WHITEHORSE - FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT
The first European settlement in the Whitehorse area was in Box Hill in the 1830s
Arundel Wrighte took up a pastoral lease on 350 acres of land which he
had previously explored in the Bushy Creek area East of Elgar Rd. He erected his house on Bushy Creek near what is now Shannon
Street Box Hill North (East of Station Street and towards Goulburn Street).
The first surveys were undertaken in the 1840s.
The first sale of freehold land in the Parish of Nunawading took place in 1850 in Box Hill. The pattern of early land
ownership was small blocks in Box Hill and Burwood, larger blocks in Blackburn and the largest lots in Vermont, Burwood East and Mitcham.
The municipality’s first roads consisted of rough tracks used by timber cutters and farmers. By the 1850s, rough
tracks across the municipality had begun to be shown on maps: these included an approximation of Mont Albert Road, which existed
as a track from Barkers Road, in the west, east to Elgar Road.
By about 1864, the Nunawading District Road Board had overseen
the establishment of the roads now known as Whitehorse Road, Canterbury Road and Burwood Highway.
By 1879, north-south
roads including the present Elgar Road, Station Street, Middleborough, Springvale, Mitcham and Heatherdale Roads had been
formed, formalizing the municipality’s present network of primary roads.