Mount Martha House – History Trail 10

The Shire of Mornington 1978 - 2018     Back to main page  NARRATOR:  Fergus Nutt a local business man and his father have been involved in the Mount Martha area since the 1950’s.   Fergus please will you tell us how Mount Martha House has been involved in the development of the village. John Pingiaro who purchased Mount Martha's first fire truck with his brother John. Fergus Nutt:  The Community Centre has been a focal point for our Community. In 1978 the local residents were concerned about the state of the house.  The Mount Martha Citizens League under [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 9

Mount Martha Community Contact and the living and learning of the community in Mount Martha House   Next Audio Tour Narrator:   In mid-1979,  Mornington Community Contact advertised there was to be a meeting at Mount Martha House with the idea of activating a playgroup.   As a result of that meeting, Jocelyn Kennedy decided to start a playgroup.   Ann Hutchinson and Jocelyn joined forces, and with a few toys, the playgroup began.   These were the first seeds of Mount Martha Community Contact. Image of Jocelyn Kennedy Kidd Jocelyn please will you tell us about your time [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 8

Children at Mount Martha House     Next Audio Tour Narrator:   Since earliest house days, there have always been children at Mount Martha  House.  They had their own accommodation, their Nursemaids came too, they had a separate dining area as well as a covered play area. Daniel, you and your children from the Mount Martha Primary School Grade 3 children would you like to tell us please will you tell us about children who were here at the time. Daniel Vercoe:    They would walk several miles to school, and Mount Martha children walked to Osborne Primary school.  [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 7

Last Hotel Days   Next Audio Tour NARRATOR: Its 1946 and war has ended, and Miss Hunter is employing new staff to look after the returning hotel guests - local Mornington resident Jean Male came here as a waitress in 1947 and remembers Miss Hunter and Mr Smithers time here: “he was a real gentleman who looked after us young serving girls very kindly”. Mount Martha House was the local telephone exchange and where locals collected their deliveries, ration books and voting papers, a lost dog’s home. The house had fallen into some disrepair and was ready for [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 6

30 WRRAC Barrack:     Next Audio Tour NARRATOR: By 1961 the local population was recorded as 666. For 2 years the House was empty whilst the Australian Army purchased it for the 30  WRAAC Barrack  who were stationed here until 1976.   The occupants up to 80 young ladies at a time were single women from the Army who worked every day up at Balcombe Army camp on the Nepean Highway.      Their guiding principle was You must be ladies at All Times. Corporal Lyn Board please will you tell us about your time here? LYN BOARD: I [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 4

The 1920 and 30’s   Next Audio Tour NARRATOR:  By 1920  Madame Annie Ferrero and Mr William Birdling are the owners. Madame Ferrero, please tell us about your time here. Madame  Annie Ferrero: “As you came in through the main door, you would have seen the fine new fountain installed in the Oxford frame courtyard.   The house was built like 4 matchsticks laid in a cross, with the noisy corners closed off so as not to disturb the guest rooms.  I sold off some land and built a 9 hole golf course on the cliffs above Balcombe [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 5

The Department of the Army World War 2     Next Audio Tour NARRATOR; By 1942 the Population census shows the population of Mt Martha was around 100.  In 1946 excluding the Balcombe Army it was 222. In 1942 Mount Martha House, was still managed by Miss Hunter and Mr Smithers, and was requisitioned by the Army for Australia’s first RAAF Officers Training School where leaders from all the armed forces came for training.   The photos and information is courtesy of the State Library, which is becoming available in 2018.  Other properties and areas of Mt Martha [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 3

Guest house days 1900 - 1922   Next Audio Tour NARRATOR: In 1888 Plans for the Mornington side of Mount Martha Estate were released which eventually failed, however in the decade after 1890, under the ownership of the Mount Martha Syndicate saw various managers come and go. In 1900 Mount Martha House was owned by Mrs Clara Parker, who came by the property on the death of Robert Watson. It was purchased by Madame Elise Etzensberger a 47 year old Swiss born hotelier of impeccable credentials. She had previously been manageress of Gracedale Hotel at Healesville, one [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 2

Mount Martha House opens     Next Audio Tour   SOLD “As per Deed of Grant, under the hand and seal of his Excellency Sir George Gipps, dated 18th day of October, 1841, under instruction from Her Majesty Queen Victoria. All that piece or parcel of land, contained by admeasurement five thousand one hundred and twenty one acres, be the same more or less, situated in the county (unnamed), and parish of Kangerong, near Mount Martha, bounded on the west by Port Phillip Bay.” By 1888 The northern area of the mount overlooking the main beach was [...]

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Mount Martha House – History Trail 1

The Founding of Mt Martha House   Next Audio Stop   Welcome to Mt Martha House, We would like to pay our respects to the Boon Wurrung and Bunnarong elders and peoples past, present and future on whose land this house is built, overlooking traditional waters. From earliest times the Ngruk Willam clan who had a semi-permanent camp at Chchingorurke, now known as the Briars, seasonally came down to this part of the coast, and fished off the rocks, caught eels from the estuary as well as the lagoon which existed on South Beach. Their shell fish [...]

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