The history of Eltham, Eltham North and Research street names


This material is courtesy of Eltham District Historical Society.

Near Eltham Central Pavilion

These are the adjoining streets of Panther Place (where Eltham Central Pavilion is), Library Place and Youth Road (where Eltham Guide Hall is).

  • Panther Place: The name dates from the early 1970s, before which the road was merely an unnamed access road to Eltham Central Park. The Panthers is the nickname of the Eltham Football Club.
  • Library Place: This road was formerly the driveway access to the rear of the Eltham Shire Offices. When the Eltham Senior Citizens’ Centre asked Council to provide a name to help people find their premises, including by emergency services, the name Library Place was suggested and adopted.
  • Youth Road: The road dates from about 1970 and its name reflects the youth activities there – 1st Eltham Scout Hall, Eltham Guide Hall and the tennis courts.
Central Eltham, named by Holloway

Most of the streets in central Eltham were named by Josiah Holloway in the 1850s. Some he named after his family (in blue) and some for unclear reasons (in green).

Those named after his family (in red):

  • Susan, Main and Bible: the three north-south streets were named after his wife, whose maiden name was Susan Maria Bible (Maria Street was later re-named as Main Road).
  • Arthur: his brother-in-law.
  • Henry: his first child.
  • John: his brother and father.

Those presumed to have been named after various notables (in blue):

  • Brisbane: Sir Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860), who served as Governor of New South Wales 1821-1825 and after whom the city of Brisbane is named.
  • Brougham: Lord Brougham (1778-1868), who was a British statesman, Lord Chancellor and prominent member of the Whig Party.
  • Cromwell: Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), who led the Parliament of England’s armies against King Charles I during the English Civil War and then ruled the British Isles as Lord Protector until his death.
  • Franklin: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
  • Napoleon: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who became the emperor of France following the end of the French Revolution.
  • Peel: Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), who was a British Conservative who served twice (1834 and 1841) as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • Pitt: William Pitt the younger (1759-1806), who was a prominent British Tory who became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24.
  • York: Prince Frederick (1763-1827), who was Duke of York.

Those named by Holloway but with unclear origins (in green):

  • Bridge: the sections east and west of the creek were named Bridge Street East and Bridge Street West respectively. During the first half of the twentieth century, the latter was also known as Greensborough Road.
  • Diamond: presumably named after the Diamond Creek. Incidentally, the origin of the name Diamond Creek is not known.
  • Luck: perhaps named because Holloway could not believe his luck in being able to purchase and subdivide 600 plus acres in Eltham in 1851.
  • Silver: origin of name unknown but could be a word play associated with nearby Diamond Street.
Eltham North and nearby
  • Beard Street, Frank Street and Thomas Street: In 1909, the Franktonia estate (or Beard’s estate) was created from land that had been held by the Beard family since 1860, when they purchased it from the Crown. The blocks of 6 to 29 acres were advertised as “well suited for farming and fruit growing and adapted for rural suburban residential purposes, the blocks comprising beautiful crests, some picturesquely wooded.” The Franktonia estate, hence Frank Street. The Beard family, hence Beard Street. Thomas Beard, hence Thomas Street (presumably).
  • Bellevue Road: named after the Belle Vue farm property, which was subdivided in the 1920s. The house is located in Livingstone Road (which was formerly part of Bellevue Road) near the corner of Batman Road.
  • Coleman Crescent: named after the Coleman family’s cottage, located at a bend in Main Road near Wattletree Road, which for many years was known as Colemans Corner. Coleman Crescent was originally part of Main Road before re-alignment.
  • Gastons Road: named after the Gaston family, who owned Edendale between 1933 and 1968 (Gastons Road is the entry to Edendale).
  • Glen Park Road: Glen Park was the original name of the entire Eltham North area.
  • Laurel Hill Drive: named after a property on the eastern side of the creek.
  • Shalbury Avenue: named after one of the people (Mr. Shallard) who subdivided the land in that area.
  • Zig Zag Road: Today there is one zig zag near the Main Road end, but previously there was also a series of zig zags at the steep section about halfway along the road (where Zig Zag Road becomes Zig Zag Road North). This section has now been closed to traffic.
Research and nearby
  • Allendale Road: named after the Allendale gold mine, which was located on the western side of the Diamond Creek between present day Eltham North Reserve and Allendale Road.
  • Bells Hill Road: this road, which is near Eltham College, was once part of Mount Pleasant Road but had to be re-named in the 1990s when it became separated from the main part of that road. Named after the pioneer Bell family of Kangaroo Ground who lived nearby.
  • Ingrams Road: named after the Ingram family, who operated a bakery.
  • Parsons Road: named after the Parsons family, who had a farm at the corner of Main Road and Parsons Road in the late 1920s.
  • Brinkkotter Crescent: named after Anton Brinkkotter, who operated a large poultry farm on Main Road between Research Primary School and the Maroondah Aqueduct. He was also a Councillor and Shire President of the Shire of Eltham.
  • Reynolds Road: named after the Reynolds family, who were early settlers in Research at the corner of Main Road and Reynolds Road.
South Eltham

Most of the streets in South Eltham are named after either local people or local properties.

