Monday, 24 June 2013

State Library of Victoria Local History treasures

I am going to tell you today about some of the treasures at the State Library of Victoria. They have lots of treasures, but these ones relate specifically to local history.  Firstly, they have  a huge range of digitised photographs and secondly they have  a great range of digitised historic maps. I did  a search on Gembrook, but could have chosen any other town in Victoria and I found this Real Estate poster, advertising 'Holiday home blocks'. It isn't dated but it is after 1900 when the Ferntree Gully to Gembrook railway line opened on December 19. This railway line is, of course, the Puffing Billy line.

Gembrook Hills holiday home blocks [cartographic material]. 
State Library of Victoria collection.

People came to Gembrook for the fresh country air and the spectacular scenery, as shown in these images below.

Fairies Delight, Gembrook 1908.
State Library of Victoria  Image H2009.192/3.
Ferns in the Gully, Gembrook.
State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2170

If you want to know what resources the State Library of Victoria  have in their collection which relate to your town, then go to their website and just type in  a name.  You can then narrow the search by item type such as Maps or Photographs. Happy searching!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Dandenong Stock Market

The Dandenong Market was originally located on the corner of Lonsdale and McCrae Streets and opened in 1866. It moved to its present location on Clow Street around 1926 and in 1958 the stockyards moved to Cheltenham Road.  The Dandenong Stock Market was the last municipal owned and operated facility in Victoria, and closed on December 22, 1998. The stock market site is now Metro Village 3175, a housing estate.

The Market isn't part of the City of Casey or Shire of Cardinia, but  the history of our area is historically linked to Dandenong as it was a service town to the surrounding area. For instance, Dandenong had a large public hospital with specialists. It was also where the local children went to High School (read more about the Dandenong High School here). Dandenong was also the major shopping area for people from the surrounding area  and in the 1970s, when I was at Koo-Wee-Rup High School,  a trip to the Dandenong market to buy clothes and other goods was a ritual for many. Plus, Dandenong also had a Lindsay's store (which became Target) near Vanity Court. I remember both my sisters had a skirt from Lindsays - one had a bias cut, checked 'maxi' skirt and the other a short, checked, almost sun-ray pleated skirt. We were a family of home dress makers so it was quite unusual to buy clothes.

Farmers from the surrounding area also took their produce to the Dandenong market. When my father was fifteen, in 1948, his family purchased a Austin A40 ute from Brenchley's Garage at Garfield. Dad taught himself to drive and although he was underage, he used to drive his parents from Cora Lynn to the Dandenong market where they sold their eggs, chooks and calves (all carried on the back of the ute). Apparently not having a license was no obstacle to driving in those days.

These photographs are of the Dandenong Stock Market at its Cheltenham Road location, and were taken by the City of Berwick on October 27, 1992. They are labelled as 'University site suggested by Dandenong', so I assume it was once considered a possible site for the Monash University campus that was built in Berwick.

Stock pens at the market.

Stock pens.

 With stock markets, come stock crates.

Loading bays.

Wash down bays for the trucks. What you don't get with these pictures is the stench of  effluent, that was all  pervading.

Poultry sheds.