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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.

Links

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

View on Google Maps

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

spanner

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Badly rusted. Thin metal. Probably came with a tool kit for a particular piece of machinery

cattle ear punch

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Steel. Two handled. Return spring missing. Apple shaped punch

Journal of Churchill Island farm expenditure 1941-2

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Journal with red title print and red spine showing farm expenditure 1941-2.

Historical information

Record of farm expenditure, 1941-2 for Churchill Island farm owned by Harry Jenkins 1936-1963.

Significance

Shows historic farm activity on Churchill Island

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"

Newspaper lift-out - "Bicentennial Celebrations at Rhyll" "Churchill Island Bicentennial Celebrations"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Two pages of text and photos on bicentennial celebrations of "Lady Nelson" entering Western Port. Pp 12-13. Pp10-11 local news and adverts. See also 0238.1-.9.

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"

Hay wagon

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Large hay wagon with steel shod wooden wheels

Two hand written notes

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Two notes written by Janet Amess: 1. Real Limeric Lace from Ireland. Valuable don't destroy 2. Grandmother about 1850 Third note; Written by my mother Janet Amess.

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

Packaged with 2036 (0036)

wood splitting wedge

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

wedge with groove to prevent sticking. Worn top, burred over

Milk cart

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Unpainted wooden milk vendor cart, rubber inflatable tyres ( perished)

Inscriptions & Markings

"Milk Vendor" painted on right side

Cattle Ear Tag #29

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Fawn coloured medium weight cardboard cattle ear tag #29 black print. Oblong with rounded corners and remnant of hole punched at one end. For "Churchill Whisper 3rd".

Newspaper cutting - photocopy - "This Island Hideaway"

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Article re: Churchill Island for sale. The Herald, Saturday May 12, 1973. Text by Ann Pilmer. Three photos by Ken Bainsbury. Small location map.

Babcock Milk Tester

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Grey blue hand operated spinner to determine fat content of milk. Bottles missing

Historical information

Possibly used by Harry Jenkins when Churchill Island operated as a dairy farm

Inscriptions & Markings

Babcock Tester, Official

Set of swingle trees

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Five swingle trees hinged together. Unpainted timber with metal fittings

Grain hopper/grinder

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Yellow wooden hopper on black grinder with blue parts mounted on green stand. Attached by belt drive to Sundial engine

Lace Trim

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine Lace (Lace Group Embrioderers' 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 with note "LIMERICK LACE TRIMMINGS"

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."

Lace Piece

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Machine embroidery (Lace Group Embroiderers Guild 1/3/12) See photos (2) taken 30/12/11

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. Keywords janet amess lace collection; lace; churchill island Statement of Significance

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.

Handwritten notes on paper

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Herd notes. Handwritten notes in pencil on paper (lined) with script running across lines, with names and ages of herd.

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 artefacts when she sold the island, approximately 1973.

Significance

The document demonstrates Harry Jenkins interest and committment to farming on Churchill Island and provides information on farming of the era.

Stilsons

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Adjustable pipe wrench. Thread works. Surface rust, black finish. Commercial manufacture

cross cut saw

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

steel blade, wooden handle and peg grip. Single person saw

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!”

Trewhella jack

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

combination of commercially manufactured body and blacksmith made handle

Historical information

Used in conjunction with wood cutting/splitting tools previously donated by Wilfred Dungan

Inscriptions & Markings

WALLABY TREWHELLA BROS PTY LTD TRENTHAM AUSTRALIA

Iron bound wooden mallet

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Round wooden handle. Large head with metal band at each end. Some paint stains.

Ship's tank

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Tin ship's tank also used as a water tank.

Inscriptions & Markings

"FOR INSULATED HOLD STOWAGE"/"MURRAYS CARAMELS"

Moulding plane

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Oak body, rosewood base, steel blade and brass base. Some paint spots. (Doesn't need handle).

Handwritten notes on paper - Cow milking amounts and content

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Handwritten notes in pencil on paper for evening and morning milkings amount and butter fat content for eight cows. Dated 10th August 1944. Assumed author Harry Jenkins.

Bridge Notebook

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Small lined notebook, with plstic removable cover with press tud fasten. Contains notes regarding 1959 bridge construction written by Harry Jenkins. Plastic cover navy blue colour.

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

This item demonstrates Harry Jenkins thorough and detailed approach to the maintenance of Churchill Island Farm and construction in the era.

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"

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.

adjustable wrench

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Newhaven

Cast jaws on rod. Handmade. Jaws badly warped. Surface rust and paint spots