1880 to 1889

January, 1880

• An otherwise unidentified 500 acre farm with two miles frontage to the Campaspe River, Axedale, is offered 'To Let'.

• An amount of £90 is collected at several county Catholic churches, including Axedale, for what is called the Irish Relief Fund.

• A boy named Richard Harris is admitted to hospital, suffering fractures to both of his forearms. He was near his parent's residence at Axedale opossum hunting, when he fell off a tree, and sustained the injuries named. He was placed in a conveyance and taken to the hospital.

February, 1880

• The Axedale Board of Advice makes a visit to Homebush School, No. 1634. They are generally pleased with what they see. The number of present children is 33 and the school is clean and tidy. The working of the school is satisfactory but the building, a wooden one, is too small for the number of children. The Board finds 21 students in attendance at Axedale School No. 1008.

• A young man of respectable appearance, named Terence McGrath, and living at Axedale, is taken into the lockup and charged with lunacy. The poor fellow had gone to St. Killian's Chapel and created a considerable disturbance, owing to his vociferations and exclamations about religion. On the recommendations of Drs. Cruikshank and Culquhoun, he is ordered to be forwarded to the Kew Asylum.

• Tenders are called for the cartage of 6 tons of wire from Sandhurst Station to The Willows, Axedale. No more details provided.

• Thomas Oakley, Undertaker, posts a funeral notice for the late wife of Mr. John Burke, Axedale farmer, and late member of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, to leave his Axedale residence for the Axedale Cemetery.

• Mr. Hugh McColl, a candidate for Mandurang, addresses farmers at meetings in the district, including a meeting at Drake's Hotel, Axedale. He supports the North-Western Canal Scheme and is not wholly in favour of the Education Act being made non-sectarian and did not believe in the name of the Creator being removed from school books.

• An auction sale of horses, cattle, and farming implements is advertised for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale. On the bill are: Three heavy draught colts and fillies, one heavy draught gelding, forty head milch cows, forty head cattle and calves, mixed sexes, chaffcutter and horse-power, by Wilding and Co., wagon and harness, dray and harness, two ploughs, harrows, roller, and sundries.

March, 1880

• By order of the mortgagee, and with the consent of the proprietor, Mr. John McLean, a first-class property adjoining the farm lately in the occupation of William Heffernan, Allotment 17, Section B, Parish of Weston, containing 103a, 1r, 25p, more or less, is advertised for sale. The block is held on lease from the Crown, there is 13/- per acre paid, is securely fenced and partially cleared.

• A little girl named Kate O'Brien, 7 years old, meets with a painful accident at her parents' residence, Axedale. She is playing in the back yard when a horse that is running loose, knocks her down and treads on her face, causing severe bruising and laceration. She is admitted to Bendigo Hospital.

• The Mandurang election is held. Details of the voting population are published and show the number of votes polled in each division of the electorate, the number of voters on the roll, and the number of persons who abstained from voting, and from this I notice that in nine out of the 19 divisions, the number of neglected votes exceeded - and in some instances in a very considerable degree - the number of votes polled. At Axedale, for instance, there were 112 voters and 111 non voters. To sum up, the statement discloses the astonishing fact, that out of the 9,023 electors on the rolls for the electorate, only 4,844 votes were recorded, the remaining 4,179 electors not exercising any voice in the contest on one side or the other.

April, 1880

• A young man, Daniel O'Loughlin, has his thigh fractured at the Axedale Races when the horse he is riding, Gentle Annie, suddenly swerves off the track and dashes him into a tree. He is conveyed to the Bendigo Hospital for treatment.

• Mr. J. D. Bywater advises that he intends to make application to lease land under Section 47 of the land Act 1869.

• The Board of Management of the Bendigo Hospital discusses a complaint lodged by Mr. Harris, of Axedale:

"A letter was read from J. Harris, Axedale, complaining of the treatment his son David Harris received in the Institution. He stated that his son was admitted into the Institution at about two a.m. on the 27th January, with both arms broken, the result of an accident on the previous day. At about three p.m. on the following day, both arms were set by Mr. McKinnon, a wards man, both doctors having seen the patient previously. He (Harris) complained that the arms were improperly set, and that it was doubtful whether his son would ever recover the proper use of them. He said that though it was too late to remedy the matter, he desired the board to know how patients were sometimes treated in the hospital, and he did not think that wards men were generally deputed to set broken limbs.

The letter was received, and Dr. Poland was asked to make an explanation in reference thereto. He stated that the letter was untruthful. In the first place it had not been written by the father, as it purported to be. The arms were not set at the time stated, but instead thereof, three days after the patient's admission into the Institution. The arms were in such a bad state that they had to be fomented during the three days to reduce the swelling. Dr. Welchman usually set broken limbs, but on the occasion referred to, the work was done by the head wards man, Mr. McKinnon. He did it, however, under the supervision of Dr. Welchman, who was present at the time. The reason that the doctor did not set the arms himself was that erysipelas was prevalent, and he feared to touch the patient for fear of conveying that contagious disease to him. The wards man was a man of great experience, was thoroughly competent, and the result of the operation was very good. The setting of a broken limb was a very simple matter, and anyone after seeing such done several times, could perform the task themselves. With respect to the assertion that medical men had reflected on the result of the operation, he (Dr. Poland) asserted that medical men who were not acquainted with the nature of the case before treatment, were not competent to judge as to the result. Mr. Harris was wrong also in stating that the matter was beyond remedy, because it was a common thing that in cases where fractured limbs had been improperly set, that they were again broken, and reset properly. In some cases, when, after having healed badly, the bone could not be broken, it had been sawn through, and then united in a proper manner.

He then drew the Board's attention to the fact that in each ward, notices were hung up intimating that all complaints were to be made within ten days to the visiting committee, or lodged with the resident surgeon, prior to the patient's leaving the Institution, or otherwise the complaints would not be entertained by the Board. It would, therefore, be seen that he need not have recognised the complaint, as it was informal, but notwithstanding that, be was perfectly willing to explain the facts. Mr. Howard said that though the doctor spoke of the rule, their rules were not like the laws of the Medes and Persians, and further, the person making the complaint might not have been able to read well, as would be borne out by the fact that as the doctor intimated some one else had written the letter. Therefore it was just possible that the notice respecting complaints had not been observed. Something should be done in the matter, as it would not look well if it went out to the public that the wards man looked after the setting of limbs.

Dr. Poland here wished to draw the attention of the Board to the fact that the setting was done as stated without his knowledge or permission, and he only knew of it afterwards. Mr. Abbott objected to the manner in which the doctor had characterised the letter as untruthful, and he also considered that the doctor evidently looked upon the matter too lightly. The matter was a serious one, and in his opinion he would have considered the very best medical aid necessary in such a case, simple as it was thought by the doctor. In fact, he thought that the resident surgeon's remarks were calculated to hold his profession in too cheap a light. If such work as referred to could be done well by wards men, then they might think of paying less to their medical officers.

In answer to Mr. Howard, Dr. Poland said that the injuries received by the patient were of such a serious nature that they could not have been made good again, but they had been as well treated as possible. Dr. Welchman was present during the whole time of setting.

Mr Robshaw said that the reputation of the Institution was at stake in the matter, and it would never do if the public were to think that such matters would be left in the hands of the wards men. The setting of limbs should be done by the doctor, and he (Mr. Robshaw) certainly thought the Board should take such action as would maintain the reputation of the Institution.

Mr. Willan remarked that although the complaint had been lodged late according to rules, they were still bound to notice it. He was decidedly opposed to such work being done by the wards men, and in cases where the doctor could not attend personally to the patient for fear of spreading a disease, the services of another doctor should be called.

In reply to Mr. Hoffmeyer, Dr. Poland said that the wards men did not generally set limbs, and he personally was opposed to them doing so, notwithstanding the fact that the operation was a simple one.

Mr. Abbott considered that they should take steps to prevent a recurrence of such a proceeding and to mark their disapproval thereof. The Chairman remarked that there was no doubt but that the matter was a serious one and he considered that the father of the boy had couched the complaint in very moderate terms. The Board ought to write to him expressive of their great regret, and that if he so desired, the boy could be examined by the honorary medical staff.

Dr. Poland, on being asked why he did not set the broken limb, replied that Dr. Welchman was a duly qualified medical man. In the hospitals at home, students were allowed to set broken limbs.

After a few further remarks, it was moved by Mr. Abbott. " that Mr. Harris be written to expressing the deep regret felt by the Board that so serious an operation as the one referred to in his letter should, under any circumstances, have occurred in this hospital, and assuring him that steps will be taken by the Board at once to prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such an untoward event in the future." Mr. Willan seconded the motion, which was carried.

Mr. Thunder here wished the Board not to lose sight of the fact that the boy's arms had not been set by the wards man with the consent of the resident surgeon, but by the consent of the assistant surgeon.

It was resolved, on the motion of Mr Howard, seconded by Mr. Hoffmeyer, "that Mr. Harris be asked to bring in his son for the purpose of obtaining the opinion of the honorary medical staff as to whether any further operation will be necessary to restore the use of his hands. It will be necessary to give a few days notice to the resident surgeon in order to secure the presence of the honorary medical staff'.

A discussion of a conversational character here ensued, during which Dr. Poland intimated that personally, he would like to have the boy brought in and examined. Mr. Willan said that the public would look upon the matter in a very serious light, and they should take such action as would ensure confidence in the Institution. Mr. Abbott called the doctor's attention to the rules, which required his supervision over every case. The Doctor replied that he always exercised that supervision where practicable, but were he to receive every admission, he could never go through his rounds of the wards. Mr. Abbott replied that such used to be done before when there was no assistant surgeon in the hospital. Dr. Poland said it would be impossible.

After some desultory discussion, Mr. Willan moved, "That this committee strongly disapproves of the action taken in the case of a boy named Harris, he having been admitted with broken wrists, had them set by a wards man, under the direction and in the presence of the assistant surgeon, who was himself prevented from operating by reason of having recently attended a contagious case. This committee is determined that if any case of a similar character occurs, the parties immediately concerned will be dismissed from the Institution." The matter then dropped.

And a follow up meeting:

The inquiry into the complaint made by a Mr Harris, of Axedale, against the surgeons of the hospital, has resulted in the committee of the Institution carrying a resolution calling upon both the resident surgeon (Dr Poland) and the assistant surgeon (Dr McKinnon) [Welchman] to resign. The complaint was that Harris's son, who was admitted into the Institution in January last with two fractured wrists, was negligently treated, the limbs having been set by a wards man, who performed the operation so clumsily that it was improbable that the lad would ever again have the use of his hands. When the complaint came up for consideration on Thursday night last, the resident surgeon admitted that the operation had been performed by one of the wards men, but stated that it was done under the supervision of the assistant surgeon, but on the following day he wrote a letter to the committee, in which he stated that he had misunderstood Dr. Welchman, who, he had learnt, had set the limb himself. A special meeting of the committee was called for yesterday, to consider the communication, at which Harris and his son were examined. The latter stated that the fractured limbs were set by the wards man McKinnon, and that the resident and assistant surgeons stood at the foot of his bed whilst the operation was being performed.

The lad was examined at considerable length, as also was his father, and subsequently McKinnon, the wards man, was called in. He denied positively that he had set the boys limbs. The operation was performed by the assistant surgeon, and he stated further that he (McKinnon) had never set a limb in the hospital. An assistant wards man, and two lads who were patients in the hospital, corroborated his statement. Dr Welchman was called, and stated that he had set the fractured limbs. The case was a very bad one, and he considered the result was an excellent one. Dr Poland was also examined, and while stating that he now considered it would have been more satisfactory if he had attended to this case himself, he still thought that when the committee provided a duly qualified assistant, the latter should be able to take some of the work. The case of a lad named Skehan, who was admitted on the 24th November with a broken arm, was also brought under notice. It was alleged that this arm had also been set by the wards man, McKinnon, that mortification had subsequently ensued, and that the arm was now shrunken and deformed, and even a worse condition than those of the boy Harris.

The committee having sat over four hours adjourned until this morning, when Skehan, the father of the boy last referred to, was in attendance, and contradicted a statement made on the previous day by Dr. Poland, that the then assistant surgeon, Dr. Ray, had set the limb. He stated that the lad's uncle, who was at the Terricks, was prepared to make a statutory declaration that neither of the doctors had set the limb. The boy was first treated as an outdoor patient, but he became so bad that he had to go into the hospital. As he did not improve, he was removed, and placed under the care of a friendly society's practitioner, under whom he got much better.

After a long discussion, a motion was proposed, to the effect that the honorary medical staff should examine the arms of the two boys, with the object of putting them right, if possible. Subsequently, however, an amendment was moved as follows - "That this Board deeply regret that recent events have so seriously impaired the confidence which should always exist between it and its responsible medical staff. They are therefore of opinion that the interests of this hospital will be best conserved by a change in its medical officers, and that the present staff be requested to send in their resignations accordingly."

June, 1880

• The Sandhurst City Council discusses a letter from Axedale's Napthali Ingham:

At the meeting of the City Council yesterday a letter of a very interesting character was read from Mr. N. Ingham, of Axedale, proposing a railway to Heathcote. The letter was received, and was, on the motion of the Mayor, referred to the Finance Committee, no discussion of any sort taking place thereon. As the matter relates to a subject of public importance, it is given herewith, and was as follows:

"I take the liberty of submitting for your perusal the enclosed remarks on the advantages of a railway from Sandhurst, via Axedale, to Heathcote, as a matter of great interest to this district, with the respectful request that should you approve of them you will kindly signify your approval by endorsement. It is my intention to submit copies to the borough Councils of Echuca and Heathcote, and Strathfieldsaye Shire Council for the same purpose, and if approved of, to bring the matter under the notice of the Hon. the Commissioner of Railways and the Government by such means as will be most likely to attain the end in view. I beg that you will kindly give me the benefit of your counsel and assistance in this matter."

Attached to the communication was the following statement, giving the particulars of the proposal:

"A line of railway from Sandhurst via Axedale to Heathcote, with the view of ultimately extending it by way of Redcastle and Whroo to Murchison, thus connecting the Northern with the North-Eastern line, besides bringing the district of Sandhurst in direct communication with the North-Eastern district, possesses claims to attention in a far greater degree than many lines, the construction of which is now being advocated. The considerable traffic already existing in agricultural produce, timber, firewood, and bluestone, would be manifold increased. The line between Heathcote and Axedale would pass for a great part of the distance through some of the best iron bark timber in the colony. Already a large quantity of timber for mining purposes, building, and wheelwrights' material is being obtained from there. The quantity of timber required for the Bendigo mining district is, year after year, steadily on the increase, and will go on increasing proportionably as greater depths are reached in the mines, the present sources of supply are rapidly decreasing, and the cost increasing with the distance, a matter of serious importance to the mining interest.

The country between Axedale and Heathcote would provide a supply for many years. At Axedale there exists a practically inexhaustible supply of the finest bluestone in the colony for size of blocks and easy working unequaled anywhere. From a quarry there opened some years since, the stone for kerbing and channelling used by the Sandhurst City Council is being obtained, and but for the cost of cartage, the whole of the required road metal, averaging 5,000 yards annually, would be brought from there also, bluestone being superior to the kind now in use.

Echuca and the Riverina towns connected with it by railway would draw their supply from there also. The stone on account of its cheapness, superiority in size, and being more easily dressed than the generality of similar stone would make, a much sought building material in those northern districts, which are wholly destitute of stone of any kind, thus forming a considerable item in the estimate of traffic to be expected.

At Mount Camel, on the direct road from Axedale to Redcastle, some very extensive deposits of limestone exist, which at a not very distant date will supply all the northern and north eastern districts with lime. Several persons some time ago leased a portion of this ground, with the view of opening a quarry and turning it to commercial account. They found a plentiful supply of excellent stone, peculiarly adapted for making cement for building purposes, some very good marble, and some extensive beds of lime almost fit for use. They, however, found the cost of cartage to a suitable market too high for the undertaking to prove remunerative at that time. From the fact that the limestone is similar to that, and accompanied by beds of clay similar to those found in the coal districts in the north of England, it is supposed by some not unlikely that coal exists in the locality.

About midway between Axedale and Mount Camel a superior kind of granite is found, which, on account of its fineness, is particularly suited to ornamental work of all kinds. A railway passing through or near to these localities would therefore most likely, besides securing a largely augmented traffic between Sandhurst and the district to the east there from, prove the means of developing important new industries, a matter admittedly much desired.

The proposed line would present no engineering difficulties of any kind, being nearly all level country. Tho only expensive work in connection therewith would be a bridge across the Campaspe, at Axedale. This even, with excellent stone on the very spot, and lime within an easy distance, would cost less than a similar structure in a less favoured locality. Appended are an estimate of expected traffic for one year, an estimate of the number of acres under grain crops in the district under notice for the coming season, and a table showing the quantities of road metal used in Sandhurst from 1871 to the present date:

The produce of 14,485 acres of grain crops, 500 tons of bluestone for kerbing and channelling, 5,500 tons of road metal for City Council, 52,000 tons of firewood, 2,000 tons of mining timber, 1,000 tons of hay, 200 tons of garden produce, 200 tons of wattle bark, 200 tons of beer, a large quantity of hardwood timber for building purposes, live stock, dairy produce, stores, independent of the passenger traffic, and the expected traffic between the Axedale quarries and the towns to the north of Sandhurst.

The following estimate of grain crops is by Mr. Bywater:

Parish of Weston, 2,120 acres; Muskerry, 780; Toolleen, 1,640; Cornella, 1,460; Crosby, 1,710; Mount Camel and Redcastle, 1,120; Dargyle, 1,260; Knowsley, 1,430; Langworner, 1,850; Major's Creek and Tooborac, 1,115; total, 14,485.

The following figures are furnished by the Sandhurst City Surveyor:

1871, 8,000 cubic yards, and 1872, 3,000 cubic yards: cost, 7s 2d per yard, by railway. 1872, 2,258 cubic yards, and 1873, 5,076 cubic yards: cost, 5a 3d per yard, local supply. 1874, 8,130 cubic yards, and 1875, 3,160 cubic yards: cost, 43 10d per yard, local supply. 1876, 3,852 cubic yards; 1877, 6,165; 1878, 6,458; 1879 (to end of July), 4,890; and 1880 (to date), 4,000: cost from 4s 6d to 3s 8d per yard, local supply.

• An editorial concerning Mr. Ingham's letter, appears:

The project submitted to the City Council of Sandhurst by Mr. Ingham, of Axedale, for the formation of a line of railway from Sandhurst to Heathcote is one which received our warm advocacy some years ago. Similarly with that of Mr. Ingham, our view was the ultimate extension of the line to the Goulburn, and when we first mooted the matter, the railway along the valley of that river had not been constructed. The existence of that line greatly enhances the force of the arguments made use of by us at that time and gives to those of Mr. Ingham such weight and interest as to entitle them to serious consideration. What that gentleman advances now in favour of the proposed railway is mainly identical with what we formerly said on the subject. We particularly drew attention to what he describes as a practically inexhaustible supply of the finest bluestone in the colony existing at Axedale, and the great desirability of providing the means of conveyance, either by rail or tram, of that valuable building material to Sandhurst. At that time the excellent metal now used in the formation and repair of our streets and roads had not, if we remember right, been tried at all, or if so, certainly had not come into general use. The then apparent want of a good stone for these purposes formed one of the grounds on which we based our arguments, and although that want has since been satisfactorily supplied, there is still so much left to be said in favour of the project that it ought to be carried out at no very distant date. Whether the excellence and cheapness of the road metal obtained from the mines would preclude the use of the bluestone in that way by the councils of Sandhurst and the neighboring shires we do not know. There may be a probability that the latter would be preferred, in some districts. Echuca is badly in want of stone for any purposes, and both in the borough and shire a supply of such superior quality as that obtainable at Axedale would, we think, be eagerly availed of. Some of it might find its way by means of the Deniliquin line, to parts beyond the Murray.

Between Axedale and Heathcote, as Mr. Ingham points out, the line would for a considerable distance pass through fine iron bark forests, and already a good deal of the timber used for mining, building, and wheelwright purposes is obtained from them. The increased facilities for carriage and the reduction in price would be a great boon to the public of this district. The gradual disappearance of the forests in our immediate neighborhood is constantly being pointed to as a matter for grave regret, and the question as to where future supplies are to come from has formed a subject of serious solicitude.

Mr. Ingham states that the country between Axedale and Heathcote would provide a supply for many years. This is no doubt the case, and the sooner that supply is rendered generally available the better. It would help in a great degree towards the conservation of other forests, for the total denudation of which we ought not to wait before adding by every possible means to the supplies obtained from them. It could not, of course, be expected that a railway would be made for this purpose alone at the present period, or for the double purpose of supplying Sandhurst and other places connected with it by rail, with bluestone from the Campaspe, nor even with the view of utilising the limestone and marble existing in the neighborhood of Mount Camel. All these matters are of grave importance, however, and must weigh strongly in the consideration of the construction of the proposed line.

As the first sections were completed there be no doubt, as Mr. Ingham says, that new industries would arise, affording a means for the profitable investment of capital and the permanent employment of labour, and the probabilities are that at a very early period after its commencement, a considerable amount of freight would be conveyed along the line. As Heathcote was approached, a large quantity of agricultural produce would be sent to Sandhurst and other markets, and it is more than likely that for the first twenty-five or thirty miles the line would be worked with a profit. A great impetus would be given to agricultural and other pursuits in the McIvor district, and the farmers occupying land along the whole route would be vastly benefited. But the grand object of entering upon the undertaking would be the ultimate connection of the Northern and North-Eastern lines, which is a matter of high importance. This line, together with that to the North-West to connect Swan Hill with Sandhurst, is one to which very earnest attention should be directed.

The shortening of the distance from Sandhurst, and from the northern districts to the main line from Melbourne to Albury would be productive of very desirable results. It might be urged, looking at the proposal from a railway revenue point of view, that a line from here to the Goulburn would rob the line from Seymour to Melbourne. But we think that argument can be sufficiently met by the unquestionable fact that the amount of produce would be immensely increased in the districts lying between Sandhurst and the Goulburn and those within easy distances of the line, and on that river and in its neighborhood also. At all events, a work like this which will be beneficial to a large section of the community, which will have the effect of opening up fresh industry, and of stimulating those already in existence in a wide and productive district, must not be treated as a matter of light importance.

[The extension of the line to connect with the North-Eastern line is something that will resurface a number of times over the coming decades, but never really takes place or at least nowhere near to the extent that it was suggested.]

• The Heathcote Borough Council acknowledges receipt of Mr. Ingham's letter, it receives Council support and Mr. S. Fraser, MLA, arranges a day for a deputation to the Minister of Railways.

• Robert O'Brien applies, to the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, for permission of the Council to sell or alienate the road adjoining the Axe and Kangaroo Creek reserves on the Axe Creek, this road being not required for public use. The request is received and consideration deferred for a month. Mr. James Dodd applies to be allowed to purchase the road dividing his land from that of Dr. Backhaus, the road not being required for public use. Consideration is also deferred for a month.

• Mr. John Hawkins draws attention to the state of the hill near Mr. J, Enwright's, Native Creek, as it is in an impassible state. Sarah Boyle, and others, request the Council to clear one mile of the road running from Axe Creek Bridge, between Mr. Lazarus' and Mrs. Boyle's holdings. Mr. S. Burke, Secretary to the Axedale Annual Ploughing Match, asks for a donation of three guineas, and also the patronage of the Council to the match on the 14th prox. Received, and request granted.

• The request of Sarah Boyle and others, deferred to general business, came up for consideration. Cr. O'Rourke moved, and Cr. Brennan seconded, that tenders be called for clearing the road half a chain wide, from Lazarus's corner to O'Brien's. The letter of John Hawkins was ordered to stand over till next meeting. In connection with the application of Sarah Boyle, on behalf of M. Boyle, for permission to purchase the road running between allotments 15 and 16 of Section 1, Parish of Axedale, the President reported that he, in company with other members of the Council, visited the locality referred to, and there was no reason for the Council to object to the proposed sale. On the motion of Cr. Patterson, seconded by the President, the Council's sanction to the proposed sale of land was given.

July, 1880

• The arrest of a man named John Doyle, by Detective Mahony, makes the news:

The arrest has brought to light a series of systematic robberies which he has been perpetrating for some time past, principally in the vicinity of Melbourne. During the months of March and April of the present year, numerous complaints were made to the detective office, in Swanston Street, by residents in the districts lying immediately outside Melbourne, that their stables and coach houses had been entered and harness and other articles taken away. The utmost endeavours have been made to recover the missing property, but without avail until yesterday.

About 7 o'clock in the morning, Detective Mahony, accompanied by Constable J. Cartwell, left Sandhurst to visit the residence of the man Doyle, which is situated on a small selection at Forest Creek, about 21 miles distant, and between Sandhurst and Heathcote. Suspicion had attached to Doyle, in consequence of being an old offender, and well known to the police. He was only discharged from Pentridge on the 6th January, 1879, after serving a sentence of five years for stealing a horse and dray at Kyneton. Previous to this he had undergone six years imprisonment on two charges of cattle stealing. At Axedale, Mounted Constable Feeley joined the party.

On the road out it was ascertained from several persons that Doyle, who follows the occupation of a hawker and dealer in hides and skins, had left home early in the morning with his horse and covered in cart, and proceeded in the direction of Kyneton. A divergence was made from the main road, so as to intercept the suspected individual, and after tracing him along tracks and by-roads innumerable, the pursuing party came up with him, a few miles beyond Wild Duck Creek. He was camped, having dinner, but his repast was unpleasantly interrupted, and he proceeded to accompany the officers to his residence at Forest Creek. It was about two o'clock when he was overtaken, but owing to the distance which had to be traversed, it was four o'clock when his house was reached.

On entering, Doyle was observed to hand a small packet to his wife, who attempted to destroy it by throwing it into a pot of boiling water which was standing on the floor, but after a short scuffle she was prevented from doing so. The paper was afterwards found to contain arsenic. The house was then thoroughly searched. Between the ceiling and the roof of the bedroom a large quantity of traces, harness, bridles, &c., were found secreted and covered with bags, and on examination turned out to be part of the property reported to have been stolen in Melbourne.

Nearly all the articles recovered have been identified by the brands, and descriptions furnished in the Police Gazette. A few have not been traced to the owners, but the whole property recovered amounts in value to £70. One set of silver-mounted dray harness belonging to Mr. John Mitchell, contractor of Boroondara; a double set of brass-mounted carriage harness, owned by Colonel Hutton, of Kew, and valued at £40, was found, together with a set of new silver-mounted waggonnette harness, the property of Mr. S. G. King, draper, of Elphinstone. The whole of the goods were placed in the prisoner's cart and taken to Sandhurst along with the prisoner, the lockup being reached a few minutes after ten o'clock p.m.

Doyle stated, after he had been arrested, that he purchased the things in Melbourne. He had been in the habit of traveling to Melbourne, and is believed to have committed numerous thefts besides those disclosed at present. He was, doubtless, waiting for a favourable opportunity to dispose of his accumulated ill-gotten goods. Detective Mahoney, to whom much credit is due in connection with the arrest, will apply at the Police Court this morning for the accused to be remanded to Melbourne. He has a family of two grown up daughters.

• The Axedale Annual Ploughing Match is again held:

Yesterday, the Axedale annual ploughing match was held under must auspicious circumstances, both in respect to the weather, attendance, and number of visitors. The ground selected for the convincing place was very judiciously chosen, being more centrally situated than that on which the last year's match took place, and it was generally acknowledged that the paddock, which had been kindly placed at the disposal of the committee by Mrs. McGrath, was one of the best spots available for the purposes of the match. It had not been cropped for two years, and was within easy distance of Strathfieldsaye, Emu Creek, and other well populated agricultural localities. The fineness of the day induced a large number of ladies and gentlemen from Sandhurst to visit the ground. The committee, which consisted of Messrs. O'Rourke, Donnellan, Bywater, Craike, White, Mill, O'Loughlan, Rundell, McNamara, Smith, Cuthbert, Martin, Patton, and Whitelock, should feel gratified at the successful result of their exertions. On the occasion of the last match the committee, after much trouble, managed to secure 24 entries for the various classes, which, in itself, was very fair, but yesterday there were no fewer than 36 teams on the ground, the competitors including some of the best ploughmen in the county of Bendigo. Last year there were but three classes, and the committee, with the object of adding to the interest of the day's proceedings, increased the number by two, viz., a champion class, and a class for double furrow ploughs. In both of these liberal prizes were offered and a fair number of competitors entered. In A, B and C the entries were very good and the competition in each was keen. The judges for the Champion class and Classes A and D consisted of Messrs. Bywater, Patton and McLay. Messrs. Smith, Preagly and Bennett, acted in a similar capacity in Classes B and G. The whole of these gentlemen were most careful and discriminating in the exercise of their functions and their decisions gave general satisfaction, though a few of the unsuccessful competitors, as is usually the case, were disposed to question the awards. The Hon. Secretary, Mr. Stephen Burke, was most assiduous in his attention to his duties, and Mr. W. S. Cahill in his capacity of Treasurer ably assisted the latter gentleman in securing the success which was achieved. A number of the gambling fraternity were on the ground, but their "operations" were considerably interfered with by the police, who kept a watchful eye on their proceedings. The catering for the committee and public was entrusted to Mr. Drake, who served up a first class cold luncheon, and dispensed good drinks at reasonable rates.

The ploughing in each class was of a first class character, and even the unsuccessful competitors did remarkably good work. The Championship match, for which there were three entries, attracted the chief share of attention, and a considerable amount of speculation took place as to the respective merits of the ploughmen. Mills and Brown were made the favourites, the other competitor, Baxter, spoiling his chance by making a mistake early in the day. Mills, who was awarded first prize, used a Leslie plough, made first class work, his ploughing being very even, straight, and well packed, and his finish was exceedingly good. Brown, who took second honors, also did excellent work, and by some, it was thought that he should have gained first prize, but competent judges affirmed that, although his work was really first class, he spoiled his chance through his crown being rather 'facey.' Baxter, through his mistake was out of the running.

In Class A, in which there were six entries, the work compared favourably with that done in the senior class. P. Sullivan, of Diggora, was awarded first honors. Mark Sanders, with the exception that his crown was rather ruffled, followed the winner closely, and was placed second. J. McNamara, who had a rather faulty finish, was accorded third, and Hugh McGauchy and M. Fitzpatrick secured fourth and fifth positions respectively.

For Class B, as usual, a large number of entries were received, and the character of the work done by some of the competitors was so good that they might have stood very favourably in the senior classes. The first prize was awarded to Jas. Martin, of Kangaroo Creek, who guided a Lennon plough, and was fairly entitled to the honor. J. Donnellan, of Axedale, who was installed second, would have run the winner more closely, but for the fact that his comb was defective, and it was acknowledged that his finish was one of the best on the ground. M. O'Dea gained third prize, the only defect in his ploughing was that his crown was rather open. John Cahill secured fourth honors and also did good work, but as in the latter case his defective packing militated against his chance for a higher position. W. Allen did good useful work and secured next position, the other competitors as said before, performing well.

In Class C (boys') class, a great amount of interest was taken, and the youthful competitors were encouraged in their work by the plaudits and praises of their friends whose efforts to tender advice and give directions without being detected by the competitors created some chaff. In this class, contrary to the expectation of many of those present, M. Quinn of Axedale with a Gardiner plough was placed first. It was thought by those referred to that W. Lyons of Marong who did splendid work, would have gained that honor. W. Wallis was second, his finish not being so good, that being the only defect in his work. Lyons had to content himself with third place, and Harris and J. Archer were awarded fourth and fifth prizes respectively.

In class D, for double-furrow ploughs, six entries were received. The work in this class was of an exceptionally good character, and would have borne favourable comparison to any done in the field. J. Lyon, of Marong, secured second honors for Leslie of Marong, obtaining first prize for work done by a plough by that maker. T. Conroy, who carried off second honors, would have occupied a better position but the appearance of his work was spoilt through a fault in the land that was allotted to him. F. Ferguson, came third and the only noticeable defect in his work was that the crown appeared to be rather high.

• John Doyle, who has spent 11 years of his life in gaol, pleads guilty to four charges of stealing harness, and is sentenced to 18 months with hard labour.

• An interesting editorial on district postal services:

"Notwithstanding the vast increase of settlement that has taken place during the past few years in the Toolleen, Crosbie, and the district lying between these places and Heathcote, there have not as yet been afforded the people of the localities named direct postal communication with Heathcote. In consequence the numerous settlers and others are placed at great disadvantage. It would be difficult to find a parallel case to the one under notice. Under the existing circumstances, which have now ruled for years, the mails from Heathcote to Toolleen are taken the round about way of Sandhurst, and the numbers of people outside of Toolleen and between there and Heathcote may be said to have been totally neglected as regards postal accommodation. These people are in a very similar position to what might have been excused in the early days of the colony, but that such a state of things should now exist in the advanced stage the colony has arrived at is as unaccountable as it is unjust, and should, be remedied without delay. The settlers in this extensive and neglected district, are situated between the post offices of Heathcote , Redcastle, Toolleen, Axedale, and Wild Duck, but unfortunately too far from any of them to render them available in the proper sense of the word, and not near enough for them to make them of use without great inconvenience. In fact, the people in many instances have to trust to chance, in the shape of friends coming in on business for their correspondence and papers, and we have heard of a few cases were persons so circumstanced have been kept without important letters for two or three weeks. Some time ago, a movement was made by the persons inconvenienced to obtain a tri-weekly mail from Heathcote to Toolleen via Crosbie, and a petition was numerously signed and sent down to the Government with that object, and we should be glad to learn what has been done with the petition with a view to its resuscitation. At all events, nothing was done in the way of granting the request of the petitioners, but at that time a different Government was in power, and one that showed but little consideration for this district. Now, however, we may hope for a different and more satisfactory state of things. When we consider the large number of people to be benefited, there should be no hesitation in granting their request, and a mail on alternative days between Heathcote and Toolleen via Crosbie, with loose bags at the Dargyle (She Oak) and Mount Camel State Schools would serve all requirements, say to leave Heathcote on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday, and returning on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We understand that steps, with this object in view, are to be taken without delay by the people who have long been placed at the disadvantage mentioned, and we shall be glad to see both the Borough and Shire Councils support their efforts by rendering them what assistance they can, and, through our representatives in Parliament, the matter laid properly before the Government."

