Wine with a sense of heritage from Jeir Station...
The Homestead portion of Jeir was promised to the Johnston family in 1825 and Robert Johnston was successful in taking up the title for ownership in 1840 and the rent was approx $10 forever as from January 1833. Robert’s father George Johnston was Court Martialled for his part in the Rum Rebellion in 1808. Robert Johnston was instrumental in rounding up the stray cattle in the early colonial days in Sydney.
The old homestead on Jeir was built by convict labour in about 1835 and is of rubblestone construction with round timber rafters originally lashed together with greenhide which was later replaced by hand made nails. The shingled roof is still intact protected by a second iron roof. It originally had a rammed earth floor and there are signs of an attached kitchen via a shared chimney as was the building custom of the day. There is a rammed earth outbuilding next to the homestead that was used in later years as the female servant accommodation; the men were housed in a separate building near the slab blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmiths shop was dismantled and the slabs used to build a restaurant at Ginninderra Village. The bricks (made on Jeir) from Jeir church are now part of Robert’s Gallery also in Ginninderra Village tourist complex. The willows along the Jeir Creek that runs by the homestead are said to have come from cuttings of the willows growing near Napoleon’s grave.
On the hillside above Jeir homestead is the grave of Emily Johnston who died at the age of 3yrs Ah Chow at a private school on Jeir gave the children lessons; children of employees also attended this school.
By 1890 the Johnstons had built Jeir up to 1 6,000acres and had stock of 32,000 sheep, 1,000 head of cattle and 50 horses.
In about 1918 Patrick Magennis purchased Jeir Station from the Johnston Estate and built the new two-story homestead the bricks were made on the property and two brick kilns were set up near the creek. The homestead is very large and has a ballroom with a raised floor. The home was used for many social occasions especially remembered is the sports day associated with Jeir Church. Patrick was a highly skilled breeder of sheep, cattle and especially racehorses. In Patrick’s time there was a race course, on Jeir and that parcel of land is still known as the racecourse block. Following the end of WWI 1 Jeir had land resumed for Soldier Settlement. After Patrick’s death in 1943 the property was divided between his five children. The property now known as Jeir Station’ with the original building is only 300 acres but within the vicinity of the home it remains much as it was over l00 yrs ago.