News & Events

Mid-Winter Break

The Society takes  a mid-winter break in July & August.

Open Days

Open Days are held on the second Sunday of every month* between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm at the Letty Armstrong Resource Centre, and are open to the public. Members attend on a roster basis to answer queries relating to family or Linton history.

Members and non-members are welcome to come on Open days and look at our collection, and make copies of documents and photographs if they wish for a nominal fee.

* excluding our winter break of July & August

Upcoming Dates:

11 February 2018
11 March 2018
15 April 2018


History Night

Monday 5 March 2018,  7.30 pm start.

Guest speaker: from Clunes, Graeme Johnstone
Creative Clunes & Booktown – the transformation of a village utilizing cultural tourism and cluster marketing With the decline of many small rural towns such as Linton, stories about how some towns have successfully reinvented themselves is an emerging topic in our rural Australian history.  Clunes has done this successfully with its Booktown theme.

History Nights are Free Events

Visitors are welcome.
Venue: Shire Offices, Sussex Street (Glenelg Highway) Linton
** Supper will be served at the end of the evening so please bring a plate to share.

Future Dates :  to be confirmed

Past Events

10 December 2017 – Launch of the new Photographic History of Linton Book  & Christmas Celebration
The new Photographic History was officially launched on Sunday 10 December at 2:30 pm in the Shire Offices, Sussex Street Linton. All are welcome to the launch, which will be celebrated with a traditional, delicious Linton afternoon tea (bringing a plate would be greatly appreciated!). This will also be an opportunity for members to say Happy Christmas to each other.

20 November 2017 – Dr Joan Hunt
Pitfield, the township at the crossing of the Woady Yaloak Creek.
Joan spoke about the very early pastoralists of the area, the settling of the early
township, some of those residents of the pre-gold era, and the life of the hotel known for  some time as The Emu Inn.

18 September 2017 – The AGM and Guest Speaker
Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter, Lecturer, Federation University
Topic: The Conscription Debates of World War One and rural communities.
Other Business to be conducted:
 Presentation of Annual Report by the President

  • Presentation of Financial Report by the Treasurer
  • Election of Committee of Management for 2017-18
  • Setting of Annual subscription 

19 June 2017 – The Kvapil/Hayward family and the Displaced Persons Camp at Snake Valley
Thirty-five people attended our History Night on a chilly winter’s night on 19 June in the Shire Offices to hear Christine Uren speak about her memories of growing up in Linton in the 1950s and 1960s. Christine’s mother, Phyllis Hayward, came from a Snake Valley family and Phyllis was working as a teenager in the family butchery business when she met Christine’s father, John (his adopted Australian name) Kvapil, who was resident in the Displaced Persons’ Camp at Snake Valley after World War 2. Christine spoke about her father’s previous life in Czechoslovakia, his daring escape across several borders at the end of the war and his eventual arrival in Australia as a displaced person in 1949. Under the Australian post-war displaced Persons’ Scheme, people were indentured to work for two years for the Government, and were usually sent to live in camps in regional areas (see the box below). Thus, John Kvapil ended up in the camp in Snake Valley, along with many other European men.
(DVD Available)

10 April 2017 – “The Home Front”
Guest speaker: Jenny Burrell
Jenny Burrell, committee member of the Ballarat and District Genealogical Society and retired primary school teacher, demonstrated the The Home Front, Ballarat World War I project that won the Centenary of WWI Award Section of the Victorian Community History Awards 2016. The impressive online database comprises biographies of over 2500 individuals, information about local war work in Ballarat and district, both voluntary and paid, and an image gallery of items used in an accompanying video.  Using a laptop computer connected to the internet, Jenny took the audience through some of the wonderful photos and stories contained in the website. Many of these involved people from Linton. Since our commemoration of the centenary of WW1 Began in 2014, we have seen many media and print presentations about the war. What distinguishes this website from much of the other material on WW1 is its focus on the impact of the war on the lives of those at home, rather than the soldiers who were sent abroad.

20 February 2017 – “Show and Tell”
Guest speaker: Max Kerr
Our guest speaker was Mr Max Kerr who brought along a selection from
his vast collection of pastoral memorabilia to show us. Max has been collecting rural objects of historical interest in this district for many years and, in this presentation, he told us the history and purpose of most of them. He will brought a number of ‘mystery’ objects and invited the audience to guess what they are.

9 December 2016 – Special Event – Christmas Drinks
For the Society’s Christmas celebration this year we had Christmas Drinks at a local residence.  Great time had by all!

