Hotham Borough named in 1859

In 1859 the area that is known as North Melbourne was named the Hotham borough, after the governor of Victoria Charles Hotham. Hotham’s first Post Office opened on 20 March 1860 and by 1861, Hotham had a population of over 7,000. On 26 August 1887 the Hotham Borough was renamed North Melbourne Town, after the completion of the North Melbourne …

Let’s hear it for Hotham

Historic Bowls Day—20 March 2005 The City of Melbourne Bowls Club was delighted to welcome members and friends of the Hotham History Project to our joint Heritage Bowls Day on Sunday 20th March. The spirit of 1905 came through in the background music and the appearance of those who dressed for the occasion. The club’s history was displayed — original …

The old Temperance Hall: a historical journey

by Jillian Ball Approaching the old hall at 456 Queensberry Street, between Leveson and Chetwynd streets, the visitor might notice the unusual entry, which has a bay-windowed shop on either side of the entrance steps. The United Friendly Societies (UFS) commissioned architects W.H. Ellerker and Co to build the hall in 1874. This date is embossed on the facade. The …

The lost picture palaces of North and West Melbourne

by Miriam Manne In the late 1970’s I saw a poster advertising holiday screenings of a series of Shirley Temple films at the Central Theatre (now the Lithuanian Club) at 50 Errol Street, North Melbourne. I took my son David, then an Errol Street Primary School student, to one of the films. It was a strange and rather uncanny experience, …

St Mary Star of the Sea

by Jullian Ball St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in West Melbourne has a new chapel, dedicated to the the Madonna del Terzito. Located near the base of theme unfinished tower, the chapel forms part of the church’s 150th-year restoration program and has been decorated in the rose colour scheme that was originally chosen for the church’s formal …

Six men in a seat.

by Bill Hannan As we drew close to the federal election, the nature of representation in the Melbourne electorate took on a fresh interest. ABC psephologist Antony Green called today’s Melbourne a very safe Labor seat. That seems fair enough. At the previous election, Lindsay Tanner won all 36 booths. His lowest winning margin was above 60 per cent and …

Sesquicentenary of the forerunner of the Errol Street Primary School

2007 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of Mrs Elizabeth Ann Mattingley’s Infant School in her double-storey weatherboard house at 18 Errol Street, near where Errol’s Bakehouse Pantry operates today. One year later, her 21-year-old son Albert, a trained National School teacher, opened an Upper School for older pupils in a single-storey iron building on the corner of Errol …

Prince of Angels

The story of St Michael’s Church, North Melbourne, 1907-2007 Prince of Angels, the latest publication of the Hotham History Project, had a dramatic launching in St Michael’s Church on Hotham Hill last June. The occasion was the centenary celebration of the laying of St Michael’s foundation stone by Archbishop Thomas Can in 1907. Author Lorna Hannan carried the book down …

Local hall takes us on a walk through our past

by Bill Hannan One of the first history walks conducted by the Hotham History Project was a – pub walk. It seemed right, therefore, that the Project should organise a temperance walk. The temperance movement had, after all, played a part in closing down the many pubs (116 in North and West Melbourne) that were only a memory by the …

The corner grocery shop

by Carolyn Whiting (nee Howe) Do you remember the corner grocery shops? Carolyn Whiting does and printed below are some of her memories. In the days before the large supermarkets, people would shop at the local grocer’s shop. A wonderful blend of aromas greeted them when they walked through the door. The sugar and flour were stored in large sacks …

Carolyn’s story

Carolyn’s story by Carolyn Whiting (nee Howe) We lived in a two-storey terrace at 594 Spencer Street, West Melbourne, between Hawke and Abbotsford streets. My parents slept in the front room downstairs, next to the lounge room, which was only used on Sundays and special occasions. The kitchen had a one-fire stove, with wicker chairs either side of it, and …

Lest we forget

by Lorna Hannan The monument at the Victoria Street end of Errol Street was erected by the local Red Cross to honour men from North and West Melbourne who fought during World War I (1914-1918) in France and Palestine and at Gallipoli. A metal plaque that was added later names wars up until the 1970s but, unlike most of the …

Hotham History visits Jack’s Magazine.

by Lorraine Siska. In March, Hotham History Project members found their way to this remarkable 19th-century edifice that nestles inside impressive bluestone walls on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. What is Jack’s Magazine? It is the largest magazine complex ever built in Victoria and opened in 1878 to provide safe storage for gunpowder imported into the colony of Victoria. …

Hotham History Project – Rough Diamond

by Mary Kehoe After the business of the meeting, there will be a reading from the play Rough Diamond, by John Baldwin Buckstone, as a precursor to a performance to be staged by the North Melbourne Library and the Hotham History Project later in the year. The play has been chosen because of its connection to North Melbourne. In 1885 …

Holding onto our history

by Janet Graham FIRST STOP was the locker room, past reception at street level. Bags had to be left here, as did pens, in very efficient individual lockers with personal keys. Notetakers were required to use pencil. The tour began with an exploration of the Harry Nunn Reading Room, named after the first keeper of public records. Before Nunn’s time, …

Historic precinct a rare treasure

by Mary Kehoe How many know that the small block bounded by Curzon, Queensberry, Union and Elm streets contains the highest concentration of buildings in North and West Melbourne listed on the Victorian Heritage Register? The Presbyterian Union Memorial Church complex comprises the 1879 church with its landmark 46-metre spire, the Victorian manse, the Elm Street church hall, the parsonage …