Devine House (ruins)
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A bluestone ruin remains on this site. Some walls remain to roof height. Seen from Edgars Road only. The ruins of a bluestone house on the east side of Edgars Road, north of the Little River township and north of Bulban Road (in Crown Allotments 27, 28 and 34, Parish of Bulban) was the pre-1888 home of John and Margaret Devine, farmers, parents of Hugh (later Sir Hugh) Devine (1878-1959), leading Australian surgeon. From the late 1860s, the Devines were rated as lessess of a selection in the Parish of Bulban.
During the 1870s the valuation of the Edgars Road property doubled, and by 1877 was described as a 480 acre farm. Between 1878 and 1880, John and Anthony Devine became registered owners of Allotments 27, 28 and part of Allotment 34. Allotments 27 and 34 are on Edgars Road.
The Devines' bluestone homestead (now ruinous) most probably dates from the 1870s. A recent history of Little River confirmed that "His (Hugh's) parents' home of bluestone construction was situated 3 1/2 miles along Edgars Road on the right hand side". Hugh Devine, who was born in 1878, spent his early years at Little River where he was "baptised, received his early education, and was an altar boy at the first St. Michael's". St Michael's Catholic Church at Little River was a small 1857 bluestone church associated with the Scottish Highland settlers who came to Little River. It was replaced in 1922 by a new brick church.
According to Sir Hugh Devine's obituary, "He was a farmer's son - from the wide plains around Werribee, where he roamed freely before going off to a college education..."
In 1888, the Devines moved to a new bluestone farmhouse in Rothwell Road in the Little River township. However, they continued to own the Edgars Road property, which was leased to Michael Gleeson in the 1890s and, at the turn of the century, (after John Devine's death) to Patrick Ryan. The Edgars Road farm of 480 acres always has a more substantial valuation than the smaller 25 acre farm in Rothwell Road.
The Devines' son, Hugh, was educated at St. Patrick's College, Ballarat, and at Queen's College, University of Melbourne. He was one of the founders of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, and according to an obituary of 20 July 1959, "was recognised as one of the world's best surgeons and contributed extensively to surgical literature in Australia, the United Kingdom and America". After a Requiem Mass at Newman College, University of Melbourne, offered by the Rector, Father J. P. Gleeson, brother of Sir Hugh's son-in-law, he was buried in Melbourne's old general cemetery.
A description of both the Edgars Road and Rothwell Road properties appeared in a 1920 sale notice in the district press. The Edgars Road property was listed as Lot 1 in the Estate of the late John Devine, as, "500 acres good grazing land. 4 miles north of Little River railway station. Improvements consist of a bluestone homestead. This property has been leased to Patrick Ryan, Manor Farm, Werribee. Lease expires 1 Aug. 1921".
Both the 1870s Edgars Road farmhouse and the 1880s Rothwell Road farmhouse are now ruinous.
Little River,” Wyndham History, accessed June 4, 2023, http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/280.
|Item: John Devine (1846-1903)||Relation||This Item|