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 …

Good days in old North

We came to North Melbourne to live in 1965. Basically, we have lived here ever since and oddly enough, because I can remember shifting into Shiel Street, I still think of myself as a newcomer and seem to know an increasing number of people and families who lived here in North before I came. What I only half realised when …

Errol Street North Melbourne Primary School celebrates 150 years.

The ‘City of Poonah’, according to a passenger named William Parker Snow in his Voyage to Port Phillip in the City of Poonah, 1852, was a fine ship of 800 tons and built of teak. “She was chartered,” he wrote, “to carry out a number of female Emigrants — ‘distressed needlewomen’ — whom a benevolent Society in England, under the …

Empire of Arden Street.

25 Arden Street North Melbourne. The significance of the little Bulla factory located in North Melbourne’s famous Arden Street is by no means small. The factory, that has sat tucked away between Errol and Leveson Streets for the last 70 years, is the headquarters of one of Australia’s leading dairy companies. With offices throughout Australia, the Bulla company is the …

Ellis Auction Rooms

103 to 107 Errol Street North Melbourne. Barnette Ellis was born in Sydney on 24 September 1837, the seventh of 11 children to Elias and Rebecca Ellis, who had left their Jewish community in London and emigrated to Australia. After moving to Melbourne when Barnette was nine years old, Elias continued to prosper and became a leader of the local …

Uniting Church celebrates 150 years of history.

In 2004 the Uniting Church congregation of Mark the Evangelist will celebrate its contribution to the history of the North Melbourne community over the past 150 years. The sesquicentenary celebrations will take place from Friday 29 October to Sunday 31 October 2004 and will include special church services, historical activities, musical presentations, lectures, videos, historic photo displays and a book …

Cornelius O’Mahony and the Catalpa rescue

During the 19th century there were many schools in North and West Melbourne and those we still have today are descendants of some of those early schools. St Mary’s Primary School was in Victoria Street in the red-brick building now occupied by Simonds College. One of the first principals of St Mary’s was a former convict and a man Whose …

Education in North and West Melbourne

Catholics have played a major role in schooling in the area since 1886. St Mary’s parish in West Melbourne was established in 1854. The ‘old’ St Mary’s church and school operated prior to the present church being built. St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church was built in the 1890s during an economic depression and it stands as a …

Burke and Wills – 150 years celebration

Burke and Wills – 150years celebration When Burke and Wills rode away from the Royal Society building on the edge of what is now the city of Melbourne, there was not a lot of today’s North Melbourne for them to pass through. A letter to The Age written in the 1930s recalls that the party went along Shiel Street. The …

Billy Maloney: a prize speaker with a humanitarian heart

The past and the present in North Melbourne well and truly mixed from 5 to 10 December last year. A week of performances of an exciting new play, Billy Maloney, was staged in the same auditorium in which namesake William Maloney, MHR, would have addressed political meetings a century ago. “The room he made his own” – the North Melbourne …

Bastow’s rich past lives on

It’s been a long time coming but finally, in July, the Bastow Institute opened its doors to students and teachers. However, the students are not the primary aged children for whom the original building was designed, but teachers and school administrators who are preparing themselves for a leadership role in education. The architect is Peter Maddison, who fronts the Australian …