Blackburn, Blackburn North and Blackburn South, form the Post Code 3130, about 18ks east of the city of Melbourne. Blackburn was an orchard area and there are still the odd pockets where the fruit trees can be seen. Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, an area of regenerated bushland, walking tracks and much wildlife, such as possums, sugar gliders and a vast variety of birds, is also known as the Bell Bird area because of the abundance of Bell Birds, which can be very noisy especially in summer. Before the lake was formed, Kooyongkoot Creek travelled it’s way along the valley from Mitcham through Blackburn on its way to the YarraRiver. In 1889 the lake was formed by the damming of Gardiners Creek to provide water for the orchards. The artist, Frederick McCubbin, a member of the HeidelbergSchool lived in Wolseley Crescent and painted works such as “Down on His Luck”, “Bush Idyll” and “The Bush Burial” in this area. “Lake near Blackburn” (1890) was also painted here by Theo Brooke Hansen. There is quite an artists’ trail from Box Hill to Blackburn. Whitehorse Road and the Railway serve 3130 very well. It was quite an occasion to catch the steam train from Melbourne for a picnic. Blackburn station was opened in 1882 and in 1889 BlackburnSchool was opened.
Pictures and words by Margaret Lowe.