The Freshwater Creek School and residence provided office space and an area for a small artefact museum. These buildings were used by Deakin as a valuable part of Australian Studies. It was planned for other humanities courses and possibly social science ones to use this resource for teaching purposes in the future.
Built in 1854 as a two roomed house, it expanded to three, then four rooms. The detached kitchen was built in 1886. Kitchens began as outdoor fires with rudimentary shelter. They were detached by law for reasons of fire, tradition and hygiene.
Disease was thought to be caused by smells and vapours and drainage usually ended in a cesspit. The kitchen seemed to be designed to create a room for a servant.
After the museum closed this cottage was considered beyond repair and was demolished.
This tiny house by our standards housed twelve people in the Bromley family who lived there from 1862 to 1862 in a space 18 feet by 18 feet. Edward Thomas Bromley was transported to Port Phillip Colony at the age of 14 in 1847. His wife was the widow of his business partner, John Sherry. Sherry's family probably lived in the cottage too.
The floor in the front two rooms was originally made from packing cases. As was common at the time the internal walls were lined with hessian and covered with wallpaper to keep out the drafts. It had timber shingles under the corrugated iron roof.
It was relocated to Sun Street, Moolap before being included in the museum in 1984. After the museum closed this cottage was considered beyond repair and was demolished.
This is a lower middle class house built before the 1892 depression. The cast iron lacework is Indian inspired. The Herds were painters, decorators and plumbers.
In 2004 this house was relocated to 122 High Street, Drysdale.
This building is presumed to have been two separate one roomed miners cottages built about 1855 and relocated from the goldfields. The two dwellings were combined and divided into rooms to form a four roomed house about 1865.
Originally the cottages had no ceilings or walls. These were added by Jacob Werner after he moved in. He was a German musician, who settle in Geelong and became a painter and decorator. Originally the roof was covered in whitewashed timber shingles. This house may have been relocated in central Victoria.
This 1854 prefabricated house in Geelong West was recommended by the Geelong West City Council for inclusion in the project at Deakin University to allow the site in Coronation Street to be redeveloped. When the house was at this site the front of the house was on the boundary with the front doorstep on the footpath. The house is considered to be of architectural significance and as such was protected under the Geelong Regional Commission's Interim Development Order. Developers planned to donate the house and contribute $500 towards the cost of its removal.
The house was a rare example of a prefabricated timber house believed to have been built in Singapore in 1853 to help meet a housing demand caused by Victoria's gold rushes. Factories set up by the British in Singapore employed Chinese craftsmen making thousands of houses to meet the demand. Alexander Fyfe who built Hillside in Williams Road, Mount Duneed imported many of these houses.
When the museum was being wound up Arthur's House hit the road again for its new home facing a tree-lined park in 21 Brewongle Avenue, Hamlyn Heights.
The shed which originated at Winchelsea on the Geelong-Warrnambool line is similar to many others. A similar shed was once at Birregurra on the same line. Built in 1876 it came to the museum in 1987 and was used to store recyclable building materials. After the project closed the shed was moved to the Muckleford station on the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
It is available for hire for parties or for corporate events as well as Victorian Goldfields Railway training and general activities.
This lock-up, which was erected in 1888, is very secure as it has a steel cage concealed under the timber. Almost 200 of these were installed throughout Victoria at small police stations. They were used from the 1870s until the 1960s. They were cold in winter and hot in summer. They were mainly used to hold drunks overnight. The policeman's wife had to supply meals.
When the museum closed it was returned to Lawsons Park, East Cambridge Street, Inverleigh.
Natimuk Open Air Pavilion School was constructed by the Public Works Department in 1914 as an open air classrom at the Natimuk State School. It was the only building in the museum not to have originated in the Geelong area and was moved to the museum in 1988. The room held up to 48 children. Three sides had canvas shutters fitted above three feet. Forty four of these classrooms were built between 1911 and 1914 in the hope of creating a healthier environment at a time when Tuberculosis was at plague proportions. These classrooms were unpopular with teachers in the winter.
The room was returned to 28 Noradjuha Road, Natimuk, in the grounds of the Natimuk School in 2002..
The local Freshwater Creek community contacted the museum to suggest that their school be moved to the Waurn Ponds site, as they felt it was doomed by eventual road widening. The building comprises a teacher's residence and a schoolroom with a capacity of 60 children.
After demolition of chimneys the bricks were moved to the university. A large front room added in the 1950s was also removed. The roof was cut off as the gothic style school was too high to travel in one piece. It was then moved in two sections. After relocation the building has been fully renovated.
The three two metre finials on the gables had to be remade, a new verandah, new rear porch and balconies and walkways constructed.
Most schools of the 19th century have been well researched and the design of original features could be taken from this knowledge and by research from the people of Freshwater Creek.
This type of school and residence was designed by the government architect, based on traditional designs which evolved slowly in the 19th century. The schools were built in a set of standard sizes. The teacher's residence has two bedrooms, built in an era when five or more children per family was usual. The schoolroom was heated by an open fire.
After the museum closed the school was returned to its original site. In 1994 the school was once again on the move, this time because of the merging of Freshwater Creek, Connewarre and Mount Duneed State Schools. The school is now in the grounds of Mount Duneed Regional Primary School and is used as a classroom.
If you wish to read more about the houses an excellent book named "Guide to The Australian House Museum" by Frank Campbell has lots of pictures of the houses and the people who lived in them as well as detailed notes on the renovation and history of buildings.
For Campbell, founder and director of the Australian House Museum, the ultimate goal of the project was to aid the understanding of Australian society and culture, using the Geelong region as a case study. He describes relocation of buildings as an old Australian tradition. Some early settlers brought their portable houses with them. Others bought houses after they arrived. Importers cashed in on this demand.
Some buildings that have been shifted:
Waurn Ponds school
Marshalltown Post Office
St Cuthbert's Church
Freshwater Creek School