Glen Eira is named after two landmarks; the road that runs from Brighton Road through Caulfield to the Racecourse and Henry Ricketson’s mansion in Kooyong Road, which became Australian General Hospital No. 11 during the First World War.
The history of Glen Eira is a tale of two cities that came together in 1994 when the suburbs of Ormond East, McKinnon, Bentleigh and Bentleigh East in the City of Moorabbin joined the City of Caulfield to become the new City of Glen Eira.
The Caulfield District Road Board was established in 1857 and the Moorabbin District Road Board a few years later in 1862. A history of these areas is well documented in official histories of the former City of Caulfield and the former City of Moorabbin along with various other publications listed on this website. Visit Publications and Resources
‘By 1850 the bush silence was beginning to be broken. The most portentous foreign sound was the crack of the drover’s whip. It startled the wildfowl on the swamps and the animals on the eastern heathlands. The sound meant that another mob of Gippsland livestock was on the move. Rested and watered in Caulfield, these prime animals would fetch a top price in Melbourne’s markets next morning.’
(Sand, Swamp and Heath…A History of Caulfield, Murray and Wells, 1980, p1)
‘Caulfield has been, for most of its history a pleasant and prestigious place to live – a district of wide tree-lined streets, of private homes in garden settings of schools and places of worship.’
(Caulfield Heritage, Geulah Solomon, 1989, p5)
In the 1850s many settlers of this area were market gardeners coming from England, Scotland and Ireland. They grew vegetables and wheat, had large orchards, even grape vines were popular until they were wiped out with “blight”.
With the coming of the rail in 1884 more people were attracted to the Moorabbin area and by the 1920s land subdivision and commercial development were happening and small villages appearing.
After the Second World War, more and more houses were built, local traders established grocery shops, green-grocers, bakeries, hardware, chemists, delicatessens, butchers and milk bar/lolly shops. By the 1950s/60s large shopping strips were well established; Centre Road Bentleigh being the main one but there were still market gardens in the East Bentleigh area.
(Moorabbin: A Pictorial History 1862-1994, John Cribbin/City of Kingston, 1995)
Street and Road Names
From sand, swamp and heath...A history of Caulfield, Peter R Murray and John C Wells, (City of Caulfield, 1980) Street and Road names.pdf
Fmr Union Church – Victorian Heritage Register H0704
84-86 Orrong Road, Elsternwick https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/428 The first meetings of what was to become the Caulfield Union Church began in July 1856 in the home of Mr Thomas Watts. These were the first religious meetings of any denomination to be...
TRINITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
By J. O’Donnell, B.A., B.Ed. The history of most of eastern part of the City of Caulfield is as old as that of the west, and is less obvious to the beholder as few large mansions were erected in the area. Probably the best-known and most ‘romantic’ aspect of its past...
THOMAS CHRISTIAN AND ‘MYOORA’
By J. O’Donnell, B.A., B.Ed. One of the Glen Eira’s largest old mansions, ‘Myoora’, stands in Alma Road near its intersection with Hawthorn and Dandenong Roads. Like ‘Craigellachie’ in Orrong Road, it is the result of its owner’s good fortune on the goldfields. In...
THE HOWITTS AND ‘ROSEMONT’
By J. McClure, B.A., B.Ed. for Caulfield Historical Society Newsletter February 1973 There are two reminders in Caulfield of the Howitts: an old house in Kooyong Road called “ ‘Rosemont’, and Howitt Street nearby. The Howitts were a gifted family with a wide range of...
The Glen Huntly Community Singers
Who, among our older generation, and perhaps some who are not so old, fail to remember with a sense of nostalgia, the days of Community Singing, which was held in the halls throughout Victoria? This form of entertainment was made so very popular during the 1930’s by...
The Barque “Glen Huntly”
The Barque “Glen Huntly” was a sailing ship of 505 tons as recorded in the Register of Shipping, not 430 tens described in the Custom House books. She was registered in Scotland, and was a member of the fleet of “Glen” ships. The Glen Huntly sailed from Oban,...
Recollections of Margery Bromfield
I was born Margery Reed, at Ballarat in 1904. Before moving to Caulfield, I lived with my parents, one sister and one brother, at Jeetho, and Jumbunna, in South Gippsland. In 1910 my family moved to Nathan Grove, Caulfield, near the corner of North and Hawthorn Roads....
Gardenvale Park (An idea last century; reality this century)
Caulfield’s transition from being a pastoral area, where the wealthy built their mansions far from the bustling city, to being a densely settled suburb occurred gradually but not at a constant pace. The Caulfield Roads Board was established in 1857 and one of their...
An article from The Prahran Telegraph, November 15, 1913 provides information on traders in early Elsternwick including, The Beddoes, The Elsternwick Tradesmen’s Club, W. H. Nicholson Grocer, F.C. Smyth Grocer, Butcher and Robertson Estate Agents, Waller & Co.,...