Destructive Fire Near Axedale 1901

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 11 Feb 1901, page 4

A fire, which was destined to work considerable havoc, broke out on the banks of the Campaspe, to the south of Daley’s Hill, on Thursday afternoon. The fire originated close to Russell and White’s crushing battery, the cause of the outbreak being at present a mystery.

Owing to the high wind which prevailed, the fire swept with terrible rapidity in a southerly direction, and the small band of firefighters that assembled, found themselves quite unable to stay its progress. The half-mile which intervened between the starting point and the homestead of Mr. Thomas Burke was covered in the space of a few minutes and in spite of the efforts of those who were attempting to beat the fire out, the straw and hay stacks in the stack yard were all soon ablaze.

With practically no water supply available, it was found impossible; to do anything further to save the stacks, and the firefighters, who by this time had been augmented by a considerable number of men from Axedale and its vicinity, directed their efforts to saving the house and other buildings connected with the homestead. As the house stands close to the banks of the river it had practically to be guarded only on two sides, and the work of saving it was comparatively easy.

Some of the sheds and outbuildings were, however, destroyed. Shortly after passing Mr. Burke’s place the fire was got under control. In addition to having lost the whole of his year’s produce and several outbuildings, Mr. Burke had a quantity of fencing and grass destroyed. His loss is thus rendered a very serious one.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE NEAR AXEDALE. (1901, February 11). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

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Axedale News 3 & 10 September 1878

From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 3 September 1878, page 2

Monday evening

The weather for the past few days has been splendid. On Wednesday I took a drive as far as McCormick’s saw mill, but found that it had been removed two or three miles further up the creek to where there is a better supply of timber, The timber cut is mostly for claims, though there is machinery for cutting all kinds of timber. Much difficulty is experienced in getting the timber to Sandhurst. The roads are heavy;in fact almost impassable. In coming home I encountered a terrific thunderstorm. The rain fell in torrents, and the lightning at times was very vivid. The weather is again splendid.

The church-going people of Axedale are determined not to keep their church door open. The gentleman who drew up the “code of laws ” respecting the management and conducting of the business—inviting the minister, etc. —has only put in an appearance once since.

The minister has been weeding out the sheep from the goats, and has so effectually done his work that very few remain to be converted. In consequence of this, he announced that if no more penitents could be found the doors would have to be closed.


From: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 10 September 1878, page 3

Monday, 9th September.

Last Monday was a red letter day in the history of the local board of advice. They visited all the schools in the district, and, I believe, found everything as it ought to be. They held their usual meeting on the same day.

The ploughing match is not likely to come off, unless the subscription lists are more liberally patronised, but we can hardly expect farmers at this season of the year to respond so liberally as they could in the harvest season. The match, if it should come off, is to be held in Mr. Conroy’s paddock, near the Perseverance Hotel.

Mrs. O’Grady died very suddenly the other day, at the Wild Duck Creek. She was universally respected, and has left a widower, with six young children, to mourn their loss. The funeral was the largest that ever entered Heathcote.

The Presbyterians have at last thrown off their lethargic habits, and are now not only convinced of their wrongdoing in keeping a nice little church closed, but on Sunday they actually had a minister officiating, and he is, I believe, to officiate every Sunday.

I am glad to notice that Mr. M. Boyle’s Fairy carried off the Sapling Stakes at the late Northern Coursing Meeting. Mr. Boyle’s dogs are very well bred, but he has been singularly unlucky with them. Mr. Tierney’s Flora did not show up at all, as expected.

The splendid weather of late has made a marked improvement in the crops and orchards. There is a magnificent show of blossom, and should the frost not prove very severe there will be a fine fruit harvest.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

AXEDALE. (1878, September 3). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

AXEDALE. (1878, September 10). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,


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One Place Study Axedale

OPS Logo

 Axedale Then and Now is an official worldwide “One Place Study”. I’m sure most will be wondering what is a One Place Study.

