally adjourned to the wine cellar, for Mr. Draper, in addition to being a skilled horticulturist … , is also his own wine maker, producing a sound, dry white of excellent character.’22

The end of an era came in 1903, when the Charnwood estate was subdivided into 4 orchard and grazing allotments of from 50 to 90 acres for sale by auction at Kirk’s Bazaar, Melbourne. Charles Draper was now 78 years old and there were no successors available to carry on the management of the orchards. The original homestead block was retained and is still held within the family as a grazing property.

He was the first large scale fruit grower in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts, and a horticultural pioneer in early Australian commercial fruit propagation and exports.

At the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society’s Show Luncheon in March 1908, Mr. Richard Wadeson made reference to ‘Mr. Chas. Draper, who up to last year, when he was unavoidably prevented from so doing, had judged continuously for 22 years, ….’ Mr. William Murphy ‘asked permission to propose the health of Mr. Chas. Draper. Mr. Wadeson had referred to the number of years he had officiated as a judge and he (Mr. Murphy) thought that as Mr. Draper was not present it would be an act of courtesy to propose the health of one who was undoubtedly the father of the fruit growing in the district.’23

Charles Draper died at Charnwood, at the age of 84 years, on 23 April 1909. The Hon, George Graham M.L.A. Minister for Agriculture, stated that he ‘was a household word among fruit growers who regarded him as an authority on the orchard.’  The Australasian lamented that ‘His burly form and genial face will be much missed at our flower and fruit shows.’24

Notes:

  1. ‘The Fruit Garden at Charnwood, Hazel Glen.’ The Leader, 6 February 1875.
  2. ‘Charnwood Fruit Ranch, Hazel Glen, Plenty Ranges.’ The Weekly Times, 8 February, 1873.
  3. ‘The Fruit Garden at Charnwood, Hazel Glen.’ The Leader, 6 February 1875.
  4. ‘Fruit Growing in the Plenty Ranges.’ The Leader, 24 February 1872.
  5. ‘The Fruit Garden at Charnwood, Hazel Glen.’ The Leader, 6 February 1875.
  6. ‘In an Orchard District. By Bruni. A Successful Fruitgrower.’ The Australasian, 29 June 1889.
  7. ‘The Exhibition.’ The Argus, 7 May 1873.
  8. ‘Horticultural Notes. Australian Fruit in Europe.’ The Weekly Times, 23 November 1878.
  9. ‘Notes on the Exhibition Fruit Show.’ The Australasian, 26 March 1881.
  10. ‘Annual Report of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria for 1887.’
  11. ‘Visit of Mr Deakin. Lecture on Irrigation.’ The Shepparton Advertiser, 1 March 1888.
  12. ‘Horticultural Notes.’ The Leader, 30 March 1889.
  13. ‘Charnwood.’ The Leader, 25 January 1890.
  14. ‘Horticultural Notes.’ The Australasian, 1 May 1909.
  15. ‘Begonias and How to Grow Them. Hints by Mr. W.L. Hartland.’ The Creswick Advertiser, 23 October 1908.
  16. ‘As Others See Us. Experts Opinions.’ The Mildura Cultivator, 29 May 1890.
  17. ‘Horticultural Notes.’ The Leader, 31 January 1891.
  18. ‘Fruit Growing near the Yan Yean. By Bruni. Charnwood Revisited.’ The Australasian, 14 March 1891.
  19. ‘Points of a Pilgrimage by D. Jones.’ The Queenslander, (20 December 1894)
  20. ‘Australasian Fruit Growers’ Conference. Papers and Discussion on Fruit Production.’ The Mercury, Hobart, 23 April 1895.
  21. ‘The Horticultural Show. Second Day.’ The Mercury, Hobart, 26 April 1895.
  22. ‘With Camera and Pencil. A Visit to “Charnwood”.’ The Garden Gazette, December 1902.
  23. ‘Diamond Creek Show, 18 March 1908. The Luncheon.’ The Evelyn Observer, 27 March 1908.
