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Queenscliff: 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.

It is pleasing to note that most of the streets in Queenscliff proper carry the names of either the officers of the Rattlesnake which surveyed Port Phillip Bay in 1837, or well known pioneers of the Port Phillip District as the following list shows in many instances.

Bay StreetThis name is self explanatory and shows lack of imagination. Surely there are one or two Queenscliff pioneers who still deserve recognition!
Beach StreetSame comment as for Bay Street!
Bethune StreetThis street probably commemorates the name of Walter Angus Bethune (1794-1885), a merchant and settler in Van Diemen's Land from 1821. He was also a breeder of high class merino sheep at the time Port Phillip was settled and they were in great demand among the new settlers on the mainland.
Bridge StreetOriginally Fish Street, where the Government is said to have provided land to accredited fishermen at £1 per year (probably when the railway interfered with the original sites). No doubt pressure from the residents caused a change in name.
Dod StreetThis street carries the name of Charles Dod snr., first postmaster of Queenscliff, who arrived in Geelong in 1851 on the Statesman. He took over the Crown lease of J. W. Stevens and lived in the latter's house near St. George's Church. His son, Charles jnr., wrote a series of historical articles for the Geelong Advertiser, on the Queenscliff district, and these were later committed to book form entitled 'Early Memories of Queenscliff'.
EsplanadeThis aptly named road runs along the cliff-top between Stevens and Swanston Streets near the Cottage by the Sea and overlooks the Rip. The name has no particular significance, but should not be confused with Gellibrand Street, which is often, but wrongly, called the Esplanade.
Fellow RoadJudge Thomas Howard Fellows, one of Queenscliff's greatest admirers, was admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1853 and subsequently elected to the Parliament where he was appointed to several important posts including Solicitor-General and Post Master General. He became a judge in 1872. He was active in the creation of the Borough of Queenscliffe in 1863 and in the erection of St. George's Anglican Church, Queenscliff, in which a plaque to his memory was erected following his death on April 8, 1878. His brother, Rev. Walter Fellows, also had a deep affection for Queenscliff. It is fitting that a street in the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale area should bear Judge Fellows' name.
Flinders StreetNamed after Capt. Matthew Flinders, R.N., the celebrated navigator who named Bass Strait and was one of the first white men to enter Port Phillip Bay.
Fraser StreetRuns to the west off Smith Street and was named after Robert Fraser, six times mayor of the Borough of Queenscliff, also session-clerk of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Possessed of a strong Scottish brogue, he arrived in Queenscliff early this century and ran a grocery store at the corner of Hobson and Hesse Streets, opposite the Post Office. Later he ran the well-known guest house "Glenalvie" at the corner of Gellibrand and Hobson Streets, where he died about 1930, his wife having pre-deceased him.
Gellibrand StreetJoseph Tice Gellibrand, a lawyer, was a member of the Port Phillip Association which crossed from Tasmania to Victoria and took possession of the land around Melbourne and Geelong under an illegal treaty with the native chiefs. Gellibrand is said to have prepared the treaty documents. With G. B. L. Hesse, a fellow solicitor, he disappeared in 1837 around the Colac area on a journey from Geelong to Melbourne via the Barwon River!
Major General Sir John Gellibrand, a First World War figure and a founder of Legacy, was a grandson. Gellibrand Light in Port Phillip Bay also carries his name.
This street is often erroneously referred to as the Esplanade, perhaps because it leads to the hotel of that name.
Henry StreetThis street commemorates Hastings R. Henry, 2nd Lieutenant of the survey vessel. Although it has been stated that Pt. Henry carries his name, close scrutiny of records shows that the brig "Henry" is honoured at the point. My theory is that the "Rattlesnake" used charts prepared by Capt. J.P. Tregurtha of the "Henry", and the presence of the name Henry at the Point inspired the dedication of other crew members' names to geographical features around Port Phillip Bay. In 1855 H.R. Henry had risen to command the H.M.S. "Arrogant".
