The Rolfes of 'Gold Creek'
Anthony and Catherine Rolfe and their five children emigrated to Australia in 1849, joining his older brother William as a tenant farmer at Joseph Kaye's 'Springbank', Acton. In 1861 Anthony purchased 60 acres at Ginninderra, which was to become the site of their initial home, 'Tea Gardens'. Further purchases of adjacent blocks followed, and the Rolfes established their family homestead 'Gold Creek', about a mile to the west, in 1883. 'Tea Gardens' passed to Anthony's daughter Martha and son-in-law John Ryan when Anthony died in 1876.
In the 1870's the Gold Creek holding passed to Anthony's son Edmund, who went on to build up a large and very successful farming and grazing enterprise, after early years driving a bullock cart. As well as wool-growing Edmund kept racehorses and ventured into gold mining with Thomas Gribble Jnr.
Edmund married twice - to Margaret Logue (four children) then Margaret Keefe (ten). Seven sons proved a great assett to a pioneering farmer!
The fine stone 'Gold Creek' homestead, much altered but still standing, was built in 1883. Devout catholics, the Rolfes at various times hosted services, held fund-raising events, and helped establish St Francis (1872) and St Francis Xavier (1910) churches. Daughter Alice joined the Sisters of the Order of the Good Samaritan.
The 3,940 acre 'Gold Creek' estate, accumulated and improved over some forty years by the Rolfes, was resumed by the government in 1915 for £13,500.
'Gold Creek' in 2018
Gold Creek Homestead is a 140-year old stone and brick building located off Gungahlin Drive in Ngunnawal a north-western suburb of Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The Gold Creek Homestead Complex refers to a group of four buildings including the 697m2 homestead, a stone and timber cottage, a buggy shed and an entertainment and function centre (formerly a machinery shed). The Gold Creek Homestead Site is a 41-hectare parcel of land, specifically Block 1 and 2, Section 23 Ngunnawal upon which the aforementioned complex is situated.
In 2005 a portion of the site was nominated for a second time for inclusion on the ACT Heritage Register. A listing would have placed certain planning controls on the site to ensure its protection. In June 2009, after four years of deliberations, the nomination was rejected by the ACT Heritage Council and as a result, none of the buildings are protected and most will inevitably be demolished. Gold Creek Homestead was at one time at the centre of 'Gold Creek' a sprawling 1,594 hectare (3,940 acre) rural property, the largest in the Ginninderra district. Portions of the former property are or will be occupied by parts of the suburbs of Ngunnawal, Nicholls, Harcourt Hill, Moncrieff, Casey, Kinlyside and Taylor.
It was reported in the media in July 2018 that the ACT Suburban Land Agency had agreed to withdraw the Gold Creek Homestead from sale, thanks largely to the efforts of the National Trust (ACT).
Click on the caption (⧉) to view photo details and attribution.
- Newman, Chris Gold Creek. Reflections of Canberra's rural heritage. Canberra 2004
- Newman, Chris Newman, Gold Creek's golden past, Gunsmoke, Gungahlin Community Council,June 2007
- Ovington, Lorraine Gold Creek homestead, Heritage in Trust, National Trust of Australia ACT, Aug 2012
- Kirk, Phillip A. Gold Creek Homestead Gungahlin, University of Canberra, Nov 1991
- Gold Creek Homestead, Wikis. Sighted 12 Aug 2016.