Wednesday, 23 June 2010

City of Casey Heritage Database

The City of Casey Heritage Database is now on-line. This is a list and description of all the properties in the City of Casey which have a Heritage listing. These places are considered important as they enrich our lives and help us to understand the past. There are 184 places on the City of Casey Heritage Scheme, and they range from grand buildings such as Edrington, the home of Lord and Lady Casey, in Berwick to some of the original Housing Commission homes which were built in Doveton in the 1950s. A building can receive Heritage listing because it might be significant example of its type, it might have an association with an event or cultural phase in the community or the building might be of social value.The Heritage Database also includes significant trees; other built structures, for instance bridges; community facilities such as Post Offices and Schools, and precincts or areas, such as the Tooradin Foreshore Reserve.


Tooradin Foreshore, 1930s, low-tide. Photograph taken by Neil Smith, a teacher at Tooradin North State School, from 1935 to 1941. From the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society collection.

We will look at the Tooradin Foreshore Reserve citation to give you an idea of information in the Heritage Study. The Tooradin Foreshore Reserve is of local historic, social and aesthetic significance to the City of Casey. It comprises the entrance gateways, jetty and shelter, seawall and associated mature trees, established between c.1930 and c.1960 at Tooradin. It is significant because historically, it demonstrates the improvements carried out by the Tooradin community to encourage tourism to the area. Socially, it is significant for its strong associations with the local community as a place of recreation over a long period. Aesthetically, it is significant as a picturesque environment, which contributes to the amenity, character and identity of Tooradin.

Tooradin, December 1960. Photograph, taken by Jim Rouse, shows my parents, Frank & Wendy Rouse, with some cousins from Queensland.

Our family - uncle, aunts and cousins - from Cora Lynn and North Garfield - used to got to Tooradin and I have many happy memories of family trips to the beach when I was a child. It is my experience, and that of hundreds of others, of time spent at Tooradin which gives the Foreshore a social significance and this social significance is a factor in the Foreshore receiving a Heritage Listing.

A more typical listing in Heritage Studies would be the Cranbourne Shire Offices, Court House and Post Office. This suite of buildings was constructed between 1875 and 1913. This is listed for its Historic value as the first permanent home of the Cranbourne Shire and it is also the oldest Municipal Building in West Gippsland. It also has a social value to the community as it was the centre for civic and community life in Cranbourne.

Cranbourne Shire Offices, c.1900.

You can search the database by street, town name architectural style or any keyword. There are plans to eventually upload pictures of all the Heritage places onto this database but in the meanwhile the Heritage Database is worth a look to discover the rich heritage of the City of Casey. You can access the Heritage Database via the City of Casey website www.casey.vic.gov.au. Go to Services, Planning then Heritage Databases. Alternatively, just click onto this link http://www.casey.vic.gov.au/heritage/?nav=pdm

This same section of the website also has a link to the Thematic Environmental History (Post European Contact) of the City of Casey. This sounds a bit more complicated than it actually is. It is an interesting and readable look at the development of the area, after the arrival of the Europeans, concentrating on particular themes such as Settling the land, Working the land, Transport and Communication, Towns and Cities. The aim of the publication is to put our history into context and to present the activities or themes which have shaped the development of the City of Casey.

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