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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
The Falls

James Kilby was one of the five children born (1870) to Robert and Jane Kilby (nee Webster) of 'Lands End', and thus one of the third generation of Kilbys in the district. When he was twenty one he became an apprentice carpenter to Fred Young, well known Queanbeyan builder and architect. James worked on the Yarralumla Homestead under Young's supervision. Two of his siblings were to become more closely associated with 'Yarralumla' later on. In 1895 James applied for conditional purchase of 222 acres on the Murrumbidgee River, which included the Ginninderra Falls (Portion 7, Parish of Weetangera). There he began building a weatherboard house with yards, sheds and an orchard - and called his property 'The Falls'. Two adjacent Portions amounting to 625 acres were added later on.

Conditions of purchase had been completed by the time James married one of his next door neighbour's daughters in 1897. Beatrice was a daughter of Thomas and Mary Southwell of 'Parkwood'. James and Beatrice were to have eight children, five of whom were born at 'The Falls' - Keith Kinloch (1898), Athol Carlyle (1899), Clyde Redvers (1901), Selby William (1903) and Beryl Beatrix Mary (1904). Following a disastrous bushfire in 1905 that came across the river and burnt right up to the Yass-Queanbeyan road, they moved to a property of 81 acres on the edge of Hall called 'Eneagh Hill', which had been purchased from Patrick McGivern in 1903. While The Falls homestead was saved from the fire, the out buildings were destroyed.

When they left 'The Falls' they did not sell the property, but continued farming activity there. In 1907 however, James established a new business at 'Eneagh Hill' as a butcher, and built up a very successful enterprise delivering meat to residents of Hall and Ginninderra twice a week until 1917. In 1910 he purchased the 'Parkwood' property, and had the old homestead renovated in 1926 for his son Clyde. Clyde and his two brothers Bruce and Cleon formed 'Kilby Bros.' and farmed the Parkwood and 'The Falls' properties until 1970.

Related Photos


Kilby, E. undated. The Kilby family. 'Lands End' 1852-2013 Self-published.

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