Belvoir the beginnings

Taken from a letter from Dept of Lands and Survey dated 20 October 1937.

When Paul Huon applied in1848 for a lease of his “Woodonga” run, it had been in his licensed occupation for 10 years.

This run, which was situated on south of the Murray River and extended westward from the Little River (now Kiewa River), and Middle Creek, contained an approximate area of 41,000 acres, with an estimated grazing capability of 1,400 cattle or 8,000 sheep.

In August 1849, this run was transferred to son, William, who applied in June 1851 for the right to purchase under Pre-emptive privilege, 160 acres which included his improvements.

Prior to this application, H.W.H. Smythe, Crown Lands Commissioner, had recommended the establishment of a Township Reserve at Wodonga Creek, and it appeared that Huon’s head-station was included in this proposed reserve.

However, when the township was surveyed in 1852 by Thomas Wedge – Assistant Surveyor – Huon’s improvements, excepting part of the stockyard, were excluded, and he was allowed to purchase 171½ acres.

The new township was called “Belvoir” but later the aboriginal name “Wodonga” was restored.

William Huon, who had not been in a position to pay for a whole Section (640 acres) at the time of his application in 1851, was, in 1854, refused permission to make a further purchase under Pre-emptive privilege. However, following his explanation that the township reserve had absorbed part of his stockyard, the decision was revised, and he was allowed to purchase a further 468½ acres at 22/6 per acre.

Township allotments of ½ acre each were laid out along the Sydney road adjoining Huon’s homestead area, and 14 agricultural allotments, ranging from 6½ to 28 acres, were surveyed at the western end of the township reserve.

The first sale of land in Belvoir was held at Wangaratta on 28th April 1854, when all the allotments surveyed by Thomas Wedge (excepting those set apart for reserves, etc.) were offered at auction.

During the next few years, W.S. Chauncy – Assistant Surveyor – made extensive subdivisional surveys in the district.