A One Place Study is a designated study of a particular city, town, village or area.   Axedale is the only One Place Study being done in Victoria at the moment.  Most family historians, while researching their family history, do a little research on the place where their ancestors settled. A One Place Study doesn’t focus on any particular family. The focus is on the place and it’s people, regardless of any relationship to the person recording the information.

A One Place Study aims to report on everything that occurs or has occurred in a particular place, including geographical, the people living or who lived in a community, community activities, education, employment, business.  Anything that occurs or occurred in a particular area, at a particular time can be recorded on a One Place Study. Old newspaper articles and official records will also be a focus of this study.

Eventually this One Place Study will build a historical picture of Axedale and those who have lived there. It is my intention that this  One Place Study of Axedale will become a resource for anyone wishing to research their family history or find out more about Axedale and the surrounding area.

If you have information that you would like to have included in Axedale’s One Place Study, don’t hesitate to contact me either in the comments below or by email.

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A New Church for Axedale 1868

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Friday 25 September 1868, page 2

September 22nd, 1868.
We are glad to see signs of progress, as every new bridge and road are the means of helping to develop the resources of the Colony, and we would wish that the construction of roads and bridges were much more rapid than they now are, as it would materially assist in opening up the country.

Another feature of progress, which we are always delighted to observe, where the people are settling, is that they have not forgotten the good old institutions of their Fatherland, such as the church and the school. Axedale has had for many years a Roman Catholic Church, and now the Presbyterians have begun, what promises to be a very nice church of bluestone, which will be an ornament to the township of Axedale.

We understand the ceremony of laying the foundation stone is to be performed by the Rev. J. Nish, of Sandhurst, to whom most of the people of that persuasion belong; but it has recently been connected with the Heathcote district, and the minister, the Rev. D. Renton, also the Rev. J. W. Inglis, of Sandridge, and J. M. L. Abernethy, of Eaglehawk, will take part in the proceedings.

There has also been an application to the Board of Education for a grant to a Common School, which will no doubt be complied with, and thereby supply a want much felt in that place; so that before long the township of Axedale will be able to boast of two substantial churches and a common school. The Foresters’ Hall has, for the present, been kindly placed at the disposal of the committee, and the school will be opened on Monday next, under the management of Mr. George McKay.


AXEDALE. (1868, September 25). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

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Axedale – General Report 1877

from The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette, 18 March 1877, page 5

The hotels and business places here are doing a rather brisk trade at present, on account of the large number of extra stomachs – the owners of which are at work on the railway – that require to be filled and satisfied with liquids and solids, chiefly the former, I am sorry to say.

The railway is progressing here, but not so satisfactorily to the contractor, as he might expect, it being very difficult to obtain steady men. They have started driving the piles of the bridge of 99 arches, each 20 feet span, over the Campaspe, and are cutting through the hill on the Rodney side of the river adjoining Mr. Heffernan’s estate.

The hill is composed principally of bluestone, which has to be blasted, and it appears strange that, with an immense quantity of such material at hand, the bridge should rest upon wooden tiles. It is impossible to deny that at the end of twenty or twenty-five years, the bridge will have become unsafe, whereas the bluestone would have stood for generations. It certainly seems a “penny wise and pound foolish’ policy.

A new policeman is about to appear on the scene here, that office having been satisfactorily but temporarily filled by Mr. Myers. The newcomer, poor fellow – l beg your pardon, ladies -had to enter the bonds of wedlock before he could accept position, as the station can only be occupied by married men. The happy pair will spend their honeymoon here, so we wish them a pleasant one.

There is a  local industry being carried on here, which is capable of being largely developed, namely the bluestone quarry, the proprietor of which, Mr. J.Ingham, deserves credit for the perserving manner in which he has worked the quarry under discouraging circumstances.

He has raised some immense blocks of stone, one some time back measuring 16ft 6 in. by 12ft by 2ft. There is one at present lying in the quarry measuring 9 by 6 by 2 feet, which is without a flaw, and when struck, rings like a bell. There are many more of the same size and quality in sight.

