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Exhibition explores Montague’s history

10 Dec 2019

Exhibition explores Montague’s history Image

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Locals can catch a glimpse of what life was once like for Montague residents at an exhibition at Carlisle Street Arts Space running until late-January 2020.

City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said the exhibition was an “invaluable resource” and a “fascinating journey back in time.”

“This exhibition brings to life the triumphs and struggles early residents of our city faced,” she said.

“Montague was a bustling community and it’s interesting to see that as much as South Melbourne has changed, so many streets are instantly recognisable.”

Montague was a small but distinctive enclave within the former City of South Melbourne where a close-knit community helped develop Melbourne’s early dwellings.

Montague residents were employed in local industries, served in two world wars and survived the highs and lows of Melbourne’s fledgling economy.

The exhibition showcases archival material including a series of 1930s photographs from the Port Phillip city collection as well as a film weaving together 10 interviews with former residents.

According to the City of Port Phillip. Montague was well known for its community ties, with its own school, church, police station, kindergarten, football team, hotels and shops.

Established in the late 1860s, Montague had around 560 houses by 1875 with that number swelling to more than 2000 by 1900.

But in the 1920s, many houses were damp and decaying, with the whole area earmarked for demolition by the Victorian Government’s Slum Abolition Board in the late-1930s.

Today, Montague is being reimagined as one of the fastest-growing residential precincts in Fishermans Bend.

Montague: A Community Lost and Found will be on display at Carlisle Street Arts Space until January 29 2020 free of charge.

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