Fatal Accident at Derrinal Railway Station

from: The Bendigo Independant, Thursday 1 November 1900, page 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A FATAL ACCIDENT
AT THE DERRINAL RAILWAY
STATION
A man whose name is not definitely known but who is supposed to be an engine driver from Fosterville named Howe, met with a fatal accident at Derrinal, on the Heathcote Line about 10 o’clock on Tuesday night.
It appears from the information to hand that the deceased was riding a horse towards Derrinal from Knowsley. when he lost control of it and it bolted. It entered the station yard at the Derrinal ailway station and passing underneath, a wire which was staying a post, the rider was thrown off. The station mistress and other people who were nearby heard the groans of the man and went to his assistance. He was found to be unconscious, and on his being removed to the Black Swan Hotel which is a mile distant, the poor fellow expired, A messenger was despatched for Dr. Esler,of Heathcote, who on arrival formally pronounced life to be extinct. The matter was reported to the police and an enquiry was to have taken place last evening.

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

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Rousing up the council 1881

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Saturday 11 June 1881, page 2

THE AXEDALE ROAD

(To the Editor of the Bendigo Advertiser.)

Sir,- I crave a small space in your valuable journal for the purpose of describing to you the condition of the Axedale road. I think that it is time something was said or done about this road, Which is in a beastly condition. At every foot a dray or buggy goes, one of the wheels goes into a bog hole, with which the road is actually covered. I really think that it is time the council did something to improve this road. What are the councillors about! Why do the rate payers not wake them up to a sense of their duty? There is plenty of metal lying on the centre of the road, and there is every probability of it laying there for some time to come unless the councillors are roused up. Hoping that some action will be taken in the matter.

I am, etc., RATEPAYER.

 

The Axedale Incendiarism

from: The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette, 05 Oct 1886, page 5

THE AXEDALE INCENDIARISAM At the Sandhurst police court on Wednesday September, 29th, a young. man, named Robert Elliott was brought up on remand from Drouin, charged with unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to two stacks of corn, the property of Lazarus Bros., and valued at £500, at Axe Creek, on the 21st January last.

Mr. Connelly prosecuted, and Mr. ,Rymer defended the prisoner. who pleaded “Not Guilty.” : Detective A. G. Sainsbury deposed that he conducted the investigation into the firing of the stacks of Messrs. Lazarus Bros.

He visited the scene on the 22nd January, the day after they had been set fire to, and saw two stacks still burning. He saw bootmarks of a man as if he had been running from the stack. The tracks corresponded with a boot produced, which he received from the prisoner, who said he wore it when he set.the stack on fire. The boots corresponded exactly in length and, breadth.

With the assistance of the Government black-trackers, they traced the prints first easterly to the creek, and then in a southerly direction towards Doak’s: After following them 33 chains, they were lost at Doak’s brush fence.

He saw Elliott that day, and spoke to him, also to other men there. Prisoner, to the best of his belief said he knew nothing about it. On the 8th of this month, he went to Drouin with Mr. (unreadable) to conceal himself on the ceiling of the lockup. The ceiling was of logs and some had spaces between them.

Prisoner and a man named Bush were in the cell. Mr. Rymer:” I object to anything being put forward which was said by the prisoner. There was no doubt that a confession was made in writing, and that must be handed in”.The bench overruled the objection.

Witness, proceeding, said with reference to the conversation, he overheard that Bush I asked Elliott ” How is old Lazarus getting, on,” and Elliott replied ” I don’t know; you must not say I ever let you know of the fire. That red-headed Irishman,who was manager for Lazarus is dead.” Bush said ” Is that the overseer that came to Doak’s where they were threshing and said the machine was useless?” Elliott replied ” Yes.” and Bush asked him. if that was the night of the fire. Prisoner. answered “Yes don’t speak too loud” Bush continues, “Did you set fire to all the stacks?”. ” Prisoner replied, ” I only set fire to one, and the other must have caught from it.” Bush said, “I suppose you ran then,’. and prisoner answered, “My —-oath I did.”

