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European History – 1800-1900

  1. 1802

    A naval exploring ship with colonial-surveyor Charles Grimes on board visits from Sydney and describes the St Kilda coastline. Two emus are sighted at Elwood.

  2. 1835

    A whaleboat from the schooner Enterprise, privately financed by J.P. Fawkner, lands at Elwood on its way to founding an unofficial civilian settlement on the banks of the Yarra River which will later be called Melbourne.

  3. 1839

    First grazing lease granted to Benjamin Baxter who builds a stockman’s hut in what is now Alfred Square. St Kilda Hill is known as Green Knoll.

  4. 1840

    Scottish immigrants on the Glen Huntly fever ship are confined at Point Ormond which becomes Victoria’s first Quarantine Station and, after the death of three passengers, St Kilda’s first graveyard.

  5. 1842

    Jan & Feb, twenty two allotments of land are officially surveyed and the area called “Village of Fareham” after the seaside village in Hampshire probably by the surveyor Thomas H Nutt.

    The name is changed when Superintendent La Trobe, at a champagne picnic on the Green Knoll overlooking the bay, suggests that the area be called ‘St Kilda’ after the schooner-yacht Lady of St Kilda anchored off the foreshore. The yacht, in turn, had been named in 1834 by its then owner Sir Thomas Dyke Acland as a tribute to his intrepid wife who, in 1812, was the first English Lady to be rowed ashore to the remote Hebridean (Scottish) archipelago of St Kilda.

    First Government land sales held on 7th December 1842. Acland Street named after Sir Thomas Dyke Acland. Captain James Ross Lawrence who had sailed the Lady of St Kilda out from England for its new owners buys the first allotment of land in St Kilda, cnr Acland, Fitzroy and Esplanade.

  6. 1847

    Jan 1 & 2, the first St Kilda Cup race carnival is held at the St Kilda Racecourse near the Village Belle. This becomes an annual event until 1869. The running of the Cup is later transferred to the Caulfield Racecourse.

  7. 1851

    The Premier Omnibus Company offers return trips from the Bull and Mouth, Bourke Street to the Royal Hotel, Esplanade in horse drawn vehicles with two services a day at one shilling each way.

  8. 1852

    Oct 16, bushrangers rob nineteen people on the sandy track now called Brighton Road.

  9. 1853

    The St Kilda Pier and Jetty Company is formed to construct the new pier. Mrs Ford provides the first bathing facility south of the pier. A year later, Captain Kenny establishes his baths just north of the pier.

  10. 1854

    The foundation stone of Anglican Christ Church in Acland Street is laid and the building opened 3 years later. This is the first of a score of churches that later include Presbyterian (1855), Congregationalist (1855), Wesleyans (1857), St Mary’s Catholic Church (1859), Free Presbyterians (1864) and Baptist (1876).

  11. 1857

    May 13, the railway line opens linking St Kilda to Melbourne. The professional classes can now easily commute to the city for work, making the area a popular place to live. St Kilda’s first elected Municipal Council meets at the Junction hotel at St Kilda Junction. Early November the Terminus Hotel opens opposite St Kilda station, to be renamed The George Hotel in July 1866.

  12. 1859

    St Kilda’s first town hall is constructed at the rear of the courthouse, corner of Grey and Barkly Streets.

  13. 1871

    The thriving Jewish community builds St Kilda Synagogue, the first of at least four Jewish congregations in St Kilda.

  14. 1874

    Marcus Clarke of Inkerman Street publishes ‘For the Term of His Natural Life’.

  15. 1875

    St Kilda’s State School on Brighton Road is opened.

  16. 1878

    Esplanade Hotel built. A hundred years later it is one of Australia’s most important live music venues.

  17. 1882

    St Kilda Park Primary School opens in Fitzroy Street.

  18. 1888

    June 1, contract let to Georage Higgins, CE for filling in the Elwood swamp for £40,000.

  19. 1889

    May, contract let to Messrs Hendon, Clarke & Anderson for constructing a channel for £14,000.

  20. 1890

    The new St Kilda Town hall, a palatial boom-style palace by William Pitt (1855-1918) architect, is completed on the corner of Carlisle Street and Brighton roads, on a former wetland where Aboriginal people once camped.

  21. 1891

    New brick retaining wall with vaults constructed to widen the north end of the Esplanade. New cable tramway from Windsor station to the St Kilda Esplanade is opened, bringing thousands of day-trippers to St Kilda beaches.

  22. 1897

    St Kilda Football Team joins the VFL from its home base at Junction Oval.