…In August 1897, George Brain, George Horn and John Mann raised a petition for a post office to be established in the Upper Arthurs Creek area. Proposed names for the post office, of Scottish derivation, were Glenard, Headcorie and Strathewen…
John and James Mann arrived in Port Phillip on 7 September 1857. John married Violet McKimmie, daughter of John and Jane McKimmie of Darebin Creek, on 25 September 1862. At this time John was a tenant farmer on Overton Farm at Janefield, which he and his brother James rented from Alexander Miller Brock. In October 1873 James Mann selected land on the upper reaches of the Arthurs Creek in the Parish of Queenstown which he named ‘Lang Fauld Farm’. He was joined by John Mann in 1874 who selected adjoining land which he named ‘Carseburn’.
In August 1897, George Brain, George Horn and John Mann raised a petition for a post office to be established in the Upper Arthurs Creek area. Proposed names for the post office, of Scottish derivation, were ‘Glenard’ after the original Smith brother’s Glenard (Glen Ard) station, ‘Headcorie’ referring to the mountain hollow in the head waters of the Arthurs Creek and ‘Strathewen’ meaning the broad mountain valley of Ewen after the local parliamentary representative for nearly forty years, (1874 to 1914), Ewen Hugh Cameron MLA. The original post office was located at Violet Mann’s Carseburn. Walter Mann is thought to have been in charge of the post office from 1909 to 1916.
‘A public meeting of those interested in the erection of a building for public purposes’ was held at Mrs. Violet Mann’s Carseburn on Monday, September 2, 1901. The notice for the meeting was signed by George Horn Sec. Pro Tem. The land for erection of the hall was donated by John Mann junior of Violet Glen and transferred to the five original trustees, Messrs. Walter Mann, William David Mann, John Mann, Martin James Brennan and James Healey, on 6 February 1902. A grand Concert and Ball was held to celebrate the opening of the Strathewen Public Hall on 23 April 1902.
In 1914 the Strathewen State School no. 3947 was built on two acres of land purchased by local residents.
A public meeting was held in the Strathewen Hall on 24 March 1917 ‘to consider the advisability of forming a progress association in this district’. George Apted’s motion that a progress association be formed, was unanimously carried. ‘Messrs. G. Apted and G. Brain, in their usual capable manner, enlightened the meeting as to the objects at which the Association should aim.’ G.E. Brain was elected President and W. Horn Secretary of the Strathewen Fruit and Progress Association.
In 1924–25 Frederick and Eleanor Sparkes built the guest house ‘Singing Water’ on the Arthurs Creek below the Sugarloaf. The guest house continued in operation under her daughter Mrs. Vera McKimmie. Another more modest guest house, ‘The Dean’ situated near Bowden Spur Road, was run by Maggie and George Murdie.
Publishers note: this article was written and published in 2005, with no knowledge of the 2009 bushfires.