Above: Portion of a 1963 photo showing the Blairgowrie Farm and former Craigieburn Hotel site, which fronted the eastern side of the Hume Highway, north of Craigieburn Station. The road was widened and all the buildings were demolished around the same year. Ruins of the bluestone stables are visible to the left of the image and a car heads north on the highway.
The 'Blairgowie' property was situated on the right side of Sydney Road, heading north, approximately from where the railway tracks crossed Sydney Road at Craigieburn to Malcolm Creek.
J. Williamson was the original selector who selected Section 24 in the Parish of Yuroke on the 26th of August 1840 but did not appear to have been local or a resident in the area, and the land was leased out for grazing.
Sometime before the turn of the century the old Craigieburn Hotel site had been subdivided into several lots and named Blairgowrie, who actually named it Blairgowrie or how long it had been known as Blairgowrie is unknown at this time but we know it has been known by that name at least as far back as the turn of the last century.
Blairgowrie has been owned by a number of people after the rise and fall of the hotel days including William Henry Miller in 1875, William Duncan McCallum, the Andersons and later the Sorraghan family.
By 1875 the site was owned by William Henry Miller, who did live and farm there. William Henry Miller died in 1915 and in 1916 an advertisement in The Argus states 'that under instruction from the executors of the late Mr. William Henry Miller that Adamson, Strettle and Co. Pty Ltd were to sell by auction, "Blairgowrie Estate at Craigieburn", fronting the Sydney Road and right alongside the Craigieburn Railway Station 15 miles from the city of Melbourne of 1,163 acres now in occupation by Mr. W. D. McCallum and subdivided into 7 blocks ranging in size from 75 acres to 630 acres, given as splendid agricultural and grazing land.
Lot 1: - 80 acres, with frontage to the 15 Mile Lane, (now Craigieburn Road West) portion being cultivated, with quality valuable timber growing on it. Lot 2: - 80 acres, adjoining lot 1, similar quality land. Lot 3: - Is at the corner of Sydney Road and the 15 Mile Lane, (now Craigieburn Road West) and contains 75 acres of thereabouts. Lot 4: - 75 acres, adjoins lot 3 and fronts the Sydney Road. On this block there is a weatherboard house of 5 rooms, with iron roof. Lot 5: - 69 acres, more of less immediately opposite Lot 4. On this portion are the bluestone buildings formerly used as a dwelling and coaching stables. There is also a splendid cowshed and other outbuildings. Lot 6: - 163 acres runs down to Merri Creek to which it has a large frontage. Lot 7: - Contains 630 acres. It is situated about one and a half miles from the Craigieburn Station. It is well fenced and permanently watered, fronts a metalled road, running into the Epping Road.
From this advertisement in 1916 we know the hotel building was still in existence as Lot 5 consisted of 69 acres with 'the bluestone buildings formerly used as a dwelling and coaching stables'.
The property seems to have changed hands from the trustees of William Henry Miller to William Duncan McCallum. McCallum went into receivership in 1921 and in 1926 Blairgowrie was up for sale again by McCallum and advertised in the Argus Wednesday 24 November 1926 as 160 acres of freehold land right at Junction of Sydney Road, Craigieburn Road, and Main North-Eastern Railway, and within 100 Yards of Craigieburn Railway Station, with the Melbourne Coursing Club's Ground (the Finest in the Commonwealth) opposite Blairgowrie and Comprises 100 Acres of Choice Volcanic Land. Subdivided into Several Paddocks, and Permanently watered by a windmill and well, with water Laid on to buildings and troughs. A creek also runs through the property. The homestead is of weatherboard with 6 main rooms, practically new. There is very large Stone Stabling with slate roof, large Cowshed and machinery Shed and Blairgowrie is a Most Replete Farm with everything in First-class Order.
Blairgowrie then changed hands to the Anderson family. The Anderson family were farmers at Blairgowrie during 1950's. Tragedy struck the property again when Peter Murray committed suicide, tragically hanging himself in the barn at the age of 42. An inquest into his death was held on the 17th of May 1950 with a verdict of death by suicide from asphyxia either from hanging or gunshot wound.
Jim Sorraghan purchased the farm in 1950/1 from the Anderson family and the Sorraghans dairy farmed and lived on the property till it was acquired by Vic Roads sometime in 1963. In 1963 the construction of the dual carriageway and overpass took place and would have taken most of the property for construction and road widening.
This drawing was done by a former occupant of Blairgowrie to show how the property was set out. You can see the old bluestone stables were right on Sydney Road. The road widening would have cleared the property right back to the very last row of pine trees, which is all that is visible today at the site.
There is little to be seen today at the former Blairgowrie site, just a few old gnarled pine trees suffering from the ravages of the last years of drought, standing behind a fence on the side of the Hume Hwy, directly opposite Kingswood Drive in Craigieburn. Any evidence of the Blairgowrie on this property has long gone.
The pictures below feature the bluestone stables of the hotel still in use as stables in 1956 by the Sorraghan family.
Pictured below: 'Blairgowrie' Below: Off for a ride