Gleeson's Well

Former Water Reserve

 
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GLEESON’S WELL

Water Conservation Reserve

Located on Section 377 on Pratt Road, this was a source of water for farmers, drovers and stock.

When Mr Gelligan was the lessee of Gleeson’s Well adjacent to the main route due west, the District Council of Blyth had considerable trouble ensuring the availability as Mr Gelligan consistently padlocked the gates.

 

There is a stream of water passing by the bulk handling shed in Blyth which was built in 1956.

Builders had problems with water leaking into the elevator well which had to be plugged by Adelaide experts.

It is believed that this stream continues in a westerly direction, close to the Blyth Road and then northerly to run under the water yard and “Boskey Dell” homestead on Section 377, continuing west to Pratt Road.

 

Where the well was dug and lined with bricks, diviners have located a stream on the western side of the house.

Two trees planted in the garden in 1974 have enormous growth, a palm tree which is 17 metres high and a Queensland Golden Showers tree covering most of the garden area.

 

No longer required as a water conservation reserve, in 1939 the area including Gleeson’s Well became Crown land and was governed by the South Australian Lands Department.

Joseph Lindsay Pratt became the lessee of this area for a period of 21 years – 1960 at a cost of £2/10/- ($4.19).

On the expiry of this lease, the land was gazetted for purchase conditions.

Two applications were received, one from JL Pratt, the other from a Mr Corcoran, a blocker  on the Lochiel Road, who was the successful applicant because of his stature.

 

On 1st January 1886, while watering their stock at Gleeson’s Well an argument over water took place between Mr Charles Freeman and Mr James Sampson who had just completed the building of his new home “Boskey Dell” on Section 366 in 1885.

James Sampson was shot, having a bullet pass through his hat and creasing his skull, which dropped him to the ground unconscious. Hours later, Sampson regained consciousness, finding Mr Freeman not far away on the ground, dead.

 

They are both interred in the Blyth Cemetery.

While cutting James’ hair the local hairdresser Mr Poysden had to lift his clippers over the crease mark in James’ head caused by the bullet.

Charles Freeman born 1827, died 1st January 1886, 59 years.

James Sampson born 1843, died 16/09/1916, aged 73 years.

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A sale of miscellaneous leases took place at the Land Office on Thursday, and the following lots were disposed of (including):

Hundred Blyth – Reserve south-east corner of Section 387, including Gleeson’s Well, 23 acres, C. Freeman, £10 5s.;

Crown lands north of sections 332, 333 and 334, including the Government Well (formerly Lease 19), 320 acres, C. Freeman, £15.(SA Register 8 Dec 1882)

 

Council minutes (circa mid 1880s) recorded that “When Mr Gelligan was the lessee of Gleeson’s Well, adjacent to the main road due west towards Lochiel, the District Council of Blyth had considerable trouble ensuring the availability as Mr Gelligan consistently padlocked the gates.”

The continuing history of Gleeson’s Well included an account in the Northern Argus (19 Nov 1886) of a recent court hearing, during which a dispute was aired between Mr James Sampson and Mr Gotthard Rathke, who was described as the lessee of the government well and occupant of the premises known as Gleeson’s Well.

Sampson was accused of breaking the padlock securing the windlass at the well and obtaining water without payment.

The windlass of the well was described as about eight feet long and the well about ninety feet deep. The verdict, favour of the plaintiff, ordered Sampson to pay £5.

 

The SA Chronicle (4 Feb 1893) reported that Local Member of Parliament Mr Peter Paul Gillen waited upon the Commissioner of Public Works, requesting that the Government clean out the Gleeson’s Well, in the Hundred of Blyth and then lease it to a local trust.

The SA Chronicle also mentioned “Land sales - Lease of Gleeson’s Well, adjoining Section 387, Hundred of Blyth” (23 May 1896) and “The sale of the leases of lands under the water Conservation Act of 1886 and the Water Conservation Amendment Act of 1889 – Gleeson’s Well adjoining Section 387, Hundred of Blyth.” (25 Sep 1897)

 

In 1902 James Sampson was again in court, in relation to a dispute involving Gleeson’s Well.

At this time the Government-appointed lessee of Gleeson’s Well was William Walton, of Blyth, farmer.

He stated that he was bound to keep all the appliances on the well in good order for the convenience of the public.

James Sampson stated that he was the original lessee of the well, and six or seven years ago he had allowed the lease to be forfeited so that he might get it at less rent, and then five years ago, to his surprise, the lease of the well was granted to William Walton.

He considered an injustice had thereby been done to him.

However he had used the well since and helped to repair it, and about three years ago he put a new bucket and wheel on the well which he had lately removed, and felt that he had a right to do so.

This was the basis of the summons. Sampson was ordered to pay a total of £24 and to return the wheel and bucket. (Northern Argus 18 Apr 1902)

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No longer required as a water conservation reserve, in 1939 the area including Gleeson’s Well became Crown land and was governed by the South Australian Lands Department.

Joseph Lindsay Pratt became the lessee of this area for a period of 21 years from 1939, at a cost of £2/10/- ($4.19).

The 24 acres of land was to be used for grazing and cultivation purposes only.

On the expiry of this lease, the land was gazetted for purchase conditions. Two applications were received, one from Joseph Pratt, the other from a Mr Corcoran, a blocker on the Lochiel Road, who was the successful applicant.

 

Further relating to the well and water reserve, there is a stream of water passing by the bulk handling shed in Blyth which was built in 1956.

Builders had problems with water leaking into the elevator well and this leak had to be plugged by experts from Adelaide.

It is believed that this stream continues in a westerly direction, close to the Blyth Road and then northerly to run under the water yard and “Boskey Dell” homestead on Section 377, continuing west to Pratt Road.

Where the original well was dug and lined with bricks, diviners have located a stream on the western side of the homestead.

Two trees planted in the garden in 1974 have enormous growth, a palm tree which is 17 metres high and a Queensland Golden Showers tree covering most of the garden area.

Today, Gleeson’s Well continues to be used for grazing and cultivation as part of the adjacent farm holding.

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Aaa Wakefield Rack Plan 979 - 2015 no 2-