Dale Family History

The Places of Charles and Eliza Dale

Dale Family Places

This page has a description of the key places of significance of Charles Hawkins Dale and Eliza Mary Bolton Stow[e] and their families.

Margate, Kent, England

Margate - 1800s - Getty Images.

Above: Margate - 1800s - Getty Images.

Margate is a seaside town in Thanet, Kent, South East England. Currently Margate has a population of about 49,709 at the 2011 census. In the mid-1800s it was only a few thousand people lived there.

Margate has been a leading seaside resort in the UK for at least 250 years and is now a popular tourist holiday town.

When Charles and Eliza left Margate for Australia, they would have travelled down to Gravesend to board their ships, Charles in 1848-49 and Eliza in 1852. What prompted them to leave England is not known, as the gold rush in Victoria had not yet started. Maybe they took up an offer for assisted emigrants to Australia.

We speculate that Charles and Eliza knew each other in Margate and she followed him out to Victoria with her sister Jane. Other members of the Stow family also settled in Victoria.

What Charles did in the intervening years between his arrival in Melbourne in 1849 and heading for the goldfields after his marriage to Eliza is not known, but his occupation was listed as a bootmaker in those early years.

Links to more information:

Campbell's Creek, Castlemaine, Victoria

Castlemaine - early 1860s.

Above: Castlemaine - early 1860s.

Charles and Eliza Dale lived in Campbell's Creek from about 1855 until early 1863 when they left for New Zealand. There, Charles was listed as a miner.

Campbell's Creek is a township 4 km south of the centre of Castlemaine, connected to Castlemaine by the Midland Highway and the railway which runs to Maryborough.

Campbell's Creek was named after William Campbell, pastoralist and politician. Campbell took up a small pastoral run, Tourello, near Clunes. In 1850 Campbell discovered gold on his brother-in-law's neighbouring property, entitling him to a reward as Victoria's first gold discoverer. Gold was discovered at Campbell's Creek in 1851, being part of the Castlemaine-Mount Alexander goldfield. The creek itself is fed by the Barkers and Forest Creeks in Castlemaine, and joins the Loddon River at Guildford. By March 1852 there were an estimated 25,000 persons on the Forest Creek diggings.

A school was opened in 1854. Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist churches were opened in 1856 and the latter, along with the Presbyterians, ran schools until the 1870s. Several hotels were opened in Campbells Creek, the best known being Five Flags. By the end of the 1850s much of the alluvial gold was worked by Chinese miners, and companies were formed to exploit the auriferous quartz reefs. In 1865 Bailliere's Victorian gazetteer recorded five quartz-crushing mills, eight hotels and a brewery.

After the 1870s mining became less rewarding and the district became well known for fruit growing. The railway line from Castlemaine to Maryborough, via Campbells Creek, was opened in 1874.

Castlemaine was also the place that the Stow family settled.

Links to more information:

Lawrence (Tuapeka), and Tapanui, Central Otago

Gabriels Gully 1862.

Above: Gabriel's Gully 1862.

Lawrence - early years.

Above: Lawrence - early years.

Charles and Eliza Dale lived in Tuapeka, and latterly Tapanui between 1863 and 1889 when they moved to Palmerston North. Charles was listed as a miner.

In June 1861 the town of Dunedin had been jolted out of its lethargy by a letter in the "Otago Witness" detailing a prospecting tour embarked upon to the Tuapeka by Tasmanian prospector Gabriel Read who claimed to have discovered a payable goldfield, now known as Gabriel's Gully. Initially people thought Gabriel Read was dreaming and as it was a cold frosty winter, it took a while for things to ramp up. By July 1862, however, before gold was discovered further inland at the Dunstan (Clyde), the population of Dunedin was 5,850, and at Tuapeka 11,472 - only 148 of whom were women. Previously the population could be counted on the fingers of two hands. The area was named the "Tuapeka Goldfield". Thousands of miners from the Australian Goldfields which were petering out left Melbourne bound for Otago and within months, a rip-roaring mining towns had been established all over Otago . Read described his find as "Gold shining like the stars in Orion on a dark frosty night..." (Gabriel Read, 1861).

Sometime before 1873, we presume that Charles Dale decided to move over to Tapanui, just over 50 kilometres away from Tuapeka-Lawrence, where the youngest three of his children were born. It was there he changed from being a miner to a sawmiller, as Tapanui was well-known as a sawmilling centre for the local forest. By then he was 48 years of age. That must have been a more sedate lifestyle than one he and his family were used to on the goldfields.

Tapanui came into being between 1858 and 1860 as a sawmilling centre in an area of fine native forest. After the native timber resources were depleted, extensive tree nurseries were established by the State and progressive afforestation followed. Timber production has remained the main reason for the existence of the town. Tapanui was constituted a borough under Otago Provincial Government legislation in 1876.

Charles Dale is recorded as resident in Lawrence, and a bootmaker in the 1887 Tuapeka Electoral Rolls (assuming that's our Charles Dale!). Reference to him on previous years' electoral rolls could not be found. His son William Charles (junior) Dale appears in the 1890 Residential Roll as resident in Tapanui, a butcher.

The following family members are buried in Tapanui Cemetery:

  • William Charles Dale and wife Sarah

Links to more information:

Palmerston North and Feilding, Manawatu

Palmerston North 1890s.

Above: A view from the Square, Palmerston North 1890s - Manawatu Heritage

Around 1889, (according to Eliza's obituary), Charles and Eliza Dale moved north to the Manawatu area which was just being opened up for farming and settlement, and settled in Palmerston North . By then the goldfields were winding down and everyone was moving on to new fields or other pursuits, including farming.

Daughters Mary Constance aged 14, Emily aged 16, and Clara aged 12 years, and sons George aged 24, a builder, Frank aged 19, and Henry aged 20 years, also went with them as they were unmarried. Apparently, they stopped in Rangiora and lived there for a short time on the way north. We have not found out exactly when and how the family moved north, but the Wellington-Manawatu railway had recently opened, and there were many coastal trading ships that took passengers. So we assume they went from Lyttelton to Wellington by ship and then up to Palmerston North on the train.

The family eventually settled in Grey Street according to census records.

Terrace End Cemetery entrance.

Above: Terrace End Cemetery entrance (Dale Hartle).

The following family members are buried in Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North:

  • Charles Hawkins Dale and Eliza Mary Bolton Dale
  • George Dale
  • Emily Dale
  • Mary Constance Dale (Batchelar) and husband John William Litchfield

Feilding burials

  • Clara Dale (Litchfield) and husband Arthur Stanley Litchfield

Links to more information:

Contact details

If you have any information or photos to add to the site, or any corrections, please contact Dale Hartle in Levin, New Zealand, by phone +64 21 45 34 24 or email me at mjhartle at xtra.co.nz (please adjust email address).