Category Archives: Early Eltham

ThrowbackThursday: Willy Wonka’s Icecream Shop

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back in four jumps to the site of 820 Main Road, Eltham;

Photograph: J. Connor 2008

First stop is  around ten years ago c.2007-2008 where we find Eltham Fine Food & Ice-cream, otherwise known locally as Willy Wonka’s given its motorised feature above the ice-cream servery. Many a child would have stood and wondered at this feature whilst waiting for their treats.

Source: Copy held by Eltham District Historical Society of original photograph; photographer unknown

Next leap is 40 years back to the mid 1970s when the shop was then known as Marchant’s Milk Bar.

Source: From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection (No. 702) held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library; originally donated by Bruce Burgoyne to the former Shire of Eltham.

Now we jump back 77 years to 1940 where we meet the original owners, the Burgoyne family standing outside their shop. The extension with entrance to the right was a recent addition which in later years was variously modified and blocked off.

Source: From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection (No. 701) held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library

And finally back approximately one hundred years to its original version, J.N. Burgoyne’s Grocery Store and Post Office.

As always, we’d love for you to share your memories of visits to Willy Wonka’s (Eltham Fine Food & Ice-cream) or to Marchant’s Milk Bar.

Of course it is unlikely that many today will personally remember Burgoyne’s as it was back in its time but it’s great to see the heritage of our area still standing and still being used.

The original Burgoynes store as seen by Google Streetview, Feb 2017

Back to the future and more recently, the shop was known as Sweet D Lites though has since closed. Big changes are now in store for the original building with a development application, initially refused by Nillumbik Council.

In November 2016 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved an application to allow the redevelopment of this property to provide two shops, building and works, including part demolition, alterations and extensions to this existing heritage building and construction of a contemporary addition with three, two-bedroom dwellings, including partly above the roof level of the existing heritage building. The Eltham District Historical Society was an objector at VCAT to this application.

 

 

Heritage Excursion: Eltham Lower Park Walk and Talk – 1st July 2017

Saturday, 1st July, 2017 at 2.00pm

Eltham Lower Park has played an important part in the history of our area since the early days of European settlement when it was used by local residents as an informal racecourse. Prior to that its location at the junction of the Diamond Creek and the Yarra River made it an
important meeting place for the Wurundjeri people.

Australia Day 1968; Members Macedonian Society hold get together at Lower Eltham Park. (From the collection of EDHS: Donated by George W. Bell)

The park combines formal elements and sporting facilities with remnant bushland that is of environmental significance. It is home to sporting and horse riding clubs, popular play spaces and the Diamond Valley Miniature Railway, which attracts large numbers of visitors.

Black and white photograph of Diamond Valley Miniature Railway with a train at the station in the early 1960s (From the collection of EDHS)

The park will be the venue for our July excursion which will comprise a walk of about 3.5 km around the park and adjacent areas. Along the way we will discuss the history and natural history of the area. The path along the creek and the river provides a pleasant and scenic walk.

The walk will start at 2pm at the Main Road car park at the front of the park. (Melway ref 21 H 10).

This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members. Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions. The phone number for contact on the day is 0409 021 063.

Heritage Excursion: An Eltham South Ramble – 6th May 2017

Saturday, 6th May, 2017 at 2.00pm

Early view of Main Road looking south from Brougham Street to Dalton Street; site of the Avenue of Honour in memory of the 1914-1918 War.

In the early days of our Society our excursions were usually bus trips to places of historic interest away from Eltham. For nearly 20 years our excursions have been far more local, mainly comprising walks around many parts of the Eltham district. The first such walk was a leisurely stroll through the Eltham South area.

Although that walk has been repeated several times with some variations it is considered appropriate in this our 50th year to again take a ramble visiting historic sites in Eltham South. On the way we will pass such places as White Cloud Cottage, the old buildings of Eltham Primary School, teacher David Clark’s cottage “Shoestring” and artist Percy Leason’s house “Landscape”. We will walk through the historic Eltham Cemetery and Wingrove Park, a site of Aboriginal significance.

This walk on Saturday 6th May 2017 is about 3.5 km in length and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the Eltham Local History Centre 728 Main Road (Melway ref 21J7). Our early walks finished with a cuppa and biscuit and we will reinstate that feature for this walk.

This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members. Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions. The phone number for contact on the day is 0409 021 063.

Photos of Percy Leason’s Residence Studio “Landscape” by David Bick from the Shire of Eltham Heritage Study 1992.

Source: RESIDENCE AND REAR CONCRETE STUDIO – “LANDSCAPE”, 60 LAVENDER PARK RD – See more at: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/63480

Heritage Excursion: Killeavey Walk and Talk – Saturday 5th November

Saturday, 5th November, 2016 at 2.00pm

Jane Woollard’s book Laughing Waters Road Art Landscape and Memory in Eltham devotes several chapters to the property Killeavey situated on the Yarra River at the end of Reynolds Road, Eltham. Jane has written about the natural history and indigenous history of the area and stories of the family who lived at Killeavey for many years.

