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 …

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 …