Historical Timeline of Key Events

The following is a concise timeline of key historical events for the area of Altona.

Circa 3,000 B.C. – 1800’s: The ‘Boon wurrung’ clan camped and gathered food at Altona

1802: Matthew Flinders gazed across what would we today know as Werribee, Laverton and Altona from the You Yangs

1803: Lieutenant Grimes’ exploration party visited the future Altona area

1836: Alfred Langhorne obtained his grant of land at the future Altona

1842: First survey of Altona made by Robert Hoddle which note “Homestead” on his map

1844-45: William Cherry settled at Altona

1850: On 10th December, first land sales recorded at Altona – Alfred Langhorne and Davis Ross

1852: A survey of the district included the parishes of Cut Paw Paw and Truganina, County of Bourke

1857: The Newport to Geelong railway was opened

1861: The name Altona first appears on a map of the area along with a marking for the “Homestead”

1868: The Langhorne’s Homestead was damaged by bushfire

1873 – 74: The Williamstown Racecourse was constructed

1874: Alfred Langhore died, he had just 4 years early sold the Homestead and property to J J Phelps and Brothers

1882: Brown coal was discovered near the East boundary of Altona

1883: The Cut Paw Paw Sanatorium built to contain small pox epidemic

1885 – 1887: Railway extended from Newport-Geelong line to Williamstown Racecourse

1886: Laverton township founded and Railway station built

1887: A T Clark purchased Altona

1888: Altona bought by Altona Bay Estate Co. Limited syndicate who laid out the township, built the pier and extended the railway from the Williamstown racecourse to Altona

1890: Passenger train service to Altona suspended

1891: Government decides to build an explosives storage area at Skeleton Creek, Laverton

1893: James Seves Hosie prospected for and located coal in Altona, Ross Freehold Coalmining Co formed and sank shaft at Altona North

1894: Mines Department sank bores at Newport and Altona

1897: Government acquired land for an Explosive Reserve from Chirnside family

1901: Opening of the Explosive Reserve

1902: Mines Department sank bores at Werribee and skeleton Creek, Laverton

1906: Brown Coal mining recommended at Altona

1908: Melbourne and Altona Colliery Co began operations

1909: Shire of Wyndham renamed Shire of Werribee

1910: Early aeroplane flights by Gaston Cugnet

1911: J J Hammond flight from Altona to Geelong

1913: Formation of a School Committee in Altona, first school class held in building owned by Mr Fleming, in Blyth Street. Progress Association formed

1916: Army camp set up in Altona

1917: Altona Beach Estates Ltd set up to sell and develop land in Altona, Steam railway passenger service resumed

1918: First Post and Telegraph office opened. Football and cricket teams formed. 1920 – Brick and tile works established

1919: Big land sales. Melbourne & Altona Coal mine ceases production

1920: Brick and tile works established

1920: Seaholme Station and suburb founded. Altona railway taken over by Victorian Railways. First Police Station, established. 23rd Dec: Electricity available at Altona.

1922: 20th May. School No. 3923, Blyth Street opened

1923: Commonwealth Oil Refineries established their refinery at Altona

1924: First Police Station, established

1926: Altona railway electrified. First Altona Lifesaving Club formed

1927: Land sales ceased to be successful. First Altona Baseball Club formed

1928: First Foreshore Trust established. The Altona Riding formed (Werribee Shire), Commencement of adequate water supply by M.M.B.W. Altona Beach Estates Coal Mine opened

1931: First Hockey Club formed. Coal mine closed (last Melbourne coal mine)

1932: First Altona Hospital opened in Pier Street

1933: Altona Fire Brigade formed. Severe flooding in Altona

1937: New Hospital built in Sargood Street

1938: Altona Beach station renamed “Altona”, Hospital opened in Sargood Street

1939 – 45: Racecourse used by Army. Destroyed by fire soon after World War II

1943: Tramline from Explosives Reserve to Laverton Station closed

1947: Major industrial development in Altona commenced with the building of the Vacuum Oil Co. refinery

1949: Vacuum Oil Co. refinery opened

1952: Attempt at severance from Werribee Shire failed

1957: Altona a separate Shire. Proclaimed 29th May

1960: Elderly Citizens’ Club opened

1962: Truganina Explosives Reserve closed

1963: (January 7th) Severe flooding in Altona. New Civic Offices opened in December

1965: Altona Public Library opened.

1967: Sewerage scheme for Altona commenced.

1968: Altona Meadows development commenced. Altona proclaimed a City (December 21)

1969: New Post Office opened.

1972: Paisley Briquette Depot closed. Altona Hospital extended

1994: City of Altona merged with City of Williamstown to form City of Hobsons Bay

1995: Altona Hospital Maternity Unit moved to Williamstown Hospital

1996: Altona Hospital closed, First Hobsons Bay Council Elections (March)