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Charles Grimes : 05-December-2011
Charles Grimes : 05-December-2011

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

An obelisk commemorates Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General of New South Wales and party, who in 1803 explored the Yarra River. It also marks the crossing of the river by the first overlanders, John Gardiner, Joseph Hawdon and John Hepburn in December 1836.

Charles Grimes, the acting Surveyor-General of New South Wales, and a small party set sail from Sydney in the "Cumberland," and arrived off what is now Sorrento on 20th January 1803.  Here Grimes commenced a systematic investigation of the shores of Port Phillip, and on Wednesday, 2nd February, was the first white man to see the Yarra.

On Monday, 7th February 1803, Grimes antd his party took a boat up the Yarra to see where it would lead them. On the following day, 8th February, 1803, they found their progress stopped by the obstruction now known as Dight's Falls, and landing, examined the country, being  the first white men to tread Studley Park. 

The first mob of cattle was driven overland from New South Wales, and arrived near the settlement in December, 1836. The owners, John Gardiner, Captain John Hepburn, and Joseph Hawdon, crossed their cattle over the Yarra at Dight's Falls, and founded, in what is now Kew and Hawthorn, the first cattle station in Australia Felix.

A memorial cairn to mark the discovery of the Yarra River in 1803 by the first party to travel overland from New South Wales and the first cattle crossing over the river in 1836 was unveiled near Dight's Falls on Saturday by Mr. Tunnecliffe, M.L.A., chairman of the trustees of the Yarra Bend National Park. Built of shale taken from the river bed, the cairn stands near the circular observation section of the Yarra Boulevard at Studley Park. It bears the following inscription: "This cairn was erected conjointly by the Kew, Collingwood, and Heidelberg councils as a monument to Charles Grimes, Surveyor General of New South Wales, and party, the first white men to discover the River Yarra, reaching the Yarra Falls on February 8, 1803; also to mark the crossing of the river near here with cattle by the first overlanders, John Gardiner, Joseph Hawdon, and John Hepburn, in December, 1836." The historical associations of the site were outlined by the president (Mr. Charles Daley) and the secretary (Mr. A. S. Kenyon) of the Historical Society of Victoria, which arranged the ceremony. Mr. Tunneclifle, in declaring the cairn unveiled, said he hoped that the work of erecting memorials to mark historical episodes would be continued in other districts in Victoria. 
Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Monday 21 February 1938.

Location

Address:Yarra Boulevard, Yarra Bend Park, Kew, 3101
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.797311
Long: 145.003481
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Exploration

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 19th February, 1938
Front Inscription

This cairn was erected conjointly by the Kew, Collingwood and Heidelberg City Councils as a memorial to Charles Grimes, Surveyor General of NSW and party, the first white men to discover the river Yarra, reaching the Yarra Falls on 8th February 1803.

Also to mark the crossing of the river near here with cattle by the first overlanders, John Gardiner, Joseph Hawdon and John Hepburn in December 1836.

Source: MA,RHSV
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