Prisoner was heard to say, also that Doak said the fire served Lazarus right. On the following morning,witness saw prisoner, who said he thought he had seen him (witness) before. Witness told him who he was, and he recollected.

After further conversation he told prisoner he had come over about the fire and that he suspected him. He then said he never fired the stacks,and asked him if Bush had told him. Witness replied, “I heard you say so to Bush, when you asked him not to tell”.

Witness showed him where he had been concealed. Prisoner said “Oh, well, it’s no use denying it. I did burn Lazarus’ stacks. I set fire to one of them.” Constable O’Meara, the lockup-keeper, then came to the door, and prisoner continued that he set the stack afire because “the overseer wouldn’t have the old man’s machine or the other cockeys (farmer’s) either”.

He said his father never told him to do it. Prisoner said he had no objection to repeat the statement to some other person. Witness asked him whether he was willing to go to Sandhurst and be tried for the offence. Prisoner replied “I may as well be in gaol. I did it, and must put up with the consequences”.

Prisoner then went with him to the Shire hall next door, and made a statement before :Mr. Startup, J.P. and Mr. Beckwith. Prisoner signed the document (produced), after it had been read over to him.

Witness subsequently swore an information against him. He never induced the prisoner by threats, promises, or anything to make the confession.

Later on that day, witness was at the police station. and prisoner.sent for him. He went to him, and prisoner said ” I suppose you heard me telling Jack Bush that Doak said it was a good job. Well, Doak never said it at all.”  Prisoner gave him as a reason for saying so that he thought Bush would refrain from telling anyone.

To Mr. Rymer: Prisoner was in gaol at Dronin on a charge of false pretences. He put Bush in the lockup as a means of hearing hearing what prisoner said. He was sure that Bush was not put in for being drunk.

There was no charge against Bush, who consented to be locked up. Bush first told witness that prisoner had informed him when at Shelbourne, he had fired the stacks.

There is a reward of £100, which he now thinks Bush will receive. The boots of the man Boyle, who was first arrested on suspicion, were No.8,. and fitted the track. Boyle never made a statement that he had fired the stack.

Samuel and Daniel Lazarus, the owners of the stacks destroyed, William Doak; farmer, Axedale, and Peter Alias, laborer, who saw the prisoner hurrying along the road from Lazarus’ at the time of the fire, gave evidence, and the prisoner was committed to take his trial at .the Assize Court on the 14th October next.

from wikipedia: incendiarism – Dictionary definition and meaning for word incendiarism. (noun) malicious burning to destroy property. Synonyms : arson , fire-raising. the British term for arson is fire-raising –

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

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Honouring Axedale Soldiers

from: The Bendigonian, Tuesday 9 March 1915, page 12

HONORING AXEDALE SOLDIERS

Axedale 3rd March

A well-attended meeting was held in Drake’s Hall ,last night to make arrangements for a send off to the three Axedale soldiers at present in camp at Broadmeadows, viz. Messrs. F. Bennett, E. Burke, and F. Millington. Cr. S. Doak presided.

It was decided to hold a social and present each soldier with a gold medal suitably inscribed, on a date to be arranged. Several ladies were present, and they will have charge of the arrangements in connection with the supper.

With Anzac Day coming up, there will be posts about the Axedale Soldiers who lost their lives

Axedale – An inland seaside resort?

