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Churchill Island Heritage Farm Newhaven, Victoria

Churchill Island Heritage Farm covers 57 hectares and boasts a historic working farm with ‘hands on’ farming demonstrations reminiscent of a bygone era. Sheep shearing, cow milking and working dog demonstrations run every day except Christmas day and are included in the entry fee. Carriage rides operate during school holidays and special events. Churchill Island is easily accessible by an all-vehicle bridge from Phillip Island.First walked by Bunurong/Boonwurrung Aboriginal people, the island has an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. There are also restored historic buildings from the 1860s and 1870s, lovely gardens, ancient Moonah trees, wetlands, a visitor’s centre and a licensed café.

The Island forms part of the Churchill Island Marine National park and the waters and mudflats surrounding Churchill Island are listed under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Two island circuit tracks offers magnificent views across Western Port Bay and provide excellent bird viewing (Royal Spoonbills, Pied Oyster Catchers, ibis, gulls, herons and pelicans). There are also views of Tortoise Head and French Island. The whole island is heritage listed with Heritage Victoria and the buildings are classified by the National Trust.

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Contact Information

location
246 Samuel Amess Drive Newhaven VIC 3925 (map)
phone
+61 03 5956 7214; 03 5951 2800

Contact

Opening Hours

Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Entry Fee

Adults (16yrs+) $12.25 Children (4-15yrs) $6.15 Australian Pensioner(ID required) $8.55 Family (2A +2C) $30.65

Location

246 Samuel Amess Drive Newhaven Victoria

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This collection forms the basis for the operations of Churchill Island Heritage Farm, which is located on Churchill Island, where in 1801, during a survey of Western Port Bay, Lieutenant James Grant built a cottage, cleared land and planted the first wheat and corn crops grown in Victoria, using seeds provided by John Churchill. The working farm features a homestead, built by Samuel Amess, a one-time mayor of Melbourne who purchased the island in 1872, together with cottages built by John Rogers in the 1860s and associated outbuildings. As well as the heritage buildings, the collection includes agricultural machinery, implements, and tools, special collections of farm engines and dairy equipment, and historical photographs. The collection is managed by Churchill Island Heritage Farm curator.

Significance

This collection documents early Victorian rural life and agriculture, and the history of the site where crops were first grown in Victoria in 1801; includes also information on the various owners of the island and Government ownership from 1970s.

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401 items

401 items

Cardboard panel of lace pieces x 5

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine embroidery (lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (5)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Inscriptions & Markings

Noten packaged with panel "scraps of lace found jumbled in with this collection"

Seed drill

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Burgundy seed drill with cream wheels converted to tractor towing with blue metal towbar

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Tatting - fine delicare (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) Same lace as 0076 See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Beaded piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

See photo

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

lace trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

machine made lace trim made to look hand made. Some stretchiness

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929

Centre bits X 2

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

For making dowel joints for furniture. Paint spots and surface rust

Salt Glazed Bread Crock

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Large round salt glazed bread crock two handles one set on either side. Brown upper quarter including rim and top two thirds of handles. Cream coloured lower two thirds. Gloss glaze. Stamp X•X• design below and two lines above around perimeter below brown area.

Argus camera

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Camera owned by Dr Harry Jenkins with original box

Historical information

Possibly used to take photos of island activities which are held in archive

Significance

Used by Harry Jenkins to take photos of activities at this time.

Inscriptions & Markings

"argus/ seventy-five" at top on lens: ARGUS LUMAR 75mm MADE IN AUSTRALIA at side of front: INST/TIME

Photo of Churchill Island Cannon - "1967 New Years Eve" (on back)

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Framed colour photo of Churchill Island cannon firing on New Years Eve 1967.

Historical information

The cannon dates from the 1870s during Samuel Amess's ownership of Churchill Island. He claimed it was a gift from Captain Waddell of the Confederate raiding ship "Shenandoah", but research has proven this to be unlikely. It may have been given to Amess by Captain John Cleeland of "Woolamai House". The cannon was fired every New Years Eve during the Jenkins and Campbell eras (1936-1972).

Significance

The cannon is apparently of European origin from c. 1850s and has been in the Churchill Island garden since the 1870s or 1880s. It does not seem to have been fired regularly until the Jenkins era (1936-63) and also the Campbell era (1963-72) when it was fired each New Year's Eve to see in the new year. It has always been considered an important part of the garden, as evidenced by the many photographs in the CIHF collection dating from the 1890s which include family and friends posing at the cannon.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on back of frame: "1967 New Years Eve"/ "from John Brown '97"

Garden barrow

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden flat tray

Historical information

Found in Amess Barn 1980s;

Significance

Typical of local farms

Sketch book of Minnie Laurence

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Black cover 124pp; 54 with pencil or pen and ink drawings. 1 cut-away page of writing. 2 drawings inside back cover. Spine deteriorated and many pages loose.

Historical information

Some of Minnie's sketches from this sketch book used by Pat Baird in her book "Churchill Island History and Her Story" (copyright for this book with Friends of Churchill Island (FOCIS)).

Inscriptions & Markings

"M.L. M.S.A."

Greeting card

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Folded card with printed front cover, blank back page. Inside left is sepia photo stuck on showing "prisoners' camp cycle track Cape Town". Inside right page has three everlasting silver leaves. Centre leaf has hand painted three ostriches and a tree. Left leaf has handwritten " Loving greetings". Right leaf " To my dear Aunt". Red white and blue striped ribbon glued to base of centre leaf.

Historical information

Card was sent by Harry Jenkins, owner of Churchill Island 1936-1963, to his aunt Ada Annie Trott in 1902 while he was serving in the Boer War. It shows prison camp in Cape Town.

