So much interesting information mainly of interest to those of
us that grew up in Ivanhoe. I grew up there in the
1950’s-1960’s and the changes since then have been enormous with many fine old homesteads demolished in the 1960’s to make way for units. A lot of the old blocks had 60 foot frontages and 300 foot depths to allow the cultivation of vegetables and fruit.
The old no longer extant Donaldson’s homestead of Belle Vue in Waterdale road was mentioned and my father and his elder
brother rented Belle Vue from the mid 1940’s until about 1952.
I have several old photographs from their time there.
For those interested in Belle Vue and the history of the
Donaldsons the book “Kangaroo Ground” by Mick Woiwood
published in 1994 provides some good photos and quite a bit of information. I went to the auction of Belle Vue with my father in about 1960 and he was very dismayed when he learnt that the RSL had purchased the property and intended to demolish everything to build war widow’s flats which still stand to this day. Where the Ivanhoe swimming centre is stood another house owned by the Donalsons called Wellington House.
The Donaldsons were victims of a bushranger attack when they lived at Kangaroo Ground so Belle Vue, like a lot of other
homesteads had secret passages and rooms for them to hide, a
similar house still standing in St Kilda is “Oberwyl”
The old MMBW maps of the area in 1908-1915 are available in
digitised format on-line from the State Library Victoria, maps
2460-2464 detail the Livingstone street Kenilworth parade
region of Ivanhoe around 1908 – 1910. Maps 2644 & 2641 detail
the Bell Vue Wellington house area around Waterdale road.
Does anyone remember the old Gaylard (Gaylord) mansion in
Kenilworth parade before it was demolished around 1961? It
appears on the MMBW maps as “Cooee”, Kenilworth parade was made up of 60foot X 300 foot blocks with many fine old
homesteads, all had names as presumably when they were built there were no street addresses. The Gaylard mansion ended up
being adjacent to the Ryans house which no longer stands
either, becoming the Le Pine funeral directors car park. Where
Le Pine now stands was once the Ponyarra sisters cake shop,
wonderful home made cakes made right in front of you.
Another interesting site was the enormous quarry on the
boundary of Ivanhoe’s Rockbeare park and Northcote, owned by
the Adams family it was exceptionally deep with the four
storey rock crushing plant at the bottom and a huge collection of clapped out WWII vintage earth moving vehicles in a park at
the top of the quarry. The area is now parkland with only a
hint of what it was with the stark rock wall at the northern
end. The quarry was only one of a chain of basalt quarries
that extended up through Northcote to Preston, all filled in
And yes the now Oriel road was formerly Kitchener street off
Livingstome St according to the old MMBW maps.