ELTHAM HERITAGE TOUR
The Society excursion on 24th May 1992 was arranged by David Bick, leader of the team carrying out the Shire's heritage study. David selected a number of sites or buildings identified in the study, some of them lesser known components of the Shire's heritage. The tour commenced at the Eltham Shire Office at 10.00 am. Travel
was by private car and mini-bus with stops at about twelve locations for commentary by David.It included a short walk in Hurstbridge and lunch at Kinglake.
Highlights of the tour included:
- 10 am Leave from Shire Offices
- 3 Important Trees
- A Physical Link to Eltham's First Settlers
- Toorak Mansion Gates
- A Surviving Farm House
- An Intact Circa 1900 Main Street
- First Settlers - Gold Miners, and Timber-getters
- An Early Hotel
- A Pioneering Homestead
- Changing Eltham Shire - 20th Century
- 4 pm Afternoon Tea and Finish Tour
Extract from ELTHAM CULTURAL HERITAGE TOUR (Newsletter No. 85, July 1992, by Bettina Woodburn)
"Now we drove through stands of pines to the Kangaroo Ground Lookout Tower, a most unusual War Memorial, World War I. The tower and a shed/residence (it had a chimney) were built from local sandstone. Below to the south and east of Melbourne spread 'suburbia'. Close by the landscape seemed so contrived - English fields and hedgerows! Although only about twenty inches deep, the soil of this ancient volcano, its crater lost under subsequent weathering, was rich, deserving the name of "Garden Hill". Now native trees are taking over again.
In Kangaroo Ground itself stand the inevitable Store, School and Church - and two Norfolk pines and a monkey puzzle tree."
On November 11th 1926 the Shire of Eltham War Memorial Tower at Kangaroo Ground was opened. It is regarded as one of Melbourne’s most outstanding lookout towers. It commands a magnificent 360 degree panorama from Kinglake across the Diamond Valley to Macedon and the You Yangs. It is built on a peak which was once a volcano, 237 metres above sea level.
After World War one a memorial cairn was erected on the site, and in 1925 a committee of public-minded citizens began to plan for a tower. Many generous donations of material and money were forthcoming so that in 1926 the Governor General Lord Stonehaven was able to unveil the plaque before a crowd of 500 people.
There was some concern in the 1960s when the Forests Commission wanted to build a firespotters cabin on the top. At first R.S.L. branches opposed the idea, but it was realised that this use could combine with its use as a tourist attraction, and would ensure its maintenance for the future,
Today the Kangaroo Ground tower provides one of the best views around Melbourne and is a fitting memorial to those who died in two world wars.
From: Historic items for Diamond Valley Community Radio September 1990 (EDHS collection)
Record of the Society's history and activities and highlighting various aspects of the Heritage Study undertaken by David Bick used to create the future heritage overlay for the Shire of Eltham and later Nillumbik Shire.
Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Inscriptions & markings
Kodak Gold 100 5095