Axedale a seaside resortCAMPASPE STORAGE BASIN
(To the Editor of the Advertiser)
Sir, —In deciding to construct a storage basin on the Campaspe at Kimbolton or ??  {unreadable words}, as it is officially known, to supply the off-take weir at Elmore, which is to irrigate some 40,000 acres, south of the Waranga Loddon channel, the Water Commission have not to my idea, fixed on the east site, and I have no hesitation in saying this, for I have known the river some 50 years.
One of the great factors to the success of a storage basin is to have the stored water spread over as little area as possible, so as to check evaporation in summer and seepage all through the year.
This is impossible at the selected site, as no river vallev worth speaking of, exists and the water will be spread over a large area outside the river banks of no great depth.
The site I am in favor of, and one well known to all Bendigonians, is at Axedale, just
below the road bridge, and opposite Ingham’s quarries. Here is a magnificent, river valley, perhaps unequalled in the State for such a purpose, from 250 to 300 yards wide, the banks rising 80 to 100 foot high, while up the stream the valley opening out over the Marydale flat, on one side and the racecourse on the  other, with the high banks still around, forms a basin almost a mile wide, giving a great depth of water over the whole area.
This site also has the advantage that the racecourse and police paddock are Crown lands, costing nothing for resumption, also has an increased watershed of great value.
I know that the railway and road bridges would be submerged, but in these days of
advanced engineering, it would not be impossible to carry the traffic of both over the
barrage wall. Such would mean a deviation of the railway line through Axedale township,
but it would have the advantage of bringing the station, now a mile away, right, into the township, open up the blue stone quarries on each side of the river, and make Axedale a seaside resort,  on account of its direct railway communication to what would
be one of the finest inland lakes in the State.
Again the impounded water could be used for turbines to generate electricity for the
use of the Bendigo mines and other industries, also for electric lighting and traction
for electric railways and buses and many other things of which we are in need and
behind the rest of the world.
Bendigo should look well into this matter, as it concerns them as deeply as the farmer
on the northern plains, and it may mean the very life of the mining industry, where a cheap motive power is very badly needed.
yours etc.

11th August, 1908. FARMER.

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

 

Axedale Fair 1870

 

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THE AXEDALE FAIR

Benson and McLoskey report – The first Axedale Fair was held at The Campaspe on Monday last, and resulted in a greater success than the most sanguine of the promoters could have anticipated.  From an early hour in the morning, cattle, horses, pigs, &c, were to be seen coming at intervals, in all directions, and before 12 o’clock, the stock yarded and penned, numbered from 400-500 head.  The farmers, squatters, and residents from the surrounding districts, assembled in full force and the support and encouragement accorded by the land and proprietors of the Wild Duck Creek, Heathcote,  Coliban, Kimbolton, Miami &c contributed in no small degree to starting the fair on a good footing at the outset. There were buyers present for all classes of stock at good prices, and although in some instances, high reserves stood in the way of business, there were nevertheless, a large number of sales affected by auctiom, to say nothing of the dealings amongst the farmers themselves.  There were about 100 pigs penned bit this was not sufficient to meet demand, as fully One or two hundred more fat pigs could have been placed at very good prices. Dairy cattle brought from 1.5 to 1.8, young calves 6s6d to 20s, stores 1.2 10s to 1.3 6s per head; light, useful horses from 1.5 to 1.9 per head. No sales of heavy draught horses were affected by auction. It is intended in future to hold regular fairs at the Axedale township upon the first Monday in every month; notice of which will be duly advertised. 

Source: trove.nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87914103

 

Axedale Community Hall

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The Axedale Hall is situated in the centre of Axedale, on a large block of land, that includes a childrens playground. To me, it represents the community hub of Axedale.

The Hall was built in 1945, however it seems there was earlier planning for a community centre, as the first minutes for the Hall Committee were recorded on 31 August 1938. Present at this meeting were Councillors Doak & Mill, Messrs Ryan, McKindley, Atlee, Lynch, O’Donogue, Carney, Lienhop, Drake, O’Dwyer & O’Brien. Any meetings that occurred prior to this date are not recorded in the minutes book.

The minutes on 29 April 1944, record that Blocks 6 and 7 Section 5 Town of Axedale, be the site of the proposed Hall and that the committee accept Mr. Drakes offer of a free gift of the land, subject to Mr. Drake’s condition that the land would be definitely used for the erection of the Hall. The offer was accepted and a hearty note of thanks was sent to Mr. Drake for his generous offer.

