Nillumbik 2018 Community Group of the Year

2018 Community Group of the Year – Nillumbik Shire Council

Members of Eltham District Historical Society with Nillumbik Shire’s Mayor, Cr. Peter Clarke at the Nillumbik Shire Council Australia Day Awards held at Eltham Community Reception Centre, Australia Day, 26 January 2018.

The Eltham District Historical Society Incorporated is honoured to have received the 2018 Community Group of the Year Award from Nillumbik Shire Council, at the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony in Eltham on 26th January 2018.
Eltham District Historical Society President Jim Connor said:

‘I am very pleased to accept this award on behalf of all members, past and present, who have contributed to our historical society, since it was established in 1967.’

‘Our society appreciates this recognition, especially as it follows the celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2017.’

‘Each of the significant milestones and achievements over the last 50 years have been the result of consistent efforts by dedicated and passionate believers in our local history, intent on encouraging the recognition and preservation of our valuable historical records representing activities and events that have occurred in the Eltham area. Receipt of this award is another page in the history of the Eltham District Historical Society.’

‘Stories of history we tell not only shape our past, they shape our future as well. We look forward to being an active part of Nillumbik’s future.’

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MysteryMonday: Route 9, Kangaroo Ground, c.1990

Frame No. 0 – EDHS_03179; Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 5 strips
Kodak GA100 5095
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are five sequential frames from a roll of colour negative film. We are fairly certain that they are all of Route 9 through the old Shire of Eltham; pretty much because frame No. 3 shows the blue route sign. This suggests they are either of the Kangaroo Ground-Yarra Glen Road or the Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road. Again we feel that they are probably all around Kangaroo Ground.

Our collections team is keen to geo-tag as many images as we can in our collection. So, today’s MysteryMonday challenge is to identify the exact GPS coordinates for each of the five frames using whatever resources you have available. You may happen to know exactly where each of the pictures are taken. Road signage clues are always helpful; for instance, frame No. 1 warns of horse float crossings ahead. Or you may want to take a drive using Google Street View. Then again it is such a beautiful day, you may want to take a real drive and capture an up to date picture as well.

Frame No. 1 – EDHS_03179; Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 5 strips
Kodak GA100 5095
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

In frames No. 0 and No. 1 there appears to be a small stone building not far from the road, visible near the horse warning signage.

Frame No. 2 – EDHS_03179; Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 5 strips
Kodak GA100 5095
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Frame No. 3 – EDHS_03179; Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 5 strips
Kodak GA100 5095
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Frame No. 4 – EDHS_03179; Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 5 strips
Kodak GA100 5095
(From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Can you identify these? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

Eltham’s first Rate Books handed over to Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)

The original Shire of Eltham was founded in 1871. Prior to its founding, the district was managed by the Eltham District Road Board, which was established in 1856. The first rate assessment commenced in 1857 for the year ending October 14, 1858.

The honour of being recorded with the first assessment went to a farm of 110 cultivated acres at Lower Plenty, owned by John Porter and occupied by Albert Baines. It was assessed at 6d/acre providing for a rate income of £2 15s.

Eltham Road District; Assessment for the Year ending October 14th, 1858

In July 2017, officers at the Shire of Nillumbik discovered some early Eltham Road District Assessment books and donated them to the Eltham District Historical Society. We were very excited as we soon realised the seven volumes handed over to us were the district’s first six years of rate assessments. This was a unique and significant record of early settlers in the pre-Shire of Eltham. They immediately became one of the oldest and most valuable items in our collection.

An article on page 5 in the Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser, Friday, 21 November, 1941 titled: ‘District’s Early History‘ states: “The first rate book which is still in existence at the Shire Office is for the year ending October 14, 1858 and is probably the best record possible to indicate the development of the district. At the time properties were rated as follows: Cultivated land. 6d. per acre; pasture land, 1d. per acre: estimated annual value of buildings, etc., 6d in the (pound). The total amount of rate recorded for the year was £153/14/8. Properties were described as being situated at Lower Plenty, Yarra Yarra, Eltham, Lower Eltham, Kangaroo Ground, Yarra Flats, Diamond Creek and the Yarra.”

Given the precious nature of this collection, priority was given to digitise the rate books and place them in suitable archival storage to minimise further handling. Subsequent discussion amongst our Collections team arrived at the conclusion that the most appropriate home for this valuable record was the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), the archive of the State Government of Victoria and who are charged with archiving and caring for all Government related records. An approach was made to PROV and the air of excitement was palpable, just as it had been for us. These records completed their collection of rate assessment books for Eltham.

