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Monday, December 14, 2015

Aerial of Doveton and Dandenong Ranges circa 1960s.

One can see Power Road snaking its way from Princes Hwy, bottom right, up to the top of the housing estate.

The area has it's origins as part of the Eumemmerring pastoral run. The part pictured became the Grassmere estate, which was subdivided into smaller holdings in the 1880s. The small farming community was served by a hotel and school. There was also a racecourse.

Doveton as a town came into existence in the mid 1950s when the State Housing Commission purchased a large area of land to provide low cost housing for returned soldiers and workers employed in the new factories near Dandenong. The early Commission housing was around the Autumn Place shopping centre. A lace factory had commenced operations on the Princes Highway in 1950. On the southern side of the highway, first International Harvester, then General Motors-Holden and then Heinz established large factories. These were followed by many smaller factories.

Doveton was named after F.C. Doveton, a Goldfields Commissioner and Police Magistrate, who had earlier lived in the area. By 1962, there were 1500 homes. At first, there were few community facilities, and there was a pressing need for schools. By 1969 there were seven schools:

The Doveton North technical school became part of Endeavour Hills when the Mulgrave Freeway divided it from Doveton in 1972, and the area south-east of Eumemmerring Creek (with its own school opened in 1977) became the suburb of Eumemmerring in 1981. Most of the schools had high enrollments within a few years of opening (Doveton West had over 1050 pupils in five years). In 2011 the State schools had been reduced to one, centred on the site where Doveton primary opened in 1956.

Image supplied by: Brad Farrell

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