On 19 October 1943, the Executive Committee wrote to the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, requesting that an application be made to the Minister of Public Works for a grant of 600 pounds on a basis of £2 for £1 as a post war construction job.

On 8 August 1945, the minutes moved that the committee issue 5 year debentures minimum to be 1 pound interest on the debentures to be at 21/2%.

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The Axedale Hall was officially opened on 30 June 1945, by the Hon. J.H. Lienhop MLC, Minister of Public Works for Victoria. Many dignitaries attended and members of the Ladies Committee provided afternoon tea. This information is noted in the minutes of the hall committee. This was just a few weeks before the end of World War 2.

A Roll of Honour to both World Wars was installed proudly and hangs today. The names of locals who served and also those who lost their lives is inscribed.

FullSizeRender(1)The above plaque commemorates the opening of the water scheme in Axedale on 9 April 1964.

On reading the minutes, it becomes obvious that the Hall Committee were hard working and very committed to getting the Axedale Hall built for the community.

Today, the Axedale Hall Committee operates as an incorporated body of volunteers along with a Management Agreement with the City of Greater Bendigo. There are nine people on the Committee including a representative from the Pre-school.

The Axedale Pre-School, which opened in 1992, is in the back part of the hall building. Originally that part of the hall was the supper room.

There have been many events held at the hall in the decades since it opened, such as weddings, engagement parties and funerals. I have been told that there are many residents still living in Axedale, who celebrated their weddings in the hall.

There have also been many official community functions held, such as school concerts, fashion parades, casserole luncheons, and children’s fancy dress parties. There have been 5 Debutante Balls held there over the years. The photos of these deb balls still hang proudly in the hall.

As recently as 2004, indoor bowls was played in the hall on a piece of carpet, which would be rolled out for the occasion.

The CFA used the hall for their meetings, while waiting for their new premises to become available.

Today the hall is regularly used for private functions as well as community events such as Yoga Classes.

The Axedale Hall Committee today, appear to me, to be a very active, vibrant, and hard working group of committed volunteers.  They operate the local market and also support other local events.

The above information was kindly given to me by Ann Mason, Axedale Hall Committee member for about 12 years. Anne lives on a property at Knowsley, about 10k from Axedale. Originally from Bendigo, Ann has been living at Knowsley since 1994 and is very actively involved in the Axedale community.  

Fire at The Raglan Hotel


The Raglan Hotel still exists today and is situated on the main intersection in Axedale. Today it is a home and also home of The Axedale Gallery.

The hotel was built in the mid 19th Century. In February 1877, there was a very serious fire, with devastating consequences for the owner:

“The village of Axedale, situated on the Campaspe, about fifteen miles from Sandhurst, was on Monday evening the scene of a very serious disaster. The Raglan Hotel at that place will be well-known to old as well as modern travellers on the McIvor road. It was built, we believe, somewhere about the year ’55, and was a substantial little structure, the main portion of which was formed of 14-inch walls of stone and brick.

This portion of it contained six rooms, but a wooden addition at the rear, of considerable size, intended for the purposes of a dancing room, on the occasion of the local races and other gala days, was divided into three apartments by means of shifting wooden and calico partitions. It was in this part of the hotel that a fire, which has reduced the whole fabric to ruins, broke out about six o’clock the night before last. No satisfactory explanation can be given of the origin of the conflagration. But we may here state that neither the house, which was the property of Mr. Doak, nor the furniture and stock belonging to the licensee, Mrs. Tierney, were insured.

The fire, therefore, was the work either of a malicious incendiary, or of some of those mysterious agencies which form the grand chapter of accidents. From inquiries instituted yesterday on the ground, it appeared that the people of Axedale believe firmly that the fire occurred accidentally. Mrs.Tierney, with her son and daughter-in-law, had visited Sandhurst on Monday, leaving a man in charge, who was the only person on the premises, and as his duties confined him to the bar or front part of the building, he has no knowledge whatever of the cause of’ the unfortunate occurrence.

