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Eltham District Historical Society Inc Eltham, Victoria

Our Society encourages interest in the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia

Society activities include a regular program of heritage walks, meetings, workshops on preservation of historical records and memorabilia, as well as provision of displays, presentations and information on related matters

Visitors and new members are always welcome

History is not the stories told by others but the stories told by us

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 137 Eltham Victoria 3095 (map)
phone
+61 0409 021 063

Contact

Opening Hours

By appointment only; contact edhsoffice@gmail.com

Location

728 Main Rd Eltham Victoria

View on Google Maps

The Eltham District Historical Society currently holds material relating to the former Shire of Eltham, the boundaries of which now overlap with other local Historical Societies. The Society will collect research material (and in some cases items of historical significance) relating to the Eltham District (Eltham, Eltham North, Research, Kangaroo Ground, Montmorency, Briar Hill and Lower Plenty) but may also include material pertinent to the history of Victoria where relevant to the understanding of our local history including pre-European settlement. Themes included cover:

Local people
Domestic life
Working life
Education
Recreation, economic and social conditions
Art and culture
Births, deaths and marriages
Cemeteries
Townships, urban and rural development
Built environment
Natural environment
Local government
Local industry, services and transport
Monuments
Community groups and organisations

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9051 items

Photograph - Eucalyptus Road, Eltham, c.October 1990

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 of 7 strips

Historical information

Looking south towards Pitt Street and Nyora Road. Bus stop now on opposite side. Prints were originally housed in a photo print envelope with note indicating they were taken 15 October 1990.

Inscriptions & Markings

Kodak Gold 100-2 5095

Photograph - Hotel de France, Panton Hill

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital image

Historical information

Source: La Trobe Library, Historical Collection

Significance

This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.' It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Photograph - Unveiling ceremony of a plaque in memory of David Christmas, 11 October 1992

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Colour photograph

Photograph - Lower Plenty Bridge

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Black and white photograph

Photograph - Eltham Living and Learning Centre, October 1988

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 1 strip

Inscriptions & Markings

Fuji 100N

Photograph - Emergency Operations Centre, S.E.S., Kangaroo Ground

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Two colour photographs of mud brick Emergency Operations Centre building, Kangaroo Ground

Historical information

In 2017 known as the Kangaroo Ground Operations Centre a facility for hire managed by the Shire of Nillumbik. On 7 February 2009 (Black Saturday) the CFA Incident Control Centre (ICC) was located here. Described in "Worst of Days: Inside the black Saturday firestorm" by Karen Kissane (access via Google books): "..the ICC is part of a mud brick complex built in the 1980s as an emergency operations centre for several agencies, including the State Emergency Service. It is also home to the headquarters of the CFA's Lower Yarra Group. A small office with a whiteboard would be the incident controller's office throughout the office, but a larger central room, with data projectors, "smart boards" and maps would house the rest of the team.."

Significance

Statement of Significance From the Victorian Heritage Database (2010) What is significant? The 1988 emergency operations centre and the surrounding site to the title boundaries. How is it significant? The emergency operations centre is architecturally, aesthetically, socially and historically significant to the Shire of Nillumbik. Why is it significant? The emergency operations centre is architecturally and historically significant as a good and rare example of a large public building constructed in a 1980s version of the 'Eltham style', and as a rare attempt to adapt the 'Eltham-style' aesthetic to meet the changing demands of the Shire in the 1980s (Criteria B, D & E). The emergency operations centre is architecturally and aesthetically significant because it is constructed of mud brick and features: a central entry with a tile mural (Criterion E). The emergency operations centre is socially significant because it is a focal point for the community and has played an important role in protecting the community since 1988 (Criterion G).

