Three brothers who have lived together on their family farm since the 1930s will go their separate ways for the first time when they sell the property next year.
For Edward, Garry and Keith Troutbeck, the farm at on Mickleham Road, Mickleham, in Melbourne’s outer west, is the only home they’ve ever known.
That’s because it has been in their family since 1935 when their parents Hutton and Isabel paid 500 pounds for it.
Now, more than eight decades on, the Troutbeck children are putting the family farm on the market.
The brothers are yet to set an asking price, but have decided on one thing – when the property sells they will go their separate ways.
Edward (left), Garry (centre) and Keith Troutbeck (right) are hoping to sell the farm their parents bought in Melbourne in 1935
The Troutbeck brothers are hoping that after other nearby sales, developers will buy the property for as much as $50million
Hutton and Isabel Troutbeck (pictured), the three brothers’ parents, paid 500 pounds for the property eight decades ago
The property at Mickleham (pictured), in Melbourne’s north-west, is central to a massive growth sprawl in the outer suburbs
‘We’re splitting up,’ Edward announces.
‘I’m going north and they’re going down to the western districts. We’ll keep on farming but it’s time to do what we each want.
‘We’ll shut the gate and keep walking. That’s just the way we want it to go.’
A massive property boom in the city’s west, years after a similar sprawl in the city’s east, means the sub-divided land is expected to fetch upwards of $50million.
But while the brothers admit it will be ‘sad’ to see the unique history of the Troutbeck family at the Mickleham farm come to an end, they say the time is right to start a new chapter.
‘Look, we love the place but you’ve can’t stop progress – that’s how we look at it,’ the youngest brother Keith, 70, told Daily Mail Australia.
Keith (left) and Edward (right) sit on the bonnet of a rusted MapleLeaf Chevrolet truck their parents bought in 1935 – the same year they bought the farm. The rundown vehicle is one of dozens littered throughout that bring character to the humble farm
Edward, 82, is the eldest of the three brothers and was born just months after his parents bought the property on Mickleham Road. A photo of a young Edward (right) still sits on the mantle in the living room of the Troutbeck farm
The farming property at 1630 Mickleham Road, Mickleham, is the only home that middle brother Garry (left) has ever known
His brothers Keith (left) and Edward (centre) both moved out at one stage during their lives – before eventually returning
Today’s rundown shack (pictured) is a far cry from the busy dairy farm that Mr and Mrs Troutbeck ran for much of their lives
‘It’s going to be sad, very sad. All the memories and everything are here, but when you go out that gate you’ve just got to lock it and don’t come back, just keep walking,’ chimes in Garry, 78.
‘We’ll have a last Christmas dinner here before we go, because when we sold Mum’s parents’ place that’s what we did, so I think we’ll do the same.’
Edward – the oldest of the trio at 82 – was born just months after his parents purchased the land and built the first of two homes on the property.
That same year his parents bought a 1935 Chevrolet Mapleleaf tip truck.
Like the three brothers, it hasn’t gone far over the years.
Sitting completely rusted in a back paddock, it is one of many car wrecks and strewn heaps of steel that add character to the humble farm.
One of the standouts is a rundown old ute that has been stationary so long a tree has now grown up through the bonnet and out the roof.
While the brothers admit it will be ‘sad’ to see the unique history of their family farm come to an end, they say the time is right to start a new chapter
Taking pride of place inside the Troutbeck home on the walls of what was once the living room are paintings of their relatives – George (left) and Isabelle Childe (right)
Edward – the oldest of the trio at 82 – was born just months after his parents purchased the land and built the first of two homes on the property
Today, the three brothers look after just a few dozen dairy cows (pictured) and a handful of their prized show cattle. It’s a huge difference to the few hundred animals they used to help their father Hutton milk before and after going to school every day
‘It’s going to be sad, very sad. All the memories and everything are here, but when you go out that gate you’ve just got to lock it and don’t come back, just keep walking,’ Garry (left) said
‘Thirty-four years that ute and tree have been there,’ Garry says, recalling the day he parked the vehicle there as if it was yesterday.
‘A spring broke and I just drove it there and left it. Then a chap came along and bought it, he gave us the money and said: “I’ll come and get it in a month”. But he never came to get it.’
While the beaten up old cars, rusted oil barrels, random kettels and strewn steel more resembles a rubbish tip than a farm, Edward wouldn’t have it any other way.
‘People say to me: “What are you going to do with the junk?”
‘I say: “There’s no junk there, but there’s a hell of a lot of money”. ‘
But the Troutbeck’s haven’t always been worth millions of dollars.
Edward (left) and Garry (right) pose proudly with a photo of their grandmother, one of many old photos scattered throughout the house
‘Look, we love the place but you’ve can’t stop progress – that’s how we look at it,’ the youngest brother Keith (pictured) said
The decision to sell the farm came after the death of Mrs Troutbeck in 2010, more than two decades after the passing of Mr Troutbeck in the mid-1980s
The ute the trio are sitting on has been stationary for so long a large tree has grown through the bonnet. ‘A spring broke and I just drove it there and left it,’ says Garry (right), recalling the day he parked it as if it was yesterday
The in-demand property of today is a far cry from the dairy farm their parents worked on tirelessly during some of the toughest years in Australia’s history.
‘Mum and Dad had me in 1940, a year after the start of World War II,’ Garry said.
‘In the years after the war the country was flat broke and then we had a drought, just as bad as the one that is happening in New South Wales today.
‘From the time we were three or four, we would be milking cows to help.
‘I remember that the truck used to come and take the milk away and then come back with water because it just didn’t rain.
‘It was tough, very tough.’
This old van is one of many piece of equipment and machinery dotted around the property – but the brothers are adamant it’s not ‘junk’
Keith recalls the day he bought this orange motorbike in 1978. He says it turned out to be ‘a piece of crap’ and was left leaning on the shed
The brothers are yet to set an asking price for the farm (pictured) but have decided that when the property sells they will go their separate ways
‘We’ll shut the gate and keep walking. That’s just the way we want it to go,’ Edward (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia
The decision to sell the farm came after the death of Mrs Troutbeck in 2010, more than two decades after the passing of Mr Troutbeck in the mid-1980s.
Mrs Troutbeck’s will declared that her children – the three men, their sister Judith and late brother Graeme – were to sell the farm within 12 months of her passing.
But problems with offering prices and legal matters after Graeme’s death have delayed the sale until now.
The farm is one of many in the area to be sold to developers, with recent sales including a huge $86million offering for a 45.6ha parcel of land.
That deal equated to $1.9million per ha, putting the 25.8ha Troutbeck farm at almost $50million.
Another vehicle just left to the elements. The property is dotted with many wrecks, piles of steel and bits of machinery adding character
The farm is one of many in the area to be sold to developers, with recent nearby sales including a huge $86million offering for a 45.6ha parcel of land