  24. ‘Horticultural Notes.’ The Australasian, 1 May 1909.
James Draper (1802 - 1880) and Mary Draper (nee Price) (1804 - 1890), the parents of Charles Draper c 1875.  After Charles purchased a home for his siblings he enabled his sisters Emma and Louisa (also pictured) to live in it, and then willed it to his daughter Fanny upon the death of his sisters
James Draper (1802 - 1880) and Mary Draper (nee Price) (1804 - 1890), the parents of Charles Draper c 1875. After Charles purchased a home for his siblings he enabled his sisters Emma and Louisa (also pictured) to live in it, and then willed it to his daughter Fanny upon the death of his sisters
The Shepshed Blackbrook mill was built in the 18th century and originally owned by the De Lisle family. Henry Draper was the last miller to use it for its intended purpose. By 1956, the mill was derelict, and was bought by the Foulquies family, a hosiers from Leicester, who converted the tower into a home.  Originally the mill had four sails as pictured here.  19th century photo in the Draper family collection
The Shepshed Blackbrook mill was built in the 18th century and originally owned by the De Lisle family. Henry Draper was the last miller to use it for its intended purpose. By 1956, the mill was derelict, and was bought by the Foulquies family, a hosiers from Leicester, who converted the tower into a home. Originally the mill had four sails as pictured here. 19th century photo in the Draper family collection
Blackbrook Windmill, Shepshed, Leicestershire. Charles Draper (1825-1909) was born at Shepshed in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire. In December 1852, Charles and Catherine Draper with their two small children, Maria age 3 and Joseph Charles age 1, left Liverpool in the ship 'Kate' bound for Port Phillip. The Kate arrived in Hobson’s Bay on 13 April 1853.  19th century photo in the Draper family collection
Blackbrook Windmill, Shepshed, Leicestershire. Charles Draper (1825-1909) was born at Shepshed in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire. In December 1852, Charles and Catherine Draper with their two small children, Maria age 3 and Joseph Charles age 1, left Liverpool in the ship 'Kate' bound for Port Phillip. The Kate arrived in Hobson’s Bay on 13 April 1853. 19th century photo in the Draper family collection
The spectacular begonias in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens are renowned to this day.  ‘Mr. W.L. Hartland of Creswick, officer in charge of the State nursery, and champion begonia grower of Victoria,’ purchased the begonia collection from the ‘Charnwood’ estate in June 1909. The Hartland collection, including the Charnwood collection, is reputed to have been a significant addition to the Ballarat collection.  The author is pictured in 2006 at the annual Ballarat Begonia Festival
The spectacular begonias in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens are renowned to this day. ‘Mr. W.L. Hartland of Creswick, officer in charge of the State nursery, and champion begonia grower of Victoria,’ purchased the begonia collection from the ‘Charnwood’ estate in June 1909. The Hartland collection, including the Charnwood collection, is reputed to have been a significant addition to the Ballarat collection. The author is pictured in 2006 at the annual Ballarat Begonia Festival

For further information about Charnwood, including its fruits and begonias, see City of Whittlesea Heritage Study 1990

Charles Draper, J.P. (1825 -1909), the author's great-grandfather was a co-founder and long-serving President of the Arthurs Creek Fruitgrowers’ Association.  Photo taken in 1905 when Charles was 80 years old
Charles Draper, J.P. (1825 -1909), the author's great-grandfather was a co-founder and long-serving President of the Arthurs Creek Fruitgrowers’ Association. Photo taken in 1905 when Charles was 80 years old
Catherine Draper (nee Chester), (1828 -1884) of 'Charnwood'. Photographed shortly before she died, aged only 56.  Catherine was a descendant of William Chester of Chipping-Barnet, the ancestor of the Chesters of Blaby in Leicestershire, UK.  Their arms bore 'Ermine, on a chief sable a griffin passant Argent'.  Many descendants of the Chesters of Blaby can today be found in Connecticut, USA.