August, 1880

• Mary Elizabeth Fourment, wife of John Fourment, and the only daughter of Mrs. Acott, Axedale, dies at her residence, the Morning Star Hotel, Mundy Street, Sandhurst.

• Andrew O'Keefe, retired Huntly Shire Councillor, nominates for a position on the Shire of Strathfieldsaye:

"Last night Mr. A. O'Keefe, one of the candidates for the representation of the Axedale riding of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, addressed a meeting of ratepayers at the Bull's Head Hotel, Grassy Flat. The chair was occupied by Mr. G. Hoffmann, and about twenty persons were present, though it was believed that had the weather not been so unfavourable, a large attendance would have been there.

The candidate received a most attentive hearing. He first explained that the reason he came forward was because he had been requested by a large number of ratepayers residing on the River Campaspe, and who felt that the council had not given the attention to their requirements that it should have. He decided to stand for the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, as he had fully made up his mind not to seek re-election for the Huntly Shire Council. He also felt that the Shire had not received the attention at the hands of its council, which it ought. It had been said that he came forward in the interests of a clique who determined to put Mr. Craike out. Such was not the case, and he personally had a great respect for Mr. Craike. If elected, he would belong to no clique, and he condemned the council as a whole for their inactivity.

The reason he stood for Huntly, after he had made up his mind not to do so, was that personally and by letter, great pressure was brought to bear on him by many ratepayers who urged him to stand, and he was further led to believe that two confreres of his were depending on the action he took. He therefore felt that he would be doing a great wrong if he persisted in refusing to stand. On consenting to stand for Huntly, he desired to retire from the Strathfieldsaye election, but ratepayers in that riding would not consent to his doing so, and one gentleman (Mr. Burns) had offered to pay all his expenses in connection with the contest.

He then referred to the relative financial positions of the Huntly and Strathfieldsaye Shire Councils. Their gross revenues were as follows: 1872 - Strathfieldsaye, £17,622; Huntly, £17,674. 1873 - Strathfieldsaye, £19,380; Huntly, £18,000. 1876 - Strathfieldsaye, £23,283; Huntly, £21,720. 1879 - Strathfieldsaye, £22,834 ; Huntly, £33,833. They would see by those figures what superior advance Huntly had made.

It was in a great measure due to her increase of territory, and the Strathfieldsaye Council should do the same thing and show those residing out of their shire where their money should be expended, and the benefits they would receive by annexation. If the Council only did their duty they would improve the main road and show people residing in the Waranga and Heathcote Shires that their money would be laid out to greater advantage by being paid into the Huntly Council. Huntly intended to still further add to her territory. The main road from the river was in such a disgraceful state that traffic was diverted, and consequently the Shire suffered. The Government would be urged to assist in the work on that road in the same manner as they had the Big Hill road in the Marong Shire. The Council of that shire had not shown the energy they should to secure a fair share of Government grants, and he quoted at length the various grants obtained respectively by the Strathfieldsaye and Huntly Shire Councils allowing by comparison how small those obtained by the former were. He always endeavoured to get as much as possible from the Government. The Strathfieldsaye Council did not do what they should have even with the grants they received. He would cite as an instance, the grant of £16,000 for flood damages; not a penny of that sum was expended for repairing the Axe Creek bridge, which cost a great deal of money, and was allowed to remain in a deplorable condition. Even supposing the £16,000 had been expended for other necessary works, the Council should have tried hard for that important work, for at the very commencement the Council had not evinced a proper anxiety to secure a sufficient share of the grants from the Government. They should work hard to secure assistance in order to improve the main road, and he had no doubt but that such would be accorded if they worked properly.

Mr. O'Keefe then referred to a great number of matters which had not received the attention of the council. He pointed out specially that three expensive bridges were over the Campaspe, and not one was provided with approaches which were really necessary. One of these bridges (Quinn's) was in a most dangerous condition, and was neglected although the attention of the council was frequently called to the matter. The road from the township of Axedale to the river was in a disgraceful condition. He flatly contradicted the rumour which had been circulated to the effect that he was only seeking a seat on the Council so that he might better his property at Kimbolton. He would never support the construction of a bridge over the Campaspe there, or any work in that place which would be to his own personal pecuniary benefit. He pointed out that having been a contractor at one time he was a thoroughly practical man. He considered that it was a false economy to make the engineer do the clerical work of the shire as well as his own. He should be allowed all his time to look after the works of the Shire. He (Mr. O'Keefe) would pledge his word that if he could not (if elected) manage to get the main road to the boundary made and formed within twelve months, that he would retire, and allow the ratepayers to put someone in his place. The rates of the shire would not be sufficient to carry out the work necessary on the main road, and, therefore, those in the other shires and who were interested, should be asked to assist, as well as the Government. He was in favour of work, where practicable, being done by tender.

A vote of confidence in the candidate was carried unanimously, on the motion of Mr. M. Hennessy, seconded by Mr. J. O'Brien."

• The election results are: Thomas Craike, 82 votes, Andrew O'Keefe, 60 votes. Craike is duly elected with a majority of 22 votes.

• Mr. R. O'Brien, Axedale, is granted a Land Licence under Section 19.

• Mr. J. Doak is granted permission to purchase a road dividing his land at Axedale.

• The Axedale Correspondent writes: "Some of the farmers are turning their surplus hay into cash, but from what I hear, they are too seriously realising that farming is not a very satisfactory pecuniary occupation; report says that one of our local farmers is selling his hay at the rate of £1/10/0 per ton, and that others selling hay of good quality realised £3. Only very few years have elapsed since a farmer quoted his hay at £12 per ton, but those times are past evidently.

Market gardeners state that the principal reason why prices are so much below what they once were is that the Chinaman is almost running them off the market; but the reason why farm produce has so suffered, is a question open to active discussion, and demanding remedy if possible, for by the time the ground is ploughed, sown, harrowed, rolled, and reaped, with all their connections, the balance appears on the wrong side; which is not a special, but in the aggregate one of Victoria's greatest calamities. High wages, unemployed labour, provisions priced to suit these states, and thus farmers' interests, in view of the three facts, produce a variety of complications."

• A ploughing match is held at Barnadown:

"The annual ploughing match in connection with the Bendigo Agricultural Society was hold yesterday in Mr. Pearce's paddock, Barnadown. The weather was most favourable to such a gathering, but the threatening aspect it assumed during the morning no doubt deterred a great many from attending, especially those residing at a distance from the scene of the match. There was, however, a very fair attendance, but not by any means so large as on previous occasions, when a great proportion of those present was made up of visitors from Sandhurst who, as a rule, gladly avail themselves of such an opportunity for a pleasant day's outing. The society worked most energetically in connection with the match, and offered every facility to the public of Sandhurst to attend, having arranged for cabs to run from the city to the ground, also for cabs to meet the morning train from Sandhurst at Goornong, and convey passengers to the picnic. Notwithstanding this, there was not a large attendance of citizens on the ground, the bulk of these being of persons and families residing in the locality. Those present seemed to enjoy the affair very much, but although the weather held fine during the greater of the day rain descended in several showers towards evening, and caused a stampede' of females and others from the ground.

During the afternoon the proceedings were considerably enlivened by a number of athletic events, which were indulged in by young men who assembled there from various parts of the district, and who entered into the competition with great gusto and good will, the efforts of some creating great merriment. Several handsome blood and draught stallions were exhibited, and attracted a good deal of attention, though it would have been much better had some of those in charge of the animals refrained from driving them in such a reckless manner through the crowd of spectators as the did. In fact it seemed a wonder that no accident occurred. Messrs. Connellan and Nugent's booths did a splendid business, both in liquid and more substantial refreshment. Luncheon was provided for the committee and officers at the Clare Inn Hotel. The fare provided was excellent in every respect, but the attendance was altogether inadequate. An unusually large number of the under-and-over fraternity were on the ground, and they managed occasionally to do a quiet bit of business with the enterprising youth present and others of mature age fond of that species of amusement and excitement.

The site chosen for the match was an excellent one. The paddock was beautifully level, and the ground had not been turned over for a period of about four years. It was a nice loose soil and had retained almost sufficient moisture to show the work off to advantage. The portion marked off was divided into two sections, between which was the promenade for the public. The marking off was done on the previous day, and was so done that when the ploughing was finished the field presented a pleasing aspect. The appearance was greatly enhanced by the fact that the competitors were compelled to finish their lands right up to each other's, the result being that no unsightly gaps intervened. Owing to some unaccountable cause the numbers of the lands were dreadfully confused, and to such an extent that it was a matter of the greatest difficulty to ascertain by whom the work was done. This was complained of, but the only explanation which could be given was that they had been tampered with. The want of an office was greatly felt, and surprise was expressed that such a convenience had not been provided. Offices are provided by the Central Loddon Farmers, Axedale, and other clubs, and it is only right to expect that such a body as the Bendigo Agricultural Society should make as good arrangements, not only for the convenience of the public, but for the comfort of their officers. In fact the arrangements of yesterday's match did not come up to those of previous matches, and it was fairly due to the energetic exertions of the committee, (notably Mr. J. Nicholas), and Messrs. Weddell and C. 0. Bruhn, that they were carried out so well as they were. According to the programme, it was intended that the ploughmen should have started at nine o'clock in the morning, but it was half-past ten o'clock before they were set going. The quantity of land ploughed, was one third of an acre for single-furrow ploughs. and half an acre for double-furrow ploughs. The time allowed was five hours, and the delay in starting put the competitors so far back that by the time they had finished, and the judges had arrived at their decisions, evening had commenced to set in. As soon as the judges' decisions were handed in they were announced by Mr. A. O'Keefe, and the successful competitors were loudly cheered. The prizes were subsequently handed over at the Clare Inn Hotel. There were in all, thirty-seven entries in the five classes, which is a number considerably in excess of the average, but, considering the liberality of the prize-list, it was expected that a greater number would have competed. As it was, however, ploughmen came from considerable distances to enter the lists, Shelbourne, Marong, Kyneton, Shepparton, Goulburn, the Terricks, and other places being represented.

As regards the ploughing itself, it must be pronounced as being very superior right through and in some cases the judges must have felt it a very difficult matter to decide. In the Champion Class, W. Hay, of Shelbourne, won first honors. His work was very fine indeed, being beautifully straight and regular, with a fine crown and finish. H. Clark (Kyneton) cut very cleanly, packed well, and worked straight; the general appearance of his land being most creditable. T. Sullivan, of Warragamba, also did splendid work, but it appeared rather rougher than the others; this, however, might be due to the fact that his ground was of a very crumbly nature. A. McKinlay, of Redesdale, made a very fine finish, and did good regular work. In class B there were a great many entries, and the work throughout, with but one or two exceptions, was very good, and, to an ordinary observer, so even that it would be invidious to dwell particularly on the individual ploughing; suffice to say that first honors went to W. Atley, of Derby; second to W. H. Allen, of Toolleen; and third to W. Price, of the Terricks. Very good work was done all through in class C, and first honors went to W. Wallis, of Lockwood; J. Price, of the Terricks, and J. Harris, of Axedale, taking second and third places respectively. This was the boy's class for single-furrow ploughs, and a protest was entered by Harris against Wallis, on the ground that he was over age, but the latter produced satisfactory proof to the contrary, and the protest was dismissed. Splendid ploughing was done in Class D (double-furrowed ploughs), A. Dunning, of Shepparton, was awarded first prize, J. Lyons, Marong, second, and J. Wilson, of Goulburn, third. A protest was entered against Lyons, on the ground that he had not finished his mould furrow. It was to be considered during the evening. In Class E. (double-furrow ploughs) the boys did very fair work indeed, the first prize going to B. Wilson, of Marong."

September, 1880

• Axedale competes against Muskerry in a football match and is reported in an article by "Constant Subscriber" the The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser:

Dear Sir, I hope these few lines will be of no inconvenience to you, as I am about to let you know of a football match which took place between Axedale and Muskerry. These are two new clubs which sprung up this season. A match was to be kicked early this season between these two clubs, but through malicious persons circulating rumors of unfeeling character, the match was put back from time to time, yet through all this a match took place as said above.

Both clubs being 15 a side, being not a great number, the game was busily contested. The Axedale boys, being the visitors, when they appeared in sight were cheered loudly by their opponents. When they arrived at Mr. Poynton's paddock, Campaspe, where the match took place, they immediately set to work undressing, and within a quarter of an hour were upon the ground. They were very fully dressed, with tight breeches and caps, also blue bows pinned in their breasts. The Muskerry boys were motionless for a while, when the captain, Mr. P. Sullivan, gave orders to prepare, which was immediately done.

Though our boys presented no lively aspect toward their opponents, yet they were not to be cowed so easily, though most of the local onlookers said loudly 'they'd [unreadable] you to rags. 'It is not done yet' replied our captain boldly. After some consultations the match at last began. After having tossed, the Axedale captain (I. Devine) won the toss, and chose to kick with the wind. Both sides being ready, H. Devine kicked off from the middle of the ground with a splendid drop kick, but was soon put back by our reserves, and the play was generally in the middle of the ground, when a good kick put it towards the Axedale goal. After some busy work round the goal, P. O'Dwyer scored first goal for Muskerry, which was cleverly done, being in a very slanting direction, nearly skimming both goal posts. It was kicked off again by the Axedale captain (H. Devine), and after some good play another goal was kicked by a younger brother, E. O'Dwyer, who had missed a few chances before, skimming the posts.

Half-time being called, left Muskerry 2 goals and 4 behinds. After 15 minutes, goals being changed, the Axedale boys set to work very lively, but found their opponents too strong for them, and they suffered many severe falls. After some hot work, P. Sullivan (capt.), secured another goal for Muskerry, when time was called, leaving Muskerry victorious with 3 goals and 11 behinds, and Axedale 1 behind only. The best players for Axedale were: T. Flynn, Kyneton (a splendid kicker, but suffered very severe falls), Shannahan, Captain Devine, Fitzpatrick, and two Wild Duck kickers. The best kickers for Muskerry: P. Sullivan, P. O'Dwyer, P. Russell, Dwyer, B. Burke, and E. 0 Dwyer. W. O'Neal, as central umpire, gave general satisfaction.

• Heavy floods affect Victoria. At Axedale the Campaspe was running level with the bridge on Saturday, and the Wild Duck was also stated to have been very high. At Geelong the Barwon has risen 20ft., the flood in the river being the highest since 1851, when the old Barwon Bridge was swept away. At Batesford only three houses have been, left standing, and about a dozen families. At Bacchus Marsh the waters have covered a large area of ground, and numbers of the residents have had to be removed in boats. The Colac and Queenscliff lines have been in places covered with water, and the trains will cease running upon them until further notice.

• The Strathfieldsaye Shire instructs their Engineer to prepare plans and call for tenders for forming and metalling 7 chains of the McIvor Road near the Axedale Cemetery. Tenders are called in October. There are also small repairs to the road at Sweeney's Creek.

• A writer, only identified as "Observer", writes a Letter to the Editor titled "Removing Children from Schools":

"Sir,-Amongst many ways in which the Boards of Advice might prove themselves to be useful bodies, and worthy of consideration as practical free thinkers on all matters having special regard to the perfecting of our Education system, I think they might, with great benefit, consider the extent in which the total number of state schools scholars enrolled during a year reaches over and above the distinct individual scholars attending state schools. The following is taken from the Education report 1878-9: Total number enrolled during the year, 223,155; total average attendance, 115,819. Of 116,657 children present at roll call on the 4th December, 1878, 12.78 per cent had attended one other school; 1.37 percent two other schools; 21 per cent, three or more other schools during the year. If teachers consider these results, I am fully persuaded they will be astonished at the deduction, inasmuch as it falls far short of their estimate. A per centum of the 223,155 scholars enrolled instead of the 116,657 present on that particular day would materially alter the results.

I may instance the totals of the number enrolled, and average attendance of the Sandhurst schools, in order to show more clearly the discrepancies. Sandhurst North, No. 1267 - Enrolled, 527; average attendance, 261. Specimen Hill, No. 1316 - Enrolled, 470; average attendance, 250. Golden Square, No. 1189 - Enrolled, 1,159; average attendance, 630. Sandhurst East, No. 1165 - Enrolled, 775; average attendance, 377. Ironbark, No. 323 - Enrolled, 1,157; average attendance, 629. Sandhurst Central, No. 1976 - Enrolled, 2,225; average attendance, 1,051. Gravel Hill, No. 1566 - Enrolled, 1,029; average attendance, 419. Violet Street, No, 877 - Enrolled, 1,332; average attendance, 714.

These figures tend to show that of 8,674 children enrolled in eight schools, the attendance is approximate, 50 per cent., but in reality the requirements of the various districts was only 4,223 as shown by the aggregate accommodation provided; so that, by these figures, every scholar has attended one other school; this in reality is not the case, but is made to appear so by the number of scholars who have been wandering about from one time to another. At the present time I estimate the discrepancies to be even greater. The matter for consideration is to prevent this great evil. If it were justly done, and not at, in the great majority, the caprices of foolish parents, who no more know what is good for their children than they do for themselves, no notice need be taken of it; but people take what may be aptly termed a "fit," and the result is that their children are removed from one school to another; these people are again affected, and a second move is made, probably back to the school left. The advantages for the children are thus defeated, the teacher is powerless to cope with the difficulties, and fall into disrepute, the parents are dissatisfied, even these parents, and the stigma rests on the school. The child suffers through the bad judgment of the parents. We, as colonists, are providing every accommodation for children, the management of the department requires that teachers shall be fairly competent to give instruction, and surely it is not asking much that the teachers should be endowed with every possible advantage. Teachers have private and public characters, and as the teacher faithfully and earnestly, in the discharge of his public duties, considers the children entrusted to his care, it is highly improper that parents should be allowed to remove their children from his school through some private misgiving. Very much more might be here noted, but my object is to raise the question, and not to discuss it further than by showing in some manner its importance. Much will, and can be, said on both sides; this is just what we want, and I trust one of our Boards of Advice will take the matter up, and by the co-operation of other Boards, endeavour to settle this question, which all, responsibly connected, recognize as of great importance. Trusting you will insert this in your valuable paper. OBSERVER. Axedale, 10th September, 1880."

October, 1880

• Tenders are announced for forming, pitching, and metalling sand hill on McIvor Road, near cemetery. [This could be the old s-bend near the cemetery on the Bendigo side of Hargreaves Creek. It has evidence of a part bluestone surface.]

• Mr. P. Murphy and a number of others draw attention to the state of the road between Mr. Murphy's and Mr. Rourke's, leading to Axedale. Mr. P. Meehan draws attention to the state of the road in front of his licensed house, the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek. Both of their letters are referred to the Shire Engineer.

November, 1880

• The death of Mrs. Jane Martin, Kangaroo Creek, Axedale, is reported.

December, 1880

• Michael Fenton's licence is renewed for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, whereas the renewal for M. Tierney, for the same hotel, is refused.

January, 1881

• Mounted Constable Feeley, stationed at Axedale, is advised of a body, Peter Gleeson, on the road leading from Native Creek to the McIvor Road, in the neighborhood of Axedale. He proceeds to the spot and finds the body with a severe cut across the head to the back of the ear. He reports the matter to the Coroner, Mr. Strickland. No suspicions of foul play are entertained, it being supposed that deceased fell out of his dray as he was proceeding homewards. He was a farmer, residing at Native Creek. The subsequent Coronial Inquest returns the verdict that "he was accidentally killed by falling off the load of wood upon which he was riding."

• Robbery on the McIvor Road:

"At the City Police Court yesterday, before Mr. G. Webster, P.M., a young man whose name is entered in the criminal offence book as Richard Hart, was charged that he "on the 8th day of January at Moorabbee, being armed with an offensive weapon, did feloniously rob one Ah Shin. The prisoner, on being placed in the dock, pleaded guilty.

Superintendent Palmer, who conducted the prosecution, said notwithstanding the plea put forward by the prisoner, he would ask that the evidence should be taken and put on record. James Ah Poo acted as Chinese interpreter, and the first witness called was Ah Shin, who deposed that he was a gardener residing at Wild Duck Creek. On Saturday evening, 8th inst., he was returning from Sandhurst to Wild Duck about six o'clock. About three miles from the bridge over the Campaspe, at Axedale, he met the prisoner, who took hold of the horse's head and said "I am Kelly, give me your money." He had a revolver in his hand and fired a shot, because witness would not give him any money. He fired another shot and said he would shoot witness if he did not give him money. Witness then gave him a small bag containing over £4 in silver and copper. The bag produced was the same. Witness placed the bag containing the money on the footboard of the cart. Prisoner then asked witness for his watch, but he said he had none. He then told him to open his jumper when he saw the watch and chain in his pocket. Witness placed the watch and chain also on the footboard, and the prisoner took possession of them along with the money. Had £4, and three half sovereigns in a purse, which he dropped inside the cart unobserved by the prisoner. First saw the bag produced after the robbery in the possession of a boy who drives the mail coach. When the prisoner took the money he asked witness when his mate would come home. He said he would come home in an hour, although he knew he would not come home until Sunday. He did this to allow him an opportunity of giving information to the police. The prisoner then went away, but witness saw him remain in the locality as long as the road allowed him to do so. Had never seen prisoner before. Was quite sure the prisoner before the court was the man. Next saw him after the robbery at the Echuca police station. There was another prisoner with the prisoner before the court, but witness identified him easily. Gave information to the police after the robbery.

Edward Fitzgibbon, labourer, living at Colbinabbin, deposed, that previous to the 8th, he had seen the prisoner at Colbinabbin. First saw him on Tuesday, 21st December. He had a five barreled revolver in his possession. It was loaded in one barrel when witness saw it. Prisoner said the revolver belonged to Ned Kelly. He said he was going to stick up two Chinamen between Wild Duck Creek and Sandhurst. He said this on Friday, 7th January, the day before the robbery. He said he would do it at seven o'clock in the evening. He also said he was going to get his horse out of the Axedale pound, and that if the Chinaman did not give the money up, he would shoot him. Prisoner left Guiton's farm at Colbinabbin, where he was working as a binder with witness between two and three o'clock on the Friday afternoon.

Thomas Guiton stated that the prisoner came to his farm on Tuesday before Christmas Day. Witness asked him his name, and he said it was "Tom." He said he had been shearing at Wanganella, New South Wales. He said his horse had been stolen, and when witness asked him why he did not give information to the police, he said, "D... the police; they are the wreck and ruin of my family." He said he came from the Wombat Ranges. After leaving witness's farm on Christmas Eve, he returned shortly after New Year's Day. After he had left, witness received a letter from him, which bore the name of Thomas Hart. The letter [spelling maintained] was as follows:

Echuca, 11th January, 1881. Dear Sir, I rite to you; hope your are well as it leaves me. At present well. I went to Axedale pound next day after leaving you but it was not my horse that got in the pound. i got back my horse, and i followed him up. i got em yesterday near the Terricks, and I have got a good job here, 25s a week. i shall keep your bridle till i come down., i have got it about five week's work on the Terricks, and i would be pleased has to send my swag to Eucha, four its a long way to come foure it. If you would oblige by sinding it by train, it won't cost mutch, And i pay you when i come Down. Ned has got some of my things, put them in the bag with the rest of the things, i be obliged to you. Address my swag in the cair of Mr. Mahon, her at Eucha. Send has quick has you can to me. i send my best respects to you, thomas hart. if you obligheded me by doing so i pay you half when i come Down, thomas hart." The "Ned" referred to in the letter was a servant of witness'. Witness' man gave the swag to the police.

William Cuthbert, blacksmith, of Axedale, stated that on the 8th instant between five and six o'clock he was between Axedale and Wild Duck Creek. About three miles from the bridge over the Campaspe saw the prisoner near the spot where the Chinaman was stuck up. Had seen him in the forenoon between Clare Inn and Axedale; spoke to him when he first saw him. Had known him about twelve months by sight, as he worked on a piece of ground next witness's land. When Witness spoke to him he said he had lost his horse, and thought he had gone in the direction of Wild Duck Creek. Formerly knew him as "Jack," but lately as Jack Smith.

Thomas Hogg, labourer, residing at Forest Creek, stated that he had known the prisoner twelve months. On Saturday, 8th instant, was coming from Wild Duck Creek to Axedale, and saw the prisoner. Witness thought he appeared to be drunk. Spoke a few words to him. About half a mile further on met the Chinaman.

William Henry Edmonds, a boy twelve years of age, living at Forest Creek, deposed that he saw the prisoner on the 8th instant on the road to Wild Duck Creek. He asked witness where he was going, and he said he was going home. He showed witness his revolver, and said he had a gun and covered a man with it and made him drop the revolver. He said he had come there to stick up a Chinaman. Prisoner saw a cart coming, and asked witness if it was the Chinaman's cart. Witness said no, and shortly after another cart appeared. He again asked witness what cart it was, and he replied that it was the Chinaman's. Witness said he was going home, but prisoner asked him to go down the road and wait and see a row. Witness heard the shots fired, and shortly afterwards the Chinaman came along. Witness then went home.

At this stage Superintendent Palmer asked that the prisoner should be remanded for a week, as he intended calling additional evidence. Mr. Webster accordingly adjourned the further hearing of the case for one week.

• A youth, while walking in the bush between Axedale and Heathcote, comes across the body of an unknown man. A horse is standing over the body. The youth mounts the horse and rides to Axedale to inform Mounted Constable Feeley. Feeley was away, attending an inquest. [Possibly that of Peter Gleeson which was held the same day.] The body is believed to be that of a shepherd in the employ of Mr. Bywater of Knowsley.

February, 1881

• The adjourned robbery case is continued:

"Yesterday, at the Police Court, before Mr. Webster, P.M., the adjourned case in which Richard Hart was charged with having on the 8th January, at Moorabbee, being armed with an offensive weapon, feloniously robbed a Chinaman named Ah Shin, was heard. Mr. Palmer appeared to prosecute. It will be remembered that the case was adjourned for the production of further evidence.

Richard Shannon, Hostler at Cobb and Co.'s, living at Axedale, deposed that he remembered the 10th inst., when he was on the road between Axedale and Mathieson's. A friend who was with him picked up a money bag at about the spot where the Chinaman was robbed two days before. It was about a mile from Mathieson's. He kept the bag until next day, and gave it to the Chinaman, who stated it was his. They followed a track which they thought was the prisoner's from the spot where the Chinaman was stuck up, and there found the bag.

James Cunningham, a farmer living at Wharparilla, deposed that he knew the prisoner. He first became acquainted with him towards the end of last year. He was in witness' employ. He left him about a week before Christmas. Witness saw him again on the Sunday after Christmas. He was in witness' father's employ till Monday, 3rd January. He then went to Echuca, where witness again saw him. He left Echuca on the 3rd proximo, and witness never saw him again until the 10th. When he was in witness' father's service, witness had seen a revolver with him, and he still had it on the 10th. He had on his return a watch in his possession, which he previously had not. He said he had bought it. On to the chain of the watch there was some little trinket attached to it.

Constable Corkill deposed that he found the prisoner near Perricoota, in New South Wales, on the 14th inst., and arrested him in Echuca. He told him then that he arrested him on suspicion of having robbed Ah Shin on the 8th. Prisoner said witness would have to prove it. He said he knew where he was on the previous Sunday. Witness asked him if he knew where he was on the previous Saturday, but the prisoner did not say. He was then taken to the lockup. The prisoner was asked what he did with the revolver. He said he threw the revolver away at the Clare Inn.

On Monday, the 17th inst, the Chinaman came up to identify the prisoner. Hart there denied taking the Chinaman's watch, and said that he only took £3 from him. The Chinaman said he took nearly £5 which was in a little bag. Witness asked the prisoner what he had done with the bag the money was in, and the prisoner said he had thrown it away.

Sergeant Hayes corroborated the evidence of the previous witness. On subsequent conversation with the prisoner, he said he did not fire at the Chinaman, but fired two shots near him. He admitted taking £3 in silver from the Chinaman. On the morning of Monday, the 17th, the prisoner, together with another prisoner, were put before the Chinaman for identification, and the Chinaman immediately identified him.

Constable Corkill, recalled, stated that on being arrested, the prisoner had £19/6/0 on him. The prisoner was committed for trial at the Assize Court, Sandhurst, on the 22nd February."

• Solicitors for the Colonial Bank of Australasia advertise that the Sheriff of the Midland Bailiwick will cause to be sold, by auction, all the right, title and interest held by James O'Loughlin, in Allotments 12, 11E and 10 of Section 8, part of Allotment 8 of Section 8, Parish of Axedale, Allotment 18 of Section 18, Sandhurst, Allotments 5 and 6 of Section 18, Parish of Axedale, Allotments 1 and 34 of Section 18, Parish of Axedale, part of Allotment 1 of Section 16, Parish of Strathfieldsaye, also Allotment 11 of Section 28C, City and Parish of Sandhurst.

• Mr. D. Mill and 10 ratepayers ask the Strathfieldsaye Shire for repairs to Acott's dam.

• It had previously been reported that a horse, belonging to Colin Stewart, fell on the roadway near the Howard Place, some days ago from a slight sunstroke, whilst drawing a load of wood. Reference had been made to the fact that the wretched animal was in a miserable condition, and that the Police had taken out a summons against the owner. At the City Police Court yesterday, Stewart and his son were charged with having cruelly ill-treated the horse, the latter having been in charge of the animal when sunstruck. Evidence was given to the effect that the horse was totally unfit to draw the load that was in the dray, and that its neck and back were covered with a number of sores. The weak and emaciated animal helped the effects of the sun, and caused it to sink under the load. Colin Stewart stated that the horse was of such a constitution that it was very subject to galling, and he had frequently supplied galling powders and other remedies without affect. The Bench remarked that more feed and less of the powders might have had a better affect. As the son was only acting under the instructions of his father in driving the horse, the case against him was dismissed. The father was fined 40/- with 12/6 costs, or in default, seven days imprisonment.

March, 1881

• There is a planned change for the Axedale Races. The Axedale Jockey Club decides that the usual single day of racing will be followed the next day by a day of athletic sports.

Certain lands flanking the banks of rivers in Victoria are reserved. In the Campaspe's case: "The bed of the Campaspe River throughout its entire course, and all the land, the property of the state, within a distance of 100 links, from either bank of the same, from its source to the junction of the Coliban River, thence all the lands, the property of the state, within a distance of 150 links from either bank of the said River Campaspe to its junction with the Murray."

May, 1881

• Mary O'Keefe, a resident of Axedale, is scalded about the legs and body by a kettle of boiling water. She is taken to hospital.

• The Australian Mohawk Minstrels give a performance at Drake's Assembly Room, Axedale."In the circle, with which the performance opened, Mr. J. W. Raphael was interlocutor; Mr. A. Steadman tambo; and Mr. J. E. Coates, bones. Messrs. Brown, J. Robertson, J. Stevens, and Little Curley, sang several songs in a creditable manner. Mr. H. Dawson then danced the clog dance, and Messrs. Raphael, Hunt, Steadman, and Coates, appeared in the farce of the 'Troublesome Servant.' Messrs. Ballard and J. Robertson next sang a duet, and this was followed by the laughable farce of the 'Two Pets' in which Messrs. Hunt, Steadman, Raphael, and Coates, appeared to advantage." The performance was followed by a couple of hours of dancing.

June, 1881

• Under the heading of The Axedale Road, A Ratepayer writes a Letter to the Editor:

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 go into a bog hole, with which the road is normally covered. I really think its time the Council did something to improve this road. What are the Councilors about? Why do the ratepayers 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 Councilors are roused up. Hoping that some action will be taken in the matter. A Ratepayer.

• Under the heading of The State of Axedale Roads, Another Ratepayer writes:

Sir, Having noticed a letter in a recent issue of your valuable paper, having reference to the state of these roads, I beg leave to say a few words in reference to same.

Having occasion to travel a good deal on these roads, I have a little experience as to the disgraceful manner in which they are looked after. I can confidently say that there is not a road in any shire of this province in such a neglected state. Only last week, a friend of mine had occasion to come into Sandhurst in a buggy, and when passing Mr. Potter's selection, near Homebush, went into a deep rut on the road, narrowly escaping severe injury, but, fortunately, he sustained only the loss of an axle and the spring of his buggy, himself receiving a few bruises.

Your correspondent asks, "What is the Council about?" I think I can enlighten him as to what they are about. In place of looking after this most important item, they are fixing up small culverts, drains, and such-like, which are of no earthly use to anyone; thereby endangering the lives of farmers, market gardeners, and others, who are on their way in and out from Sandhurst. If some improvement is not made on these roads before long the Council will surely find themselves put to the expense and trouble of a law suit in our local county courts. Hoping something will be done to save the lives of travelers on this road. Another Ratepayer.

• The Axedale Ploughing Match Committee does not agree to amalgamate with the Strathfieldsaye Committee.

• A meeting of farmers of the Strathfieldsaye Shire is held at the Strathfieldsaye Shire Hall for the purpose of considering the best steps to take for the future management of the commons. About thirty persons were present, Mr. Sommerville being voted to the chair.

"The Chairman, in explaining the object of the meeting, said the farmers should have the benefit of the commons, and that the Managers were trying to impose a heavier commonage fee than they were inclined to pay. Mr. Cook said that, on the occasion of the visit of a deputation by the Minister of Lands, with the object of seeking his influence to get the Strathfieldsaye Council to accede to the wishes of the farmers, the Minister spoke strongly in favour of the object of the deputation, and remarked that the Managers had not conducted the affairs of the commons well, and he trusted that the Strathfieldsaye Council would manage the commons in compliance with the wishes of the farmers.

The Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, as Managers of the commons, had appointed a herdsman who resided at a considerable distance from the centre of the Shire, and he could not possibly do justice to the farmers by looking after their cattle. The Managers should appoint another herdsman. One herdsman was not sufficient, and the main object of that meeting was to induce the Managers to appoint another herdsman for the centre of the shire. There would be no additional expense, as a good herdsman would look well after the cattle and fees, and even were there a little more expense, farmers would not grumble at it, providing that their affairs were properly looked after. The commons were never so important to the farmers as they were at the present time. The establishment of the frozen meat industry was one of great interest to farmers, and if they could get their young cattle reared on the commons they would no doubt, in time, when the expert trade was established, be able to command a higher figure for their stock.

There was a feeling in the council that the only people who were taking an interest in the appointment of an extra herdsman and reduction of fees were those who were running their cattle on the commons for nothing. That was not the case. And when that, among other matters, was explained to the Minister of Lands he said that the Strathfieldsaye Council had no right to impute such motives to the farmers. He moved "That the commons could be worked better with two herdsmen than with one." The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr. Cook, in answer to a person at the meeting, said that the Minister of Lands could not alter the present common fees. Mr. M. Rundell remarked that he heard the Minister say that he would make the Strathfieldsaye Council reduce the commonage fees. The Minister could abolish the common altogether if he wished, he moved that the Minister be written to asking him to forward his official notes of the proceedings on the occasion of the visit of the deputation.

Mr. Cook said that there were objections to the motion, and it was a poor compliment to the gentlemen who composed the deputation that their word could not be taken in the matter. He had the assurance of Mr. A. Morrah, Secretary for Lands, that the Minister had no power to interfere with the management of the commons. Mr. Rundell said the deputation went down to do a certain thing, but nothing was done. He was certain the Minister said that the Strathfieldsaye Council would have to mend their ways. However, if they got the Minister's notes it would settle the matter. The motion was then put and carried.

Mr. Cook read a requisition, which he suggested should be presented to the Shire Council. Mr Bickford said that the requisition contained no reference to the desired reduction of the commonage fee from 3s to 2s per annum. It was agreed that the request of a reduction be inserted in the petition, and, on the motion of Mr. Cook, seconded by Mr. O'Donohue, it was decided that the following requisition should be presented to the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council at their next meeting on the 21st of July:

"To the President and Members of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council. - Gentlemen, We the undersigned ratepayers and cattle owners desire respectfully to lay before your honorable council the impossibility of one herdsman satisfactorily looking after the cattle on the two commons. We would, therefore, respectfully suggest that whilst the present herdsman takes charge of the Axedale and Eppalock Common, one living in the district be also appointed for the Strathfieldsaye and Sedgewick Common. We know from experience that the cattle were never so well superintended as when the commons were separate, and we think there would at the present time be special advantages in having two herdsmen, especially as it involves no risk or extra expense to the council. And we think that this could be done satisfactorily for the proposed rate of 2s."

Mr. M. Rundell moved that Messrs. Cook, O'Donohue, F. D. Rundle, Lewis, T. Lowe and himself, be appointed a deputation to petition to the council, which was seconded by Mr. O'Donohue and carried. A vote of thanks to the chairman and to Mr. Cook terminated the proceedings."

July, 1881

• A meeting is held at O'Hagan's Sandhurst Hotel, to plan the upcoming ploughing match to be held in Lazarus' paddock near the Axe Creek. Messrs. T. O'Rourke, (Chairman), Bywater, M. Rundell, T. Donnellan, S. Burke, (Secretary), J. Pallon, D. Mill, R. O'Brien, J. O'Loughlen, and W. S. Cahill (Treasurer).

• The Licensing Court grants a temporary licence to Patrick Drake, Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, for a ploughing match at Axe Creek on July 13, also to Patrick Connellan of Clare Inn, Campaspe, for a fete at Muskerry, on July 12th.

The Axedale ploughing match is reported: "The annual Axedale ploughing match was held yesterday in one of Mr. S. Lazarus' paddocks, Axe Creek, which is situated near the Perseverance Hotel, on the McIvor road. The site chosen was a most suitable one in every respect. The distance from Sandhurst was not great, and as the weather was all that could he desired, a great number of city people embraced the opportunity of a pleasant drive, and swelled the number of those present, between three and four hundred persons being on the ground. Creature comforts of a first-class character were to be obtained in a spacious marquee, over which Mrs. Drake presided, and within which an excellent repast to the committee and officers was served up. The portion of the paddock upon which the ploughing took place was nice and level, and clear of obstructions. It was just in a nice state to set off the work of the men, who numbered thirty-four, the number who competed in the previous year being thirty-six. The liberal programme prepared for the occasion had the effect of drawing ploughmen from a large circuit around. The various arrangements were all that could be desired, and the committee deserve the greatest credit for the manner in which the whole affair was managed. Mr. H. S. Cahill, the hon. treasurer, and Mr. S. Burke, the secretary, deserve a special word of mention for the duties they so kindly and energetically carried out in the multifarious offices they had to attend to." There was a multitude of winners and prizes.

• An elderly man named Patrick Hickey, a farmer residing at Native Creek, died rather suddenly at his residence. As he had not been receiving medical treatment, the matter was reported to the Coroner by Mounted Constable Feely of Axedale. The subsequent verdict is that Hickey died from acute pneumonia.

• The Strathfieldsaye Revision Court meets with Crs. Craike (in the chair), Read, Brennan, O'Rourke, and O'Loughlan. The lists for the Mandurang, Strathfieldsaye, and Axedale Ridings were reviewed and certified to. The only alterations made were the excisions of the following names of deceased persons: J. Torrens, Mandurang Riding, and P. Hickey and J. Harris, Axedale Riding.

August, 1881

• A public meeting is held at Drake's Hotel, Axedale, to consider the matter of a railway from Sandhurst to Axedale and Heathcote.

• Messrs. A. O'Keefe and James O'Loghlin (retiring Councillor) have nominated for the Axedale Riding for Council elections. O'Keefe advertises that he will address the electors at the Bull's Head Hotel, McIvor road, on Thursday evening. O'Keefe's address to ratepayers takes place at the Bull's Head, Grassy flat:

"Last night, Mr. A. O'Keefe, one of the candidates for the Axedale Riding of the Strathfieldsaye Shire, addressed the ratepayers at the Bull's Head Hotel, Grassy Flat. Mr Overmann was voted to the chair.

Mr O'Keefe said that he appeared before the ratepayers that night to state his views to them, and, although there was only a small number of them personally present, yet what he said would be reported in the press, and thus every ratepayer in the riding would have the opportunity of knowing what measures he advocated.

He pointed out to them 12 months ago when he contested the riding, the apathy of their councilors in trying to secure a larger share of the Government subsidy. If they could secure a larger share of it, they would be able to do some good to the district. (A voice : "It's a very dry meeting" and some other noise and interruptions at the back.) He (Mr. O'Keefe) thought it questionable taste on the part of Mr. O'Loghlin's son to interrupt that meeting. Upon the last occasion he pointed out to the ratepayers that whereas during the last three years, Huntly Shire received something like £9,000 from the Government, Strathfieldsaye only received some £1,700. He then read the balance sheets of the two shires for the last financial year, and contrasted them greatly to the disadvantage of the Strathfieldsaye Shire. In that, the Axedale Riding there were only seven contracts let during the year, and the total amount spent on them was £151, whilst £313 were spent in other works, how or when, or where was not shown. The Local Government Act limited the amount which could be spent without tendering for it to £10, but Acts of Parliament were habitually evaded, and so whilst no one work could exceed £10, many such sums could be spent and no one would know how or for what. He thought this an unfair and wrong system of carrying out their public works, and he would like to hear some of their councilors come forward and explain it. Presuming that the audited balance sheets of the shires were correct, he found that in Strathfieldsaye, the Government endowment was £815, against £2,116 received by Huntly. Strathfieldsaye had a smaller revenue and large expenditure, and he thought they should endeavour to get the people of Wild Duck and other portions of the McIvor Shire to join them. They used the McIvor road, and their interest lay more with the Strathfieldsaye Shire than with their own. It was true in Strathfieldsaye they had 1s rate, and only 9s in Heathcote, but if they got good roads they would have no objection to pay the extra amount. He was in favour of differential rating, and thought it would work much more satisfactorily than the present system of striking the same rate for the whole shire. Their councilors were not importunate enough in trying to get the Government endowment to the shire increased. They said "We can't get any more from the Government, but they did not ask for it. Only a short time ago they sent a deputation down to Melbourne, and one of the representatives of the riding, Mr. Craike, was on it, about the herdsman and the common, but they did not avail themselves of the opportunity to say a word about increasing the subsidy, nor did not wait upon any of the Government officers in the Public Works Department. If they did not ask they would not receive. He then referred to two or three shires which had their subsidy increased very recently, and Mr. Bent told the Bungaree Shire that if they would strike a Is 6d rate he would increase theirs by £1,000. The Government voted £600 to the Marong Shire to cut down the Big Hill. Now they had a better right to ask for Government assistance than the Marong Shire had, as in Strathfieldsaye, they had no railway line, and he did not think they would have one for many years, if at all; they might, for instance, ask for a subsidy to cut down the Slaughteryard Hill. If they did not ask the Government for the money, they could not expect that they (the Government) would say to the shire "You want more money for this or that ward, and here is £2,000 or £3,000 for you to spend." They would have to make out as good a case as they could before their wants would be attended to. Twenty years ago, the Government made the McIvor main road, and it was the only piece of road made in the district, all others had been mere patchwork.

Contrasting the position of the Huntly and Strathfieldsaye shires, he found that, in 872, Strathfieldsaye had a revenue of £5,125, and Huntly only £3,858. In 1881, Strathfieldsaye revenue decreased to £4,309, whilst that of Huntly had increased to £4,865. In Huntly they had increased their revenue by increasing the area and annexing portions of the adjoining shires, whose interests lay more with Huntly than elsewhere. He would like to see Strathfieldsaye and McIvor shires amalgamate, or Strathfieldsaye with Huntly. A great saving could thereby be effected in the office or clerical expenditure alone. Their Engineers' time should not be taken up in doing mere clerical work. Taking the matter of endowment, was it not a reproach to their representatives to find that while Huntly received £2,116 from the Government, Strathfieldsaye only received £815, and yet the revenue of the two shires did not differ materially. That £1,200 in excess was exclusive of the vote for the storm water channel. That item did appear on the Huntly Shire balance sheet et all. In Huntly, about 60 contracts, amounting to £3,894, had been let, while only £212 had been spent on public works without being tendered for. In salaries, Huntly spent £283, Strathfieldsaye £353: interest, £43 Huntly, against £207 in Strathfieldsaye. This sum of £200 would keep two men employed on the main road for 12 months. Election expenses in Huntly were £28, in Strathfieldsaye, £50. The councilors in Huntly received nothing for acting as returning officers, in Strathfieldsaye they voted each other two guineas. The survey of the waterworks cost Huntly nothing, whilst Strathfieldsaye paid their own officer £57 to do the work; yet the Government brought the water down into Huntly Shire in a direct line 18 miles.

After pointing out various other particulars in which better management was shown in Huntly than in Strathfieldsaye, Mr. O'Keefe called attention to the condition of Quinn's bridge, which was in a dangerously unsafe state, and had been since the last election. If a flood came down the river, it would carry it away, and they would lose £1,600 of property for the sake of spending some £30 or £40 to repair it. He disapproved of the system of £5 votes for petty works, and no work should be undertaken without a report in favour of it had been obtained from the Engineer. He had no personal interest to serve by coming forward. The candidate sat down amidst applause. After one or two unimportant questions had been answered satisfactorily, Mr. O'Rourke moved, and Mr. Potter seconded, that Mr. O'Keefe was a fit and proper person to represent the Axedale Riding. The motion was carried unanimously, and the meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman."

• A Letter to the Editor, under the pen name of "Ratepayer", appears in the Bendigo Advertiser:

"Sir, - Mr. Andrew O'Keefe is again in the field for the Axedale Riding, this time in opposition to Mr. James O'Loughlin, the retiring Councillor. When opposing Mr. Craike last year, he assured his co-religionists that he would never come forward against a Catholic; but Mr. Craike must be put out at all hazard. Now, Sir, I think Mr. O'Keefe will find his conduct is not appreciated by the ratepayers, and that they will not import such a discordant element into the Shire Council as Mr. O'Keefe has proved himself at Huntly; and, further, his unfair tactics during his canvass will place him in the position he held at the last election - the bottom of the poll. Your's Truly, Ratepayer."

• Mr. O'Keefe replies, particularly against the 'standing against a Catholic' statement:

"I observe in your issue of today, a letter, signed Ratepayer, who referred to my candidacy for the Axedale Riding of the Strathfieldsaye Shire, against Mr. O'Loughlin. Now, Sir, I beg that you will permit me to give this statement a most emphatic contradiction, and I think your correspondent's endeavour to drag religious feeling into the matter is most unwarrantable. 'Ratepayer' also refers to what he is pleased to term my 'unfair tactics' during my canvass. The only 'tactics' I have adopted have been perfectly open and straightforward, consisting simply in addressing public meetings, and expressing my views from the platform. Can Mr. O'Loughlin's friends say the same of him? I am yours, etc., Andrew O'Keefe."

• Another reader, "Grassy Flat", comments:

"Sir, - In your issue of yesterday, a person signing himself 'Ratepayer' has seen fit to refer to the election of Messrs. Craike and O'Keefe last year. He says that Mr. O'Keefe assured his co-religionists that he would never come forward against a Catholic. Allow me to tell you, Sir, the charges set forth by 'Ratepayer' are deliberate falsehoods, and got up regardless for truth for the purpose of injuring Mr. O'Keefe's election, but it is no go this time. Mr. O'Keefe told Mr. O'Loughlin last year that, if defeated by Mr. Craike, he would oppose him next year, and since which he has had greater reasons for opposing him. A man who has lowered himself so much as to become a mere tool in the hands of Mr. Craike, who, with a contractor, a near relation of O'Loughlin's, who has some three or four contracts in hand for at least nine months, the contract time being three months, and nothing like completed yet, are the bitterest opponents of Mr. O'Keefe. I say that O'Loughlin should be relegated to private life, and make room for men of independent mind; and I believe that the discordant element that 'Ratepayer' is afraid of is the very thing necessary to break up the clique of log-rollers that exist in the Axedale Riding; hence the favourable state of Huntly Shire's finances as compared with Strathfieldsaye. That O'Keefe will head the poll there is not the slightest doubt in the mind of Grassy Flat."

• The election results: "There was only one contest in Strathfieldsaye, namely, for the Axedale Riding, the candidates being Messrs. James O'Loughlin (the retiring Councillor) and Andrew O'Keefe. The polling resulted in favour of the latter, who was returned by a majority of 34, the voting being O'Keefe, 130, O'Loughlin, 96."

• A meeting of the shareholders of the Acott Company is held at Mr. J. G. Weddell's office. Ten shareholders were present, Mr. Gromann in the chair. It was resolved to register the company under the no-liability portion of "The Mining Companies' Act 1871" in 24,000 shares of 10/- each. Mr. Weddell was appointed manager of the company. Messrs. Delacour, Gromann, Craike, Sterry, and Rievere were appointed directors. This company is situated near Acott's Hotel, off McIvor road, Parish of Axedale. The company have a lease, containing 12 acres, 10 roods, 22 perches. There is a shaft on the ground already sunk to a depth of 200 feet. Several crushings were taken out, which yielded 1 or 4 dwts to the ton. The cap of the reef has been struck in the shaft, and it is confidently expected that by sinking a further depth of 40 or 50 feet the resources of the mine will be fully developed. The company have £300 to their credit to start with.

[The above article shows one of the shafts at a depth of at least 200 feet, it identifies the date of the mine as 1881 and, more importantly, it locates the site of the Acott Hotel, not in Axedale as I have seen in various publications, but adjacent to the Acott Mine. There is land at that location, in the name of H. Acott, and there are also remains of brick walls in the vicinity.]

• Mr. William Heffernan sues Mr. J. Watson:

"Heffernan v. Watson, Melbourne, August 23rd - This was a suit by Mr William Heffernan, of Sandhurst, against Mr J. B. Watson of the same place, seeking a re-transfer of the Shamrock Hotel, St. James' Hall, and Campaspe Farm, which the plaintiff alleged were mortgaged as security for a loan with power of redemption. The defendant's case was that the property was sold to him for £25,000. Mr Billing, Mr. A'Beckett, and Mr. McCormick appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Webb, Mr. Purves, Mr. Casey, and Mr. Higgins for the defendant.

Evidence was taken as follows: William Pinnock Neal said: I am an auctioneer in Sandhurst, where 1 have carried on business for about twenty years. I have known Mr. Heffernan for the whole of that time, but Mr. Watson, not so long. In the Course of my business I have acquired knowledge of the value of property. In the commencement of 1875, I made a valuation of the Shamrock Hotel, St. James Hall, and the Campaspe farm, I was employed by Mr. Heffernan to make the valuation. I don't know positively whether the defendant obtained a copy of that valuation. I can't say the exact sum I fixed, because the paper upon which I put it down was injured with others in the flood, but to the best of my belief, it was between £70,000 and £72,000, although the value of the freehold of the Shamrock was fixed at £30,000, Campaspe farm was put down at £8/15/0 an acre, there being 3,000 acres, and the St. James' Hall at £6,000. At that time Sandhurst property was worth over 10 per cent. I was offered £30,000 cash for the hotel, and I refused, and should say it would fetch at least that at auction, and he knew of another offer of £40,000 as property generally fetches all its worth at auction.

After making the valuation, I saw Mr. Watson, who told me that he had arranged Heffernan's affairs, and wished me to make a valuation of the stock, and fix a rental. He did not say in what way he had arranged his affairs. After I made the valuation I took it to Mr. Watson's office.

I know the Campaspe farm, the plaintiff was living there for a little while. I used to sell pigs for him. There was a pumping engine on it which was in good working order. The garden was a valuable one and of large extent. At the time I speak of, it was in good order. I sold the stock distrained upon by Watson in December, 1879. There was no distinction made as between property belonging to Watson and Heffernan. After the sale I rendered accounts to Mr. Watson.

Cross-examined by Mr. Purves: I have no written memoranda of the valuation. I am not aware that Heffernan let the property to Murphy for £1,200 a year. Assuming it was fairly let at that rental, its capital value would be about £15,000. I don't know on what basis I valued the St. James Hall. The year of 1875 was not a period of inflation; the bubble had been pricked. The offer I spoke of was made in 1872, the year of the great rush. A large mining business was done in the hotel. I visited the farm and went over it. I valued it all as freehold land, but have since heard that some was selected. The land was worth 2/- to 2/6 per acre for grazing, and 4/6 for agricultural purposes. I don't remember how much of it was grazing land; There were, and are, offices quite independent of the hotel. I consider the land on which the Shamrock Hotel is built was worth considerably over £200 per foot for the Pall Mall frontage. There were 40 feet of frontage. The Williamson Street frontage was worth £23 per foot. This was the value of the St. James' Hall frontage.

William Meudell said: I was the manager of the Bank of Victoria, Sandhurst, in 1875. I know the plaintiff and defendant. In 1875 Mr. Heffernan kept his account in my bank. In May his account showed a debit balance of £19,113/131, on a promissory note. On 23rd April, 1875, Mr. Watson paid in the sum of £25,000 to the joint credit of himself and myself. At this time the bank was pressing the plaintiff heavily for payment. The total amount owing by him to the bank was, with interest, £19,737/17/2. This money was drawn out and paid away by three cheques on 8th May, 1875. The first was for £19,737, payable to the Bank of Victoria. The second for £4,000, payable to Crowley, a former partner of Heffernan's. The balance of £1,202 was paid to the plaintiff. I knew Heffernan had a partner in the Shamrock Hotel and St. James' Hall. The promissory note was a private one. It was not endorsed by anyone, but for security I held the deeds of about 1,400 acres of land at the Campaspe farm. I was promised the deeds of other property.

To Mr. Webb: There was no formal mortgage, only a promise to give one. Mr. Webb produced a document dated September 9th, 1874, which the witness admitted was a mortgage over the Shamrock and Albion hotels and the St. James' Hall. Another mortgage he said related to 692 acres of the Campaspe farm. I must have known at the time that I had got these. The £25,000 was lodged under the agreement produced. The deeds were handed over to Mr. Crabbe when the money was lodged. Before I signed the cheques I understood that the transaction was completed.

John Crowley, hotel-keeper, residing at Sandhurst, said: I knew the plaintiff, and have known him since 1846. I went into business with the plaintiff in Sandhurst, in 1853, and continued in business with him until I869 as hotel-keepers and farmers. We dissolved partnership as regards the business in 1869, but continued owners of the property. In 1869, I sold my interest in the Campaspe farm to the plaintiff. It then consisted of 700 acres, and I sold my half interest for £5,000. In 1875, I should say it was worth 25 per cent more than in 1869. The whole of it was worth about £6 an acre. In 1875, I should say the value of the Shamrock Hotel and St. James' Hall, was £26,000. I know Mr. W. P. Neal; would think his opinion is of value as a judge of property. In 1875, Watson came to me and mentioning that Heffernan was in difficulties, asked if I would take him in as a partner instead of Heffernan. I disagreed with the offer, because Watson had too much money. I consider the value of the whole property was about £44,000.

To Mr. Purves: In 1869 there were about 130 cattle on the farm, worth £6 per head. There were about 150 selected sheep, very good, valued at £3 each. Watson's offer to join me as a partner was made at the Albion Hotel. He did not say he wanted to buy out Heffernan, but to befriend him. I don't like a partner with too much money, because I think he has too much money. I was then managing the Albion, and Heffernan got half the profits. That arrangement ceased when he bought the property. I was to get half the Albion property, and £4,000 for my half of the Shamrock Hotel and St. James' Hall. I was receiving £12 a week for my half of the Shamrock. I should consider that the Albion was worth £20,000.

Re-examined: Mr. Heffernan built the St. James's Hall at his own expense on his and my land.

Matthew McFadzean said: I have been a Government valuator for six months. I knew the value of property in Sandhurst from 1869 to 1875. I know the Shamrock Hotel, St. James' a Hall, and Campaspe farm. Ten years ago, I should say the farm was worth from £7 to £8 per acre, and in 1875 it would be about the same. I should think the Shamrock, in l875, was worth from £30,000 to £35,000 including the offices. The St. James' Hall would be worth about £5,000. I always thought Heffernan and Watson were very friendly. I have heard them speak about California, of having been digging there, and always thought that they were mates there.

To Mr Webb : In 1871 there were about 3,000 acres in the Campaspe farm. It was all fenced in and subdivided, and about 15 or 20 acres cultivated. The remainder was grass, about 50 acres of which was lucerne, the rest natural. I always understood the farm consisted in 1871 of 3,000 acres, but never inquired particularly. I never valued the property specially, but land with a frontage to the Campaspe, by a depth of a mile or so, was worth about the price I have given. The river flats were worth £30 or £40 an acre, and there were about 150 acres of this land. I was a mining speculator then, and had a station ten miles from Heathcote when I saw the land in 1871. I did not go over it further than driving to the house and back. The Shamrock in 1875 would have let for £1,500 or £2,000 a year furnished, including stables and everything. I would give ten years' purchase for the freehold.

William Flannagan said: I have been in Sandhurst from 1872 until July of this year. I was in the habit of bringing milk from Heffernan's farm and selling it for myself. I was acquainted with plaintiff and defendant, and always thought they were on the very best of terms. About May, 1875 I had a conversation with Watson at the Campaspe farm. He said it was a very nice place, that Heffernan was somewhat involved, and that he was going to help him out of his difficulties by lending him money and taking the property over for a time. He said he thought Heffernan could be out of his difficulties in a short time. I had another conversation with him at the farm in December 1879. He said that Heffernan was so far back in his interest that it would be no use letting him go any longer.

Cross-examined by Mr Purves: Heffernan was not present at the first conversation. I am a brother-in-law of Mr Heffernan. Nothing was said about a mortgage. This would be about the last of April or the first of May. It was before Heffernan had arranged his affairs with Watson that he said he would not part with the property for £60,000.

John Stewart, boot and shoe manufacturer, Sandhurst, said: I remember being at Watson's office on the 18th February. Fletcher was there. In the course of conversation, Heffernan's name was mentioned. Watson said he wished he had never had anything to do with him, and if he got his own money back would be willing to forego several thousand pounds. I understood that it had reference to arrears of rent. Until this conversation I always thought it was a mortgage. I don't think anything was said about rent. He said arrears of money coming due to him. He asked Fletcher whether Heffernan had paid the last month's rent.

Thomas O'Rourke, a farmer at Axedale, said: I knew the Campaspe farm, in 1879. I recollect the sale. The property has changed for the worse. The timber is dead. It was shortly before the sale I went over it.

To Mr Webb: I believe ringing timber makes land better for grazing. I saw the garden a year before Watson went into possession, and it was then in a good state, but in 1879 it was in a bad plight. I believe the fences are better than they were before. The paddocks have been cleared, and the grass is better.

Re-examined: I think it would sell better with the timber rung. Mr A'Beckett asked the witness whether he had signed a certificate to the effect that the loss of the timber was £5 per acre in 1881.

Witness: I meant that if a railway (being made) in the course of time from Sandhurst, the timber would be more valuable.

James White, a farmer at Axedale, said: I reside about two miles from the Campaspe farm. I recollect the occasion of Watson distraining. The last time I saw it I noticed a good deal of the timber was rung, I have not been talking with anyone about the case. I could not say whether the land would sell at more or less on account of the timber being rung. I can't explain how I came to certify that the damage was £5 an acre.

Nancy Murphy, wife of Michael Murphy, said: I resided in Sandhurst from March, 1874, until January, 1877. My husband rented the Shamrock Hotel. He began paying rent on 1st June, 1875, and had it until January, 1877, at the rate of £100 a month. Heffernan and Watson appeared to be on friendly terms. I recollect at the end of 1875, Watson saying Heffernan was his friend, and could have any amount of money he wanted. At present I keep an hotel in Dunedin, New Zealand. Saw Mr. Watson there about five months ago. I asked him how Heffernan was getting on. He said not very well, he was drinking; business was very bad in Sandhurst; and he wanted him to go to Melbourne, and take the Bush Inn. He said Heffernan thought he was not his friend now, but he was his best friend. He said he wanted him to come on the trip with him that he was on, and he would pay all expenses. He did not say in what way he wanted him to take the Bush Inn.

Cross-examined by Mr Webb: Mr Watson did not say that Heffernan wanted him to let him have the Bush Inn. I did not know that the Bush Inn belonged to Watson. I am Mrs. Heffernan's sister. I found the Shamrock a profitable house. Neither I nor my husband have contributed any thing towards the cost of this suit. I am not aware that my husband is coming up.

Re-examined: My husband is not in good health and I manage the business.

Phillip Galloway Booty, at present residing in Sydney, said: In 1875 I was clerk with Mr. Crabbe of Sandhurst. I recollect in that year, instructions being given for mortgages over Shamrock Hotel, Campaspe farm, and St. James' Hall. The amount, I think, was £24,000. There was a valuation of the properties, which would be as near as possible £70,000. At an interview between Crabbe, Watson, Heffernan, and myself, I proposed that the property should be absolutely transferred, instead of mortgaged. I had previously spoken to Watson, who said he was perfectly satisfied to do without covenants, as he had value for his money. There was a memorandum to be prepared giving the plaintiff the right to redeem his property upon paying principal and interest at nine per cent. Mr. Crabbe drew up a memorandum of sale which is the same as that produced. I spoke of a promissory note, but Mr. Watson said he was satisfied. There was an arrangement that Mr. Heffernan was to have leases from Mr. Watson, and I drew out the documents myself. I drafted a deed of defeasance on a printed form in a book of mine, which I handed to an articled Clerk named Smith to have a fair copy made, but I don't know whether that copy was made or not. I went to the Campaspe with Watson and Heffernan early in May, 1875, for the purpose of taking an inventory. Heffernan, in reply to an observation of mine, said, "I would not take £60,000 for it."

Cross-examined by Mr. Purves: The writing in the document produced is mine. I don't think I took the instructions to prepare it from Heffernan and Watson. They must have been given to Mr. Crabbe. £20,000 was mentioned by Mr Heffernan or Mr Watson. I waited on Watson to get instructions to prepare a mortgage for £30,000. I see from the document produced, that I prepared the draft of the mortgage, but I had forgotten it. I thought the deed of defeasance was signed at Mr. Crabbe's office. If anyone swore that it was signed at Mr. Watson's office, I would say that the person swearing so was making a mistake. The deed was spoken of as a letter. Heffernan said he wanted nothing from Watson, as he trusted him. Watson said he only wanted to do what was right. The term of the mortgage was five years. When I made the inventory, Fletcher only was with me. Left Mr Crabbe, owing to some difficulty about money matters. Some moneys got missed, but I did not appropriate any. The difference was £5/10/0, and the matter was explained and corrected. Mr. Crabbe gave me a certificate of character. I may have told Crabbe that certain deeds were delayed in the Titles Office. Crabbe did not say he was going to Melbourne to inquire into the matter, nor did he say he was taking criminal proceedings against me, or consult Detective Alexander. I did not ask Mr Crabbe to let me off. I remained in his office for two months after that; I did not tell Mr. Crabbe he had a distraint in his office; I brought the letter accompanying the testimonial with me, as I thought Mr Crabbe might try and shake my evidence. I was offered a considerable sum by a Mr. Edwards to go to New Zealand. This gentleman told me that the question of monetary difficulties would be brought against me.

At this stage the further hearing of the case was adjourned until next day."

In a following court session, the proceedings are brought to an abrupt conclusion. In essence, Watson believes he owns the properties and Heffernan still owes him £30,000. Heffernan believes that he still owns the properties and is paying off a mortgage, with a balance of £30,000. Heffernan is asked if he would pay the balance and take the properties back. In any case, he owes the balance. It is finally arranged between the legal parties that Watson should sell the properties to Heffernan for £30,000, the sale to be completed in two months, and on completion, Watson to give up the possession. If sale is not completed in two months, the case to be dismissed with costs. If the sale be completed in two months, the suit to be stayed, and each party to pay his own costs.

• The obituary of Michael Murphy, Bendigo Advertiser, August 30, 1881, contains some relevant historical information, and mentions the Heffernan relationship. "Mr. Michael Murphy, to whose illness we referred yesterday, expired at Dunedin [New Zealand] on Sunday from inflammation of the stomach. The deceased was 62 years of age. He arrived in this colony in June 1853, with his wife, having as shipmates, Mr. and Mrs. W. Heffernan, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Crowley, of this city. After engaging in mining pursuits in Sandhurst for a few years, he went to Ararat, where he opened the Shamrock Hotel. He subsequently built the Shamrock Hotel at Lamplough, and afterwards went to Inglewood, where he erected another hotel, bearing the same name. On the breaking out of the New Zealand rush, he proceeded to Dunedin, where he again built and opened the Shamrock Hotel. He remained in Dunedin until 1874, when he re-visited this city, and leased the Shamrock Hotel for three years from Mr. W. Heffernan. At the expiration of the lease, he went back to Dunedin, where he erected the Hotel, which is said to be the finest hotel in New Zealand, at a cost of about £20,000. The deceased was on the whole, very successful in mining and business, and at the time of his death, was in very good circumstances. Mrs. Murphy is at present in Sandhurst, having been obliged to come to this colony within the past two or three weeks as an important witness in the late suit of Heffernan v. Watson. The deceased was a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. He leaves no family. A requiem High Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at eight o'clock this morning in St. Killians Pro-Cathedral."

• The Minister of Lands has recommended, and the Government have approved of, a regulation that selectors shall not be required to obtain the consent of the department before mortgaging their leases.

• The Very Rev. Dean Backhaus left Sandhurst yesterday for Melbourne, where he has taken up his residence permanently. He will, however, revisit this city at an early date to take part in the synod of Catholic clergymen which is to be held prior to the bishop's departure for Rome. It was the intention of the Catholic residents of Sandhurst to have entertained the Rev. Dean, and presented him with a testimonial before his departure, but at his expressed desire they abstained from so doing. He intends to reside at Brighton, having purchased the late residence of Sir Chas. McMahon for £5,000.

September, 1881

• An article about the railway proposals paints a picture of the surrounding countryside:

"The route looked upon for years as the most favourable for a railway line between the two places [Sandhurst and Axedale] branches off from the main Echuca line about half a mile to the east of Sandhurst, and makes a detour round the low ranges at the rear of the municipal cattle yards. By this means the range known as Slaughteryard Hill, over which the road [McIvor Road] to Heathcote passes, and which is situated at a considerable elevation above the city, would be avoided. The line would then run almost parallel with the road, but in order that the undulations of the intermediate country might be avoided, and the expenditure on excavations and embankments reduced to the smallest possible amount, its course would be about two or three miles to the northeast of the main McIvor road, until nearing Axedale, A good deal of the country passed through would be Crown lands, with here and there a cultivated paddock intervening. In approaching Axedale, Mr. T. O'Rourke's property on the Axe Creek would be skirted, and with the exception of a few blind creeks, and slight dips in the country, no difficulties of any importance would have to be encountered until the township was reached.

The most important engineering work on the whole route would be the construction of a bridge over the Campaspe. Reference will, however, be made to this work in a future article.

