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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 [email protected]

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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10325 items

Advertising - Real Estate For Sale advertisement, 777 Henley Road, Kangaroo Ground, March 2007

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Laminated; 42.3 x 30.3 cm

Historical information

Morrison Kleeman Real Estate sales information material Advertised March 2007 for $595,000 plus; Sold April 2007 for $630,000 1970s Alistair Knox design

Advertising - Real Estate For Sale advertisement, 152 Progress Road, Eltham North, March 2007

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Laminated; 42.3 x 30.3 cm

Historical information

Morrison Kleeman Real Estate sales information material Advertised March 2007 for $570,000 plus; Sold April 2007 for $693,000 1970s Alistair Knox design

Advertising - Real Estate For Sale advertisement, 61 Napier Crescent, Montmorency, March 2007

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Laminated; 42.3 x 30.3 cm

Historical information

Morrison Kleeman Real Estate sales information material Advertised March 2007 for $565,000 plus; Sold April 2007 for $625,000 Home of John Cust, draughtsman who worked with Robert Marshall, etc

Advertising - Promotional window label, Eltham Gymkhana, Easter Saturday, 20 April 1957

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Water based adhesive on front surface for adhering to shop window displays, etc (similar to old style vehicle registration labels)

Historical information

1957 was the ninth show held in aid of the Eltham War Memorial Trust.

Architectural Sketch - Eltham Community Centre; Sketch Design Perspective; Whitford & Beck Pty Ltd, Architects, October 1979

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Ink sketch

Article - Did The House Live Up To Expectations?, Home Beautiful, March 1969, pp6-13

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Digital scan of original magazine article saved as searchable PDF document

Historical information

Article on home designed by Alistair Knox for Lindsay Edward, teacher, at 151 Old Eltham Road, Lower Plenty. The home was originally featured in Home Beautiful magazine in 1953 and was revisited in the March 1969 issue

Inscriptions & Markings

N/A

Article - Rotary Eltham Town Festival, "Festival Weekend is November 8th and 9th and it's nearly here!", Eltham Town Community News, Spring/Summer 2008/09, p20

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Newsprint

Article - Fencing with a gum tree' by David Aldridge; Photographer Bill Tindale

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Article on construction of timber fencing by Eddie Anderson

Article - War nurtured an artistic talent' by Linley Hartley; Photographer Ron Grant

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Article about Robert Anderson, unofficial war artist second world war. Photograph.

Auction Sale Brochure - Clay Nuneham, Stanhope Street, Eltham

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Brochure

Historical information

Auction sale brochure, Neville Emerson Real Estate, Lower Plenty

Auction Sale Brochure - Eriskay, Main Road, Eltham

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Brochure

Historical information

Auction sale brochure, Neville Emerson Real Estate, Lower Plenty

Auction Sale Brochure - Rosehill Homestead, 56 Bonds Road, Lower Plenty

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Brochure

Historical information

Auction sale brochure, Miles Real Estate Professionals, Rosanna

Auction Sale Brochure - Ballara, 1451 Main Road, Eltham

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Brochure

Historical information

Auction sale brochure, Neville Emerson Real Estate, Lower Plenty

Audio Cassette Tape - Maurie Fabro

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Audio Cassette tape TEAC mdxi

Historical information

Oral history interview between Eltham District Historical Society members Doug Orford and Mary Regan with Maurie Fabro. The interview covers Maurie's life in Eltham. Maurie took over his parents farm which was located opposite Eltham High School and between the Diamond Creek. The house was located in Faulkiner Street. When the land was subdivided, Maurie moved up the hill to the site of the interview. Topics of discussion include: Maurie's Harley Davidson Motorcycle (mention of Keith Gibson), Lack of electricity in Faulkiner Street, extreme weather of the past. Length of interview 11 minutes

Audio Cassette Tape ACME C90 XHG - Jock Read 1921-1945

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Interview with Jock Read (1915- 2010) with Diana Bassett-Smith of Eltham District Historical Society. Peter Bassett-Smith and possibly Gwen Orford also, in attendance. The interview includes discussion of Jock's family history and connection to Eltham, including his attendance at Eltham State School starting 1921, childhood memories including games he played, memories of Eltham High School, recreational activities, milking, money earned, local transport, neighbours, effect of the Depression, local shops, involvement with the Church of England and more. Recording starts off quite well but a lot of noise

