Eaglehawk Mechanics Institute
Architect: Henry Edmeades Tolhurst 1883
Eaglehawk | BEN20
The single-storey building was purpose built in 1883. Previously a public reading room was available in the council chamber, this space was open six days per week. James Staines Abbott was appointed as librarian in 1877, a position he held for 18 years. The red brick building with cream render flanks the stately Town Hall which opened in 1901. Tolhurst had also designed the original Town Hall. In 1869 when the library opened it had fifty-five books and a variety of journals and newspapers. Baron Ferdinand von Muller, the famed Botanist, offered the institute any of his books that they lacked free of charge. Some of those publications still form part of the collection of the original library which is located in the front right hand room. The North Central Goldfields Library operate a branch library in the mechanics. The library uses the reading room for story time twice a week, also used for meetings, craft groups and displays. A room at the rear of the mechanics housed a billiard table and the red gum stumps which reinforced the floor are visible. A purpose built billiard and snooker club is now situated behind the mechanics.
Visitors can view the original library, and honour rolls. A copy of the original plans can also be viewed. Or why not pop in and visit the rarely open Eaglehawk Billiards and Snooker club. Members of the Eaglehawk Heritage Society will host talks in the Town Hall and other civic buildings in the vicinity in the council chamber at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
Need to Know
Open: Sunday 27 October 10am-4pm
Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided
Access: Limited mobility. All ages
Notes: Disabled access is not available to the Mechanics. Parking is available in Sailors Gully road and off Darling street.
Building Type: Cultural
Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eaglehawk Heritage Society
1 Sailors Gully Road, Eaglehawk 3556, Eaglehawk VIC