The population between Sandhurst and Axedale is no doubt very sparse. The soil is said to be well adapted for growing grain, but it is patchy. It is only along the banks of the Axe Creek and the Campaspe that cultivation is carried on to any great extent, thus furnishing an instance, if one were wanting, of the benefits of irrigation. In former years the land between Axedale and Sandhurst was cultivated to a much greater extent than it is now. The reason assigned for the falling off is that the soil has yielded its fair quota of the fruits of the earth during the past quarter of a century, and is now worked out. With plenty of water, however, and other fertilisers it would be again fit for tillage and settlement. The nature of the soil along the banks of the River Campaspe and Axe Creek is chocolate and calcareous loam, and is admirably suited for the growth of grain, but the soil away from the water courses is of a sandy description.

The boundary of the City of Sandhurst does not extend beyond Back Creek. Only two parishes are passed through before Axedale is reached. Axedale is a township situated on the banks of the River Campaspe, at a distance of 14 miles from Sandhurst. The population of the township and vicinity is about 500. There are three hotels, the principal being Drake's Campaspe Hotel and Ingham's Quarry Hotel. The place is rather pleasantly situated, a gentle slope leading down to the river. The churches and other places are built of bluestone. In the Strathfieldsaye Shire, between Axedale and Sandhurst, there are in all about 2,000 acres under cultivation, the average yield of grain of all descriptions being about 16 to 17 bushels to the acre. Some of the largest land owners and cultivators are Mr. James Doak, who has about 1,200 acres, and Mr. John Burke, who owns about 700 acres in the Axedale district, and about 1,000 acres in the Forest Creek district, McIvor Shire. Messrs. T. O'Rourke, S. Lazarus, T. Kenny, W. Heffernan, T. Canna, J. D. Bywater, Craike, and Strachan are also large land proprietors in the district.

A good portion of the land is utilised for grazing purposes. Fruit is grown in large quantities, the excellence of which can be estimated from the fact that it is able to hold its own against that produced in the metropolitan districts. At the Melbourne Exhibition, Mr. T. Craike did credit to the district by carrying off the first prize in grapes. Axedale is also noted for tho excellence of its dairy produce. Milk, butter, cheese, hams, eggs, etc., are forwarded to the Sandhurst market in large quantities. In addition to the facilities afforded for the carriage of grain and the products already referred to, Axedale possesses another feature which bids fair, with the help of the railway, to develop into a large and important industry. Mr. Ingham, an enterprising gentleman from Melbourne, has opened up a bluestone quarry. The supply is said to be practically inexhaustible, and the bluestone is believed to be the finest in the colony. For the immense size of the blocks, and the ease with which they can be dressed, the quarry is unequaled in the colony. Mr. Ingham has a contract with the Sandhurst City Council to do the channelling and the kerbing of the City, but strange to say, only about eighty yards of stone channelling has been done in Sandhurst during the past six months, because the Campaspe stone has to be carted a long distance at a heavy cost.

The Council, with a view to economy, channel the gutters, and kerb the footpaths principally with wood. This certainly appears to be a penny wise and pound foolish policy, because the wooden blocks have to be renewed, whereas the bluestone would last for generations to come. The excellence of the Campaspe bluestone for building purposes cannot be surpassed, and another feature is its adaptability to road making. About 5,000 yards of road metal are laid in Sandhurst annually. The supply of metal from the mines does not promise to keep pace with the demand for it, and for this reason, as the mines get deeper, and the workings more extended, the slate and sandstone, which is now sold to the different councils for the purposes of road making, and which is far inferior to the Campaspe stone, will be required for filling in the stopes and workings. The bluestone is immeasurably superior to the road metal ordinarily used here, and less calculated to create dust.

The extension of a railway to Kerang will no doubt open up a new market for road metal, and stone for building purposes, and the Echuca and Riverina districts will also have to look to Sandhurst to supply them with road metal when more attention is given to the making of roads in these districts than there is now. As allowing the quantity of metal used for the roads in this city the number of cubic yards laid down during each of the past nine years is appended - 1871: 8,000 yds, 1872: 5280 yds, 1873: 5,076 yds, 1874: 8,130 yds, 1875: 3,160 yds, 1876: 3,852 yds, 1877: 6,165 yds, 1878: 6,458 yds, 1879: 5,000 yds, 1880: 6,000 yds.

In the above remarks reference has only been made to the facilities which would be afforded by railway communication, so far as regards Axedale and Sandhurst, which is the least important section of the route. We will conclude, however, by giving an estimate formed by a leading resident of Axedale, Mr. Ingham (who is now in Europe) of the traffic which would take place on a line between Sandhurst and Heathcote in one year: 500 tons of bluestone (channelling and kerbing); 5,500 tons of road metal (Sandhurst City Council alone); 52,000 feet of firewood; 200 tons of garden produce; 2,000 tons of mining timber; 1,000 tons of hay; 200 tons of wattle bark; 200 tons of beer; 250 tons of dairy produce. It will be observed that grain is not included in the estimate. It would be impossible to fairly compute the quantity of grain that would be forwarded, but it would without doubt add considerably to the traffic."

• Mr. Heffernan, Marydale, had offered 10 acres of his land if anyone could get the railway through Axedale.

• A deputation from the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council decides to take action on the condition of the McIvor road:

"A deputation from the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, introduced by the local members, waited on the Commissioner of Public Works today, to ask for a subsidy for the main McIvor road, and also for an increase in the annual endowment, the Shire having received for the last half year a moiety of only £653/11/5 instead of £857, which latter amount was anticipated by the Shire as their proper share. Mr. Young, after hearing the statements of the deputation, promised to look into the matter at the earliest opportunity. The deputation also asked for assistance towards maintenance of the road between Axedale and Sandhurst, and for which work the sum of £1,000 was required, the Shire being willing to contribute pound for pound out of the local funds. Mr. Young promised to take the matter into consideration, and also to pay an early visit to the locality in question."

• A meeting of the Sandhurst and Heathcote Railway League, Axedale Branch, is scheduled to be held at Drake's Hotel, Axedale on September 26.

• During a deputation to the Minister of Railways, Mr. J. D. Bywater (Axedale League) said that the roads from Axedale to Sandhurst were almost impassable. About 100 tons of firewood were daily taken over them, and the construction of a railway would enable large quantities of mining timber to be sent to Sandhurst. There was a bluestone quarry at Axedale from which stone could be taken out in 20 feet lengths, and this was the most northerly situated deposit of bluestone in the colony.

• Death of an old Axedale resident: "Mr. Patrick Mehan, an old resident of the Axedale district, died yesterday after a lingering and painful illness. The deceased came to Sandhurst over twenty years ago, and during the past nine years, was landlord of the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek. He was very well known throughout the district in which he resided and highly respected. He was suffering from liver complaint and inflammation of the membranes of the brain and had, of late, been under the care of Dr. Penfold. He leaves a widow and one child."

• A Letter to the Editor, queries some previous printed details about a counter proposal for the rail line to run from Heathcote to Goornong: "In reference to a line between Heathcote and Goornong, nothing could surpass it for cheapness of construction; first of all there would be but two bridges required, one over the Mclvor Creek, and one over the Campaspe, with but one cutting of any magnitude, that around the point of Mount Ida, following down the creek to Toolleen, passing within a mile of the marble and limestone quarries; leaving the creek at Toolleen it would pass through a thickly settled population on to Goornong. The distance from Heathcote to Goornong is ten miles less than to Sandhurst, being a comparatively level country. The difference of construction being not less than £200,000 in favour of Goornong, the route from Heathcote to Sandhurst I being nothing but a succession of high hills and steep ravines. In reference to bluestone quarries, it is not generally known that we have a bluestone quarry within three miles of this township abutting on the railway towards Elmore, on the properties of Messrs. Ready and Dourtry; it has been tested to a depth of 40 feet, and is quite equal to the Axedale stone. For the sake of the colony at large, the cheapest route is the one that ought to be advocated and adopted for the sake of economising the funds of our adopted COUNTRY."

October, 1881

• Mr. Bent, Minister of Railways, visits the district to inspect potential routes for a railway line. While at Axedale, Mr. Bent had a glance at the bed of the Campaspe River, a short distance downstream from the road bridge where he thought that owing to the high banks either side, a rail bridge might be constructed. His attention was directed to the marble quarry at Mt. Camel and the bluestone quarry at Axedale belonging to Mr. Ingham. After partaking of refreshments and adding to the party, he continued towards Sandhurst. On the way to Sandhurst it was pointed out that the road was the worst traveled on during the whole journey. The road from Kilmore to Heathcote could not be excelled, from Heathcote to Axedale was passable, but from Axedale to Sandhurst it is simply in a disgraceful state in some places. The party reached Sandhurst soon after 6pm after enduring an horrific dust storm that rendered progress impossible until it had blown over.

November, 1881

• Suicide at Axedale: "What was evidently a most determined suicide was committed at Axedale yesterday morning, by a man 75 years of age, named George Clark; but was well known in that portion of the district as 'George the Fisherman.' He resided by himself in the neighbourhood of Murrowood's, on the Wild Duck, and on Monday last proceeded to Axedale for the purpose of fishing in the Campaspe. He called at Drake's Hotel, and was then perfectly sober. He appeared low-spirited, however, and stated that he had been very ill, also that he had been treated in the Heathcote Hospital, but would rather die than enter the institution again. On Tuesday afternoon, he again called at Drake's Hotel for his swag, and went away. Yesterday, his body was found by one of Mr. Drake's sons in the old ballroom connected with the hotel. The throat was cut and a razor was found near the body. His swag was lying near him, unopened. Dr. Atkinson, who examined the body, found besides the wound in the throat, a deep incision over the elbow of the left arm from which, he believed, the greatest quantity of blood flowed. Mr. Strickland held an inquest yesterday afternoon, and a verdict that deceased committed suicide whilst of unsound mind, was returned."

• His Honor, Judge Trench, delivers a verdict in the court case of Chambers v. McArthur. The action had been brought by Chambers to recover £19/0/0 damages, by reason of the defendant (who is herdsman of the Strathfieldsaye Common), having impounded his cattle in the Axedale Pound, whereas there was a pound at Mia-Mia, which was nearer the place from whence the cattle were taken than the Axedale Pound. His Honor considered points raised by Mr. Hornbuckle (for McArthur) and dismissed them. The verdict for £13/0/0 damages is awarded to Chambers.

• An extract of the business conducted at a Strathfieldsaye Shire Council Meeting: "On the motion of Cr. O'Keefe, the Engineer was instructed to prepare plans and specifications for the repair of the worst portions of the McIvor road, between Sandhurst and Axedale. Cr. O'Keefe moved that it be notified to contractors that, for the future, the contract time will be adhered to for carrying out works; and also that it be imperative that tenders lodged in the box be properly sealed."

• A published report of a Sandhurst Railway Meeting is not well received by a journalist of the McIvor Times: Judging by the tone of the remarks made by the various speakers at the Sandhurst railway meeting on Friday last, and by the general tone of the Bendigo press, the railway line to Heathcote via Kilmore will not be constructed without a fierce struggle. Relying upon the strength of numbers and political influence that they can bring to bear, the Bendigo people make no secret of the fact that they intend if possible to get the line constructed from Sandhurst via Costerfield and Seymour entirely irrespective of the interests of those settled at and around Heathcote.

The selfishness and immorality of the policy they are pursuing are palpable to all but themselves, and as we can place no reliance on their good feeling or sense of right, we must be prepared to combat them inch by inch in the false position they have taken up. It is stated unblushingly in a Sandhurst paper that Heathcote has no need of direct railway communication with Melbourne, and that Sandhurst is the proper market for the people of this and the surrounding districts. The press as well as some of the speakers at the meeting cry out against our aspirations for connection with the metropolis and the coast, because, forsooth, it will encourage centralization, which policy, they denounce, although they are using their best endeavours to carry out centralization in their own City of Sandhurst to the sacrifice of their country neighbours. Had Sandhurst been a sea-port town, and a legitimate competitor with Melbourne, the case would have been different, but it is not likely that the farmers of this district or Mount Pleasant, Toolleen, Crosbie, and other parts adjacent to us, are going to be gulled into taking their produce into the ever-glutted market at Sandhurst, and see the outlet closed between them and the sea-coast. Sandhurst is already the centre of an immense farming district, and so soon as the demand for local consumption is satisfied, the farmers from this part, and for a large circle around must either take what the Bendigo merchants like to give them, or pay charges for 100 miles of transit to Melbourne instead of only 70 miles as would be the case if they had a direct line by way of Kilmore. The proposal is almost as bad when we consider what would be the case by sending produce round by Seymour. It simply means that for all future time the residents of Heathcote and neighbourhood must be saddled with about 20 miles extra railway dues, a consideration we need hardly say that is sufficient to condemn the Sandhurst and Seymour line effectually so far as our local interests are concerned.

There is no feeling here against a cross-country line provided our own urgent requirements are first attended to as in the case of Sandhurst and other places, but is a transparent sham to advocate, a cross-country line to serve Heathcote which, if constructed will really prove of no earthly use to the population here. As regards to various arguments adduced at the Sandhurst meeting in favour of the Seymour line, they are mostly visionary and the sources of traffic calculated upon, are almost totally problematical. One gentleman sees in imagination an immense overland traffic to Sydney, but of what kind he does not tell us, nor how many centuries mast pass before it is developed. Another romancing individual sees visions of vineyards as yet unplanted on soil that is yet unbroken, and thus builds another castle in the air. An amateur geologist hints at coal some where along the route which has never yet been discovered and concerning which no one else is aware of the slightest indications, and from these fabulous resources, with the probability of limestone being worked at Mount Camel, a bluestone quarry opened at Axedale, supplemented with timber from the desert country lying between Costerfield and Seymour. and chance traffic of various kinds, one of the wise men at Sandhurst calculates on a yearly revenue for the railway of £63,000. It is quite desirable that the bluestone at Axedale and the limestone at Mount Camel should be worked, also that the barren ranges along the Seymour route should be denuded of their timber to meet the Sandhurst requirements, so long as these objects can be carried out without inflicting injury and wrong upon the large town and farming population whose wants the Kilmore line alone will supply, but we must protest against being entirely sacrificed to Sandhurst avarice and deprived of the right already conceded to every similar centre of population, namely, a direct means of transit to the sea-coast. The citizens of Sandhurst are taking part in this movement will who bring upon themselves deserved execration if they persevere in their selfish course. Already their town commands railway extension to nearly every point of the compass, and yet although Heathcote has none at all they are, under false pretences, trying to wrest from us a privilege that has long been withheld; and is necessary to our future welfare. It will be but a sorry victory if they succeed, because the farmers cannot profitably use the cross-country line their Sandhurst friends would provide for them. To compel the wheat growers and sellers of other farm produce, to go to the Bendigo market would be like "carrying coals to Newcastle" and to have to convey it to Melbourne, by way of Seymour would often represent a small loss instead of a small profit to the producer. As regards Heathcote traffic, the Seymour line will prove almost a dead letter, because it would not be used to any great extent and the road traffic to Kilmore would still continue in its ordinary course.

The Hon. the Minister of Railways has, however, done his duty to this district fairly and manfully, and it behoves the whole population, particularly the farming clans, to give him all possible moral support, as it is only by the most unflinching earnestness that the efforts of the Sandhurst confederacy can be overcome.

• Strathfieldsaye Shire - Water Supply Scheme - The scheme is a comprehensive one, and provides for the general watering of the Shire. [19/11/1881 - Bendigo Advertiser], [19/11/1881 - The Argus]

December, 1881

• Mr. O'Rourke holds an inquest into the death of a child aged between two and three years at Drake's Hotel, Axedale. The child's name is Alice Pascoe, of Toolleen. The cause of death is ascertained as 'inflammation of the lungs.'

• Contracted shaft cutting at the Acott Mine continues and is expected to be finished within a week.

January, 1882

• The Acott Mine shaft cutting and timbering is completed.

February, 1882

• Mr. Thomas O'Rourke posts a notice to bring land under the Transfer of Land Statute, as follows: "The whole of Crown Lands Allotments 2, 3, 4, 16, 17 and 18, Parish of Axedale, County of Bendigo, and part of Crown Allotment 1 of the said Parish, commencing at the southernmost corner, thence by part of said allotment 2, north-west 3,030 links to Axe Creek, thence northerly by that creek, thence south-east 3,479 links, and thence south-west by a Government road 976 links to the commencing point."

• The Government Gazette announces that Mr. P. Potter has been appointed a member of the Strathfieldsaye School Board of Advice, for the Axedale Riding.

March, 1882

• Mr. Andrew O'Keefe appeals against the valuation of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye of £40 on property at Lyell, and owned by Mrs. O'Keefe. After evidence, the bench reduced the valuation to £20. O'Keefe also appealed against the valuation of £36 on property at Axedale, and the Bench reduced it to £25. O'Keefe then appealed against the valuation of £315 on property at Kimbolton. Evidence was given to the effect that the land would not carry more than two sheep to three acres in ordinary seasons. Altogether, more than 2,000 acres were valued, and if let, no person would give more than 1/- per acre per year. The Bench reduced the valuation to £215.

• A call of 3d. per share is made on the capital of the Acott Quartz Mining Company and is due and payable at the company's office at Albion Chambers, Sandhurst.

April, 1882

• The Australasian, April 8, 1882, contains an irrigation scheme article involving the construction of a wooden weir, 20 feet in height, in the Campaspe River, about half a mile downstream of its junction with the Axe Creek, to provide water for the districts north of Goornong, between the Campaspe River and the Piccaninny Creek. The water would flow under the Sandhurst-Echuca railway into the Crabhole Creek, and thence into the Piccaninny. The area supplied with the water would be about 500,000 acres.

• Mr. Andrew O'Keefe publishes a notice addressed to A. Bruhn, President of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council: "My Dear Sir - I have been requested by a number of the residents of Axedale to ask you to call a Public Meeting of the Ratepayers of the Shire for Thursday, the 20th, at 10.30am, to discuss the advisability of borrowing £20,000 under trust for waterworks, etc. Signed by myself on behalf of John Burke and Terence Conway, Mosquito Creek; Martin Burns, Stephen Burke, Thomas Burke and Patrick Drake, Axedale, and about 20 others." The article also includes the acceptance of Mr. Albert Bruhn, President.

• The Axedale road is in the news again: "The main road from Sandhurst to the Axedale township is sadly in need of repairs in various places, especially between Quealey's Hotel and Axedale. The roadway is so worn, that it is for miles little more than a series of ruts and holes, which make traffic not only difficult and disagreeable, but dangerous. Several of the crossings for carrying off surface water, are so ineffectually drained that the water which has accumulated during the late rains remains on the road in small lakes, and the roadway on either side is a quagmire. It would be well if the Strathfieldsaye Council directed the necessary improvements without delay."

May, 1882

• Frederick Kitchen, a 53 year old man of Axedale [sic.] Creek, meets with an unfortunate accident. He is in the act of unloading hay from his cart when it tips over and falls on him, fracturing several of his ribs on the right side. He is conveyed to the Bendigo Hospital.

• An inquest is held at Axedale, into the death of Isaiah Milburn. His 56 year old widow, Jane, gives evidence that he had suffered from paralysis for a number of years. He had been discharged from the Bendigo Hospital, as incurable, about 5 years prior to his death and had not left his bed for the last 9 months. He died of chronic disease of the brain.

• A public meeting is advertised for Drake's Hotel for the purpose of electing Trustees of the Axedale Cemetery.

June, 1882

• Tenders are called for the erection of machinery at the Acott Mine.

• There is opposition to the formation of a Waterworks Trust: A number of the ratepayers of the shire of Strathfieldsaye are determined, if possible, not to allow the council to proceed with the formation of the proposed water trust. After the meeting of the Shire Council at the Town Hall Hotel on Saturday afternoon, several of the ratepayers met, and the following resolution was carried: "That, as the Shire Council had ignored a petition against the formation of the water trust, signed by a majority of the ratepayers of the shire, public meetings be held in the different ridings of the shire to request the council to resign as a body, and to submit the water trust to the verdict of the ratepayers." It was then decided to forward a letter to the hon. Minister of Water Supply, drawing his attention to a promise given to a deputation, consisting of Messrs. Burne and Samuels, who had waited on him, on behalf of the ratepayers of Strathfieldsaye, to the effect that he would not proceed with the request of the council to advance the money for the formation of the water trust unless a vote of the ratepayers had been taken approving of the same; also to inform the Minister that the council had ignored the petition of the rate payers to have a vote taken, and that further steps were now being taken to ascertain the feeling of the ratepayers. Meetings to request the council to resign were then fixed as follows: Drake's Hotel, Axedale, for the Axedale Riding, July 3rd, at 3 p.m.; Martin's Waterloo Hotel, Strathfieldsaye, for the Strathfieldsaye Riding, July 4:h, at 6 p.m.; and at Samuels' Hotel, Diamond Hill, for the Mandurang Riding, on July 7th, at 7 p.m. The meeting then adjourned.

• After the meeting held by the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, on Saturday, at the Town Hall Hotel had terminated, several of the councilors wanted to know "about that O'Keefe action." The secretary informed the meeting that the action had resulted in favour of Mr. O'Keefe, but provision had been made for an appeal should the council determine to go further in the matter. The majority of the councilors present (a full council with the exception of Cr. O'Keefe) appeared to be inclined to appeal against the verdict. However, nothing definite could be done at the meeting, and it was agreed that Mr. Rymer, the council's solicitor, should be consulted, and that a special meeting of the council be called to consider the desirability or otherwise of appealing. Two or three of the councilors gave very strong expression to their feelings on the subject, and others in a jocular strain stated that they would themselves bring similar actions against the council.

• Mr. J. Rymer, Strathfieldsaye Shire Solicitor, states that he has received a County Court summons, Andrew O'Keefe v. The Shire, claiming £19 damages and £1/13/3 costs, for injuries sustained on a road in the shire. The Solicitor asks for certain information concerning the matter. On the motion of Mr. Craike, it is decided to defend the case, the President and Secretary to confer with Mr. Rymer on the case. [O'Keefe is still a Councillor at this date, and takes his seat after these proceedings.]

• A meeting of the Axedale Ploughing Match committee was held on Saturday at the Sandhurst Hotel, Mr. J. D. Bywater in the chair. It was decided that the question of special prizes and the appointment of judges be left to a meeting to be held at Axedale today. Mr. Craike was requested to attend at the meeting on behalf of the Bendigo Agricultural Society. It was decided that two sets of judges be appointed. The match this year will take place in Mr. McNamara's paddock, half a mile from the Perseverance Hotel, and nearly opposite the paddock where the ploughing came off last year. £50 is offered in prizes, and the committee are sanguine that the number of entries in each of the six classes will exceed any previous year.

• Messrs. David Mill, Thomas Strachan, Thomas Craike, William Sylvester Cahill, and John David Bywater have been appointed Trustees of the land temporarily reserved on 3rd October, 1864, as a site for a cemetery at Axedale, in the room of S. Burke, R. O'Brien, and T. O'Rourke resigned.

• Councillor O'Keefe and the Strathfieldsaye Shire: "After the meeting held by the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, on Saturday, at the Town Hall Hotel, had terminated, several of the councilors wanted to know 'about that O'Keefe action.' The secretary informed the meeting that the action had resulted in favour of Mr. O'Keefe, but provision had been made for an appeal should the council determine to go further in the matter. The majority of the councilors present (a full council with the exception of Cr. O'Keefe) appeared to be inclined to appeal against the verdict. However, nothing definite could be done at the meeting, and it was agreed that Mr. Rymer, the Council's Solicitor, should be consulted, and that a special meeting of the council be called to consider the desirability or otherwise of appealing. Two or three of the councilors gave very strong expression to their feelings on the subject, and others, in a jocular strain, stated that they would themselves bring similar actions against the council."

The Axedale Ploughing Match came off on Wednesday, the 19th, in a large paddock, the property of Mr. John McNamara, the landlord of the Perseverance Hotel. The ground was rather wet, which made it unpleasant both for ploughmen and lookers-on. Notwithstanding this drawback the work done was very good, and the contests close. One special and novel feature (aided by some of the young ladies) to the programme was a first and second prize to the best looking ploughmen on the ground. The fair judges were the Misses E. Craike, A. Patton and A. I. McNamara, and after careful study and criticism they awarded the first prize (a handsome silk scarf with a neat gold pin), to Mr. W. Brown, of Woodstock, and second prize (a beautiful set of silver solitaires), Mr. J. Martin, of Axedale, the winner of first prize in Class A. The usual games of chance were there, but the proprietors did not appear to drive a very flourishing trade. The luncheon was supplied by Mr. Drake, who also had the booth on the ground, and the arrangements were carried out by that gentleman in his usual courteous style. Mr. W. S. Cahill acted as Treasurer, and Mr. S. Burke as Secretary. Too much credit cannot be given to Mr. Burke for the energy and attention displayed by him, as the success attending the turn-out must be in great part attributed to him.

July, 1882

• Councillor O'Keefe's action for damages: "A large number of the ratepayers in the Shire of Strathfieldsaye are anxiously awaiting the result of the appeal in the case of O'Keefe v. Strathfieldsaye Shire when the plaintiff was awarded £19 damages for injuries sustained through an accident on the Kimbolton road.

The matter was privately discussed previous to the meeting at Drake's Hotel, yesterday, the majority of the gossipers being of opinion that Cr. O'Keefe's action would be the precursor of numerous others. Some of the ratepayers averred that they had met with accidents on the roads of the Shire, but did not think it worthwhile proceeding against the council, but since a councilor had shown the way to recover damages they would in future make the council pay up. One ratepayer jocularly remarked that 'it would not be a bad idea to buy an old rattle-trap of a vehicle, run against one of the many stumps on the roads, and sue the council for damages.

• A public meeting of ratepayers in the Axedale Riding of the Strathfieldsaye Shire is held at Drake's Hotel, Axedale, to oppose the formation of the proposed water trust by the Shire council. "About sixty persons were present; Mr T. Strachan occupying the chair.

The Chairman stated that the meeting had been called for the purpose of opposing the formation of a water trust. The main objection in connection with it was the enormous expense which would be incurred.

Mr. O'Brien moved the first resolution as follows: 'That a petition be forwarded to the Hon. the Minister of Water Supply setting forth the inability of this shire to pay the annual interest on a loan of £20,000, besides heavy current expenses necessary to carry out the water trust as initiated by the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council without a heavy annual extra rate, which would be felt most severely by the largest number of ratepayers in the Shire; that, therefore, the Minister of Water Supply be respectfully requested to set apart a portion of the fund granted by Parliament for water supply purposes to construct the head works necessary for a supply of water throughout the Shire, under the conditions that the expenditure for constructing races, maintenance, supervision, etc., shall be borne by those ratepayers who will be directly benefited by the scheme. Mr Gordon seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. J. Burke said that no doubt the second resolution was rather severe, but the course the council pursued was not fair. Councilors had suppressed letters, and made false statements in defence of the formation of a trust. It was not right on the part of a body of men who were put into the council to represent the ratepayers. The councilors had no ground whatever to make the assertion that owners of 800 acres of land had agreed to pay £1 per acre per annum for water. There were not near that number of acres under vines and fruit trees. He then moved the second resolution, viz., 'That the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council having totally ignored the request of a large number of ratepayers as represented to them by a numerously signed petition to have a poll of the ratepayers taken on the adaptability of the proposed water trust to the requirements of the shire, they are evidently afraid of a public ventilation of their scheme. This meeting, therefore, are strongly of opinion that the council are only representing a small section of the ratepayers, and that as a body they have forfeited the confidence of their constituents, and that they therefore be formally requested to resign in a body their position as members of the shire council, and accept their re-election or rejection as a test of the confirmation or otherwise of their actions in connection with the proposed water trust scheme. Mr J. Burke seconded the resolution, and it was also carried unanimously.

Mr. Stephen Burke moved the following resolution: 'That steps be taken to form a vigilance committee, whose duty shall consist in closely watching the actions of the shire council, and conducting all correspondence between the ratepayers and the Government or the shire council; to call meetings, defray expenses, and be prepared at all times to meet any emergency that may arise; the said committee to consist of nine members, three from each riding, and to meet every Saturday at the Town Hall Hotel, Sandhurst, three to form a quorum.' Mr Donnellan seconded the motion, which was carried.

Messrs. J. Burke, R. O'Brien, and J. Doak were elected members of the vigilance committee for the Axedale riding. A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the meeting. A petition was afterwards signed by a large number of those present.

Similar meetings, with a similar outcomes, are held in Strathfieldsaye and Mandurang.

• The road leading from Sandhurst to Axedale "is at present in a very bad state, consequent on the numerous improvements now being carried out. However, in the course of a few months the road will be one of the best outside the city. Contractors are now at work constructing four centre culverts with raised approaches. Metal is also being spread in different parts and other portions are being cut down. The work will not be completed for a couple of weeks, so that travelers should be cautious."

• A poll is to be taken at the next election of Councilors to determine; 1st: That the number of publican's licences be not increased, and 2nd: That the number of publican's licences be increased by a given number.

August, 1882

• The Opening of the Machinery of the Acott Quartz Mining Company, Axedale, is advertised to take place on Wednesday, August 2, at 1 pm. Another advertisement refers to the event as the 'Opening ceremony of the Acott Company's works, Axedale.' The occasion is reported:

"Yesterday, a number of shareholders in the Acott Quartz Mining Company, which is situated near Axedale, left Sandhurst to be present at the starting of the machinery which has just been erected on the claim. The Acott Company has been working off and on for a number of years, and about twelve years since, returns from 2½ and 8dwts. per ton were obtained. Soon after this, owing to the difficulty in working the mine through water, operations were suspended, although at different periods endeavours were made to find the same profitable run of stone above the water level. Lately, however, a number of Sandhurst investors were induced to reorganise the company, and to successfully combat the water it was decided to erect an engine. A contract was let to Mr. J. Marwick for the supply of a portable engine, and single winding gear. The whole was erected under the supervision of Mr. Angus Kennedy, and, being just completed, the shareholders, as above mentioned, yesterday, assembled at the claim to celebrate the starting of the machinery.

On the ground, the visitors were met by a number of the residents of the locality, including some ladies. Mrs. Craike was entrusted with the duty of christening, and, when the machinery was set in motion, that lady broke a bottle of "gold-top" on the revolving fly-wheel, and amidst applause named the engine "The Mary." Mr. Craike then, in a neat speech, referred to the past working of the mine. He then proposed a vote of thanks to the engineer, to which Mr. Kennedy suitably replied. The same compliment was then paid to the contractor, and duly acknowledged. Mr. Craike next proposed the health of Mr. Acott, coupled with the name of Mrs. Acott, and mentioned that Mr. Acott had stuck well to the claim he having for the past sixteen years maintained his faith in the ultimate prosperity of the mine.

Mr. Acott, in replying, remarked that he fully believed that the mine would turn out well now that they had machinery. The toasts of the Ladies and the Press were also proposed, and the proceedings were brought to a termination. The company, which is under the mining managership of Mr. C. Rivierie, has only one shaft on the ground, which is at present about 150 feet deep."

• John McNamara Jun., unsuccessful in obtaining a position on the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, thanks those residents of the Axedale Riding who voted for him, via a newspaper notice.

• The Acott Mine reports: "During the past fortnight have been engaged making repairs to dam and cutting races to conduct the water, and started to bale from shaft, which we have drained 10ft.; expect to have all the water out in course of a few days. Machinery in good working order."

• Mr. Woods, in Parliament, declares: "There is not enough traffic between Axedale and Sandhurst to justify wheelbarrow traffic."

• The Bendigo Advertiser reports:

The New Public Buildings. The stoppage in the work of constructing the foundations for the new public buildings, caused by the inability of the contractors to get a sufficient supply of suitable stone, was only very temporary, and now the work is proceeding with fair rapidity. Owing to the large quantity of stone required, the resources of the Harcourt and Malmsbury quarries were taxed to the extreme, but since then the stone has been opened out on, and a large supply is now daily coming to hand. The contractor is also obtaining stone from the quarries of Mr. Ingham, at Axedale, and it is being carted in by teams.

It will be remembered that these quarries were prominently mentioned when the Heathcote railway was first proposed, and it will be pleasing to those who endeavoured to make known the value of the quarries at Axedale to learn that the contractor for the buildings speaks in high terms of the stone, and states that for certain portions of the work it is much preferable to that from either Malmsbury or Harcourt. It is more easily dressed, and, although being softer, is just as durable. There are now several masons trimming the stone, and the contractor expects when he has had the supply of stone increased that he will employ twenty five more. The excavations for the foundation are being rapidly proceeded with, all the available labour being put on. The gas engine which is erected on the ground to drive a Chilian mill is now ready for use. Yesterday afternoon tho gates of the enclosure were opened, and a large number of citizens inspected the works.

• Mr. John Patterson, in a Letter to the Editor, writes: "Sir - In reference to Mr. O'Keefe's letter of 23rd inst., I wish he would keep to the truth when stating what took place at the last council meeting. I certainly should not have troubled you if he had not brought my name so prominently before the public. In reference to election expenses, re Mandurang division, a true copy of my expenses is as follows:—Deputy Returning Officer, £2/2/0; Returning Officer, £2/20; two Poll Clerks, £1/1/0 each; lunch at two booths with cleaning of schools, £2/0/0.

Now for the Axedale division (Mr. O'Keefe Returning Officer): Two Deputy Returning Officers, £2/2/0 each; two Poll Clerks, £11/0 each; refreshments at Axedale, per Mr. Code, £2/10/0; at Grassy Flat, Mr. Harrison, £3/15/0.

Now, I would ask any ratepayer, if it would not have been more economical for Mr. O'Keefe to have acted at one of the booths himself, and saved expense, so that it would have been a good example to the other spendthrifts the council are composed of, according to O'Keefe's letter. I do not know what the ratepayers would do without a philanthropist like him, who cost them about £40 for damage to his buggy, and two other cases to come before the judges shortly, because he gained his so easy. When Mr. O'Keefe used so much influence with the ratepayers to get two councilors returned to assist him in getting things done straightforwardly, I am astonished that they did not second more than one of his numerous motions brought forward at the last meeting. One of them may second them, but I am much mistaken if the other has not got a mind of his own on municipal matters.

