John Batman arrives off Indented Head and establishes a holding station. On 6 June Batman recorded in his journal that he had signed a treaty with the local Aboriginal people, the Wurundjeri. In this treaty, Batman purported to buy land near the Yarra River and around Geelong, on Corio Bay – almost all of the Kulin nation’s ancestral land. In exchange he gave the eight “chiefs” whose marks he acquired on his treaty some blankets, knives, tomahawks, scissors, looking-glasses, flour, handkerchiefs and shirts. It is unlikely they understood the European negation. For the Indigenous people of Victoria, the land was not about possession but belonging.
However, the treaty was significant as it was the first and only documented time when Europeans negotiated their presence and occupation of aboriginal lands. It was later declared void by the Governor of New South Wales.
Buckley reveals himself to Batman’s men at Indented Head.
Wadawurrung territory started to be settled on by the newly arrived squatters. The Aboriginal community resisted the European invasion by driving off or stealing sheep, which then resulted in conflict and sometimes a massacre of Aboriginal people.
Once Dr Alexander Thomson built his house ‘Kardinia’ on the south bank of the Barwon settlement started to spread south establishing the townships of Mount Duneed and Jan Juc.
John Stokes purchased the ‘Sport Hall’ pastoral run which has been sometimes reported to be in Puebla, but was located in what we know as Connewarre/Breamlea. The name was later changed to Stokes Station.
Other settlers followed Elias Harding.
1841 – Henry Tait took up the lease for Spring Creek Station. His wife takes over in 1846 when Henry becomes ill.
1843 – John Goodall selects farm ‘Iron Bark Forest’ on Spring Creek
1844 – Joseph Gundry acquired the Iron Bark Forest station.
1848 – Robert Zealley squatters’ licence from July 1848 to Feb 1850 before purchasing the South Beach run in December 1851
1849 – James Tait took up the lease for Connewarre Lakes Station 1849-56
Elias Harding had arrived at Port Phillip Bay on 2nd October 1838, with his young family. The Port Phillip area, which was then part of N.S.W., was being rapidly developed, and good land was being opened up for sheep farming and grazing. Free settlers were being granted one acre for every pound sterling or pound’s worth of property brought into the country, and so Elias received a grant of 1,000 acres from the Government and became a pioneer settler at “Bream Creek”, Connewarre. In due course, Elias was able to take up several thousand acres of leasehold land in the same area. Shortly after he purchased the licence for the Mount Pleasant Run from his cousin Silas Harding.
James Follett selected 80 acres of Crown Land after working in the area. He erected a boarding house known as Ocean View. It was initially to cater for fisherman but James quickly realised the picnic and holiday makers also were looking for accommodation. He purchased the land in 1887.
Willem Baa Nip was born in 1836 at Geelong. He was otherwise known as ‘King Billy’, a member of the Wadawurrung (Wathaurung).
In 1861 the Duneed Aboriginal Land Reserve of one acre was set aside for Wadawurrung balug tribe on Ghazeepore Road just south of Andersons Creek, Mount Duneed. He fought for the right of his people to live on their land. He saw in his lifetime Geelong develop from a small camp to a major agricultural centre. Today, he is an enormously significant figure in Geelong, and particularly amongst the Wathaurong people.
Willem Baa Nip died on the 11 November 1885 of tuberculosis – 15 years after the last of his contemporaries Dan Dan Nook died of tuberculosis.
He was the last member of the Wadawarrung to witness colonisation. His grave is in Geelong’s western cemetery.
A road constructed in 2015 in Armstrong Creek, Geelong was named Baanip Boulevard in recognition of him.
The township of Puebla was gazetted. The area of the town was bounded by the Surf Coast Highway, Bell Street, The Esplanade and Anderson Street.
On 14 September 1886, at Henry Bannister’s Auction House, the second Crown Land Sales occurred where Harry Rudd bought an allotment and built a house/shack three weeks later. On 16 February 1888 the first leased bathing box was registered to Harry Rudd, though James Follett had a bathing box on Fisherman’s beach a year or two earlier. James erected it for his guests at the accommodation ‘Ocean View’. The Lands Department had not approved the bathing box.
After postal services were extended from Mt Duneed to Spring Creek in 1889 the Post Master General agreed to change the town name from Spring Creek to Torquay in November 1892. Puebla as the name of the town never really took off. The locals preferred Spring Creek until it became confusing.
William Bell produced a plan for the TIA to build a hall at an approximate cost of 250 pounds. It was suggested another 50 pounds for land, fencing, building and seating. A limited company was formed to develop the concept and arrange the finance.
The hall was built quickly but just as quick it began loosing money and was unable to pay the mortgage. John William Taylor paid the mortgage to the bank out and gave the TIA time to come up with a revenue plan and pay him back which they did after many dances, film and card nights.
The first conversation on the recently installed telephone service between Geelong and Torquay took place on Wednesday 10 April 1902 when Mr Richard Hocking, Secretary of the Torquay Improvement Association. He enjoyed the privilege of sending through the first message on the wires.
In October 1949 approval was given for a rural automatic telephone exchange in Torquay.