Maldon Athenaeum LibraryPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown
The Mechanics Institute of Victoria Plaque at the Maldon Athenaeum Library was erected during the 150th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of gold at Maldon in 1853.  The Maldon Athenaeum was established in 1863 on the worldwide principles of the Mechanics’ Institutes Movement that was popular at the time.

In December 1853, gold was discovered at Cairn Curran (the name given to one of the sheep runs), and Maldon became a part of the Victorian Gold Rush. The goldfield, which was named "Tarrangower Fields" after Mount Tarrangower, immediately attracted an immense number of men eager to make their fortunes at the diggings. Just one month after gold was first discovered, the Chief Commissioner for Goldfields reported 3000 miners had arrived at the diggings. A month after that, a journalist for The Argus reported that the road from Castlemaine to Maldon was lined with the shops of people hoping to make a living of their own from the miners.

The purpose of the MIV Historical Plaques Program is to inform the public of the history of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria and also give a snippet of history about the individual Institute. The idea of putting a plaque on Mechanics' Institute Halls was advanced by Committee member Alan Tonkin in 1999. Committee member Paul Permezel brought it to reality in 2003 and since then plaques have been installed to mark special occasions within Institutes all across the State. These plaques have been used to commemorate a significant date in the history of an Institute or town; be it an anniversary, or a significant renovation or restoration project.



Address:97 High Street, Maldon Athenaeum Library, Maldon, 3463
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.995749
Long: 144.067701
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Approx. Event Start Date:1853
Approx. Event End Date:2003


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 21st April, 2003
Front Inscription
Mechanics Institute of Victoria Inc. (MIV)

Maldon Athenaeum Library 1863

The Mechanics` Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A 'mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics` Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision of "rational recreation" in the community.

This plaque, No.1 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 21 April 2003 during celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Maldon.
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au