Hesse StreetThe ill-fated partner of J. T. Gellibrand, George Brook Legrew Hesse had been a barrister of the Inner Temple, London, before his departure for Van Diemen's Land aboard the Gulmare which arrived at that Colony on February 12, 1833. Although not a member of the Port Phillip Association, he was an early arrival in the Port Phillip District and his disappearance with J. T. Gellibrand (as yet unsatisfactorily explained) was the greatest mystery of the day. It is fitting that his name is commemorated in this district and the Colac area.
Hobson StreetNamed after Captain Hobson, master of the Rattlesnake - Hobson's Bay also carried his name. In July 1839 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand where he died on September 10, 1842, aged 49 years. He left a widow, a daughter and a son who became a captain in the Navy.
Hygeia DriveNamed after P.S. "Hygeia" which saw service in Port Phillip Bay from 1890-1931. Owned by Huddart Parker Ltd., it was towed from Queenscliff and scuttled outside the Heads on 10.6.1932.
King StreetAlthough it could be suggested that Governor King or even a royal title is commemorated here, this street carries the surname of Daniel King, M.D., surgeon of the "Rattlesnake". He died in Halifax in 1847.
Larkin ParadeThis newly named street carries the name of John Patrick Larkin, A.M.I.C.E.L.S., C.E., a former marine surveyor of the Victorian Ports and Harbours Dept. Born and educated in New Zealand, he came to Victoria in 1915 and after service in the A.I.F., he came to Queenscliff in 1920, where he remained until 1953. He lived at the corner of Gellibrand and King Streets.
Learmonth StreetThomas and Somerville Learmonth crossed from Van Diemen's Land to Port Phillip in 1837 and made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Australian merino, winning many prizes for their superfine fleeces. They built Ercildoun, a mansion still standing at Learmonth outside Ballarat, which they sold to Samuel Wilson on their return to Scotland in 1873. It is fitting that their name is perpetuated in this street.
Little Hesse StreetThis small street, running south off Symonds Street, between Hesse and Gellibrand Streets, contains several small houses originally occupied by fishermen. See Hesse Street.
Mercer StreetAs this name appears in the early subdivisions of Geelong, Portarlington and Queenscliff, it would appear that the honour belongs to George Mercer, of Edinburgh, who was one of the original members of the Port Phillip Association and its representative in London, but who did not come to Australia. His interests in Victoria were supervised by his sons, George D. and John Henry Mercer, and nephew, Major William Drummond Mercer, who, otherwise, may be honoured in the naming of these streets, particularly George D. and William Drummond Mercer who spent time in the Bellarine Peninsula with David Fisher.
Nankervis ParadeJames Nankervis, born Ballarat in 1889 and a builder by trade, came to Queenscliff in 1939, where he built numerous houses. To enable the Queenscliff Borough Council to continue a road from King Street to the north, thus completing a bayside drive, Mr. Nankervis donated the land comprising the road reserve and the Council named the road in his honour. The donor died at Queenscliff in 1979, aged 90 years.
Queen StreetNo doubt this street is named in honour of Queen Victoria and perhaps matches King Street into which it almost merges. It once was a much longer street, but suffered a reduction in size when the section, now in the Queenscliff High School area, was removed from its length.
Raglan StreetRaglan was one of the most used place names in the gold rush period of the 1850s - districts, streets, goldmines, etc., carried with obvious pride the name of one of the British Field Marshals of the Crimea Campaign - Lord Raglan 1788-1855. Even an overcoat with its raglan sleeves took his name.
Richards StreetCharles Richards was 1st Lieutenant of the "Rattlesnake"; as well as this street Pt. Richards near Portarlington bears his name. He died in England in 1844 by which time he had reached the rank of Captain.
Shortlands BluffPeter Frederick Shortland was mate of H.M.S. Rattlesnake which carried out the survey of Port Phillip in 1836-37. Born 1815, he was the son of Thomas George Shortland, also an officer of the Royal Navy. In 1838 he obtained leave to study at Cambridge University, graduating with honours in 1842. He rejoined the Navy and wrote books on naval surveying etc., and had risen to the rank of Commander before his death in 1888.
