(Excerpt from ADHS Newsletter No. 195 AUGUST, 2001)
Edwin Mackereth migrated from England during the goldrush era, and settled on land west of Avoca where he set up a vineyard and quickly made a name for himself as a wine maker. His home at “Hedon Farm” still stands today.
According to a family member the family’s roots seem to have been well established in the beautiful Lakes district of England, with the Mackereth name appearing in land rental records as far back as the 14th century in Grasmere, Ambleside and Troutbeck.
The family prospered over the years, with some members going into medicine , the ministry, and brewing! Mackereth breweries were established in Hedon and Scarborough by Thomas Mackereth (Edwin’s father) from 1830.
In 1852 Edwin Horatio and his brother Alfred left England to seek their fortune in the Victorian goldfields. They went to Castlemaine where Edwin persisted on his own. In 1860 Edwin Horatio married Catherine Heinz from Nieder-Weisel (Germany). He had already purchased land 2km from Avoca and in due course built their home. The property took the name Hedon Farm from Edwin’s birthplace and subsequently 8 children were born.
Edwin grew vegetables and fruit trees and half an acre of vines. With ensuing success he gradually expanded the area under vines and became one of the district’s best-known vigneron, the wines of Mackereth and Sons winning many prizes.