Dr. John Hamilton Lowry and "Springfield".

The abandoned "Springfield" Homestead photo taken from the Craigieburn Bypass.

Partially extracted from and more information on the Lowry family can be found at  http://familytrees.genopro.com/BarbBraswell/Lowry/default.htm?page=toc_individuals.htm

'From 1922 – 1947, milk was transported from Springfield farm via horse and lorry to the railway siding at Craigieburn, where it was then transported via rail to the ‘Wollert Dairy’ in De Carle Street, Brunswick'.

Dr. John Hamilton Lowry of Craigieburn, surgeon, was born in 1818 in Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland and came out to Victoria in the 1840s.  In 1853 he Bought 150 Acres paying 653 pounds for his land in the suburb of Wollert, in the city of Whittlesea, only a short distance from Craigieburn named "Springfield" he lived there with his wife Jane Matthew and their thirteen children.

He studied to be a Doctor of Medicine working as an apothecary in Londonderry then studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin before going to London to sit his final exams in 1838.   By 1849 he was in Melbourne Australia getting married at the Scots Presbyterian Church to a Jane Matthews from Oxfordshire. He did not practice Medicine in Australia and there is no record of him on the Medical Register here. 

John Hamilton Lowry purchased Portion 4 Section 14 from Michael Lynch who owned Lynch Park Farm,  for the sum of £ 150 from Lynch, so the property was part of Lynch Park Farm before 1853.  He and Jane settled on the farm in Wollert near Craigieburn which was not more than 5 miles away from Margaret and Thomas's farm (Summer Hill).  John called his farm "Springfield" apparently naming it after the Hamilton Farm back in Donegal.    (Wendy Lowry 2002).

May 30, 1838 - Mr. John Hamilton Lowry of Drumcra, Raphoe, received the diploma of Surgery on distinguished answering from the Royal College of Surgeons, London, on Friday the 18th inst.  This young gentleman had just completed his apprenticeship in the establishment of C. Morton, Esq., in this City.  We have heard a most flattering account of Mr. Lowry's ability and professional qualifications.  -  From Len Swindley, 2009

John Hamilton Lowry married Jane Matthews on the 1st of June 1849 and at that time he gave his abode as Merri Creek, which was often in early times used as a reference point to the place they lived in if it was near Merri Creek and the Springfield property was basically on the banks of the modern named Curly Sedge Creek which is a branch of Merri Creek but in early times no doubt it was just known as Merri Creek.  The couple later had 13 children: John Hamilton, Henry, Arthur, Albert, Samuel, Frederick, Fanny, Mary, Adelaide, Annie, Minnie, Eliza and Charlotte Lowry.

John Hamilton Lowry died on the 20 Dec 1887, he was noted at a 'farmer of Craigieburn' and in his will made on the 19th day of September 1885 he says he is "late of Springfield Farm near Craigieburn'.

In 1889 the executors of Dr. John Hamilton Lowry's will, James Robinson and Thomas Hurley sold Springfield to John Jolly Esq.

John Jolly and his wife Eliza lived and farmed at Springfield and John died in 1904.  Eliza survived him by another 18 years to die in 1921.  In 1904 John Jolly's list of assets named 'all that land being the farm occupied by John Jolley of 150 acres 15 perches
(Springfield) together with improvements rated by the Shire of Epping. The
improvements consisted of a "four roomed stone house", small cow shed and
stable. He had 15 acres of Oats, 25 head of cattle, 8 pigs and one horse. 1
hay dray, 1 reaper and binder, 1 plough and harrows and 1 spring cart'.

The house was added onto and modernized after 1904, with the original bluestone and rubble house incorporated inside.  The original homestead was of four rooms and the roof has also been replaced in modern times.  The outside walls were originally built in asbestos and therefore dangerous when the building started deteriating, hence the outside walls were removed at some stage by Yarra Valley Water, who were then the owners of the property before Vic Roads acquired the land for the Craigieburn Bypass.

Today it sits next to the Craigieburn Bypass painting a lonely, dilapidated picture but perhaps soon to become part of the extended grasslands in the Craigieburn area, thus being preserved.

'Springfield' sadly now nearly in ruins, the weather and time taking it's toll - taken late 2008.