  • Antoinette Boulevard, Leonard Crescent and Rodda Parade: these three streets were originally part of Bridgeland Park Estate. The estate was subdivided around 1925 by someone called Austin Bastow, who named Leonard Crescent and Rodda Parade after family members. The origin of the name Antoinette Boulevard is not known.
  • Culla Hill and Sweeneys Lane: Thomas Sweeney (1803-1867) is considered to be the pioneer settler of Eltham. He was transported to Australia as a convict and later received a Conditional Pardon (1838), after which he travelled from NSW to Port Phillip, then to Eltham. When he died, he left 418 acres of land in Eltham to his wife and family. Sweeneys Lane is named after Mr. Sweeney. Culla Hill is named after Mr Sweeney’s house, which he called Culla Hill after the area in Ireland that he came from. Culla Hill provides access to the subdivided lots of the former Sweeney property.
  • Fordhams Road: named after the Fordhams, who lived there in the 1930s.
  • Griffith Park Road: named after Councillor Fred Griffiths, who lived there in the 1950s.
  • Hohnes Road: named after the Hohne (or Hohnes) family, who used to live there.
  • Kent Hughes Road: named after Dr. Wilfred Kent Hughes, who lived there around 1930.
  • Lavender Park Road: originally Tillys (or Tilleys) Road. Later it became New Street, but that name was abolished following a sensational double murder there in 1954 (read more). It was then re-named Lavender Park Road, after the property Lavender Park near the southern end.
  • Metery Road: originally Cemetery Road. The reason for the change of name is not known.
  • Jalna Court: named after a small dairy farm which was established there in 1959.
  • Laughing Waters Road: named after the property Laughing Water (now known as Caitlin’s Retreat) that was built in 1913.
  • Mays Road: named after Dr. Frank May, who lived nearby in the 1950s.
  • Mount Pleasant Road: named after the property Mount Pleasant, which is located at the eastern end, near Gumtree Road.
  • Yarra Braes Road: named after the property Yarra Braes, which was owned by Councillor Hubert Rutter up until 1939.
South West Eltham
  • Baxter Street: probably named after a Captain Benjamin Baxter who, in 1840, purchased 950 acres extending from the Plenty River to the Eltham Village Reserve, including the southern part of Montmorency and much of Lower Plenty, but never actually lived there.
  • Bolton Street: The origin of the name is unknown. Bolton Street is part of a long Government road reservation (pre-dating the Holloway subdivision) which extended from the Yarra River in the south to the township of Diamond Creek in the north. The portion within the former Eltham Shire became Bolton Street and the portion within the former Diamond Valley Shire became Ryans Road (named after some early residents of Diamond Creek). Subsequently, the section between the railway and the Shire boundary was re-named Ryans Road to conform with the name further north, the section between Bridge Street and the railway was made part of Brisbane Street, and the section between Rosehill Road and the Yarra River was re-named Yarra Hill Close.
  • Ely Street: named after orchardist Evelyn Falkiner, who owned the land where Eltham High School now is. It is thought that ‘Ely’ is an abbreviation of ‘Evelyn’.
  • Falkiner Street: named after Frederick Falkiner, who was Eltham’s first postmaster (1854-55) and operated from a hut on his property on the street. Frederick was Evelyn’s father (see Ely Street above).
  • Porter Street: probably named after merchant George Porter (1800-1848), who came to Australia in 1835, having some years earlier left his native Yorkshire to live in Malaya. He had two houses, one in central Melbourne and the other in Lower Plenty, and both were named ‘Cleveland’ after his former home in the Cleveland Hills, Yorkshire.
  • Souter Street: named after the early pioneer Souter family. Souter Cottage is the oldest mud brick building in Nillumbik, dating back to the 1850s. At one time, Mervyn Skipper owned the property.
  • Walsh Street: named after Bill Walsh, who was keeper of the Eltham Pound in the late 1920s.
  • Withers Way: named by Nillumbik Council c1995 after Heidelberg School artist Walter Withers (1854-1914), who lived nearby at the corner of Bolton and Brougham streets. The road was originally part of Dalton Street, which therefore existed to the west of Diamond Creek as well as to the east, but was re-named due to some people apparently experiencing difficulties locating properties.
  • Fay Street: named after Fay Harcourt, who was the wife of the well-known local builder John Harcourt. It was previously called Peter Street, after the son of Mrs Theo Handfield, who subdivided the surrounding land in 1924.
  • Handfield Street: named after Mrs Theo Handfield, who was the owner of the Stanhope Estate when it was subdivided in 1924.
  • Jelbart Court: named after Ronald and Yvonne Jelbart, who owned most of Woodridge Estate, reputedly obtained by adverse possession.
  • Pryor Street: named after Joseph Pryor, who ran a dairy farm in the late 1850s which occupied the large area bordered by Main Road, Pryor, Bible and Arthur streets.
  • Stokes Place: located on part of the former Stokes Orchard, established by Frank Stokes in the 1940s, which was subdivided in the 1970s.
  • Taylor Street: probably named after Bob Taylor, who was a farmer and councillor who subdivided his land in the 1910s.
  • View Hill Crescent: named after the View Hill property, which was subdivided in the 1920s.