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Drysdale: Street Names

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The following history of street names is reproduced from the Investigator with the kind permission of W. J. (Bill) Morrow and the Geelong Historical Society. Note : please remember that the Investigator began more than 30 years ago, therefore some names and buildings have since disappeared into history.

The earliest plan of Drysdale streets appeared in 1857 and is that of the surveyor, Francis E. Gilbert, who named the town Drysdale in succession to the name Bellarine, with rural blocks around McLeods Waterholes, another early name for the area. Despite his instructions to use native names where possible, the surveyor chose names in the heroic mould, possibly reflecting his own thoughts on the subject. The only native names used at the time were Coriyule from the lady squatters' home, and Murradoc, probably derived from the same origin as Moorooduc on the Mornington Peninsula. Jonas Felix Levien, long-standing early politician for the area, named his property Murradoc. Murradoc is said by late Les Blake to mean darkness, but another reference says it means flat swamp, and Gilbert recorded fresh water around Murradoc Road.

Ashworth StreetMartin Ashworth, the engineer of the ill-fated Bellarine Mill of 1856, built in Jetty Road, raised his family in the vicinity of this road which now bears the family name; descendants still live in the district.
Barrands LaneWilliam Barrand, a descendant of the pioneer Eldred Barrand, had his property between Clifton Springs Road and Jetty Road, and this lane became the link between Wyndham Street and Clifton Springs.
Beacon Point RoadThis is the continuation of Springs Road to the foreshore and presumably to a marine navigation beacon located nearby.
Bennett StreetEarly this century Thomas Bennett, who reared a family of nine children, farmed the land between Springs Road and the Portarlington Road; Harold, a son, served a term as president of the Bellarine Shire, and had the family name perpetuated in the street.
Buccleugh StreetThis street gets its name from a Scottish stronghold in a remote glen of South Selkirkshire belonging to the Scott family - it has been a dukedom since 1663. In Geelong's early days many of the crofters and retainers of the Duke of Buccleugh came to this district with the help and blessing of the Duke to improve their lot, and it would seem some came to Drysdale. The Neilson family of accountants in Geelong goes back to this Scottish estate where their ancestor was the estate manager or gillie, and the Emond family has similar origins.
Clarendon RoadThis name is one universally used for place names, and no doubt refers to George W. F. Villiers, fourth earl of Clarendon (1800-1870), who succeeded to the earldom in 1838. At the time of the naming of the first Drysdale streets, he was lord privy seal in Lord Melbourne's ministry and was a supporter of the repeal of the corn laws; he was also foreign minister in several ministries, more particularly that during the Crimean War.
Collins StreetAn extension of the main street, it bears the name of Thomas Collins, an early proprietor of the Buck's Head (now Drysdale) Hotel.
Connors RoadThis winding lane leading from Ashworth Street to Railway Parade carries the name of the pioneer Connor family which is still represented in the district, the earliest member of which is thought to be Michael Connor.
Coriyule RoadThis road led to the Coriyule station of the Misses Drysdale and Newcomb, the well-known lady squatters.
Crimea StreetThe United Service Home was established in this street a century ago, and as many of its original inhabitants were veterans from the Crimean War, it was appropriate that the street should be so named.
De Burgh RoadEarly press notices indicated that Andrew McWilliams, who was for a long time secretary, engineer and architect of the Shire of Bellarine, lived at a property called De Burgh. French sounding, it is probably an echo of a place name in Ireland from whence he migrated and where many Norman Conquest names are found.
The death notice of Andrew McWilliams, a long-time secretary of Bellarine Shire, quotes his residence as "De Burgh", Drysdale, so it would appear that the name had a particular significance to McWilliams, an Ulsterman, and he had it applied to the road leading to his residence.
Drakes RoadThis road carries the name of the pioneering Drake family, of Drysdale - John Drake was a farmer there a century or more ago, and several members of the family settled there in later years.
Duke StreetNamed after Edward Duke (1779-1852), an antiquarian known for his discoveries and writings on the subject.
East StreetSir Edward Hyde East (1764-1847) and his son were parliamentary members for Winchester in the mid-1800s; they were Pitt supporters.
Elgin StreetA common place and street name throughout the world; it refers to the Bruce family, the Earls of Elgin, in particular Thomas, the seventh earl (1766-1841. Diplomatic postings led to his interest in antiquities, causing him later to be accused of vandalism, rapacity, dishonesty, etc. He sold the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon at Athens to the British Museum in 1816 for £36,000, although they were said to have cost him a lot more than that.
Eversley StreetViscount Eversley (1794-1888), born Charles Shaw-Lefevre, was raised to the peerage in 1857 after having been Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of the committee investigating agricultural distress.
