Greensborough Historical Society

The European settlement of Greensborough was from 1839 onward and has an abundance of history, much of which hasn’t been told. The Society’s aim is to collect, catalogue, preserve and share the history and heritage of Greensborough and its environs from the earliest records to the present time. Whilst called Greensborough Historical Society, its coverage is not limited to that area alone and includes Greensborough, Watsonia, Macleod, Montmorency, Briar Hill, St Helena, Lower Plenty and Bundoora.

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Recent Articles

  • Last meeting for 2019

    By Sue Ballantyne, November 2019

    Join us for our final meeting of 2019. Venue: Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Community Drive Greensborough Date: Friday 29th November Start time: 1.15pm Bring a friend. All welcome!

    A picnic in Greensborough 1934
    Overlooking the township of Greensborough [Rose Series postcard]

    Norm Colvin, GHS Secretary has a wide knowledge of the area. He will present “An eclectic collection of local oddments found throughout 2019”. This will include photographs of the area, both old and new, and some archival film footage of the local area including Yallambie House. Always worth listening to, Norm will start conversations on each of the items. Be prepared to share your knowledge of the area with us! Afternoon tea provided, with a Christmas theme. And don't forget our final Social Morning Tea at Greensborough Plaza on Tuesday 10th December at 10am. Meet near Muffin Break for a coffee and a chat. Bring a friend, all welcome

  • Nepean Street - Fact or Fiction?

    By Peter Simmenauer, June 2019

    GHS member Peter Simmenauer has been researching the Glengarriff Estate in Montmorency and is seeking information on this house in Nepean Street. If anyone has any information for Peter, please contact the Society via this website.

    216 Nepean Street

    NEPEAN STREET - FACT OR FICTION? A few months ago, one of my neighbours said that the house of one of their neighbours, 216 Nepean Street (formerly Arthur Street) Greensborough, was the oldest in the street, and had been owned by someone who had farmed the land. I thought this was worth investigating, and started to identify past owners by checking Certificates of Title. I knew that the land was part of Grace Park, owned by Frederick Augustus Nell, who had bought the land in 1877 from John Brown, the original Crown Grantee. (see Grace Park and the Nell Family in the GHS Collection) Working back from the current owners (since 1997), I found that part of the large (81 x 200 ft.) block had originally been purchased from Nell's Estate by Thomas Moylan on 15/6/1916, part to Arthur Marshall on 17/12/1919, and another part by Peter Grunden on 17/2/1926. Marshall had subdivided and sold a part to Frank Howard, who had sold some to Annie Veness on 17/3/1944 (she had been a landholder in the area since 1929). Now it gets more complicated. Moylan, Grunden and Veness all sold land to Harold and Mavis Waldron, a block each in 1954 and a further three blocks in 1961 (each described as part of Lot 1, LP 50685 reg. 9/10/1959). The latter blocks were consolidated on 1/5/1961 into C/T Vol. 8322 Fol. 237), on which the Waldrons were registered as joint proprietors. The block was resold in 1996 to Clarence & Margaret Roberts in 1966, to Stephen & Sharon Goodes in 1983, to Stephen & Katrina FitzPatrick in 1992 and to the current owner in 1997. The occupations of the earlier purchasers were Clerk, Electrician, Property Salesman, Traveller, Spinster and Carpenter - not a farmer among them! So, was my neighbour being imaginative? He had lived there for nearly 50 years, and seemed to know the history of the street and its residents pretty well. Given the location of the house (photograph attached), which is very probably built prior to World War 2, before the consolidation of titles, and its apparent extension to the east, it may well have been built on the central (Grunden's) section of the current block and the surrounding land used either as a small domestic farm or as part of a larger, leased group of properties before my friend came to live there. Does anyone out there know? Peter Simmenauer September 2018 References: Certificates of Title 3972/282, 5096/007, 6681/194, 8322/237, 112861/559, LP 50685 Ed. 1