At a small ceremony held Friday, April 20 at the Local History Centre, Eltham, members of the Society and our Collections team, along with Ms. Vicki Ward, MP for Eltham, presented the seven volumes for 1858-1863 along with the complete set of digital files to Mr. David Taylor, Community Archives Manager and Mr. Charlie Farrugia, Senior Collection Advisor, Public Record Office Victoria.

L-R: Jim Connor (EDHS President), Charlie Farrugia (PROV), Vicki Ward (MP for Eltham), Peter Pidgeon (EDHS Vice President) and David Taylor (PROV); 20 April 2018

“Thank you to the Historical Society for providing us with Eltham’s earliest known rate records. The receipt of these records means that a complete set for the district is now available for researchers to access from the state archives alongside other districts across Victoria. Rate books are a valuable resource for family and property researchers and are amongst our most popular records for those who want to know more about the history of their home. It’s fantastic to be able to add these early books from 1858-1863 to our collection,” David Taylor, Community Archives Manager, Public Record Office Victoria (pictured far right).

Society Vice President, Peter Pidgeon said that whilst the Society was reluctant to see the rate assessment volumes go, it was the right thing to do as they are now re-united with their brothers and sisters and Public Record Office Victoria was best equipped to care for them in a climate controlled environment for perpetuity.

Ms. Vicki Ward, MP for Eltham, with Eltham District’s first rate assessment book for the year ending October 14, 1858 at the Local History Centre, 728 Main Road, Eltham; 20 April 2018
Ms. Vicki Ward, MP for Eltham and Mr. David Taylor, Community Archives Manager, Public Record Office Victoria inspect Eltham’s earliest rate assessment books; 20 April 2018.

This is another example of the extended reach the Society has been able to achieve in being able to catalogue and share our collection via Victorian Collections.

The Society will continue to retain the digital version of these records in our catalogue on Victorian Collections, which are fully accessible as per the following links.

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1858

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1859

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1860 (Version 1)

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1860 (Version 2)

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1861

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1862

Eltham Road District; Assessment, For the Year ending Oct. 14th, 1863

 

Heritage Walk: Edendale Environs – May 5th, 2pm

Saturday, 5th May 2018 at 2.00pm

“The Fences Act 1968” 1989-1994, Tony Trembarth. Sculpture at gateway to Edendale Farm, 30 Gastons Road, Eltham, c.1998 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

Edendale Community Environment Farm in Gastons Road, Eltham now operates as Nillumbik Council’s environmental centre. The historic homestead has undergone a significant restoration and there is on-going development of the site consistent with its community education purpose. The house and the gateway sculpture “The Fences Act 1968” by Tony Trembarth are covered by a Heritage Overlay in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

Eltham North Adventure Playground, Wattletree Road, Eltham, c.1998 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).
Eltham North Adventure Playground, Wattletree Road, Eltham, c.1998 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

Our May excursion will comprise a walk through the farm property and will radiate to other nearby places of historic interest. These will include the site of the Eltham North Adventure Playground to discuss its history and destruction by fire. Also nearby is Colemans Corner where the early road system has undergone some unusual changes. If time permits we may visit some other nearby places of interest.

The Coleman family house, 1905.
L-R: Tom Newton (school teacher, nephew of Mrs Coleman), Mary Coleman (became Mrs Dawes), Mrs Mary Ann Coleman nee Burke; mother of Jack, George and Mary), George Coleman, John (Jack) Coleman (died 1969 aged 75; father of John Jnr and father in law of Margaret nee Dare). (Source: Mrs. M. Coleman, Coleman’s Corner, Eltham; part of the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection No. 745 held jointly between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library))

This short walk on Saturday 5th May will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the car park of the Eltham North Reserve accessed off Wattletree Road, opposite the Eltham North School (Melway ref 21 K 1).

This excursion is free and is open to the general public as well as Society members.

Please note that dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

The phone number for contact on the day is 0409 021 063.

MysteryMonday: Walsh Street, Eltham, c.1989

SOLVED: Near 5 Walsh Street, Eltham; looking east up Walsh Street from near Bolton Street

New speed calming measures, somewhere in the Shire of Eltham, c.1989 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

#MysteryMonday – Today’s image is again of a residential area; once again featuring the new speed calming devices introduced by the Shire of Eltham, circa 1989. These residential roadscapes can sometimes be the hardest to solve unless you are familiar with the road. Given the level of success achieved so far, only two MysteryMonday posts remain unsolved since we started, we think this is a great way to assist us reducing our catalogue backlog.

Can you identify it? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is and help us catalogue this image.

Over to you . . .