Mr. Ingham, has purchased the engine and stone sawing machine which were used for cutting the stone at the new public buildlings at Sandhurst, and he, therefore, in future intends to supply stone in the finished state.

When the railway is completed he intends to have a tramway connected with the line above Mr. Heffernan’s estate, from the quarry, it having been surveyed and found possible. He will then be able to deliver the stone with expedition, in any quantity, and at a cheap rate, to any part of the colonies.

The stone is harder, and of better quality than that found, at Malmsbury, and there is an inexhaustible supply sufficient, as Mr. Ingham, tersely puts it, ‘to build a city’.

The rain which fell last Monday was very much required by the farmers, but hardly sufficient fell to enable them to carry on ploughing operations. The cry is still for more.

Axedale. (1887, March 18). Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 – 1889), p. 5. Retrieved September 9, 2020, from

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

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Mining Lease at Sugarloaf 1891

from: Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 09 June, 1891, page 4


Monday, 8th June.

Before Mr. Warden Patterson, P.M.

Thomas Jones applied for a lease of ground at Sugarloaf Hill, Axedale. William Fozard objected to the granting of the application. Mr. Macoboy appeared for the applicant and Mr. Hyett for the objector. Mr. Macoboy understood that the only difficulty was that the objector wanted to have a quartz claim held under miner’s right excised.

Thomas Jones, the applicant, deposed, in reply to the warden, that he had complied with all the requirements of the Act in connection with the application.

To Mr. Hyett: Had erected the posts, which were about four feet high round and painted white. There was a metal plate affixed to them giving his name and showing that a lease had been applied for. At least the plates were on them; he did not know whether they were on now or not, as he had not seen them since the date of the survey. He had inserted the usual advertisement in the newspapers and had posted a notice at the Warden’s Court and at the Axedale station.

There were no person in occupation of the ground, on the day that he pegged out the ground. When he went there subsequently, with the surveyors, he saw some people, whose names he did not know, working on the ground. He did not serve them with notice of his intention to apply for the lease. He had deposited the necessary fees with the warden’s clerk. He had seen pegs without plates on them when he went there with the surveyor, and before that, about the beginning of March.

He pegged out on the 5th March. He saw some of the pegs there then. The country is very rocky and scrubby. The place is about 13 miles from the city. In reply to Mr. Macoboy, the witness stated that he was with Mr. Walker when he went out to survey the ground. The same pegs were there then that he had seen previously. Fozard was there then, and pointed, out to Mr. Walker that the pegs were his.

Witness told Mr. Walker in the presence of Fozard that the pegs were those that were put in by Coyle. Fozard said that he. had taken the pegs out and put them in again. So far as witness could tell the trenches had not been cut afresh, and the pegs were unpainted. Mr. Macoboy said he now proposed to close the applicant’s case, and let the objector prove his case, then he would call his rebutting case.

The Warden pointed out that the newspaper notice did not agree with the notice posted at the Warden’s Court. The applicant stated that there were others interested in the ground, although he was the only one applying for the ground. Mr. Macoboy submitted that the applicant was the only person who had complied with the regulations, and therefore there was no reason why he should not get the lease.

The Warden remarked that the question arose whether the whole of the names should appear in the application or not. In reply to Mr Hyett, the witness stated that Fozaid did not say anything about taking Coyle’s pegs out, and putting:them in again. Mr Hyett appealed to the clerk’ who was taking the depositions, but there was not anything written down in regard to the matter. This closed the case for the applicant.

Mr Hyett submitted that the application must fail, as the applicant had stated there were other people applying with him for the ground, and at least the names of two of them should have appeared on the plates, that the.applicant should have seen that the pegs were kept, stating, that he had not given notice to the persons who were in occupation when he went out with the surveyor.

