Henty MemorialPrint Page Print this page

11-June-2011 (Kent Watson)
11-June-2011 (Kent Watson)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The monument commemorates the discovery and first European settlement in Portland, Victoria in 1834 by Edward Henty and his brothers. The foundation stone was laid in 1914 but the erection of the memorial was delayed because of  World War One.  It was unveiled on the 20th November 1922. 

Plaques on faces of the monument also commemorate mariner William Dutton, explorers James Grant and Thomas Mitchell.

The Henty family were the first Europeans to settle within the Port Phillip district (now country Victoria). Edward Henty and his brother Stephen arrived at Portland Bay in 1834.  In the early years of settlement, the Hentys established a small farm and began whaling at Portland Bay. Their move inland came after they were found, to the surprise of both parties, by Major Thomas Mitchell'sl’s expedition.

Mitchell told the Hentys about the good farming land that was nearby and encouraged them to move their sheep northward to the fertile land surrounding the Wannon River.

This was a successful move. By 1839 the Hentys possessed over 30,000 sheep and 500 head of cattle. In the 1840s when land and stock prices collapsed the Hentys faced financial ruin but recovered. The Henty run was known as Merino Downs and is still owned by the descendants from Victoria’s first European settlers.

SOUTH-EASTERN BORDER, May 8 — The Henty memorial celebrations passed off with great enthusiasm at Portland last Thursday. The erection of a memorial to the Messrs. Henty brothers, the pioneers of Portland, had met with general public favour, and the official pile to mark the occasion of the extensive additions to the Portland deep water pier was driven. A visit of H.M.A.S. Melbourne was secured for the demonstration. The Mayor of Portland (Mr. W. J. Williamson), in the presence of a large crowd, upon being presented with a silver trowel, declared the foundation of the Henty memorial well and truly laid, on the spot where the explorer, Sir Thomas Mitchell, first met with the Henty brothers.

There 80 years ago, the three brothers Henty landed, and ploughed the first land so treated in Victoria. Mr. H. J. M. Campbell, M.L.A., the Premier (Mr. Watt), the Director of Education (Mr. Tate), and other prominent citizens, spoke enthusiastically of the auspicious event. Mr. A.C. Henty, on behalf of the family, thanked the people of Portland for erecting the memorial. A procession of 800 children was a feature of the day. The Parliamentary party, and the Mayor, Town Clerk, Councillors, and influential residents of Portland, went to the pier, where amid many addresses and the presentation to Mr. Watt of a silver paper weight by Mr. Warde, the contractor, the official pile of the new pier extensions was driven. A torchlight procession look place in the evening. The march was from the town to the friendly societies' ground, where sports were held.
Observer (Adelaide), 16 May 1914.


Address:Bentinck Street, Portland, 3305
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.341867
Long: 141.6069
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 30th April, 1914
Front Inscription

In commemoration of the first settlement of Victoria at Portland by Edward Henty Nov 19 1834 and of Stephen George,
Francis and John Henty.

This stone was laid by W. J. Williamson Esq L L B Mayor of Portland
30th April 1914

First land ploughed in Victoria

Left Side Inscription

In commemoration of the landing of William Dutton Master Mariner

The first white man to visit Portland Bay

Dec 1828

Back Inscription

In commemoration of the discovery and naming of Portland Bay by Lieu James Grant in H M Brig Lady Nelson

Dec 5th 1800

Right Side Inscription

In commemoration of the meeting of Major Thomas Mitchell and yhe Henty Brothers near this spot

29th Aug 1836

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design