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)