Monday, June 16, 2014

Lochaber Farm

Lochaber cottage was home to two generations of the Smith Family, located at the present address of 45 harvest Home Road, Epping.  Two of the twelve Smith children are pictured here with their father in front of their bluestone farmhouse in c.1918.  “Mr Robert Smith (pictured at right) spent his lifetime in this and surrounding districts, and has always been an inspiration to his friends by his diligence, good heartedness and ever ready to help characteristics” (Advertiser, 1933).  Owning and living at the farm from 1884 Robert Smith named it after his birthplace near Inverness in Scotland.  Son Roy Smith who served as a Councillor and later President of the then Shire of Whittlesea, took over the farm until its sale in 1944. An early example of rock-faced stone construction, the cottage is thought to date from c.1865 when the farm was owned by John Mason.  Its modest scale, bluestone construction, and simple plan form and detailing are typical of mid-nineteenth century farmhouses in the rural Victoria. The Smith family, are referred to in “Nature’s Plenty: a history of the City of Whittlesea”  by Jones and makes mention of the WW1 service of a Robert Smith and then his subsequent service on the local council.  If you have any photos or further information on Lochaber Cottage and the Smith Family or of the Epping area the library would like to arrange a copy for our collection.  Please contact us

Monday, June 02, 2014

Victorian Community History Awards

The 2014 Victorian Community History Awards organised by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria are now open.  Entry is open to all Australian residents but works must substantially relate to the history of Victoria. Works may take on several formats, including printed, multimedia, walks etc but must be of a historical nature.  Family histories are generally not included unless they contain substantial content relevant to the development of a Victorian district. Works must be published between 1st July 2013 and 30th June 2014.
Entries from community groups and individuals are encouraged. 
Entries close on 1st August 2014
Information including categories of  the Awards are available from the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Call for Toorourrong Stories

A working group has been formed as part of the Whittlesea Bushfire Memorial Group to source photos, information and stories concerning the Toorourrong Reservoir from its inception in the 1860’s to the present day, including the devastating 2009 bushfires. 
The rotunda at Toorourrong that was situated near the carpark, surprisingly was one of the few structures that survived the bushfire and is to be refurbished and will contain the story of the reservoir, the park, the people who maintained it, the community who enjoyed it and the volunteers and emergency services who assisted on Black Saturday.
An afternoon will be held at Whittlesea Masonic Lodge, Beech Street, Whittlesea on Sunday, 29th June, 2014 from 2pm to 4pm for anyone who may have photos and stories to share. 
Further information please contact Jan Hyndman on 9464 0001 or Fay Zanatta on 9716 2236.
We would also appreciate any donations or recollections for the local history collection at Mill Park Library. Please contact the Local History Librarian

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Preserving and sharing local history

Local organizations will reap the benefits from successful applications via the Local History Grants Program announced today by the Minister of the Arts Heidi Victoria.
 Congratulations to Shire of Nillumbik for its Nillumbik Heritage Boioklet update project and the Greensborough Historical Society for the production of a website.
Springthorpe Owners Corporation based in Bundoora on the border of Banyule and Darebin has also received successful funding for their heritage project.
More information on the successful organisations and their projects can be found on the Premier's website.