Holden Station, Victoria

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Lenore Beginner

Hello folks,  

I need to find a map showing the exact location of the disappeared Holden Station.  It was opened on 5 Jan 1860, but I haven't  yet discovered when it closed. Tom Rigg's book on stationmasters says that Samuel Alford was the first and only stationmaster there.  The Ian Symonds history of Bulla Bulla says the station burnt down, but with no date given.

I assume the station was around Holden Road, which was the parish boundary.  I've scoured online maps unsuccessfully, and have looked at Rail maps at PROV, also unsuccessfully.  Can anyone suggest where I could find Holden Station marked on a map, please?

Best wishes,

Lenore

 
pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

Andrew Waugh in his Footscray - Sunbury SRS Tour Notes (pdf, 3MB) puts Holden at 18 miles, 3 miles beyond Sydenham and 2 1/4 miles before Diggers Rest. This would place it very near to Holden Rd which makes sense.

He also has an opening date of 1/5/1860 with closure by 31/12/1860 (sourced from VR to '62) and the station buildings being moved to Gisborne with the contract being let on 29/1/1861 (sourced from the Government Gazette).

As it was only open for such a short time the most likely place for a map or plan showing the location would seem to me to be the contract drawings for the line, whether these still exist or not I do not know. If they do they are likely to be somewhere at the PROV.

 
Lenore Beginner

Hi pawanoro,

Thank you for your detailed reply.  I'll get my maps out - the 2 and a quarter miles from Diggers Rest might be good enough for my purposes.  

I wrote down the opening date from Tom Rigg's book 'Rigg of the Railways' in which he listed the Stationmasters, with Samuel Alford starting on 5 January 1860.  I think that is the most likely the more accurate date (rather than the 1 May quoted by Andrew Waugh, which looks like a typo.)  

We've found an inquest held on 8 February 1860 in which a man was killed by falling off his dray and having the wheel run over him.  It occurred about 300 yards from the Holden Railway station, and a man travelling with him ran up to the station and brought back four men who were there to help him, including the stationmaster Samuel Alford who gave evidence at the inquest.  I conclude from this that the station was already operating by February.

Thank you once again,

Lenore

 
pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

Lenore,

I've since had a look at VR to '62, p.77 and the date given there for the opening of Holden is also 5/1/1860. Thanks for the information on the inquest.

pawanoro

 
Lenore Beginner

I didn't have time earlier to go hunting for the details of the inquest, but the deceased was James Holland, and the inquest was held at Aitken's Gap in 1860.  I don't have the VPRS number because someone else looked it up and didn't pass on the VPRS number, but that would enable you to find it.

Looking at the map, we reckon that the station must have been roughly at the end of Duncan's Lane rather than at Holden Road - and this was near the Caroline Chisholm Shelter Shed which was near the intersection of Duncan's Lane and the road to Mount Alexander.

I know of another death near there, a navvy fell to his death down a cutting which was said to be near the Shelter Shed.  It would have been in 1859.   I don't recall the name now, and I'm not sure if I can find my notes quickly, but I think the inquest might have been held at Keilor, and I'd thought initially that they might have been referring to the Keilor Shelter Shed, but the railway line doesn't go near it, so it must have been up at Holden.  We looked at that one a good while ago which is why my memory of it is a bit dim.  If you are interested I'll see if I can't dredge that one up as well, if you like.

Your earlier reply was very helpful, because without it we would have put the incident down near Holden Road, which it looks like it was not.  I'd still like to find a map, but we'll see how we go.

Best wishes,

Lenore

 
pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

Looking at the map, we reckon that the station must have been roughly at the end of Duncan's Lane rather than at Holden Road - and this was near the Caroline Chisholm Shelter Shed which was near the intersection of Duncan's Lane and the road to Mount Alexander.

- Lenore

I have only been looking at current maps, can take it Duncan's Lane is now Duncans Rd? Is the alignment of the current Calder approximately that of the road to Mount Alexander? Presumably Duncans Lane continued on the same alignment across the current Calder alignment, then the railway and intersected with Holden Rd?

One thing I forgot to look at before is the land parcels where you can commonly identify former station sites as a widening of the railway reserve, in this case there is a widening of the reservation from a few hundred metres south of Holden Rd to a few hundred metres north of a presumed intersection of Duncan's Lane. The station was almost certainly within those confines, but because it is so long it doesn't really help.

The distances I gave you (Sydenham 15 miles, Holden 18 miles and Diggers' Rest 20 1/4 miles) are accurate to a quarter of a mile or so, but this does leave some leeway as to where the actual site of the station is.

I will certainly keep an eye out in the future for anything referencing Holden.

 
Lenore Beginner

If you look at this Parish plan of Holden at the National Library of Australia website you will get a clearer view of Duncan's Lane.
http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/cdview?pi=nla.map-rm2741-98-e

Duncan's Lane is the dividing line between Clarke's Section IV and the subdivided Section V to the right of that.  It does intersect with the highway, but on a current map the intersection would be under the northernmost carriageway.  Duncan's Lane has since been extended to the east, and became Duncan's Road.

I'll keep it in mind regarding the length of the railway reserve, and we'll have another look at it, but we're not unhappy with the three miles and the two and a quarter miles directions to the station.  But a spot on a map would be the icing on the cake.  I thank you very much for your kind assistance - and I hope you do find something more specific.  I'll keep looking too.

Best wishes,

Lenore

 

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