The late J R “Jimmy” Matthews who passed away in October last year at 81 years of age was a legendary stock and station agent.
Jimmy regularly acted for Australia’s big corporate farmers as well as a significant client list of cattle producers in the southern states and was a fixture in the private and auction sales of significant numbers of livestock for over six decades.
He joined the industry at 14 years of age and was still active as a buyer in the markets virtually right up to his passing.
His first job was at the stock & station agency Fisken Read, which he eventually owned by inheritance, and helped build it into what was considered the largest privately-owned stock and station agency in the southern hemisphere.
A significant business in the halcyon days of the original Newmarket saleyards until their closure in 1982 the business regularly handled the sales of over 200,000 cattle a year.
But with his passing the executors of his estate have appointed Rodwells Ruralco Property of Melbourne and Kilmore to sell by public auction his acclaimed home property known as Emu Park.
Located at 115 West Goldies Road at Lancefield on the fertile edge of the Macedon Ranges, the magnificent property sits within about two kilometres at its closest point to the local township.
Emu Park has an area of 215 hectares, or 532 aces, and is held in four titles.
Ruralco Property’s selling agent Pat Reddan says about half the property or 257 acres are creek flats and adjacent gentle undulating pasture.
“Jim ensured that the property was always a showpiece and its pastures were always well managed over the twenty or more years he owned it with its physical improvements and pastures the latter carefully managed through fertilization and pasture upgrading.
“He was always proud of the quality of livestock he turned off the property and today it is running about 100 cows, their calves and another 100 weaner cattle”.
Water resources are another feature as Emu Park has a one kilometre double frontage to Deep Creek, including a large billabong that acts as permanent storage.
The Emu Park Homestead built before 1900 is a large well-maintained and impressive timber home of considerable scale with three large bedrooms, a fourth that acts as an office or sunroom, both formal and informal living, dining and sitting areas, a kitchen and pantry, with spilt-system air conditioning and open fireplaces.
There are also significant veranda areas from which attractive district views can be sighted.
Located in a long-established garden the home presents to a very high standard and retains all of its historic pastoral character.
Significant farm building infrastructure is also in place including the large original farm barn with four stables and a foaling unit, plus a large steel framed machinery and storage building.
There is the original shearing shed again with a harness room and feed annex while a good set of cattle yards and loading race is of practical benefit.
There is also an equestrian ménage and round yards with a camp drafting arena on the property which has staged important competitions over the years.
The property has all essential services in place and is within a commutabe distance of the City or the airport and the adjacent towns of Lancefield and Romsey are within easy reach.
Pat Reddan says “Jim Matthews acquired Emu Park from a family that owned it long term and had passed it down from generation to generation property and owing it for over twenty years he long regarded himself as a custodian of history.
“I think given its physical features, prime position in the district and accessibility to all community services and infrastructure that Emu Park will be keenly sought by business people, serious farm interests and buyers seeking a productive lifestyle holding.
“Only one hour north of the City and set amongst all the food, wine and cultural attractions of the Macedon Ranges Emu Park is a unique grazing property that is significant for its location and scale.
“Clearly it offers enormous scope and potential to continue for grazing or other agricultural interests, to add equestrian pursuits, or for lifestyle or new cultural activities.
“As a rare unrepeatable opportunity to purchase I am putting the value it is likely to realise as from $6,000 per acre” Pat Reddan says.
Further property and auction information on Emu Park at 115 West Goldie Road Lancefield can be obtained from the Rodwells Rural Property Melbourne or Kilmore offices on 03 5782 0400 or from their selling agent Pat Reddan on 0418 310 866.