No pasta, no salami, no tinned tomatoes … Italian migrants had to start from scratch when they arrived in Wonthaggi.
If you’d visited Queensferry a century ago, you would have found a seaside settlement with hotels, a licensed colonial wine saloon, three public halls, a store and a series of large and small houses.
By Mrs I K Ledwidge
As Miss Somerset, I was appointed by the Victorian Education Department to the Powlett Coal Field School in 1910. The school was situated opposite the State Mine Office, one of the few buildings that wasn’t a tent in a town of tents that had sprung up, almost miraculously, when the first shaft was lowered for the State Coal Mine in November 1909.
The minute books of the Inverloch Mechanics’ Institute provide a fascinating insight into the social life of a small town over 81 years.
With views of Western Port, Scenic Estate was a developer’s dream and a planning nightmare. John Eddy delves into the history of Phillip Island’s new conservation reserve.
In 1990, the Dalyston School celebrated 90 years, and former pupils shared memories of their school years.
The telegram reigned supreme when Laurie Notley started work at the Wonthaggi Post Office in 1922.
A fine bit of historical detective work has uncovered the story of a Wonthaggi Fire Brigade member who was killed in the First World War. Carolyn Landon reports
The first newspaper reports of Wonthaggi’s “Monster” were mocking, but in later years the tone changed.
By Catherine Watson
A PRIVATE home for boys, a callous superintendent, two dead boys and links to the shadowy world of eugenics … it sounds like the stuff of a thriller.
But they are the elements of a harrowing true story that journalist Joe Fairhurst uncovered in his quest to find out what happened to the two boys, who died horribly at Newhaven on Phillip Island, 11-year-old Freddy in 1926 and 10-year-old Rex in1933.
John Wells guides us on a journey on the Great Southern Railway.
By Kirsty Mawer
SAN Remo residents and visitors are being invited to bring out their old mementoes, memories and photos in a project to record the characters and culture of San Remo’s past.
Carolyn Landon celebrates Kit Sleeman’s exquisite essays on growing up in Wonthaggi.
The Back Beach has exerted a powerful pull on generations of Terri Allen's clan.
By Libby Skidmore
WE SEE so many signs along the roadsides as we travel. Many are quite useful and some are obvious but some make you think! But do you know where the first road sign in Victoria was placed?
At 10.15am on Monday, February 15, 1937, Wonthaggi was rocked by an explosion at No. 20 shaft that killed 13 men.
By John Wells
A talk given to the Wonthaggi and District Historical Society 54 years ago gives an invaluable insight into the lives of the early settlers.
Every December, Alistair Stirton’s family packed up and moved from Wonthaggi to Inverloch. He recalls blissful times on a beachside block.
David Maunders shoots down the theory that the Churchill Island cannon came from the rebel ship Shenandoah.
By John Wells
THERE is a cannon in the gardens of the house on Churchill Island that has caused a great deal of concern in certain quarters. It has also caused me no small worry. In a story I wrote in about 1974 I said the cannon was from the Confederate States of America raider 'Shenandoah'. That was certainly my belief and, indeed, it still is.
In 1841, two Aboriginal men shot and killed two sealers on the beach at what is now called Harmers Haven. Terri Allen relates the events leading up to the murders.
By Nell Sleeman
IN ABOUT 1936, a bunch of Wonthaggi men decided to form a militia. They recruited quite a few young fellows and used the town hall for training and drilling and practised once a week, then at weekends they went on training exercises. They had Army uniforms and used to swank about thinking they were God’s gift to humanity.
The name McHaffie has been synonymous with Phillip Island for more than a century and a half. The story starts with a lady and a lamp.
On Christmas Day in 1909, a young man called John Price Jones, newly arrived on the Powlett River coal fields, sat down to write to his family in Wales. More than a century later, the letter provides a rare first-hand account of Wonthaggi’s beginnings.
Three generations of Terri Allen's family have lived in Frog Hollow, on the outskirts of Wonthaggi.
Local history 2017
Essays on Bass Coast local history