Regarding the Health Officer, he says that the council have to pay his buggy hire. This is the first I have ever heard of it, his salary is increased from £5 to £10 per annum. Mr. O'Keefe would increase the secretary's salary £50, yet he would not give him £3 for clerical work in compiling the voters' rolls. So far as metal is concerned, he can have that at any price he likes to give, as it is generally stated whether it will be quartz, grey stone, or blue metal, if he wants that for the McIvor road.

What the ratepayers would do without Mr. O'Keefe, I am at a loss to know, and further, how have they managed so long is a great mystery to more than me. I am, etc., John Patterson. [Councillor.]

• Mr. John Burne writes a letter on the same subject:

"As it seems the order of tho day for councilors of the above shire to air their formal differences in the columns of tho Bendigo Advertiser, I presume with your permission, sir, it will not be out of place, green as I am from the ballot box, and much as I deplore the course pursued, for me to stand side by side with my brother councilors. There is no doubt but that the injudicious character of the paragraph supplied by your reporter, has been the cause of all the difficulty, when he said 'It might be stated, that whilst in committee Cr. O'Keefe delayed the business for a length of time by wrangling over the election expenses, he was touching a point that he knew nothing about; the wrangling, as he calls it, was a saving to the ratepayers, and therefore deserved praise, and not censure. If he had told your readers that Cr. O'Keefe's remarks, energetic and pertinent as they were, did not occupy more than twenty minutes, out of the five hours frittered away over the little business the council had to perform, he would have placed the affair in its proper light. Cr. Patterson, after expressing a wish that Cr. O'Keefe would keep to the truth when stating what took place at the last council meeting, should have kept faith with your readers, and not tried to lead them astray by drawing a false comparison between his own election expenses and those of Cr. O'Keefe, the amount of his own expenses after they had been cut down by Cr. O'Keefe and myself side with those of Cr. O'Keefe's before that gentleman had reduced them, according to his own motions. He, (Cr. O'Keefe), certainly was not responsible for the heavy charges made for refreshments, etc., and with his own pen reduced them at once by £2. He did not claim £2/1/0 for his own expenses as Returning Officer, but appointed a Poll Clerk in his place at £1/1/0, which must certainly be a saving. These and many other expenses will have to be cut down in the future.

Election expenses and petty cash consume nearly one tenth of the entire income from rates, while according to the last month's accounts, day labour and the two items above named take seven tenths of the shire rates. That the affairs of the Shire are in a deplorable state may be judged from the retiring President's statements, when he said that £1,828/1/6 had been spent on the roads during his year of office, which expenditure had been met by £250 from the Government, and an overdraft run up to £1,626/13/11. In the face of this, one councilor proposes that all public works should be stopped, and then that the Health Officer's salary should be doubled. It is quite time my brother councilors laid aside their sarcastic allusions and irritating interjections against Cr. O'Keefe for the action he took to recover damages from the council. No doubt that gentleman regrets as much as I do the first step taken, but as his claim was upheld by a jury, and again by argument before a judge in Chambers, the council should with grace accept the position. The council are to blame for spending £40 of the ratepayers' money over a question which any sensible man in possession of the facts and with an eye to his own purse, would have settled without law at all.

The tender in dispute from Mr. John McNamara should never have been accepted. There was no competition. The whole affair was surrounded by suspicion; against which the committee should have guarded themselves by calling for fresh tenders. The delay would have been trifling, but yet sufficient to relieve them from the charge of favouritism. Yours truly, John Burne.

• Andrew O'Keefe provides a lengthy response:

"Sir - In reply to a letter from Mr. John Patterson, in your issue of Friday, 25th, in which he commences by wishing I would keep to the truth, when stating what took place at last council meeting, I beg to inform you and him that I have done so in every particular; whilst his statements are bristling with falsehoods. He purports to send you a true copy of his expenses re Mandurang Division, in fact states so as follows: Deputy Returning Officer, £2/2/0; Returning Officer, £2/2/0; two Poll Clerks, £1/1/0 each; being a total of £6/6/0 for clerical expenses. Axedale Division: Mr. O'Keefe, Returning Officer, and two Deputy Returning Officers, £2/2/0 each; two Poll Clerks, £1/1/0 each; total, £8/8/0 for clerical expenses; refreshments at Axedale, per Mr. Code, £2/10/0; at Grassy Flat, Mr. Harrison, £3/15/0. To all of the above items, I give a most unqualified denial, and prove them false by an authentic copy of actual expenses passed at last meeting, which I received from the Secretary on Saturday evening last: Mandurang Division: J. Patterson, Returning Officer, £2/2/0; J. W. H. Veitch, Deputy Returning Officer, £2/2/0; E. J. Hawkins, Deputy Returning Officer, £2/2/0; F. Chalmers, Scrutineer, water loan, £1/1/0; J. Coppock, Scrutineer, water loan, £1/1/0; J. Cooper, Poll Clerk, £1/1/0; J. Thompson, Poll Clerk, £1/1/0; total, £10/10. Being £10 10s. instead of £6/6/0 as shown by Mr. Patterson's letter. Axedale Division: J. White, Deputy Returning Officer, £2/2/0; S. Burke, Scrutineer, water loan, £1/1/0; Ben. Code, Scrutineer, water loan, £1/1/0; T. Donnelan, Poll Clerk, £1/1/0; total £5/5/0. Being £5/5/0 instead of £8/8/0 as shown by Mr. Patterson's letter.

September, 1882

• In Parliament, Mr. Bent expresses the opinion that "a railway from Heathcote to Sandhurst would be an abortion of a line, and that it would never pay." His opinion is met with a strongly worded rebuke in the Bendigo Advertiser, part of which is shown in this brief extract:

"It is not easy to persuade Bent that he may be wrong. He is of opinion that a rail way from Heathcote to Sandhurst would be an abortion of a line, and that it would never pay. He went over the route one day recently, and what he saw confirmed him in that opinion. As it unfortunately happens, the road which passes through some of the worst parts of Strathfieldsaye, Axedale, and McIvor, is in many places in very bad condition. Traveling along it therefore is not calculated to convince a man against his will that there can be any good country or valuable resources in its vicinity. A rough drive is apt to spoil the temper, however amiable may be the mood in which one may start. Thus Mr. Bent was mistaken, doubtless, in his estimate of the district he hurriedly journeyed through. Indeed, these flying trips of inspection are often very deceiving, even in agreeable circumstances. To try to persuade the Minister of Railways that his own eyes and other senses are not thoroughly reliable would be to attempt a very difficult task, and in his present frame of mind it would be useless. If he continues, therefore, to condemn all but a patch or two along the thirty miles between Sandhurst and Heathcote his conclusion must be borne with because it cannot be helped."

• A report from the Acott mine states that 'During the last fortnight, the water has been bailed out of shaft 34 ft. About 30 ft. of water remains in the shaft. Started to cut down the shaft from water level, on account ground being so bad above the old workings.' The dam bank is also repaired.

• Charles Riviere applies for a lease at Golddust Reef, Axedale. It is recommended.

October, 1882

• The Heathcote to Sandhurst line is rejected in Parliament. The rejection presses sorely on the public mind of Sandhurst. Never before was the district so despitefully used by Parliament. The people of Sandhurst have great offence by desiring that it [the proposed line] should leave the North-Eastern line at Seymour instead of Wandong. But that also is a railway which will have to be made at some time or other. A line from Sandhurst to Heathcote is a more urgent requirement. As matters stand, the railway from Wandong is to terminate at Heathcote; and we think the Council would find it in their power to amend the bill by restoring the subsection by which it was provided that it should terminate at Sandhurst.

• A motion in Parliament by Mr. R. Clark - "A railway commencing at the city of Sandhurst, and terminating at or near the township of Axedale, in the direction and upon the lands described in the schedule hereto, to be called the Sandhurst and Axedale Railway."

• Mr. Cahill of Axedale, writes to offer a few remarks in contradiction of a statement made by the Minister of Railways in the debate on the Railways Construction Bill. He says that Mr. Bent never left the road during his tour through the district, and would have missed what the district had to offer in support of a rail line through it. Mr. Burrowes says there was no more deserving line in the Bill than this, and that the Axedale district had supplied half the population of Sandhurst with vegetables and other produce for 25 years. He added that the Minister for Railways had been led by his officers to believe that this would be a very expensive line. In justice to the district, this small line ought to be sanctioned. Dr. Quick contended that the Minister had never supported the line as he ought to have done. Mr. Bent expressed a wish that the amendment be withdrawn, it had been distinctly understood that no new lines should be added to the bill and the Premier had promised that certain short lines should be provided for on next year's Estimates. The amendment was then negatived without a division.

• The Heathcote Licensing Court grants Mr. Napthali Ingham's application for a licence.

• A gentleman [unidentified] is driving along the road between Axedale and Adelaide Vale and observes a log fence surrounding a paddock on the property of P. Donnellan to be on fire. Looking around, he sees a horseman rapidly riding away. The gentleman, with assistance from a neighbouring farmhouse, extinguishes the fire, but not before it consumes a portion of the fence. It is considered most improbable that the fire could have been caused accidentally, and certain circumstances point to the work of an incendiary. The owner of the property is at present away from the district, and a long-standing ill-feeling has existed between him and the suspected person.

• Mr. James G. Weddell, Manager Albion Chambers, Sandhurst, places an advertisement for the Acott Quartz Mining Company: "Wanted and Engine-driver accustomed to smith work."

• The Acott Mine report is that the shaft is now down to 175ft. 6in. and timbered to 151ft. Water is heavy.

• The rail line is debated in parliament: There are many comments from Mr. Shiels about the conduct of the Minister for Railways and focus had to be drawn back to the third reading of the bill. Mr. Clark moved his motion regarding a rail line from Sandhurst to Axedale. Mr. Burrowes said there was no more deserving line in the Bill than this, and that the Axedale district had supplied half the population of Sandhurst with vegetables and other produce for 25 years. He added that the Minister for Railways had been led by his officers to believe that this would be a very expensive line. In justice to the district, this small line ought to be sanctioned. Dr. Quick contended that the Minister had never supported the line as he ought to have done. Mr. Bent expressed a wish that the amendment be withdrawn, it had been distinctly understood that no new lines should be added to the bill and the Premier had promised that certain short lines should be provided for on next year's Estimates.

November, 1882

• The Acott Mine report: "During the past fortnight, the shaft has been centred 50ft, and ladders fixed to the No. 3 level, also been engaged cleaning out old workings. Have removed mullock to a depth of 14 feet by 15 feet in length, started to break stone from south end, not reached north face yet, there still being a quantity of mullock to be removed." A following report states "During the last fortnight have been engaged breaking stone from the north end which shows gold. The reef makes larger going down. Machinery in good working order."

• The Raglan Hotel is advertised 'To Let' - apply James Doak or on the premises.

December, 1882

• Mounted Constable Feeley, Axedale, reports to the Coroner, the death of Peter O'Dea, 50 years of age, employed by Mr. James White of the Sugarloaf. He is found dead in his hut on Mr. White's farm. The body is removed to Drake's Hotel. O'Dea had been treated for a bad leg but the verdict was that no evidence of poisoning was found and he had died from intestinal colic.

• Mr. Michael Tierney, of Axedale, posts notice that he intends to apply for a certificate authorising the issue of a Publican's Licence for a house situate at junction of Heathcote and Wild Duck Roads, Knowsley, containing six rooms exclusive of those required for use of the family.

• The licence for the Raglan Hotel, Axedale, is transferred from Michael Tierney to E. Edmunds. The application of James Doak is withdrawn.

• Napthali Ingham's application for licence is approved.

• The Acott Mine shaft is cut down further, 17 tons crushed, machinery in good order.

• Adjourned from November 24 last, for the attendance of Mrs. Jamieson, a charge of assaulting D.S. Jamieson at Knowsley with intent to rob, is continued.

"Edward Thompson (recalled), said: I remember taking a gun out of the bar of the hotel. The gun belonged to me. Put it outside at the end of the verandah. Did not put it in a paddock over a fence. Put it there because I thought there might he a row. Did not hear anyone speak about a gun. Did not think anyone in particular would use it. Did not hear anyone threaten to shoot somebody. Was quite sober. Saw Clune searching and asking for caps. He asked me where the gun caps were. Told him I did not know. Had the caps in my pocket. Thought Clune might have done something if I gave him the caps. Mr. Jamieson had been knocked down at that tine. He had been washed at the time and was about somewhere. Did not know but what I might have got into a row myself. Did not hear anyone say he would prevent anyone going away. It would not be true if anyone said I put the guns over a fence. Laid the gun on the ground by the outside, the road side, of the fence. Did not hide the gun. 'Put it there so that it would be out of the way.

To Mr Hornbuckle: The fence is fastened to the verandah. Mr. Jamieson seemed right enough at the time. McLellan, Clune, and myself had been to the Heathcote show. Had been drinking soft stuff myself.

To Mr Smith: We went home together from the show the 16th, remaining the night of the show at Heathcote.

To the Bench: The gun was loaded but had no cap on. Don't know if Clune knew there was no cap on the gun.

Hugh McLellan (recalled): Saw Thompson take the gun out of the bar, but don't know where be put it. Thompson and myself were talking about the gun. Cannot say if Clune asked about a gun . Don't remember. Did not see the gun after Mr. Jamieson went away. Was at the show with Thompson and Clune, and returned to the Hotel on the 16th.

>Elizabeth Jamieson, sworn: Am the wife of D. S. Jamiesen, manager Commercial Bank at Heathcote. Went to Sandhurst in company with my husband on the 15th. Left Sandhurst for Heathcote on the 16th about half-past three, with silver and notes, the property of the bank. Had no refreshment before leaving. Don't know if my husband had. First called at Qually's [sic.] hotel after leaving, about five miles out of Sandhurst. The horse had a sore back, and my husband stopped and put a piece of canvass on it. Had some lemonade myself. Don't know if my husband had anything. Next stopped at Drake's Hotel, Axedale. Had a drink of milk. Don't know if my husband had anything. Stayed there three or four minutes. Next stayed at Mrs. Kelly's Knowsley Hotel. Stayed at no other place but those mentioned on the way. Remember a pistol being fired. Had asked my husband the day before when near the Sportsman's Arms, to shoot a bird. Asked him on 16th to shoot at a tree. Said, "Supposing it was a bushranger, could you hit it?" He fired at the tree. My husband was quite sober. Think he put the pistol in the bottom of the buggy. He always kept it loaded.

It was dark when we got to Kelly's, between 7 and 8 o'clock, and we had no lamps. We were longer on the road through the horse failing. We thought it would be wiser to stay all the night at Kelly's, as it was very dark and we thought the horse would not carry us through. Think I proposed to stay. Had heard a widow woman kept the house. Never stayed there before. Mr. Jamieson turned the buggy round to let me out. He remained in the buggy, and I got out to go to the hotel to make enquiries. Was afraid to stay in the buggy by myself in the dark, having the bank property. Went to the hotel, to the side door. Saw Mrs. Kelly, Did not know her at the time. Saw no man at that time. I asked her if she could accommodate us that night. She said no, that she had three men from the show and there was no room. Two men came of the bar to the door at which I was speaking to Mrs Kelly. Clune was one of them, and I believe Thompson was the other. Clune said, addressing me, "Who are you?" He did not give me time to answer, but said, "Are you farmers and are you from Heathcote?" Said "Yes, we are from Heathcote and my husband is down the road." Clune said, "We will go down for him." They went away. Think three went, but I am not sure. Can't say if Clune went all the way down, but he went in the direction.

l waited at the door for my husband. My husband came up with the buggy. He was sitting in it. Think three were with him. Someone was leading the horse. It was very dark. Got into the buggy beside my husband. Think there were five men there altogether. Got into the buggy at once. Was not pleased with the reception. Told my husband I was not going to stay there that night. He said, "Very well, we will drive on." Clune said."You shall stay here." Said I wouldn't, that Mrs. Kelly said there was no room. Clune came round to the left hand side of the buggy and caught hold of my arm and tried to pull me out of the buggy, and said, "You shall stay here." He caught me roughly. My arm was marked. Clune said, "You shall stay, I am boss here." Held on to me from bar in front. He did to not succeed in pulling me out. He then went to the horse's head. My husband jumped out, went towards the prisoner, and asked him what he meant. Clune said he wanted us to stay all night. He asked for £1 for the horse. Think McLellan took the horse out. Believe Clune ordered McLellan to take it away. Told prisoner my husband had no £1 to give him. Clune said "Well, take that", and knocked him down. My husband got up again. I jumped out of the buggy and got between them before he knocked him down a second time. Begged to Clune not to hit him again. Clune then knocked me down. He struck me in the face with his open hand. Showed a black mark on my face to Dr. Scobell the next day. The mark was the effect of the blow I received from prisoner. Got up and got into the buggy. My husband was knocked down a second time when I got into the buggy. Clune kicked my husband when he was on the ground. He kicked him on the back. There was only one kick. My husband appeared to be insensible. Was not very frightened at the time. Was thinking about the bank's money. Did not think my husband was so much injured as he was. My object in getting back in the buggy, was to try and protect the property of the bank. My husband was lying near the wheel of a cart.

Clune went inside when I got into the buggy. Believe one man went with him into the bar. Two men were left outside. McLellan spoke to me. Got down out of the buggy and went to my husband. Got his purse and took three shillings out of it and put the purse back. There were 10 or 11 shillings left in it. Gave the three shillings to one of the men to get drinks, thinking it would make them friendly disposed, and be the means of getting their assistance. Got nothing to drink myself, nor did my husband. He was lying on the ground. In consequence of what one of the men told me, I took my husband's watch. First asked one of them to take it, but he would not. Then took it myself. My husband then appeared to be insensible. Got into the buggy. Clune came back with another man. Begged of him to give us the horse to let us go home. He said he would for £1. McLellan said, "For God's sake, have you got any money, you had better give it to him or you will never get home tonight." Had no money of my own, and thought I would be justified in taking some of the bank's silver. Took 12s of the money and hid the bag under my dress. Don't think any one saw me take it. Gave the money to McLellan, and asked him to give it to Clune. Heard him offer the money to Clune. Clune said would take nothing less than £1. McLellan then returned me the money saying I had better offer it to him, that he thought he would take it better from me. Offered it to Clune, saying it was all I had. He said he would shoot me if he found I was telling a lie. Tried to persuade him to take it. After a little trouble he took it. Offered to write a cheque for the balance of the £1. He would not accept the cheque. He said he would take the 12s if I sent the balance in the morning by McLellan. Promised to do that, and he took it and went to the bar. Was afraid he was not going to give us the horse, and I followed him to the door. My husband was picked up by Clune and another man. Before I gave the 12s, Clune came to the buggy and asked me stay all night. He asked me to come into the house. Said I would not go. He said if I did not, he would shoot me. He went away, and McLellan said he had gone for a gun. Remained in the buggy. Refused to go into the house or stay all night. Was a little frightened then. Cried when Clune knocked husband down. Told Clune I thought he had killed my husband when he was lying insensible, after I had looked at him on the ground. Clune said if I went to the stable he would give me the horse. Thought I had better go, and l asked McLellan and Thompson to go with me. Went with the two men. Clune was in front. no dread of any of the men but Clune. They did all they could to protect me. Clune turned round after going part of the way, and said he could not give me the horse unless I went alone. Refused to go alone, and turned to go back. Went back to the buggy. Was by the buggy when my husband was lifted off the ground and taken to the bar door. Clune and another man lifted him from the ground, and Clune took, him alone to the bar door. Mrs. Kelly said, "Look after your husband." She spoke in a frightened tone. I then became alarmed, and went round to where they were, towards the bar door. Mrs. Kelly and the men remained behind a corner. Clune was propping up my husband against the side of the door. Clune seemed to have his arm through my husband's. My husband seemed to he getting sensible. Nobody else was there. Saw Clune with my husband's purse in his band. He was emptying the contents of the purse into his other hand. Heard the noise of the falling money. The purse produced is the same. Saw a paper fall out of the purse into Clune's hand. When Clune saw me he hastily put back the purse into my husband's pocket. Don't know what Clune did with the money. My husband took the purse out again and gave it to me. There was no money in it then. Said to Clune someone has robbed him. Clune said, "Who did ?", putting his fist in my face in a threatening manner. Was frightened. Said some one had. Did not say it was prisoner as I was frightened. I did not get the paper back. Went round to where the men were at the other door. There was no other threat. Told the men my husband was robbed. Think there were five men there. Clune took my husband into the bar parlor. Two men went with him. Believe Thompson, and McLellan stayed at the door. My husband came out and seemed much better. His face had been washed. Went to the buggy and got in, and my husband was assisted in by McLellan, I think. The horse was brought out and put in the trap. My husband was not quite sensible. McLellan offered to drive us in. Offered him £1. It was suggested by someone that I should escape into the bush, but I would not. Prisoner said he would go to McIvor with us. The three of us were in the buggy, then McLellan sat in the middle. Clune jumped into the back of the buggy as we were starting. He had no coat on. He came as far as the Sportsman's Arms, and wanted us to stay all night. Clune got out and went to the hotel. Suggested we should drive on quickly and leave him behind. McLellan tried to do so, but prisoner overtook us. He then undid some of the harness and led the horse into the Sportsman's Arms. He tried to get admission to the hotel, but could not. Clune had unfastened some of the harness, and McLellan asked if he wanted to kill us. Prisoner fastened the harness again. McLellan drove out of the yard. We persuaded prisoner to stay at the Sportsman's Arms. He stayed on my giving him a rug. Had been trying to persuade him to stay. Never got out of the buggy between Kelly's and the Sportsman's Arms, nor between the Sportsman's Arms and Heathcote. Never sat beside prisoner. Clune sat in the back of the buggy the whole time. Got down in the front of the buggy between my husband and McLellan, because prisoner was annoying me. We reached home about half past two in the morning. It was a poor horse. The Court here adjourned for three-quarters of an hour.

On resuming, Mrs. Jamieson was cross-examined as follows: Was not present when my husband was examined. Saw no brandy or whisky in the buggy. There was a flask in the buggy when we left Quealey's [sic.], containing whisky and water. The horse was not taken out at Drake's. Did not stop at Ingham's. Did not see my husband throw the revolver away. It was missed at Kelly's. I looked for it at Kelly's and could not find it. My husband was perfectly sober. Did not say my husband had won £100 at the races. Some one said we might have been at the races, and we did not contradict it. Did not say my husband had fired a revolver at me or over me, and that I was frightened to go any further. Was not afraid of my husband. Might have said I was afraid of the dark. Mrs Kelly did not say she would try to accommodate us, but that she had three men in the house who had been to the show. Did not say I would be thankful if some of the men would bring my husband back. The buggy was not far from the house. My husband was cooeying for me. The men offered to bring my husband back and I thanked them. It was not at my request. Did not hear anyone say it was dangerous to go. Said nothing about the revolver at all. Have heard it was found. Mr. Jamieson did not order the horse to be taken out of the buggy. It was not taken out of the buggy at my husband's request. We had no quarrel on the road to Kelly's. Told my husband it would have been better if he had a big wife, as I felt so little, and unable to protect him. This was after he was knocked down, and I felt I could not protect him. My husband did not go into the bar before the row, did not see my husband and Thompson drinking at the bar together. Had no refreshment at Kelly's, did not ask for whisky or beer. Clune offered me half a glass of beer which I was afraid to refuse, did not see my husband in the bar at all, did not hear Mrs. Kelly or anyone else ask my husband for payment for drinks; gave one of the men money for drinks; got the money from my husband; never heard Clune ask my husband for payment for drinks; we did not owe him anything; there were some words about the horse; my husband wanted it put in. Clune would not give it up without £1; Clune did not say what the £1 was for; did not hear my husband say he could fight; think Clune was sober; he walked steadily; cautioned them my husband had two revolvers, and they had better be careful; this was after the row; did not tell my husband not to fight, as he would get hurt and lose his billet; said nothing of the kind; pushed Clune aside when he was going to strike my husband; did not see anyone else push him; saw a cart where the row was; McLennan's sister was in it; my husband was near the cart when he was struck; cannot say how long my husband was on the ground, but I believe nearly an hour; after the blow did not hear Clune say my husband had no revolvers; Clune did not go to my husband alone when he was under the cart; did not see any searching or feeling of pockets, when my husband was on the ground; the robbery could not have taken place when my husband was under the cart; Thompson did not take the watch from my husband and hand it to me; all the men except prisoner were friendly to me and followed me about, but did not assist; my husband did not at any time go into the bar and shout; the only time he went into the house was when he was taken in to be washed; It is quite untrue if any one said he had two or three drinks, and that I had one, or two; don't know if my husband had any drink after he-was washed; don't remember at what time Clune gave me the half glass of beer, but I think just before we left for home: McLennan's sister said don't entice him away; I am sure they did not know who we were; they seemed to think we had been to the races; directly my husband was lifted off the ground he was taken to the bar door; Mrs. Kelly was with me nearly the whole time; my husband was propped up at the principal bar entrance; both bar doors were open; the men were outside one bar door; Clune took my husband to the other bar door and robbed him; called out my husband was robbed; appealed to Mrs. Kelly two or three times, and she said she could not help it; none of the men interfered; it was after the robbery my husband was taken in and washed; afterwards saw Clune at my husband's great coat; he wanted my husband's pipe; don't think it was possible for my husband to have spent money at Kelly's; all I spent was 3 shillings; my husband might have thought he spent 5 or 6 shillings; I first thought of taking £1, but only took 12s: If Thompson says he saw my husband and Clune have two or three drinks together it would be untrue; it did not strike me after reaching Heathcote to give information at once about the matter, as we did not wish to have any trouble, about it; did not hear my husband ask McLennan or anyone to say nothing about it; I told Mrs. Kelly that Clune would be punished; when l was sitting in the buggy I could not see what was going on in the hotel; did not mention to Mrs. Kelly anything about the shooting, or Clune threatening to shoot me; the taking my hushed to the door seemed to make him sensible; believe my husband had a watch-key in the purse, beside a paper - a receipt for the gold delivered in Sandhurst; said my husband had been robbed; he held up his purse to me and said he had no money; this was directly after he had been robbed; did not see Clune take the purse; saw him with it in his hand; the loss of the money must have made my husband say he had none; know of no other reason for his saying it; Clune did attempt to rob me; Clune knocked me down because I interfered between him and my husband; the men did nothing, but said it was wrong for him to do it; my husband was not insensible when we got to the Sportsmans' Arms; was aware there was a Mrs. and Mr. Atkinson at the Sportsman's; my husband stopped there twice on business on his way to Sandhurst; did not hear Clune ask for accommodation for us; we wished to get into Heathcote with the money; did not throw the rug to Clune; he asked for it; shook hands with him to get rid of him; he asked me to shake hands; he said "are we friends?"; did not try to get assistance at the Sportsmans' Arms, or give information to the police directly after we got in; we did not know which was wisest to do; my husband was only half conscious at the Sportsmans' Arms; think McLennan was sober.

To Mr. Smith: We had not been at the races; my husband had not won £100; there was bad language used by Clune. Mrs. Jamiesons' examination lasted between four and five hours.

Mr. Hornbuckle would not call evidence for the defence if the Bench considered there was sufficient evidence for a committal. He contended there was great discrepancy in the evidence of witnesses from the Crown, the witnesses, in many respects, contradicting each other, and the charge of robbery be withdrawn, and the charge of assault substituted.

Mr. Smith pointed out that if the Bench considered there was prima facie evidence of the robbery, they should commit the prisoner for trial. The Bench thought the evidence very conflicting. They were not clear as to the robbery, but considered the assault proved. Mr. Smith wished it to be understood that if the Bench dealt with the charge of assault, he would be at liberty to go on with the other charges, there being three others connected with the assault on Mr. Jamieson, one of obtaining money by menaces.

After further argument, and the Bench had retired for a short consultation, the Bench stated they were of opinion they would give a decision that would meet the ends of justice. They intended to give the prisoner 3 month's imprisonment for assault.

Mr. Smith said he did not wish to go on with the other charges, but he would like the matter left open. As far as he was concerned, there would be nothing more. The verdict of the court was that the prisoner be committed to Sandhurst gaol for three months with hard labour, on the charge of assault.

January, 1883

• The Acott Mine shaft is at 201 feet from the surface. Gold was seen occasionally.

A serious accident which, unhappily, may have a fatal termination, occurred yesterday to Henry Acott, 66 years of age, a farmer residing at Axedale. He was driving two horses in a wagon along the Axedale road, when they bolted and the wheels of the wagon coming in contact with an obstacle on the side of the road, jolted the vehicle, throwing Acott on to the road. Without the wagon being overturned, the horses stopped and began kicking, and Acott, who was thrown beneath their feet, received several kicks about the head and face. Assistance was forthcoming, and as he appeared to be much injured, was removed to the Bendigo Hospital as expeditiously as possible. It was found that he had received a compound fracture of the skull and lacerated wounds on the face and scalp."

• It is announced that all shares on which the call of threepence each was made, are now forfeited unless paid previously. The shaft is now at 211ft. 6in., the reef is much broken up and charged with minerals.

February, 1883

• Another Acott Mine call of threepence per share is made.

• Messrs. Williams, McColl, and Williamson address the electors in various parts of the electorate. At noon they held a meeting at the Bull's Head Hotel, Grassy Flat, when about 20 persons were present. Mr. Peter Potter occupied the chair. A unanimous vote was passed in favour of the three candidates. At three o'clock they met the electors at the Farmers' Arms, McIvor road, but no formal meeting was held. The candidates, however, promised to use their best endeavours against the removal of the Axedale State school, for the removal of which tenders had been called for the 13th inst. A unanimous promise of support was obtained.

• The Axedale Races are run again: "Stewards - Messrs. T. O'Rourke, J. D. Bywater, P. Donnellan. W. S. Cahill, M. Boyle, J. Burke and R. O'Brien. Judge - Mr. J. Martin. Starter - Mr. M. Boyle. Clerk of Course - Mr. M. Burns.

There was a fair attendance of pleasure seekers at the Axedale racecourse yesterday, the majority of whom came from the vicinity of Axedale, very few Sandhurst visitors being noticeable. Mr. Fisher, candidate for Mandurang, drove out, and addressed the electors during the afternoon, and was accorded a very good hearing, and a vote of confidence was recorded in his favour. Very little betting was done during the day, people who had money to spend generally speculated it on the "spinning jenny", the proprietors of which machine seemed to do a thriving business. The weather for amusement was all that could be desired, and the course was in good order. No accidents happened throughout the day, save one, and that was so slight that it called for very little attention. The first race was a Maiden Plate of 7 sovs., distance one and a half miles. There were four entries, and all started, and after a very good race, Toothpick was landed an easy winner, with Zig Zag second, and Lady Windsor third. The Axedale Handicap lapsed, in consequence of there being insufficient entries, and an impromptu handicap was run, in which Dingo proved a victor by about 10 lengths, Belzona second, and Toothpick third. The Handicap Hurdle Race brought out only two starters, namely, Peter Simple and Vulcan. Peter Simple had matters all his own way and won as he liked. On rounding the course for the second time, Vulcan, in jumping a hurdle, fell and threw his rider and bolted, and was consequently put out of the race. The Consolation Stakes was contested for by three horses, Belzona winning as he liked, with Lady Windsor second. A hack race concluded the meeting. The luncheon provided by Mr. Drake of Axedale, gave every satisfaction."

• George Reddan, a 27 year old Axedale resident, is admitted to hospital with a crushed toe after it was accidentally caught in a cog wheel.

• Electoral addresses are held at Harrison's Bull's Head Hotel, Grassy Flat; Duke of Wellington Hotel, Strathfieldsaye, chaired by Mr. T. Craike, of Axe Creek; Drake's Hotel, Axedale, chaired by Mr. W. S. Cahill; and McNamara's Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek.

• Lawson and Minard are appointed as members of the Axedale Riding of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Board of Advice [for schools].

March, 1883

• A grazing permit is issued to Mr. Henry Acott, Axedale.

• Charles J. Nelson, 56 acres originally selected by S. Burke, recommended.

• John Clune, the same one involved in the assault and robbery case a few months earlier, has a case to answer. He has been placed on remand for giving false information to the Registrar of Births, Axedale. "W. S. Cahill, the Deputy Registrar deposed that he knew Clune. He called at the off on 11 December, 1881, to register the birth of Thomas, father's name, John Clune, mother's name Mary Clune, formerly Kelly. Witness believed the mother to be the widow of David Kelly. The defendant stated that he was married on the 11th February, 1881, to Mary Kelly at Heathcote.

To Mr. Cohen: At the time of registration it was the common talk that Clune was not married to Mrs. Kelly. believed Clune called at his house for the purpose of having the mistake rectified.

Mary Kelly deposed that in November 1881, she was living at Knowsley. A child was born in that month, the father of which was John Clune. Believed he registered the birth of the child.

To Mr. Cohen: Prisoner said some time afterwards that he had made a mistake in registering the child, and that he would try and correct the error.

Mr. Cohen said that, according to the Act, if an error was corrected in six months, the person making the error would not be liable to the penalty. The Bench contended that a prima facie case had been made out, and then committed prisoner to take his trial at the next Assize Court, to be held on 17th July. Bail was allowed in two sureties of £100 each, and himself in £200. As no bail was forthcoming, Clune was removed to gaol, there to remain until the Court date. Clune had only recently served a sentence for an assault on a Bank Manager.

April, 1883

• The new extension to the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church is blessed by Rev. Father O'Connell. The church had been extended 10 feet to accommodate the increased congregation.

• Some 59 loads of rock from the Acott Mine are crushed for a yield of 49 ounces of gold.

• Mr. R. O'Neill and Co. advertise the sale by public auction, of 206 acres of land near Axedale, half a mile from the property of the late B. Lazarus, along with the stock, farm, implements, etc.