Smith StreetJ. E. Smith, born in Van Diemen's Land, arrived in 1847 and commenced a butchery business in Geelong. He came to Queenscliff in 1856 and retired to Healesville in 1906. The local Queenscliff newspaper Sentinel spoke in eulogistic terms of his residence in that area on the eve of his departure for Healesville. The street carries his family name.
(The) Springs AreaThis area around the entrance of Lonsdale Road to Point Lonsdale and west of the "narrows" was so named because of the presence of several fresh water springs which perpetually bubbled to the surface until about 1939 when adjacent roads were surfaced. Market gardens sprang up early and many Chinese lived in the vicinity. Many early citizens of Queenscliff lived there and have left their names in streets such as Werry, Ward and Lawrence. The Springs area is not a postal district, being regarded as part of Point Lonsdale - Queenscliff, according to which side of the Geelong-Queenscliff road it is situated.
St. Andrew's StreetThis small street led to the rear of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and ultimately took its name.
St. LeonardsIn 1853 the Queenscliff area was officially surveyed by Government Surveyor, Alexander John Skene (1820-1894) who took charge of the Geelong district survey office in 1853, having arrived in Melbourne in 1843. He later became Surveyor-General of Victoria. A notice dated June 20, 1853, officially named the township St. Leonards, much to the ire of the local inhabitants who, on June 23, 1853, through the intervention of Judge T. H. Fellows, had the township renamed Queenscliff (no final "e").
Stevens StreetJohn Whitehall Stevens had the pastoral licence for Shortlands Bluff from 1850 onwards and is fittingly remembered in this street. He built first house worthy of the name in the Queenscliff area.
Stokes StreetH.M.S. "Beagle" surveyed Port Phillip and Tasmanian waters on several occasions between 1838 and 1843 - Capt. Lort John Stokes was in command of the vessel.
Swanston StreetNo doubt this street commemorates Charles Swanston, a Hobart banker, who was an original member of the Port Phillip Association and whose son, Charles L. Swanston, was actively associated in Geelong with the firm of merchants, Swanston, Willis & Co. (later Swanston, Willis & Stephen), Moorabool Street, near the Barwon Bridge. Swanston Jnr. at one time lived at Clonard, Herne Hill. The name is also remembered in streets in Melbourne and Geelong.
Symonds StreetThis street commemorates Lieutenant Symonds of H.M.S. Rattlesnake. Thomas M. C. Symonds was 3rd Lieutenant of the "Rattlesnake" when it surveyed Port Phillip in 1836/7. By 1855 he had risen to the command of H.M.S. "Arethusa" in the Black Sea area.
Thwaites WalkNamed after a pioneer family of fishermen, boatmen, seamen and building contractors, this walk runs along the edge of the cliffs through the Citizens' Park opposite the Ozone Hotel. the Thwaites men were all members of the volunteer lifeboat crews of the past and Cr. W. J. Thwaites was five times mayor of the Borough of Queenscliff.
Tobin DriveAn extension of Hobson Street, this road leads fittingly enough to the Pilots' Jetty. It was named in honour of Geo. Tobin, first pilot to operate in Port Phillip Bay. He served from 1839-1853.
Weeroona ParadeCarries the name of P.S. "Weeroona" which operated in Port Phillip Bay from 1910-1942. Owned originally by Huddart Parker Ltd., it served as a hospital ship in World War II and was dismantled at Berry's Bay, N.S.W. in 1951.
Whale HeadSo named in 1802 by Lieutenant Tuckey of the Calcutta - probably the first white man officially to set foot in the area.
Wharf RoadThis road runs east from Hesse Street to the original wharf used by the fishermen and early shipping. The fishermen's co-operative society's shop is at the beach end of the original street.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 06:04  

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