Catherine Draper (nee Chester), (1828 -1884) of 'Charnwood'. Photographed shortly before she died, aged only 56. Catherine was a descendant of William Chester of Chipping-Barnet, the ancestor of the Chesters of Blaby in Leicestershire, UK. Their arms bore 'Ermine, on a chief sable a griffin passant Argent'. Many descendants of the Chesters of Blaby can today be found in Connecticut, USA.
The Old Mill House, Blaby.  Catherine Chester was a descendant of the Chesters of Blaby in Leicestershire
The Old Mill House, Blaby. Catherine Chester was a descendant of the Chesters of Blaby in Leicestershire
1893 List of New Fruit Trees Grown For Sale By Charles Draper 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek.  This historic catalogue contains varieties that were popular at the time, in addition to new varieties that Charles Draper introduced to the market.  Each variety has a detailed description.  Apples include Delaware Red Winter, Isham Sweet, Lawver, M’Mahan’s White, M’Intosh Red, Mann, Walbridge, Wolf River, Beauty of Bath, Cumberland Favourite, Castle Major, Belle Pontoise, Hangan’s Golden Pippin, Harvey Wiltshire Defiance, Lady Sudeley, Potts’s Seedling, Queen Caroline, Red Bietigheimer, September Beauty, Pile’s Russet, Griton House.  A cherry called Olivette.  Peaches called Arkansas Traveller, Beer’s Smock, Bilyen’s Late October, Bonanza, Chinese Cling, Chair’s Choice, Elberta, Foster, Governor Garland, The Globe, Garey’s Hold-On, Large Early York, Lady Ingold, La Grange, Morris White, Muir, Nichol’s Organge Cling, Old Mixon Free, Pratt, Reeve’s Favourite, Schumaker, Thurber, The Wonderful, Wager, Wheat Land, Winter’s Cling.  Plums including Grand Duke, Silver Prune, Kelsey.  Pears called Belle D’Ecully, Beacon, Beurre Benoist, Beurre Baltet Pere, Beurre Dumont, Comte De Chambord, Doyenne De Melode, President D’Osmondville, Marie Benoist, Magnate.
1893 List of New Fruit Trees Grown For Sale By Charles Draper 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek. This historic catalogue contains varieties that were popular at the time, in addition to new varieties that Charles Draper introduced to the market. Each variety has a detailed description. Apples include Delaware Red Winter, Isham Sweet, Lawver, M’Mahan’s White, M’Intosh Red, Mann, Walbridge, Wolf River, Beauty of Bath, Cumberland Favourite, Castle Major, Belle Pontoise, Hangan’s Golden Pippin, Harvey Wiltshire Defiance, Lady Sudeley, Potts’s Seedling, Queen Caroline, Red Bietigheimer, September Beauty, Pile’s Russet, Griton House. A cherry called Olivette. Peaches called Arkansas Traveller, Beer’s Smock, Bilyen’s Late October, Bonanza, Chinese Cling, Chair’s Choice, Elberta, Foster, Governor Garland, The Globe, Garey’s Hold-On, Large Early York, Lady Ingold, La Grange, Morris White, Muir, Nichol’s Organge Cling, Old Mixon Free, Pratt, Reeve’s Favourite, Schumaker, Thurber, The Wonderful, Wager, Wheat Land, Winter’s Cling. Plums including Grand Duke, Silver Prune, Kelsey. Pears called Belle D’Ecully, Beacon, Beurre Benoist, Beurre Baltet Pere, Beurre Dumont, Comte De Chambord, Doyenne De Melode, President D’Osmondville, Marie Benoist, Magnate.

For further information about heritage varieties and Charles Draper see Heritage Apples, Pears, Quinces, Plums & Citrus by The Australian Garden History Society

Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886.  Commemorative Medal presented to Charles Draper
Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886. Commemorative Medal presented to Charles Draper
On the veranda at ‘Charnwood’ c 1896.
