Historical information

Francis Box was born in Withyham, Sussex and came to Australia with his parents George and Mary Box and siblings in 1856. He was assigned to work in Beaufort and had various jobs including ‘gold miner’ at Heathcoat where he married Eliza Jane Thompson. Francis decided to return to market gardening after the death of his 1st child Francis George Box in 1875 aged 13months. The child was buried in Brighton Cemetery and Francis then rent/leased the land on the corner of Tucker Road and Elizabeth Street East Brighton ( now Bentleigh) owned by his brother Henry who with another brother John helped Francis clear the land, and establish a market garden. They had 4 children and began to prosper until in 1882 their 2year old child Lena Caroline Box was killed in a fire that destroyed their house. Francis was burned trying to rescue the child. The local community raised money to assist the family. The land boom brought prosperity again and Francis bought more land around Tucker Road which was bequeathed to his children. Francis and Eliza Jane had four more children but one died in infancy and another aged 2 years. Only 5 of their 9 children survived. Francis and Eliza Jane, who died in 1922, are also buried in Brighton Cemetery
Jessie Melinda Box 1888- 1975 was born in East Brighton ( Bentleigh) the 8th child of Francis and Eliza Jane Box. She was a teacher in Eskdale, Victoria and married William Robinson d 1983, a farmer at Mitta in 1921. The family later moved to Tucker Road, Bentleigh where they ran a market garden until in 1950 they established "The Hilandale Poll Hereford Stud" at Notting Hill and Rowville. They moved to Mornington c 1960 where they continued their stud farming and enjoyed success at Melbourne, Sydney and local Shows. They had 2 children Jack Francis Robinson b1921, William James Robinson b1925.


Box Cottage Museum, a reconstruction of an early settler hut, is named after the Box family who resided there 1865 -1913 . William Box who with his wife Elizabeth Avis Box and 13 children lived and farmed on the block of land in Jasper Road, East Brighton ( now McKinnon / Ormond) that was part of the Henry Dendy Special Survey 1841 . Francis Box, a brother of William Box, was born in Withyham, Sussex and came to Australia with his parents George and Mary Box and siblings in 1856. Francis established market gardens in Tucker Road Bentleigh. Jessie melinda Box was the 8th child of Francis Box

Inscribed in Album
“ The early photos in this album were found by Mr (Laurie) Lewis when he was demolishing the Old Box Cottage. He gave them to Mrs Avis Box Eldridge who in turn gave them to me. They were not identified. I believe they rightly belong in the Cottage. I have attempted to identify them and present them in a way they can be preserved as a historical record of the era.” A B Leigh

Physical description

A black and white photograph of Jessie Melinda Box a daughter of Francis Box and Elizabeth Jane Thompson Box c 1889

Inscriptions & markings

YEOMAN & Co 47 Chapel Street, / Prahran