Arriving at Glengowan today it is difficult to imagine that it was once the epicentre of the thriving village of Moorilda, known until 1883 as Teapot Swamp. Although there is little now remaining of the original community, records show that it once supported a flour mill, general store and post office, a school (opened in 1867) and three separate churches, all designed by renowned country architect, Edward Gell.
The Grevilles Post Office directory of 1872 shows that Teapot Swamp claimed many different professions among its residents including: farmers, carriers, millers, an architect, a surveyor, blacksmith, farrier, bookmaker, saddler and teacher. From 1872 until 1893 there was also a hotel at Teapot Swamp which was located in the vicinity of the Glengowan woolshed yards. Also in this area was a racecourse which took in the original station paddocks at Glengowan and terminated at the Teapot Swamp Inn.
The Moorilda History project focuses on the historical development of Glengowan and Moorilda. The research was published in May 2015 with the launch of my book; A Leap of Faith, The pioneers of Teapot Swamp and Moorilda edited by my cousin, Mark Gordon. All of the known buildings at Moorilda are included and each of the main Moorilda families has a separate chapter. The families in the book are the original pioneers who stayed in the district for a long period of time and the more people contributed the more information is included. There are very few living people in the book so if you and your aunty are not in there please take the opportunity to write your own extended family history. The aim was not to follow each family tree down to the present but to focus on the story of the family while they were here. A reunion was held on the 24th May 2014 and over 200 people attended a fantastic day.
The book was fully revised and published again in 2020. Please contact me if you would like to purchase a copy.
About a Leap of Faith 2nd Edition
The new book contains 309 pages and over 220 images. Each of the major buildings has its own chapter including: Moorilda School, the Post Office and store, the mill, the inn and the churches of St Davids, St Brigids and St Andrews. The pioneering families who have individual chapters are: Burke, Christie, Collins, Edwards, Egan, Gordon, Hartley, Healy, Hodgson, Hood (John), Hosie, Javens, Jones, Kable, Long, Lynch, Mackay, McCullum, McKellar, Morrison, Piper, Pocknell, Pringle, Purcell, Radburn, Rodwell, Ryan, Smith, Stiff, Warren, Wilson and Woolard. There are five new family chapters in the 2nd edition: William Hood, Jarrett, Kelly, Lovatt and Patterson. There are short notes on another 29 families in the ‘Other families of Moorilda’ chapter which relates mainly to school families and includes: Armstrong, Baker, Briggs, Boon, Brown, Bullock, Charters, Cheney, Dangerfield, Davey, Davidson, Davis, Eason, Ewin, Fell, Hobby, Hunt, Kelly, Kane, Kenny, Larnach, McArthur, McDougal, McInnes, Melrose, Moore, Nightingale, Roberts and Sutherland. The Orchardists is another new chapter which incorporates the original information for the Woolard and McLoughlin families. The Soldier Settlement chapter has been rearranged to also include the Terrey and Dickie families of Bantry Grove.
Please note: The second edition is a revision of the first edition, not a completely new book. Much of the book has been rewritten and there are some additions (including a long-lost Teapot Swamp bushranger story) but the basic information is the same.