Hawthorn 1863

Governor Hotham Hotel

Hawthorn Football Club

Hawthorn Fire Station

Electric Tram 1913


Do you have burning research questions you need answers to? We will be at our Society rooms each 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm. If you can’t make it in person, email us your queries. We can help you find the information you need to make your next breakthrough!


The Hawthorn Historical Society was formed in 1974. Our members are committed to exploring, preserving and sharing the community’s history and heritage. We hold frequent events, including talks, walking tours and displays. We also conduct research, help to answer queries from the public and publish historical publications and a quarterly newsletter.

Our Historical Society is affiliated with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

We need your help

Your financial membership will enable us to achieve our goals, to improve community access to the historical resources and support the ongoing work of our volunteers.

The donation of documents, family histories, photos and memories of events in Hawthorn is always welcome.

If you have an interest in history, time to help or have research, photographic, secretarial or IT skills we want to hear from you.

The material on this site is archived by the State Library of Victoria. Contributors agree to their work being available to the public. Read our Privacy Policy.

Coming Events

Valuation Day

Sunday 10th July, 2022   2.00pm  Following the success of our Valuation Day in 2019, we will join with Richmond & Burnley Historical Society and the experienced valuers from Charles Leski Auction House who will be on hand to value items of interest you...

Art Deco and Modernism in Australia

Sunday 21st August, 2022   2.00pmGuest Speaker: Robin Grow Robin Grow is President of the Art Deco and Modernism Society of Australia and is the author of several books on the topic, including a history of the Land Titles office (2013), and MELMO – Modernist...


Thanks to Sandra Torpey for sharing this postcard from her collection. It shows the Hawthorn station in 1908. The postcard was sent by Ruby of Brooks Crescent to Miss Lily Henry, whose usual address was The Lee, Hawthorn Grove. ... See MoreSee Less
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A great post from Christopher Short about his family connection to Hawthorn. ... See MoreSee Less
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We are looking forward to hearing the highly esteemed Dr Gary Presland talk about Boroondara, prior to white settlement. Did you know that Gardiner's Creek was called Kooyongkoot - haunt of the wild fowl - by the indigenous people of the area? Join us Sunday 26th June at 2.00pm. Image State Library of Victoria ... See MoreSee Less
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This is one of our favourite old time photos of the Riversdale Hotel. Built in 1888 by John Rosney and his wife Annie. You can see the decorated roof line with the name J Rosney, on the parapet which has since been removed. The horse tram was replaced by an electric tram in April 1916, so this image was taken before then. Several changes to the exterior have occured over the years but it is still an impressive looking building.It is great that the hotel has survived this long but I am always amazed by the resourceful Annie Rosney's story. Born in ireland in 1843, Annie Fogarty.arrived in Melbourne in 1863 as an assisted passenger (described as a housemaid.) She was married in 1868 to the publican Michel Hoare, who was running the Governor Hotham Hotel in 1872. When he died in 1878 at the young age of 33 years without leaving a will, he left Annie to support three children under nine years. She continued to run the hotel until her second marriage in 1888 to the widower John Rosney, a fellow publican of the Railway Hotel (Elgin Hotel). They commissioned William Pitt to design the Riversdale Hotel in 1888. it was described as containing forty-four rooms exclusive of those for the use of the Rosney family and servants. As bad luck would have it, John Rosney also died, less than ten years later in 1897. Annie became the owner in 1898 and continued as the licensee of the Riversdale Hotel for many years, until 1922. She died in 1930, aged 88 years at her home at 10 Trafalgar Road, Camberwell and is buried in Melbourne Cemetery along with her first husband. Bravo Annie. Clearly she was a resilient, confident, independent and resourceful woman ... See MoreSee Less
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This image is from the old TelecommunicationMuseum on Burwood Road. But we are very excited that a new National Communications Museum will be opening on this site later in the year. meanwhile you can go on line and take a curated journey through some of the treasures from their collection and also record your own story to add to the history. ... See MoreSee Less
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