Left to right back row: Mary Jane Draper (1859-1911), William Plenty Draper (1855-1907), James Draper (1863-1940). Front row: Fanny Catherine Draper ( 1866-1944), Charles Draper (1825-1909), Louisa Ann Dorothy Draper (1870-1938). Sitting on floor: John Charles Draper (1881-1959, child of Joseph and Hannah Draper).  Fanny was home visiting ‘Charnwood’ to arrange her dowry and wedding plans. She was married at Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire, England in November 1896. Joseph Charles Draper (1851–1902) and his wife Hannah (1857–1923, nee Laidlay) sent their eldest son John down from Glenburn, to stay with his grandfather Charles, for schooling at Arthurs Creek. In August 1896 The Evelyn Observer reported on the party given to send off Fanny to England; ‘cordial welcome and good cheer awaited all, the burly and general squire of Charnwood taking it as a delight to entertain his guests…’
On the veranda at ‘Charnwood’ c 1896. Left to right back row: Mary Jane Draper (1859-1911), William Plenty Draper (1855-1907), James Draper (1863-1940). Front row: Fanny Catherine Draper ( 1866-1944), Charles Draper (1825-1909), Louisa Ann Dorothy Draper (1870-1938). Sitting on floor: John Charles Draper (1881-1959, child of Joseph and Hannah Draper). Fanny was home visiting ‘Charnwood’ to arrange her dowry and wedding plans. She was married at Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire, England in November 1896. Joseph Charles Draper (1851–1902) and his wife Hannah (1857–1923, nee Laidlay) sent their eldest son John down from Glenburn, to stay with his grandfather Charles, for schooling at Arthurs Creek. In August 1896 The Evelyn Observer reported on the party given to send off Fanny to England; ‘cordial welcome and good cheer awaited all, the burly and general squire of Charnwood taking it as a delight to entertain his guests…’
Visitors in the garden at 'Charnwood' c 1900. Left to Right: Charles Draper (1825 -1909), possibly a journalist, John McDonald (1853-1929), Jessie Ellen Fisher (1867- 1933), Maude Underwood (1891 – 1978, daughter of Emma Draper), and Emily 'May' Clinton (1881 - 1974, later Mrs John Charles Draper).  The Garden Gazette reported that  ‘After dinner our next move was across the creek and up the opposite slope,  … to the vineyard, and through the vines, which were looking lusty and vigorous with promise of a good crop, after which we naturally adjourned to the wine cellar, for Mr. Draper, in addition to being a skilled horticulturist … , is also his own wine maker, producing a sound, dry white of excellent character.’  John McDonald’s son, John Henry McDonald (1888-1954) married Charles Draper’s granddaughter, Julie Catherine Draper (1891-1968), daughter of William Plenty Draper (1855-1907).  This photo is special to both families for picturing these two Arthurs Creek pioneers together.  They were close friends and neighbours before becoming family
Visitors in the garden at 'Charnwood' c 1900. Left to Right: Charles Draper (1825 -1909), possibly a journalist, John McDonald (1853-1929), Jessie Ellen Fisher (1867- 1933), Maude Underwood (1891 – 1978, daughter of Emma Draper), and Emily 'May' Clinton (1881 - 1974, later Mrs John Charles Draper). The Garden Gazette reported that ‘After dinner our next move was across the creek and up the opposite slope, … to the vineyard, and through the vines, which were looking lusty and vigorous with promise of a good crop, after which we naturally adjourned to the wine cellar, for Mr. Draper, in addition to being a skilled horticulturist … , is also his own wine maker, producing a sound, dry white of excellent character.’ John McDonald’s son, John Henry McDonald (1888-1954) married Charles Draper’s granddaughter, Julie Catherine Draper (1891-1968), daughter of William Plenty Draper (1855-1907). This photo is special to both families for picturing these two Arthurs Creek pioneers together. They were close friends and neighbours before becoming family
Second annual trip of the students of the Horticultural College, Burnley to the Government Scent Farm at Dunolly, 23 November 1893. Charles Draper is standing in second row, fourth from the left. Photo: Nicholas Caire. Courtesy Bruce G. Draper.  Charles Draper acted as a judge at many horticultural exhibitions throughout the colony. He was awarded a bronze medal for services as a juror at the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1888
