Unearthing Little Lon

Visitor Information

Two weatherboard houses, representative of those that populated the back lanes of Little Lon in the 19th century, have been created as part of the new Melbourne Story exhibition. The houses’ small, crowded, poorly-lit rooms are dressed with a mixture of props and collection objects, and peopled through audio and text panels.

Further Reading

ISPT and Heritage Victoria. 2004. Casselden Place, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Archaeological Excavations. Research Archive Report. Vols 1 – 4. Godden Mackay Logan, Melbourne.

Lane, S. 1995. Archaeological Investigation of the cottage at 17 Casselden Place, [Melbourne]: a Report to the Heritage and Environment Group. Australian Construction Services.

Mayne. A. & Murray, T. (eds) 2001. The Archaeology of Urban Landscapes: explorations in slumland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

McCarthy, J. 1989. Archaeological Investigation, Commonwealth Offices and Telecom Corporate Building Sites, Melbourne, Victoria. Volume 1: Historical and Archaeological Report.
Volume 2: Artefact Analysis and Catalogue
Volume 3: Appendix 2A. Artefacts recovered from Site A
Volume 4: Appendix 2B. Artefacts recovered from Site C
Volume 5: Appendix 3 - Historical background summary and List of former
occupiers of Sites A, B and C.

McCarthy, J. 1990. Archaeological Investigation, Site B. The Black Eagle & Oddfellows Hotels, The Commonwealth Block, Melbourne, Victoria. Volume 1: Historical and Archaeological Report
Volume 2: Artefact Catalogue

Comments (9)

sort by
William Gray 25 November, 2010 21:05
Just found your site. Started my apprenticeship with J Taft Electro Mechanical Products 27-29 LaTrobe St about 1942.Serviced many businnesses, repairs for brothels, and heaps of other things of the times. Have written some of it as part of my memoirs.
Toni 25 January, 2013 20:02
Just saw the exhibition today, it was great. I really could get a feel for the times in those reproduced houses I remember some older places I have lived in & have been to had similar structures. Wow is all I can say because I know my family who grew up in Glasgow back in the day had it just as hard. Hard times for sure, but you had a nice warmth about it so it was kinda beckoning for want to know my forebearers times just a wee bit. To above commentor - William Gray, that sounds great! I love hearing about peoples storys & history so I hope I get to see your book in stores someday. The history of a city & its people is always an interesting one as far as I am concerned especially the city I too have set my roots. Cheers Toni
Catherine Brown 13 April, 2013 23:11
I have recently discovered my Great Grandfather who immigrated late 1800's from Italy, lived @ #39 Cumberland Place when he registered on the 26 Oct 1916, as an alien under the war precautions regulations of 1916. The area has an amazing story in history and I am only now discovering my heritage. Great resource.
Kathryn Graham 30 October, 2013 17:05
During the 1850s, my GGG grandfather was living in the Little Lonsdale district in Melbourne. According to the Argus newspaper he was a 'man of colour' and 'one of the worst sorts in the Colony'. You have to love a bad ancestor?!! I'd love to know more about the area during the 1850s.
Eloise 10 November, 2013 21:14
Great information for my Year 9 history project; useful and written clearly. I wish there was a little bit more depth and detail, though. Thanks.
this should be easy to find 12 March, 2014 10:27
this is really hard to find on google :(
Wendy 2 January, 2017 22:28
I was a volunteer at the 1988 dig. I volunteered after seeing a news report on the dig. It was such an amazing experience that I decided to do my school work experience there. When those 2 weeks finished I spent the whole of the summer holidays also at the site. The incredible artifacts we found opened my eyes open so much too how families lived back in the late 1800's. I was even lucky enough to uncover a cesspit from 1888 that not only included the diseases from that time, some still active, but when emptied, many bottles of wine were found in the bottom. They were thrown down the cesspit to avoid having them taken from the Seller's. Working with Justin McCarthy was rewarding. And learning about Casseldon Place & the house with the little apple tree growing out of its chimney just from someone about 100 years ago, throwing or dropping a seed. It's an experience I am so glad at being a big part of.
Nancy Phillips 1 May, 2017 06:10
I was wondering if there was a Maria Carolan, maria white, maria davis or a mat A maria rutherfordwho lived there in 1861/1862
Kylie Williams 24 May, 2017 16:16
I was also part of this dig in 1988. Used to come from school and join in with a friend. Remember many eucalyptus bottles and one beautiful silk stocking being found.
Write your comment below All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.