Sunday, April 07, 2013

Mentone's Past

Mentone Melbourne took its name from the town on the French/Italian border. It took many street names from the areas of Italy. Milan, Naples, the Corso were some. There are other Mentone town's, I found a few in the United States. California, Texas, Alabama being a few.
Sue and I visited Menton in France on our way to Italy in 2006 only for the fact that we live in Mentone Melbourne.

I thought I would post few pictures I stole from our local Council Historical Society - the "old" seems to hold a special interest to us. What is happening to our lovely suburb is not to our liking these days - it is becoming very high density and we have more traffic lights, less parking but that might just say more about us and what we would like from our lifestyle these days. Maybe you would like to make comment on your lifestyle.

Mentone early subdivision took on an Italian persona with the naming of the streets. Being on the bayside it still looks like the Mediterranean cost line,

And the French/Italian area it takes its name.
We had our own grand Movie House - Its now gone.
I wish I had the opportunity to have seen a movie here - it was demolished for a road widening project,
We had our own pier and sea baths - it's now gone.
We also had our own bakery - it's also now gone..
But it is now the local historical museum.
We had our own Metro Fire Brigade - we still have although I believe it may be in another location which is now only two blocks from our home. I wonder if this picture is of the same location. I'll look that up.
Oh yes and we had a skating rink but that's gone.

The same skating rink - a bit earlier before they paved the roads.
This was the gasometers in Mentone but that's also gone - maybe not a bad thing.
This is the local primary school which is probably now over 130 years old, Sue taught here and occasionally still does a bit of emergency teaching.
It is one of the few pieces of old Mentone that remain although it is now two story with many more modern classroom on the grounds.
Although the roads in this picture are dirt, the building to the left is still there and the Mentone Coffee Palace, now a girls catholic school still exist. It's nice to know that some of old Mentone has survived.
Maybe in a future post I might do a story on modern Mentone - the Mentone that seems to draw a greater population to Bayside living.


  1. Modernisation is not generally pretty. It is so sad to say goodbye to the historic buildings. I am glad that much of France is restoring, but there are many private homes that are crumbling. Restoration is too expensive for the majority of youngsters and we see these horrible little new homes popping up all over the place! Have a good day, Diane

    1. We sometimes look at buildings for sale in France - not seriously but out of interest. We read of people restoring these old buildings but they are usually English speaking rather than the French themselves.
      We hope to eventually move from the growing population in our home area. To where? That's the big question.

  2. Arthur Streeton was a pupil of Frederick McCubbin at Melbourne's big art school when he met the artists and was invited to join them at Mentone. They shared a cottage in what is now called Beaumaris. This was the beginning of a long and delightful association. Have a look at "Mentone" 1887, painted by Streeton that summer. Perhaps the famous Heidelberg School of Art should have been called the Mentone School :)

    I wonder when the pier and sea baths were built. They don't seem to appear in the lads' paintings of the late 1880s.

    1. Hels - I agree, The Mentone School would have been cool. I did discover the our Impessionists at art school and wasn't aware of their Mentone days until we moved here 30 years ago.

  3. Lovely tour Leon, thanks. I love the pier and sea baths!

    1. Craig, I'm afraid there's not much left of old Mentone and I fear in the next 20 years, much more will be replaced.

  4. I feel very sad about the cliffs and the degradation of the vegetation opposite the Mentone Hotel. the cliff walk there is ugly and it's a bit like a moonscape. I would like to take some action on restoring this to a place of beauty - unfortunately the original cliffs were blasted so it can never be 'restored' but grasses would be less demanding of the soil than the current attempts with ti-tree - never indigenous to the area and she-oaks.


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