Postcards from 100 years ago




  • Collins Street
    As laid out by the surveyor Robert Hoddle, it was exactly one mile in length and one and half chains (99 feet (30 m)) wide. Collins Street was named after Lieutenant-Governor David Collins who led a group of settlers in establishing a short-lived settlement at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne in the early 19th century. He subsequently became the first governor of the colony of Van Diemen's Land, later to become Tasmania.
  • Bourke Street
    Bourke Street is named for Sir Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales (and thus, of Melbourne as well) in 1837 during the drafting of the Hoddle Grid.
  • Swanston Street
    Swanston Street is named after Captain Charles Swanston, a Tasmanian banker and prominent member of the Port Phillip Association.
  • Elizabeth Street
    Elizabeth Street is one of the main north-south streets in the central business district of Melbourne, Australia, part of the Hoddle Grid laid out in 1837. It is presumed to have been named in honour of governor Richard Bourke's wife.
  • Princes Bridge
    On 22 April 1840, a private company was formed to construct a bridge across the Yarra. Traders in Elizabeth Street vied with those in Swanston Street to have the through traffic that would be generated by a bridge. On the south bank of the river, St Kilda Road was still a dirt track.
  • Melbourne
    Founded on 30 August 1835 (in what was then the Colony of New South Wales), by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen's Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837
  • Queen Street
    Queens Street; Spring Street; Queens Bridge
  • Auburn Road, Hawthorne
    The area was first settled in the late 1830s. Is is thought to be named after a native shrubs that looked like flowering Hawthorn bushes.
  • Flinders Street
  • Spring Street



The state of Victoria was originally home to many indigenous nations that had occupied the land for tens of thousands of years.  According to Gary Presland Aborigines have lived in Victoria for about 40,000 years, living a semi-nomadic existence of fishing, hunting and gathering, and farming eels.

Coming from New Zealand in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook in HM Bark Endeavour sighted land at Point Hicks, about 70 km west of Gabo Island, before turning east and north to follow the coast of Australia.  

Ships sailing from the United Kingdom to Sydney crossed the Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean, sailing around Van Diemen's Land before turning north to their destination. Several captains viewed the expanse of water between Van Diemen's Land and the east coast of New South Wales and wondered whether it was a large bay or a strait. Survivors of the Sydney Cove, wrecked in the Furneaux Group of islands, also thought it might be a strait. 

To clear up the question, Governor John Hunter sent George Bass to thoroughly explore the coast in a whaleboat. After reaching Wilsons Promontory and Western Port in January 1798 he was forced by bad weather and lack of provisions to return to Sydney. Bass returned with Matthew Flinders in December 1798 in the Norfolk and sailed through the strait, proving its existence. 

In December 1800, Lieutenant James Grant in HMS Lady Nelson, on way from Cape Town to Sydney, sailed through Bass Strait from west to east. Governor King, disappointed at the vagueness of Grant's chart, sent him back to survey the strait more thoroughly. Bad weather prevented him from proceeding beyond Western Port, where he stayed for five weeks, planting wheat, Indian corn. peas, rice, coffee and potatoes on Churchill Island off Phillip Island. 

In January 1802 Lieutenant John Murray in the Lady Nelson visited Western Port and entered Port Phillip on 14 February. He named Arthur's Seat, explored Corio Bay and formally took possession of the bay (which he named Port King) for Britain. 

Three weeks later the French explorer Nicolas Baudin sailed through the strait from east to west and was the first to properly survey the coast to the west. 

On 26 April 1802, Flinders, unaware of Murray's visit, entered Port Phillip in Investigator, climbed Arthur's Seat, rowed to Mornington and across to the Bellarine Peninsula and climbed the You Yangs. 

340 Glenelg

The Jetty at Glenelg



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