In 1922 Arthur Hart first brought some land at Biddaddaba for £10 per acre and the land was originally being used as a grazing property for their bullocks on the journey hauling timber to the Boyland Railway Station.
Arthur married Jessie Gordon Skene, a sister of his brother’s wife Elizabeth, and on the 1st October 1930, with their son Eric, they went to live at Biddaddaba where Arthur had built them a beautiful farm house.
They started a dairy on a half share basis, bringing cows, buckets, cans etc over from Tabragalba. They were thrilled with their first cream cheque which was £3, (their half share) & Arthur brought more cows after which they never looked back.
Eventually they owned the entire property passing it down to their son Eric & his new wife Marg. They had to work hard, clearing the land & ploughing before it was fenced. There were no tractors then, so Marg drove the two horses and Eric held the plough.
The house was three roomed with verandahs back, front and one side. Marg’s parents gave them suites of furniture for the bedroom, dining room & kitchen. There was no bathroom or laundry. A tub in the kitchen was used for the bath & years later a bathroom, laundry and septic tank was installed. Over the years, the verandahs were walled in to make extra rooms.
For a while the local town voting was held in their home in addition to the home being used for the Church of England Services. The children all went to Biddaddaba Creek School and for a number of years the home boarded the local school teachers. The home was available when anyone wanted to party, the lino was rolled up for dancing and a keg set on the front verandah. Eric & his friend Harry McVey played their accordions & Doris Harmer played the piano.
In 1967 Eric & Marg sold the farm to Neville & Nola Clark. The original property was divided into four blocks before being owned by Garth & Trish Carey.
Now owned by Scott & Anita Bunch, the farm comprises of 20 acres, with 1,100 Olive Trees, all fully irrigated with bores and a dam feeding into 2 x 19,000Lt tanks. There is a shed for livestock and or machinery and a smaller old timber building previously used as “The Barn” to store hay. “The Homestead” is now in its original parts approximately 100 years old.
Following in the history of the home Scott & Anita are school teachers in local schools & still roll up the lino for parties to bring fourth generation farmers together for local Biddaddaba social events.
Scott and Anita have raised their own children on the farm. Their grandchildren can now be found welcoming new lambs in spring, harvesting food from the organic vegetable patch or swinging on the tyre swing dreaming of bygone days.
A special thank-you to Thea Franklin for the fond memories of “Oliva Di Tabragalba.”