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The Harrison Family is well known in Cedar Vale. Their grand house is known as Broomfield.
George and Susan Harrison sailed to Melbourne aboard the Gypsy Bride, arriving in 1860. Their first child, Sam, was born on the voyage. They first lived in Ballarat, where their second son William was born. Later they moved to Bendigo.
Harrison’s sister Mary and her husband Samuel Heathwood had sailed to Moreton Bay in 1856. The Harrisons then joined the Heathwoods in Brisbane, working together in the shingle industry. In 1869, Harrison chose the property at what is now Cedar Vale. In 1873, he purchased a further 238 acres at Veresdale Scrub, and shortly after purchased the adjoining block of 88 acres.
The first home built on the Broomfield block was a slab hut. It was replaced by the current home in 1887, which is now a landmark on the Mount Lindesay Highway. Timber from the property was milled for the house and the only remnant of the original slab hut is the kitchen door. The location of Broomfield made it a popular stopping place for weary travellers. Susan Harrison was well known for her hospitality. Sadly she died in her early 50s, when she still had young children in need of care.
Timber on the property included cedar, silky oak, pine and hardwood. In 1958 to 1959, repairs to Broomfield were undertaken by Irvine King. King was the great-grandson of George Harrison, and he used timber from the property for the repairs. The high ceilings in some parts of the house were lowered and the original kitchen wing was changed.
When the railway was constructed in 1888, the nearby station was called Cedar Pocket.