Settlement History
First Land Sales 1852-1887

Before any land sales, Alexander Cameron Snr. (c1834-1881) owned the land where both Clyde and Clyde North now stand.

It was H. B. Foot who made the first survey of the area in 1852. Cameron’s Mayune was divided into small allotments of 36-640 acres and offered for sale in Melbourne in March 1852. Early purchasers of land north of Patterson’s Road and west of the Clyde-Berwick Road were George Sutton (March) William and
Anthony Ridgway (July), Edward Dumaresq (November) and James Burnett (November).

A second survey was conducted by Thomas H. Storey and extended to the Cardinia Creek. Land released for sale from this survey was purchased by Alexander Cameron (792), Henry Callow (327),
James Lineham, Hugh Glass, Edward Malloy, Richard Robins, William Wilson, J.D. Pinnock, R.A. Anderson, Alfred Sikes, Algernon Lindsay, John Kenyon, John O'Grady and Walter Craig (320) and E. North (232). Average size of purchase was 160 acres. In December 1856 the partners Mickle, Bakewell and Lyall divided their holdings between themselves with the Tooradin property going to Bakewell.

The survey of land south of Ballarto Road does not seem to have been completed until 1857 when John Bakewell was the largest buyer. Bakewell had apparently offered Alexander Cameron £200 not to bid and consequently purchased 4344 acres unopposed. The following year he added another 3360 acres to own 12 square miles of land south of Ballarto Road to the South Gippsland Highway and east to Tooradin Station Road. Except for Bakewell's property most of the land purchased from 1852-58 was soon partly cleared for grazing or cash crops of wheat and barley.

After returning from a visit to England (1861) John Bakewell began sub-dividing his large estate into a number of large holdings - Ballarto, Sherwood Forrest, Tooradin Swamp, Field's Water (Yallambee), Black Water, Brim Brim, Cordigalgal.

Frederick Poole leased Tooradin Swamp and later Bungal (toward north-east) and from 1869 Alexander Chrichton (Lecky's son-in-law) leased Bungal and Yallambee until 1878 when they were purchased by Robert Timms.

James and Ben Barber leased Black Water; Thomas Lyne leased the home property from the mid 70's, while Tooradin Plain (J. Bannister), Brim Brim (A. Duff), then J.F. Rutter and Cordigalgal (W.S. Cox) were leased and then purchased by Bannister, Rutter and Cox respectively. October, 1884 saw George Fairbain purchase Tooradin Plain and Timm's Yallambee properties. Ballarto was leased to James Gibb and sold to him in 1877. This property later passed to McMillan and then to Albert Nash (1901).

At this time Tooradin Plains were covered with a 'rich meadow of native succulent grasses' and great claims were made for the area. While this fine land lay to the south of the present Clyde township, much of the country in between consisted mostly of ferns and ti-tree scrub 10-15 ft. high with stunted gum trees to about 30 ft. Peppermint gums predominated with a few Manna Gums and wild cherry trees and wattles. Generally the native grasses were poor and this led to the country gaining the reputation of 'cripple country'. Cattle grazed in the area for a long period of time and suffered from the poor natural fodder - the soil lacked lime. Fertilizers, however, improved the pastures in later years.

During 1865 some of the land bordering the Great Swamp became available and many Clyde families moved to take up land.
J. Lineham, P. Atkinson and W. Manks were a few of those to work at clearing their land of the dense ti-tree.

From 1860 when the district of Cranbourne was created and the Cranbourne Roads Board proclaimed efforts were made to improve the roads in the district. Mail services to Clyde were much improved in 1858 when coaches were able to negotiate more easily the road to Cranbourne from Dandenong. Previously mail was carried by horseback to Dandenong. Throughout the 1860's to 80's mail was delivered to the Clyde school where John Dumaresq, Head Teacher, was also the postal agent (from 1864) and paying £20 p.a.  He distributed the mail through the children who attended the school. Improved roads aided mail services, but more importantly aided freight transport.

In winter roads became quagmires and even the addition of extra horses to pull coaches, etc. often met with little success. Throughout the early 1870's bullock teams and packhorses had considered difficulty negotiating stretches of the Westernport road until its improvement in

Alexander Cameron had stressed in 1860 the need for the proposed railway to the south to pass through the Cranbourne area so that the vast natural iron-ore field (actually iron outcrops were found to be meteorites) could be exploited.

The general condition of the roads in the district, while improving slowly, prompted action amongst residents to support the building of a railway. Railway leagues were formed in various areas to argue for the railway and by 1882 both the Lang Lang and Cranbourne leagues had agreed to co-operate and advocated the Cranbourne-Port Albert route for the
'Great Southern Line'.

There is some evident to suggest that the site of the Cranbourne Station was selected, as a compromise, because it was nearer to the township than the more easily graded slope north of the town which probably would have produced a route that was a poor compromise for Clyde (North) as well. The Cranbourne compromise meant that trains needed to negotiate a difficult climb from Tooradin to Cranbourne over part of the Clyde watershed.

Further reading >
See Early Families section about - Ridgway, Lineham, Manks, Atkinson
First Land Owners 1852 - (Map. Lot numbers and names of owners)
Residents 1868 - Post Office Directory (Tradesmen, landowners, businessmen)

1. A Clyde History
2. The Good Country
3. Death Notice for Cameron,
Illustrated Australian News, 12 March 1881