Tag Archives: Montmorency Farm

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

Heritage Walk: Montmorency – the farm on the Plenty – 4 July, 2pm

Saturday 4th July 2015 at 2.00pm

For some years now Maureen Jones has been researching the history of Montmorency Farm and its transformation into the present day suburb of Montmorency. The story begins with Stuart
Donaldson’s 1840 purchase of 925 acres of Crown land extending from the Plenty River to the western boundary of the future Eltham township. The farm remained largely intact until some years after the railway was constructed through it in 1901. Maureen’s book on this subject is expected to be released later this year.

Seed nursery c.1965, Sims Road, Montmorency
Seed nursery c.1965, Sims Road, Montmorency

For our excursion on 4th July we intend to walk along the full length of the western boundary of the former farm from south to north. We will mainly be following paths along the Plenty River. Near Sims Road there is the opportunity to visit the location of the former farm homestead. No former farm features remain but Maureen will provide commentary on the farm and its people as we go.

Looking across to poultry sheds and Para Road shops, c.1967
Looking across to poultry sheds and Para Road shops, c.1967

This walk is about 2.5 km in length and will take 2 to 2.5 hours. It will start at 2pm at Palara Court, Montmorency. (Melway ref.21 B6). Please note that this is a one way walk finishing near
Greensborough railway station. Participants can return to the start on the 901 bus (bring your Myki card), by walking independently or by arranging some other means of transport.

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

Fayrefield Hat Factory

A former hat factory in Sherbourne Road Eltham has in the past been used for various purposes and a self storage business currently operates from these premises.

The Karingal Yallock Creek passes through the front of the land and the creek environs are the subject of significant and unusual landscaping works, including some cascading water channels. Some of the landscaping was damaged by the Christmas Day floods of 2011, but the main elements remain intact.

The landscaped area (as distinct from the factory itself) is the subject of a Heritage Overlay under the Nillumbik Planning Scheme. The basis of this overlay is a Heritage Report by Graeme Butler and Associates in 2006. As well as an assessment of the landscaped area, it includes one background information on the history of the site (although a complete history would require more research).

The site was part of Crown Portion 3 of the Parish of Nillumbik that remained as the Montmorency Farm until early in the twentieth century. The 1911 subdivision of this farm created Lot 7 of some seven acres, which is the site of this factory. The Heritage Report lists the various owners of the site. From the rate records and aerial photos it is concluded that the site was used as an orchard and farmland until the 1940s. William F Crellin, orchardist, owned the site from 1912 to 1923. Then Edmund Williams owned it until 1951.

In 1955 the site was owned by Rupert V. Kirsch and this is the name anecdotally associated with the hat factory, where the well-known brand of Fayrefield Hats were manufactured. There is some belief that this was built about the time of the Second World War and that hats for the armed forces were made there.

The featured aerial photo from the early 1950s held by the Society shows that part of the factory complex had been built then.

Other reference items of interest include:

The Hat Factory – a personal recollection of the hat factory and followup feature on the gardens, Hat Factory Revisited

The fish pond which was part of the landscaped gardens emerged into the Victorian skateboarding scene in 1977.

Fort Knox Self Storage Tips It’s Hat To A Historical Past

A series of eight photos showing various internal views of the hat factory and staff members at Christmas 1959, held by the State Library of Victoria, can be accessed via Trove