Evoking a sense of place – two stories of West Melbourne

Earlier this year Hotham History Protect members Lorraine Siska and David Evans gave presentations on two 19th-century men and their families whom they had researched — and who had once lived in their respective houses in West Melbourne. DAVID BEGAN HIS TALK with a preface on the early years of North and West Melbourne — two suburbs that developed in …

Errol Street 100 Years Apart

There were enormous changes in the Errol Street Shopping Centre in the 100 years that separate these two photos. The shop now occupied by Gary Bohmer’s Pharmacy forms part of one of the earliest surviving two-storey shop rows in Victoria. The row is the oldest existing building in Errol Street, built around 1855 for well-known early identity and chemist (chymist) …

Cable trams made tracks along our streets

It is now a few years since my Uncle Neville (Clement Neville Govern died. He became my uncle when he married my aunt, Leila Bums. He had left Melbourne years before, but remained the self-appointed family expert on our cable trams. On his annual visits, he delighted in taking us to points of interest related to the story of Melbourne’s …

A fascination with local history inspired this Queensland-born reference librarian’s commitment to recording and preserving North and West Melbourne’s heritage

Mary Kehoe’s interest in local history research began with the stories of the Benevolent Asylum, which had been a landmark on Melbourne’s western skyline for over 60 years from the laying of its foundation stone in 1850 until its demolition in 1911. The asylum boundaries were on Elm, Abbotsford, Miller and Curzon streets, and the huge main building sat astride …

Generations of the Faithful

One of the highlights of the Curzon Street church’s 150th anniversary was the historic exhibition ‘Generations of the Faithful’ held in the Elm Street Hall between 29 and 31 October. A committee headed by historian Eleanor Pugsley and Nora Killip presented a chronological arrangement of historical photographs and memorabilia donated by church families past and present. The exhibition usher, Jean …

At Home on Hotham Hill

One hundred and twenty years after it was built, the `Bougainvillea House’ on the corner of Curran and Dryburgh streets has been immortalised in a book by Guy Murphy, At Home on Hotham Hill, published by the Hotham History Project. Guy began researching the history of the house as part of a university assignment in 1996. The book profiles both …

115 years on and engine house faces…

Traces of cable trams are scarce in Melbourne, although Melbourne once had the world’s most extensive network of cable trams. They gradually disappeared from the streets of Melbourne between 1927 and 1940 after 50 years of service. Engineering feats were accomplished on Melbourne’s flat terrain, which was quite different from the steep grades in Austria, where cable haulage originated, or …

When history walked the streets

Hundreds of women and men in North and West Melbourne played their part in getting women the vote in Victoria. Some 800 women who lived in our patch 0 signed the famous Monster Petition in 1891, asking that “Government by the People and for the People should mean all the People and not only half’. For the most part, the …

The old Temperance Hall: a historical journey

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 building was designed …