Silvan Reservoir Pictorial Heritage - 1880 to 2011

About this Research Project

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

These pictures were taken by me in October 1958, on my first trip to the Silvan Reservoir, which was in my first car, a Ford Anglia Tourer!!

The top photo shows my mate admiring the view across the Silvan farms towards the Yarra Ranges, taken from the Monbulk Rd.
The bottom picture shows the Reservoir, taken from the Gardens.

The images were Ferraniacolor slides, taken on my Voightlander Vito-B 35mm camera, These were scanned and converted into JPGs for this Research Project

My photo of 1958, Silvan district

The reservoir in 1958 (my photo!)

My photo taken in 1958

Picnic at Silvan Dam c.1949


The Silvan Reservoir precinct has always fascinated me! I first visited the area in 1958, in my first car (see pictures above!), and in the decades which followed, I have made countless visits to the area, as a starting point for many interesting hikes in the adacent Silvan and Olinda Forests.

In 2010, I came across rusting steel and concrete infrastructure, partly hidden in bushland next to the overflow car-park. This fascinated me,and my research indicated that it is the remains of the original Aerial Ropeway system which carried materials from the Mt Evelyn railway siding to the construction site.

In 2010, I also discovered considerable documentation about the proposal in 1933 to build a Second Reservoir nearby. This was abandoned due to community concerns - it would have inundated most of the forest along the Lyrebird Creek Gully.

Mainly for my own interest, I decided to document my research and findings about the history and development of the Reservoir, Indeed, a lot of this is readily available in fragmentary form in various old print publications and monograms, on the Internet, and at historical societies.

The digitisation of old newspapers has opened up a huge new world for heritage research, and I have used material gleaned from the Argus and Age newspapers of the time.

I have brought together what I believe to be the salient points in a chronological time sequence, accompanied by images and maps. 

Rather than allow my research work to be hidden from the outside world, I decided to publish it on-line.

It is also held privately in digital media for future use! 

I hope you find the Project informative and useful.


Melbourne's water supply network

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