21 November 2016 – “A ‘new chum’? Life on the Victorian Goldfields 1851-1881
Guest speaker: Joan Hunt
Guest speaker for the evening was local historian Joan Hunt and her topic was: Was your ancestor a ‘new chum’? Life on the Victorian goldfields 1851-1881
Joan shared the generalised story about the experiences of our ancestors on the Victorian goldfields. As each new wave of immigrants arrived they would have been regarded as ‘new chums’, that is, arrivals inexperienced in the way the goldfields functioned, mostly without the particular skills and knowledge necessary for gold digging. The journey, arrival, colonial life and the goldfields themselves were a pretty new experience for everyone. (DVD Available)

19 September, 2016
AGM & Guest speaker: Dr Jan Croggon
As well as the formal activities required for the Annual General Meeting, we had Dr Jan Croggon, Historian at Sovereign Hill, whose topic of the evening was ‘ST Gill as Eyewitness: art as historical evidence: ST Gill and Sovereign Hill’.  Over the years, Sovereign Hill has found many historical sources which support them greatly in telling the goldfields story, but one source above all others has comprehensively answered their needs: the so-called ‘artist of the goldfields’, Samuel Thomas Gill.  Jan spoke about how the paintings of ST Gill have assisted Sovereign Hill in accurately depicting life on the Victorian Goldfields, with all it’s energy, excitement and the social challenges that the discovery of mining of gold raised in a fledgling society.

20 June 2016 – “Memories of Mannibadar”
Guest speaker: Graeme Ellis
Long-standing resident of Mannibadar, Graeme Ellis, spoke about the history of this soldier settlement community south of Linton, and shared his memories of his family’s experiences, and the experiences of the other families who settled in this often unforgiving environment.  See the Linton News – Graeme Ellis – History Night Report for more information. (DVD Available)

18 April 2016 – Factory girl to mistress of Linton Park: Some Lancashire/gold- fields migration stories
Richard  Turner is a PhD History student at La Trobe University who is researching the stories of Government Assisted Migrants from Lancashire who arrived in Victoria in 1852/53. One such migrant was Alexander Trickett, a road labourer from Lancashire, who arrived in Victoria in 1853 and lived in Happy Valley. His daughter’s marriage to Edward Morey, successful mine owner and investor and later owner of Linton Park, enabled Alexander to rise up in the world – when he died in 1877, his residence was given as Linton Park and he was listed on his death certificate as a ‘Gentleman’.  Richard’s talk told the story of Alexander Trickett and other families from Lancashire who went to the goldfields around Ballarat in the early 1850s.

21 February 2016 Cemetery Walk
The Linton cemetery provides a rich source of memories about Linton and its former residents. The Society organised a guided historical tour of the cemetery to highlight interesting and significant graves. The tour was led by Chris Grigg, whose family has a long history in Linton. Chris is a member of our Society, and also a member of the Linton Cemetery Trust. The tour took place on Sunday 21 February, commencing at 2:30 pm, and had a duration of about an hour and a half.  35 people participated in the walk – members, locals and visitors from Snake Valley and surrounds as well as Cobden, Melbourne & even Queensland.  It was followed by afternoon tea in the Letty Armstrong Resource Centre, Sussex St (Nelson’s Undertakers building).  This tour replaced the usual February History Night.

16 November 2015 – Remembering Piggoreet, its town and its people
Joan Hunt told some stories in her very entertaining style arising from her research into the early history of Piggoreet.  These were accompanied by her showing images of the mines and buildings in the township, with maps and plans.  A great night of information, visuals and conversation were had by all.
Unfortunately, a DVD is not available for this event.

21 September 2015 – AGM and Guest Speaker
We were fortunate to have Dr Ross McMullin as our speaker at our AGM.  Ross is a distinguished, and prize winning Australian war historian with a number of published books.  Pompey Elliot and Will Dyson:Australia’s radical genius, both WW1 Biographies. His most recent publication, Farewell, Dear People, contains 10 extended biographies of young men who exemplified Australia’s gifted lost generation of WW1.  Ross has a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker and certainly delivered!

1 June 2015 – Ver Doorn Family
The Ver Doorn family emigrated from the Netherlands in the mid-1950’s and came to settle in Linton.  Two of the Ver Doorn sons, Gerry & Hans, spoke about there memories of this experience and of growing up in a small country town.  With two locals having such a unique take on a Linton childhood, this was an interesting and entertaining evening and proved to be extremely popular! (DVD Available)

24 April 2015 – Special ANZAC Event
Society The Historical Society took part in the Linton Primary School’s ANZAC Day commemoration on Friday 24 April. We walked with the staff, children and other community members from the school at 11am to the Avenue of Honour in Denison St where we gave a talk on the story behind the planting of the Avenue. We then proceeded to the war memorial outside the Shire offices for the service proper, where we laid a wreath, along with others attendees. After the service everyone was invited into the historic Linton Library where there was a display of memorabilia from the Society’s collection and a power point presentation on the soldiers whose names are on the Linton Primary School Honour Board. Morning tea followed in the Shire Offices. Members were welcome to join us at this event.