• The United Catholic Schools of Mosquito Creek and Axedale hold a picnic at the Axedale Racecourse. An abundance of edibles were provided during the day. Messrs. Taylor Bros., and Co. drapers of the City [Sandhurst] kindly forwarded some gifts for the occasion, as also did Miss Drake of Axedale. The following contributed much to the enjoyment of the picnickers: Messrs. Donellan, Downey, Ryan, Cramer, and Burke, and Mesdames Lynch, White, O'Rourke, Downey, and the Misses Drake, Daly and Hogan, the last two being the teachers of the respective schools.

May, 1883

• Another call of threepence on Acott Mine shares.

June, 1883

• Timber is becoming scarcer and more expensive and the situation is beginning to affect the viability of mining and other occupations. The following article, specifically published to add weight to the request for a railway wood siding at Eaglehawk, along with freight charge reductions, highlights the situation generally:

"The forests in the vicinity of the mining centres, supposed to be under the protection and control of the State, have been suffered to be despoiled in the most ruthless and wasteful manner, and no efforts have been made for their reproduction. Wood for mining, building, and domestic purposes has therefore become so scarce as to render it almost ruinously dear. At all events, the price is so high, threatening at the same time to increase, that mining companies feel the item such a heavy strain on their pecuniary resources, as to cause them very seriously to consider their position, feeling that they cannot much longer carry on their operations unless 'something' is soon done for their relief. This is a very serious reflection; and in the circumstances, not only would the Government be warranted in reducing the rates of freight, but it becomes a duty absolutely incumbent upon them to do so."

• Thomas Robinson and Lewis Langham were charged with stealing a quantity of brandy from Edwin Edmonds, the licensee of the Raglan Hotel, Axedale. Wil Edmonds, son of the prosecutor, deposed that on last Saturday he was left in charge of his father's premises, and the prisoners came in during the evening. They had some drink, and remained on the premises until about three o'clock the following morning. Shortly before that hour he had occasion to leave the bar, the prisoners being in the dining-room at the time. In the same room there were three jars of spirits, one of them containing about one gallon of brandy. He did not miss the jar until his father returned home. He never sold the brandy or jar to the prisoners, or gave it away to anyone. Edwin Edmonds, the licensee of the hotel, deposed that on his return home on Sunday he missed the jar of brandy. He gave information to the police, and shortly afterwards he found a label bearing his name, and which had been attached to the stolen jar, on the road way. He accompanied Mounted-Constable Feely to the residence of the prisoners, where they found the jar. Mounted-Cons table Feely deposed that he found the jar containing about three pints of brandy, in the hut inhabited by the prisoners. Langham stated that he had bought it for 3s, from Edmonds' son. He apprehended both men, who asked to be let off, as it was their first offence. Langham stated that he was drunk at the time, and did not remember leaving the hotel. Robinson had nothing to say. The prisoners, who elected to be dealt summarily with, were each sentenced to 7 days imprisonment.

• It is reported that: "Acott, Axedale, have met with such encouraging results that bey are about to erect a more powerful engine and batteries."

• Frederick Ende applies for a fifteen year gold mining lease, No. 2, North Acott Company, six acres more or less. He will employ as many men as can be profitably employed. The location is shown as Acott Hotel, Axedale and is bounded by a road.

• Acott Mine Mining Notes show that "The new boiler is on the road to completion, and tenders have been let for building in same and stack. A dam is also in the course of construction. A tender is also let to cart 20,000 bricks to Acott Gold Mining Company, Axedale.

• Another inquest is held at Drake's Hotel: "Yesterday afternoon the coroner conducted an inquest at Drake's Hotel, Axedale, on the body of a married woman named Jane Pascoe, who resided at Toolleen, and who died suddenly on Friday. Henry Pascoe, the husband of the deceased, deposed that his wife was 46 years of age. She was of stout build, but enjoyed good health, although she sometimes complained of pains in the region of the heart. On Thursday night she complained of pains in her left side, and on Friday morning, being no better, witness applied mustard plasters, but at about nine o'clock, or very shortly afterwards, she suddenly expired. Amelia Jane Pascoe, daughter of the deceased, stated that on Thursday and Friday, her mother was unable to leave her bed. At about nine o'clock she was attending to her, when suddenly she turned up her eyes and expired. Dr. Hinchcliff, who made a post-mortem examination of the body, testified to the cause of death as syncope from fatty degeneration of the heart. A verdict accordingly was returned."

• A tea meeting and concert is held in Drake's assembly room, in aid of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Axedale, which, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, proved a financial success. The tables were very neatly laid and the ladies who superintended them deserve great praise. The chair was occupied by Mr. T. O'Rourke, J.P.

• Ploughing Match. —The Axedale ploughing match committee have selected the 11th of July as the day upon which to hold their annual ploughing match at Mr. J. McNamara's paddock, Axedale. Fuller particulars appear else where.

• "Dissatisfied Shareholder" writes a Letter to the Editor:

"Sir - Knowing that your paper is always foremost to promote the welfare of our mines, in writing this, I hope it may be the means of checking some of the present floating bubbles. For instance, the amount of money that has changed hands these last few weeks over a certain mine at Axedale is surprising, considering that there is nothing to warrant it. When I think that the directors of the mine in question have been for the last twelve months talking of machinery that seems as far off as ever from being erected, and also that the same directors are the directors of all the other claims, I think it looks very strange. If you will kindly insert this, you will greatly oblige a shareholder. I am etc., A. L."

• Several mining leases are granted near Axedale: Robert Hannon, Acott, and Frederick Ende - are approved, subject to excision of land required for Sandhurst-Heathcote rail reserve.

July, 1883

• Parliamentary representatives of Sandhurst wait on the Minister of Railways and urge that a line from Sandhurst to Axedale be included in the next Railway Construction Bill. It is a portion of the earlier proposed line to Heathcote and Wandong, and they desired to insist on the portion to Axedale being among the first lines to be constructed. Mr. Gillies, who is also a local representative, says he will bear their request in mind.

• A number of shareholders in the Acott Company and adjoining claims paid a visit to the ground at Axedale in one of Cobb and Co's coaches. They had a most enjoyable trip. The ostensible reason was to arrange some preliminaries in connection with erection of machinery at the Acott Company's lease. An inspection of the Acott Company's ground and that of the South extended Acott Company's ground was made. Some stone lying at the Acott Company's shaft was closely inspected. The examination proved satisfactory, for gold was plainly visible in the stone. bearings of the line of reef were taken, which proved eminently favourable to adjoining claimholders.

• A very painful, if not a serious accident, happened to Mr. J. Delbridge, one of the representatives for the Sutton Ward in the City Council, and Mr. Thomas Woolcock, the Mining Manager of the Acott Company, Axedale, yesterday. The Acott Company is about to erect additional machinery, and yesterday, Mr. Delbridge was being conveyed to the scene of the company's operations by Mr. Woolcock in a hired buggy, to make an inspection of the machinery at present in use, and select a site for the additional appliances which it is intended to erect. When they were driving down a hill near the old Traveller's Rest Hotel on the McIvor road, the horse going at a leisurely pace, the bolt connecting one of the shafts with the fore carriage dropped out, allowing one side of the shafts to full to the ground, and the whole power of the pulling capabilities of the horse being thus concentrated on one side of the conveyance, the result was that the buggy was dragged askew and the front portion of it forced on to the hind-quarters of the horse, which caused it to bolt. The animal, naturally enough, swerved, and after leaving the road and proceeding for about forty yards, Mr. Delbridge was thrown out of the buggy and struck the ground with some violence. After a further six foot had been traversed, Mr. Woolcock was also compelled to vacate his seat, one of the wheels of the buggy having struck against a stump. Mr. Woolcock did not strike the ground very gently. The horse continued a short distance further when the buggy was dashed against a tree, and being completely over turned, was cast in the air, and the wheels catching in the branches of the tree, the vehicle was literally "hung out to dry." Mr. Delbridge received a nasty shaking, and was badly cut about the face and arms, but his injuries are not of a very serious nature. Mr. Woolcock did not escape so well. One of his legs was lacerated, and a rib on his right side broken. Shortly after the accident Mr. J. A. C. Helm, who was driving to Heathcote, came up, and Mr. Delbridge proceeded on to Axedale, while a messenger was despatched to Sandhurst for another buggy, Mr. Woolcock remaining until it arrived, when he, notwithstanding tho severe shaking he had received, and the pain caused by the fracture to his rib, ordered the man to drive on to Axedale, where Mr. Delbridge was met, both gentlemen returning to Sandhurst soon afterwards, where they had their injuries attended to.

• Thomas Craike is elected by a majority of two votes over John Burke for Councillor, Axedale Riding, Shire of Strathfieldsaye.

• The Axedale Ploughing Match is held in John McNamara's paddock: "The Axedale Ploughing Match came off today in McNamara's Paddock There was a good attendance, and the ploughing in all the classes was excellent, the ground after the recent rains being in excellent condition The ploughing commenced at 9 a.m, and finished at 1 o'clock. The first prize in the Champion Class was awarded to William Hay, of Shelbourne, and the first in Class A, to T. Brown, of Woodstock. The best ploughman with double furrows was J. Lyons, of Marong, with J. Carter, of Marong, second."

• Lease application from Frederick Ende, lease at Axedale, Charles Reviere for South Extended Acott Company, and John Reed, lease at Axedale, are recommended for approval.

• Tenders are let for Grubbing and clearing, etc., of the Axedale Road to Lynch's, and providing and spreading 40 yards of gravel , Acott's Hill, Axedale.

• The new boiler for the Acott Mine has been tested and is ready for transporting to the claim for erection.

• John Clune pleads guilty, after being in jail, to charges of making a false declaration to the Births Registrar in Axedale. The prisoner had stated to the Registrar of Births at Axedale in 1881 that he had married his wife Mary ten months before the birth of his child. He had made this statement in answer to the question "When married," in order to make the birth apparently legitimate.

• Andrew O'Keefe appears to have been considered as having interrupted "Poynting's" auction sale and there must be an earlier account in the Bendigo Advertiser. The inquiry is adjourned.

• A new battery is being installed at the Acott Mine, Axedale.

• More mining leases are applied for: W. Pitt - Acott's Reef, Axedale, R.W. Hannon - Gold Dust Reef, Axedale, and C. O. Bruhn - (2), Acott Company, Gold-Dust Reef, Axedale.

• John Clune pleads guilty, after being in jail, to charges of making a false declaration to the Births Registrar in Axedale. The prisoner had stated to the Registrar of Births at Axedale in 1881 that he had married his wife Mary ten months before the birth of his child. He had made this statement in answer to the question "When married," in order to make the birth apparently legitimate.

• "As yet, the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council has not taken any steps to repair the main road from Sandhurst to Axedale. The road has, since the late rains, been almost impassable and several accidents have happened. A farmer named Herrington [Harrington?] met with an accident near Code's Hotel. He was driving to his home when one of the wheels got caught in a rut, and in an attempt to free the dray the axle was broken. The horse, a very valuable one, received a few cuts, and it was lucky that Herrington did not receive serious injuries, for the animal is very spirited. Two or three persons have threatened to sue the Council."

August, 1883

• Councilors Bruhn [outgoing President] Strathfieldsaye Riding, and Craike, Axedale Riding, retire and are opposed by Messrs. Rundell and Burke, who have served before, and are mentioned as unsuitable candidates for ousting the strong serving Councilors. There appears to be no real reason to oust the retiring Councilors, and there doesn't seem to have been any public meetings to advise of any reasons.

• All shares, on which the call of sixpence is not paid, will be forfeited and sold to W. G. Bentley and Co.

September, 1883

• The lease of John Stevenson for the Gold-Dust reef, Axedale, is recommended.

• Mr, J. D. Bywater, Weston Park advertises that his stallion, Prince Bismark, is available for servicing district mares

• The Acott Mine Manager's reports states that the fortnight has been spent in connecting winding engine and bailing, crushing plant being erected. A call of sixpence per share will be made so that crushing can commence without liability.

• A cricket match is played between the Axedale United and Sweeney's Clubs with Axedale emerging as easy winners - by one innings and 32 runs. Ferber 50, Bretel 15, Russell 7, Bywater 5, were the highest scorers, while for Sweeney's, Jennings 20, Powell 9, O'Loughlen 7, Fuzzard 5 were the principal contributors. In the first innings, 10 of the Sweeney's wickets fell for 13 runs, owing to the splendid bowling of Ferber and Russell, who were in fine form.

• Tenders are required for the supply and erection of a two-roomed weather board building for the Acott Company, Axedale. C. Bruhn, Manager pro tem.

• A tree extractor, made by Thos. Knight, Blacksmith of Barnadown, is trialed on the property of Mr. A. Lawson, Axedale. A number of trees 2 to 3 feet in diameter were pulled down in an incredibly short time, much to the astonishment and admiration of those present. Two men and a boy could pull 25 to 30 trees a day with the apparatus. To work one of them, it is necessary to have a good ladder about 30 feet long so as to be able to fix the chain a good height on the tree.

October, 1883

• North level driven 7ft, 36ft. from shaft. fair progress made with erection of crushing plant.

• A sheep sale is advertised to take place at Heffernan's "The Willows" Estate. This is the current "Marydale". The sale consists of 400 4-tooth crossbreed wethers, 450 6-tooth merino wethers, 1,200 4, 6, and 8 tooth ewes, 1,170 lambs, part prime fat, and 1,000 mixed sex weaners.

• There is a downturn in the Sandhurst Stock market: "The share market here has come to a positive standstill. Never since joint stock companies were formed has there been so complete a collapse. The only sale reported to day was in South Acott (an unaccredited outside venture) at a nominal price. It is certainly not assuring for those who have risked their money in Bendigo mines, and far from creditable as the outcome of a yearly expenditure of half a million sterling of public money in the district. It is assuredly full time a vigilance committee were instituted to conserve the interests of bona fide investors here, unless it be contemplated that the avaricious policy of a few unscrupulous people should defiantly involve the whole mining community in utter ruin and disgrace. The threatened calamity would appear to be mainly the outcome of brokers being permitted to become also professional directors. In relation to this, complaints and protests at length emanate from the metropolis, and yet Melbourne proxies have been used tor some time past to perpetuate this pernicious policy, which has been expanding, so that the brokering element actually preponderates on several boards, the same individual not infrequently having a potent voice in a score of managements. In dull time, like the present, it is also noteworthy that in certain companies that could be named, it is a common occurrence to find a legal manager, five directors, and a mining manager, gravely superintending the operations of the two miners who are employed as a pretext for levying calls that are responded to by a sanguine and confiding public."

• Several directors and shareholders visit the Acott Mine for an inspection of the surface and underground workings: "The crushing plant of twenty heads, which is in course of erection, will be completed in about a month's time. There is upwards of 100 tons of stone at grass, and gold was frequently seen in it when examined. Underground, the level at 215 feet is being driven on the stone going north. Gold was also seen in the face, and the stone is at present about twelve feet in thickness. At this point there are bodies of stone going from east to west and consolidating with the main body. A trial crushing from these spurs went 23dwts to the ton. They contain, besides gold, an unusual quantity of pyrites, and it is expected that stone crushed from them will go well to average the yield of the larger body."

• A number of properties in the name of D. McNamara are advertised for sale by public auction: "352 acres of valuable grazing and agricultural grazing land, Axedale, near the properties of Messrs. S. Lazarus and Craike, comprising the following lots - Lot 1: 160 acres good grazing land and, well fenced and permanently watered; Lot 2 - 80 acres, securely fenced, 40 acres well cleared and 40 acres valuable timber land - This paddock is adjoining the well-known Acott Gold Mining Company; Lot 3 - 80 acres securely fenced, well watered, securely fenced, well watered and valuable timber thereon; Lot 4 - 34 acres having a frontage to Axe Creek, and adjoining the vineyard of Mr. Craike.. The paddock is first class agricultural land, and is within one mile of the Perseverance Hotel; Lot 5 - 58 acres, first class cultivation land adjoining the above, securely fenced, well watered, and has been out of cultivation eight years."

• Considerable detail with local prize winners. Fix file access.

• An Education Commission enquiry is held: "The following witnesses, representing the Catholics of Sandhurst, were examined at the last meeting of the Commission:

The Very Rev. Dr. Reville, O.S.A., Vicar General of the diocese of Sandhurst, stated: I would endeavour to point out that the present Education Act is a grievance not only for Catholics, but for the general body of Christians. Education, to be worthy of the name, should enable man to do his duty on earth, and to establish his claim to Heaven. To this end the will and the heart of man, as well as his intellect, must be trained, must feel the beneficial influence of education. Secular education, pure and simple, will, it is true, supply tho first want, that is to say, it will enable man to enter into Commerce to compete with his fellow man, and to calculate the temporal consequences that may follow from his actions.

This, no doubt, is an important result. When, however, we remember that man's career does not terminate with his life on earth, we arc compelled to admit that education does not finish its work by simply furnishing man with the moans of being successful in this world. It has another and a still more sublime duty to perform. It must make man acquainted with the manner in which lie can best consult the interests of his soul. It is for this reason that we hold—that, in fact, every Christian should hold—that true education—I mean education that meets the requirements of mail—must be based on religion. Statesmen, philosophers, and learned writers, convinced of this truth, have never failed when treating of the education of youth, to point out the importance and necessity of combining religious and secular instruction in the school. M. Guizot, a Protestant statesman, said in the French Chamber of Deputies in 1883—" It is necessary that tho general atmosphere of a school be religious. Education is here our concern rather than instruction. Religious instruction mixes with the whole body of instruction, with all tho acts of the master and of the children. Gentlemen, remember a fact which has, perhaps, never shone out so evidently as in our own time; intellectual development when united with moral and religious development is excellent, but intellectual development alone, separated from moral and religious,becomes the source of pride, insubordination, egotism, and, by consequence, of danger of society." M. Cousin, a well-known philosopher, writes thus to the Minister of Public Instruction in France :—" Education must be moral and religious if it is desired to make it useful to the people and to society. This point touches on the dearest interests of humanity. You, sir, thanks be to God, are too enlightened, too much a statesman to fancy that we can have true popular instruction without morality,or popular morality without religion, or religion without a form of worship. Christianity must be the basis of other people's education. I write to you from Berlin and not from Rome. And he who speaks to you is a philosopher who has been before now misunderstood and persecuted by the clergy." Victor Hugo, a poet and no friend of the clergy, says:—"Those parents who send their children to a school over the door of which it is written ' Here religion is not taught,' ought to be summoned before the magistrates." The celebrated Anglican Bishop, Dr. Wilberforce, said:—"An absolutely untaught taught people are a people of savages, a horde, a tribe, but never a nation; for there is amongst them none of the coherence which binds a nation to unity. But an instructed people may be worse. Merely to stimulate their intellects, to give them a smattering of knowledge and of science (and you cannot give the mass more than a smattering), without giving them any deeper and more real training, is to spoil everyone of them for their proper worldly duties; it is to make them vain, idle, discontented, cunning, and low-hearted; and the spread of this distemper will just as soon make itself felt in the body politic as the spread of evil humors in the body physical.

Mr. Kay, a recognised authority on matters of education, and a Protestant, thus writes:— " The most interesting and satisfactory feature of the Austrian system is the great liberality with which the Government, although so staunch an adherent and supporter of the Romanist priesthood, has treated the religious parties who differ from themselves in their religious dogmas. It has been entirely owing to this liberality that neither tho great number of the sects in Austria nor the great difference of their religious tenets have hindered the work of the education of the poor throughout tho empire. Here, as elsewhere, it has been demonstrated that such difficulties may be easily overcome when a Government understands how to raise a nation in civilisation, and wishes earnestly to do so in those parishes of the Austrian Empire whore there are may dissenters from the Romanist Church. The education ¡ of their children is not directed by the priests, but is committed to the care of the dissenting ministers. These latter are empowered and required by Government to provide for, to watch over, and to promote the education of the children of their own sects, in the same manner as tho priests are required to do for tho education of their children." The same writer thus disposes of tho alleged difficulty—some will say impossibility—of dealing with this great question on principles of strict justice to all. It is of Catholic States ho now writes :— "And yet in these countries—Austria, Bavaria, tho Rhine Provinces, and tho Catholic Swiss cantons—tho difficulties arising from religious differences have been overcome, and all their children have been brought under the influence of religious education, without any religious party having been offended." But it may be said that, under the present system of education in this country, there are ample means for supplying religious instruction. In the first place, clergymen may enter the schools at a time to be agreed on, and give whatever instruction they desire to the children. This voluntary system of imparting religious instruction is thoroughly impracticable, and must necessarily break down. Again, I may be told that parents, and not the State, are bound to attend to the religious training of their children. We recognise this right in parents to educate and instruct their children even in the science of salvation. They have, moreover, a right to decide the quality of religious training their children will receive, and this right is so sacred that the State acts tyrannically, interferes with the liberty of the subject, both when it compels parents to accept a system of religious training of which they disapprove and when it uses its influence to exclude all religious instruction. The Government, in the present case, by forcing on this country the secular system, acts unjustly towards Christians, since it obliges them to pay towards the education of the sect of secularists, and calla on them to support a system that must necessarily lead to tho destruction, in their children, of the faith they prize above all other things. Whilst it is admitted that to parents belongs the right to educate their children and teach them religion, yet experience convinces us that few fathers and mothers are in a position to fulfill this important duty.

Among parents, it is true, we find some, who are well instructed, fully qualified to give a sound religious training to their children, but are there not by far a greater number who, from one cause or another, are totally unfit for this responsible office? It will be said that Sunday schools will meet the difficulty. As regards myself, I have a very poor idea of the efficiency of Sunday schools, as they are called, for imparting a full course of religious instruction. They are conducted in most instances by teachers who have had no training. The children are called together for an hour once only in the week. A long time is taken up with getting the pupils into their places, some instructions are given, and the children, who have paid little attention to what they have heard, prepare to return to their homes. The one result, to my mind, that follows from this system is that an esprit de corps is established among the children—they recognise the fact that they belong to a certain church. Any man of common sense must admit that the space of one or even two hours in the week is quite insufficient to teach us the science of salvation, to make us acquainted with tile means of being happy for eternity, if four hours daily for five days of the week are considered barely sufficient to enable us to learn the secret of being happy for fifty or sixty years. We hold that a system of payment by results in secular knowledge will meet the difficulty." "In other words," as the late Mr. Justice Fellows said; in his speech in Parliament, in 18ü!) :— "The State may say—We require a certain amount of education. We will examine the children you bring to us, whether they come from denominational schools, or from schools purely secular, or from combined schools, and so long as they attain a certain standard we will be satisfied." There is another system known as " capitation allowance," which we are prepared to accept. During the five years from the passing of the Act at present in force, until aid was finally withdrawn, the same amount per head was allowed for children attending schools previously subsidised by the State as it cost to to have them educated in the nearest State school. This system worked well, and gave general satisfaction.

If the Government can see its way to meet the views of the various denominations, then, instead of the sectarian hatred that exists at the present time, we will have brotherly love, which is the direct result of religious teaching. The secular system has been tried in America, and found wanting. You cannot read an American paper at the present time without coming across a reference to the disastrous results which follow from this system. Some time ago I saw the following extract from the San Francisco Morning Call-.—" The rapid progress of knowledge peculiar to the educational system of this State has led to the erection of two more State prisons, one of which for women was successfully opened a few days ago, the number of wicked females who knocked for admission being 44. Present indications point to the rapid filling up of this new institution in a few months." I find in the report of the Californian State prisons that among the young prisoners they can all read and write. To come now to the part we have taken in the educational struggle in the Diocese of Sandhurst; The Bishop was appointed in 1874, The diocese contains a population computed at 25,000 Catholics scattered over an extensive territory, with few centres of population. The settlement in the agricultural districts is for the most part of recent date. Since the arrival of the Bishop over £80,000 have been expended in connection with religion and education. Of this amount- the sum of almost £38,000 was spent to promote Catholic education. The Catholics consider it a grievance that, along with being compelled to support their own schools, they are called upon to aid the Government in its extravagant outlay in the erection of schools which they cannot use, and in places where they are not required. In the large schools the sexes are taught apart. Our standard of instruction is as high, and in many instances higher than the standard in the State schools. The pupils are examined annually. Supposing that a capitation allowance, or payment by results, were given to us, we would be prepared to give the use of our buildings for school purposes, and would be quite delighted that our schools should be subject to inspection by the Government inspectors. Our children come up to the standard of the State schools. If we received aid from the Government we would give higher salaries to our teachers. I think we could get on with £3 a head from the State for the children whom we instructed up to the standard.

To the Chairman : Protestant children at tend our schools, but they are not present at prayers. I have known instances of wasteful expenditure in connection with State schools. For instance, in the Axedale district four State schools were erected. There were also four Catholic schools, having 14S children on the rolls. Three of the State schools were afterwards closed, and the fourth was closed periodically. Ultimately, two were kept open, with an attendance of from 7 to 10 in each. There has been no falling off in the zeal of the Catholic people in the matter of separate education. On the contrary, they are more zealous in demanding Catholic Schools than they were a few years ago. The present Education Act has, in fact, consolidated and united our people to a great extent instead of dividing them. It was thought that the Act would weaken the influence of the clergy over the people, but it has done the contrary. The Catholics of Sandhurst consider the present state of things a growing grievance and a great injustice, because they are more practically excluded from participation in the Act than if the doors of the schools were closed against them inasmuch as their conscience forbids them to avail themselves of its provisions. The more advanced pupils in our schools are competent to compete for the Exhibitions in the State schools. Some of them have passed the Matriculation and Civil Service examinations. We look upon it as an injustice, to our body that our children are shut out from those exhibitions. I think the proposal to meet our difficulty made by the Anglican Bishop of Melbourne is not feasible. We believe religious education should permeate the whole day's instruction in school. Anything short of that would not be accepted by the Catholic Church. I came to Victoria in 1875), and therefore cannot say anything of the Common Schools Act.

Mr. Patrick Hayes, a Catholic layman, re siding in Sandhurst for 26 years, deposed that the Catholic laity felt that the present Education Act was a very pressing grievance upon them. They did not think the injustice would have been inflicted upon them for so long a period. The Catholics were put to considerable expense in the education of their children, and they held it to be one of their most sacred duties to support their own schools. Therefore, on conscientious grounds, the Catholics could not avail themselves of the State system of education. The Catholics consider it a great hard ship that their children were debarred from competing at the exhibitions for scholarships. He considered that the only system which would give satisfaction to the Catholics was one of payment by results. If that system were established, the Catholics would give up their schools free of charge, and they would only be too glad to have the children attending their schools examined by State inspectors. The Catholics were even more zealous than ever in the way of supporting their schools Their action was quite voluntary in this respect, and was not the result of any domination on the part of the priests, The conduct of the children attending Catholic schools was good. He seen this for himself.

Mr. Michael Burke, a Catholic layman, re siding 14 miles from Sandhurst, in the Loddon district, said that although he had no children, ho contributed six times more than some other people towards the support of Catholic schools. He felt that in doing so, he was discharging a conscientious duty. Roman Catholics supported their schools upon conscientious grounds. They had a small Catholic school in this district for two years, but it was closed when a good teacher came to the State school. He was a good moral man, belonging to the Church of England, and the Catholics had confidence in him; but if a bad teacher were sent there, the Catholics would have to withdraw their children, and maintain a school of their own again at a great sacrifice. He felt that Englishmen would not allow the present in justice to be inflicted on the Catholic body, if they could feel the grievance as Catholics felt it. There was no such thing as priestly influence in the matter. He had every reason to believe that the present system of secular education was not a proper system for the youth of the colony. Without religious instruction no good could result from education of a purely secular kind.

November, 1883

• The Acott Mine bottom level has been extended north a further 20 feet and is now 56ft. from shaft. Preparations are being made for sinking the engine shaft, and fair progress is being made with erection of the machinery. Shares on which unpaid calls of sixpence will be forfeited and sold.

• The Axedale Board of Advice, No. 243, visits schools: "This board held their monthly meeting on Monday, at the residence of the correspondent, and visited the undermentioned schools: 1008, Axedale: pupils present, 33. The general working was satisfactory. This school and the teacher's quarters urgently require painting. 1921, Axe Creek [now Longlea]: 15 pupils in attendance. The general working was very satisfactory and reflected credit on the head-teacher, Miss M. Casey, whose ability and perseverance have caused a steady increase in the attendance at this school. The building requires painting and the water tanks cleaning. 1634, Homebush [junction of Atlas Road and McIvor Highway, now Junortoun]: pupils present, 23. The school and furniture were clean, and the general working was found to be very satisfactory. This school urgently requires painting and the windows frosted. The closets also need repair, and a smoke board for the chimney, and a few loads of gravel at the front door are required. The school ground should be fenced in, and locks procured for the water tanks, as at present the water is used by carters and others.

• An elderly man, named John Hannon, was charged with Insulting Behaviour by Mounted-Constable Feeley, of Axedale: "The constable stated that the defendant while in an intoxicated state was running about the road at Axedale after his wife. She went to attend a sick person, and he followed her to the house and created a disturbance there. A fine of 10s, in default fourteen days' imprisonment, was inflicted."

• Andrew O'Keefe is awarded second prize for Best 30 lbs cheese (colonial, old), at the Rochester Show.

• The anniversary service of the local Sabbath school was held last Sunday. The church was nicely decorated with flowers. Tho usual service being dispensed with, one of song, entitled "Eva" was rendered in its stead. Mr. Edwin R. Ferber read the conversational part very feelingly, the children singing the hymns with equal effect. Miss Adelaide Cahill ably presided at the harmonium. At the conclusion, Mr. Ferber read a statement regarding tho working of the school, which was very satisfactory. During the past year the attendance had increased, there being now 35 on the roll. The parents certainly owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Ferber for his zeal as superintendent. Mr. Ferber senr. was then called upon to present a prize to each child present, and as they were books given according to merit, no doubt they will be valued, do good, and stimulate vigour. The services of Miss Helen Mill, as a teacher, were also suitably acknowledged. If there were any in the congregation who came doubting the value of the institution, it is to be hoped they returned home not only with their opinions altered, but with a determination to give it more liberal assistance in future.

• A public auction sale is advertised for various land in Axedale: Allotments 10 and 11 of Section 19, Axedale, containing 40a; Allotment 5 of Section 2, containing 60a 0r 2p; Lots 19 and 21 of Section 19, containing 53a 2r 37p; Allotments 22, 25 and 26 of Section 19, containing 196a 0r 13p. These lots containing in all, 396a 2r 16p, within easy distance of Sandhurst, are all securely fenced, permanently watered by the Axe Creek, and will be sold in one or more lots to suit buyers. Allotment 17 of Section 19, containing 30a 0r 30p, about half a mile from the Acott Gold Mining Company, the North Acott is pegged out up to the boundary. Allotments 3 and 4 of Section 15, Axedale, containing 100a 1r 36p, first class agricultural land, adjoining allotments 3 and 4.

• Acott Quartz Mining Company advertises for a new Mining Manager

• Napthali Ingham advertises for a man to drive horses.

• The first cricket match between Axedale United and Heathcote, is played at Heathcote with Heathcote winning by 40 runs and 3 wickets. Play was stopped by rain.

December, 1883

• An effort is about to be made by the residents of Axedale and District to obtain a daily mail between that place and Sandhurst. Mails are delivered but 3 times a week , and owing to the growing importance of the place, principally on account of developments in mining, those interested consider they are justified in moving in the matter, particularly as daily mail service has been in existence with Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye and Mandurang for some time past.

• Two bales of wool, branded N. Ingham over Axedale, are sold for 5 and 1/4 pence per pound.

• The Acott Mine report discloses that the lobby to pump well has been completed, the suction pipe has been fixed in position, and new cylinders have been fitted to the portable engine, which appears to work satisfactorily.

• William Dougherty expresses gratitude to his insurance company for their prompt payment of insurance on his burnt out premises at Axedale.

• The funeral notice for James Doak, from his from his late residence, Axedale, Campaspe, to the Sandhurst Cemetery, is announced.

• Annie Allen, 50 years of age, better known as 'Dancing Annie' at Axedale, where she resides, is taken to hospital by Mounted Constable Feeley, suffering from burns to her back and both legs after falling into a fire. It appears that she is subject to fits, was suddenly seized with one while standing near the fire, causing her to fall backwards into it. Unfortunately, she dies within two days.

January, 1884

• The Acott Mine crushing machinery has been started

• Napthali Ingham, Quarry Hotel, advertises for Masons to dress kerbing.

• A pocket book, containing a deposit receipt and cash, is lost between Axedale and Sandhurst. The owner suggests that the finder can keep the cash, but asks for receipt to be returned to the Bank Victoria, Heathcote.

• Charles Caudell, a 19 year old resident of Axedale, is admitted to hospital with a contusions of the left leg, caused by a horse falling on him.

• It is feared that diseased stock have entered the food chain from the Bendigo Abbatoirs: "For some time past it has been broadly hinted that cattle affected with pleuro-pneumonia in a pronounced stage had been slaughtered at the Sandhurst abattoirs for human food, and that quite a quantity of the diseased beef had been placed on the market. Owing to the reticence displayed by parties interested, the truth of the statements could not be ascertained but it has just transpired that there have been good grounds for the rumors, and also that the slaughterers of the beef were fully aware of the existence of the disease."