The warden was against Mr. Hyett on the two last mentioned objections, and Mr. Hyett said he would rely on his first objection. The Warden said he was simply sitting there to take the evidence, and forward to the Minister. William Fozard, a farmer who had resided in the neighborhood of the Sugarloaf ranges for over 20 years, deposed that he pegged out a portion of the land,100 yards along the line and 150 yards across, as a quartz claim on the.1lth May.

When he pegged out the ground he saw same former pegs there. They belonged to Peter Coyle. He used the same pegs for his pegging.out. When he went on to the ground two of the pegs were nearly lying on the ground. He put them up straight, and drove them in again. The third peg was lying on the ground, and he put it up straight and drove it into the ground again. The fourth peg was standing and he knocked it further into the ground with a’ pick. The pegs were about 3 feet high and about 4 inches thick. The trenches, which were several inches deep and 3 feet long, were cleaned out by him.

On the same day he told Middleton that he had pegged out the ground. The country is very scrubby in that locality. He was not there on the following day when, it is alleged,the other side put in their pegs. He had two men employed on the ground ever since.

He registered the claim on the 7th May. He saw Jones and the surveyor out there, and told Jones that the pegs were his, and Jones replied that they were Coyles. In cross-examination by Mr.Macoboy, the witness said that he would not have registered the claim at all, if it had not been for the other people going out on the 5th and pegging out some of the land.
Mr.Macoboy, you say you have been living in the locality over twenty years. Why did you not take it up before the 4th of ‘May? .

.Witness: The prospector, Middleton had got such a good prospect.
Mr. Macoboy: But, that was a month before.
Witness: I was there almost every day.
Macoboy : You say you pegged out on Monday, the other side pegged out on Tuesday. You heard of this on Wednesday, and registered on Thursday?
Withess : That is so.
Mr. Macoboy: Surely if you cleaned out the trenches on Monday and drove the pegs into this rocky ground there would be some traces there on the following day.
Witness: I cleaned out the trenches and drove in the pegs firmly. James Middleton, a prospector, deposed that had a claim at the Sugarloaf Ranges. He knew the land in dispute, which joined his on the north side. The land applied for by Jones, 10 acres, was immediately north of his, and Fozard’s quartz claim was included in the 10 acre block. He saw Jones putting in his pegs on the south side. He did not know the date, but Fozard had spoken to him about the matter previously.

Mr Macoboy objected to this evidence, Mr Hyett submitted that as the warden was not sitting judicially : the evidence was admissable. The Warden replied that although not sitting judicially, there must be some limit placed on the evidence to be taken.

Peter Coyle, blacksmith, deposed that he knew the quartz claim of Fozard’s. It was first pegged out by witness on the 9th of April. At that time he had no miner’s right, and consequently he did not proceed further in the matter. Fozard then took up the matter.

Witness had an interest in the claim. In cross examination by Mr, Macoboy, witness could not give any reason why nothing should have been done from the time of his pegging out until Fozard pegged out several weeks after. This closed the case for the objector.

Mr. Macoboy said that even supposing Fozard’s statement to be true, he contended he had no claim to the ground until he registered it on the 7th. Jones had pegged out on the 5th. The Warden pointed out that seven days were allowed for registration.

Mr. Macoboy: But the Act he is not legally in possession until he does register. Mr. Hyett submitted that as the locality was over ten miles from the warden’s office there was no necessity to register at all. The Warden said there was no doubt Fozard was protected for seven:days.after pegging out so as to enable, him to register if he chose.
Mr. Macoboy said he would recall his client to give rebutting evidence.

T. Jones,recalled, stated that when he pegged out the ground on. the 5th May, he saw some pegs there:  They were then in the same state as they were when he saw them in March. Tho Warden remarked that.after looking over the plan, he was of opinion that it would be much better for the parties to go in together, as the ground would then make a very good lease.

