Our History

Key Dates

Eastern Kulin Nations

Victoria is home to indigenous nations who have inhabited the land for thousands of years. The City of Stonnington covers part of the indigenous Boonwurrung language area.

1840 First Crown land sales

The first sale of crown land in the area occurred on 6 June 1840 when twenty-two allotments, totalling 911 acres, raised over 17,600 pounds.

1854 Prahran Mechanics’ Institute

Following meetings convened by Rev William Moss in 1854, the Prahran Mechanics’ Institute (now the PMI Victorian History Library) was established for the “mental and moral improvement and rational amusement of its members”.

1855 Wattle Tree Hotel

In November 1856, a meeting was held at the Wattle Tree Hotel to elect the first members of the Board (forerunner to Malvern Council).

1861 Prahran Town Hall

In May 1856, the Public Works Committee reported that land on the corner of Chapel Street and Greville Street was ideal for the erection of a courthouse and lockup.

1885 Victoria Gardens

On 7 August 1885, Victoria Gardens were named and formally opened by Lady Elizabeth Loch, wife of the Governor of Victoria, in the presence of the Mayor, Cr George Taylor, and the Town Clerk, Albert Ely.

1886 Malvern Shire Hall

Planning for a Shire Hall in the Gardiner Road District commenced as early as 1867. In 1878 land at the corner of High Street and Glenferrie Road, Malvern was reserved for a Shire Hall, Court House and Library.

1889 Northbrook, High Street, Malvern

Northbrook, a large Italianate-style home of seven principal rooms with a 160-sq metre ballroom, timber outhouse (since demolished) and brick stables, was designed by prominent London-born architect Charles Abraham D’Ebro.

1890 Stonington, Glenferrie Road Malvern

Stonington was built in 1890 as a private residence for John Wagner, who had gained much of his wealth in gold mining and was a partner, with Alexander William Robertson, in Cobb & Co coaches.

1890 Malvern Gardens

Malvern Gardens were opened by Duncan Gillies M.P. on 12 December 1890. The area had been a water reservation since 1856. Before 1869, the natural spring had supplied the developing suburb with water.

1891 Prahran Market

In 1864, it appears Prahran Council purchased land west of Izett Street fronting Greville Street, for use as a market site, although this intention was never officially documented.

1908 Formation of The Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust

The Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT) was formed in 1908 to construct and operate municipal electric tramways. Cable trams had been running in Prahran since 1888.

1920 Kooyong Tennis Centre (LTAV)

Initially, land at Kooyong was considered to be inaccessible and subject to flooding. However in 1920, to accommodate the growing popularity of tennis, a seventeen acre (6.8 hectares) site was purchased.

1929 Herring Island created

Floods have always presented a threat to property development along the lower reaches of the Yarra River. This is in part due to the numerous bends in the river that restrict the rate at which water can flow towards the Bay.

1946 Holmesglen Housing Factory

The Holmesglen Housing Factory was established on Batesford Road, Malvern East, to manufacture prefabricated concrete houses.

1958 Cabrini Hospital

In response to an appeal from Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix in 1948, 10 Cabrini Sisters arrived in Melbourne from Rome.

1960 Opening of Chadstone Shopping Centre

Ken Myer returned from a visit to the United States of America with his vision for the future of retailing.

1969 Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre

In 1924, the Malvern City Council voted to build Malvern’s first Municipal Baths. The Malvern Baths were officially opened by Cr. Harry Wilmot, Mayor, City of Malvern, in November 1927.

1970 South Eastern Freeway

Initial construction of the South Eastern Freeway had been completed by the mid-1960s, connecting Burnley to Olympic Park.

1994 City of Stonnington formed

The final meeting of the Malvern Council was held on 8 May 1994 at the Malvern Town Hall and the final meeting of the Prahran Council was held on 15 June 1994 at the Prahran Town Hall.

1995 Chapel off Chapel

The Independent Church, 246 Commercial Road, Prahran, was built in 1859. It was purchased by Prahran Council in the early 1980s.

To view additional Key Dates in Stonnington’s History, please click the link below.