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Melton - The town in the Hundred of Kulpara, 19 km North-West of Port Wakefield, was proclaimed on 23 May 1878 and named by Governor Jervois, probably after Melton Constable in Norfolk, England. (See Cocoanut). The Melton Post Office opened in July 1891 and closed on 31 May 1976.
Cocoanut - A school opened in 1897 on section 104, Hundred of Clinton, by Mary J. O’Grady; it became ‘Melton’ in 1915 and closed in 1942. Earlier, a school of the same name opened, circa 1881, and stood on the North-East corner of section 339, Hundred of Kulpara.
Probably, the name was taken from ‘Coconut (sic) Station’ held by Philip Levi in the mid-1860s.
On a Friday in August 1875 a son of Mr Kain was lost in the scrub... In the following afternoon one of the child’s boots was found near Penang and several footprints of the little fellow were discovered. On the following Monday morning the hopes of the rescuers were raised for a dog belonging to the boy was also missing and it was premised that the animal had followed him. Guided by the barking of a dog the men hastened onward; a cry from the boy greeted their ears and to their intense gratification the men found the boy, apparently a little worse for his prolonged wanderings and exposure.
He was very cold and the first thing he asked for was for some matches to light a fire. The place where he was found was near the old Condamine mine, three miles from Penang and seven or eight miles from Coconut... The dog, which had faithfully remained with its master..., scampered off to Coconut where it arrived in a ravenously hungry condition...
MELTON THEN AND NOW.
Our Melton correspondent, under date of July 12 writes;- The expected and forecasted further wet weather appears to have passed very much to the satisfaction of the waders on the soil who have not finished seeding. As I predicted on different occasions, accompanied by many pessimists, Melton is gradually, but surely gaining importance.
A good many years ago, Melton was one of the loveliest sidings on the Western Railway System, not even excepting that salubrious spot, South Hummocks. The only (except nn most rare occasions) persons to be seen at the siding were the Kulpara and Melton mail carrier.
Once, at that time, a solitary "swaggy" disembarked from the down and was looked upon as a rara avis by the two carriers aforementioned He was bound for nowhere in particular, and accompanied for part of the way by the Melton mail carrier, who was 'padding the hoof,' not having risen to the status of the Kulpara carrier, who travelled per vehicle. The swaggy, looking around him with undisguised pity, exclaimed "This is a fine place to land at." The M.C. (not the Military Cross, but the Melton carrier) enquired as to the reason for such a doleful remark. The swaggy answered that there were no houses about.
Now, although the dwellings in view were not of such palatial dimensions as at present, they were proudly pointed out to the disappointed one, at the same time enquiring as to his country of origin. (I may remark that when he opened his lips the Cockney was sticking out a foot). "London," he answered. His questioner not having heard of such a place before, asked where was thait place? "Why, at Home in England," he replied, casting a pitious look at his interrogates "Oh! Is is it a 'bigger place thau this?" Again a look of pity, even more so than the first, was spread over the face of the Cockney with the astounding reply to his question after knowledge, that it was a town with more than seven millions of people in it.
"Away with you!" said the M.C., do not think that we Colonials are so green as to believe all that." Without another word, but with a more intense look of pity (if possible) the swaggy, thinking that he could not learn anything useful from his silly questioner, changed his route.
To return to the siding. Previous to a caretaker being appointed and long afterwards, there was but one daily train to and from the metropolis, and that a mixed one. And I may add that were it not for the business done by the railway at Melton, the chances are that the same old regime would be continued; although the department would not admit that the traffic was increasing when the caretaker made frequent application for a rise of salary. On the caretaker whose duties were being constantly added to, and was acting more as a station master than the former, a resident clerical porter was appointed at about £5 a week.
Now Melton is reaching its maximum as far as status is concerned and is to be raised to the rank of a station with a resident station master and porter.
But we, with other stations and sidings on the Wakefield—Kadina route, want that combination van back on the water train, and it would be to the interests of the Kadina business people to lend assistance. We are anxious to get the Peninsula train to leave Adelaide at a later hour, and at least an hour cut off the journey both ways.
