Keilor Historical Society Inc.1990
Highlights which exemplify the features of Keilor Region.

Caroline Chisholm Shelter Sheds, 1855

Photo left: Scrapbook of Caroline Chisholm. (When photographed was in the collection of the Hoban Family, now in the Immigration Museum Collection.)

In 1854 Caroline Chisholm ('The Emigrants Friend') began her campaign to provide cheap and safe accommodation for families of Diggers, as well as newly-arrived immigrants, along the track to the Gold Fields.

In April 1855 tenders for the erection of ten "Shelter Sheds" or "Protection Posts" were sought in the Government Gazette at the following locations: Essendon, Keilor, Robertsons, The Gap, Gisborne, The Black Forest, Woodend, Carlsruhe, Malmsbury and Elphinstone.

Richard Fitzgerald won the contract to build ten shelters at a cost of 3,800 pounds and to provide ten stoves at 100 pounds. By November 1855 they were ready for occupation. The cost per night for an adult was one shilling and for a child sixpence.

The site of the former shelter shed at Keilor is located on Old Calder Highway and as you enter the Village along this highway you will see the site and historic panel recording the history of the sheds to your right after you have crossed the Maribyrnong River.

Caroline Chisholm (1808-1877)
Caroline Chisholm was born in England. She arrived in Australia in 1838 and set up a home for other women who had come to live here. She worked to improve life on the ships bringing people to Australia to start a new life and started a loans plan to bring poor children and families to Australia. She arranged free trips so that the families of convicts who were transported to Australia could come to join them. She also believed poor people should be able to buy farms cheaply

(Source: Biographies - Curriculum Corporation)