The Mont Albert District - a Pictorial History 1830 to 2013

1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower

Indigenous Heritage
Geology and Topography
Vegetation and Fauna
Climate and Hydrology
1840s to 1870s
1850s - Parish of Nunawading
1852 - Whitehorse Inn
1861 - Postal Services
1880s - Electricity Supply
1880s to 1920s
1882 - Phantom Railways to Doncaster
1883 - Residential Heritage Precinct
1884 - Broughton Park subdivsion
1884 - Brickworks
1885 - Surrey Hills district - map
1888 - Football Clubs
1889 - Gas Supply and Gasworks
1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower
1890 - Mont Albert Railway Station
1892 - Surrey Hills Golf Club
1892 - Water Supply, Reservoirs and Sewerage
1899 - Telephone Services
1905 - The Surrey Dive
1907 - Scouts and Guides
1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct
1914 - Mont Albert Progress Association
1916 - Californian Bungalows
1917 - Schools
1917 - Wattle Park
1924 - Early Shortwave Broadcasting from the Surrey Hills district
1924 - Black's Estate
1925 - Bus Services
1929 - Tramways
1930 - Cricket Clubs in Mont Albert
1930s - Balwyn - Beckett Park Bonfires and Wildlife Sanctuary
1948 - Grange Tennis Courts
1957 - Pioneer Park
1961 - Surrey Hills Communications Tower
1981 - Box Hill Miniature Railway
Koonung Creek Parklands
Heritage Notes
Mont Albert Road - Early History
Mont Albert Rd - the East End
Elgar Rd - north and south of Mont Albert Rd
Mont Albert Rd - View St to Elgar Rd
Bushland Reserves
Service Associations
Sporting Clubs
Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Walking Trails
The Author's Websites
References and Acknowledgements

1890 - Doncaster Tram - covered

1890 - poster about the Tower and Tram

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1910 - west view - Doncaster Tower and Church of Christ

1910 - Doncaster Tower and Wenke's Hotel

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Location of the Tower

The Doncaster Electric Tram
Doncaster was the location of the first electric tram to run in Melbourne in1889. The tram started in Doncaster and ended in Box Hill (about 3.5 km away). Consequently this was named "Tram Road". However, the service did not earn any profit, so it ended in 1896 due to feuds with land holders and financial problems.

The main road through the suburb, Doncaster Road, was formally named Main Street.

The Doncaster Tower
This  tower stood on the top of Doncaster  Hill, near the present-day Westfield  Shoppingtown and was built in 1879 - height was 285 ft. It was demolished in 1914.

This is an extract from an advertisement in the Argus, January 14,1888, where land was being auctioned next  to the Tower:

"On Saturday, 14th January, 1888, at three o'clock, on the ground, 55 splendid allotments will be offered by auction.
A railway is to be constructed from Canterbury to Doncaster shortly, and is likely to run through the land now offered for sale, or terminate thereon.".
(Author's note: stilll no railway, 2013!)

NOW! 2013 - Doncaster Tower Reconstruction
Many local residents and historical societies have suggested constructing a replica of the original Doncaster Tower atop Doncaster Hill. The proposal suggests it be constructed of reinforced concrete clad in timber to replicate the original construction. This would provide another man-made drawcard to the area, provide 360 degree views of Melbourne and its surrounding environment as well as increased telecommunication installation opportunities.

Argus article of January 6, 1914, notifying the demolition of the Tower :

ONCASTER TOWER. After having stood for the best part of half a century on the highest point of Doncaster hill, the pride of residents and the wonder of visitors, that ancient landmark the Doncaster Tower, having shown signs of the ravages of time and dry rot, is now in "the hands of the destroyers."

A crew of experts with an up-to-date plant having commenced operations praparatory to "falling" the immense structure, which it is intended
shall "measure its length" toward the north from which quarter "many a fierce gale has howled o' winter nights thro' the staunch stays and rigging."

Great local interest is being taken in
the removal, and many expressions of regret are heard that the old building is [?]. But it appears that after all Doncaster is not to be long without a "tower," it being the intention of the proprietor of the Tower hotel to erect an even finer building on this site, this time of steel, with which ob ject in view it is understood that he has arranged to purchase an immense quantity of disused railway lines, fish plates, etc. The new tower, which is being designed by a leading firm of architects in Melbourne, is to be 10 feet "nearer the sky" than its pre- decessor, and the plans include provision for an afternoon-tearoom in the base"

(Author's note - the  replacement  tower was never built!)

2013 - commemorative tablet for the Tram, Station St

1910 - Doncaster Tower

1910 - view of Melbourne from top of tower

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1920s - Box Hill-Doncaster Bus 9 replaced the Tram

1900 - view east from top of tower - Ch. of Christ and State School

1900 - looking south from Tower to Box Hill

1890 - first Doncaster Tram - open air!

1890 - Tower Hotel and patrons

2013 - Westfield Shoppingtown

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