Maffra and District Historical Society

M&DHS operates the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, part of the Local History Collection at the Maffra Library, and a Dairy Museum at the Robotic Dairy at Winnindoo.

Location: Victoria, Australia

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Family Equiry - MOON

The Society has received an enquiry about the MOON family - John Hinton MOON (1858-1937) was at Maffra as a tailor by 1880. His father, James Hinton MOON died there in 1880 and was a clerk. John is said to have come to Maffra to learn tailoring from a relative, who we have not yet been able to identify.

One location that we have been able to tie him to is on the southern side of Johnson Street, just near the bridge. John married Wilhelmina RICHARDSON (c.1855-1947), a tailoress from Carlton in 1882. Their first child was born at Maffra in 1883, but the family was in Richmond by the birth of the next one in 1886.

However, about April 1894, John's younger brother, Alfred (Albert) Ernest MOON (1869 -1935) arrived in Maffra, and remained there, Maffra's tailor until his death. His shop, in McFadyen's Emporium (under what is now Slattery's/Cervus machinery yard) features in our first volume on Johnson Street.

 Maffra Spectator, 18 April 1894

A.E. Moon married Ellen Emma HARRIGAN in 1894, and they had a number of children in Maffra. By Christmas Day, December 1913, he was operating from further along Johnson Street, when his was one of the shops destroyed in the Great Fire of Maffra. As a result he moved back to McFadyen's, and held a fire sale.

Wilhelmina RICHARDSON has proved elusive in records, said to have been the daughter of Roland RICHARDSON, a farmer and Margaret MILLER, born about 1855 at Creswick, but this needs confirmation. Nothing is yet known of Ellen Emma HARRIGAN.

If anyone can assist with further details of this family, please contact the Society.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Family Enquiries - Low and Jessop

The Society has received enquiries about two very similar families.

James Lowe married Ann DAVIDSON/DAVISON in 1865, and in October 1867 purchased two lots in a Crown Lands auction, on the Macalister River in the Parish of Tinamba. This was on the western side of Hagans bridge at Upper Maffra. This section shows those blocks. James was first described as a carrier, and later a farmer. He and his wife had six children.

In October 1868, James JESSOP purchased one lot of 22 acres at a Crown Lands sale - the full list of purchasers can be seen HERE. This land was on the eastern approach to Mansons bridge - so just across the river and a bit downstream.

James Jessop married Maria PAGET, and they had at least six children from 1857 to 1865 at Tarraville/Alberton, and the seventh at Maffra in 1868.

For those who do not know Mansons bridge, it is between Tinamba and Newry, and distinguished by being curved, not straight.

If anyone can assist with further details of these two families, it would be appreciated if you would contact the Society on

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bulletin 134 is out

Bulletin 134 will be going in the mail tomorrow.

Contents are:

President's Report (and here is the picture of her, with the Mayor and the Purple Pig, in colour!)

Meanwhile, back at the serious stuff. We have:

Donald McFadyen, the bootmaker in Johnson Street

The Horresdale family

Details of the first land sale, on 1 June 1864. All names included.

Louie Riggall - Gippsland's Florence Nightingale.

Baptisms in the former Maffra Shire by the Rev John Roberts, Dec 1877 to December 1881.

The Ted Clark Collection - details on an important addition to our photographs and records.

Single copies $4.00 from the Museum, or just add postage for a letter.

Please Join Us for our 150th!

 The Macalister Hotel, Johnson Street, Maffra. 
Maffra's longest-operating business, and a feature of our new book.

Maffra & District Historical Society 

Invites you to celebrate with us 

the 150th anniversary of the 
first Land Sales in Maffra, 

which occurred on the 1st June 1864 

You are invited to join us for lunch at the 
Macalister Hotel 
Sunday 1st June 2014 At 12 noon 
(at your own expense) 

(The Sugarbeet Museum will be open 
from 10am to midday)

This will be followed by a conducted walk starting at 2pm from the Macalister Hotel to the 
Commercial Bank of Australasia then walking along the other side of the street to 
the Beet Museum for afternoon tea 
 and the launch of the first book in a series, 
on the history of Johnson Street 

51 471740

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Callander and Forer

We are currently working our way through a collection of photographs of Maffra and surrounds from the late Ted Clark, and are stumped by this one. We do not know of a Callander and Forer store locally, and checking on Trove shows them at Dookie and Wangaratta.

We have really worked hard on it, but cannot read any words on the other shops.

This looks more like Wangaratta to us, but can anyone confirm it?

Late Note: Thanks to Jackie on the Rootsweb AUS-VIC-NORTHEAST mailing list - This is in Mary Street Dookie in 1906. The two men in suits with the boy to the left are Callander and Forer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Burgoyne Family

The Society has received an enquiry about the Burgoyne family at Maffra, with two later branches marrying into the McMichael family at Licola (so Linda knows them pretty well).

The photograph above is of the Burgoyne home on the Macalister River below Burgoynes Gap on the Licola Road. The site has since been re-roofed and had a verandah erected.

The family consists of Thomas Burgoyne (1833-1893, died Maffra) and Mary Ann Moore (1834-1924, died Maffra). Associated family names known for the next generation are McMichael, Teychenne and Graham.

We know Thomas was connected with the first Maffra Cheese Factory in the 1870s, which was somewhere on Finchley (we think).

If anyone is connected with the family, and wishes to be put in contact with the enquirer, who is descended from a sister of  Mary Ann Moore, please contact the Society. Any further information would also be appreciated.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Robert Curwen at Mewburn Park

Does anyone out there know anything about Robert Curwen, who was a soldier settler at Bushy Park after World War I?

Sgt Curwen appears to have been there about 1920. He was actually the first to have his sugarbeet into the factory one year, but was gone by 1925.

You can read a little about his exploits in the war, when he was in the first group to embark (and that is another whole story!), on Lenore Frost's blog The Empire Called.