Bellarine Historical Society Inc

...preserving the history of the Bellarine Peninsula

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Point Lonsdale: Timeline

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Some events in the history of Point Lonsdale (events extracted from 'A history of Point Lonsdale' by N.A. Dunn) :-

Pre-European SettlementArea inhabited by Bengalat balug (Clan) of the Wathaurong Tribe
1802First European explorers.
January : Lieutenant John Murray
April : Captain Matthew Flinders
1803 - 1835William Buckley the first European living in the area
1835 +Area investigated and surveyed by Wedge and Gellibrand
1836 +Area occupied by squatters
1839Captain George Tobin obtained first sea pilot's licence
1842 - 43First lighthouse constructed from local stone at Shortlands Bluff - later replaced by "Black Lighthouse". The first light shone in April 1843.
1848Schooner "Thetis" and "Sophia" wrecked on a reef opposite Point Lonsdale
1849"Princess Royal" wrecked on Point Lonsdale Reef
1850 - 53"David", "James Foored", "Conside", "Portland",and "Isabella" and "Sacramento" (among others) all wrecked at Port Phillip Heads highlighting the need for a lighthouse at Point Lonsdale.
1853Auditor General allocated £15,000 for lighthouse
1854Captain Preston began building the signal station - there were no houses so it is presumed the Captain and his niece Fanny Green may have lived in tents until the station was completed.
1857 - 58"House on the Hill" built by a gang of convict labour
1860Small farms and lime kilns of Messrs James Hutchins and J Coopser had been started
1863Salt works started
1863 - 64Old Queenscliff lighthouse moved to Point Lonsdale.   Captain Richards was in charge of the lighthouse - his assistants were Moore and Martin
1864Governess Miss Jones drowned and was believed to be the first burial in the Queenscliff cemetery at Point Lonsdale.
1865 - 66Another gang of convicts arrived to build a house in the Reserve below the lighthouse
1867 - 68Salvage opportunities afters wrecks of the "Black Swan" and "Light of Ages"
1869Miss Fanny Green left to become post mistress at Malmsbury
1874Passenger steamers and Cobb & Co coming to Point Lonsdale
1876Government land sale - Admans and Simpson some of the early buyers, paying £5 an acre for land north of the cemetery
1878Telephones came into use between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale
  • Railway line completed between Geelong and Queenscliff, bringing more visitors to Point Lonsdale
  • Edward Gill went to work at Hutchins' Farm - he later took of the farm, worked a lime kiln supplying lime for new buildings, and kept cows supplying milk to the district
1881 - 1882Wesleyan Camp Meeting held at end of December and beginning of January
1882Crouch family arrive in Point Lonsdale to build a house - the first of many people from Ballarat to chose Point Lonsdale for their holidays or home
  • Further land sales - south of the cemetery
  • Point Lonsdale House advertised as being open to the public for a limited number of boards.  It stood where the Terminus now stands - the original building was destroyed by fire.
  • Fog horn erected - originally run by a hot-air engine, this was quickly replaced by a steam engine
  • "Glaneuse" wrecked off Ocean Beach near the lighthouse
1888"Retreat Villa" erected for Tom McBain, assistant lightkeeper
1889 - 90Cottee's Coffee Palace erected
1890'sPier built and paddle steamers came to the Point
1899William Golightly erected a large twelve-roomed house for Mr McBain adjacent to "Retreat Villa".  This became the boarding House "Merrilyn"
1901 - 02
  • New lighthouse built and light was lit on 20th Mary 1902
  • Postal duties removed  from lookout and signal station to the lighthouse keeper's quarters
1903Blasting of the rock in the Rip damaged the lighthouse
1906First wireless message from Australia to Devonport in Tasmania - sent from near the National Fitness Camp at Point Lonsdale
1910First Post Office opened - Edward Gill appointed Postmaster
1946House in the Reserve below the lighthouse demolished

Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 05:21  

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