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Friday, March 18, 2016

Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, 1954/1955

Taken from the the Clock tower of the former Town Hall, looking up Lonsdale Street towards the Clow Street intersection. Many of these buildings are no longer part of the scenery in Dandenong's CBD.

Well before the streets of Dandenong became synonymous with the sounds of bellowing cattle, cracking whips and barking dogs, the district was alive with an enviable mixture of natural resources. Red gums and She oaks, flowing water, rich soil for agriculture and the great potential for dairy farming. This together with its proximity to Melbourne, helped define the tiny township’s support role in serving to build booming Melbourne.

Although first settled in the 1840’s, it wasn’t until the 1850’s that the signs of organized industry began to emerge as dray load after dray load of felled red gums made their way to Melbourne, with much needed timber to establish wharves, timber street pavers and railway lines.

Supporting this industry was a small labour force who, along with a handful of bold settlers, they laid the foundations of the bustling town that continues 158 years later to draw people, business and industry into it boarders.

Dandenong’s proximity to Gippsland also meant that it soon became known as “The Gateway to Gippsland” as it was perfectly placed with road, and later, railway links to Gippslands' own network of, once considered, inexhaustible natural resources.

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