"Environmental History" Sally Wilde - 1996:

  1. The Look of the Area in 1946
  2. Demographic Change
  3. Planning the New Suburb
  4. The Pattern of Subdivision
  5. Education and Community Facilities
  6. Industry
  7. Shopping Patterns
  8. Roads and Perennial Roadworks
  9. Reafforestation
  10. Endnotes

The Look of the Area in 1946

Aerial photographs of the Shire of Mulgrave in 1946 show a rural area laid out in straight lines. Not only did the main one mile grid of roads run straight north/south and east/west, but so did property boundaries. These were visible from the air where they were marked by lines of trees, particularly pines and cypress. Property boundaries were also clear where land use changed - paddock on one side, orchard on the other, for instance.

This era was the peak of the checkerboard pattern of straight lines. Even the fruit trees were planted at regimented intervals in north/south and east/west rows. Orchards were the main land use in the north and east of the shire.

The major deviations from this pattern of straight lines were the golf courses and the areas of remnant vegetation along creeks. The irregular shapes of what are now Valley Reserve, the upper reaches of Scotchman's Creek and its tributaries and Gardener's Creek ran in marked contrast to the straight lines of the man made landscape. The only major man made landscape that did not follow straight lines was the alternating pattern of fairways and rough on the golf courses - Riversdale, Metropolitan, Huntingdale and two which have since gone - Waverley on the northeast corner of Blackburn and Waverley Roads and Amstel, north of Ferntree Gully Road at Clayton Road.

Despite all the orchards and boundary plantings there were many, many thousands fewer trees in 1946 than 100 years earlier and there were major areas of paddocks and market gardens with few, if any trees, especially in the south and east.

Subscribe to page updates

Fields marked as 'Required' must be completed.

Help us to improve

Fields marked as 'Required' must be completed.

Last updated: 24 February 2020