There was not a fire in any room on the premises during the day. The fire was first discovered by a little girl, the daughter of Mr.Drake, of the Campaspe Hotel, which is situated immediately opposite to the old Raglan. She was crossing the street on some errand when she saw flames issuing from the back, wooden building, and she immediately gave the alarm. Mr. Drake, with several persons who happened to be in his house, rushed across the road, and the whole population of Axedale quickly gathered, on the spot.

Every endeavor was made to save some of the property, but so rapidly did the flames extend that only some articles of small value, such as bedding and clothing, could be saved.

Naturally, the first rush was made to the burning dancing-room, but the fire had taken such a hold of it that all attempts in that direction had quickly to be abandoned, and attention was directed to the saving of property in the front part of the hotel. But the heat and smoke were so intense and suffocating that the people were driven back without effecting any great good.

The spread, of the fire was so rapid, we were assured by eye-witnesses, that from the time of its discovery barely ten minutes had elapsed when all hope of extinguishing it or rescuing the stock and furniture was at an end. The main portion of the building was in the form of a half square, the dancing-room forming a third part of the square. The flames from the latter were driven by a smart breeze which was blowing at the time through the somewhat narrow second side facing the Campaspe, and thence into the bar and parlor side fronting the main road.

It is to be understood that although the chief portion of the house was composed of solid walls of brick and stone, yet at the end to which the dancing-room adjoined the gable was formed of calico and wood, through which the fire rushed with great fury. But it is a little extraordinary that, although it had immediately to encounter a stone brick partition, it swept over it and another of the same description also, consuming the ceiling and roof. In these partitions there were no doors nor openings of any kind, but in a third one there was a door leading into the bar.

It can be imagined with what force the devouring element swept through the narrow building and its partitions, when it is remembered that scarcely ten minutes had elapsed before every part of the house was one mass of flames. Within three-quarters of an hour the work of destruction was complete; the wooden dancing room levelled with the ground, the rest of the building completely gutted, the solid walls cracked and crumbling with the intense heat, the iron roof entirely collapsed, and the wooden part of the roof utterly consumed. There was a good dam of water close at hand, but it was found utterly impossible to make any effectual use of it.

The hotel had been erected in a hollow, and the floors were raised very high from the ground, consequently the fire raged both above and below, and being confined within the solid walls of the somewhat narrow building, obtained tremendous force. How the accident could have been occasioned is a mystery which it is difficult to solve. The dancing-room in which it originated was almost empty, there being only a tarpaulin lying on one part of the floor, and a bag or two of wheat on another.

As we have said above, although every possible exertion was made by the people of the town ship, nothing whatever of value was saved. Mrs. Tierney had only been in possession of the house a few weeks, her license having been issued on the 1st January. By this calamity she and her son and daughter-in-law have been bereft of all their worldly goods, and the loss is all the greater since a full stock had only very recently been laid in. They are, therefore, placed in very distressed circumstances, and when we visited Axedale yesterday, an old out-house had been fitted up in order to afford them a temporary dwelling. This time last year they met with a misfortune which reduced them to utter poverty, and just as they were struggling hard to retrieve their fortunes they have been met with this second and crushing disaster. A large fire, we were informed, was raging at some miles distance, in the direction of Emu Creek at the time the Raglan was burned down”
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http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88271512

A little about Axedale

The discovery of gold in Bendigo, in the 1850s brought many travellers through Axedale, as they were on the search for  their fortune. They would have found Axedale to be a pretty spot, on the banks of the Campaspe River. Some of those travellers, rested by the river and continued on. Some settled in Axedale.

Axedale soon became a thriving community, with many hotels, a bakery, store, post office and churches. There were also industries such as a blacksmith, coach service to Bendigo, brick kilns, sawmills, along with mining of gold, sandstone and bluestone.

Today Axedale is a thriving rural hamlet, offering a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle. Being only about 20 kilometers from Bendigo, many have settled in Axedale and commute daily to Bendigo for work.