The following is an extract from the Geelong Advertiser, 18th December 1889.
The Ocean Grove Settlement
On Monday forenoon a number of members of the Bellarine shire council proceeded to Ocean Grove, and were entertained by the manager of the Coffee Palace at that settlement Mr Jas. Brooke, J.P. The object of the visit was to ascertain the requirements of the place, the recently formed Ocean Grove Improvement Association having formulated a scheme.
A very cordial welcome was given to the municipal representatives by Messrs Jas. Brooke, Joseph Ingamells, T. Blackwell, R. Purnell, Geo. Nielson and E.E. Brown, members of the association, who stated that what was wanted included improvements to the road leading to Ocean Grove, and the fencing and planting of the reserves. The council were asked to cause certain parts of the cleared road leading from the Queenscliff main road to the Ocean Grove estate, to be formed and metalled, as in the winter months the thoroughfare became almost impassable. The road is about two miles in length, and for a short distance it has been metalled.
The other request was that Tuckfield road within the private area should be formed, metalled and gravelled, the works to include the Parade, Eaglestone-street and the Terrace leading to the front of the palace, a total distance of 114 chains. With regard to the last request, it was pointed out that the council could not legally expend the money necessary for the works until the streets were handed over to the council, but it was agreed that the surveyor should prepare a report showing what ought to be done to the streets and the cost of metalling and gravelling them.
Regarding the cleared or grubbed road leading from the estate to the Queenscliff main road, it was pointed out by Mr Purnell that the thoroughfare was now greatly used by the public, but that the traffic was principally a foreign one, although conveyed by local vehicles. The visitors to Ocean Grove chiefly came from Melbourne, Ballarat, and other distant localities; and also from Queenscliff and the road was cut up. A just claim on the Government could be made for a special grant for constructing the road.
After a lengthy consideration of the question, it was resolved on the motion of Cr. Williamson, seconded by Cr. Grigg, that the Hon. J.F. Levien, M.L.A., should be written to, asking him to arrange with the Minister of Public Works for the reception of a joint deputation of the council and the association on the subject. It was intimated by the members of the association that a special contribution of money would be made by the owners of properties within the estate towards assisting in defraying the cost of the works in Tuckfield-road, etc., a sum of about £60 having been partly received in cash and promises.
The councillors were informed that gravel, limestone and ironstone were to be obtained on the estate, and every facility would be afforded the municipal authorities to secure it free of cost if possible.
That Ocean Grove is rapidly becoming a popular resort is evidenced by the fact that whilst in 1888-9 the ratable value of property within the estate was £1,392, it is valued for the year 1889-90 at £1,695. The rates derived by the council for the past year from properties in the estate amounted to £69.12s, but next year the sum to be received amounts to £84.15s. There are now thirty houses at Ocean Grove, all are constructed of weatherboard with corrugated iron roofing. They are of new, and in many respects, handsome designs, adding greatly to the attractiveness of the pretty and quiet resting place, which commands a most excellent view of the points of interest along the coast line.
The chief building at the Grove is the very handsome and commodious coffee palace, containing 56 rooms, all well lighted and ventilated, and comfortably furnished. The palace, which cost £5,000 to build, has a splendid tower in the centre, 10 feet in height, and in which are located the billiard and smoking rooms. Attached to the palace premises are tennis, croquet, cricket and bowling grounds, and every effort is made to provide amusements for the visitors to the snug sanatorium where rest and relaxation may be obtained from the busy turmoils of everyday life in the cities and towns, and at the same time all the comforts of a well-furnished home with best attendance.
Mr Francis Brown has completed his private boarding establishment, containing 17 rooms, at a cost of £2,000. It is situated in a very pretty part of the Grove, and about 200 yards from the palace, is nicely furnished, and offers many attractions. A croquet lawn has been formed in front of the residence, and workmen are now engaged in making a tennis ground.
The Rev. Thos. Grove and Messrs Kimberley, Thos, Blackwell, Duncan, and Pescott have had erected for themselves pretty dwelling houses, each of six rooms, representing an investment of from £100 to £150 for each cottage. A splendid residence of eight rooms is in course of erection for Mr M.L. Hutchinson, of Melbourne, who is expending about £500 in improving his piece of land. The contractors for the building are Messrs Nielson and Guille, who have erected the majority of the houses at Ocean Grove, and they are now building an eight-roomed dwelling for Mr Ingamells, who until recently was manager of the Coffee Palace at the Grove. Mr Ingamells' residence, which is to cost about £450, will be completed about the end of February next.
A large store and timber yard has been established in the settlement by Mr Jas. Swinburn, at an outlay of about £800, and Mr M.K. Armstrong, of St. Kilda, has arranged with Messrs Neilson and Guille for the erection of a six-roomed dwelling immediately after Christmas.
The pretty church erected for the Wesleyan denomination at a cost of £600 by the contractors named is situated at a picturesque part of the Grove, and the Coffee Palace Company have added to the other attractions of the settlement with a well-appointed bathing establishment in the Barwon river, at the cost of £500.
There are six coaches in and out of Ocean Grove, running daily to and from Geelong, Queenscliff, and the railway station, whilst the company provide all kinds of conveyances for use of visitors, and at any hour well appointed buggies and good horses may be obtained. In fact, the coaching arrangements are as complete as they are extensive and the many beautiful sights within easy distance of the settlement fully test the capabilities of Cobb and Co., as visitors to the delightful home by the sea create a good demand for their vehicles and horses.
There is in course of erection in a pretty part of the estate, within easy distance of the sea, a home intended for occupation by sick children. It is being erected at the instance of the Rev. C.N. Cherbury, of Melbourne.