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Montague: A Community Lost and Found

Open House Melbourne invites you to explore Montague via digital guided tour, exhibition and film.

Montague is undergoing an intense transition from small scale industries to higher density residential development as part of the renewal of Fishermans Bend. Explore the themes and stories of the area’s history – flooding, housing, community spirit, employment, industry, wars and sport – drawing on fascinating historic photographs from the Port Phillip City Collection.

Montague is once again becoming a place where people live – a new community.  New homes, schools, community facilities, businesses and parks are all in development. Some significant sites have survived such as the Montague School, the Montague Railway Bridge and examples of early state housing, evidence of Montague’s unique history.  The old Montague community which had almost completely disappeared by the 1960s has also left a legacy of a rare community spirit and an indelible sense of identity.

Photos L–R: Gloria and friends, cooking lesson at the ‘Y’ – courtesy Marlene Bailey, Buckhurst Street between Montague and Ferrars Streets 1930s – photographer A H Williams, Floods under the Montague Street Railway Bridge 1962 – courtesy Neta Earl, South Melbourne Floods Ferrars Street, Montague c1905- Port Phillip City Collection (PPCC).

There will never be another place like Montague as we knew it. There were never many of us but we stuck like glue.

EXHIBITION

Montague was bounded by Ferrars Street to Boundary Street and from City Road to the railway line. First subdivided in 1869 Montague developed fully as a residential area when the Montague Railway Station opened in 1883.

We invite you to further explore Montague via this online exhibition. Discover the distinct social history of the Montague area of the former City of South Melbourne during its most populated period between the two world wars.

The exhibition was first displayed in the Carlisle Street Arts Space in December 2019.

Photo credits: Helen Lewis Senior with neighbours at 31 Buckhurst street, 1955 – courtesy Elva Keily, Whelan’s Barber Shop, 44 Montague Street, 1900- 1933 – courtesy Mary Hardiman.

FILMS

Montague: A Community Lost and Found

This is an oral history of the small but distinctive enclave of Montague within the former municipality of the City of South Melbourne. The film explores aspects of Montague’s social history through firsthand accounts from former residents, photographs and archival material.

Traces films 2019, 34 minutes duration

The Montague School

The iconic Montague State School No 2784 has stood on the site at 100 Montague Street since 1889. The film includes historic images and an interview with a former Principal of Montague Continuing Education Centre and Special School historian, Tony Thomas as he tours the school building.

Traces films 2019, 8 mins duration

2 replies on “Montague: A Community Lost and Found”

How very interesting ! Thanks to those who participated . I travel past the school often and didn’t realise the significance . I’m in Buckhurst street a lot too. Gosh, all houses there once! Thought it was always industrial. Seems to me they’ve moved Montague a bit to within new boundaries.

I so enjoyed watching this video which captured an earlier time when Community and looking after each other was the focus of a suburb regardless of wealth or status. This was a great collection of memories.

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