New speed calming measures, somewhere in the Shire of Eltham, c.1989 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

April Meeting: Briar Hill Timber and Trading Co Pty Ltd

Annual General Meeting

11th April 2018 at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Our meeting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 11th April 2018 is our Annual General Meeting, which includes the presentation of annual reports and the election of office bearers for the coming year. The official notification of the Annual General Meeting and Agenda are on page 9 of our April Newsletter. Copies will be available on the night at the meeting or can be requested via email to edhsoffice@gmail.com.

Briar Hill Timber & Trading Co. Pty. Ltd, c.1956. Advertisement material promoting association with the Government’s Olympic Village Project for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

At this meeting we are pleased to be able to show a film of the early activities of the Briar Hill Timber and Trading Co Pty Ltd, in Sherbourne Road, Briar Hill. This film details the various operations involved in this business during the 1950s/60s, from sourcing trees and machining the timber through to the manufacturing of various building materials and components.

Bob Manuel, who was an active part of this family owned business will attend our meeting to add his comments and insights about some of the scenes shown.

Frederick and Hazel Squire established this company in 1934 and their properties covered approximately 15 acres, on either side of Sherbourne Road. Their large timber mill that started in 1941 processed timber from Kinglake, Flowerdale and the Otways.

The company was noted for supplying timber to the Australian government for construction during World War Two, as well as joinery for the Heidelberg Olympic Village in the 1950s.

Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.

 

MysteryMonday: Airlie Road, Montmorency, c.1989

SOLVED – Looking east along Airlie Road, Montmorency near No. 51.

New speed hump installation, Shire of Eltham, c.1989 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

#MysteryMonday – Today’s image is again of a residential area; you are all so good in solving these more innocuous ones. It is a great help to us as we just keep putting off cataloguing them until we can positively identify the location. And again, it’s one of those that you either know it or not but everyone will know somewhere that looks like it, which is what can make it difficult. There are no signage clues other than the brand new speed hump signs in the immediate foreground and in the distance at the hard right hand bend. The Shire of Eltham took a number of photographs of new speed hump installations and new kerb and channeling throughout the Shire, circa 1989. Which probably explains why we have so many. Not so interesting at the time but as the development march continues, they become more valuable as a keepsake of what we once had.

Can you identify it? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is and help us catalogue this image.

Over to you . . .

New speed hump installation, Shire of Eltham, c.1989 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society).

ThrowbackThursday: 82 Bible Street, Eltham, 1968

82 Bible Street, Eltham, 1968. (Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)

#ThrowbackThursday – In October 1967 the Shire of Eltham Historical Society was formed, which we celebrated with our 50th anniversary throughout last year. About the same time, newlyweds, a young engineer by the name of Alan Rendle and his wife, Delia moved in to their new home at 82 Bible Street. So we today we time travel back to 1968 for a quick visit to ponder what these newlyweds’ outlook on life would have been from their new home.

For Alan, it was just a short walk up the hill from his previous residence at number 70 Bible Street on the corner of York Street. And from Electoral Roll records we are able to see that Alan and Delia made No. 82 their home at least until the 1980s; so clearly it was a home and location they loved.

Looking southwest across 82 and 84 Bible Street, Eltham, 1967. (Photo: ©Fred Mithchell; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society “Fred Mitchell Collection”, donated by Fred Mitchell)

Situated just north of the highest point on Bible Street, the outlook from the property would have commanded extensive views to the west across the township. Built c.1885 on top of the hill and part of a much larger estate, the home in 1968 remains very rural in its setting on two blocks, numbers 82-84.  As we have mentioned previously, 1967-1968 was the beginning of much change around Eltham and the Rendles were witness to much of this from their veranda. Right outside, in 1968, Bible Street itself was being extensively reconstructed and sealed and new homes were being built. On the north side of the hill the works had been undertaken during 1966-1967 and the southside in 1968. To the northeast, the Rendles would have been witness to the development of Arthur Street to the east and in a further decade the beginnings of the Woodridge Estate.

The photographer and neighbour, Fred Mitchell, noted that this picture was taken before the sale. It is not known if the the Rendles sold off a portion of their land sometime after 1968 or subsequent owners did post 1980 but today the property contains the original house at No. 82 as well as No. 82A (c. 1980) and No. 84 (c. 1985).

82-84 Bible Street, Eltham, March 2014 viewed from the intersection with Taylor Street. (Google Street View March 2014)
Aerial showing the original Rendle property at 82 Bible Street, Eltham (Google Maps Australia 2018)
‘Sunnyside’ Bible Street, Eltham, c.1896. Home of W Taylor, showing family group. Located on top of the hill, the home was built c.1885 and still stands today (No. 82). (Donated by Gordon Tonkinson [Brown/Andrew families]. From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Our Society encourages interest in and the sharing of stories about the local history of the Eltham district in Victoria, Australia