State Library of South Australia - Motor Buggy B 8001- 1912
Motor buggy. According to a researcher, if the registration number on the buggy is 2662, then this was issued in 1912 to a Mr. A. Sharman of Melton S.A. Another list shows the same number, 2662, as being issued to Mr. Alfred Sharman of Gilberton Terrace, Walkerville. One is probably his residential address and the other perhaps his property where the buggy was used. This style of vehicle ceased production in U.S.A. in 1911. The family can be seen riding in the motor buggy which has the canopy extended to protect the ladies from the elements. In 1916 Alfred Henry Sharman enlisted in the Australian Army and fought in France at Villers-Bretonneux. The nineteen year old farmer lived at Melton.
Mrs. I. Pontifex:
Mrs. Isabelle Pontifex. 78, wife of Mr. J. P. Pontifex, of Melton, who died recently, was one of the oldest and most respected residents of Melton. Born at Penshurst, Victoria. Mrs. Pontifex was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. McWilliam. Her father was employed as a surveyor by the Victorian Government, and Mount McWilliam, in Victoria, was named in his memory. Mrs. Pontifex was married, at Kent Town, Adelaide, and shortly after she went to Melton with her husband, and had resided there for 50 years. She greatly assisted her husband in his public life. She was a life-long member and ardent worker for the Methodist Church of the Kulpara circuit. Mrs. Pontifex is survived by her husband and five sons, Messrs. Garnet (Adelaide), Stepney, Elliot, and Friend (Melton), and Kenneth (Baandee, W.A.). There are 23 grandchildren.
The funeral at Kulpara, at which the Rev. F. Timberlake officiated, was one of the largest seen in the district, and the many beautiful wreaths were a fitting tribute to Mrs Pontifex's kindly and loving nature, which endeared her to all with whom she came into contact. An old Welsh custom was carried out when, after the obsequies, friends and relatives of Mr Pontitex met at his residence and observed the "toast to the departed," which was proposed by Councillor J. J. Henschke, of Arthurton, and drunk in silence. Mrs Pontifex is survived by her husband and five sons: Messrs Garnet (Adelaide), Stepney, Elliot and Friend (Melton) and Kenneth (Baandee, W.A.). There are twenty-three grandchildren. All the members of the family except Kenneth Pontifex were present at the funeral.
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PENNY.
The following essay, "Autobiography, of a Penny," was written by Miss Ruth M. Pontifex, of Melton, a first year student of Kadina Memorial High School, for competition in the scholastic section at the local show on the 1st inst. It was awarded first prize:
I was once part of a hard lump of copper buried deep in the earth in the vicinity of Moonta, a town on Yorke Peninsula. In 1924, I was dug-up from my abode in the earth, and, after having passed through the mine, was sent to the mint. Here I was mixed with some alloys and made into a penny. I was then sent to a bank in Alice Springs and began my life as a penny by being given, amongst some other change, to a man. He did not seem to value me very much for he hadn't possessed me five minutes when he gave me away to a little native girl. She was very excited over me and rolled me along the gutters. Unfortunately she lost sight of me and I was left lying in a sandy gutter for three months. The heat of the sun was terrific and I was nearly, melting when a curious Afghan leading a camel found me. He was travelling overland to Broome, and I was put into a box containing various curios and taken with him. This box in which I was kept, was stolen by a blackfellow and I was in his possession for twelve years. He nearly lost me several times and I had many exciting experiences. One day he went fishing in a small canoe, when I dropped from a pocket in his scanty clothing and fell into the water. I thought that this was the end of my life, but it proved not to be, for I slid through the water until I came to the sea-floor, where I stuck on the top of an oyster shell. Not long after a pearling boat came along and a Malay native in diving suit descended to the sea-floor. He had filled his basket with oyster shells before he noticed me. Thinking that I was a queer tiling to find on the seafloor, he put me and the oyster shell on which I was resting, into his basket. When he ascended to the surface. .oi. the sea lie fbunii Ta beatfttHflf peafl' worth ten thousand pounds inside of the shellon which I had been resting. The Malay, who was rather superstitious, kept me as a lucky mascot and he always used to keep me with him when he was diving. So I have brought some luck even though I am worth so little. I am now in the hands of his small son who intends throwing me into a furnace to see if I will melt. He does not realise that he is murdering me. The end of my short life is near and I feel sure that I have travelled and had more adventures than any ordinary penny."
