Historical information

The original small, pioneer cottage was built in the late 1840s to early1850s, by an unknown pioneer. It was located on part of a 30 Acre allotment that was originally part of Dendy’s Special Survey granted in 1841. The doors and window sashes, (made of red deal joinery timber), as well as the brass locks and fittings, are from the original cottage, and were imported from England. The fire-place bricks are from the original cottage, and are sun-dried, (not kiln fired), and are hand-made. Convict marks can be seen on two bricks. There is a small display of external cladding shingles from the original pioneer cottage. These shingles were hand-split, and most likely made from locally collected timber The nails included in this display were used to fasten the shingles on the original cottage, and are also hand-made. The cottage was occupied by William Box and family from 1865 until 1914 when it was sold to William Reitman who resided there until 1950. The enamel nameplate, “Colonial”, on the wall of the cottage, was the name chosen for the original pioneer cottage by Mr William Reitman, when he purchased the property in around 1915, for 1200 Pounds approximately. In 1974 Mr Lewis, a timber specialist, found the dilapidated building on property he had recently purchased in Jasper Rd and suggested it be reconstructed and relocated. Moorabbin Council agreed and the cottage was rebuilt just about 250 metres from its original site. The cost of the rebuild was met by 'Victoria's 150th Committee, plus a small grant from the City of Moorabbin, and Mr Laurie Lewis donated much of the timber for the reconstruction. The re-constructed cottage plan has followed faithfully the original dimensions, and plan of the original pioneer cottage, and as many original items from that cottage’s long occupation have been incorporated. The photographs in Album 1 record the progress of the reconstruction from February 1984 to the First Public Open Day November 18th 1984


These 2 photographs show the Builders Mr Moody & Mr Smith preparing the site in Joyce Park at the commencement of the 'Reconstruction in February 1984. Mrs H. Deam and Mr A. Smith, CMHS members, took these photographs to record the progress of the 'Reconstruction' from February 1984 to November 1984. Although 'Box Cottage' is a re-construction, it is an unique museum that, being located in the midst of a modern community in Ormond Victoria, can educate and demonstrate many aspects of the early settler’s way of life in Victoria. As such, it is an invaluable resource for students and all kinds of visitors.
The Business card of the Builders is now 30years old

Physical description

2 x colour photographs of work beginning on the reconstruction of Box Cottage in Joyce Park February 1984 and 1 business card of the Builders, Moody & Smith

Inscriptions & markings

Photographs Back : a) 1-2-84 / Box Cottage / Mr Moody & Mr Smith ; b) 1st Day 1st Feb 1984 / Box Cottage

Card Front : Centre ; Moody & Smith / BUILDERS /
Left ; 8 Worthing Rd / HIGHETT 3190 / MELBOURNE / TEL 95-1463 / BUS. & PRIVATE
Right ; 7 North Ct. / HIGHETT 3190 / MELBOURNE / TEL 95-5310 / BUS. & PRIVATE