The Woodend and District Heritage Society operates a local and family history resource centre. The collection is fully indexed and relates to the Old Shire of Newham & Woodend, Ashbourne, Hesket, early Rochford, part Macedon, part Carlsruhe.
Built in 1870, the court house in Forest St was the second court building in Woodend.
It was used for criminal cases until 1964 and for coroner’s court hearings until the 1970s. Now it’s home to the Woodend & District Heritage Society.
You can find us at Woodend’s old court house every Wednesday, from February to November (10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm).
We are a combined museum and history centre.
Many thousands of artefacts and records relating to the district from 1840 to present day form the collection which is housed in the former Maldon Market House. The Maldon Market House is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The museum has many displays that present a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the district and the archives provide a valuable research resource.
Essendon Historical Society is a non-profit organisation committed to documenting, preserving and promoting the history of the City of Moonee Valley which consists of Airport West, Ascot Vale, Avondale Heights, Essendon, Essendon North, Keilor East, Kensington, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Strathmore, Strathmore Heights as well as parts of Keilor and Flemington.
The Society was formed in 1970 by a group of residents who recognised the importance of preserving all aspects of local history for the benefit of present and future generations.
Early meetings were held in private homes and, later, in the Moonee Ponds Town Hall. In 1981, after a long battle, the Society obtained the use of the old Moonee Ponds Courthouse as its headquarters.
Essendon Historical Society has retained the use of the 1890 building since that time. With somewhere to display and store items of local historical interest, the community was encouraged to assist in building up various collections of local significance.
*Image Source: Essendon Historical Society Collection
The Footscray Historical Society Inc was formed at a public meeting in 1968. The Society actively records, preserves and researches the history of the suburbs within the City of Maribyrnong – Braybrook, Footscray, Kingsville, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Seddon, West Footscray, Tottenham and Yarraville.
The purposes of the Footscray Historical Society are to advance Australian culture by recording and cataloguing the history of the Footscray district. And by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting items of historical significance to the Footscray district for the benefit of the community, advocating for the conservation, restoration and maintenance of buildings and sites of historical significance to the Footscray district for the benefit of the community and fostering public awareness of and interest in, the history of the Footscray district.
Please Note: The Preston Historical Society no longer operates. The resources are now held by Darebin Libraries. Contact 1300 655 355
The Preston Historical Society was established in 1965 and held local history, object and photographic collections.
Australian-Polish community services, community organisation
The Polish Museum and Archives in Australia was established in 1991 as an initiative of a number of people who saw the importance of collecting and preserving historical materials that reflected the individual and community life of Polish immigrants living in Australia.
Monthly meetings open to everybody, quarterly magazine for members, research and publication of books, pro-active in the preservation of historical materials or places.
The Yarrambat Historical Society Inc was formed in 1990 with the mission “To preserve and perpetuate the history of the area and to promote and encourage social interchange between people of all ages who share and interest in our cultural heritage”
The Yarrambat Heritage Museum is by far the largest project undertaken by the Society. The Society took over the site in early 2001 and over the ensuing years has developed the site into an operational Heritage Museum. A grant from the Victorian State Government enabled the relocation of the original 1878 Primary School classroom to the site in 2002.
The Hotham History Project is a community group with an interest in the history of North and West Melbourne. North Melbourne was known as Hotham from the 1850s to 1887.
Activities Include: Researching, writing and publishing the history of North and West Melbourne, and organising history related activities such as walks and talks.
Visit Hotham History Project Bookstore for publications
The Italian Historical Society was established in 1980 to document, preserve and promote the history of Italian migration and settlement in Australia.
Through the ongoing generous support of the Italian community and the Society’s collecting, research and interpretation activities the Society has developed an extensive collection of significant material which includes: A wide range of images, oral histories, ephemera, documents and objects which relate to all aspects of the Italian migration and settlement story.
Plenty Historical Society Inc was formed in February 2001 and comprises a group of people keen to create and nurture an active and sustainable organisation that is assertive in preserving the unique natural and historical environment and culture of Plenty and district in complement with Nillumbik Shire Council’s Heritage Overlay.
Image: Former Plenty Uniting (Methodist) Church building which has recently been relocated to the Plenty Heritage Park, Memorial Drive, Plenty, by the Major Roads Projects Authority (MRPA), a section of VicRoads, as a result of the need to move it from its former site because of major roadworks being undertaken. MRPA acquired the building from the Uniting Church when they acquired the land for road construction. MRPA is donating the building to the Plenty Historical Society Inc. once renovations and significant other works are completed. The building will then become the new home of the Plenty Historical Society inc. It will be some time before the Society gains access to the building, but we are most grateful that firstly our efforts to save the building from possible demolition and have it relocated to the Heritage Park and eventually acquire the church building have been worthwhile.
The church building has been assessed as historical significant on a local level, for its long association with religious community gatherings and activities in the Plenty farming area. It should be seen as a locally significant representative of the Methodist revival of the 1920s, in which rural home missionaries played an important and distinctive role in sustaining local religious communities. Methodism was a Christian sect originating in England from the teachings of Wesley, born out of concern in the 19th century that the established church ‘had little or no desire for the salvation of the masses’ (Benson 1935:8) As a form of ‘social Christianity”\’, it emphasised missionary work among the poor, workers, and remote communities. It was a powerful force in educating the working class and evangelising its moral code. Travelling preachers and lay helpers drawn from its own ranks thus quickly multiplied and chapels were erected in centres of population predominantly using funds raised from its congregations, The Home Mission, established in 1875 to spread Methodism throughout the remote communities of the British Empire, trained and deployed ‘home missionaries’ who were the ‘shock-troops’ of the church. Their activity made Methodism, despite its relative youth, a strong presence in the colonies and the dominions, and Methodists regularly ranked among the main religious groups in new Victorian settler Communities
The former chapel is locally significant as one of a small number of buildings representing the establishment of the township of Plenty in the 1920s based around its small farming community. Plenty district developed following the arrival of the railway, even though the railway was some distance away. It developed as a community of small farmers. Plenty was then a developing orchard and farming district. Its school opened in 1922, with 29 pupils. The post office opened in 1923. The 1920s, when the church was built was thus an important period of growth in the history of Plenty.
Methodist services were first held at Plenty in 1925, under the auspices of the Diamond Creek Methodist Home Mission Station, which had six churches throughout the Diamond Valley. Other Churches were at Diamond Creek, Arthurs Creek, Cottles Bridge, Hurstbridge and Wattle Glen. In 1925, the Victorian Methodist Church encouraged the building of new country churches by offering £50 to communities who could raise £100. The Methodists of Plenty took advantage of the offer, and their wooden chapel was opened in December 1925. Within five years of opening the church was debt free. (Source: “Independent Panel Hearing Statement of Evidence on Former Methodist Church” January 2012)
The Altona Historical Society was formed in 1961, incorporated in 1996 and in 2000 amalgamated with the Laverton Historical Society to form the Altona-Laverton Historical Society Inc.
Its aim is to encourage the study of the history of Altona and Laverton area through the acquisition of relevant objects, photographs, information and archive material, making these available to members and the community for their research.
The society also hosts a number of events at the Altona homestead and in the park including ghost tours organised by Lantern Ghost Tours and visits by many clubs and schools. Information about these events can be found by visiting the Altona-Laverton Historical Society website.