This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 24 June-30 June 1841

MR DIGHT’S FLOUR MILL

You might remember that on May 1-7 the Port PHillip Herald announced that construction was to begin on a water-driven mill at what we now know as Dight’s Falls. Work had continued apace:

NEW FLOUR MILLS. Mr Dight, a gentleman lately arrived in our province from Sydney, has commenced operations for the erection of a flour mill, at the junction of the Merri Creek and Yarra Yarra.  This will be an inducement for the settlers in the neighbourhood to cultivate more extensively than hitherto, as they will now be enabled to have their wheat ground without the necessity of exporting it to V. Diemen’s Land, or any other of the neighbouring colonies, and being at the additional expense of importing flour in return.  The back or “tail” race has already been cut, and the building itself will be commenced in about six weeks; and as almost all the fittings up, and other requisites are already provided, we may expect that the mill will be in full operation before many months. The situation has been well selected, and the government have promised every encouragement which such undertaking so richly merits.  We heartily wish the spirited proprietor, who is a native of the colony, every success; and we embrace the opportunity of congratulating our fellow-colonists upon the prospect of being enabled to produce facts in refutation of the jealous misrepresentations of such productions as Murray’s Review, in which the province is said to be entirely “unfitted for agriculture”.(PPH 25/6/41)

Ceres Mills on the Yarra

Ceres Mill on the Yarra by George Alexander Gilbert, 1846-7 SLV (or possibly by one of his pupils)

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/298652

THINGS LOOKING WORSE

The same inactivity which existed in our markets last week has still continued and no expectation of a rise can be entertained when a comparison is made between the present stock of all articles of general consumption and what it was at this present period in 1840 (PPH 25/6/41)

Wages for recently arrived emigrants were falling. Several recently arrived emigrants engaged at £25 per anuum for single farming men; their wages used to be from £35-40. However, at this stage it was perceived that

This is to be attributed solely to the pressure of the times, and not to the labour market being over stocked. (PPH 25/6/41)

Not only were wages falling, but prices were falling as well. A  4lb loaf of bread fell from 1s.6d to 1. 3d, and meat could now be purchased at 4d. a lb instead of the 5d and 6d a pound that was the going price in May. (PPH 29/6/41)

BUT YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH LAND, CAN YOU?

IMPORTANT LAND SALE. On Friday morning last, it was generally known in Melbourne, that Sir George Gipps had given notice of his intention to throw open for selection, on the uniform-price system of 1 pound per acres, a very large quantity of Port Phillip land.  The consequence was, that during the whole of that and subsequent day the Survey Office was thronged by parties desirous of obtaining information on the subject. We are indebted to Mr Hoddle for the following particulars, and are requested by that gentleman to state, he will feel obliged if parties will not call at the Survey Office to make enquiries relative to the sale until after tomorrow, as the clerks are all busily engaged in making out the descriptions which are very lengthy. The land will be advertised in the usual way, either at the end of this or the beginning of next week. It may be as well to remind our readers that the following are the conditions under which the land will be disposed of. Immediately after it has been advertised, parties who pay in their money first will be entitled to first choice, that is if they are in attendance at the time appointed by the Government for the selection to be made; provided always that no land order from England of previous date be presented at the same time.  The allotments vary in size from 35 to 800 acres, but the majority of them are about 150 acres each.  The sale will not take place before three months from the date of it being first advertised; at the expiration of which period there will doubtless be a considerable rush on the opening of the door of the Treasury.

Land was offered on the Werribee River, Geelong, Lake Colac and at Doutagalla parish “between the Salt Creek and the Moonee Moonie chain of ponds”. In the parish of Bulleen, 7635 acres was put up for sale:

The land in the Parish of Bulleen is for the most part thickly timbered with stringy bark, and is also very hilly. There are however several extensive patches of “good grassy hills” (as laid down in the chart at the survey office). The land for sale is immediately adjoining Mr Unwin’s special survey, near Dr McDermard’s cattle station and about seven miles distant from Melbourne, on the South bank of the Yarra.” (29/6/41)

AND THE WEATHER?

Well, it’s winter. A maximum for the week of 60 (15.5C) and a minimum of 42 (5.5C). The weather continued variable, with a gale on 26th.

 

 

 

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3 responses to “This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 24 June-30 June 1841

  1. Hard for a man to get ahead when 150 acres uncleared costs six years wages. Have you any idea how much of the Western District had been squatted by this time?

    • Sorry- no idea at all. I’m not even sure how to find out.

      • I idly googled Nareen (famously the Fraser estate) and worked my way back. It seems Nareen was a subdivision of Kout Norien on the Glenelg River near Harrow, originally taken up in 1840 as a 400,000 acre pastoral run. The Hentys got to Portland in 1834 so at some stage the squatters from Portland must have bumped into the (legal) settlers from Melbourne. I might try googling Purrumbete next, settled 1839 apparently.

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