Edward Henty and 'Burswood'
The Henty Brothers, Edward and John, Stephen and Frank, were the first permanent, land based,
settlers in Victoria and took up a property at Portland in 1834.
Initially involved in farming and whaling they moved inland and established stations as for north as Casterton and west to Mount Gambier.
The Henty's actually settled Mount Gambier, but did not register it as a property and were displaced by Captain Charles Sturt's brother. The Henty Highway from Portland to near Hopetoun is named in their honour.
After seeing the promise of the land on a brief stop a few years previously, a 24-year-old Edward Henty arrived in Portland Bay on 19th November 1834 with the aim of farming the land. In the process, he established Victoria's first permanent settlement with Portland becoming a town proper when he and his brothers John, Stephen and Frank set down their roots.
Originally from Sussex, England, the hard working Hentys found themselves in Portland by chance. Portland Bay had been a stopover for Edward on his journey home to Launceston, Van Dieman's Land, (Tasmania) where the family had settled after having little luck in Western Australia.
Edward later married Anne Marie Gallie, built a Georgian-style mansion, 'Burswood', on the Cape Nelson Rd at Portland, and with his brothers established businesses including the Munthan Pastoral Run of 57,000 acres to the north of the settlement.
A memorial to the Henty family will be found on a hill near Casterton on the Glenelg Highway and the Richmond Henty Hotel is a main street feature of Portland.
On his retirement Edward became a politician, elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Normanby constituency, his foray into politics a fitting culmination of a working life that had seen the establishment of a new state.
Abridged from Glenelg Shire Libraries - Portland.
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