In 1951, Frank Dalby Davison (1893-1970) and his second wife Marie, purchased a small (60 acre) farm at Arthurs Creek as their permanent home. They established a dairy and pig farm on the property, which was aptly named ‘Folding Hills’.
Frank was best known as the author of two classic animal stories, ‘Man-Shy’, first published in 1931, and ‘Dusty’, published by Angus & Robertson in 1946. Dusty is the story of a part-dingo, red kelpie sheep dog and Man-Shy, the story of an untameable red heifer. A film version of Dusty, by director/producer John Richardson, was released in 1983.
Other well-known works include ‘The Wells of Beersheba’ (1933) about the Australian Light Horse in Palestine, ‘The Woman at the Mill’ (1940), a collection of short stories, and ‘The Road to Yesterday’ (1964), based on his early bush experience.
At Folding Hills Frank completed his massive novel about city life and sexual behaviour, ‘The White Thorntree’, published as a two volume limited edition in 1968. He also contributed a regular feature to The Argus about bush life in what he referred to as the old settled district of Lintonvale*. The feature was published under the heading ‘Frank Dalby Davison’s Bush Diary’.
Frank Dalby Davison died at the Diamond Valley hospital, Greensborough on 24 May 1970, at the age of seventy-seven. His remains were cremated and ashes spread at Folding Hills under what was then a large gum tree. Marie Davison, who was twenty years younger, shared her love of farming with Frank and for many years continued to live on the farm. Her ashes were spread near Frank’s on the folding hills.
In 1993 Dusty & Man-Shy were published in a combined edition for the Reader’s Digest World’s Best Reading collection.
* In the early days, the Parish of Linton encompassed the rolling hills and creek flats at the junction of the Deep Creek, Running Creek and Arthurs Creek.
Source : Notes prepared for talk by Bruce G. Draper given to Arthurs Creek District Landcare Group in December 2013.