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Rediscovering Ginninderra:

Lyall Gillespie records that Joseph Bolton took up a selection, 'Rockwood', in the early 1870's - and apparently lived there until October 1879 when he became the licensee of the Cricketers Arms Hotel, to which the family moved. Before this they were living at 'Little Plain', Molonglo. Their move to Ginninderra came before the birth of their daughter Amelia Alma ('Millie') in 1873. Joseph was reportedly amongst those most badly affected by cattle losses due to the highly destructive 'Dandenong gale' of 1876.

In July 1890, after ten years at the Hotel, Joseph and Mary retired from the hospitality industry and returned to 'Rockwood' to take up farming and grazing again. A few months before they made the move the Goulburn Evening Post reported that Joseph Bolton sold 100 aged ewes at 5/5d each; getting ready perhaps for a more active life as a grazier? They lived the remainder of their lives at 'Rockwood', Joseph dying in 1917 and Mary in 1923.

The Rockwood property originally comprised Portion 24 of 40 acres in the Parish of Ginninderra, conditionally purchased in 1871. In the following year Joseph purchased adjoining Portions 63, 64, 65, and in 1876 he added Portion 108 and Portion 109.

In March 1915 the Commonwealth government acquired 282 acres (Holding No. 113) from J.Bolton. The property is now occupied by residences in northern Nicholls and southern Casey. Rockwood Street in the suburb of Casey, Gungahlin, was gazetted in 2014 to commemorate Joseph and Mary Bolton.


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