BELL, Thomas Muncaster (1821-1902)

Thomas Bell arrived in Australia on the David Clark with his parents William and Agnes Bell and his siblings in 1839.  He married Mary Elizabeth Brown in 1866; they had no children, but adopted Robert (Bert) Lithgow and Kitty Armstrong in the 1880s.  He selected 80 acres in the Burgoyne Parish and built a homestead called Gulf Bank at Dixons Creek, later adding a neighbouring block of 33 acres. In 1864 he built the first hotel in the district, the Yarra Flats Hotel, on the corner of Irvine Crescent and Melba Highway (then the Woods Point Road) and applied for a publicans licence. He also built the first store, now known as Apple Porch Cottage, on the opposite corner. Thomas was an older brother of William Bell of Gulf Station