Redcliffe Pier

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TAPHOPHILE TRAGIC'S TUESDAY

Most readers know that I walk in our local forest every morning. 

























Just inside the main entry there is a tiny little private cemetery.

 It is called "Dennis Family Cemetery". The Dennis family were early settlers and pioneers of this area where we live, now called Daisy Hill.  James Dennis came to Australia on the ship, "Flying Cloud" in 1864. In 1867 he married Mary Ann Markwell and they had 18 children.


It is sad to see how many children died within the first month of their life. How awful for the parents. It shows how tough pioneering life was.

In 1870 James took up a selection of land here (I think that means he was given the land by the government to encourage settlement in the area.) Later he bought more land adjacent. He grazed cattle and planted mango trees which are still here today. In 1880 he built a bigger home. In 1893 he died and Mary continued on with the work. She died in 1920 and her son Joseph buys the property. In 1940 Joseph enlarged the lagoons in the area to provide irrigation. 

In 1950, Joseph's son Frank runs the property and buys it from his father. He builds this dam to help the farm succeed. He had 50 acres of small crops. In 1962, Frank won an award for harvesting water and irrigating crops.
I walk past here every morning. It is now called Dennis Lake.

Frank built an island in the lake as a bird sanctuary. We sometimes walk here in the evening too.

A Magpie Goose
In 1968 the land was subdivided and the suburb of Daisy Hill began. He also donated a huge parcel of land to the state under the provisor that it remained as a park for the community to enjoy. That is now "The Daisy Hill Conservation Park". Frank became a Taxi Driver in his later years and he often picked me up and took me to the airport and brought me home, when I visited Sydney regularly to see my dying father. Now I walk in his beautiful park everyday.Frank died in 2000 and is buried in the family cemetery. 

This is my contribution to Julie's Taphophile Tragic's meme.


31 comments:

  1. Interesting that they had two children named Albert. I cannot imagine being pregnant 18 times.
    This post is all the more poignant for your personal connection.

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  2. Very nice post, Diane... Many of my ancestors had LOTS of children. When I work on Family History --I have a really hard time keeping up with all of the children.. AND you are right... So many of them died young...

    Beautiful park. Glad they preserved some of the Dennis land.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. We have so much to be grateful for. The people who came before us worked so hard, and created these beautiful places that we now enjoy. What a generous gift to the community, and a beautiful resting place for the Dennis family.

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  4. What an amazing story, Diane! And what an incredibly lovely place to enjoy your daily walks.

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  5. I kept reading all the names and was glad to see some of the children lived to adulthood.
    What a beautiful place this is, and wonderful that it is a conservation area.
    I enjoyed the photos very much.
    K

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  6. A beautiful post, Diane, with a great deal of history within it. Your photos complement this well.
    We often forget what a hard life the pioneers had, and yet how much they achieved!

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  7. What a story. God bless the hard working pioneers of the world, and their sacrifice.

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  8. This is a terrific post Dianne. We know you walk in Daisy Hill but the history is fascinating and even better when it has its own cemetery.

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  9. If you walk some old rural cemeteries in England, the death rate of infants was even worse than here. I like the afternoon light photos.

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  10. After looking into my own family tree i discovered that 15 or 18 children where very normal in the early days and only 2 or 3 became older than 1 year. Yes it where hard times.

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  11. Diane, what a pretty place, it is sad to see that the children back in the "olden" days died so young. Gorgeous scenery and lovely photos.

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  12. How intriguing! I am wondering if C.J. Dennis (1876-1938), the journalist and writer could be associated with this family! His father James was born in Ireland and migrated to Australia in the 1860's! CJ was born and raised in Adelaide, then moved to Melbourne in the early 1900's.

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  13. Gemma: I somehow don't think the families are related but I could be wrong. Maybe Julie can find out for us with her in depth knowledge of "Ancstry.com"

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  14. Such a beautiful post. So interesting. Such a shame so many of the children died young.

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  15. Thanks for the interesting story. It is nice the graves are on their own territory, that is not allowed here. So sad all those dead children, woman must have had hard times to give birth so many times and to loose so many of them.

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  16. This is a very interesting post. The cemetery certainly illustrates the hardship of pioneer life, but this family obviously worked hard and did well. It's wonderful that they donated the land for this beautiful park.

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  17. dennis lake is gorgeous, i would love to wander there. in a cemetery here there is a ston like this with all those names, it is 7 feet wide and 4 tall. my great grandfather is buried in a tiny cemetery like this one.

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  18. Those pioneering days were tough times weren't they? Many children lost, so sad.

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  19. What a beautiful place to walk - but so sad too, that all those little ones died so soon. Life must have been very hard then.

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  20. It's amazing what hidden geme there are about us.It was tough for the early settlers. Thankyou for telling this story.

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  21. Interesting that include the birth date, the death date and the burial date. I'm more used to seeing death date only, or birth and death.

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  22. what a lovely place and how remarkable that you knew Frank and the whole story! Wonderful..and the photos are amazing :-)

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  23. This is such a beautiful area, I can see why you take your walks here. I love the reflections you captured on the lake.

    Like Betsy I do genealogy and it is always sad to see where many children only live a few weeks or months. I can't even imagine the way the parents would have felt.

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  24. Yep, yep ... I read this morning about the CJ Dennis question and did the research but ran out of time to comment about it - Alannah day, you see.

    C J Dennis' father was also James Dennis but he was born in Ireland, whereas your James Dennis was born in Fife, Scotland. C J Dennis' mother was Kate Tobin.

    So not related at all ... I will double post this to Gemma, too.

    Then clean up the yard, then come back and read you post again and comment.

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  25. Thank you oh busy one. Hope it keeps you young.

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  26. Back again. Everything ship-shape. Not certain about the 'young' bit ...

    That is certainly a beautiful walk that you take in the morning. The lakes are a delight. As is the quaint family cemetery. A bit like the cemetery on Lord Howe Island - the one near Pine-View not the major one.

    Astounding to bring 18 children into the world. To go through childbirth 18 times. Knowing that only half of them lived a full year.

    The idea that Frank should be driving a taxi at the end, after having so much land in the family. That intruiges me. I wonder if he just needed to keep being involved?

    So ... why is your suburb named 'Daisy Hill' and not 'Dennis Hill'?

    I suspect your blogs have been the most varied of the lot of us. Keep on keeping on, as they say.

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  27. What a gorgeous asset to the residents of area! I like thinking of you taking your morning constitutional in such a beautiful setting.

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  28. Wonderful post Diane! And, what a lovely place. To know the history and have your walks here and be truly connected by way of Frank is astounding. So glad the Park is there as a tribute to the family who loved the land for so long.

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  29. Beaut place..Several places (farms) had their own graves in the olden days.
    Dreadful all the children who went to heaven so young.

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  30. It's a beautiful spot and I enjoyed the history part of the tour as well. Once again, I am surprised (and shouldn't be) at how similar the history of "your" pioneers is to that of "ours." (Those baby graves always make me cry for what our ancestors went through.)

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  31. What a wonderful glimpse into history, and you are so fortunate to have such a lovely place to walk. Early pioneers did have such a hard life.

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