Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Mornington also has great history that goes under the radar, even myself as a life long resident of the Mornington Peninsula, having not noticed most of the historic buildings in Mornington until I discovered the self guided walk brochure at the Information Centre. I must admit I did get a few giggles on my 'tour of Mornington' as I am in town daily, some people found it amusing that I would need a map!
Mornington was originally known as Schnapper Point and renamed Mornington in 1864. It began to develop as a seaside resort in 1880, with the arrival of the railway in 1889 further helping development.
I started at the oldest public building, The Court House, built by William Vaughan in 1860. Surprisingly the court house remained active with Petty Sessions until 1988 and now houses the information centre.
At the rear of the court house is The Lock - Up, which was declared a gaol in 1862 but discontinued as such in 1882. Subsequently it was used for holding people during court sessions and drunks overnight.
The Old Post Office opposite the court house, was designed by William Wardell in Palladian Italian Renaissance style. The mail arrived by boat from Melbourne and was taken from the jetty by horse and cart to the "Telegraph Office." The locals knew what time it arrived and used the occasion to meet and talk to other townsfolk.
Mechanics Institute and RSL Memorial Hall opened on New Year's Eve with a Gala Ball in 1885. The building comprised of a public library and reading room, a large hall for up to 300 people and over the following 70 years was used for dances, public meetings, electioneering, concerts and galas. In 1962 it was absorbed into the Shire offices.