Last week, Mr. John Aked, M.R.C.V.S. visited the slaughtering house at the cattle-yards, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the disease was as prevalent as ho imagined, and also to obtain lymph which he dispenses to farmers, who use it to inoculate beasts which show appearances of being at tacked by pleuro. Mr. Aked was not long within the building before ho found a beast which had just been killed in a far advanced stage of the disease, and subsequently others more or less affected with pleuro. Mr. Aked secured the lungs of the diseased beasts, which on Saturday were 011 view at his establishment, and who are indebted to him for the following information:—The abnormal appearance of the lungs is most striking. The vesicles are completely plugged up by lymph, and very interesting specimens may be obtained in the shape of casts of the bronchial tubes and air vesicles which are clustered together like a bunch of grapes. On slicing the lungs hepatization is observed, presenting a very peculiar appearance. It is not, however, necessary to deal with the pleuro symptoms so much as to point out the injury the consumption of the diseased meat has on the public health, is clearly shown in tho following paper on tho subject by Mr. John Gamgee, principal of the New Veterinary College, Edinburgh, and which appears in the Edinburgh Veterinary Review as follows :—" I am, however, quite convinced that tho tens of thousands of carcasses of diseased animals sold in all large towns are stealing life from human beings, when and where we least expect it... It is asserted by many at home and abroad that the flesh of cattle affected with pleuro-pneumonia is wholesome. I hope tho day will soon arrive when we need scarcely discuss such a question in England... I must say that last year my opinion was confirmed, that the flesh of cattle affected with pleuro pneumonia when eaten by men induces boils and carbuncles to an incredible extent My observations have been made in three establishments. One where 1,500 men are known to be supplied, fraudulently of course, with little else than diseased meat; another where several hundred soldiers are in the same position, and a third where about 70 individuals are fed, too often to my knowledge on the flesh of the cattle affected with pleuro-pneumonia have been seized occasionally with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, etc., and have traced such accidents to the meat to such ail extent that many refused to eat it." There is 110 question that the amount of sickness in tho Sandhurst district for the past month has been exceptionally large, and that it is the same sickness described by tho above authority as attending tho consumption of beef which has been infected with pleuro. Mr. Aked has no doubt that largo numbers of infected carcasses have been sold for food in Sandhurst during the past few months, and it is said the affected animals have invariably come from the Kyneton district. On Friday a cow died at Axedale from pleuro. This beast, which sickened on the previous Monday, was the property of Mr. James O'Loughlin, adjoining Mr. Code's on the main Axedale road. After the first day's illness the animal presented tho usual symptoms of pleuro, viz., drawn up loins, difficulty of breathing, head down, and discharges from tho nostrils. She was also inclined to be vicious. The cow was purchased in Sandhurst, and its milk for some months since has been hawked around the town. There are unfortunately several other animals affected in the same district, where some 15 years ago the disease made great ravages among the herd. About that time a mob of traveling cattle, en route, depastured on the common, and communicated tho disease to the farmer's stock. Mr. Ben Code lost 68 head, Mr. Minard 20 head, and Mr. Boyle several ; in fact, the disease extended throughout tho whole district, committing great ravages among tho farmers' cattle. For many years afterwards pleuro remained, but was eventually eradicated and has not made its appearance until last week in tho case mentioned. The beast in question, after death, was allowed to lie in the paddock instead of being instantly burned. When making inquiries our reporter was informed of a glaring case, which should not be allowed to pass unnoticed. In the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, distance about four miles from Sandhurst, a milkman has a cow suffering from a large discharging cancer on one of its shoulders, and tho milk of the cow it is said is being sold every morning in Sandhurst.

• "A serious mining casualty occurred yesterday morning at Acott's Reef, Axedale. A man named Walter Lukewald, 33 years years of age, who resides with his wife and family at Heathcote, was straightening some props in the 200ft level when a quantity of timber and mulloch fell upon him. It appears that it was necessary to shift one of the sets of timber, which is 4 inches square, and Lukewald called to his mate to bring a hummer for that purpose. The man gave a blow at the foot of the timber, and moved it slightly, but on the second stroke of the hammer several sets of timber fell in with a quantity of mulloch, which fell on Lukewald who was doubled up by tho weight of the falling material. His mate managed to get lifted clear in time, and assisted to extricate Lukewald from the mass of rubbish in which he was buried. The injured man was conveyed to Sandhurst as early as possible and was admitted to tho Bendigo Hospital where he received every care and attention. Tho injuries sustained are of a serious character; one being to the spine; the other is a scalp wound four or five inches in length. Tho man is in a very precarious condition." Despite not being expected to, Lukewald recovers.

February, 1884

• The Acott Mine manager, C. O. Bruhn, advertises tenders required for the supply of firewood to the mine, for 6 months.

• School 1788 (now Eppalock) and School 2257 re-location - one to Gravel Pits

• The Land and Survey Department advises that someone is applying for land near Ingham's at Axedale. Cr. Bywater, in opposing the sale, said it referred to a water reserve and should be opposed. Cr. Duncan said that the land was a customary camping ground.

• J. Heffernan applies for land on the south side of the Heathcote Road, adjoining the Campaspe, and P. Drake applies for land on the north side of the Heathcote Road between Kennedy's and Ingham's selections and the Campaspe River.

• Cr. P. Hayes' wife is involved in an accident in the bush near Axedale. While taking a short cut through the forest between Axedale and the Edwards' Barnadown property, a dead limb from a tree becomes entangled in a wheel, catapulting the cart. Mrs. Hayes is catapulted out of the cart and suffers a very severe injury to her spine. As she suffers severe paralysis, an operation is performed to relieve her suffering. However, she sinks and dies. She had a brother living in Axedale.

• The Axedale Cricket Club plays Sheepwash at Strathfieldsaye with Axedale winning by 2 runs and 5 wickets.

April, 1884

"Mr Graham Webster, P.M, held an inquiry to day at the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek, touching the death of the man, James McDonald, whose disappearance and subsequent death by drowning have been already reported. Evidence was given by Henry Acott to the effect that on the 19th inst. he drove deceased and his wife from Sandhurst to the Perseverance Hotel. They had been drinking freely, and deceased, who was in a quarrelsome mood, caught his wife by the throat, and when witness interfered, McDonald struck him several times. Arriving at the hotel named, Acott and McDonald got out of tho vehicle, when the former was struck again and knocked down. The witness left tho deceased at the hotel at about half past 9pm, and never saw him again alive. John Nancarrow, the landlord of the hotel, gave corroborative evidence of the assault, and stated further, that an hour or so after the deceased, who was "mud drunk, but able to walk", went towards the bridge over the Axe Creek to look for his hat. Witness never saw the deceased until his body was found on Saturday last. Constable Feeley described the finding of the body in the creek. There were no signs of any scuffle near the place, but he noticed that there were indications that someone had been vomiting over the parapet, »which was about 3ft 6in in height. Dr. Atkinson tendered the medical evidence in which he stated that there were no signs of external violence. Death was caused by asphyxia from drowning. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death."

May, 1884

• The Bendigo Advertiser, in reporting on Parliament: "There is a stir in Sandhurst in relation to the long-talked-of railway from this city to Heathcote. The league for the formation of that line is actively at work, and it is to be hoped the views it will be prepared shortly to lay before the Government will be favourably entertained. Through the active exertions of tho Hon. R. Burrowes, whilst Minister of Mines, a pledge was given which secures the first section of the line as far as Axedale. That work having to be undertaken, therefore, it would be absurd to entertain any proposal for tapping the Melbourne and Murray line at any other point from Heathcote. However, we may defer any further remarks on that subject until the league is in a position to deal with it itself."

August, 1884

• Mention is made in parliament that bluestone from Lethbridge, 165 miles, is being used for Sandhurst buildings rather than from Axedale, 14 miles. This was countered with the statement that Lethbridge bluestone was being used for steps as it was harder. Mr. Woods stated that a promise had been made that an officer would be sent to report on the Campaspe quarries at Axedale but the promise has not been redeemed.

• A complaint about railway rates for returned farmers' empty bags is aired in parliament. The management of the Victorian Railways since the appointment of Commissioners, under Richard Speight, was viewed as having gone from bad to worse.

January, 1885

• All does not appear well with the Acott Mine: A special meeting of the Acott Mine shareholders, is convened at the office of the Legal Manager, Mr. J. G. Weddell, to consider the advisability of letting the mine on tribute or otherwise. Mr. T. Tomas is voted to occupy the chair. An application from W. Flint and R. Patterson to tribute the mine from the abandoned works on the big stone 50 feet upwards, is read, the terms being that the company should receive 50 per cent of the gold for hauling and crushing for 12 months. "Mr. Craike remarked that he did not like the insinuations which had been spread about outside about where the gold went to. As a director he must say that the mine had been worked so as to obtain as much gold as possible. The directors had been led to believe that there was gold where it afterwards turned out there was none. Mr. P. Potter wanted to know if any of the gold had been brought into Sandhurst at night. (Mr. Craike: Yes, some of it has been.) The speaker would rather that this practice was discontinued. Mr. Potter, who it appears has been a contractor under tho company, then commenced a tirade of abuse against Mr. Craike, saying that he believed he was at the bottom of the whole affair, and was the cause of his not getting his money. Mr. Craike here threatened to put Mr. Potter out of the door if he did not desist. Mr. Parker excitedly remarked that he had to give the mining manager "tip" before he would pass his work. The Chairman called the speaker to order, as his remarks were irrelevant to the matter for which they had met to consider. The legal manager told Parker that he should have written to the directors if the manager took "tip."

Mr. Lane moved, and Mr. Sheppard seconded, that the mine be worked as usual. Mr. Acott moved as an amendment that the mine be let on tribute as soon as the present contracts expire. In reply to a shareholder, Mr. Weddell stated that the cost of working the mine had been £1 per ton. Mr. Alcock thought that £1 per ton was a very high price.

Mr. Craike would object to any tribute being let at present except from their present depth. He suggested that the matter stand over until after the general meeting of shareholders, which takes place next month, by which time they would be able to have a crushing or two from the stone on which they were working. They could then see whether it was payable or not, and by the time the general meeting is held, the contractors would have their work finished. On the motion of Mr. Mould, a resolution as suggested by Mr. Craike was carried, the other motion and amendment being withdrawn. The application of Messrs. Flint and Patterson was accepted on the motion of Mr. Thomas, seconded by Mr. Acott. The meeting then adjourned.

February, 1885

• John Freeman, Manager, Acott Mine, is fined for a breach of the Regulations of Mines and Machinery Act by neglecting to provide an indicator in connection with the engine, despite being given previous instruction.

• An application from Patrick McMahon for permission to conduct the business of the Axedale Hotel, Hargreaves Street is granted. [The reference to Axedale Hotel or Hargreaves Street is obviously in error here.]

March, 1885

• William Smith, a young man, a recent arrival from the back blocks, was charged with stealing two pairs of boots, three shirts, flannel, and other articles of drapery to the value of 2 pounds, the property of Michael Boyle, of Axedale. The prisoner had been engaged by Boyle to work on his farm. The articles were left in a buggy outside the Axedale Hotel while Boyle went inside, and the prisoner was seen to take them out of the buggy and go into the bush. He was sent to gaol for two months.

May, 1885

• The City Council receives a letter from the hon. D. Gillies, in answer to the communication sent by the council asking for the survey of the Heathcote railway to be pushed on with as rapidly as possible.

The Minister's reply was very curt, the council being informed that the Department was pressing on with the permanent surveys as rapidly as possible, and they could not do more. A discussion followed the reading of this letter which was regarded very much as a snub by several of the members. The Mayor referred to the fact that there appeared to be no intention to carry the railway near the quarries at Axedale. He thought that the Minister should be asked to send some responsible officer to visit the quarries with the view to their importance being recognised in connection with the railway. Mr. Gillies reviewed the agitation for the railway, and pointed out that the quarries had formed portion of tho argument in favour its construction. He thought the council should obtain some information from the Department in reference to the route it was proposed the railway should take.

After further discussion, in which all the councilors took part, the motion of the Mayor was carried, as well as a proposal by Cr. Bailes that the members for the district should be asked to wait on the Minister to urge him to push on the survey of the line as rapidly as possible.

• Dr. Quick sees the Railway Commissioners upon the subject of the route of the Heathcote line. He mentions that the City Council were apprehensive that the railway would be taken across the Campaspe some distance from Axedale and the quarries, and he asked that the officer who has been sent up by the Department to select the best route, should consult with the council in order that the quarries might be benefited. The Commissioners promise that their officer should see the council about the matter.

June, 1885

• Dr. Quick, M.L.A., receives a communication from the Commissioners of Railways, stating that "arrangements for the survey of the line from Sandhurst to Heathcote had been made prior to his recent interview. With reference to the application from the City Council for an inspection, the Engineer-in-Chief had been instructed to send up an officer to inspect the quarry at Axedale in company with any officers who may be appointed by the council to report on the quarry and decide which would be the best place for the railway to cross the Campaspe River."

• The subsequent visit of inspection is reported in some detail the Bendigo Advertiser:

"Yesterday morning some of the Parliamentary representatives for Sandhurst and Mandurang met at the Town Hall by invitation from the City Council, for the purpose of proceeding to Axedale in order to decide on the best point at which the proposed railway from Sandhurst to Heathcote should cross the Campaspe River, and to inspect the bluestone quarries in that locality. The party, which consisted of Messrs. A Mackay, Thompson Moore, C. Yeo, Ms.L.A., Crs. Joseph, Bailes, and McGowan, and Mr. Knight, City Surveyor, were conveyed to Axedale in a couple of carry-alls belonging to Cobb and Co. On arrival at that place they were met by Mr. R. Burrowes. M.L.A., who had preceded them, Mr. Cartois, the Government Surveyor for the line, Messrs. J. Heffernan, W. S. Cahill, and M. Burns, residents of the locality. Dr. Quick and Mr. Highett, M.Ps., were unavoidably absent, the former being professionally engaged in Melbourne.

After having enjoyed Mr. Heffernan's hospitality for about an hour, during which time an excellent dinner was discussed (a sharp bracing breeze and 20 miles drive having pretty well whetted the appetites of the party), they proceeded to business. Cr. Joseph remarked that they wished the Government to construct the line so that it would come as near as possible to the quarries, so that in addition to having a good supply of firewood, the residents of Sandhurst would also be able to obtain bluestone. Mr. Cartois replied that it would not be very feasible to carry the railway very near to the quarry at present being worked. Cr. Bailes said that when the deputation waited on the Minister some time ago, they pointed out the advantage it would be to have a good supply of wood and stone for Sandhurst. Since then a rumor had got abroad that the Government intended to bring the railway some distance from Axedale, so that it would be of no practical use to Sandhurst.

Cr. Joseph said that what they wanted was that the railway from Sandhurst to Heathcote should cross the Campaspe near Axedale. If the distance was not too great they could construct a tramway from the quarry to the railway station, and thus render the conveyance of stone to Sandhurst an easy matter. At present bluestone has to be got by rail from Malmsbury and granite from Harcourt, and if access to the Axedale quarries were made easy, we could get a splendid supply there. This was the reason the council had for arranging the meeting that day.

Mr. Cartois then pointed out two routes which had been proposed. One to the east of Mr. Heffernan's house, near the quarry, and the other to the west of it, along the river, the former being by far the most expensive.

In reply to a question from Mr. Cartois, Mr. Knight said that there was £300 or £400 worth of stone used annually in Sandhurst.

Cr. Joseph interjected: That is so far as the council is concerned. But if the railway were constructed, there would be a much larger demand for private purposes. They had not come out there to look after the interests of one person any more than another. All they wanted was to have the railway near the bluestone.

Mr. Moore said that they had come out there in order to lay representations before the Government to show which was the better route to take. He had learnt from some of the principal residents of the locality that the route proposed by Mr. Cartois to run along the river bank would suit their interests. So long as the people were agreeable to this, their representatives would be satisfied.

Mr. Cartois said that it would be much more expensive to bring the line near the present quarry, and the cost would be considerably more than the amount set apart by the Government for the construction of the line.

Mr. Yeo remarked that, as representatives of Mandurang, he and his colleagues were anxious to see that the interests of the residents of Axedale were considered, while the line would also benefit Sandhurst. He was quite satisfied from the remarks that had been made that the line will give satisfaction to both.

Mr. Cartois, who throughout the whole of the proceedings was most affable and courteous to the members of the party, then conducted them along the route which appeared to be the most favourable one. Crossing the river near the racecourse, the line will run through about a mile and a quarter of Mr. Heffernan's land, skirting the Campaspe. The ground is a beautiful rich soil, eminently adapted for agricultural or grazing purposes, while along the banks are fine large trees, some of them being more than 6 feet in diameter. Weeping willows droop their branches over the water's edge, and altogether the scenery in this locality is really lovely, in fact, an excellent picnic ground, hitherto comparatively unknown to the general public of Sandhurst. When the railway is once constructed Axedale will doubtless be a favourite resort for pleasure parties. In order to carry the railway over the river at this point, it will be necessary to construct a viaduct, which will cost from £30,000 to £50,000. This will be the only work of any importance along the whole line. In order to allow for any emergencies in the shape of unusually heavy floods, the line will be built on piles for some distance after crossing the river. As the back, near Mr. Heffernan's residence, is approached, the ground is much higher, and suddenly on turning round the hill, a magnificent collection of huge bluestone rocks is seen. These will have to be cut away so as to enable the line to be carried round the side of the hill along the river. When the line is constructed, bluestone may be quarried out within a few yards of the rails, and the expense of loading the trucks will be reduced to a minimum. After rounding this hill, a small culvert will have to be crossed and then the line will run along a level piece of country, through the finely timbered parish of Knowsley, on to Heathcote.

The other route which was mentioned, and which would bring the line much nearer to Mr. Ingham's quarry, would necessitate the construction of a bridge, involving an outlay of about £150,000. As this would make the cost of the line far more expensive than the Government ever intended it should be, and as the route would be no more beneficial than the first mentioned one, it was generally agreed that it would be far better to carry the line round the hill along by the river. It is proposed to erect the Axedale station on the west side of the river, near the cemetery. The station would then not be as far from the township as the Shamrock Hotel is from the Sandhurst station.

The survey of the line has been completed about 13 or 14 miles from Sandhurst, leaving about 15 miles more to be surveyed. The surveyors' tents are at present pitched in the racecourse near the river, and it is expected it will be some months before they reach Heathcote.

Having inspected the route the party returned to Mr. Heffernan's where a glass of wine was partaken of, and Mr. Heffernan thanked for his kindness and attention to the party. Mr. Ingham's quarry, which is situated on the left hand side of the road to Heathcote, beyond the river, was visited, and the owner showed the party some fine large blocks of bluestone which he had quarried, and was preparing to send into Sandhurst and other places. A start was then made for home, Sandhurst being reached shortly before six o'clock.

July, 1885

• Mr. W. S. Cahill, Axedale, writes a Letter to the Editor:

"Sir, Now that the permanent survey of the above line is about completed to Axedale, and a hint been given as to where the station is likely to be, a number of people are beginning to find fault with the supposed site as being too far away from the township, and also from the Racecourse reserve. If reports be correct, the station will be about a mile from the township, and about the same distance from the reserve, which will be altogether too far, and unless some effort is made to get the station brought within say half a mile from the township and reserve, the line will prove of very little benefit to the locality, with a possibility of doing a permanent injury to vested interests. But apart from local interests, the Government should not lose sight of the fact that the Axedale Racecourse reserve is a very attractive spot, beautifully situated on the banks of tho Campaspe, about twelve and a half miles distant from Sandhurst, where excursionists and picnic parties would go in hundreds at certain times of the year, providing the station happens to be within a reasonable distance. It is also a well-known fact that large numbers of Sandhurst residents and members of friendly societies go picnicking a distance of 25 miles, which is now the nearest point of the Campaspe reached by rail.

Now, Sir, with these facts before us it is only reasonable to suppose that the shorter distance, with equal attractions, would be patronised to a greater extent. Trusting that those in power will see the justice of my remarks, and that the members for the district will do all they can to assist in bringing the matter under the notice of the Government and see that justice is done to this district. Yours, faithfully, W. S. CAHILL. Axedale, 20th July."

September, 1885

• A newspaper article contains interesting details of housing in Sandhurst:

The demand for increased residence accommodation in Sandhurst has sprung up of late, and in consequence, new dwellings are in course of erection in various parts of the city. These buildings, as a rule, are confined to that class which suits the greatest number of persons - the medium structure - neither too large nor too small, but just a comfortable and neatly designed cottage. Amongst the buildings of this kind which has just been completed, is one erected by Mr W. Boyd, in Garsed Street. It is a four-roomed red brick building, with white brick facings, and with the necessary outhouses at the back. The walls are hollow, a method of building possessing the great advantages of preventing damp getting at the inner wall, and of keeping the room cool during the heat of summer. Neat fireplaces are in each room, the walls of which are plastered, and ceiling ornamented with mouldings. A passage, four feet wide extends from front to back with stained glass door in the centre. The front of the house stands back far enough from the street to leave space for a small garden, and also for a verandah seven feet wide. At the rear of the building are the bath room, servants' room, kitchen and washhouse with yard, securely fenced. Gas and water are laid on. Mr Strode was the architect and Messrs. Vallance and Co. the builders.

On the same side of the street, a little further west, is another pleasant looking cottage, built also of red brick with white brick dressing, a fashion which is becoming prevalent, and which adds greatly to the appearance of a house. This has been erected by Mr. G. J. Sweeney, contractor and builder. It stands gable end to the street with ornamental eaves, and neat verandah 7 feet wide, while a small garden occupies the space between it and the street fence. The dwelling is entered by a hall 6 feet wide, a pretty stained glass door inside acting as a break-wind. The front room is spacious, about 16 feet square; the other rooms are somewhat less and vary in size, and all are lofty, a good thing for keeping a house cool in summer. The walls too are cavity walls. The fireplaces are convenient, the walls plastered and ceilings decorated with mouldings, and gas and water laid on. The outhouses comprise all the requisites, such as bath room, kitchen, servant's room, wash-house, etc., and there is also a good cellar.

A representative deputation is made to the Council, for the purpose of obtaining its co-operation in an effort to urge the early construction of the first section of the Heathcote Railway from Sandhurst to Axedale. The council decided on the motion of Mr. Sterry to remind the Minister of Railways of his previous promise in the matter, and request him to have tenders called for the construction of the section referred to as early as possible.

February, 1886

• By Government Gazette, Messrs. Lazarus Bros., offer a £50 reward for the arrest of the offender or offenders who willfully set fire to two of their corn stacks at Axe Creek. The Government supplements the reward with another £50 for information leading to conviction.

March, 1886

• Messrs. Speight and Agg, Railway Commissioners, accompanied by Mr. Darbyshire, Engineer, and Mr. Curtois, Surveyor, continued their inspection of the proposed route for the railway from Wandong to Sandhurst. They drove to Mr. Heffernan's Marydale Estate on the Campaspe River, where they met several gentlemen from Sandhurst, including Mr. J. T. Brown, MLA. After inspecting the works in connection with the estate, they proceeded to Axedale where a request was made to have the site of the railway station altered to a spot nearer the township. The Commissioners promised to consider the matter and continued to inspect the route through Axe Creek, into Sandhurst and returned to Melbourne by train.

April, 1886

• The McIvor Times reports, as far as the Heathcote-Sandhurst section of the railway is concerned:

On the following morning the Commissioners, accompanied by Mr. Curtois, who has conducted the survey from Sandhurst to Heathcote, a distance of over 26 miles, visits the rival station sites. The station called "South", but which is in reality south east, extends from 28 miles 10 chains to 28 miles 6 chains, and is a short distance south of Kilmore road. The line then continues in a line parallel with the road, about 15 chains south west of the post office, until the other station site called the "North", but more correctly the north west, is passed. It is situated south of Pohlman Street.

The line passes 10 chains to the east of the Bald Hill, going through the holdings of John Pentecost and Benjamin Flee, through the bush, crossing Wattle Flat and Mosquito Gully, twenty five miles six chains from Sandhurst. It continues through Crown lands past the old diggings, through Moses' place at 24 miles from Sandhurst, through Crown lands, over Wild Duck Creek road, 23 miles 68 chains, through N. Davis' property to 23 miles 37 chains. The railway, which is continued on the south-west side of the main Sandhurst and Heathcote road, then enters Speed's property, from which it crosses to the north of the road at 23 miles 14 chains. Williams' Kilmure proposed station site was inspected. The Mount Ida Creek is crossed at 22 miles, and then the property of F. Jenkins, occupied by Hollingsworth, is passed through at 20 miles 40 chains.

On ascending the main road on the Moorabbee Hills, the commissioners halted for the purpose of enjoying the magnificent view to the south with the dividing range in the far distance. On a clear day this view is said to be unequaled in this. part of the colony. The railway after leaving H. Williams' property which it enters after leaving Hollingsworth's, crossed the road to the south side again, the grade being very steep at the Moorabbee Hills. It crosses the road at a distance of 20 miles 12 chains from Sandhurst, into D. Sims' property. It runs along this ground parallel with the road to 18 miles 41 chains from Sandhurst. This part of the line is over comparatively level country, then runs to the rear of the Moorabbee Hotel, through the O'Sullivan and Bywater properties, across the Wild Duck road into another holding of Mr Bywater's where the proposed site for the Knowsley station was inspected. This site extends from 18 miles 8 chains to 17 miles 67 chains from Sandhurst. At the latter distance the Wild Duck road is crossed.

The railway continues through a timber reserve, and does not leave Crown lands until 14 miles 42 chains, J. Heffernan's property is then entered, the line continuing for nearly two miles until, the bluestone country being passed, the Campaspe River is crossed at 12 miles 60 chains. Before crossing the Campaspe the party visited Mr J. Heffernan's at the invitation of that gentleman. At Mr. Heffernan's place they were hospitably entertained; the following gentlemen, besides Mr. Heffernan, were present: Messrs. Putnam, Wilton, Ingham, Gadd, Edwards, Lloyd, M. Burns, S. Cahill, and J. T. Brown, ML.A. Mr Putnam was in the chair, and Mr Brown in the vice-chair. Mr Putnam proposed the health of the Commissioners and Mr Curtois, to which Mr. Speight replied. Mr. Brown then proposed the health of Mr. Heffernan, which was also heartily honored; Mr. Heffernan, responding in a brief speech.

The visitors then went over Mr Heffernan's property, and inspected the pumping engines by which water for irrigating the ground was raised from the Campaspe. The country passed through within the last few miles was of rather poor quality until Mr. Heffernan's Estate was reached. The timber was mostly box.

It is not yet decided what kind of bridge will cross the Campaspe. The racecourse and recreation ground is next passed by the railway, Hargreaves Creek being aroused at 11 miles 67 chains. The proposed station at Axedale is at 11 miles 43 chains, on the south side of the Sandhurst road. S Herman's property is entered at 11 miles 18 chains and left at 10 miles 16 chains. The Acott mine passed at a point half way between it and the road, Crown lands, Jas. Giri's property, Crown lands, Neylan's property, and Bridget Murphy's are passed through in the order named, Sawpit Gully being crossed at 9 miles 28 chains, Sweeney's Creek is crossed at 8 miles 35 chains, and the proposed station site for Axe Creek is passed at 8 miles 5 chains, Axe Creek is crossed at 7 miles 45 chains, and T. Craike's property entered. The party paid a visit to Mrs. Craike's property, and one and all were warm in praise of the grapes, of which they carried a good supply away with then. After testing the wines, the Commissioners resumed the journey,

Mr. Craike's property is left by the railway at 6 miles 53 chains, T. Stretton's land is then entered, and the land recently belonging to the late James S. Hogan is traversed from 5 miles 50 chains, to 4 miles 66 chains. John Manning's land is entered at this point. John Holmes' at 4 miles 27 chains, E. Holton's at 4 miles 12 chains, J. Hickey's at 4 miles 1 chain, James Cashen's at 3 miles 60 chains, and Mrs E. Conroy's at 3 miles 40 chains.

The railway again crosses the main road at 3 miles 0 chains, and does not again come south of the McIvor Road. Minter's property is then entered, and Crown lands at 3 miles 16 chains from the junction with the Echuca line. After leaving the state forest, several unsold surveyed allotments passed through, then the Spring Gully water race flowing towards Huntly, then Downe's property 61 chains from the junction and 45 chains. The Sandhurst municipal boundary was passed at 44 chains and the railway passes to the north of the dynamite reserve at White Hills, joining the Echuca line 1 mile and a half from the station and a quarter of a mile north of the Inglewood line junction.

Sandhurst was reached by the Commissioners shortly before six o'clock, and by the 7.20pm train, they left for Melbourne. The trip was made in two traps provided by Messrs. Cobb and Co, each drawn by a pair of horses. The journey was accomplished without any mishap excepting the breaking of a small spring, which happened at Kilmore. The horses performed their work very well indeed, and, being driven by capable hands, did not give the slightest trouble throughout the whole distance, fully 90 miles. The animals, having been taken from Sandhurst, must have covered about 180 miles.

December, 1886

• On December 25, after more than 20 years of campaigning, tender notices for construction of a line from Wandong to Kilmore, and from Sandhurst to Heathcote, finally appear.

January, 1887

• The Argus reports the results of the railway line tender:

Local Tenderer Successful: The principal tenders dealt with today by the Railway Commissioners were for the construction of the Wandong to Kilmore and Sandhurst to Heathcote sections of the Wandong and Sandhurst railway. For the first section, Wandong to Kilmore, a distance of ten miles, twelve tenders were received, and it was announced that of Messrs. T. Buckley and Co was the lowest, but the amount was not given, as the Commissioners will not decide on its acceptance or rejection until tomorrow. The same course was pursued with regard to the Sandhurst to Heathcote line, for which 11 tenders were received, that of Mr Andrew O'Keefe [Adelaide Vale, Fosterville] being the lowest.

The Sandhurst to Heathcote railway is 28 miles in length, and passes through a tolerably level country, no earthworks being necessitated. The total earthworks amounting to only 341,000 cubic yards. There are 50 bridges and 119 culverts on the line, the principal bridges being over the Axe Creek, which is crossed by a bridge of 17 openings of 15 feet each; the Campaspe River, 12¾ miles from Sandhurst, where there is a bridge of 99 openings of 20 feet each. The highest bank on the line, 34 feet high, occurs at the Sandhurst end of the Campaspe bridge, while tho deepest cutting 32 feet in depth, is at the other or Heathcote end.

After leaving tho Campaspe, the only other important bridge is that over the Mount Ida Creek, six miles from Heathcote, where there is a bridge of 20 openings of 15 feet each. The ruling gradient throughout the line is 1 in 50. There will be six stations on this line: 1 at 4½ miles from Sandhurst for Strathfieldsaye, at 8 miles for Axe Creek, at 11½ miles for Axedale, at 18 miles for Knowsley, at 22 miles for Wild Duck, and at Heathcote.

This line has to be finished by 31st March, 1880, or a month sooner than the 10 mile line [Wandong to Kilmore]. The survey of the remaining section, between Heathcote and Kilmore, a distance of 33 miles, is not yet complete, but as soon as possible after the survey is completed tenders will be called.

March, 1887

• The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette reports:

Axedale: Hotels and business places here are doing a rather brisk trade at present, on account of the large number of extra stomachs, the owners of which are at work on the railway that require to be filled and satisfied with liquids and solids, chiefly the former, I am sorry to say.

The railway is progressing here, but not so satisfactorily to the contractor as he might expect, it being very difficult to obtain steady men. They have started driving the piles of the bridge of 99 arches, each 20 feet span, over the Campaspe, and are cutting through the hill on the Rodney side of the river adjoining Mr. Heffernan's estate. The hill is composed principally of bluestone, which has to be blasted, and it appears strange that, with immense quantity of such material at hand, the bridge should rest upon wooden piles. It is impossible to deny that at the end of twenty or twenty five years, the bridge will have become unsafe, whereas the bluestone would have stood for generations. It certainly seems "penny wise and pound foolish policy".

A new policeman is about to appear on the scene here, that office having been satisfactorily but temporarily filled by Mr. Myers. The newcomer, poor fellow - l beg your pardon, ladies - had to enter the bonds of wedlock before could accept the position, as the station can only be occupied by married men. The pair will spend their honeymoon here, so we wish them a pleasant one.

There is an industry being carried on here, which is capable of being largely developed, namely, the bluestone quarry, the proprietor of which, Mr. J. Ingham, deserves credit for the persevering manner in which he worked the quarry under discouraging circumstances. He has raised some immense blocks of stone, one some time back measuring 16ft 2in. by 12ft by 2ft. There is one at present lying in the quarry measuring 9 by 6 by 2 feet, which is without flaw, and when struck, rings like a bell. There are many more of the same size and quality in sight. Mr. Ingham, has purchased the engine and stone sawing machine which were used for cutting the stone at the new public buildings at Sandhurst, and he, therefore, in future, intends to supply stone in the finished state. When the railway is completed, he intends to have a tramway connected with the line above Mr. Heffernan's estate; from the quarry, it having been surveyed and found possible. He will then be able to deliver the stone with expedition, in any quantity, and at a cheap rate, to any part of the colonies. The stone is harder, and of better quality than that found at Malmsbury, and there is an inexhaustible supply sufficient, as Mr. Ingham tersely puts it, 'to build a city.'

May, 1887

• The Axedale Correspondent writes:

"At the present rate of progress, and under favourable circumstances, the contractor for the Sandhurst to Heathcote railway should have no difficulty in completing his work within the stipulated time. Some of the cuttings on the line are, however, developing such masses of rock that the work is necessarily slow. One of the largest is at the rear of Mr. Heffernan's property, and considering that it is composed principally of solid rock, very good progress is being made with it. The blasting operations necessary for the carrying out of the work are at times so powerful and continuous that a stranger might fancy the township was being subjected to a furious cannonade.

The bridges at the Axe Creek and the Campaspe are progressing very slowly owing to the difficulties encountered. The rails have been laid to within a hundred yards of the spot where the line crosses the McIvor road."

• On the entertainment side: It is not often that Axedale has a choice of entertainments, yet such was the case on Friday evening last, when a Marionette Show was held in a marquee erected near the local Presbyterian Church, and a magic lantern entertainment given in the local State School, both of which were well attended.

