Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc - museum Lilydale Melba
Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc - museum Lilydale Melba

Events 2018

Talks and society activities

Sunday, October 14 at 1pm:
David Mitchell: Industrialist, builder and farmer
As part of the 2018 History Week, the society is hosting a special talk on David Mitchell who was a taciturn Scot and by the time of his death was one of the state's wealthiest but almost unknown businessman.
Society President Sue Thompson has spent many years researching the life and business activities of David Mitchell who also operated the recently closed Cave Hill Quarry and Farm at Lilydale. He was a stonemason, builder, farmer, miner, wine grower and family man.
 The talk will be held at the Old Lilydale Court House, 61 Castella Street, Lilydale from 1pm and will be followed by afternoon tea.
Bring along your stories and photos of Cave Hill. Cost is $5.00 and for bookings call Lorraine Smith 9735 1104 or email
Website: and click on news.
Wednesday, October 17 at 10am
Behind the Bar
As its contribution to the Shire of Yarra Ranges Seniors Festival, the Lilydale & District Historical Society is holding a special Behind The Bar walk of Lilydale township. Learn about the stories behind the town’s hotels – the publicans, the people and events that are part of the fabric of our town’s four hotels – The Lilydale, Temperance, Crown and Olinda hotels.

The walk will be held on Wednesday, October 17 and start at the Old Lilydale Court House, 61 Castella Street, Lilydale at 10am. Welcoming morning tea proceeding the hour long walk.

The cost is $5.00. For bookings phone Lorraine on 9735 1104 or email
Website: and click on news.
Tuesday, October 30 from 1.30pm

Harvesting History with the Lilydale & District Historical Society

Historical societies are the harvesters of family stories. They help you to add the "fruit" and "blossoms" to your family tree, providing rich and colourful stories.

Lilydale & District Historical Society volunteers research newspapers, maintain a large photographic collection, website and archive and an online Nellie Melba Museum. They publish books and offer local history tours. Come and meet the LDHS volunteers for afternoon tea and the opportunity to learn more about the valuable work they do.

The Lilydale Library and the Lilydale & District Historical Society have combined to present this interesting talk which will be led by society secretary Joy Gothe.

It will be held at the Lilydale Library, Box Hill Institute Lilydale Campus Jarlo Drive Lilydale from 1.30pm on Tuesday, October 30.

It is open to all ages and is free to register go to"5667
The Lilydale Project Reference Group

The shire of Yarra Ranges contracted with the society to carry out historical research on the uses of Lilydale’s public spaces throughout the years. Many society members were involved in this work and the wider community is now being made aware of this aspect of Lilydale’s life through a special webpage created by the shire.

In November this year, the society will launch its own exhibition featuring information and images from our collection and will also launch a new book: Public Places Public Lives.

Saturday, November 5:

Author James Nicholas will be giving a talk on his recent book The Mystery of Fairyland, Kew. It is a truse story set mainly in Melbourne's post war suburbia.
The book has been positively reviewed by The Herald Sun, Senior, Progress Leader and 3AW's Nightline.
The talk will start at 2.15pm after our general meeting which starts at 1pm. Members are free visitors gold coin donation.
App for researchers
Guest speaker Jenny Cassidy one of the authors of WW1 Researcher: Australia - an app for iPads, provided an interesting and infomrative talk at the Old Lilydale Court House on July 7. Through the app developed for schools, Jenny demonstrated how we all could use her app for our own research.
Jenny has also extensively researched family history; including the stories of family members who fought in World War 1.
While the app was primarily developed for students who have WW1 as a compulsory part of their studies, local historians would also be interested in these case studies and the talk.
Two of the case studies will feature on the proposed Seville War Memorial and two more are from Healesville.
The link to iTunes is:
World War 1 Researcher: Australia by David Jones


Following requests from our members, the society is organising workshops on Fridays from 1 to 4pm.

Following requests from our members wanting to gain new skills and learn more about the society’s collection, we are holding cataloguing workshops once a month. This is an ideal way to meet other members, learn how to catalogue and make a valuable contribution to the society and the wider community.
The workshops will be from 1 to 4pm on the following Fridays for the rest of the year:

If you would like to join the group or want more information, call Phil Burton on  9735 3942.

Book Indexer

Prompt, comprehensive and professional book indexing. Make your work more accessible with a well crafted index. Local and general histories a speciality. Modest rates. Contact: Judy Macdonald, mob. 0428263929

Judy is a highly valued member of our society as our librarian and indexer. Currently, Judy is heading up our book indexing team.


Our August edition of Now & Then newsletter is now available for download.
Simply click on this link.
To download back copies of Now & Then, go to our newsletters pages and select the edition you wish to read.

Cave Hill Redvelopment Submission

The society made a submission to the Heritage Council of Victoria on the inclusion of the heritage features of Cave Hill being included in the state's Heritage Register. The Council has now considered and added Cave Hill Quarry and the associated historic buildings and feature to the Heritage Register. This will allow the new owners to proceed with their development of the site. However, they will have to obtain Heritage Victoria's approval for any changes to the historic features.

Link to our submission

Cave Hill Submission

The Heritage Council of Victoria has issued a Determination to include the Cave Hill Quarry in Victorian Heritage Register. The society put in a detailed submission to the Heritage Council on the Register listing urging the filling of the quarry while retaining key elements which demonstrate the operation of the quarry and the protection of many heritage structures on the site.

Since community discussions were initiated by previous owners and operator Sibelco, the society has worked with the Shire of Yarra Ranges and various consultants evaluating various aspects of the site including its rare heritage features. The society has also had discussions with the new owners of the site and offered to our assistance to help them secure the heritage of the Cave Hill for future generations to learn more about this vital early industry and its role in our development.

Read our submission


Contacts: Sue Thompson (President) 0475 219 884, Joy Gothe 0405 128 964 or  Lorraine Smith (Court House Manager) 03 9735 1104.


Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House at 61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140.
© Copyright Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc. Lilydale, Yarra Valley 2015

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