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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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330 items with images

330 items with images

Wool press

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Wooden wool press with metal frame and mechanism

Periodical - The Australian Farm & Home, VOL. LI No. 4

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Paper periodical publication 'The Australian Farm & Home', Journal of The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, VOL. LI-No.4, April 30, 1942, containing an article 'The Churchill Stud' by Capt. E.W. Dixon

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

Demonstrates Harry Jenkins interest and involvement in farming and cattle.

Inscriptions & Markings

'Mrs. Jenkins' [front page, left hand side], 'Printed Matter Only. Mr. Ted Jenkins, Churchill Island via Newhaven', [back cover, left hand side]

spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

open ended cast spanner. Heavy duty. Handle has 2 small drill holes

Inscriptions & Markings

7/8 on jaw

Buck rake

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Timber buck rake, 6 prongs, metal fittings

Brace and auger bit for fencing

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Bit bolted on and held with hook. Brace probably blacksmith made. Bit commercially made. May have been used vertically. Surface pitted.

tape measure case

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Leather and brass circular case. No measuring tape inside. Stitched case.

Inscriptions & Markings

JOHN RABONE & SONS BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND. "Cemetary" scratched on back.

Wheat wagon

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Blue wagon with red wheels with bag lifter operated from side of wagon with one horse

Significance

Typical heavy settler's wagon

length of lace trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

machine made lace trim with selvage edge on one side and undulating edge with picots, geometric iinerior

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

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"

Lace Insert

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Chemical lace (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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Package contains note: "FICHU c1860/70 (hand made)

Horseworks

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Horseworks for one or two horses, gearing, shafting and pulley, complete. Used as a power conversion unit via one or two horses to operate a chaff cutter or similar unit. Horseworks is set up outside a building with an underground shaft to a pulley inside the barn

Inscriptions & Markings

Robinson

cross cut saw

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Two handled cross cut saw. One manufactured handle and one bush replacement wedged with three inch nail. 6 broken teeth. Rivets for handle broken off at home-made end. M shaped tooth profile.

Historical information

Donated by Wilfred Dungan on behalf of the Dungan family Collection originally used on the property of the late Dr Rae Dungan in Falls Creek Rd Olinda, purchased in the late 1930s from Olinda pioneers Harry and Minnie Holden. Also on the property of late May Farndon of Farndon’s and Falls Rd Mt Dandenong – aunt of Dr Rae William Dungan and also an early pioneer. Family holidays and weekends involved use of these sorts of farm implements plus working with horses. Post-war, the Olinda hand tools and machinery moved to the Shady Creek, Nilma North area where bush, pasture and cows had replaced the Olinda property. Wilfred well remembers being on one end of the crosscut saws cutting fence posts, logs and timber under “the tireless and vocal instruction” of a red headed local Darnum Rd legend called Harry Collyer. “He drove an old Rugby car and nearly pulled me through the logs with every cut!”

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"

Baby's bonnet

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine lace. Can display with calico cushion inside. Wash calico first. (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 lace (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.

shells

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

A variety of old and weathered shells stored in jar with label: "Original shells collected for paths by Sarah Rogers".

Historical information

Sarah and John Rogers were the second European inhabitants on Churchill Island with, and after the Pickersgills. Sarah laid out a garden and collected shells and shell grit to surface the garden paths. Possibly these are some of the shells she collected.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Original shells collected for paths by Sarah Rogers"

Hay rake

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Burgundy hay rake, yellow wheels, double row of rakes.

Historical information

More modern than other rake in collection

Pair gloves

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

One pair tan ladies pigskin gloves. Three lines of stitched decoration on back of both gloves

Historical information

Belonged to CIHF volunteer Jeff Cole's aunt May Hart, a very stylish woman of the 1920s, keen on horse racing

Rip saw

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Steel blade with surface rust; wooden handle with borer holes. Brass rivets.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Kangaroo" brand.

Lace trim piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

See Photos; Machine made (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12)

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.

Stump jump plough

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Unpainted metal stump jump plough with information signage

Grindstone

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Grindstone pedal operated with timber stand

Historical information

Unit was in poor condition when VCT purchased Churchill Island. Was rebuilt by John McFee

Significance

Typical of unints used on local farms

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

Bag filler and rammer

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Galvanised iron with funnel hopper, half covered, rammer underneath, cylindrical pipe.

Inscriptions & Markings

Barklem /bag filler/&/ rammer/ patent registered no 7012

Paper Solicitor's letter

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Typed solicitor's letter from Henderson & Ball Solicitors & Co, to Mr. E.H. Jenkins, 33 Collins St, Melbourne, regarding purchase from G.R. Buckley and Other, and enclosing sketch plan (catalogue item no. 0108.2), dated 11th May 1939, titled "You from G.R. Buckley and Others"

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 letter provides information regarding the purchase of Churchill Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

[signed] Henderson & Ball "at 4 1/2 %" [inserted last line, fourth paragraph], "(Purchase Price 2000 pounds)" [end fourth paragraph], "HenB" [bottom first page], "Henderson Ball" [second page}

Paling/shingle splitter's axe

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine made, painted black, cast. No handle. Shows signs of use. Socket warped

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine embroidered (lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) 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.

Bench hand drill

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

White bench hand drill with black wheels and cogs

spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

hand-made open ended spanner; rusty

Block plane

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

US elm base.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Millers Falls Warranted" on blade. "M.D.W" carved on side