Second annual trip of the students of the Horticultural College, Burnley to the Government Scent Farm at Dunolly, 23 November 1893. Charles Draper is standing in second row, fourth from the left. Photo: Nicholas Caire. Courtesy Bruce G. Draper. Charles Draper acted as a judge at many horticultural exhibitions throughout the colony. He was awarded a bronze medal for services as a juror at the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1888
Charles Draper at a Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria meeting in Melbourne c 1885.  In July 1871, Charles was elected to the Practical Committee of the Horticultural Society of Victoria, which in 1885 was to become the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria. He was a member of the Fruit Committee and was appointed a Trustee of the Society’s Experimental Gardens at Richmond
Charles Draper at a Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria meeting in Melbourne c 1885. In July 1871, Charles was elected to the Practical Committee of the Horticultural Society of Victoria, which in 1885 was to become the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria. He was a member of the Fruit Committee and was appointed a Trustee of the Society’s Experimental Gardens at Richmond
Charles Draper (possibly at the Mildura Fruit Growers Association) c 1890.  In May 1890, Charles Draper was one of the fruit and vine growing experts who accompanied the first Parliamentary Visit to Mildura, at the joint invitation of the Mildura Shire Council and the firm of Chaffey Brothers Limited
Charles Draper (possibly at the Mildura Fruit Growers Association) c 1890. In May 1890, Charles Draper was one of the fruit and vine growing experts who accompanied the first Parliamentary Visit to Mildura, at the joint invitation of the Mildura Shire Council and the firm of Chaffey Brothers Limited
Charles Draper with staff and students at Burnley Horticultural College c 1900.  Messrs. William Anderson, Charles Draper and Henry Boyce were nominated to the Board of Advice for Management of the Horticultural Gardens. The Government appointees were David Martin, Secretary for Agriculture, Chairman, Joseph Harris and James Lang. George Neilson was appointed Curator. The Board of Advice was appointed on 16 February 1891. In May 1891, the first School of Horticulture in Australia came into existence
Charles Draper with staff and students at Burnley Horticultural College c 1900. Messrs. William Anderson, Charles Draper and Henry Boyce were nominated to the Board of Advice for Management of the Horticultural Gardens. The Government appointees were David Martin, Secretary for Agriculture, Chairman, Joseph Harris and James Lang. George Neilson was appointed Curator. The Board of Advice was appointed on 16 February 1891. In May 1891, the first School of Horticulture in Australia came into existence
Charles Draper at an Orchardists’ Demonstration where horticultural innovations, modern practices and knowledge were shared.  On May 12, 1890, the Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association was formed with Charles Draper as President, P.W.J. Murphy, Secretary and J. Herbert as Treasurer.  Charles Draper was to serve as President for the next 14 years. The early efforts of the Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society, formed in September 1884, provided the foundations for the advancement of the fruit growing industry in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts
Charles Draper at an Orchardists’ Demonstration where horticultural innovations, modern practices and knowledge were shared. On May 12, 1890, the Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association was formed with Charles Draper as President, P.W.J. Murphy, Secretary and J. Herbert as Treasurer. Charles Draper was to serve as President for the next 14 years. The early efforts of the Arthur’s Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society, formed in September 1884, provided the foundations for the advancement of the fruit growing industry in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts
'Charnwood' photographed by Bruce G. Draper in 1968, showing the remains of the stables with the kitchen block behind
'Charnwood' photographed by Bruce G. Draper in 1968, showing the remains of the stables with the kitchen block behind
'Charnwood' photographed by Bruce G. Draper in 1968, showing the remains of the stables with the kitchen block behind.  Roy McDonald remembered that around 1920 ‘they lived in the large building – with a weatherboard cottage beside, attached by a walkway…down the side of the house there were windows which we used to peer through to see the rooms full of furniture.  We lived in this barn of a place with some stone floors, open fire place, big table…Mum used to say it was the servant’s quarters but….it could have been the kitchen because they had big parties’ credit Ross McDonald, ‘From Laggan to Arthurs Creek’