Killeavey was the home of Sir William Irvine, Victorian and Federal Parliamentarian and Supreme Court Judge. Later it was the home of his daughter Beatrice Morrison, a significant figure in the Eltham community. The original house was destroyed by fire and its replacement was demolished by Parks Victoria. Its sits high above the Yarra River and contains significant garden remnants. The surrounding bushland is valued for its significant plant communities.

Detail showing the Killeavey stretch of the Yarra River from ‘The Symbiogenesis Project: Laughing Waters 2011 by Aviva Reed and Paul Kalemba (Public Art Collection: Nillumbik Shire Council)

In September 2011 we visited Killeavey but without the benefit of the information more recently available from Jane’s research. We are fortunate that Jane will be joining us on this walk. There will be an extended stop at the house site for a discussion on the environment and history of the area. Inside the cover panels of Jane’s book is a reproduction of the complete artwork from ‘The Symbiogenesis Project: Laughing Waters 2011 by Aviva Reed and Paul Kalemba, as displayed in the Eltham Town Centre.

This walk will start at 2 pm on Saturday 5th November at the corner of Laughing Waters and Overbank Roads, Eltham (Melway ref 22 F 9). It will be a short walk of about 1.5 km along a bush track.

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

Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

Phone number of contact on the day is 0409 021 063

Heritage Excursion: Maroondah Aqueduct Walk – 3 September

Saturday, 3rd September, 2016 at 2.00pm

Abandoned siphon pipes beside the pathway through the aqueduct reserve - Photo: Russell Yeoman
Abandoned siphon pipes beside the pathway through the aqueduct reserve. (Photo: Russell Yeoman)

The Maroondah Aqueduct was once a major link in Melbourne’s water supply system. It was built between 1886 and 1891 to transfer water from the Watts River near Healesville to the Preston Reservoir. It was 66 km in length, made up of 41 km of open channel, 10 km of tunnel through hills and 15 km of pipeline across stream valleys known as inverted siphons.

The section of the aqueduct through the Eltham area has been abandoned since the 1980s but the open channel has largely been retained. A recreational path follows the aqueduct reserve.

For our excursion on 3rd September we intend to walk along the section of the aqueduct adjacent to Allendale Road. This is a section not visited on previous excursions and includes the transition from open channel to the inverted siphon across the Diamond Creek valley. Apart from the aqueduct itself the main feature of the walk is the extensive views across Eltham North and Diamond Creek. Along the way we will talk about the history of the aqueduct and the area.

This easy walk is about 3 km return and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at the junction of Allendale Road with Godber Road and Zig Zag Road North, officially Diamond Creek, but on the northern boundary of Eltham. (Melway ref.12 B10).

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

Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

Phone number of contact on the day is 0409 021 063

February Meeting – Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection

Eltham District Historical Society Meeting

10th February at 8pm

Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, Library Place, Eltham

Our Society is fortunate to have access to digitised images in the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection, through a joint project with the Yarra Plenty Regional Library, funded by a State Government Local History grant. The historic photograph collection was established by the Eltham Shire Council in 1971 and is held at the Eltham Library.

At our first Society meetings in 2014 and 2015 we received positive feedback when we presented and discussed selected images from this collection.

Hon. W.H. Everard, MLA, speaking at the opening of the Eltham Swimming Pool. Late Crs Braid and Kirkland cut the ribbon at opening ceremony of swimming pool. (1936)
Hon. W.H. Everard, MLA, speaking at the opening of the Eltham Swimming Pool. Late Crs Braid and Kirkland cut the ribbon at opening ceremony of swimming pool. (1936) – Image source YPRL

Accordingly this year for our meeting on Wednesday 10th February 2016, at 8.00pm at the Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre, we will again choose a number of photographs of local interest. This time we will consider some images that are unusual or not often viewed so as to encourage comments and contributions from members and visitors.

Introduction and commentary on the pictures will be provided by Russell Yeoman and some other members. Russell has been involved with the collection since its inception when some were used in the 1971 Shire publication: Pioneers and Painters. As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

As at all of our meetings, new members and visitors are most welcome.

Heritage Walk: Eltham Cemetery – 5 March, 2pm

Saturday 5th March 2016 at 2.00pm

Our records contain details of many well known and early pioneers from the Eltham district who are buried in the historic Eltham Cemetery, that was established in 1858 in Mt Pleasant Road on high ground overlooking the then the village of Eltham.

On Saturday 5th March Harry Gilham will again lead members and visitors on a heritage excursion through parts of the cemetery, while
providing background information on selected individuals buried there.

As Harry’s cemetery walks have been popular in the past we encourage you to come along to experience the tranquil surroundings of this picturesque cemetery.

‘A Currawong Takes Flight’ - Sculpture by Michael Wilson
‘A Currawong Takes Flight’ – Sculpture by Michael Wilson

We may even be able to view the recently installed sculpture titled ‘A Currawong Takes Flight’ by Michael Wilson, as described in our newsletter Number 224 of September 2015. This is located at the highest point of the fence-lined border between Montsalvat and
the cemetery. It is close to the last bronze sculpture by Matcham Skipper, titled ‘Young Man Awakening’, commissioned by the Eltham Cemetery Trust to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the cemetery in 2008.

The excursion will start at 2.00pm from the car park entered from Metery Road.

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

Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

Phone number of contact on the day is 0409 021 063