  • Charles Henry Swanwick

    By World War I Project, April 2016

    Charles Henry Swanwick is listed on the Greensborough Primary School Honour Board. Greensborough Historical Society World War I Project has researched each soldier using the Australian War Memorial/National Archives Australia websites, the Digger database and newspapers via Trove. Thanks to family members who have provided information and photographs. Additional information is always welcome and can be sent to GHS via

    Charles Henry Swanwick Service No. 1819 Rank: Private Unit: Not assigned Charles was born in Kilmore in 1895, his parents were William Henry Swanwick and Martha Wellard. He was living in Nagambie and employed as a motor driver when he enlisted on 6th January 1915, aged 19 years. He gave his father who was a Senior Constable of Police as next of kin. His father gave written permission for Charles to enlist. Charles was not allocated to a unit. His military record does not say why and there is no mention of a discharge. However, as he was only 5 feet, 5 ½ inches in height he may have been rejected as too short? It wasn’t until July 1915 that the height requirement was reduced to 5 feet, 2 inches. Charles Swanwick is listed on the Greensborough Primary School Honour board.

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Meeting Dates

Dates for 2019: The Society meets once per month. General Meetings are held on alternate Fridays ('odd' months, starting January - except for 2019 due to Australia Day holiday) and the informal forums are held on the alternate Saturday ('even' months, starting February) at Greenhills Neighbourhood House: Community Drive, off St Helena Road. Meetings begin at 1.15pm. Any changes to the venue, dates or times will posted on this site so please check regularly before the meeting date. All members and visitors are most welcome to attend these informative and friendly meetings. The History Resource Centre is open on Thursdays between 10:00am and 3:00pm., and on selected weekends at corner of Glenauburn and Para Road, Lower Plenty 3093. In 2019, Thursdays will resume on January 17th. Committee meetings for 2019: Wednesday: 17/07, 14/08, 18/09, 16/10, 20/11. Contact Noel or other Committee members with your suggestions for activities or projects. Meeting dates for 2019: All held at Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Community Drive, Greensborough, commencing at 1.15pm. Check on home page for updates on speakers and activities 26/07/19 Friday 1.15pm 31/08/19 Saturday 1.15pm 20/09/19 Friday 1.15pm - AGM (moved to avoid Grand Final Eve public holiday) 26/10/19 Saturday 1.15pm Heritage Meeting (other activities will take place in the morning) Check home page in October for details. 29/11/19 Friday 1.15 pm Christmas Meeting SOCIAL MORNING TEAS 2019: Held on Tuesday morning, this is a social occasion, not a formal meeting. All members and guests are welcome. Generally held near Muffin Break on the top level of Greensborough Plaza. Tuesday 13/08, 08/10, 10/12. OPEN DAYS AT THE RESOURCE CENTRE 2019: Open Days for 2019: 11/08/19 (Sunday) and 12/10/19 (Saturday). Hours are 1.00pm to 4.00pm. The Resource Centre at Glenauburn Road Lower Plenty is open every Thursday (10am - 3pm) .

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Membership Information

The Greensborough Historical Society always welcomes new members and visitors to its meetings and functions. If your interests are historical, heritage or family history, you are welcome to join us. Membership is another valued contribution to help the Society record the district's history and heritage and we hope you will join with us to contribute your time, knowledge and skills in the many activities and projects the Society undertakes and promotes.

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Request For Help

  • Local Information and Photos

    Huitt's Tearooms, now the site of Safeway Greensborough
    Main Street Greensborough

    Here at Greensborough Historical Society we are always looking for information and photos of the area in days gone by. If you or your family lived in Greensborough, Watsonia, Macleod, Montmorency, Lower Plenty or Bundoora, we'd love to hear from you! We can scan photos and return the originals to you, or you could email digital photos to If you are interested in sharing your story through an oral history interview, please contact the Society. We look forward to hearing from you.

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