Historical information

A black and white photograph taken outside at Barton's Store in Marysville in Victoria.


A black and white photograph taken outside at Barton's Store in Marysville in Victoria.
Thomas John Barton was born in 1836 in Gloucestershire and after his father died in 1850 arrived in Melbourne in 1852 along with his mother, adult sisters, younger brothers, his uncle, his uncle's wife Suzanna, and their family. Thomas tried gold mining at Woods Point but found it too difficult. He then partnered with Ewen Hugh Cameron to provide the miners with meat. In 1864 they purchased a plot of land in Marysville and set up a butchers/abattoirs and from there began their business of taking supplies to the miners at the nearby Woods Point and Jamieson goldfields. In 1865 the business was firmly established and Thomas married Selina Croker at Heidelberg and brought her back to Marysville. Their first home was 'The Chestnuts', which included the store and was situated on the town side next to the Steavenson River. Sadly, in 1876 Selina died of complications after giving birth to their sixth child. Thomas was in need of a nanny to care for his six children, including the newborn baby, and so he employed Emily Ada Sparke, who is the eldest daughter of the local school teacher. Thomas and Emily subsequently married in 1878 and they go on to have a further 10 children over the next several years.
Thomas assisted in the establishment of the first school in Marysville in 1870 and remained a very active member of the community including as a Councillor for the Shire of Healesville, Shire President, and he was also appointed as a Justice of the Peace.
Thomas died in Carlton in 1911.
After their father's death, his sons Fred and Frank took over the family business, which was then known as Barton Bros Store which continued to operate until sometime in the 1970s.
The photograph shows a McKenzies Tourist Bus Service bus parked out the front of the Barton's Store. McKenzie Tourist Bus Services has been operating for over 90 years after Loronza Reilly McKenzie purchased a Hudson car in Sydney. It became the foundation vehicle for what, over the next 80 years, became a fleet of modern buses carrying tourists and school children around the Yarra Valley and beyond.