History comes to life at Mount Martha House

Published on 15 November 2018

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Mornington Peninsula community members past and present joined together at Mount Martha House on Thursday 8 November to launch the Mount Martha House Historical Audio Trail; a series of 10 audio stories depicting the property’s rich history and tales from the people who lived them.

Mount Martha House has lived many lives, after being built in 1888 and opening in 1889 as a coffee palace, it is now a heritage listed property. 

In 1900 the house became a hotel and semi-private guest house, then served as a training school for RAAF Officers during World War 2 and was the 30 WRAAC Barracks from 1950 to 1976.

In 1976 the house was purchased by Shire of Mornington and in 1978 opened as Mount Martha House Community Centre.

The property now has a new lease on life with the reactivation of Community Programs offering a range of events and activities including:

  • Playgroups
  • Monthly community lunches
  • Historical tours of the building and much more.

Mount Martha House Community Programs are supported by Mornington Peninsula Shire and Department of Health & Human Services through the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program.

The halls and rooms at Mount Martha House are also available to book for meetings, parties, classes and more.

Shire Mayor Councillor David Gill said Council was “pleased to support this project with a $5,000 Community Placemaking grant and $1,000 flexible grant to help the historical society purchase a computer to catalogue their collection.

“The house is such an important part of Mount Martha’s history and we’re working to share stories of the Peninsula with everyone.

“The Shire also worked with the society to produce the trail signage including braille elements and accompanying web pages which offer direct links to the audio and text files for anyone who prefers to read the scripts”.

Briars Ward Councillor Bev Colomb said the project had been a “fantastic opportunity to work together with the community on a memento of our people and a place many have called home.  

“I was especially pleased to be able to offer a snippet of information as a guest speaker on the audio trail”.

Fellow Briars Ward Councillor Rosie Clark said “Mount Martha house is such beautiful place and it’ great to see it restored as a community meeting place”.

Briars Ward Councillor Sam Hearn said “it’s great to see this community space reactivated as a hub for people looking to get together and connect in Mount Martha”.

If you missed the audio trail launch, or just can’t wait to go back again, a special Christmas fair is being held at Mount Martha House on Saturday 1 December.

Own a local business? Why not apply for a stall, applications are now open!

Stallholder applications close Friday 23 November.

For more information or to apply for a stall, visit: mountmarthahouse.com.au

Mount Martha House Christmas Fair
Saturday 1 December, 10am – 2pm
466 Esplanade, Mount Martha

Come along and enjoy a great day out with:
• Community group exhibits/displays
• Historical Tour of the house
• A variety of stalls selling locally made craft/goodies
• Sausage sizzle
• Range of kids activities

Plus a special visit from Miss Piggy the Mt Martha Community Bank mascot and Santa!

PICTURE CAPTION: Mayor Gill, Jocelyn Splatt, Gill Gordon from the Mount Martha House Historical Collection, Kai Hassan, Louise Stewart, Cr Colomb and Cr Clark at the launch of the Mount Martha House Historical Audio Trail.