Folder - Percy Leason

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Folder of information on Percy Leason, Artist, Cartoonist, Historian, Anthropologist, Eltham, 1930s. 1. Photo: ANOTHER WIREGRASS PROBLEM: A well known artist who has gone to the bush to be alone with Nature, is discovered, By Percy Leason 2. Photo: SCENE DURING THE EIGHT HOURSS' DAY SPORTS AT WIREGRASS, By Percy Leason 3. Photo: "FIRE!": "An unfortunate occurrence. When the members of the Wiregrass Fire Brigade assembled at the Fire Station last evening for their weekly practice, they were horrified to discover that the building was on fire." - WIREGRASS WEEKLY CLARION, By Percy Leason 4. Photocopy: "Goliath and the Prodigal David" by Percy Leason 1931 5. Photocopy: "Yes you are improving the place. I'll have to increase your rent." by Percy Leason 1933 6. Photocopy: Cartoon by Percy Leason 1931 7. Photocopy: Cartoon by Percy Leason 8. LEASON, Percy Alexander, Painter and Illustrator; Who's Who in Australia, XIVth Edition 1950 9. LEASON, Percy Alexander, Painter and Illustrator; Who's Who in Australia, date unknown 10. Percy Leason 1889-1959 11. LEASON, Percy Alexander, 1889-1959, Painter and Illustrator 12. Percy Leason: Artist, cartoonist and Historian, by L.J. Blake, B.A., B.Ed., M.A.C.E. (President of the R.H.S.V.); An Address to the Society on Tuesday evening 27 August 1968; The Victorian Historical Magazine, pp 158-180 13. Catalogue: The Percy Leason Collection on view in The la Trobe Library 20 September - 29 October 1971 14. Invitation: Christmas Exhibition, The Wiregrass Gallery, 4 December 1977 15. Newspaper clipping: Artist's retreat, 1980 16. Newspaper clipping: Sharper than snapshots by Giles Auty; Arts, Review, The Weekend Australian, November 13-14, 1999 17. Works by Percy leason held by Castlemaine Art Museum, October 2018

Photograph - Demolition of the former Shire of Eltham building, Main Road, Eltham, 2 Aug 1996

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 7 strips

Historical information

The Shire of Eltham Office was constructed in the late 1960s on the original site of Shillinglaw Cottage. Upon cessation of the Shire as a local government body following dismissal of councils by the Kennett Liberal Government in December 1994, the new Nillumbik Shire offices were located in Civic Drive, Greensborough. The Shire of Eltham office building was demolished and the site has remained vacant ever since.

Significance

The three pine trees which featured in front of Shillinglaw Cottage and then the Shire of Eltham Offices remain standing on the vacant site as of 2017.

Inscriptions & Markings

Kodak Gold 100-5

Photograph - Heritage Excursion; Eltham Lower Park Walk and Talk, 1 July 2017

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Born Digital

Historical information

Newsletter No., 234, June 2017 Heritage Excursion - Saturday 1st July - Eltham Lower Park - Walk and Talk Eltham Lower Park has played an important part in the history of our area since the early days of European settlement when it was used by local residents as an informal racecourse. Prior to that its location at the junction of the Diamond Creek and the Yarra River made it an important meeting place for the Wurundjeri people. The park combines formal elements and sporting facilities with remnant bushland that is of environmental significance. It is home to sporting and horse riding clubs, popular play spaces and the Diamond Valley Miniature Railway, which attracts large numbers of visitors. The park will be the venue for our July excursion which will comprise a walk of about 3.5 km around the park and adjacent areas. Along the way we will discuss the history and natural history of the area. The path along the creek and the river provides a pleasant and scenic walk. This walk on Saturday 1st July is about 3.5 km in length and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the Main Road car park at the front of the park. (Melway ref 21 H 10).

Photograph - Research Industrial Centre, Main Road, April 1988

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Two colour photographs showing two views of Research Industrial Centre, Main Road, April 1988 including site with boats under construction.