Mr. Macoboy: That’s just what we want. (Laughter). Tho Warden: Oh yes, but would it not be better for the two to amalgamate and make a good lease. Mr. Hyett (after consulting with his client), said that he would rather have the quartz claim he had applied for. The applicant (continuing his re-examination), said that when he pegged out the land on the 5th, the pegs were apparently in the same state as when he saw them in March after they were put in by Coyle.

In cross examination by Mr. Hyott, Jones stated that he had another quartz claim in the locality. He had dug trenches on it, looking for the reef, He had done about a fortnight’s work there. William Miller, mining speculator, deposed that he knew the ground applied for by Jones. He and Robert Aitken were with Jones, when he pegged out the ground. Witness had a share in it.

He saw Coyle’s two western pegs. The trenches looked as if they had been cut about two or three weeks before. They did not bear traces of recent interference. One of the pegs was leaning over. From the general appearance of things he was of opinion that neither the pegs, nor the trenches had been touched within two or three weeks.  He asked who the old pegs belonged to, and was told they had been put in by Coyle some .weeks before.

They made inquiries from persons in the locality if anybody had been on the ground recently, and were told that they had not been there. Mr. Hyett objected to the evidence as being inadmissible. In reply to Mr. Macoboy the witness said that in consequence of what they were told they pegged out the ground.

J. Middleton was called by Mr. Macoboy and stated that from the time Coyle put in his pegs until Jones applied for the Iease, Fozard was in the locality frequently. The Warden said that he would recommend that Jones’ application be granted, subject to certain excisions. Fozard, who, although uncorroborated, was evidently a witness of truth, had sworn to having pegged out and registered his claim, and therefore that portion of the ground would be excised. He still thought it would be better for the parties to join and make one good lease.

Then there was an overlap on the Mizentop lease that also would have to be excised. Mr. Hyett said that £5 had been deposited by both parties to cover the costs of the case. He would apply for costs. The Warden ordered the costs of the applicant’s case to be paid out of the £5 lodged by the objector.

The court then adjourned.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

“WARDEN’S COURT.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 9 June 1891: 4. Web. 16 Aug 2020 <;.

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The Proposed Heathcote Railway

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 06 September 1881, page 3


A public meeting was held at Mr. P. Drake’s Hotel, Axedale, last evening, in connection with the proposed railway from Sandhurst to Seymour, via Axedale, Heathcote, and Costerfield. There were about thirty persons present the president of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, Mr A. Bruhn, occupying the chair.

Mr W, S. Cahill, by whom the meeting was convened, explained its objects. he said that the Sandhurst people had taken the matter up very warmly, and they should therefore co-operate with them in endeavoring to obtain a railway through the district. The advantages that would accrue to the district by the construction of a line would be very great.

The Chairman thought they should move heart and soul to have a railway constructed from Sandhurst to Heathcote. Sandhurst would be greatly benefited by the line, not alone on account of Heathcote being a mining district with which it was closely connected, but on account of the farmers situated between the Campaspe and the Goulburn, who would make Sandhurst a head centre. (Hear, hear.)

The railway would complete a link between the Murray line and the North-Eastern line, and passengers would have easier access to Sydney by that means, instead of going round by way of Melbourne. Axedale, as a grain producing district, and a district famed for its dairy produce, would reap considerable benefit from the railway, which would tend to its advancement in many ways. He, therefore, trusted that that they would give the matter favourable consideration.

Mr T. Craike thought the first step they should take should be to form themselves into a branch league. The leading citizens of Sandhurst had taken a very active part in the movement which had called them together that evening. They were all aware of the advantages which would accrue by the construction of the line, which would strike off near Sandhurst and pass on to Heathcote through Axedale.

Mr Ingham, a gentleman with whom they were all acquainted, but who was now in England, had told them that if a railway was constructed to Sandhurst he could compete with the Melbourne trade for the supply of bluestone for building, channelling, and other purposes to all parts of the colony. In bluestone alone there would be an immense traffic on the line.

