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9. STEVENSON LANE

In 1845 Ruth gave birth on the banks of Watsons Creek to the Stevenson’s second son.  He was named Robert and was the first white child to be born in Christmas Hills.  He was a brother for David, Jane, Isabella and Margaret, the three girls having been born in 1840, 1842 and 1843 respectively.

News in 1848 that proclaimed an imminent sale of Crown land in the district of Kangaroo Ground excited the interest of Joseph and Ruth.  The opportunity to acquire acres of rich, black volcanic soil in Kangaroo Ground was too good to pass up. Needing further capital to purchase land by public auction, Joseph sold the last of his Melbourne 5 block subdivision on 3rd May 1849 for one hundred and forty-one pounds and fifteen shillings.  (He had sold the fourth narrower block on Swanston Street in 1846 for fifty-two pounds ten shillings).  It had just been over 10 years since the original purchase for ninety-one pounds four shillings and his investment had returned his stake ten-fold.  Joseph’s contribution to the growth of Melbourne is commemorated by the thoroughfare on his original subdivided site – it exists there still as Stevenson Lane.

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