Block 12 Stromlo District - Property Name: 'Spring Valley'
Thomas Jamieson was born on the 12th August 1890 in Hamilton, Victoria to Joseph and Phoebe Jamieson. He enlisted on the 3rd January 1916 at Goulburn aged 24. After serving for 867 days in France and Belgium, Jamieson was discharged medically unfit due to chronic gastritis. He returned to Australia on the 7th January 1919 on the SS Suevic and was formally discharged the 1st February 1920.
When Jamieson applied for a lease under the Soldier Settlement Scheme, he was living at Matong, NSW working in the wool and wheat industry. In his application against the question "What has been your experience in farming..." he answered "All my life." At the time of his application, he was married to Evelyn with whom he had three small children.
In 1926, the Federal Capital Commission (FCC) notified Jamieson that he had been allocated the lease of the 1479 acre (599 hectare) Stromlo Block 12. The rent on the block was set at £314/5/9 per annum. In addition to this, Jamieson also had to pay a £31/4 survey fee and purchased improvements made to the block by the previous lessees including a house, outbuildings and fencing for £96.
Plan of Stromlo Block 12 1926. Click on plan for larger view.
Jamieson appears to have suffered continuing health issues after the war. In a letter to the Lands Officer dated the 10th March 1926 he wrote "I hereby apply for permission to agist sheep on Block No.12 Stromlo. I find that my present state of health will not permit me to accept the responsibility of buying and handling stock." He was given permission for a period of three months, however on the 16th November 1926, the FCC found Jamieson still agisting sheep on his block and warned that his lease may be terminated if it continued.
Like most rural lessees in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jamieson struggled to keep weeds on his block under control. On the 2nd June 1927 he wrote to the Lands Officer "I hereby apply for extension of time re destruction of titree. I have portion cut and burnt and find it a very difficult timber to kill. I would like suggestion as to best method of realising same." The Superintendent of Agriculture, J.P. Shelton replied:
"No practical means of destroying Ti tree is available other than cutting and burning and then destroying young growth as it comes. I have tried chemical sprays on young ti tree seedlings with success, but at present it is just as quick to cut them out with a mattock. Where the ti tree is in old mature clumps spraying is not practicable."
Google Maps image of area c2013 with Stromlo Block 12 boundary in red.
In 1928, Jamieson started naming his property Spring Valley in his correspondence to the FCC. In May of that year, Jamieson informed them that the road leading from Stromlo Road to his block's gate "is now in such a state that it is dangerous to travel on." After being informed by the FCC that "the repair of this road is a matter for yourself", Jamieson replied "I was surprised to hear it is a matter for myself for that road is nothing to do with me being off my lease and it being a public road for licensed wood carters." He continued "I have had one minor accident on same and I hold Federal Capital Commissioner responsible from now on." The FCC claimed that the track in question was not a public road and "if wood carters do use the road then Jamieson can arrange with them to repair it."
By 1929, Jamieson had decided to give up his property writing to the FCC "I find that continued bad health is making it increasingly difficult for me to carry on the working of the lease, I trust that the Federal Capital Commission will grant consent to transfer." In March 1929 the lease for Stromlo Block 12 was transferred to Grosvenor Charles Francis with Jamieson owing the FCC a total of £528/0/9.
Jamieson moved to Queanbeyan, NSW and was appointed Noxious Weeds Inspector for Yarrowlumla Shire in 1938. Thomas Jamieson was still living in Queanbeyan when he died on the 16th November 1969 aged 79.
- ArchivesACT: Government Property & Tenancy Registers - Stromlo Block 12 (PDF 901Kb)
- ArchivesACT: Rate Book : Territory for the Seat of Government - 1927 (PDF 17.8Mb) - 1928 (PDF 18.7Mb)
- ArchivesACT: TL906 (Part 1) - Block 12 District of Stromlo
- ArchivesACT: TL906 (Part 2) - Block 12 District of Stromlo - J.N. McLennan
- ArchivesACT: TL906 (Part 3) - Block 12 Stromlo - J.N. McLennan
- NAA: (B2455) First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/237885
- Yarrowlumla Shire - The Canberra Times, 8 November 1938, p. 4: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2497869
- Noxious Weeds - The Canberra Times, 21 June 1939, p. 6: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2501554
- Family Notices - The Canberra Times, 27 April 1978, p. 26: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110894329