Timeline

1824
1824

Hume & Hovell

Hume and Hovel
Explorers Hume and Hovell, arrived at Duck Ponds (Lara) near Jillong (Geelong) concluding it was a good place for settlement. Noticing the fine harbour and the surrounding country, they concluded that it would be a great place for a settlement. They recorded that the Aborigines described the bay as Jullong and land as Corago, suggesting origins for the names of Geelong and Corio.
1835
1835

John Batman Arrives

    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.

    1836
    1836

    Establishing Pastoral Runs

      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.
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-27/map-of-indigenous-massacres-grows-to-include-more-sites/10040206

      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.

      1836

      Other Settlers Follow

      Squatters_Pastoralists Torquay district

      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

      1837
      1837

      Court System Established

      Foster Fyans

      Captain Foster Fyans arrived as Police Magistrate giving the informal settlement of Geelong an official basis.

      1838
      1838

      Geelong Gazetted

      Geelong was surveyed and Gazetted on 10 October. As Geelong grows with European settlers the Aboriginals are forced to live on the fringe of town.

      1839
      1839

      Geelong Land Sales

      Geelong land sales

      The first sale of Geelong land was held, in Sydney, then the capital of the colony of New South Wales, of which this district was a part. It took place on February 14, 1839 and averaged £65 an allotment.

      1840
      1840

      Elias Harding

      Elias Harding early settler in Torquay_Jan Juc_Connewarre

      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.

      1866
      1866

      Town and Suburb For Sale

      1866 land sales map

      Section 65, known as the suburb of Puebla but more commonly referred to as Spring Creek (Torquay) was subdivided into 25 allotments and some allotments were sold. At the same time, some of Section 66, the township of Puebla was also put up for sale.

      1880
      1880

      First Torquay Accommodation House

      James Follett Ocean View House Torquay

      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.

      1885
      1885

      Wadawurrung (Wathaurung)

      Willem BaaNip _King Billy

      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.

      1885

      A Town Is Born

      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.

      1892
      1892

      Post Master General Makes Decisions

      signpost

      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.

      1892

      TIA Hall Is Built

      first Torquay Hall

      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.

      1902
      1902

      Let’s Chat

      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.