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-10-13 Eltham Community Town Hall Meeting

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:28:52 duration Digital MP3 File 30.5 MB

Historical information

Meeting to discuss the Nillumbik Shire Council's proposed sale and devlopment of the former Shire Office site at 895 Main Road as well as the Eltham War Memorial including the Maternal and Infant Welfare Centre, Eltham Pre-school and Eltham War Memorial Hall and Memorial Gardens at 903-907 Main Road which also includes thje Eltham Senior Citizen's Centre. The meeting was attended by more than 300 people which considered the following: Motion from public meeting – Saturday 13th October, 2018 1. This meeting has no confidence in Nillumbik Shire Council's proposed process for the re-development of 895 and 903-907 Main Rd, Eltham and we deplore the cursory attention given to public consultation to date. 2. We call on Council: *to preserve the Eltham War Memorial building complex at 903-907 Main Rd, Eltham, and retain their existing uses in accordance with the Eltham War Memorial Trust purpose; and retain the Cenotaph and Eltham Senior Citizens' Centre. * to retain council ownership of all land at 895 and 903-907 Main Rd, Eltham for our community and future generations. * following meaningful engagement with residents of the Shire, to place sufficient planning controls on the site of the former Eltham Shire Office to ensure that any future development of that land responds to Eltham's form and character and properly protects public amenity, access and use. * to make all proposals for the development of 895 and 903-907 Main Rd, Eltham available for public inspection as soon as they are received by Council. Moved: Greg Johnson Seconder: Andrew Lemon * carried unanimously

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-12-09 Eltham Community Town Hall Meeting

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

0:37:56 duration Digital MP3 File 13.0 MB

Historical information

Second information meeting regarding the Shire of Nillumbik's proposed development/sale of 895 and 903-907 Main Road

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2015-09-09 Nillumbik Tales including member's stories

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:22:15 duration Digital MP3 File 116 MB

Historical information

September Meeting (Newsletter No. 224, Sep. 2015) On 4th October 2014 Nillumbik Shire Council launched a publication titled ‘Nillumbik Tales - Voices of our Elders’, which is a collection of colourful and personal snapshots of our local community. The unique Nillumbik based stories have been written by a variety of authors, including some who are members of our Society. At our meeting on Wednesday 9th September 2015 we will be having some of our members reading their own ‘Nillumbik Tale.’ In collating and publishing this historically important collection Nillumbik Shire Council has documented many aspects of our area and of the people who contributed to our community. The original print run of ‘Nillumbik Tales’ was sold out and there has been a reprint.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2016-04-14 Jane Woollard and Laughing Waters Road

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

0:47:13 duration Digital MP3 File 66 MB

Historical information

April Meeting (Newsletter No. 227, Apr. 2016) At this meeting we are pleased to have as our guest speaker Jane Woollard, who has just published a book titled ‘Laughing Waters Road: Art, Landscape and Memory in Eltham.’ Jane was the local history officer at the Shire of Nillumbik so has a detailed knowledge of the history of our area. She has an extensive background as a writer, theatre director and teacher. As well as directing over 50 productions Jane has been a tutor and guest director at the Victorian College of the Arts and La Trobe University and was Artistic Director of the Union House Theatre at the University of Melbourne. Since 2001 more than eighty artists have been in residence at Laughing Waters in Birrarung House and Riverbend. In her book Jane has woven together their experiences and art making, together with Wurundjeri, European and family histories to create an evocative account of a very special place in Eltham.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2016-06-08 Norm Williams and Thompson's Pharmacy

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

0:46:09 duration Digital MP3 File 65 MB

Historical information

June Meeting (Newsletter No. 228, Jun. 2016) Shortly after the First World War Ivan Thompson, a pharmacist in Fairfield, expanded into the Diamond Valley by opening pharmacies at Eltham, Greensborough and Watsonia. A small item in the Hurstbridge Advertiser on 20th July 1928 states that ‘Mr. Ivan J Thompson, well known chemist, has opened a branch at Eltham where all prescriptions will be dispensed.’ In the early 1950’s Norm Williams considered he was fortunate to be able to serve an apprenticeship with Ivan Thompson at his Eltham pharmacy. He was with the business when it moved in 1952 to the present site at 964 Main Road, Eltham, which was the first brick shop built in the Eltham Town Centre. In 1958 Ivan Thompson decided to sell his pharmacies. Harry Brown and Norm Williams were able to purchase the Eltham business and they continued in partnership until Mr. Brown’s death in 1971. By that time they had expanded with pharmacies in Fairfield and Lower Plenty. At our June meeting Norm Williams will speak about how Thompsons Pharmacy developed, while continuing to supply a range of services for generations of Eltham families. His stories, supported by a collection of personal photographs, will entertain as well as give an insight into how the Eltham shopping centre has changed over the years.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2016-10-12 History of Community Groups