Significance

Communication from Serving Australian soldier to family in Boer War.

Inscriptions & Markings

As for description. Stamped Jan 25 1902

Photograph

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Colour postcard size photo of volunteer Cherry McFee shaping butter after churning it in Amess House kitchen c. 1996.

Historical information

Cherry McFee was a long-term Churchill Island volunteer and FOCIS (Friends of Churchill Island Society) member.

Inscriptions & Markings

"CHERRY McFEE circa 1996 / Volunteer in the kitchen at Amess House - making butter. New Vols are always needed - and its a beautiful place to spend time. Vols meeting Tues 22 June - Come Along."

Bread and butter plate 3 of 3

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Plate with gold border at rim and gold inner circle. 5 swallows and 3 stylised birds hand-painted by Margaret Amess.

Historical information

Margaret Amess was the youngest child of Samuel and Jane Amess, who first purchased Churchill Island in 1872. Margaret Amess was renowned for her china painting.

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Hand crochet (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine made pretending to be Valenciennes (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Screw driver bits x 2

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

For use in an auger. Paint spots and surface rust. Straight edge.

Inscriptions & Markings

11 cm long: "BLACKMANS ENGLAND"

meat safe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Painted pale green safe. Rectangular grid pattern of ventilation holes with circles of ventilation holes within the pattern. Surface rust patches. Water reservoir and wire hook added later on top. Internal trays bottom and 1/2 way. Door detached - hinges rusted away. No base apart from shelf. Hanger missing.

Mortice axe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Modern handle. Blacksmith made. some pitting.

Inscriptions & Markings

Long V decoration along head.

Box spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Box spanner for wire wheels; tapered handle, hanging loop other end to spanner. surface rust

Inscriptions & Markings

Wire Wheel Corp of America Buffalo NY B4-1005/H4.B4.CB4.CB4 5 A

Hay wagon

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Large hay wagon with steel shod wooden wheels

Newspaper cutting - "New Life for Hideaway Island" "Historic Victoria"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Cut from The Age Travel section of Saturday Extra, p.13, Saturday May 18th 2002. Written by Mary Ryllis Clark. Contains anecdote of Edith Jeffery in labour on Churchill island, a description of the islands natural assets, brief historical outline and information on the restoration. Contains several inaccuracies.

fishing reel handle

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

brass handle with turned wooden handles either end, brass flat and slightly tapered each end, hole in centre for attaching to reel.

Historical information

E H "Ted" Jenkins was the paraplegic son of Harry Jenkins who bought Churchill Island in 1936 as an interest for Ted. Ted lived on Churchill Island at various times with his nurse Sr Margaret "Jimmy" Campbell, e.g. second world war when they ran a shorthorn dairy farm, and at other times lived in their home in Melbourne. Ted was keen on 'ham' radio, and had many friends from his school who became life-long friends and frequent visitors to him on Churchill Island.

Significance

E H "Ted" Jenkins was the paraplegic son of Harry Jenkins who bought Churchill Island in 1936 as an interest for Ted. Ted lived on Churchill Island at various times with his nurse Sr Margaret "Jimmy" Campbell, e.g. second world war when they ran a shorthorn dairy farm, and at other times lived in their home in Melbourne. Ted was keen on 'ham' radio, and had many friends from his school who became life-long friends and frequent visitors to him on Churchill Island.

8" Spofford Brace

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Iron carpenter's brace, metal handle, rotating knob, thumb screw ..... rusted.

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine embroidered (lace group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2)

Historical information

The names of the Amess women who owned the lace are: Jane Amess (nee Straughan) – donor Unity’s great grandmother (pet name Janet, but not used as it will confuse with Unity’s mother). Jane was the wife of Samuel Amess, first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. Frances Amess (nee Turnbull) – grandmother, married Robert Lisle Straughan Amess, 4th child of Samuel and Jane Janet Jickell (nee Amess) – mother, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis, married James Jickell Unity Mary Bright (nee Jickell) was the donor, 2nd of two children of Robert and Francis.

Significance

The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women, see above.

Bag lifter

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

metal, surface rust, 2 arms with semi-circle lift at one end

Butter worker, 30lb capacity

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Timber with cast gearing, round butter worker

Historical information

Used at Chrchill Island,

Inscriptions & Markings

Cherry & Sons

Page of typed notes - Notes on early writings on Chapter Four

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

A4 page single sided. Key dates and events 23 May 1856 - June 1 1872 re: Rogers, McHaffie, Amess for book/s on Churchill Island by donor Pat Baird.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Argus (?) p.6" black handwritten

Sulky

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Restored sulky, 2 ton wheels, burgundy body and shafts, decorative aqua scroll work on rear, black springs, seat deteriorated.

Paper Report, typed, 2 pages - Report on Visit to Property Owned Report On visit to Property Owned by Mr. H. Jenkins

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Report on visit to property owned by Mr. H. Jenkins, Churchill Island, regarding stock, pastures, crops, and recommendations, written by A.C.T. Hewitt on his visit to Churchill Island on 17.4.1942. Report enclosed with letter dated 1st May 1942 [Item Registration No. 0230]

Historical information

Dr Harry Jenkins owned Churchill Island from 1936 to 1963 and bequeathed it to Margaret Campbell on his death. Sister Campbell had been nurse to his disabled son and wife and she lived on the island from the time of World War Two. The item was given to Arthur Evans, a family friend, on the day of the auction sale of artifacts when she sold the island, approximately 1973

Significance

The report demonstrates Harry Jenkins interest and committment to farming and provides information on farming in the era.

Inscriptions & Markings

"under present conditions' [end 7th paragraph, 2nd page]