'Charnwood' photographed by Bruce G. Draper in 1968, showing the remains of the stables with the kitchen block behind. Roy McDonald remembered that around 1920 ‘they lived in the large building – with a weatherboard cottage beside, attached by a walkway…down the side of the house there were windows which we used to peer through to see the rooms full of furniture. We lived in this barn of a place with some stone floors, open fire place, big table…Mum used to say it was the servant’s quarters but….it could have been the kitchen because they had big parties’ credit Ross McDonald, ‘From Laggan to Arthurs Creek’
'Charnwood', Bruce G. Draper, 1968, showing the remains of the stables.  The stables contained six stalls and were built during the 1870s using hand made bricks obtained from clay in a gully behind the stables
'Charnwood', Bruce G. Draper, 1968, showing the remains of the stables. The stables contained six stalls and were built during the 1870s using hand made bricks obtained from clay in a gully behind the stables
Visiting 'Charnwood' with the author's father, James Chester Draper (1905 - 1998) in 1987.  Photo by Bruce G. Draper
Visiting 'Charnwood' with the author's father, James Chester Draper (1905 - 1998) in 1987. Photo by Bruce G. Draper
The 'Charnwood' estate in 1972, showing the overgrown garden and remnant orchards on the original homestead block
The 'Charnwood' estate in 1972, showing the overgrown garden and remnant orchards on the original homestead block
Remains of 'Charnwood', Bruce G. Draper, 1968
Remains of 'Charnwood', Bruce G. Draper, 1968
'Charnwood', 1922.  Roy McDonald (grandson of William Plenty Draper) remembered in the 1920s before starting school at Arthurs Creek and then Scotch College ‘they lived in the large building – with a weatherboard cottage beside, attached by a walkway…down the side of the house there were windows which we used to peer through to see the rooms full of furniture.  We lived in this barn of a place with some stone floors, open fire place, big table…Mum used to say it was the servant’s quarters but….it could have been the kitchen because they had big parties’ credit Ross McDonald, ‘From Laggan to Arthurs Creek’
'Charnwood', 1922. Roy McDonald (grandson of William Plenty Draper) remembered in the 1920s before starting school at Arthurs Creek and then Scotch College ‘they lived in the large building – with a weatherboard cottage beside, attached by a walkway…down the side of the house there were windows which we used to peer through to see the rooms full of furniture. We lived in this barn of a place with some stone floors, open fire place, big table…Mum used to say it was the servant’s quarters but….it could have been the kitchen because they had big parties’ credit Ross McDonald, ‘From Laggan to Arthurs Creek’
Joseph Charles Draper on the left and original Draper pioneers Catherine and Charles on the right.  Photo by Bruce G. Draper, Arthurs Creek Cemetery, 2012
Joseph Charles Draper on the left and original Draper pioneers Catherine and Charles on the right. Photo by Bruce G. Draper, Arthurs Creek Cemetery, 2012
Charles Draper, J.P. (1825 -1909). The author's great-grandfather and a noted horticultural pioneer, he was the first large scale fruit grower in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts
Charles Draper, J.P. (1825 -1909). The author's great-grandfather and a noted horticultural pioneer, he was the first large scale fruit grower in the Arthur’s and Diamond Creek districts
Historic view across 'Charnwood' and the Running Creek valley to Mt. Sugarloaf
Historic view across 'Charnwood' and the Running Creek valley to Mt. Sugarloaf
Charnwood Forest Leicestershire by Edward Davies (1841-1920).  Credit Leicestershire County Council Museums Service
Charnwood Forest Leicestershire by Edward Davies (1841-1920). Credit Leicestershire County Council Museums Service
The author, Bruce G. Draper at Arthurs Creek Cemetery in 2001 at the graves of Arthurs Creek pioneers, Charles and Catherine Draper.  Charles Draper died at 'Charnwood', at the age of 84 years, on 23 April 1909. The Hon. George Graham M.L.A. Minister for Agriculture, stated that he ‘was a household word among fruit growers who regarded him as an authority on the orchard.’  The Australasian lamented that ‘His burly form and genial face will be much missed at our flower and fruit shows.’