June, 1887

• The Bendigo Advertiser publishes a contributed article covering a walk along the railway line during construction:

Having had a desire to see how the Heathcote railway line was progressing, we determined to walk out as far as the Campaspe and see the line that far. Leaving Sandhurst at S.35, on Sunday morning, we proceeded as far as the junction of the railway line with the McIvor Road, about four miles out, to which place the rails are laid. Leaving the main road, we followed the railway line through the bush. The line runs parallel to the road the whole of the distance we traveled. There are no extensive earthworks or bridges till you reach the Campaspe, though the bridge over the Axe Creek is causing the contractor a little bit of bother. The ground is too hard to drive the piles into, so he has had to excavate a hole large enough to take the two piles, and then ram the hole full of cement concrete. The water has so far got the best of the contractor, but he has started to work in a systematic manner this time, as if he intended to empty the dam.

The late rains have increased the volume of water coming down the creek, so that it has washed away the temporary bank thrown across the creek above the bridge. The contractor has a centrifugal pump, worked by a portable engine, also a syphon, ready to empty the hole as soon as the bank is repaired, and has everything ready to finish the bridge. We noticed a handy blacksmith's forge close by, where all the sharpening is done, as well as having the horses shod, and apparently any amount of gear and tackling lying around ready for use.

Just before we came to this bridge, we passed the site of the Axe Creek station, and also the inspecting engineer's office, which is a Gatekeeper's residence opposite Craike's gate. [The wording here is confusing as the site of Axe Creek station has not yet been reached. Additionally, in the walking direction, Craike's property is before the Creek. My belief is that Hodge's Lane was the location of the Gatekeeper's residence which would also place it at Craike's property entrance.]

We crossed the Axe Creek on a bar of stone which forms a natural weir throws back a large volume of water for some distance up the_ stream, which must be a very valuable acquisition to proprietors of the land on either side. The land after crossing the creek is more cultivated, we passed through several paddocks where the crops were looking splendid. We passed a couple of places from which ballast will be obtainable, and the gravel will also do for concrete. For a good distance along here the line has been formed by ... clearing the scrub off the line, and taking ... and sweeping the track. It certainly will be an uneven line, it is up hill and down dale the whole of the distance we covered. Several places we noticed they have excavated two to three feet of the brow of the hill, about enough to cover ... that they have to bury in the hollow. No ... fear of a runaway train going very far here ... will hardly have enough way on it to carry out of a valley.

We tramped along here very leisurely admiring the view up the valley towards the ... ranges, which stood out very prominently in the clear atmosphere; we kept to the railway till within about half a mile of Mr. S. Burke's, where the future is to be placed - a more out of the way place for a station for a station that is supposed to be in close proximity to the township could hardly be imagined. A regular bush mile from the township. The usual excuse of the surveying ... given; the gradient will not allow of a train stopping at a point nearer the township. There have been greater engineering feats ... than the alteration of a station site. If the Axedale people had only been unanimous and brought their influence to bear, they might have got the railway station close to the racecourse, a lovelier picnicking place there is not within a reasonable distance of Sandhurst. The racecourse reserve will be a favourite picnic resort as communication is opened; it is a beautiful place this time of the year, and there are always shady trees, and running water in abundance. There are a few thistles of course, but nothing as bad as some of the other resorts. If Axedale residents do not get the site the station altered, they ought to get a siding there for the use of picnic trains.

The line runs off an angle at this reserve and at this point an extensive undertaking has to be negotiated. It is the bridge over the Campaspe. There are a good number of piles already driven on the Sandhurst side of the river but on the other side, they are not so far ahead. There are ... to be put down in the stream to carry the bridge, but there are none there yet. The approaches to the bridge on both sides are very extensive.

The line at this point runs too close to the back door of Mr. Heffernan's residence to be pleasant; it runs between the ... and the river, there are two ... left under the line to allow of communication with his out houses and the river. Just after passing the residence, the line follows the bank of the river, describing a quarter circle where we saw the deepest cutting so far on the journey between 30 and 40 feet high of solid bluestone to be blasted out, broken up broken up, and carted away to the approaches of the bridge. Continuing on, we came to the next cutting, which, when looked at from a distance, is like fine red clay, but turns out to be largely mixed with sand, and which there is a layer which appears to be ... from clay and which is being saved for ... The next cutting is again through ... contractor has a powerful crane for lifting the large blocks out of the cutting and stacking them on the bank in heaps, some of them ... feet high and as far back as the jib of the crane will land them. We climbed up the highest of these and had a look around. The river looked best with the rich green paddocks on the low flats. In some parts of the river, the banks are very steep and as there are any quantity of ...shoulders of honeycomb bluestone jutting out ... the surface, it gives a peculiarly ... appearance when viewed from any distance.

Having got thus far, and remembering our intention of walking home again, we retraced our steps to the main road, close to Mr. N. Ingham's place. Knowing that he had lately acquired a sawing plant, we called on him, and asked him to show us his quarries and plant. We had ... and noticed that he had a table ready ... to saw.

Mr. Ingham intends to construct a tramway about a mile long to connect his quarry with the railway line. After leaving Mr. Ingham's, we inspected the township of Axedale, which does not appear to have altered ... except the buildings do not look as new as when the were first erected. In ... we must thank Mr. and Mrs. Ferber ... for their kind entertainment of ... and for his valuable assistance in ... around the different vantage grounds for viewing the railway works. Leaving Axedale as ... was approaching, on our homeward journey, we found the main road about as had as it .. and in places it seems a wonder that traffic could use it at all, and it must be verve hard work even with half a load on. As the evening wore on, we could scarcely tell where put our feet down with certainty of getting on the solid without through three or four inches of mud. There about a mile before we came to the Axe Creek, which we voted the palm to. We ... which our walk had given us a good appetite. When we started from there, the moon was shining brightly, enabling us to pick our way very nicely, and we made the rest of our journey in good time, to mingle with the churchgoers returning to their homes, as well satisfied with their day's recreation, as we were with ours.

July, 1887

• The railway works to Heathcote are progressing very rapidly and most of the cuttings and embankments being completed beyond Axedale and the sleepers and rails laid.

September, 1887

• The railway contractor is making good progress. Most of the heavy construction is now completed - except for crossing the Axe Creek and the Campaspe River.

December, 1887

• The Sandhurst-Heathcote rail line is expected to be open in six months.

"The construction of the above railway, which was passed through Parliament after a prolonged and united agitation on the part of the Sandhurst citizens and their Parliamentary representatives, is now being pushed on vigorously, and it is expected that in less than six months the line will be opened for traffic. Already the "iron horse" runs from the Sandhurst junction to a point about two miles from the Axedale station, and as the platelayers with the present plentiful supply of rails are able to complete a distance of about a mile and a half every week, it may readily be assumed that the contractor's ballast engine will soon be enabled to travel miles beyond the Campaspe River. The contractor is Mr Andrew O'Keefe, of Adelaide Vale, and as it is the first time that he has embarked in such a large undertaking in connection with the Railway department of the colony, it is to be hoped that he will be successful. There is little reason to doubt of Mr. O'Keefe's success, for he has entered upon the work in as systematic and regular a manner as if he had been contracting for the Railway Department for years, and his indomitable energy is unaffected by the many and varied drawbacks incidental to the carrying out of a work of such proportion as this. There can be no doubt, however, that he has been singularly unfortunate in having experienced so much wet weather during the winter months, and even in spring. The rains during those periods were unusually heavy, and the floods in the creeks and the Campaspe River greatly impeded operations, besides the rains rendered the formation works so soft that it was absolutely impossible for a horse to draw a load over it, consequently there was no other course open but to suspend work and await more settled weather. The floods in the Axe Creek and Campaspe caused much loss, Tons of timber were washed away by the immense volume which flowed along the Campaspe. Great beams of sawn and hewn timber, and even immense piles, were carried down the stream. Some of them were caught in the snags and entailed a great deal of labour to remove them back to the scene of operations at the bridge. Many tons, however, disappeared altogether with the floods. As soon as the waters subsided work was once more resumed, and pushed forward as expeditiously as possible. Taking into account the wet weather, the contractor has accomplished an immense amount of work since January last, and although it is more than probable that he will not be able to complete the line within the contract time, viz., fifteen months, yet the department is bound to grant an extension of time. The contract expires on the 31st of March next, and the contractor expects that he will have finished two months later, i.e., by the end of May. There are numerous departmental inspectors overlooking the work as it proceeds. They are all very strict, and insist upon the very best of timber being used. A huge pile, beam or a sleeper with the slightest flaw in it is condemned at once, and without more ado it is cast aside. The whole line is being built with the best possible material, and as the earthworks on the route have been thoroughly consolidated by the rains it promises to be one of the soundest and best constructed railways in the colony.

The contract was let towards the end of January last, the price being £88,409. This was considerably below the other tenderers. The total length of the line is 28 miles. A week or ten days after the signing of the contract the work was commenced. The line branches off to the right of the Echuca railway route, about a mile and a half from the Sandhurst station and just beyond the signal box at the cattle yards siding, and the Inglewood junction. From thence it takes a sharp sweep round between the second and third White Hills, not far from the Sandhurst powder magazine. Leaving the old alluvial workings on the White Hills, from whence the ballast is obtained, the line passes through Mr Downe's property, and going over a rise runs along in front of Healing's Grassy Flat Hotel and through the State Forest and Mr Minter's paddock, when the McIvor road is reached. The country up to this point is most uninteresting and sparsely populated. It is of an undulating character, and covered with young growing timber. There are several pretty sharp gradients, the steepest being 1 in 50 when ascending the hill just before the McIvor road is sighted. A small bridge has been constructed between, the second and third White Hills, and another with seven openings of 15ft. each at Grassy Flat. Two more small bridges are passed over in the State Forest. The water passing along the race from the Spring Gully reservoir is carried under the line about a mile from the junction by means of an inverted iron syphon. There is a splendid piece of work, and the water now runs under the line unimpeded, just so well as if it were in the one race.

Crossing the McIvor Road, where there will, of course, be a Gatekeeper's cottage, the railway passes over the Splitter's Creek, the bridge there not being a work of much difficulty. Two small bridges are crossed before the Strathfieldsaye station yard is come to, about four miles from Sandhurst. The station is situated in Mr John Holmes' property to the right of and within sight of the McIvor road. It is about two miles to the North-east of the Strathfieldsaye township, and there are very few inhabitants indeed within a radius of two miles. It will be remembered that the Strathfieldsaye people bestirred themselves in order to have the station brought nearer to the township, but the engineering difficulties proved a barrier in the way, and their wishes were not satisfied. There is a road leading from the Shire Hall, Strathfieldsaye, and striking the McIvor Road just close to the station, but it has not been cleared or formed up to the present. The land reserved for the purposes of the station yard embraces about 27 acres. Provision has been made for a passenger platform which has already been erected on the right hand side of the permanent way, a carriage dock and a goods siding. No buildings have yet been erected there. The stations and cottages form a separate contract, The passenger platform is over 200ft. long. A through siding has been laid down on the east of the permanent way, and further east will be the goods siding. It is in this station yard where the contractor's camp is at present pitched. The country surrounding this station is little or no better than that traversed before crossing the McIvor road.

Leaving this station, the country improves as the Axe Creek is approached. The railway then passes through Messrs. Manning's, Lazarus, Hogan, and Craike's land. A Gatekeeper's cottage stands at the road immediately before entering Mr. Craike's property. The line runs down through this property for about a quarter of a mile until the Axe Creek is come to, close to Mr Craike's house. This was the first engineering difficulty of moment encountered. Pile driving was commenced here in March last when the taking the soundings of the creek, altered the bridge as it was impossible to drive piles in the bed of the creek, which had a rock bottom. The structure was therefore altered to a sill bridge, with special piers of greater dimensions, the piles being enlarged and made stronger. The piles had to be 24in. at the top and 18in. at the bottom? The contractor was occupied some six or eight weeks in getting a fresh supply of the larger piles. This delay brought on the winter and with May commenced the heavy rains which did much damage to that part of the bridge already erected.

Three times the coffer dams, constructed to carry off the water coming down the creek, were washed away. A 12 horsepower engine and centrifugal pump were constantly kept going, but proved altogether inadequate in keeping down the great volume of water in the creek, and the work had to be relinquished until the fine weather set in. about the beginning of October, the work was resumed, and by dint of perseverance and a gang of 40 men working night and day, the bridge was completed about a month ago. The piers are now standing in 11ft. of water, 2ft.6in. of mud, and 4ft. 10in. of rock had to be excavated before the piers were put down and then it was all filled in with concrete to the top of the rock. The bridge has 12 openings of 15ft. each, and 4 of 20ft. each. The length of the special piers are 42ft. each.

After crossing the creek the line runs through Mr. James O'Loughlin's property, and half a mile from the creek is the Axe Creek station in Messrs. Lazarus Brothers' paddock. The station here will be precisely similar to that at Strathfieldsaye. The same accommodation and road approaches will be provided. from here, the country is still of an undulating character, but more fertilised and selected for some distance on both sides of the creek.

Half a mile from the station, a bridge has been constructed over Sweeney's Creek of 23 openings of l1ft. each. O'Grady's and Neyland's paddocks are traversed and a bridge over Sawpit Gully is crossed. The railway once opens out into Crown lands, passing along between Acott's Hotel on the McIvor road, and the Acott Company's mine, and crossing two small 7ft open bridges. Messrs. Nelson and Stephen Burke's properties are passed through, and then the Axedale station is arrived at. It is located on a ridge about a mile from the township to the west. About 28 acres have been reserved it. The buildings here will be larger and the accommodation greater than at he other two stations alluded to. Departing from here, a pretty steep declivity is descended and a bridge over Hargreaves Creek, consisting of 10 openings of 15ft. each, is crossed just before the Campaspe valley presents itself to view.

Upon arriving at the summit of the ridge, some heaving cutting has been done, and an embankment had to be built to carry the line over the Native Creek and the Campaspe. The bridge over the Native Creek is a very high one, being about 30ft. off the ground; and comprising 13 openings of 15ft. each, and 1 of 20ft. to accommodate traffic. A very short distance further on, the greatest engineering work on the whole line presents itself in the Campaspe viaduct. This is an enormous bridge, consisting of no fewer than 99 openings of 20ft. each. It is 2,000ft. long, and raised to a height of 36ft. or 38ft. above the river bed. All the piles have been driven in on either side of the river, and the decking nailed down. The bed of the river is to be silled with special piers, the same as the Axe creek bridge, but in this case, the piles are to be 50ft. long. Fourteen more piles are now required complete the bridge, but these are so difficult to obtain that it is feared that much delay will take place over it. Plenty of ordinary piles can be procured, but special ones of a certain length and width cannot be obtained in the colony. Already the work has been greatly hindered through waiting for the piles. Mr. O'Keefe has tried to get them in all parts of the colony,, but without success. He had the pick of 700 piles belonging to the Harbour Trust, but none of them were suitable. It is probable that the contractor will have to seek for the piles he requires from Newcastle, N.S.W.

Having crossed the Campaspe, the line runs through Mr. J. Heffernan's beautiful farm between the river and the homestead. The scenery and,surroundings here are very pretty indeed; in fact it is the only landscape of any interest on the line up to this point. The river lies a good many feet below the line, the tall trees clustering round the water's edge, and a green verdant hill on the other side forms the background. Mr. Heffernan will have access to the river by two small bridges under which traffic can be carried on. The railway then winds round the side of an immense hill just at the back of the homestead, where there is an enormous cutting through solid bluestone. A little further on, another heavy bluestone rock cutting is encountered, then a third and larger one, and still another. These cuttings are the heaviest on the whole route. Thousands of tons of bluestone were broke by dynamite here, and tremendous piles of debris now stand on either side of the line. Tons were lifted out by means of a crane. Many of the rocks were so large, that it would have been impossible to have got them out of the way otherwise.

The gradient all along here is very steep, and a strong engine will be required to draw a moderately heavy load over it. For fully a mile and a quarter there is a rising gradient of about 1 in 50. Having gone through these cuttings, the line passes into light undulating country and the Knowsley State Forest, where there is abundance of timber available for mining purposes and firewood. It traverses about 3¼ miles in this forest, and then the land begins to improve again until the Moorabbee Station is approached. There is a good deal of cultivation around here. The Moorabbee Station is 18 miles from Sandhurst, and is situated close to the McIvor road; opposite Mr. P. Bourke's Moorabbee Hotel. The station is in Mr. J. D. Bywater's paddock.

Two miles beyond Moorabbee, the line crosses the McIvor road for the second time, near Mr. D. Sims' paddock. From thence it passes through Mr. Hollingsworth's paddock, and on getting to the rise, a magnificent view presents itself. Looking down the slopes of the valley of the Wild Duck Creek, surrounded with beautiful fertile looking undulating hills, and clumps of green trees studded here and there, Mount Ida stands out boldly to the left and the Dividing Range in the far distance. The scene is exceedingly picturesque. This is unquestionably the prettiest part of country on the line. The line soon runs down to the Wild Duck Creek, over which a substantial bridge has been built, It is, however, not quite completed yet. A mile beyond the creek is the Wild Duck Creek station. There is splendid land all round the Wild Duck, grazing being mostly followed. From this station to Heathcote, the country is of an undulating nature, the properties of Mr. Speed, Mrs Ann Davis and Mr. Lee Moses. It then passes through old diggings and over couple of small gullies, finally terminating at the Heathcote railway station, just at the back of Messrs. Moore, Christie and Spinks' store near the police camp and closer to the Government offices. There will be a large station yard here.

All the formation works have been done right into Heathcote, with the exception of a few cuttings, which yet remain to be trimmed up. The fencing has also nearly been completed for the whole distance. The fence is a substantial one of wire and rails.

The platelaying has been completed as far as Mr. Neyland's paddock, about 9½ miles from Sandhurst, and some two miles this side of Axedale, but at the rate the work is now going on, the platelayers will soon be at the Campaspe. The ballast engine makes regular trips every day to the end of the rails, and the train runs very smoothly.

A feature in the construction of the line is the few Gatekeepers' cottages that are to be erected. To do away with these to a great extent at road crossings, where there is very little traffic, the Department have adopted the American system by leaving an open gateway, so that vehicles can pass, to and fro whenever they please, keeping, of course a sharp lookout that the train is not approaching. The gateway being always open a pit about 16ft long by 6ft wide and 6ft deep has been constructed on the line at each side of the level crossing so as to prevent cattle, etc., from getting on to the line. The pits are so large that cattle, et., cannot get over them, and so get within the railway line enclosure. This is the first line where this system has been adopted, and it will certainly effect a great saving to the Department on Gatekeeper wages houses and salaries. There are 17 of these crossings on the line.

The estimated total quantity of earthworks on the line is 638,700 cubic yards. In all there are 50 bridges, exclusive of a number of road bridges and approaches. Mr. Norman is the head engineer for the Government, Mr. Smart is the next Government engineer. Mr. T. F. M Farlane is the capable manager for Mr. O'Keefe. There are a very large number of navvies engaged on the line. If the Campaspe bridge were finished, the Contractor considers that he would finish the permanent way in three months, but in the absence of the special piles and the delay of the late rains, he does not think he will finish until the end of May.

As showing the interest that is being taken in the railway, it may be mentioned that several Italians are already amassing timber at Moorabbee to truck to Sandhurst as soon as the line is open. The township already shows unmistakable signs of improvement. Several new buildings have been erected, and Mr E. Hayes, of Goornong, has established a store there. A butcher's shop is also in course of erection.

January, 1888

• The Axedale Correspondent writes:

The local railway works are being pushed on with vigour. The rails are laid to the Campaspe bridge, and the ballast train steams to within a hundred yards of the same spot. Some time will, however, elapse before the engine will be able to cross the bridge, owing to the amount of work yet to be done in the bed of the river. Where the line crosses the river, the stream is divided by an island. Two channels are thus formed, and easterly and a westerly one. It was found practicable to drive the piles in the easterly channel and on the island, but the westerly channel was found to contain a bedrock, which prevented this being done. To work in this portion of the river, it was necessary to divert the stream. This has been done, and active operations are being carried on in it. In this part, the piles are laid in concrete and, in to facilitate the work, every minute of daylight is used. One party of men work from 4am to noon and the other from noon to 8pm. Fine weather is indispensable to the completion of the work, which is likely to take several weeks.

• A young man named Michael Fitzpatrick meets with a serious accident while working on the rail line. Some excavating was being done where the local station is being situated and he charges a hole with dynamite to break away the earth. After lighting the fuse, he carelessly throws the lighted match away. Unfortunately for him it falls on some loose powder. A tremendous explosion follows, and Fitzpatrick is seen frantically tearing off his burning clothes. His face, hands and arms are badly burned. Mr. Minter and his buggy is requisitioned and Fitzpatrick was conveyed to hospital.

• Mr. O'Keefe also had a narrow escape when some tackling he is using at the Campaspe River, falls. Two men were working on the scaffolding at the railway bridge when it gives way, precipitating one of them to the ground with such force that he is badly knocked out. The other saves himself by clutching a rope.

February, 1888

• The Railways Department calls for tenders for 14 Gatekeepers' cottages on the Sandhurst-Heathcote line. [There were 17 Gatekeepers on the line. The shortfall of three Gatekeepers houses in the tender announcement was due to the fact that Andrew O'Keefe constructed them at Hodges Lane, Cemetery Road, Axedale, and where the line crossed McIvor Road, now called the Old Bendigo Road. The three houses were used as his Engineer's Headquarters during the various stages of line construction.]

April, 1888

• The time allowed for the completion of the Sandhurst to Heathcote railway expires, but the rails are only laid to about a couple of miles past Axedale. The chief trouble has been at the Axedale bridge. The putting in of the last two piles at the bridge was a tedious job and some hair breadth escapes occurred. A long broken pole passed that close to Mr. O'Keefe that he lost a button as it rapidly descended

July, 1888

• Tenders are accepted for the erection of goods sheds and platforms at Axe Creek, Axedale, Knowsley and Heathcote. The successful tenderer is Messrs. F. G. and W. Croaker for the amount of £1,707/5/0.

August, 1888

• Cr. Abbott moves that the Railway Commissioners, when opening the new railway line from Sandhurst through the Shire of Strathfieldsaye to Heathcote be invited to stop at Axedale to enable the council to officially welcome them and partake of a glass of wine in celebration. Cr. Craike seconded [Craike had a vineyard at Axe Creek] and it is carried. Cr. Craike also moves that a sub-committee consisting of the whole council make the necessary arrangements to give the Commissioners as hearty a welcome as possible.

• The Australian Natives Association arranges a picnic at Axedale for the coming Boxing day. The Railway Department says that the necessary trains will be supplied.

September, 1888

• The contract for the goods sheds and platforms is awarded to F.G. and W. Croker.

• The opening of a number of new rail lines is announced. Among them are the Sandhurst-Heathcote and Wandong-Kilmore lines. The line will be open for passenger traffic on and after October 1st with stations at Strathfieldsaye, Axe Creek, Axedale, Knowsley, Wild Duck and Heathcote. Axedale, Knowsley and Heathcote will be open for light goods not requiring crane power or shed accommodation.

• A new rail timetable is announced along with the coming opening of new lines. Two passenger trains will run daily between Sandhurst and Heathcote and also between Wandong and Kilmore.

• The line will be open for passenger traffic on and after October 1st with stations at Strathfieldsaye, Axe Creek, Axedale, Knowsley, Wild Duck and Heathcote. Axedale, Knowsley and Heathcote will be open for light goods not requiring crane power or shed accommodation.

October, 1888

• Two line sections open on the same day, viz., Sandhurst-Heathcote and Wandong-Kilmore. The line was to be constructed in 15 months but floods in the creeks and rivers retarded progress. Even now the railway is not completed as some of the station buildings have yet to be erected.

The special train carrying Mr. Gillies, Premier and Minister of Railways, and Mr. Shackell, leaves Melbourne at 8.30am and arrives in Sandhurst about 11.30am [via the main line]. At Sandhurst, the train is joined by Dr. Quick, and Mr. A. S. Bailes, Ms.L.A., the Mayor of Sandhurst, Cr. Hayes, the Town Clerk, Mr. Denovan, Mr. Andrew O'Keefe, Contractor for the Heathcote railway, Mr. M. Brennan, Secretary of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, Mr. E. Warren, Secretary of the Shire of Huntly), Mr. S. Seward, Secretary of the Echuca Shire, and a large number of prominent Sandhurst citizens.

The train leaves Sandhurst at 12 noon for Heathcote. No stoppages are made at either the Strathfieldsaye or Axe Creek stations, and only a brief halt is made at Axedale. The next station is Moorabbee, where the train is brought to a standstill once more, to pick up Mr J.D. Bywater and one or two other well-known residents of the district. The journey was then resumed, and continued without interruption to Heathcote, arriving at 1.10pm - an hour and ten minutes run from Sandhurst.

The inhabitants along the whole of the country traversed by the new railway turn out to see tho special train rushing forward at high speed, and signify their delight by waving hands and handkerchiefs, and at all the principal places the occasion is marked by a pretty liberal display of bunting. At the Heathcote terminus some 500 persons congregate on the platform to receive the Premier, and as the train draws up, the Heathcote brass band plays the National anthem. The official party is then driven to the Heathcote Hotel where a banquet is held. Altogether, around 150 people are in attendance.

Mr. Shackell says he will not rest till he has secured the construction of the line he has so long advocated, viz., that from Elmore to Heathcote. [He has not had any rest since as, in 2014, there is still no such line.]

Cr. McMaster proposes "Success to the new railway," coupled with the name of Mr. Andrew O'Keefe, the Contractor. He says that Mr. O'Keefe deserves all credit for constructing the line in the manner in which he has done. He entered upon the work single handed, and has carried it through successfully.

Mr. O'Keefe thanks the company for the hearty way in which the toast has been honored, and says he has done his very best to complete the work within a reasonable time. He had a very low price-a very poor one in fact-and had to contend with a bad winter. However, he had overcome all difficulties, and it is for them to say that day, as judges, if he has carried it out well. The departmental officers rendered him every assistance in their power. Although they had been very severe upon him as the Contractor, yet they were most courteous, and he had to thank them for their kindness and courtesy; also the whole of the neighbours right along the line. A voice then asks, "What about the profits?" Mr. O'Keefe answers with, "The profits are very small."

Mr. Taylor, of Kilmore, also responds. He says that, from his point of view, the wrong half of the railway had been commenced first, but he believes that the second half will be soon completed, and he hopes it will be carried on direct to Elmore. He also hoped that before long they would have a straight line on to Seymour.

The return to Sandhurst is accomplished in about an hour.

• The Railways Commissioners receive a suggestion for a platform to be erected near the Axedale Racecourse on the Sandhurst-Heathcote line. They promise to obtain a report on the matter for consideration.

December, 1888

• The Railways notify that the A.N.A picnic meeting arrangements have been made by which the first train (for Axedale) would leave at 8.30am and others at intervals all morning. It is reported that some unscrupulous persons were trying to palm off tickets to Knowsley on Boxing Day by urging that holders of tickets for that picnic would have the right to alight at Axedale or Knowsley at their option. The Railways Department states that will not be the case and on no account will Knowsley ticket holders be allowed to break their journey at Axedale. Separate trains to be set apart for the ANA Picnic, will not proceed beyond Axedale, and the Foresters' Picnic. Special carriages will be added if required but Knowsley passengers will not be permitted to alight at Axedale.

Ticket sales for the A.N.A. picnic have exceeded the most sanguine of expectations and the Axedale picnic would undoubtable be the largest held in the district. The Oddfellows picnic to Axedale promises to be an attractive affair. there will be numerous sport, a splendid Brass Band and a special excursion train from Heathcote at 11.06am, returning at 6.15pm. It is the annual picnic of the various lodges of the Bendigo district. It will be held on the Axedale Racecourse on the banks of the Campaspe. The Knowsley picnic also gets a mention with a confirmation that there is water there. This refutes another report to the contrary that had gained currency. All kinds of refreshments will be available at Sandhurst prices. [It is a little difficult to work out whether these picnics are horse races, picnics or a combination of both.]

• A Church of England picnic is also mentioned. Rain began to fall as they left Knowsley Station. The rain did not let up and, eventually, Mr. O'Sullivan made his home available for shelter. It was ultimately decided to return to Heathcote by the first train.

• It is reported that a temporary gate had been made at the Axedale Racecourse at the nearest point to the railway station. [The Axedale racecourse platform does not exist at this time].

• The Foresters' report that all the picnic trains were delayed. [See the A.N.A. report following.] A special train left Sandhurst at 11.15am, conveying picnickers to Axedale and the majority to Knowsley.

• The A.N.A. picnic reports that the picnic site is too far from the Axedale Station. Scarcely anyone thought that the picnic would "come off so well." There were about ten trains involved and a number had to be conveyed in the Heathcote ordinary train. The first train left Sandhurst about 8.30am and continued to 1pm, whereas the last train was scheduled to leave at 11.35am. There were two booths on the ground but neither can be said to have been carried out properly with no temperance drinks available from one of them. The reports states that 3,936 persons traveled by train to their picnic with another 1,000 persons in vehicles paying for admission at the ground. The Committee was instructed to take measures to induce the Railway Department to construct a siding at the Axedale picnic resort for the next Boxing Day picnic.

• The Oddfellows Picnic report suggests that the grounds committee outlines measures to limit inconvenience for excursionists such as a sufficient supply of cabs and vehicles at the Axedale Station, another large marquee, another place for sun protection for the band, and a more accommodating booth with a plentiful supply of temperance goods.

• The A.N.A. reports that 3,936 persons traveled by train to their picnic with another 1,000 persons in vehicles paying for admission at the ground. The Committee was instructed to take measures to induce the Railway Department to construct a siding at the Axedale picnic resort for the next Boxing Day picnic.

• Mr. J. Dower of the Star Boot Warehouse, Pall Mall (Sandhurst) posts a reward for a locket and compass that was lost on Boxing Day at the Axedale Platform.

February, 1889

• The Sandhurst City Council, Strathfieldsaye Shire Council and the Sandhurst branch of the Australian Natives' Association send a joint deputation to the Railway Commissioners to ask for the construction of a siding to the Axedale Racecourse, as present visitors have to walk or ride a mile and a half from the nearest station [Axedale Station] on the Heathcote line. The Commissioners had called for a return of the probable traffic with a view of acceding to the wishes of the deputation if possible.

March, 1889

• South Sandhurst Election: Mr. O'Neill is to meet the electors at: Bull's Head Hotel - Grassy Flat, Quealey's Hotel - Homebush, Perseverance Hotel - Axe Creek, and Drake's Hotel - Axedale.

April, 1889

• The Baptist Sunday School picnic is to be held at Axedale on Good Friday. The Presbyterian Sabbath Schools annual picnic will be held the same day.

• The following traffic report relates to Sandhurst: The influx of railway traffic to the district was larger than it has been for several years past. About 1,350 passengers from Melbourne and another 1,000 from Eaglehawk. About 600 traveled from Heathcote. The morning train was so crowded, additional trucks [sometimes open trucks were used in those days] had to be attached at Axedale. Three full trains were despatched to Melbourne that night. The whole of the traffic was carried on without accident and Mr. Reid, Relieving Stationmaster, was in charge locally. [This may have been an excursion or Easter traffic.]

• Napthali Ingham, Quarry Hotel, advertises for masons.

August, 1889

• Strathfieldsaye Shire Council receives a letter from the Sandhurst City Council, requesting co-operation in an effort to induce the Minister of Railways to construct a tramway from Mr. N. Ingham's bluestone quarries at Axedale, to the Heathcote rail line. Received, and on the motion of Cr. Burke, it was decided to inform the City Council that there is a quarry situated much closer to the railway at Axedale than Mr. Ingham's quarry.

• There is also a letter from Mr. Rundell, Secretary of the Strathfieldsaye to Redesdale Railway league, seeking cooperation for a railway from Redesdale, through Horseshoe Bend to the Strathfieldsaye Railway Station or south of the Sandhurst Station. Cr. Abbott said they all know how the pubic meeting had been called in favour of the line to Strathfieldsaye, and how the resolutions were passed and the executive committee appointed. The proposed line from Redesdale to a point south the Sandhurst Railway Station was the one first supported by the council, and the one that would suit the majority of the ratepayers. It was also the proper and best route for the proposed railway. The Heathcote railway was very little used by the Strathfieldsaye people, and was not likely to be, and it would not be a good thing to make any other railway go in that direction. The route first decided upon would accommodate a largo amount of traffic, and pass through valuable country. He moved - 1. That Mr. Rundell be informed that this council has already by resolution asked the Minister of Railways to include a railway from Sandhurst to Redesdale in the next Railway Construction Bill, the line to join the main Melbourne to Sandhurst line at a point south of the Sandhurst railway station." 2. "That the secretary be instructed to forward to the Minister of Railways a plan showing the route of the proposed railway, calculated to serve the interests of the majority of the residents starting from a point south of the Sandhurst Railway Station on the main Melbourne to Sandhurst line crossing the Sheepwash creek, making a detour towards the Strathfieldsaye township, thence crossing the Emu, Axe, Mosquito and Myrtle Creeks, to join the Kyneton to Redesdale line at Redesdale." Cr. O'Rourke seconded the motion. Cr. Somerville moved an amendment that co-operation be granted. He said that the public meeting was unanimously in favour of the Redesdale to Strathfieldsaye route. Personally he would like to see a route agreed upon that would suit all parties, but he would adhere to the line to junction with the Heathcote railway at the Strathfieldsaye station. Cr. Abbott said that if they got the line near to the township that would be all that was wanted, and that was what the council would advocate. The President supported the motion, and said he thought the line from Redesdale to Sandhurst would suit the majority of the ratepayers. The motion was carried. On the motion of Cr. Abbott, it was resolved, "That the president attend the deputation to the Minister on Wednesday next, and represent the route that in the opinion of the council would best serve the interests of the majority of the residents of the shire."


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