Photograph - Kangaroos on Buttermans Track, St. Andrews, 19 August 2017

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital copy of colour photograph

Photograph - Upper Yarra Dam, Spring Tour, 22 Oct 1995

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 of 5 strips

Historical information

EXPLORING THE UPPER YARRA (Newsletter No. 105, November 1995, by Bettina Woodburn) We enjoyed the Spring Excursion, this year "Exploring the Upper Yarra" - in spite of the constant rain and the countryside under the cloud cover, especially in the valleys, being mainly shiny shades of green. The occasional fields of buttercups, clumps of arum lilies and splendid rhododendron and other flowering bushes became very special. The Cobb and Co coach was warm and a cosy retreat as we zig-zagged on the highways and byways to glimpse the Yarra River, upstream and down, its secret places, and particularly the many bridges. Russell excelled as 'Poet Laureate', reading from Dacre Smyth's book. This 1979 publication includes paintings of all the bridges along the river with poems and brief descriptions of each one. Some of the bridges are in out of the way places and are not very well known. We looked forward to hearing the poetry as much as seeing the ' constructions'…Big Pat (was he short or tall, lean or fat? He did win the two hundred pound reward for discovering gold and had the creek named after him), about the 'Eddies'?, and the disliked 'meccano' bridge in Warburton, etc. etc. The hot roast lunch in the old Reefton Hotel was also most welcome. It was easy to imagine it peopled by miners and early settlers. Starting by crossing the new (1974) concrete bridge at Warrandyte we headed through Wonga Park with views to the Christmas Hills and to the escarpment of the Yering Gorge, which causes flood waters to back up through the Yarra Glen plain, so avoiding disasters downstream. At the end of a long driveway we found the wooden, privately owned Henley Bridge (1935 after the 1934 floods). This facilitates access to different parts of Henley Farm and to Lilydale. Everard Park, named after Blanche Shallard's father, a State Member for 17 years, below the Highway Yarra crossing was in need of care. It is 10 miles from Yarra Glen by road but, as "Yarra Marra” canoeists well know, 32 winding miles down by water. After more delightful countryside scenes we joined the Warburton Highway at Woori Yallock. From the old Railway Station at Launching Place the Centennial Trail for walkers, cyclists and ' horse riders has replaced the rails. The line from Lilydale was opened in 1901, and the last diesel freight train ran to Warburton in 1965. It continued to rain as we had morning tea in Warburton in a shelter between footbridges. From here we continued upstream past the Bridge to O'Shannasy Lodge and Reservoir, Starvation Creek, and the Peninsular tunnel (miners dug it as at Pound Bend) which we visited (scrambling down those steps!) on our return after lunch. Our furthermost point was the Upper Yarra Dam Reserve (and vast catchment area). Finished in 1957 after ten years work and 100 years after Yan Yean, it supplies much of Melbourne's water. After crossing the 30m Launching Place Bridge to the Eltham side of the Yarra and Healesville, we saw in the distance the Yarra Glen Timber Trestle Bridge over the river flats "the longest for years in the land it was said!" Harry's dream of "better weather over the Divide" unfortunately didn't come true, but I'm sure we 36 members will retain happy memories of a day that was wet and green and filled with Bridges. Bettina Woodburn - October 1995

Significance

Record of the Society's history of activities - Spring 1995 excursion

Inscriptions & Markings

Kodak Gold 400-5

Photograph - Portrait by Max Meldrum

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Black and white photograph of newspaper article on Portrait by Max Meldrum at Athenaeum Gallery Melbourne, Meldrum with group of visitors

Photograph - Arriving from Hurstbridge at Wattle Glen Railway Station, 6 December 1980

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital TIFF file Scan of 35mm Ilford FP4 black and white transparency

Historical information

View from driver's cabin

Photograph - Believed to be an Alistair Knox designed mudbrick home, 91 Fernside Avenue, Briar Hill; July 2002

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Four colour photographs

Photograph - Hurstbridge - Hurst's original home "Mia Mia" near the new bridge. Reprinted from brochure advertising "Wattle Valley Estate" 7 minutes from bridge.

