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Town Central Motel 164 Nicholson St, Bairnsdale VIC 3875, Australia
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About Bairnsdale



is a small city in East GippslandVictoriaAustralia. Bairnsdale has an urban area population of 11,820 with 5,576 Males, 6,244 Females and a median age of 42. The city is a major regional centre of eastern Victoria along with Traralgon and Sale and the commercial centre for the East Gippsland region and the seat of local government for the Shire of East Gippsland. Bairnsdale was first proclaimed a shire on 16 July 1868 and it was proclaimed as a city on 14 July 1990..

The origin of the city's name is uncertain. It would have almost have certainly been Bernisdale, with "Bernis-dale" originating from "Bjorn’s dale", or glen which indicates the Viking origins of the Skye Village. Legend has it that Macleod was impressed by the number of Children on the run, the children of his stockmen, that he called it Bairns-dale, or "valley of the children".

Bairnsdale gardens.jpg
Bairnsdale Gardens Main Street




St Marys Church Bairnsdale is listed on the Victorian Heritage Database and the National Trust Register. On 19th October 2013 the church celebrated its 100th anniversary..

The former Bairnsdale Hospital buildings designed by Harry Gibbs, the two-storey central block, the single-storey pavilions on each side and the Contagious Diseases Ward to the south, are architecturally significant as an outstanding and largely intact example of nineteenth century hospital design..



Some of the earlier buildings in the town are perhaps a memorial to William J. Yates, who was a prominent architect, builder and monumental mason. He built the school, the old Shire Hall (1860), the Wesleyan Church and parsonage (1876), St. John’s Church, the old Bairnsdale Hospital (Cnr of McKean and Ross Streets) and the Mechanic’s Hall.



Roman Catholic Church


One of the most notable landmarks of Bairnsdale is the St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Main Street known for its distinctively tall tower. Construction of St Mary’s Church was commenced in 1913, replacing an earlier brick church which had been built thirty years earlier in 1883. Murals cover the walls and ceiling of St Mary's in Bairnsdale depicting saints, the trinity and scenes of hell, purgatory, heaven and the crucifixion. Every year the church receives up to 80,000 visitors from all over Australia and the world. The murals were painted by out of work Italian artist Francesco Floreani during the Great Depression and remain a fascination to this day.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church was well established when a new church building was opened on 29 April 1883. The Reverent Fr. Patrick O’Donohue was priest from 1883 to 1888. Early in the 1880s a school was opened and developed quickly so that extensions to the building were added in 1888.There were about 120 pupils in 1890. Fr Cremin oversaw the congregation from 1909 and in this period plans were drawn up to erect a magnificent brick church at an estimated £10,000. The architects were A.A. Fritsch and Harry French. Work started in August 1913 with the a stone being laid by Bishop Phelan of Sale on 19 October. The new church with its tower, described by a witness as, "a free treatment o of Romanesque style, built of brick with a slate roof".

Bairnsdale experienced growth in church numbers in the 1880s, many of them frequently recording packed congregations, particularly on special occasions. St Johns Church of England often had congregations of over 200 at the morning and evening services. The congregations of that church were headed by the Reverent E.W.S Hartmann who later lost his life crossing the flooded Mitchell River. He was succeeded by W.G. Hindley, under whom, a new brick church was built (still on the corner of Main and Pyke Streets) and opened by Bishop Moorhouse on 24 June 1884.






Entrance to the Bairnsdale Cemetery on the corner of Forge Creek Road




The Bairnsdale cemetery is now located off Forge Creek road opposite the race course. Its original location was situated at punt flat, now the site of the Mitchell Gardens Holiday Park beside the river. A plaque in acknowledgement of the site is located at the south-east corner of the Caravan Park. As a result of the major flooding in 1870 the site experienced erosion and reports were made that remains were washed downstream. Peter Moroney, Shire Secretary at the time, instructed William Jefferson to retrieve the remains and they were re-interred at the present cemetery.

As far back as the 1920s the cemetery was frequently criticised for its untidy appearance. It was proposed around this time that the cemetery be removed from the overseer of the council and transferred to the care of the different denominations. This was not adopted. In 1990 control of the cemetery was transferred to a community based trust. The lawn section of the cemetery was commenced in 1969. Initially wooden pegs were used to indicate grave numbers, later cloverleaf-shaped cast iron pegs were used. In 1946 a memorial garden was established for Bairnsdale's war dead. The Imperial War Graves Commission took over this section in 1946 and the area was attractively laid out with a fine gate and Cypress hedge, well kept lawns and white headstones, with a central memorial Cross of Sacrifice to the memory of the R.A.A.F. personnel who died in the Bairnsdale district during the war. Sir Dallas Brooks unveiled the Cross on a visit to the town on 7 September 1950. The lawn section was planned in 1964 and completed in 1970.






Bairnsdale Railway Station



Bairnsdale established a reputation as a marketing and trading centre for the large rural area of East Gippsland and this has been helped by the development of excellent road systems, a good railway service and to some extent steamer and air services. The 1880s were seen as the ‘Golden Age’ for steamer traffic on the rivers and Bairnsdale was seen as one of the major colonial ports. The brick railway station opened in 1890 with other platforms and railway infrastructure being completed at the same time. The contractor R. Kreokel won the contract for the work to be carried out for the amount of ₤2,322.

Shipping services from Bairnsdale to metropolitan areas linked with the railway so local primary producers could send their goods off to the markets in the major centre of Melbourne. As a consequence of the more frequent use of rail and the advent of refrigerated carts in 1890 which allowed dairy farmers and fishermen to appropriately transport their produce, the last coach service between Sale and Bairnsdale ran in 1889. In World War 2rail services were reduced with only three trains per week direct to Bairnsdale but services were restored in 1948. In 1952 diesel trains were first used on the line and the daily train from Melbourne to Bairnsdale was named the "Gippslander". VicRail established the Bairnsdale station as a regional freight centre in 1977.



Water Supply



Bairnsdale's Water Tower has been out of commission since the late 1980s and now serves as an icon of the Bairnsdale skyline




Plans were put forward in 1884 for the town’s water supply and tanks were erected in Main Street from which residents could draw water. Later John H. Grainger who designed the new Princes Bridge in Melbourne delivered plans to build a reservoir west of the township and for this to be connected to a pumping-plant and an elevated tank in the town itself. Contracts totaling £6,132 were made for Potter and Roberts to build the reservoir. The pipes were laid by soon after with John Jefferson appointed the engineer of the works. By 1890 reticulation of the town was ready to take place.

In order to supply a more consistent water pressure a reinforced concrete water tower was also built in Main Street in 1926-7. Measuring 100 ft high (30.48m) with a capacity of 80,000 gallons the structure was constructed by civil engineer Svend Haunstrup.



SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bairnsdale

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