Street numbers have a history of their own

To allow for the development of Melbourne, a grid was laidout in 1837, which contained substantially sized blocks that were subdivided for sale. Whilst some thought went into planning the layout of Melbourne, the amount of land released by the crown for development lagged behind the demands of the growing population. In addition, a substantial number of the blocks that …

Lola Russell, the queen of King Street

Melburnians rightly picture the architecture of the 19th century as ornate Classical. Yet there are very few remaining examples of what Georgian Melbourne looked like before the gold rushes. One standout example is on the corner of King and La Trobe streets. It is a white two-storey cottage and shop opposite the Flagstaff Gardens, somehow preserved amidst a 20th century …

Hotham History Project AGM

During the course of the afternoon, three speakers gave an account of their research, which was varied in subject and approach. The North Melbourne Town Hall Bill Hannan reported on work in progress. He is finalising an early history of the North Melbourne Town Hall, after some early research undertaken by Robert Green. Bill spoke of the early history of …

Moving around: stories of a North Melbourne family

The Hotham History Project launched its 12th publication in grand style on 14 December last year when over 100 members and friends gathered in St Michael’s Hall to hear the Hon Richard Wynne launch Moving around: Stories of a North Melbourne family 1902-64. Moving Around, by Rae Nicholls and Lorna Hannan, is the story of Rae’s family from her grandparents’ …

A West Melbourne lad: Monash moves on.

For many of us certainly for me John Monash’s fame as a soldier has eclipsed his record as an engineer and administrator. Monash in fact combined army work with private engineering, and by the time Australia was involved in the First World War he already had a substantial reputation in engineering. Having been born in West Melbourne and moved during …

Men of Hotham and other extraordinary people.

Launch of Annals of Hotham Vol 5 Pride of Hotham: A tale of North Melbourne and a red-headed architect, the fifth in the Hotham History Project’s Annals of Hotham series, was launched by the Hon Barry Jones on Tuesday 27 June, the 130th anniversary of the opening of the North Melbourne Town Hall. About 200 local history enthusiasts crowded into …

Men and mountains of North Melbourne

Visitors to the North Melbourne Town Hall clock tower during the Spring Fling had a wonderful view of North Melbourne. The town hall is on the southern edge of the town and its clock tower is perhaps still its highest point. A broad valley runs down from the town hall and rises on its northern side to Royal Park and …

North Melbourne Metropolitan Meat Market

At the heart of North Melbourne, on the corners of Queensberry and Errol Streets, is a local cultural hub known as the Arts House. Operating from the iconic North Melbourne Town Hall (NMTH) and heritage-listed Meat Market, Arts House provides creative spaces for the community and local artists. The buildings, steeped in history, exemplify the growth and development of the …

Made in Italy

The markings on the insole and under the shoe say “Made in Italy”: Angelo points to several signs that it is not an Italian shoe and illustrates his point by showing me a shoe that is genuinely Italian. Angelo knows such things. He was, along with one of his brothers, a trained shoemaker before he left Italy in 1963 and …

A Long History

At a time when Melbourne was still part of the extensive colony of New South Wales, an Irish family of free settlers by the name of Long arrived in North Melbourne and settled among its open, tree-lined boulevards. Dan Austin spoke with James Anthony Long, descendant of that family. When I arrived at the Elm Street house, the door was …

Local History to be published

A committee of past and present North Melbourne residents who believed the region’s past had never been fully recorded, are compiling a history book to be published next year. The Hotham History Project’s committee has been researching the region’s unique past, with the help of North Melbourne’s people, since March last year. Project coordinator, Lorna Hannan, said the committee had …

Life of Thomas Henderson

After a year as Mayor of the then Town of Hotham, in 1877 Thomas Henderson donated, to the people of Hotham, an elaborate cast iron drinking fountain and canopy. The canopy stands outside the North Melbourne Post Office. Thomas Henderson moved from Hotham to Corowa in the early 1890’s and died there in 1907. The following account of his life …

Who was Lady Huntingfield?

One of North Melbourne’s oldest kindergartens is the Lady Huntingfield which nowadays has its main entrance in Haines Street. (Once the entrance was at the end of Harris Street, now closed and ineptly renamed Plane Tree Way) We can take it for granted that Lady Huntingfield would have been a member of the English aristocracy, but her obituary in The …

Infamous diamond jewellery heist North Melbourne, 1934.

Eighty years and one week ago (give or take some small change) a daring heist rattled North Melbourne’s otherwise peaceful Errol Street. The theft of three trays of diamond jewellery from P. B. McMaster and Son was the talk of the town, and was reported as far away as the Adelaide Advertiser. The theft is remembered to this day, as …

Iron House under threat.

It doesn’t strike you as a house worthy of particular notice, but behind its simple facade, the Iron House at 59 Arden Street has a long history. It was prefabricated in Britain and brought to Melbourne about 1853 at the height of the gold rush period when the call for housing was great. North and west Melbourne saw a rash …

The Iron House.

It was fascinating to go back and look at what had changed over the last 25 years of the North Melbourne News (the “and West” was added later). The technology of the late 1970’s were hand-drawn with rulers, headings were added with the dreaded Letraset, and the text was typed (or typoed, depending on the accuracy of the typist). And …