by Libby Skidmore


(If you would like more information about the stories below please get in touch with Libby via: eskidmore@dcsi.net.au)



1.     HAROLD HUGHES - Harold Hughes was born in 1860. As a surveyor he travelled to the Kimberleys in 1883 to map out the township of Broome where he kept a diary of his travels. His party heard the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa and noted the red sky in the evening.

2.     CORINELLA JETTY - The jetty was completed in 1884 and to mark the occasion a festival was held. About 400 people celebrated with meals and amusements, sports were held in the afternoon and a grand ball in the evening.

3.     THE NAKED FRENCHMAN - In April 1802 Nicholas Baudin sentsmall boat from his ship “Le Naturalist captained by Pierre Milius to chart Western Port His botanist kept a diary and records a meeting with the local aborigines ‘We approach the coast and sat at the foot of a cliff upon which the tribe were gathered. Milius took off his shirt and jacket and climbed the cliff. At the top he removed his pants and shoes to try to meet them on their terms.

4.     LEADBEATER’S POSSUM - William Peters was a taxidermist who had been associated with the London museum. His friend John Leadbeateralso had land in Corinella. They discovered a small possum and sent specimens to London where it was named Leadbeaters Possum, It is now the state’s faunal emblem.

5.     STRZELECKI - They arrived here in 1840, starving and exhausted . Charley Tarra their guide brought them through thick bush and fed them on “tree bears” till they reached Anderson and Massey’s farm where they recovered before going on to Melbourne.

6.     CHICORY - Grown in the winter, this labour intensive crop was dug, topped, washed, and cut before drying in the chicory kiln. The crop was sold forover 25 pounds a ton with about 1-2 tons per acre

7.     1826 SETTLEMENT - Soldiers and convicts came to Corinella in 1826. They made bricks for houses and government buildings. They planted vegetables and crops. The first baby Abraham Western Chapman was born at the settlement, They were recalled to Sydney in 1828 and the site of the settlement disappeared.

8.     FIRSTVICTORIAN SHIPBUILDERS -  James Smith and his son bought a seven ton sloop “the Caledonia” in Hobart in 1824. They sailed her to Western Port and dragged her ashore to make repairs! They cut her in half and rebuilt her. They sailed back to Tasmania in the new Caledonia now 45 feet long, 22 tons and two masted, A puzzle for their creditors who had chased them from South Africa to London to Hobart.



9.     YOOHOOGA - The homestead was built in 1912 and was a Southdown sheep stud. It was noted for its parties and gymkhanas with guests coming from Melbourne by road and boat to the beach at Coronet Bay

10.  LOVE STORY - Ann was born in 1856 and the aboriginal women from the nearby camp used to come to see the little white picaninny. In 1881 she married Henry who arrived in the area with a bullock dray, six bullocks and his horse and his dog.

11.  SPACE VISITORS - What was that light in the sky?  Have the aliens come to Coronet Bay?

12.  THYLACINE - There have been many sightings of the Tassie devil in the area, fom the proving ground to the coast. Who knows?



13.  MUD 18 FEET DEEP - There is tale of a drover who came to meet the coach from Dandenong....All that remained of him was his hat floating on a puddle . after further investigation he was found to be under his hat still mounted on his horse

14.  THE PUBS - There were three pubs, one flash with meeting rooms, a racecourse and saleyards, one burned down in mysterious circumstances and one whose licence was not renewed as it was found to be unsuitable for public use!

15.  COBB AND CO COACHES -  You could catch the coach from Dandenong on Tuesdays or Fridays and arrive at Grantville “the Gateway to Gippsland”

16.  THE INVESTORS - You could invest in gold mining, iron mining, or the Victorian Sapphire and Precious Stone exploration company!

17.  THE GRANTVILLE SHOW - Show days were very popular, over 300 visitors to see entries in livestock, vehicles and home industries all reported in the local paper “The Western Port Times’ 


18.       HAZEL BENNETT- In 1844 Hazel, probably pregnant with at least 5 other children travelled with her husband and his bullock wagon, lured by the promise of free land at Port Albert.

19.  PROSPER LE ROUX - An early pioneer who brought southdown sheep to the area, but lost huge numbers to dingoes. He died falling from a load of hay in a thunderstorm.

20.   FITZHERBERT MILLER MUNDY- Was known for the extravagance of his life style, his parties at Christmas and his wild immoral ways.



21.  HURDY GURDY CREEK -  The folk tale tells of a bogged merry go round being the inspiration for the name, however it is more likely that an early settler Captain John Thom a Scotsman named the place after the hills around his home in Glasgow whose shape was similar.

22.  GRANNY COLE - She had an orchard on the banks of the creek where she grew apples of the new variety, the Cole Apple

23.  THE GIPPSLAND PANTHER - Sightings of a large black cat roaming the bush have been noted andtapes of its cry and plaster casts of its huge feet have been made.



24.  FRENCH ISLANDThis island is the view from Tenby Point. It is a mysterious island with stories of vegetables, chicory, celebrities, The Pegasus, koalas, prison farm, the beginnings of 21st century tourism.

25.  TENBY in Wales, the naming place

26.  BUSHRANGERS CAVE Can you find the cave on the beach? Bushrangers hid from the chasing troopers!



27.  THE WOODEN RAILWAY- Getting timber to the port by horse powered wagons on wooden rails. From the timber mill to the pier where the Tyro was loaded with timber for the markets in Tasmania and Melbourne.

28.  THE TIMBER KING - George McGowan made his fortune in Broken Hill. His two storey mansion burnt down at the height of a party.

29.  THE TIDAL WAVE -   Or was it a king tide? The town of Queensferry now no longer exists. There was once a school, a row of houses, a post office, a mechanics institute, even a Ministering Children’s League. Now there is an empty beach and no trace of the town.

30.  THE BEST PLACE -  A poem written by Connie Read and published in the Leader on October 2nd 1915.