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital image

Significance

This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.' It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Newspaper clipping - Mr. J. Stewart, Headmaster, Eltham State School

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Glued on a brown paper scrapbook page (torn from scrapbook) with 8 black and white/sepia photos of varying sizes, 1 newspaper clipping and one greeting card with printed sketch and handwritten captions in ink. On back of page is 1 black and white photo and a large newspaper clipping.

Historical information

Pages from a scrapbook belonging to Heather Jenkins (nee Sargeant) who lived as a child in the Police Residence at 728 Main Road, Eltham in the 1920s.

Significance

Heather Sargeant was the daughter of Constable W.C. Sargeant, the local police officer in residence at Eltham, 1922-1927

Folder - Bill Caldwell

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Folder of information on Bill Caldwell, artist, Eltham, 1982

Photograph - Eltham - Main Road. Looking south from Bridge Street.

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital image

Historical information

Source: Bruce Burgoyne, Main Rd., Eltham

Significance

This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.' It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Photograph - Stebbing's Cottage (c.1860s), 88 Pitt St, Eltham, built by George Stebbing

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 3 strips

Inscriptions & Markings

Fuji 100

Photograph - Eltham - Mr. W .J. Taylor, was Shire President once during his term of office 1890-1911.

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital image

Historical information

Councillor William John Taylor was born in Little Eltham in 1853. Source: Grandaughter, N.I. Stevens, 68 Waverley St', Moonee Ponds

Significance

This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.' It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Photograph - Eltham Art and Craft Market June 1988

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm black and white negative film, 24 shots; 7 strips

Historical information

Roll of negatives of the Eltham Art and Craft Market dated June 1988. The market was regularly held in the carpark in front of the Safeway supermarket

Inscriptions & Markings

Kodak TX 5063

Photograph - Research Hotel.

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital image

Historical information

Source: Mr. T. Scarce, c/o Mrs. T.M. Jones, "Coolibah", Cherry Tree Road, Panton Hill. Tom remembered Mrs Thornton and Bert Frim(?) Photo shows Tom Scarce and pony that won 1st Prize over jumps, ridden by jockey Jimmy Johnson against his own horse in the same race (Diamond Creek Show)

Significance

This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.' It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Photograph - Looking west along Cressy Street, Montmorency, 15 October 1990

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Colour photograph

Photograph - Interior, St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Montmorency

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Three colour photographs showing the interior of St Francis Xavier Catholic Church and stained glass windows by Marinus 'Rein' Slagmolen (1916-1999), a Dutch-Australian artist and sculptor.

Photograph - Ruins of Coulstocks Mill, Janefield, South Morang

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Five colour photographs of ruins of Coulstocks Mill (Janefield Mill) Janefield

Photograph - Kath Stephenson and Matthew Smith (on running board), Eltham Community Festival Parade, 8 November 1986

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Colour photograph

Historical information

[from a contemporary report:] The Shire of Eltham Historical Society's entry in the 1986 Eltham Community Festival Parade included Ben Hall's Cobb & Co. coach along with several vintage motor vehicles and the Society's new Community Banner. Members dressed in in an appropriate costume to ride in one of the vehicles or walk along with them. The assembly point was in Cecil St. at 11.45 a.m. The Society's entry was awarded the major prize for the parade.

Photograph - Kangaroo Ground Cemetery, 10 August 2015

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital copy of colour photograph

Photograph - Redevelopment for Eltham Village and new Coles carpark

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Low-resolution copy of colour photograph

Historical information

Originally contained in an A4 spiral bound blue plastic document folder with clear inserts of inkjet printouts, 3 images per page, 7 pages with explanatory notes and "Sue Law" at the top of each page.

Photograph - Eltham RSL and Uniting Church, Main Road, Eltham, c.1979

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 strips

Significance

Changing streetscape - RSL branch merged with Montmorency. Land sold and since developed into units.

Inscriptions & Markings

Unidentified; half-frame numbering