Sunday, 1 September 2013

Unlocking family stories - Rosemount

When looking at a map of the Sunshine Coast recently I noticed in the left lower corner the words Kilcoy, Woodford and Villeneuve, places near where my grandparents had a farm in the 1950s and early 1960s. The initial postal address was Rosemount, Villeneuve via Kilcoy until some of the land around Villeneuve was reclaimed for the expansion of the Somerset Dam.

Queensland Places has a detailed article about Kilcoy which mentions flooding part of the Villeneuve area in 1958 and Woodford which were the closest large towns to the farm. There is also an entry for D'aguilar and Neurum. Access to Rosemount was via Neurum Road.

Checking the electoral rolls using Ancestry.com.au helps to narrow when my grandparents were at Rosemount. There are two entries in the 1954 electoral rolls - one for Beriley at Toogoolawah and the second at Rosemount, Villeneuve so the move must have been made that year. A search in Trove using the terms Beriley and Toogoolawah for 1953 to 1954 produced two articles showing that after the sale of the property, the new owners were changing to farming sheep.

Dairymen. from all over the Brisbane Valley and Ipswich attended a dispersal sale of Messrs. R. and F. Moyse's A.I.S. dairy herd conducted by New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd. on the property, "Berily," recently purchased from  Mr. A. B. Lord. The whole herd of'60 head was sold at satisfactory prices which were. in advance of those at recent local sales. A stud bull brought £33/12/, cows in profit £24, cows and calves £25, springers to £27/10/ Jersey heifers to £22, and vealers £7 to £10. There was also keen competition for the stud pigs. Brood sows brought £25. All surplus farm machinery went at satisfactory prices. In future the holding will be used for fat lamb raising and agriculture. (Queensland Times 4 May 1954, page 4.)

As well as confirming the sale of Beriley the above article is useful for describing the type of farming previously carried out on the farm.

A search in Google for Rosemount Neurum provided a link to photograph of Rosemount, possibly taken in the 1990s, in Trove, plus the information that the property named Rosemount at Neurum near Woodford, was taken up by John Doyle in December 1875, and was still operating as a dairy farm in 1998. The house was lined and had ceilings of silky-oak.

Trove also helps provide information about Rosemount.
In 1949 two of the three properties, including Rosemount, owned by Mr Eager were put on the market. He had purchased Rosemount from Miss B V Doyle in March 1942.
Queensland Country Life 24 November 1949
An earlier sale notice for the property in 1952 provided additional information.

Queensland Country Life 11 September 1952
The property was advertised again in 1954.
Queensland Country Life 28 January 1954.
These three notices provide information about Rosemount when it was finally purchased by Arthur Lord in 1954. Rosemount backed on to Mount Archer. Mount Archer is a mountain within the Mount Mee Forest Reserve in southeast Queensland and is at an altitude of about 545m above sea level.

The 1963 electoral roll shows that my grandparents were at Rosemount that year but five years later were living in Buderim. As Queensland newspapers for this time frame have not yet been digitised it may be necessary to wait a while to narrow the date range.

A Google search for Rosemount Neurum produced references to Rosemount Dairy, Neurum at 51 Doyles Road, which initially I ignored but when I checked this using Google Maps I found the original homestead among other buildings. 
Doyles Road (named after John Doyle) probably follows the original private road that ran from Neurum Road to the main gate of the property. 

A Google search for Doyles Road Mount Archer provided the sales history for a selection of properties on the road starting from 1993. According to this search number 51 was last sold in 2006.

So utilising general Google searches, examining maps, reading about the development of local towns in Queensland Places and exploring newspaper articles and an image in Trove has helped to discover some of the history of Rosemount including the time when my family farmed the property.

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