Rosedale & District Historical Society Inc.

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The History of Our Building

In 1872 the newly formed Rosedale Shire Council decided a new building was required for the activities of the council. After considering various options for the design and location of the building, a site at the southern end of Lyons Street was chosen. The building was constructed by George McKerrow in 1873. The hall cost £424 7s to construct. The first Council meeting was held in the new building in July 1873, although there doesn't appear to have been any official ceremony to mark the opening of the building.

building03 The photo on the right shows the Rosedale Council Chambers in 1884.

However, the foundations proved to be inadequate. By 1912 the building had many cracks in the walls and was in a bad state of repair. After 40 years of service the building was demolished and a new Shire Hall was erected on the same site.

building02 The photo on the left shows a sketch of the Rosedale Shire Hall in 1913.

The 1913 Rosedale Shire Hall was officially opened with much fanfare. The new building was designed by the architectual firm of Gibbs & Finlay. It was the last major construction of William Allen, then aged 85 years, a well-known local builder. The original building contained the council chambers, secretary's office, engineer's office and a contractor's room

building01 The photo on the right shows the Rosedale Shire Councillors in 1914.

The Rosedale Shire Councillors in 1914 (Left to Right) were Cr. T. Kenevan, Cr. G. Davis, Cr. J. Widdis, Mr. J. S. Lester (Shire Secretary), Mr. H. L. Keys (Shire Engineer), Mr. G. C. Carlson (Rosedale Courier-Standing), Mr. W. Chappell (Traralgon Journal-Standing), Cr. A. G. Futcher (President), Mr. H. A. Luke (Sale Mercury), Cr. E. J. Crooke, Cr. T. A. Umphelby, Cr. D. Morgan, Cr. W. A. Lang and Cr. W. Henderson.

In 1938 the building underwent long overdue internal and external repairs, and improvements. Trees were planted to beautify the grounds. More trees were also planted in 1945.

In 1961 the building was substantially altered to provide additional space and an attempt to modernise its appearance was made. Additions were built on the front, north and rear of the orginial building. The interior of the building was changed. Some of the decorative features were also removed.

The building was used by the Rosedale Shire until 1969.

In May 1971 the building became the home of the Rosedale Pre-School. In May 2006 the Pre-School was relocated to the new Community Centre across the road.

The Rosedale and District Historical Society purchased the building in 2008 and opened its new rooms in the 1913 Rosedale Shire Hall on 14 June 2009.

To commemorate the centenary of this building in 2013 a Memorial Rose Garden was created. Roses with plaques can be purchased by descendants of early settlers and pioneers of Rosedale prior to 1900 in memory of their ancestors. Pavers for the pathway can be purchased to honour those people associated with the old Rosedale Shire (see details).

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