History Festival

History Festival 2020

South Australia’s History Festival runs for the entire month of May.

In light of COVID-19, this History Month we are encouraging self-guided tours of our beautiful Brownhill Creek, Blackwood and Eden Hills areas with the help of our handy online guides.

South Australian History Festival email sahistoryfestival@mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au

Mitcham Village Institute Celebrates 150 Years

This year is the 150th birthday of our Mitcham Village Institute and we are celebrating with a walk down memory lane. The Mitcham Village Institute celebrates its 150th birthday in 2020. Built in 1870, it functioned as a school and community hall until 1879. After the school was relocated to Lower Mitcham, Council used it for offices for the next 30 years and as a local library until 1966. It was the centre of the district's social life, hosting numerous balls, fetes, bridge parties, concerts and patriotic celebrations and also functioning as a picture theatre in the 1950s. Money to maintain the Institute was always a problem and in 1960 it was finally transferred to the Mitcham Council. The decision to restore rather than destroy the building was made in 1993. Unsightly additions were demolished and the building restored. This fine old heritage building is now part of the Mitcham Cultural Village and continues to host numerous events and community groups. In 1889, land on Princes Road adjoining the Institute was sold to the State Government to construct the Mitcham Police Station. A small jail cell is still located behind the old Police Station (now the Mitcham Local History Service). A few steps further west from the jail cell is the original bluestone Methodist Church, built in 1882, which is now used as a hall. Take a look at how the Mitcham Institute has evolved over the years.

For more information on our history click here.

Online History Tours a Click Away

Using our online history tour, you can experience 360-degree views of some of Mitcham’s most historic locations, including Mitcham Railway Station, Eynesbury House and our very own Civic Centre.

Take the online history tour here.

Experience History in 3D

Take a trip back in time using virtual reality goggles for an incredible glimpse into Mitcham’s past. Virtual reality headsets offer a unique way of experiencing some of the City’s historical landmarks and stories. ‘Stroll’ your way through the Abbotshall Precinct, the Mitcham cemeteries or watch a history documentary. Using the headset offers a highly immersive 360-degree view simulating a ‘real’ experience guided by a voice-over tour narrator. Other City of Mitcham locations that can be explored through the VR Goggles include parks and reserves, skate parks and
Council-owned centres and buildings. Our three headsets are free to use and can be booked for any of our locations or for home visits.

For more information, please call 8372 8888.

Community Led Activities

Blackwood Action Group Celebrates SA History Festival: ‘A State of Change’

This History Month, Blackwood Action Group is offering an exhibition including photographs of the Blackwood area from different points in history as well as a variety of self- guided tours around the Blackwood, Brownhill Creek and Eden Hills areas.

Waite Street Reserve and Precinct Historic Exhibition

Houses, a church, petrol stations and a pond once covered the Blackwood area. Through pictures at our several libraries, see the creation of Waite Street Reserve, the Senior Citizens Clubrooms and Coles, as well as the many plans to create a ‘village square for Blackwood’. View the pictures and trail guides exhibited in windows of the Blackwood Community Centre, Coles, shops of the ‘red building’ and shops of the ‘white/Health Food’ building. This exhibition will be running through May and can be enjoyed through a self-guided walk.

Blackwood Historical Walk

Beginning at Coromandel or Blackwood railway stations, this walk leads you along Adey Road to see some well-preserved tree-lined, residential back streets with diverse architectural styles. You will finish at the business district, south of the five ways intersection at the roundabout. Find the brochure here.

Brownhill Creek

Visit Brownhill Creek Valley and walk from Mitcham Reserve through Brownhill Creek Recreation Park to the former market gardens at the end of Brownhill Creek Road. This walk may be undertaken as a single walk, or in two parts. While the going is mostly level and on well-made tracks, not all parts of the walk are suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.Find the brochure here.

Eden Hills

Take a walk through the beautiful Eden Hills, past the Railway Station, Wilpena Street and Kenny Park, then through the railway tunnels. This walk will finish at the Rosewynn building in Wilpena Street which operated as a maternity hospital in the 1920s. Whilst you walk, we encourage you to capture views of the sea, enjoy the bushland and birdlife and discover the many solidly constructed old homes built in the early 20th century.