19 April 2015 – A History Day in Beaufort
Society members were hosted by the President of the Beaufort Historical Society who took them on an historic walk around the town and showed them around the former Court House where the Society has its headquarters. The day included lunch, afternoon tea and a visit to the beaufort Imperial Egg Gallery.

16 February 2015 – Doug Bradby with the title of his talk being ‘The Importance of Being Earnest about Local History’.  Doug spent his working life as a history teacher in Ballarat and now spends most of his time working with primary school students at the Gold Museum, Ballarat. He also works with his local primary school -Buninyong PS to deliver a local history unit to grade 4 students.  His historical interests centre on the Ballarat goldfields and he has written a number of books aimed to encourage young people to know, understand and reflect on the issues raised by the Victorian goldrush. His own interest was sparked by his grandparents who were involved in the mining industry of Ballarat.

5 December – Special Event – Christmas Drinks
For the Society’s Christmas celebration this year we had Christmas Drinks at The Linton Library, Sussex Street Linton, next to Nelson’s Undertakers

17 November 2014 – Joan Hunt will tell some stories arising from her research into the early history of Lucky Woman’s and Happy Valley.  She will talk about some of the mining and farming families whose surnames are known in the district, such as Bolte, Crosier, Fitches, Thomas, Gribble, Garvey and others.  She will also explain how she has researched who and where the miners lived in the mid nineteenth century, and how she traced the history of land selection of that period, using maps and plans and documents mainly from the Public Record Office Victoria.

15 September 2014 – AGM & History Night with Professor Keir Reeves who holds a chair in regional engagement at Federation University in Ballarat. His topic will be: Exploring gold rush and pastoral heritage in central Victoria: A regional perspective. An historian by training, Keir is particularly interested in how local history and heritage are key drivers of local and regional identity. This heritage can still be readily seen in the mining landscapes, country towns, and pastoral runs throughout the region, giving it an enduring distinctiveness. He will also discuss the role of heritage tourism through walking trails, heritage precincts and similar initiatives, and how this heritage can promote and sustain small towns like Linton.

16 June 2014 – History Night with Mr Chris Griggs and Mr Bill Griggs who spoke about their many family history connections in Linton and will reminisced about their own experiences of growing up in Linton in the 1950s, ’60s and 70’s.  With two locals who know so much about Linton, past and present, this was an interesting and entertaining evening! (DVD Available)

14 April 2014 – History Night Mr Graeme Spittle of Ballarat who will talk about his father’s experiences in France in WWI. During 2014, the world commemorates the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, and this April History Night, with its proximity to Anzac Day, is in keeping with that theme. Graeme’s father Gordon, a farmer from Ascot, sent many letters home from the Western Front, that his family have compiled into a book, a copy of which is now in the Australian War Memorial  in Canberra. Graeme will also talk a little about his father’s life on the property at Ascot before and after the war.
17 February 2014 –
History Night with guest speaker Mr Robert Lewers, a descendant of Samuel Lewers, the first bank manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Linton, a JP and the first President of Grenville Shire when it was formed in 1864. (DVD Available) (See Society Notes No.283 for more information)
6 December 2013
– The Annual Christmas Get Together
18 November 2013 – History Night with Joan Hunt speaking on the discovery of the Springdallah Goldfields in 1852.
6 October 2013 – Victoria Welsh Male Choir.  A fundraising event for the Society (see ‘In the Media’ page for extra information)
16 September 2013 – AGM & History Night with Dr. Kirsty Harris speaking about the experiences of Australian nurses in WW1.   Joan & Alan Giles elected Life Members.(see ‘In the Media’ page & Society Notes No.281 for more information).
17 June 2013 – History Night with Aaron Kerr, a fifth generation Lintonian. (DVD Available) (See Society Notes No.280 for more information)
15 April 2013 – History Night exploring family remembrances about the war years.(See Society Notes No.279 for more information)
18 February 2013 – History Night with Mr Bruce Adams, grandson of Mr. H.A. Adams, proprietor of the Grenville Standard 1897 – 1915. (DVD Available) (See Society Notes No.279 for more information)
29 January 2013 – Linton Community Precinct Open which includes Historical Interpretive boards.  (See Society Notes No.278 for more information)