Silvan Reservoir Pictorial Heritage - 1880 to 2011

Historical Background from 1917

About this Research Project
Timeline 1880-2010
Historical Background from 1917
Construction 1926-1932
Aerial Ropeway
Aerial Cableway
Steam Tramway
Development after 1932
Modern Era
The abandoned Second Reservoir
Silvan Forest
Reservoir Park
Stonyford Forest Nature Trail
Contact the Author

Stonyford Rd c1910


The Silvan Reservoir was planned form 1916 as a storage reservoir for the O'Shannassy system (and later the Upper Yarra Reservoir), particularly to provide a back-up system during dry seasons following a severe drought in 1914. It was to be the largest of the three reservoirs built almost simultaneously during this period (viz. Marrondah, O'Shannassy and Silvan), and created the Board's first major off-river storage to increase Melbourne's storage capacity by 75%.

A suitable site was located by EG Ritchie outside the catchment reserves and, in 1919, the Board set about acquiring 1,123 acres of freehold land. The remaining 1,105 acres were vested in the Board by a Crown grant.

The site was conveniently close to the O'Shannassy Aqueduct, which ran through Mt Evelyn three miles to the west. Remains of early house sites can still be found along the Monbulk Road, indicated by remnant bulbs and garden trees spread over an area of about 10 metres square.

The site was on the Stony Creek Valley (the name "Stonyford Creek" is used by some authors).

The location where the Stony Creek crossed the road was known as the Stony Creek  Ford.

Stonyford Rd c1910

Bridge on Stonyford Rd c1910

Olinda Creek c1892

Thanks for dropping by and taking a look at my Project!  I'd like to hear from you with any comments or reactions - please Email to  Bob Padula