Lithograph of Hawthorn 1863 “Weekly Herald”.La Trobe Collection , State Library Of Victoria.

It is 161 years since the name Hawthorn was used for a village in Melbourne’s east and we still do not know it’s origin. Originally spelt Hawthorne it was used in the Hawthorne Hotel in 1853 and in the first Post Office in 1854 . A handwritten note relating to John Gardiner’s  birth has a reference to “born Hawthorn 1797” – maybe this was the name of a village or of a home near Dublin where he was born. By 1860 when Hawthorn separated from the Shire Of Boroondara there was no longer an “e” and Hawthorn became the official name. 

Invergowrie- originally “Burwood or Burwood Hill“ 1850  State Library Of Victoria

Built by James Palmer (later Sir ) in 1850 and the original source of the name of the current Burwood Road .  Mayor of Melbourne in 1846 , he established the first punt to cross the eastern Yarra around the current Bridge Road area in 1842 . The cost was said to be around the equivalent of 45 cents (expensive for the time ) but it  was very successful and assisted the development and sale of the original Hawthorn allotments. The house was sold after Palmers death in 1871 and subdivided by entrepreneur George Coppin to create the landmark St James Estate. 

Governor Hotham Hotel, Burwood Road 1855  State Library Of Victoria

One of Hawthorn’s first hotels it was constructed in 1855 and has been continuously operating for 157 years ! Operated and owned by John Conran the hotel was the site for many significant meetings that were instrumental in the development of Hawthorn .  Important organisations such as the Boroondara District Road Board used it as a meeting place as they were responsible for the development of roads in an area of 5180 hectares (20 square miles ) . Now known as the “ “Hawthorn “.

Grace Park House, Chrystobel Crescent 1858  State Library Of Victoria

One of the most significant  properties in Hawthorn , the house was constructed by Michael Lynch in 1858 on a massive parcel of 38 hectares (95 acres) bounded by Power Street to the west, Barkers Road to the north , Glenferrie Road to the east and down to Burwood Road in the south ( where the original entrance drive was located ). The house originally comprised 8 rooms but had grown to 18 by 1870 and after Lynch’s death was occupied by  Mrs Robert Colvin Clark’s Ladies College in 1874 .  The Estate was subdivided  in 1884 into the magnificent  Grace Park Estate and lots were sold into the early twentieth century giving rise to its superb Victorian and Edwardian character. The old Kew railway line originally cut through the Estate in 1887 and the Barker railway station was on the northern boundary. The old train route is still easily discernible by the tract of parkland that gently curves through the streets.

Electric Tram 1913 Photo courtesy of the City Of Boroondara Library Service

Following the original horse drawn tram service which operated from 1890 the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust operated their first electric tram route along Glenferrie Road on 30thMay 1923. This was the first such service in the Boroondara area and first operated between Barkers Road and Cotham Road

In 1914 the Hawthorn Tramways Trust was formed to provide continuous routes throughout Hawthorn and new  lines came quickly with Barkers Road  and Riversdale Road in 1915 . In 1918 the State Government established the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) which took over the operation of Melbourne’s trams in 1920.

Fire Services Museum , Metropolitan Fire Brigade 1879  Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade

Formed as the Hawthorn Voluntary Brigade in 1879 the Metropolitan Brigades Board purchased land for a dedicated Hawthorn Fire Station in 1892. However due to the financial crash of the 1890’s the building was not completed until 1910 whereupon it became the Hawthorn Fire Station. It was opened officially on March 11 1910. The fire service operated on this site until 1997 and the building is rated by Heritage Victoria as “architecturally significant and historically important to the State of Victoria. It remains intact and is now dwarfed by adjoining Swinburne University buildings.

Hawthorn Football Club 1879  Hawthorn Library

The origins of the club go back to 1873 to a founding meeting at the Hawthorne hotel with original colours described as “a white cap with a maltese cross” – it followed on to note “..that a ball was purchased ..and several members proceeded to Mr King’s paddock to practice, whereupon a few noses were broken and two or three dislocated , but all agreed that the ball was a great success !”  From this point the club had a number of iterations with the genesis of the modern club formed as the Hawthorn Football Club in 1893. After competing in the Victorian Football Association from 1914 until 1924 the club was admitted into the Victorian Football League in 1925 . Known originally as the Mayblooms ,  Roy Cazaly reportedly gave them the now famous “Hawks” nickname in 1942 . The Hawthorn club has won a total of 10 premierships.