Category Archives: Heritage Walks

Heritage Excursion: Saturday 4th Nov. – The Shillinglaw Farm

Come join Eltham District Historical Society on a walk to follow the boundaries of the original Shillinglaw Farm in central Eltham.

Saturday, 4th November, 2017.

Meet at 2.00 pm in Panther Place Eltham, outside the Eltham Library (Melway Map 21 J5).

The Shillinglaw Farm comprised Lot 90 of Holloway’s 1851 Little Eltham subdivision. It was originally 30 acres in area and situated east of the Diamond Creek and north of Henry Street.

This short walk will include a number of stops to look at early photographs and maps to illustrate the gradual reduction of the Shillinglaw Farm, as well as the early history of the adjacent railway. It will also include many photos of the Eltham Town Centre.

Shillinglaw Cottage Cafe will be open before the excursion for those
who might like a coffee or something else.

This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members. Phone number for contact on the day is 0409 021 063.

Please note that dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

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Heritage Excursion: Saturday 2nd Sept. – An Eltham South Ramble

Photo: Old Main Road Bridge over Diamond Creek, Eltham; a timber trestle bridge which was damaged in the 1924 floods and subsequently replaced in 1926 with a concrete structure. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society) – Turnaround point for this heritage excursion.

Saturday, 2nd September, 2017 at 2.00pm

This walk was originally scheduled for May but for several reasons including inclement weather it had to be postponed. We hope for better luck this time.

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 artist Percy Leason’s house “Landscape” where we will read from Margot Tasca’s recent book on Leason’s life about the construction of the house and studio. Other sites will include White Cloud Cottage, the old buildings of Eltham Primary School and teacher David Clark’s cottage, “Shoestring”. We will walk through the historic Eltham Cemetery and Wingrove Park, a site of Aboriginal significance.

This walk on Saturday 2nd September 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: 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

Heritage Walk: Back – track walk to Fitzsimons Lane – 2 July, 2pm

Saturday 2nd July 2016 at 2.00pm

Robin Woods
‘Robin Woods’ – the house formerly known as ‘Robin Hill’

Today residents of Eltham and beyond take it for granted that they cross the Yarra River at Fitzsimons Lane to travel to Templestowe and further on to southern and eastern suburbs. It has not always been the case. Prior to the building of the Fitzsimons Lane Bridge in 1961 there was no road crossing of the river between Banksia Street Heidelberg and Warrandyte.

Fitzsimons Lane seems an odd name for a main road carrying large volumes of traffic. Prior to the opening of the bridge it was a farm access road extending northerly from Porter Street Templestowe to the Yarra River. Land on the east side was owned by the Fitzsimons family. In 1961 the Country Roads Board constructed a bridge across the Yarra and acquired land to link Fitzsimons Lane with Main Road, Eltham. Much of this land came from the 15 acre property of Frank (Robin) and Margery Robinson Wood. The Woods’ house was named “Robin Hill”. It remains today with the name “Robin Woods” and fronts Yarra Hill Close, formerly the southern end of Bolton Street. In 1991 a new bridge was built to the west of the original bridge and Fitzsimons Lane was widened to four lanes of traffic.

Our July heritage excursion will be a walk to Yarra Hill Close and Fitzsimons Lane Bridge and will include commentary on the history of this corner of the Town of Eltham. This walk will follow a “there and back” route, that is returning over much the same course. It is about 2.5 km in length and is expected to take 2 to 2.5 hours.

It will start at 2pm at the corner of Bolton Street and Old Eltham Road (Melway ref. 21 F10). This free walk is open to the general public as well as Society members. Dogs are not
permitted on Society excursions.

Everyone is welcome to this free event from the Eltham District Historical Society

All are welcome……… but numbers are limited

Dogs are not permitted on Society excursions.

Phone number of contact on the day is 0409 021 063