OUR KULPARA LETTER
October 12, 1873. The crops are suffering severely for want of rain. Hay-making operations have now commenced, and 1 believe the hay-crops will not be bad generally. Locusts are making their appearance very thickly, and because of them I fear that the farmers hopes are somewhat blighted. There certainly will not be the yield that was anticipated a short time ago. A very sad accident occurred here last week. Miss Short, a resident at the Cocoanut, was thrown from her horse, dragged 250 yards, and was fearfully mangled. She was taken home a corpse.
SHORT. — On the 4th October, at the Cocoanut Station, Yorke's Peninsula, through a fall from a horse, Emily, the youngest and dearly beloved daughter of Edwin and Ann Short, of Courtwick, Salisbury, and Cocoanut Station, Yorke's Peninsula, and granddaughter of the late Captain William Short, H.E.I.C.S., aged 13 years and two months. Deeply regretted by all who knew her.
An inquest; - was held on Sunday, October 5, 1873, before Mr G. N. Birks, J.P., at the Cocoanut Station, Green's Plains, on the body of Emily Short, who met with her death by being accidentally thrown from a horse......
IN RE EDWIN SHORT, A SUPPOSSED LUNATIC. Before Mr. Justice Gwynne, and a Jury.
Mr. Mann, Q.C., and Mr. Symon for the petitioner; Mr. Boucaut, Q.C., Mr. Sheridan, and Mr. Wallace for the alleged lunatic. This case was resumed this morning ; and the following evidence was taken : — .....
CHILDREN LOST AND FOUND.
The Yorkes Peninsula Advertiser tells that on Friday morning a son, aged four years, of Mr. Kain, of Cocoanut, was lost in the scrub. He accompanied a shepherd boy that morning, and when a mile and a half from home the latter with his dogs, killed a kangaroo. Shortly afterwards the dog started in chase of another; the shepherd placed his coat on the ground near the dead kangaroo and telling the child to sit on the coat till he returned, went after the dogs. He was not long, but when he came back the child had disappeared, taking the coat. The shepherd immediately reported the circumstances to Mr. Kain. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kain at once went in search, and the latter continued to seek for 20 hours before she returned home, whilst her husband persisted in the pursuit unremittingly. On reaching the neighbourhood of the Prince of Wales Mine, he found a man, whom he sent to the police at Moonta, to inform them of the loss. Sergeant Bentley telegraphed on Saturday morning to the trooper at Wallaroo and the constable at Kadina, desiring them to go in search, and sent Constable Harris, of Moonta Mines, on the same mission. Constable Harris arrived at Cocoanut on Saturday afternoon, and he, with about 39 others, searched the scrub in the neighbourhood until dark. About three and a half miles from the spot where the lad was lost they found the coat, but no other traces. On the following morning seventy persons had collected, and Constable Harris having been selected leader, the search was resumed. The constable divided the party into two companies, and scoured the country for ten or eleven miles in the direction of Maitland. In the afternoon one of the child's boots was found in the vicinity of Penang, and several footprints of the little fellow were discovered. About 2 o'clock on Monday morning two or three of the party heard the barking of a dog in the scrub. This raised their hopes, for it was known that a dog which belonged to the boy was also missing, and it was premised that the animal had followed him. Guided by the barking of the dog, the man hastened onward; a cry from the boy greeted their ears, and to their intense gratification the men found the little fellow in the scrub, apparently little the worse for his prolonged wanderings and exposure. He was very cold, and the first words he uttered were to ask for some matches to light a fire. The place where he was found was near the old Condamine Mine, three miles from Penang, and seven or eight miles from Cocoanut. The lad was immediately conveyed to a house at Penang, and the welcome tidings of his discovery were forwarded to the parents, who, as may be imagined, lost no time in proceeding to Penang. Although the little fellow seemed to have suffered but slightly, the parents thought it advisable to send for Dr. Herbert, under whose treatment it is hoped the child will have thoroughly recovered in the course of a day or two. On Monday morning the persons who engaged in the search must have numbered 300 or 400 horsemen, including a large number of men from the Moonta and Wallaroo Mines and farmers in the neighbourhood. The lad's dog, which had faithfully remained with its master until he was found, no sooner saw that he was in safe hands than it scampered off to the Cocoanut, where it arrived in a ravenously hungry condition. The men who found the boy were Messrs. Henderson, G. Wright, and R. Theakstone. The Moonta party who assisted in the search were specially requested to do so by Captain Hancock.