Historical information

Edendale Farm is Nillumbik Shire Council's environment centre situated in Gastons Road, Eltham between the railway and the Diamond Creek. The homestead on the property was built in 1896 and is of historical significance, being the subject of a Heritage Overlay under the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

The Edendale property was originally part of an extensive land purchase in 1852 from the Crown by pioneer Eltham farmer Henry Stooke. He initially purchased 51 acres and later expanded his holdings by purchasing another three adjacent Crown allotments extending northerly from Josiah Holloway's Little Eltham subdivision. Despite clearing the land, Stooke did not build on this property, choosing to live on his property "Rosehill" at Lower Plenty.

In 1896 Thomas Cool, Club Manager of the Victoria Coffee Palace in Melbourne purchased 7 acres of the original Stooke land and built the house now known as Edendale. Cool did not farm the land, instead using it as a gentleman’s residence, retiring to Eltham at weekends. In 1918 he purchased an additional 7 acres but in 1919 he sold the property.

Later owners included J.W. Cox, the Gaston family and D. Mummery.

In the 1980s the Eltham Shire Council purchased the site for use as a Council depot, but this use did not proceed. Subsequently, it was used as the Council pound. The Edendale Farm Pet Education and Retention Centre was established in the summer of 1988/1989 and was set up to replace the existing dog kennels with a high standard pet retention centre. The design style of the building was established to compliment the features of the existing house. It was equipped with 10 retention pens, a veterinary room and a pet education area where school children and other interested parties learnt about pet care procedures.

It was later developed into a community farm and was run by an advisory committee and in 2000 it became an Environment Centre.

In early 2006 an advisory committee was established for the development of a master plan for future development at Edendale Farm. The committee included Russell Yeoman, a former long-time shire planner and founding member of the Eltham District Historical Society. At the time of filming the Master Plan and future for Edendale was about continuing to develop Edendale as a centre of environment learning and looking at expanding displays and school program, running a lot more of life-long learning and workshops around sustainable living.

Covered under Heritage Overlay, Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

Published: Nillumbik Now and Then /​ Marguerite Marshall 2008; photographs Alan King with Marguerite Marshall.; p101


This collection of almost 130 photos about places and people within the Shire of Nillumbik, an urban and rural municipality in Melbourne's north, contributes to an understanding of the history of the Shire. Published in 2008 immediately prior to the Black Saturday bushfires of February 7, 2009, it documents sites that were impacted, and in some cases destroyed by the fires. It includes photographs taken especially for the publication, creating a unique time capsule representing the Shire in the early 21st century. It remains the most recent comprehenesive publication devoted to the Shire's history connecting local residents to the past.

Physical description

Born digital image file