Tuesday, 7 June 2016

We found Ballantarsin!

Well, I didn’t but Mum and Dad did.

They’d tried the closest historical societies in Mortlake and Terang and although not finding Ballantarsin, they did find a ‘new’ cousin of Mum’s who drove them around the district.

They went to the biggest town in the area, Warrnambool Historical Society and they had old parish plans showing subdivision of “Long’s Estate” for closer settlement. They could locate some roads and lanes on these and some fire maps.

Parish map: numbers above the asterisk on W Graham block is about where the house is.

Ballantarsin today
So off Mum and Dad went, driving all around the district in freezing gale force winds – you have to admire their determination!

Finding nothing, they gave up and started for home.

Still keeping their eyes open, they found something but it was on the wrong side of the road. 

They met the owners of the property who were very excited to learn some of the history of part of their very large dairy farm. They had never heard of it being called Ballantarsin.

The dairy farmers were using the house for a share farmer and it was empty until this day – the new tenants turned up just as Mum and Dad were finishing their photos inside and out – amazing timing.
The property is now called Crieve Hill.
House datestone AD 1876

Ballantarsin was owned by mum’s grandparents from 1918 to 1922. 
The map above has an asterisk on the ‘W Graham block’ and this is probably the milking shed. The house is closer to the numbers above and right of this.

So now Mum and Dad are busy dating some old photos, and noticing how grand the garden and house had been. The old stone fence that is still on the property today can be seen in the background of some of our photos.

Inside Ballantarsin today
Dad’s put some of the old photos together to take to the current owners who are very keen to have them.

Ballantarsin today

Of course this leads to more research:
The closer settlement subdivision of Long’s Estate.
Locate the Long’s previous property Warrawong at Glenormiston North. Edward and Sarah Long had sold this property to O’Keefes who had taken possession on 1 Oct 1918. The Longs sold Ballantarsin through McDonald Bros Mortlake on 15 Aug 1922 and took possession of their next property Watch Hill on 18 May 1922.

Many of the snippets of information, and dates of purchases and sales have been gleaned from mum’s aunt’s (our Auntie Jean) diaries and newspaper clippings. In amongst the day to day activities are little snippets of gold, it just takes someone with the time and patience to read through them all – lucky Mum kept them!

Stone fence at Ballantarsin today

My Nanna and her horse.
Is this the same stone fence in the background?

Inside Ballantarsin in the 1920s
The author of the diaries, Auntie Jean (Long) driving my Nanna
in the family Adler at Ballantarsin

Edward, Sarah and son Bill in Adler at Ballantarsin