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Petschack History

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Petschack's in Australia
by Richard King - Melbourne

After leaving their home in Pommerzig, Prussia, Gottlob and Christine Petschack, their son Gottfried and daughter Johanna Louisa arrived in Hamburg, Germany sometime in early 1854. They left Hamburg on the 1st of June 1854 on the immigrant ship San Francisco bound for Australia.

The San Francisco was a three mast barque of 462 tons and was about 100 feet long. On board were 204 passengers including 38 Children. The trip as uneventful until the mid-Southern Indian Ocean where they encountered a severe storm. During the storm they lost the main top gallant mast and the jib boom, while the the main mast was crippled.

They arrived at Hobson Bay, Melbourne on the 1st of September 1854, after a journey of 3 months. On arrival in Victoria, Johan and his family settled in the Geelong area at Mount Moriac. Here he made his trade that of carrying or hauling goods, being mainly active around the goldfields, with his horse team. He also carried on vine growing in the Geelong district. They were in the district about 23 years.

Johann Gottlob married Johann Louisa Paulke in 1858. He had met her on the San Francisco during the voyage to Australia.

Johanna Louisa married Johann Francis Koebbel on September 20, 1854 and lived in Richmond. Later they moved to the Lilydale area where they are buried. They had nine children... Francis Johann, Louise Marie, Anne Catherina, Minnie, John Francis, SUsannah Amelia, Charles Edward, Elizabeth Susannah and Ernest William.

From the farm at Mount Moriac Johann, the family came to Jindivick in November of 1873, and pegged out nearly 200 acres on its northern side. The family became one of the first pioneers of the district. Together with his wife Johanna they raised a family of 13 children, however two of the children died at birth.

At Jindivick they built not one but two houses, each measuring twelve feet, and each having four rooms. The house was joined by a passage down the middle with three rows of rooms and a large brick oven. The home was built at the base of a hill sloping northward near a creek. It was built of split palings and had a shingle roof, all the timber coming from one tree on the property.

The property selected was in the center of Jindivick, the area was heavily timbered and most of the land needed clearing. It was crossed at each end by permanent creeks. Altogether there were 197 acres fenced and subdivided into paddocks, adjoining there were about four acres growing maize and other fodder for the winter cow feed.

Johann planted an orchard of fruit trees mainly apple, pear and plum. One feature in his orchard was the successful means he adopted to combat blight on the apple trees. The blight strickened tree was taken in hand and operated on by cutting off all the limbs within three or four foot of the stem, and another species not so easily affected was grafted on the remaining tree, in two or three years the tree was again bearing fruit.

A well sunk on this particular spot showed 22 feet of chocolate soil of the darkest color. The homestead and outbuildings are built more with the view to being comfortable and substantial. A row of buildings securely roofed and well floored were erected to house produce for the winter. In one of the buildings were cases of apples for the market. These were taken by horse and wagon to Drouin, taking a couple of days. There was a four stalled stable with chaff house, chaffcutter and a large cow-shed of 20 stalls.

by Richard King
Melbourne, Australia


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