From Axedale to Heathcote there was a large tract of fertile country, and near Heathcote there were quarries of limestone and marble. These quarries had remained unworked, owing to the cost of carriage to Sandhurst. The marble quarries would form an extensive industry, which could only be developed by means of railway communication. The timber which could be supplied by means of a railway to Sandhurst for mining and building purposes could not be equalled in the colony. It had become a difficult matter in Sandhurst of late to procure suitable timber for mining, which had taken immense strides.

It was, therefore, necessary that good timber should be supplied at cheap rates, and the proposed railway would prove very useful in this respect. As Sandhurst progressed the country districts progressed likewise, and a great deal of the success of the country people depended on the success of Sandhurst. (Applause.) He concluded by moving “That this meeting form themselves into a branch league, for the purpose of cooperating with the central league in Sandhurst in their endeavor to further railway extension to Heathcote and Seymour.”

Mr. J. D. Bywater, member of the Mclvor Shire Council, seconded the motion. He referred to the resources of the district that would be opened up by the railway, and instanced the large amount of traffic that would take place in firewood, bluestone, sawn timber, grain, dairy produce, etc. He said the bluestone of the Campaspe exceeded anything that could be obtained in the colony. In connection with sawn timber there were two sawmills situated in the parish of Knowsley West, and one in the parish of Crosby. Each of these mills, when at work sent about 8,000 superficial feet of timber to the Sandhurst market for mining purposes.

The farm produce of the parishes of Axedale, Weston, Muskerry, Knowsley West, Knowsley East, and Crosby would all be sent to the Sandhurst market by means of the railway. From a calculation he had made, he found that in the parishes he had meutioned there were about 8,600 acres under cultivation.

As the proprietor of a threshing machine, he had had a good chance of knowing the acreage of grain producing land of the district. Milk was produced in large quantities in Axedale and forwarded to Sandhurst, much labor and expense being at present entailed in the carriage, which a railway would obviate. He was of opinion that the Government would be acting wisely by constructing the line, as there would not be a more payable line in the colony. (Applause.)

The motion was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.

Mr Stephen Burke was appointed secretary to the league. .

The following committee was elected tor the purpose of acting in conjunction with the Sandhurst league: Messrs. J.D.. Bywater, T. Strachan, T. O’Rourke, T. Craike, W. S. Cahill, A. Bruhn, M. Burns, J. White, T. Donnellan, .J. Burke, S Burke, D. Mill, and J. Martin, with power to add to their number.

Mr Craike explained to the meeting the action taken by the Sandhurst league, and suggested that a delegate should be appointed to represent the Axedale branch league, on the occasion of the deputation from Sandhurst, waiting on the Minister of Railways.

Mr Bywater said it was the intention of the Mclvor Council to interview Mr Bent on Wednesday week, provided he could make it convenient to receive them on that day. They proposed to ask for a railway to Heathcote, to be included in the next schedule, but they did not bind themselves to any of the proposed routes. He understood that deputations from Costerfield, Tooborac, and other places, intended interviewing the Minister of Railways on Friday next.

In answer to a question, Mr Bywater said the Mclvor Council were in favor of having a survey made from Lancefield to Heathcote, as promised by Mr Patterson when Minister of Railways.

Mr Cahill read a letter from Mr Crooke, secretary of the Heathcote and Broadford Railway League, in which it was stated that. a deputation was to wait on Mr Bent next Friday at 1.30, and advocate a line from Sandhurst via Heathcote and Costerfield to Seymour.

Mr Bywater was appointed to represent the Axedule league on the deputation from Sandhurst.

The meeting then closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

APA citationTHE PROPOSED HEATHCOTE RAILWAY. (1881, September 6). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

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Derrinal Railway Station Accident Update – Inquest

A recent post about an Accident at Derrinal Railway stated that the injured person was an engine driver named Howe. This was soon found to be incorrect information. The person who died in this accident was Robert Storey. Below are details of the accident from the Magisterial Inquiry.from: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 8 November 1900.

