La Trobe's Cottage

16 May, 2010

Architectural Model - La Trobe's Cottage, Jolimont, 1839-1840.
Architectural Model - La Trobe's Cottage, Jolimont, 1839-1840.
Source: Museum Victoria

Question: I am a member of the Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage. Do you have a model of this building in your collection? If so, is it on display?

Answer: A scale model of La Trobe’s Cottage is in Museum Victoria’s collection. It was made by John Cherrey for a 1989 Melbourne Museum exhibition entitled Home Sweet Home: Changes in Victorian Architecture 1839–1989. It was then donated to the collection by Hassell Pty Ltd. The cottage was the earliest domestic building portrayed in the exhibition, having been brought to Victoria on the same ship as La Trobe himself in 1839. The model is not currently on display; however, a description and photograph of the item can be accessed at our History & Technology Collections Online site. If your research requires access to the model itself, you should make a Collection Access request via our online form.

Several other architectural models from the Home Sweet Home exhibition were donated to Museum Victoria’s collection, and a couple of them are on display at our venues. At the Immigration Museum’s Leaving Home gallery, visitors can see a model of Milligan House, a concrete home built in Brighton in 1922; meanwhile, visitors to Melbourne Museum’s Melbourne Story exhibition can view the model of a house used in “Operation Snail” in the late 1940s. Both of these models are also viewable online via the History & Technology Collections Online site.

Of course the best way to experience La Trobe’s Cottage is to arrange a visit to the building itself. The cottage now sits on Dallas Brooks Drive near Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, just down the road from the current (much grander!) Government House. Public visits to the cottage are overseen by the National Trust.

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