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 …

In the swim – history of the North Melbourne pool.

Built in 1909 as the North Melbourne Baths, the pool sits daintily at the intersection of Macaulay Road and Arden Street, nestled among industrial buildings and sports fields. It is now officially part of the North Melbourne Recreation Centre. Memoirs from early users fondly recall long days spent at the pool during Melbourne’s hot summers. Not much has changed. In …

North Melbourne Town Hall – In Search of Time.

My father was devoted to having the right time. When he wound our mantel clock, he would check it against his pocket watch. To get the right time on his watch he would check it against a railway station clock or one of the clocks that tram drivers used to key into as they left the stop. No doubt there …

How we live in the heat.

Refuge is an ongoing project of Arts House. It encourages the community to explore some of the difficulties we have experienced in the past and may experience in the future because of our harsh climate. Last year the theme of Refuge was what to do in a flood. This year’s theme is heatwave. How do we cope best in the …

Hotham Post Office

A Post Office was established at Hotham on March 20, 1860 with J. McGibbon appointed postmaster at a commencing allowance of 70 pounds per annum. As the average amount paid to an unofficial office manager was 20 pounds approximately per annum it can be appreciated that the population of Hotham was growing. During 1861 Letter Receivers were installed at Hotham …

Hotham Makes History

The foundation stone of the Benevolent Asylum, the first permanent building in North Melbourne, was laid on 24 June 1850. On this clear and sparkling winter’s day a long and colourful procession stretched from Flinders Street through the streets of old Melbourne Town towards the green and wooded hill on which the asylum was to be sited. Led by the …

Hotham Bells

Earlier this year, hail broke the glass on the Errol Street face of the clock on the Hotham Town Hall, known variously over the years as the Hotham Town Hall, the North Melbourne Town Hall, our town hall and currently, the Arts House. Just in behind the glass are the bells of its clock which many people who live and …

Fascinating history of our local lanes.

Streets and laneways. In 1855, what is now North Melbourne was the Hotham Ward of the municipality of Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria. Although we now say ‘Hotham’ with the `th’ as in ‘thing’, the governor whose name was used would almost certainly have pronounced his name with a ‘t’. The Public Record Office Victoria in Shiel Street holds …

The Henderson Cast Iron Fountain

The City of Melbourne has agreed to the restoration of the Henderson cast iron fountain outside the North Melbourne Town Hall, following submissions of the North and West Melbourne Association. Recently, council Officer Mr. Jeff Taylor of Cultural Development Branch convened a meeting concerning the restoration, which was attended by representatives of the Association, Heritage Victoria and Council Officers. Those …

Haddow’s Hardware

514 – 516 Queensberry Street North Melbourne Some of North Melbourne’s oldest buildings have been given a new life in recent years. With an increase in demand for inner city living, home buyers have turned their attention to the region’s old work places. An O’Shanassy Street house sold this month was built as a school hall in the 1890’s. In …

Grave situation at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market

It is thought there were more than 10,000 people buried in the Old Melbourne Cemetery. Now more than 10,000 people visit the Queen Victoria Market every day — on top of the cemetery. So much for resting in peace. The Melbourne City Council has recently pledged $800,000 to design a multilevel car park at the market. But all digging will …