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 08 November 1900, page 2



Magisterial Inquiry
A magisterial inquiry touching the death of Robert Storey, whose lamentable death we referred to in our last issue, was held by Jas. Crowle, Esq, J.P., at the Black Swan Hotel, on Wednesday the 31st ult., when the following depositions were taken, Mr J. A. C. Firth being present on behalf of Mrs Storey, the widow of deceased:

Elizabeth Storey, sworn, deposed, I am the wife of the deceased Robert Storey. Last saw my husband alive on the 30th October at 11 a.m., when he left home on horseback to go to Ellesmere. He said he would be back home about 11 p.m. if he were coming. Identify the body as that of my husband. The horse he was riding is quiet and not given to bolting, the ohildren often riding it about the town. I reside in High Street, Heathcote .

John Duncan, sworn, deposed, I am a farmer. Saw the body of Robert Storey last night at the Black Swan Hotel about 12 o’clock, midnight. Saw him alive, breathing for a few seconds at about 10 o’clock.
Was sitting near my father’s place having a smoke about 10 p.m., when I heard a horse galloping along the main road, evidently about half a mile away, and a man calling out ” woa ” as fast as he could repeat it. The horse was going towards Heathcote. From the man calling out, I concluded he had no control over the horse, Heard him singing out until 1 heard a crash. He must have travelled a mile at racing pace from the time I first heard the galloping until the crash occurred.
After the crash I ran up to the station house and called out for Mr Bowman. Mr Bowman was in bed and got up and asked what was the matter. Told him what I had heard. Accompanied by Mr Bowman I searched the road but found nothing on it, and we were both going homewards when Mr Bowman called me from the station yard to come to him. We found deceased lying on the ground lying partly on his face. Mr Bowman turned his (deceased’s) face around, and I lit a match and we looked at deceased, The deceased was then alive but unconscious. He was bruised and had blood on his face.
Mr Bowman tried to catch his own horse to go for a doctor, while I remained with the injured man. Mr Farley then went for the doctor. Remained with deceased till the doctor came. In my opinion he only lived for two or three minutes after we found him. In my opinion the horse was absolutely beyond control.

To Mr Firth: Mrs Bowman has charge of the Derrinal Station, where the accident occurred. It was a dark night. Sometimes the northern gate is closed at night, and sometimes it is left open. Have seen all three gates open at night, and some times all closed. The body was about fifteen yards from a telegraph post. There is a wire stay supporting this post. There is a track leading from the north to the south gate, passing near the above stay.

Daniel Thomas Bowman, sworn stated, and a railway employee residing at Derrinal railway station. On the night of the 30th inst., about 10 p.m., someone knocked at my door, and John Duncan, of Derrinal, told me he thought a serious accident had happened, Duncan and I went across to the main, road to find out what had happened.
We searched the roads both ways for a distance of a quarter of a mile and found nothing. I said to Duncan the crash might have been into one of the wood heaps.I said to Duncan, you go along the road while I go through the station. yard. I had not gone fifty yards when I came upon a man lying on the ground. I called Duncan. We went up to the man, who was lying face downwards and I turned the man on his side and found he was alive.
I said to Duncan to stay here and I’ll get my pony and go for the doctor. Could not catch my pony and my wife’s sister went to ask Mr Thos, Farley’s assistance. Mr Farley caught the horse ridden by deceased, in the station yard, and want to Heathcote for Dr Reid. Stayed till the doctor came.

To Mr Firth: Believe there is a rule that the station gates are to be shut at a certain hour. The heaps of wood mentioned are in the station yard. Ellen Bowman, sworn,said, am station mistress at Derrinal station. On the night of the 30th October about 10 p.m., I heard a horse galloping past very fast. Mr John Duncan soon after came to the door and asked for my husband.
My husband got out of bed and went with Mr Duncan to see what had happened. Stood on the platform and heard my husband call “Jack.” My husband ran back and told me there was a man lying on the ground dead or dying, and told me to go to the injured man, and I did so, taking water and a towel with me. My husband went to catch his horse to go for the doctor, and my sister went for Mr Theos. Farley. Don’t think he lived more than half an hour from the time of the accident.