Filbay CourtThis street was formed in the Filbay property near Drysdale. Bernard Filbay married Wendy Lennox, daughter of ex-Cr. N. D. Lennox of the Shire of Bellarine.
Founds RoadJohn Founds, a farmer, was the pioneer of this family after which the road was named; the quarry which supplied much of the shire's roadmaking material was at one time known as Founds' Quarry.
Granville StreetThis is another name widely used in place names, e.g. in Vancouver, where the long street leading from the airport bears the name Granville. The Earl of Granville (1815-1891) was a great supporter of the Reform Bills.
Hancock StreetEmmeline Hancock (1847-1925) was born at McLeods Waterholes, as Drysdale was then known; she married Thomas Reynolds, the son of another pioneering family, in 1867, and after rearing nine children, became known as the midwife of the district. Her descendants successfully applied to Bellarine Shire Council in recent years to have this new street named in her honour.
Harold CourtOakden Park Estate. Named after a son of John Thomas, the subdivider.
Hermsley RoadGeorge Campbell Curlewis purchased Section 23, Parish of Bellarine, in 1845 and after his death in 1847 his step-brother, Septimus Lord Curlewis, erected the Hermsley homestead, after which the road was finally named, although earlier signs had carried the family name.
Huntingdon StreetThis is the name of the county town in the County of Huntingdonshire; it is 56 miles north of London and was the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell and the home of poet William Cowper (1731-1800).
James CourtOakden Park Estate. Named after a son of John Thomas, the subdivider.
Jetty RoadIn the earlier days it was known as Mill Road as it led to the first grain mill in the Bellarine Peninsula; unfortunately the mill was destroyed by fire and was never replaced, presumably because the Portarlington Mill was successfully functioning and could cope with the dwindling grain trade of the district.
Lennox CourtThis street was formed in the Filbay property near Drysdale. Bernard Filbay married Wendy Lennox, daughter of ex-Cr. N. D. Lennox of the Shire of Bellarine.
McKenzie StreetDuncan McKenzie, carpenter, farmer and publican, built and operated the former Buck's Head Hotel, Drysdale, which was on the site of the present Drysdale Hotel. This street behind the hotel bears his name, and is largely used in conjunction with the Shire of Bellarine complex. The hotel was built about 1851-52.
Murradoc RoadThis was the name of the farming property of the early and extremely popular parliamentary representative for the district for many years last century, Jonas Felix Levien, son of B. G. Levien, of Levien's punt on the Barwon River near the site of Queen's Park bridge where the latter also had a nursery beside the town approach to the bridge; also a florist's shop in Ryrie Street, north side, close to Moorabool Street.
Newcomb StreetCaroline Newcomb was a pioneer of the district and the squatting partner of Ann Drysdale, after whom the town was named.
Newington RoadRunning from the southern end of Hermsley Road but across the Geelong-Drysdale Road and the disused railway line, this road leads to the rural community of Newington, which for all intents and purposes forms part of Wallington.
Oakden RoadPhillip Oakden, of Launceston, was an early land-owner in the Drysdale area - he is recorded as holding 747 acres of land.
Palmerston StreetHenry J. Palmerston, the third viscount, held many high posts in the British Government; he was Prime Minister 1855-1865, but had earlier been noted for his work in foreign affairs and in other ministries.
Rowe CourtOakden Park Estate. This is the family name of the wife of the subdivider, John Thomas.
Springs RoadSome directories record it as Clifton Springs Road as this is where the road leads from central Drysdale.
Sproat StreetThomas Sproat was a pioneer squatter from Van Diemen's Land; he held large land-holdings prior to 1858 when he died. Sproats Waterholes was another early name for the district.
Whitcombes RoadThe original Whitcombe family settled in what was then known as Ganges Lane; Robert, a descendant of the second generation, served as Bellarine Shire member from 1943-52, was president in 1946-7, and had the connecting road named in honour of the family.
Wisbey CourtSpringdale Estate. The antecedent of the wife of the subdividing agent, Jim McDonald, was a Wisbey of Drysdale, a family which has been in the district for well over 100 years and thus one worthy of perpetuation in a street name. It is believed that Crimea Street, Drysdale, was earlier known as Wisbey Street, but was changed because of the erection in that street of the United Service Home, a decision which did not please the Wisbey family.
Woodville StreetAlthough a place name commonly used, it does not appear in a detailed gazetteer of English towns; no doubt it was an appropriate subdivisional name when the area was more heavily timbered than it now is.
Wyndham StreetHenry Penruddock Wyndham (1736-1819) was a topographer who travelled widely and left his name in many places, even nearby in the Shire of Wyndham (now the Shire of Werribee). He published papers on his observations and discoveries and was probably greatly admired by a colonial surveyor.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 May 2009 15:11  

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