Monday, 21 April 2008


Pearcedale School in the 1930s.
Image: Pearcedale: moments in history (Pearcedale Hall Committee, 2003)

Pearcedale was originally called Langwarrin and was also known at various times as Langwarrin Estate or Old Langwarrin. When the Mornington and Stony Point railway lines opened in the late 1880s, the railway station near the Military Camp (now a Flora and Fauna Reserve) was named Langwarrin. A new town developed east of the railway station and was locally called New Langwarrin. A meeting of rate payers was held in November 1905 and it was voted to rename the original town Pearcedale, to avoid confusion with this new settlement of New Langwarrin. The name Pearcedale came from local landowner Nathaniel Pearce. 

Nathaniel and his wife Mary Grace (nee Hawke) are first listed in the Shire of Cranbourne Rate Books in 1894, when they purchased an orchard on 26 acres (about 10 hectares) at Langwarrin Estate.  Mary Grace, was a midwife and helped deliver many babies in the area. She had eight babies of her own - John 'Jack' (1886 - ?), William Henry 'Bob' (1887- Died of Wounds in France on July 4, 1916), Samuel (1889 - 1925), Catherine (1892 - 1934, married name Roberts), Charlotte (1893 - 1966, married name Hatch), Bessie (1897 - 1987, married name McConville), Nathaniel (1899 - 1973) and Thomas James (1904 - 1973). Nathaniel died  Februry 9, 1918 at the age of 55 and Mary Grace died July 24, 1949 aged 88. They are both buried at the Frankston Cemetery.

Pearcedale Junior Football Team, 1947
Image: Pearcedale: moments in history (Pearcedale Hall Committee, 2003)

The original town of Pearcedale had a slow beginning, read more about it here. In 1889 it had a few shops and a Post Office, Public Hall and Primary School. However the 1890s depression effected the town and the School closed in 1892 and the Post Office in 1893. The School re-opened in 1902 and the Post Office in 1907. The original hall burnt down and the replacement was opened on August 23, 1918. This event was witnessed by 400 people, who were entertained with a concert and a dance which finished at 4.00am. The Methodist Church was opened in 1918, the Anglican Church in 1938. Other Community milestones include the establishment of the Tennis club in the 1920s, the Cricket club in 1926, the Football club in 1929, the Progress Association in 1937 and the Fire Brigade in 1940. Electricty was connected in 1957, the Guides and Scouts both formed in 1957, the R.S.L in 1958 and the Infant Welfare Centre in 1961. Town water was connected in 1962.

You can read about the men who enlisted in the great War from Pearcedale here  in our Casey Cardinia Commemorates: Our War Years.

This information and the photographs are from the book Pearcedale: moments in history, published by the Pearcedale Hall Committee in 2003. The couple pictured on the cover are Nathaniel and Mary Pearce. The building behind is the old hall which was replaced in 1918.

The information about the Pearce family comes from the Indexes to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages; Nathaniel's death notice in The Argus, February 11, 1918, see here; Mary Grace's obituary in the Dandenong Journal of July 27, 1949, see here.

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