Starting Out – 1903ledger_thumb

By modern standards, brothers Allan, Clark, Norm and Gus Filsell did it tough when they started working the Filsell Hill property in 1903.

Their father William, a shoemaker from Thebarton, purchased the 164-acre property in February for £500.

Between them, the lads had only £5.17.6 to start off with. To fund themselves, they immediately started to grow berries and vegetables. On top of this, they set themselves the task of clearing and planting one acre of apples every year. No mean feat in the days before hydraulics and chainsaws.

Their market ledger shows the first apple sales being achieved in May 1909.


Once established, the brothers prospered. Gus and Norm were able to purchase properties elsewhere, and strike out on their own.

The two remaining brothers retired the horses and dray from the market run in 1922, when they purchased their first truck, a Ruggles with solid rear wheels.

This was, in turn, replaced by a Lease-Lend Chevrolet in 1943.

Black Sunday – 1955black_sunday_house

Times were not always good. The 1955 Black Sunday fires destroyed the shedding and a lot of equipment.

The original stone house survived, and Allan’s son Ken still lives there today.


More recently, production was increased through the purchase of nearby orchards.

Ken, the son of Allan, is in his late eighties, and has limited his involvement nowadays. Management has passed to the capable hands of sons Bill, Ian and Mark.