To Mr Firth; Sometimes I send the children to close the gates at night, and sometimes I do not. The woodcarters often open the gates at night after we close them. The north gate was open this morning when we got up. Know that there is a departmental rule that all station gates are to be closed at a certain hour at night, but I do not know whether or not the rule applies to my station. Did not give directions to anyone to close the gates on the evening when the accident occurred, nor did I close them myself.

George Marr Reid, sworn, deposed, am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Heathcote. On the evening of the 30th October, about 11.30 p.m, I was summoned to attend a man said to have been thrown from his horse at the Derrinal railway station. Immediately drove to, the scene of the accident, and found the body of a man, whom I recognised as Robert Storey, of Heathcote, !ying on the ground inside the Derrinal station yard.
On examination, I found that life had been extinct for. at least an hour, as rigor mortis was well advanced. Advised that the body be removed to the Black Swan Hotel. which was done on the 31st inst. about 8.30 p.m. Made a superficial examination of the deceased, Robert Storey, lying at the Black Swan Hotel.
Discovered evidence of fracture of the spine about the 8td or 4th cervical vertebra. There was a large contusion on the left shoulder, extensive abrasions on the left side of the face, and three or four lacerated wounds on the back of right hand and fingers. No fracture of the skull evident. No fracture of bones of extremities. rigor mortis and hypostatic lividity fully established.
In my opinion accordingly the cause of death was the fracture of the cervical spine, with injury to the spinal cord, causing paralysis of respiration. The injury above mentioned was evidently caused by a fall from his horse.

To Mr Firth: Have examined the scene of the accident by daylight. The body was near a telegraph post supported by a wire stay, which I noticed was quite loose today. Saw some horse-hair, evidently from the mane, lying on the ground between the position where the body had been and the telegraph post. Noticed a bright mark on the wire about two feet above the ground, as if some hard substance had come in contact with it forcibly.
It is my opinion that the horse stumbled by striking the wire and unseated his rider (the deceased.) A verdict was given to the effect that the deceased met his death from injuries accidentally received by being thrown from the horse he was riding

Magisterial Inquiry.” The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 8 November 1900: 2. Web. 24 Jul 2020 <;.

Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

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Gold in the Axedale District

Gold Found at Axedale

From: the McIvor times and Rodney Advertiser, Thursday 25 June 1896, Page 2

A very important discovery, states the Bendigo Independant of Monday last, was made in the Axedale district a few days ago. A resident named Winzar, whilst out looking for some cows that had strayed, stumbled on an outcrop of quartz. It looked so promising, that he broke a few specimens and took them home with him.
These, when dollied gave such a good prospect, that the discoverer kept the matter quiet till he was able to peg out the most likely piece of ground. When.the find became known the place was rushed; and on last Saturday morning, miner’s right claims were .taken up for a distance of two or three on either side of Mr Wiinzar’s claim..
Mr W. Nolan, manager of Daley and Weston’s claim at Ellesmere, pegged out one of the claims, and from a surface show, obtained a very good dish prospect. About 40 men are now engaged on the line. The rush is between Hunt’s Line and the Sugarloaf Range at a point about a mile and a half due west [unreadable words] in all probability has been made on one of the reefs running, through the Ellesmere field.

No Title (1896, June 25). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from

(Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

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Event: Kids In The Park

Recently, a crowd of excited children gathered at the Axedale Community Park for ‘Kids In The Park – Space Day’. Lots of fun was had and energy burnt off on what was the last day of the school holidays.

The event was organised by Sonya Browne on behalf on local community group Axedale Our Town Our Future (AOTOF).

The fun included a jumping castle, arts and crafts, face painting and story time. Children were invited to come dressed in their favourite space costume with prizes for best costumes.

*Thanks to Sonya Browne for photos