Mewetts in the 19th Century News

Darryl Mewett has passed on to me newspaper items he found while researching Mewett entries in South Australia. Thank you, Darryl.

The South Australian Advertiser – Friday 25 March 1864
Tuesday, March 21
Best Collection of Apples, 20lbs. W.Lillicrapp
Second Best Collection, J.Phillis senior
Other exhibitors – W.Phillis, B.Kuril, J.Hobbs, J.Hooper,
G.Burton, S.Mewett, C.Greig and J.Phillis.
Judges – Messrs. C.Glover, B.Walker, J.Hooper.
Best 3 Bottles, Messrs.Smith and Son
Second Best, A.Greig
Other exhibitors, P.Hillam, J.Hobbs – good wine but required more age, S.Mewitt, Smith and Son – too dark in colour
W.Weise, N.M.Howard. Some of the wines were very inferior.
(Alan’s comment: Mispelling of Mewett. First indication to us that Samuel was in to wine-producing. My grandfather Ted was born to Jesse and Rhoda Mewett at Mount Pleasant in 1863, a year before the Mount Pleasant Annual Show 1864.)

Gawler Standard – Saturday 9 April 1881
THE VINTAGE OF 1881 – Satisfactory accounts reach us from almost all parts as to the probable results of the vintage now on. The crop seems to be good in all parts, though some have exceptionally fine yields. Mr Mewitt has so large a crop that he is unable to crush as fast as the gatherers send in the fruit. It will take another three weeks to complete the vintage. Rain, which is so much wanted by agriculturists, in order that they may commence ploughing, would be very detrimental to the vintage.
HONEY – The past season seems to have been one favourable to the production of honey, and beekeepers are rejoicing over their bountiful harvest. We hear of several good yields, and beekeepers everywhere seem satisfied. Mr Mewitt, of near Williamstown, has already extracted four and a half tons from his hives, and expects to have fully five tons by the time his work is completed.
(Alan’s comment: It appears the paragraph describing the vintage of 1881 could apply to Jesse Mewett because he was employed at Gilbert’s Wangolere property at that date when grapes were grown and picked for winemaking. I assume he was head gardener there and probably gave the Gawler Standard journalist the impression that the large crop was his own. Regarding the paragraph describing the season’s honey production, I have never known that Jesse could be described as a beekeeper. News to me! Hold on, Alan, read the next extract re large sunflower)

Bunyip (Gawler, SA) Friday 8 February 1889
A Large Sunflower – There is now on exhibition in the Bunyip office a sunflower grown by Mr Mewitt, of Trevale, Williamstown. It is of the Russian variety and measures fourteen inches (35cm) across. It is one of a number that have been planted in order to supply food for the bees. It has been found that the flower is most excellent for this purpose, and a number of the beekeepers of the neighborhood have tham in cultivation.

Bunyip (Gawler,SA) Friday 21 February 1896
Japan Plum, – Mr Mewett, of “Trevale” Williamstown has left at our office a Japan plum grown by him. The tree was planted twelve months ago last June, and bore about 20 plums. The fruit has a very small stone, and measures two inches (5cm) in diameter. A Golden Heart tree was planted the same time but has not thrived nearly as well. (Alan’s comment: Mr Mewett would have been Jesse, my great-grandfather. See my previous blog where Jesse’s purchase of the Trevale property in 1883 from the Trestrail family is described. One of my first acts of family research was to pore through an almanac and find entries of Mewetts in South Australia, they being described as gardeners. Later I realised that the term included orchardists, “market” gardeners, and vineyard workers as well as formal gardeners. The green thumb talent was passed on to Jesse’s son Ted whose expertise in the home vegetable garden, never flowers, was described to me by my Aunts Stella and Emily. It seems the green thumb was not passed further down, especially in my family.)

Published in: on June 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment