…the lack of an accurate survey was to create difficulties for the Reid family in relation to their neighbours and subsequent occupation of the run…
In early 1844 Patrick Reid took over the squatting licence for the Stewart Ponds run to the west of Arthur’s Creek, which he renamed ‘Hazel Glen’ (also written as Hazelglen). The name was taken from Hazelden, the Reid estate at Mearns in Renfrewshire Scotland. The run was to the east of purchased land along the Plenty River in the parish of Yan Yean, and was held in occupation under annual Government licence without prior survey. The lack of an accurate survey was to create difficulties for the Reid family in relation to their neighbours and subsequent occupation of the run.
The run lay between the western boundary of the parish of Linton and the Back or Diamond Creek, now Arthur’s Creek, to the east. The Stewarts Ponds or Saltwater Creek ran through the property to join the Arthur’s Creek near Nutfield. The southern boundary extended from near the creek junction to Doreen. A line of painted trees marked the boundary of Bears’ run to the north extending from near Ridge Road, past Bear’s outstation hut, to the Arthur’s Creek. Rent was paid for eight 640 acre sections, although the exact area of the run was not known. Patrick Reid thought ‘the run will not measure more than seven and a half’.
The northern boundary of Reid’s run was disputed by John Bear, who sought to include in his run a water hole along the ‘Chain of Ponds’ which had good water in dry seasons. The water hole had previously been used by Wills as a sheep camp, and was considered by Reid to be ‘the only one on my run convenient for my dairy cows.’ Bear’s claim included a piece of unoccupied land between the two runs, which he considered to be part of land previously leased by William Ryder. Robert Reid, Patrick’s eldest son, made a ploughed furrow to mark what he considered to be the northern boundary. Complaints were made by the Reids in relation to Wills’ and Bear’s sheep and Sherwin’s and Bear’s cattle being driven on to the run.
Patrick Reid’s wife Agnes died on 17 May 1847. Agnes was buried on the nearby hilltop overlooking the run, to the east of the homestead section, in what is now the Arthurs Creek Cemetery. In a report to Robert Hoddle dated October 1848, the list of main improvements to the property included a brick and lime dwelling house with shingle roof, detached kitchen, enclosed garden of 1 1/4 acres, wool shed and yards, huts and stockyards, enclosed grass paddock of 400 acres, two wheat paddocks, hut and garden outstation, sheep washing place, rain water tank with pump and lead pipes for supply of house and artificial waterhole for lambing flock, amounting to a total value of 625 pounds. The rent paid for the eight sections for the year ending 31 December 1850 was 8 pounds.
Although application was made to purchase the homestead section by auction in August 1850, it was not until 30 April 1852 that approval was granted for the purchase of the homestead section at the price of twenty shillings per acre.
Under the Duffy Land Act of 1862, leases in the Arthur’s Creek district were cancelled, and the land surveyed and thrown open for selection. Under this and subsequent legislation, former leaseholders and settlers of limited means were able to locate themselves on land which they could call their own. A new wave of settlers entered the district. The Reid family held a pre-emptive right to the Hazel Glen homestead section of 640 acres. Three of Patrick Reid’s sons Patrick junior, William and Hugh Sterling were able to select land adjacent to the homestead section.
The area covered by the original Hazel Glen run and adjacent lands was known as the Hazel Glen district for many years. Reminders today are the Hazel Glen homestead in Middle Hut Road, the Hazel Glen (Linton-Arthur’s Creek) Cemetery, Hazel Glen Uniting Church (Wesleyan Chapel) on the corner of Chapel Lane and Yan Yean Road, the site of the Hazel Glen Hall and St John’s Church of England in Doctor’s Gully Road, site of the former Hazel Glen common school in Chapel Lane, the Hazel Glen-Doreen School in Doctor’s Gully Road and the former Hazel Glen post offices attached to the schools and later the store at Hickey’s Corner (now Doreen). On 26 January 1994 a memorial plaque was unveiled at the Arthur’s Creek Cemetery to commemorate 150 years of continuous occupancy of the ‘Hazel Glen’ property by the Reid family.
Source : Compiled from copies of original correspondence held by the Reid family.
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