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:03:34 duration Digital MP3 File 75 MB

Historical information

October Meeting (Newsletter No. 230, Jun. 2016) Community groups are the backbone of any community and the former Shires of Eltham and now Nillumbik are no exception. In our area there are some groups with a long history of consistently contributing to the development, enrichment and benefit of our local communities. Some we are well aware of, others not so much. At our next meeting we are pleased to have representatives from three long established community groups to talk to us about their histories, how they have been a part of the Eltham scene for many years and how their contributions have supported many other local organisations and initiatives.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2017-04-12 AGM and Andrew Lemon - Fifty Years of the EDHS and why it matters

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:03:34 duration Digital MP3 File 75 MB

Historical information

April Meeting (Newsletter No. 233, Apr. 2017) Our meeting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 12th April 2017 is our Annual General Meeting, which includes the presentation of annual reports and the election of office bearers for the coming year. The official notification of the Annual General Meeting and Agenda are on page 8 in this Newsletter. At this meeting we are pleased to have as our guest speaker Dr. Andrew Lemon, a great friend of EDHS and a Fellow and the immediate Past President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Andrew is an independent Melbourne historian, author of numerous books on local history, shipwrecks, biography, schools and sport and winner of national literary awards. He has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Melbourne for his published works. Andrew edited the Victorian Historical Journal throughout the 1990s and served on the Library Board of Victoria and the Heritage Council. Andrew is a very entertaining presenter and in our 50th Anniversary year he has chosen to speak about ‘Fifty years of the EDHS - and why it matters.’

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2017-08-09 Prof Margaret Deighton and the Shallards of Montmorency

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

0:47:43 duration Digital MP3 File 67 MB

Historical information

August Meeting (Newsletter No. 235, Aug. 2017) Blanche and Jack Shallard were involved in many activities in the Montmorency community throughout their lives. They observed Were Street grow from a one shop street to a bustling shopping village. Jack was a local solicitor and on the Board of the Diamond Valley Community Hospital, while Blanche was a member of the Hospital Auxiliary and both were involved with our Society. They were also connected with Montmorency State School and St Faith’s Church in Montmorency. At this meeting we are pleased to have their daughter, Professor Margaret Deighton, speak about her family and her recollections of growing up in Montmorency.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2017-10-11 EDHS after 50 years

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:24:45 duration Digital MP3 File 30 MB

Historical information

October Meeting (Newsletter No. 236, Oct. 2017) A 50th Anniversary Panel of EDHS Members As this meeting is close to the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of the Shire of Eltham Historical Society, on 24th October 1967, we will appropriately look back on our own history. This will include a panel of members who will highlight some of our experiences and achievements along the way. As a special 50th anniversary treat we will have the opportunity to view, for the first time, a video reflecting on the first 50 years of our Society. This video, produced by Gerald Ashcroft from www.storiestobetold.com.au, is based around interviews with Russell Yeoman and Doug Orford about their recollections. Gerald has generously donated his expertise and time to provide this video as a valued gift to EDHS on the occasion of our 50th Anniversary.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2017-10-27 EDHS 50th Anniversary Dinner at St Margarets Hall

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:04:31 duration Digital MP3 File 76 MB

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-04-11 AGM and Briar Hill Timber and Trading with Bob Manuel

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:26:38 duration Digital MP3 File 30 MB

Historical information

April Meeting (Newsletter No. 239, Apr. 2018) Our Annual General Meeting includes the presentation of annual reports and the election of office bearers for the coming year. At this meeting we are pleased to be able to show a film of the early activities of the Briar Hill Timber and Trading Company, in Sherbourne Road, Briar Hill. This film details the various operations involved in this business during the 1950s/60s, from sourcing trees from the forest, to machining the timber and then manufacturing various building materials and components. A copy of this film has been generously donated to our Society by Bob Manuell, who was an active part of this family owned business, established by his mother-in-law Mrs Hazel Squire. We are fortunate that Bob has agreed to attend our meeting to add his comments and insights about some of the scenes shown. Bob Manuell was a former Shire President and Councillor at the Shire of Eltham, from 1980 until 1994, when following municipal restructure the Shire ceased upon the establishment of the Shire of Nillumbik. Bob’s father-in law Fred Squire was also a former Eltham Shire President and Councillor, having served between 1945 and 1953.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-06-13 Jim Connor and the history of the former Shire of Eltham office site

