Such was life

Picture this: Black Rock

Black Rock, in Melbourne’s bayside east, was named after Charles Hoston Edben’s Black Rock house which, in turn, was named from Black Rock, Dublin.(1)

Edben’s house was built in 1856 and still stands today, and is open for visitors. Before European settlement the bayside area was inhabited by the Bunurong (Boon wurrung) people. It wasn’t until 1845 that WT Moysey obtained a government lease on five square miles of land, which he called Beaumaris.(2)

The seaside area became a ‘getaway’ destination from Melbourne and day trips became popular in 1887 when the train line was extended from Brighton to Sandringham. To accommodate these tourists or ‘weekenders’, this 1933 souvenir pamphlet advises that all shops will remain open until 9pm on Saturday evenings (except for the butcher, which closes at 1pm.) The Library hold many resources on Black Rock, including wonderful images of the foreshore and bathers.

 Bathers posing in the shallows at Black Rock in 1925.

[At Black Rock, Vic.], H2010.18/62

 

A flyer advertising the sale of 40 seaside lots in the mid 1880s in Black Rock.

 Black Rock

Hammond BlackRock2

Half Moon Bay, Black Rock; taken from Illustrated Diary no. 6 by Charlie Hammond (p 14)

Written by Paul Dee,
Librarian, Australian History and Literature

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