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Old and New Home Stations, Australian Colonial Architecture

Old and New Home Stations, Australian Colonial Architecture

by Booth, Edwin Carton

Antique print of The Old and New Homestations c1874. 'Bontharambo' at Wangaratta in Victoria. This is a wonderful record of enterprising early settlers in colonial Australia, where large country properties are still known as stations.

Joseph Docker and his wife Sarah arrived in Australia from England in 1828. After five years as chaplain of St Matthew's church in Windsor, west of Sydney, Joseph resigned from the ministry to become a farmer. Inspired by the explorations of Major Thomas Mitchell, Docker set off for Port Phillip in 1838, with his wife Sarah, five children, a niece, two female servants, and at least fourteen men. They took with them all their household possessions, farming equipment, 3,000 head of cattle, horses and bullocks, one four-wheeled wagon, two tilted carts, a light cart and gig, and supplies for an eight-month trip.

After crossing the ' mighty' Murray River they reached the Ovens River in Victoria. With the imminent birth of their baby, Joseph selected a run where there was already a slab hut that had been abandoned after problems with the local aborigines. When his workmen joined the gold rush and left in the 1850s, Docker's kindness resulted in his aboriginal friends taking on shepherding and stock duties at 'Bontharambo'. The larger slab building completed in in 1843, was followed by the present magnificent homestead designed by Thomas Watts. Docker was innovative and progressive in cultivating olive trees for oil production and white mulberries for silk worms. He established 70 acres of grape vines, employed winemakers, and won medals for his wine. His sheep provided wool, and meat for the nearby goldfields. His orchard also became a commercial venture with lemons, mandarins, oranges, and many other varieties of fruit and vegetables.  

Original steel engraving by Arthur Willmore (1814-1888) after a drawing by Russian-born artist Nicholas Chevalier (1828-1902) who arrived in Australia in 1855. Chevalier's brother managed the vineyards at Bontharambo. Chevalier worked as an illustrator in Melbourne and developed his skill in landscape painting. This fine antique print was published in London circa 1874 by Virtue & Co. for “Australia Illustrated". Image is approximately 15 x 20cm (6 x 8 inches)

Stock Number: apav21Price: $120.00