The author, Bruce G. Draper at Arthurs Creek Cemetery in 2001 at the graves of Arthurs Creek pioneers, Charles and Catherine Draper. Charles Draper died at 'Charnwood', at the age of 84 years, on 23 April 1909. The Hon. George Graham M.L.A. Minister for Agriculture, stated that he ‘was a household word among fruit growers who regarded him as an authority on the orchard.’ The Australasian lamented that ‘His burly form and genial face will be much missed at our flower and fruit shows.’
Thomas McMillan, maker.  Apple model – Winter Majetin, Hazelglen, Victoria, 1875.   Wax, pigment.  On loan from Museum Victoria.  The Technological and Industrial Museum’s economic botany collection recorded and advertised the economic potential of Australia’s agricultural products.  Among these were fruit and vegetables.  In order to demonstrate Victoria’s capacity in this area of production, and in the absence of colour photography, the museum commissioned wax models of local specimens.  Trained model makers, many of whom were women, worked in the museum laboratory making models that documented healthy, diseased and unusual examples of fruit and vegetables.  These were placed on permanent display for the education of the general public.  This model is of a Winter Majetin, a cooking apple, which was grown by Charles Draper of Hazelglen in 1875 (Hazelglen was then the district name, later being named Arthurs Creek and Doreen).  Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s
Thomas McMillan, maker. Apple model – Winter Majetin, Hazelglen, Victoria, 1875. Wax, pigment. On loan from Museum Victoria. The Technological and Industrial Museum’s economic botany collection recorded and advertised the economic potential of Australia’s agricultural products. Among these were fruit and vegetables. In order to demonstrate Victoria’s capacity in this area of production, and in the absence of colour photography, the museum commissioned wax models of local specimens. Trained model makers, many of whom were women, worked in the museum laboratory making models that documented healthy, diseased and unusual examples of fruit and vegetables. These were placed on permanent display for the education of the general public. This model is of a Winter Majetin, a cooking apple, which was grown by Charles Draper of Hazelglen in 1875 (Hazelglen was then the district name, later being named Arthurs Creek and Doreen). Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s
Illustrations for wax fruit models.  The Horticultural Society played a prominent part in the development of the fruit export trade. Mr Charles Draper was one of the first Victorians to export apples, which were included in the shipment arranged by Mr John Carson of Kew for display at the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873. This was the first time fresh fruit had been exported from Victoria to Europe. Prior to this modelled fruits in wax were sent overseas for display.  Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s
Illustrations for wax fruit models. The Horticultural Society played a prominent part in the development of the fruit export trade. Mr Charles Draper was one of the first Victorians to export apples, which were included in the shipment arranged by Mr John Carson of Kew for display at the Vienna International Exhibition in 1873. This was the first time fresh fruit had been exported from Victoria to Europe. Prior to this modelled fruits in wax were sent overseas for display. Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s
Thomas McMillan, maker.  Apple model – Winter Majetin, Hazelglen, Victoria, 1875.   Wax, pigment.  On loan from Museum Victoria.  The Technological and Industrial Museum’s economic botany collection recorded and advertised the economic potential of Australia’s agricultural products.  Among these were fruit and vegetables.  In order to demonstrate Victoria’s capacity in this area of production, and in the absence of colour photography, the museum commissioned wax models of local specimens.  Trained model makers, many of whom were women, worked in the museum laboratory making models that documented healthy, diseased and unusual examples of fruit and vegetables.  These were placed on permanent display for the education of the general public.  This model is of a Winter Majetin, a cooking apple, which was grown by Charles Draper of Hazelglen in 1875 (Hazelglen was then the district name, later being named Arthurs Creek and Doreen).  Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s
