La Trobe’s Cottage
As, perhaps, the most significant dwelling relating to Melbourne’s colonial history, La Trobe’s Cottage provides an excellent introduction to many aspects of Melbourne prior to and during the gold rushes.
The Cottage provides a fascinating glimpse of the life of Charles Joseph La Trobe, the first Superintendent of The Port Phillip District who was appointed by the British government to administer the region, at that time an outpost of the colony of New South Wales. Charles La Trobe and his Swiss wife, Sophie, and two-year-old daughter Agnes and two servants arrived in Melbourne in late September 1839, a mere four years after the first European settlers arrived. La Trobe brought his own portable prefabricated cottage which he had purchased in London. Upon his arrival, he purchased 12½ acres (nearly 5 hectares) at East Melbourne and here he constructed the cottage.
After the La Trobe family left in 1854, the Cottage’s survival was frequently in doubt, until, in 1963/4, it was moved and reconstructed as closely as possible to the original building, retaining as many original elements as possible. It now, also, contains a wealth of memorabilia associated with Charles and Sophie La Trobe and their children, all of which provide a remarkable opportunity for students to see, at close quarters, their lives in quite intimate detail.
The Cottage is available for guided tours by school and ESL groups, bookings essential. It can be successfully combined with a tour of Government House when available.For bookings phone 8663 7260, or email: email@example.com