Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Post of 2008...Little River

Little River Goods Shed and Railway Station

Little River is a rural township 44 km. west-south-west of Melbourne, on the train route to Geelong.
The Little River (shorter than the Werribee River to its east and the Moorabool River to its west), has headwaters in the Brisbane Ranges. It was also known as the Cocoroc Rivulet, Cocoroc being a locality near the area later occupied by Metropolitan Farm.

The road from Melbourne to Geelong crossed the Little River and the Travellers Rest Inn was opened there in about 1840. In 1852 a township named Rothwell was surveyed in the vicinity of the Inn, on the west side of the Little River. However, when the railway to Geelong was built the line crossed Little River about one kilometre north of Rothwell, and the railway station and goods shed (1857) were built on the other side of the river. A township developed near the station and the Rothwell survey fell by the wayside. (The railway station and goods shed, and the Rothwell Bridge built for the old Princes Highway in 1866, are on the Register of the National Estate).

An Independent Denominational school and St. Michaels Catholic school were opened in 1856 and 1858 respectively. By 1865 the township had three hotels and a mechanics institute. The surrounding land was good for grazing, with some dairying carried out. It had been one of the Port Phillip Association's pastoral runs (the first occupier being James Simpson), and later a large part of the district was included in the Chirnside estate centred on Werribee. Small farmers had the benefit of an eight-thousand hectare common for grazing, and there were sufficient settlers for solid bluestone Anglican, Presbyterian and Independent churches to be built.
I have been to a few weddings and a Christening at these little churches an they were just so lovely and personal to attend. I have also been to a few parties in the old Mechanics Institute Hall..wonderful relaxed times. The sound of dancing feet on floor boards is always great!

Little River had remained virtually unchanged for several decades, known principally as an agricultural district on the way between Melbourne and Geelong, and as a resort for sportsmen. The substitution of the Princes Freeway for the Geelong Road took passing traffic further south of the village.

Little River has a few shops, a post office, a service station, three reserves, the mechanics institute, the primary school and its churches. A larger reserve exists where Rothwell was surveyed, and the Rothwell cemetery is further south.

Some great times have been had at The Little River Pub, and lovely meals served too. It may be an out of the way place, but you have to book to go eat there. If you are interested in Pubs Down a side note, HERE is a great site to go to.

For interest sake, The Little River Landcare Group is aslo a great read.


Andrew said...

Sounds worth a visit next time we are passing.

Homey said...

Hey, that's where the Lonesome Loser lived!
He was beaten by the queen of hearts every time, poor bastard.
He was a loser, BUT, he still kept on tryin'.

You know, Little River Band.

Cazzie!!! said...

Andrew, it is also a great place to stop in or stay at a B&B the night before a flight out of Avalon. 10 minutes before check in, just leave Little River and you are there.

Homey, I love the pic, is that you? MMM Scrumptious! :)
Yes,I was goig to write about LRB but I got to thinking that the post was already a little too long perhaps and that people don't wanna read long history posts. I do love LRB, I had alot of great times singing and dancing to them when I was a kid.

I. Vadinoff said...

Wonderful post.... I'll be back...

James Burnett said...

Cazzie, I love this post. I swear, you could make a million bucks as a historian/travel guide. This was so much fun to read and one more reason I look forward to visiting Australia one day.

poody said...

Hey is this the same little river as in the little river band?

Middle Child said...

Like so many little places... Australia has its own beauty ad fascination...excellent history lesson Caz

Palm Axis said...

Your description in your profile is a gem. The best I've come across..sensitive. I think your blog is a keeper. I hope you keep contributing to it. I also present local history on my blog so I'm familiar with the difficulty of putting a page together. Please come and visit. I think you will be pleased as I am with my Friday visit to your blog on a Monday..