Thomas McMillan, maker. Apple model – Winter Majetin, Hazelglen, Victoria, 1875. Wax, pigment. On loan from Museum Victoria. The Technological and Industrial Museum’s economic botany collection recorded and advertised the economic potential of Australia’s agricultural products. Among these were fruit and vegetables. In order to demonstrate Victoria’s capacity in this area of production, and in the absence of colour photography, the museum commissioned wax models of local specimens. Trained model makers, many of whom were women, worked in the museum laboratory making models that documented healthy, diseased and unusual examples of fruit and vegetables. These were placed on permanent display for the education of the general public. This model is of a Winter Majetin, a cooking apple, which was grown by Charles Draper of Hazelglen in 1875 (Hazelglen was then the district name, later being named Arthurs Creek and Doreen). Photo taken by Bruce G. Draper at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in the 1990s

For further information about wax fruit models for Charles Draper see Apple Model – Royal Pearmain, Hazelglen 1875 at Museums Victoria Collections and Making the connection between history,agricultural diversity and place – the story of Victorian apples by Johanna Annelie Christensen

Early invitation from the Arthurs Creek Fruit and Progress Association c 1912
Early invitation from the Arthurs Creek Fruit and Progress Association c 1912
The garden at 'Charnwood' c 1900 with Charles Draper (1825 -1909) and Jessie Ellen Fisher (1867- 1933).  The Garden Gazette of 1902 wrote of its visit to Charnwood with camera and pencil 'confronting you on every side as you ramble through the winding paths are roses of every hue, mostly teas, with a few fine old favourites, as Madame J. Lang, Captain Christy, Paul Heyron, La France, and other hybrid perpetuals of fragrant beauty, dainty polyanthus roses, Cecile Brunner, Perle D’Or, and Marie Pavie, wonderfully robust standards with glorious heads of massive blooms that would make a city florist’s fingers itch to pick them; and all growing at their own sweet will, yet tended with that consummate skill that removes all signs of neglect and decay, without destroying nature’s handiwork with formal trimming and prim devices.’
The garden at 'Charnwood' c 1900 with Charles Draper (1825 -1909) and Jessie Ellen Fisher (1867- 1933). The Garden Gazette of 1902 wrote of its visit to Charnwood with camera and pencil 'confronting you on every side as you ramble through the winding paths are roses of every hue, mostly teas, with a few fine old favourites, as Madame J. Lang, Captain Christy, Paul Heyron, La France, and other hybrid perpetuals of fragrant beauty, dainty polyanthus roses, Cecile Brunner, Perle D’Or, and Marie Pavie, wonderfully robust standards with glorious heads of massive blooms that would make a city florist’s fingers itch to pick them; and all growing at their own sweet will, yet tended with that consummate skill that removes all signs of neglect and decay, without destroying nature’s handiwork with formal trimming and prim devices.’
Pear tree near Running Creek above 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek.  Bruce G. Draper, November 2003
Pear tree near Running Creek above 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek. Bruce G. Draper, November 2003
Old stable at 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek.  Bruce G. Draper, November 2003
Old stable at 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek. Bruce G. Draper, November 2003
Looking along the Running Creek towards 'Charnwood' from Brennan's Road East.  Bruce G. Draper November 2003
Looking along the Running Creek towards 'Charnwood' from Brennan's Road East. Bruce G. Draper November 2003
Running Creek valley near 'Charnwood'
Running Creek valley near 'Charnwood'
Chestnut tree in the garden at 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek, 1905
Chestnut tree in the garden at 'Charnwood', Arthurs Creek, 1905

For further information about early fruit growing and farming in the district see Horticultural Settlement at Arthurs Creek and other chapters in the book Up the Creek: Early Days in the Arthurs Creek District by Bruce G. Draper

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