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:17:57 duration Digital MP3 File 27 MB

Historical information

June Meeting (Newsletter No. 240, Jun. 2018) Prior to Shillinglaw Cottage (c1878-80) being relocated to where it is now operated as a popular cafe near the Eltham Library, it was within Josiah Holloway’s 1850s subdivision known as Little Eltham, which later became the centre of the first Eltham township. Originally a farmer’s cottage it is historically significant because it is one of the Shire’s oldest dwellings and a fine example of the work of the well-known pioneer builder George Stebbing. In 1964 the then Shire of Eltham purchased the Shillinglaw property with the intention of demolishing the cottage and constructing new Shire offices on the site. However extensive community action resulted in funds being raised to have the building saved and relocated further south to the Eltham Common, where it was joined by the Eltham Library 1994. New Shire offices opened in 1965, but following municipal restructure in 1994 these were demolished and the land sold to a developer, which precipitated a dramatic trail of community angst, threats of legal action, the sacking of a newly elected council and several unsuccessful development proposals, by subsequent councils. After all these years the vacant site there is still guarded by the three trees that were outside the front of the Shillinglaw Cottage. At our Society meeting on Wednesday 13th June 2018 Jim Connor will speak about the dramatic tale encompassing the history of the former Eltham Shire office site and the adjoining War Memorial Buildings complex, which are now being considered for sale or redevelopment by the current Nillumbik Shire Council.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-08-08 David and Jacqui Wagner and St Margaret's Church, Eltham

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

0:57:51 duration Digital MP3 File 20 MB

Historical information

August Meeting (Newsletter No. 241, Aug. 2018) How do you consider designing an extension to a church that was built in 1861, just where do you start, especially when it is a church of local significance and listed by Heritage Victoria? The church in question was designed by architect Nathaniel Billings, built by well-known pioneer builder George Stebbing on land donated by Henry Dendy and is St Margaret’s Church in Pitt Street, Eltham. Adjoining this church is a large mud brick hall known to many of our Society members. It was also the venue for our 50th anniversary celebration dinner on 21st November 2017. At our Society meeting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 8th August 2018 architect David Wagner from Atelier Wagner will speak about the opportunities and challenges experienced in designing and constructing a contemporary style extension to this revered historical building, valued by the local congregation. Prior to becoming involved with St Margaret’s the Atelier Wagner architectural practice has, among an extensive range of projects, renovated and extended several churches. With this project there was also the challenge of incorporating, modifying and connecting the adjacent buildings that shared an entrance foyer.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2018-10-11 The Spirit of Eltham with Lynnsay Prunotto and Hamish Knox

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:29:41 duration Digital MP3 File 32 MB

Historical information

October Meeting (Newsletter No. 242, Oct. 2018) At our Society meeting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 10th October 2018 we will explore ideas about what is considered to be the ‘Spirit of Eltham’. We will view a video produced for the Shire of Eltham in response to the 1985 Victorian Local Government Commission Report titled ‘The Restructure of Local Government in Victoria – Principles and Program’ (the Morris review). The recommendation was to amalgamate the Shires of Eltham and Diamond Valley, something that Eltham Council did not support as being appropriate for the shire or compatible with the ‘Spirit of Eltham’. We will also be fortunate to have a presentation on this theme by Lynnsay Prunotto, a local architect, who is also involved in community planning activities, as well as some insights from Hamish Knox on his experience of growing up and working for many years in the region.

Audio Recording - Audio Recording; 2019-04-10 AGM and Eltham Cemetery Trust with Julia Drew

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

1:11:42 duration Digital MP3 File 24.6 MB

Historical information

April Meeting (Newsletter No. 245, Apr. 2019) At this meeting we are pleased to have as our guest speaker a representative from the Eltham Cemetery Trust, who will talk about their connections to our local history and how current practices and projects continue to support the artistic connections in the Eltham region.