A Short History of the Greenvale District
Written and researched by Ken Unwin
The district now known as Greenvale was part of a larger area referred to as Yuroke (Euroke), prior to 1868. The first reference to “Greenvale” being made that same year in the Broadmeadows Town Hall and recording entries dating from 1863.
An area noted as “Greens Gully” had been recorded in 1863 and referred to the location of properties held at the same time by Messers Hatty and Michie situated on the Deep Creek Road, later known as Greenvale Road and referred to as Somerton Road today.
Those early settlers and land owners with property names such as “Spring Bank”, “Dun Donald”, “Glen Arthur”, “Greenan”, “Greenvale”, “Waltham”, “Fairview”, “Ballater Park”, “Springfield”, “Dun Helen” and “Brookhill” embrace the history of a period of time when the Port Phillip district was part of the Colony of New South Wales.
The families who shared this moment in history are shade in the back ground as not a great deal can be traced to the beginnings of this community.
Certainly though they deserve our recognition and a great deal of our admiration for their initiative and labours in a land so different from the homes left behind.
To enable a local history to be researched on this area, it was necessary to confine a search for information within the district bordered by the “Greenvale Reservoir” to the east, “Gellibrand Hill” to the south, “Dun Helen” to the north and “Ballater Park” to the west.
The earliest survey maps give descriptions of “fine open country with good black soil fit for cultivation”, “fine open grassy country” and to the west “lightly timbered forest of Sheoke, Mimosa and Blackwood”.
Crown land sales during the 1840’s brought Captain James Pearson, Peter McArthur, Joseph and George Pattinson, Leonard and George Machell, John Haslet, Donald and John McKerchar and the Brodies, to the area with the purchase of properties between three and four hundred acres at a price of 1 pound per acre.
Among the names of the first ratepayers come Samual Hatty, Michael Hocher, Robert Shankland, Donald and John McKerchar, Alexander and Esther Michie, Henry and Elizabeth Papworth, Nathaniel and Sarah Unwin, William and Susannah Bond, James and Mary Lancaster, John and Mary Lavers, William and Kezia Trotman, Thomas and Mary Ann Wright, Thomas Mallows, John Lawrence, George Sinclair Brodie and Joseph and George Pattinson.
Gellibrand Hill, a high hill considered a good land mark. There is an excellent quarry in the hill itself and another on its northern spur, producing fine building stone which has been used in the construction of Princes Bridge and the Chief Secretary’s office and Melbourne Town Hall. (Baiilieres Vic. Gazeteer and Road Guide, 1865)