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Knox Local History

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Knox City is a local government area located in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The city was established in 1963 following the decision to split the former Shire of Ferntree Gully into two separate municipalities, with Knox being the western half. The city was named after Sir George Knox, who was a renowned educationalist and had served as the President of the Victorian Board of Education from 1912 to 1925.

The area that now forms the City of Knox was originally inhabited by the Wurundjeri people, who were the traditional owners of the land and lived in the area for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The first Europeans to explore the area were the surveyors who were working on mapping out the colony of Victoria in the mid-19th century.

The first recorded settlement in the area was in the early 1850s, when gold was discovered in nearby areas such as Ballarat and Bendigo. This led to a rush of prospectors who came to the area looking for their fortunes, and many stayed on to farm the land and establish communities. The first official post office in the area was opened in 1855 at what is now known as Scoresby, which is still part of Knox City today.

The area remained relatively undeveloped until the 1950s and 1960s, when there was a population boom in Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs. The State Government of Victoria introduced a decentralisation policy, which aimed to encourage the establishment of new suburbs and communities in the outer areas of Melbourne. This led to the development of many new housing estates, which were built in the Knox area to cater for the growing population.

The City of Knox officially came into existence in 1963, and since then it has continued to grow and develop into one of the most populous and diverse municipalities in Melbourne. Today, the city is home to over 160,000 people from all walks of life, and boasts a rich cultural heritage and a wide range of amenities and services.

One of the most notable landmarks in Knox City is the Knox City Council Chambers, which were built in the early 1980s and are located in Wantirna South. The Chambers are a striking example of modernist architecture and are a popular destination for architectural enthusiasts and visitors to the city.

Knox City is also home to a number of historic sites and buildings, such as the historic police station in Bayswater, which was built in 1904, and the Ferntree Gully Hotel, which dates back to the late 1800s. There are also a number of heritage-listed properties in the area, such as the Harmony Farmhouse in Knoxfield and the Bushy Park Homestead in Wantirna South.

The City of Knox has a rich cultural heritage, with a diverse range of ethnic communities living in the area. There are significant populations of people from countries such as China, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, as well as indigenous people and people of European descent. This diversity is celebrated each year with a range of cultural events and festivals, such as the Knox Festival, which is held annually in March.

In conclusion, the local history of the City of Knox is one of growth and development, with a rich cultural heritage and a wide range of historic sites and buildings. From its early days as a gold mining settlement to its current status as one of the most populous municipalities in Melbourne, Knox has a bright future ahead and is a vibrant and dynamic place to live, work and visit.

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View of the Dandenongs behind Knox City by Garry Hill from The Basin