History

During the gold boom of the 1850s and with the coming of the railway, Elphinstone developed as a thriving town with a population of some 1,500 people. ON the 1st October 1856 a Church of England School, Elphinstone, opened with George Mouat HT from 1st of October to 31st of December 1856 and a total enrolment of 23 (sixteen boys, seven boys), and an a.a. of 12 (eight boys , four girls). Classes were held in the building which is still Elphinstone Church of England. The Board of Education accepted Elphinstone as a vested Common School No. 220 in 1863. From the 16th of June 1865 discussion and letters centred around the removal of the school elsewhere because of controversy over the denominational influence caused by the use of the Church of England. ON 12th August 1867 a proposed site, Shotton's Inn (described as 'now bare land' and the present site of the school)was put forward. Application for a vested school building was made on 20th August 1868. In 1869, the Trustees of the Church of England- the Rev. William Chalmers, Thomas Bell and Japhet Fletcher - advised that their Church could not be used after Easter Day , 28th March, as certain repairs had to begin. After grants of forty pounds, sixty pounds and one hundred pounds the Committee reported that the new schoolhouse was built and in use on the 30th August 1869. Furnishing could not be completed until 12th of June 1870 due to lack of funds. The building is sited on the rise above the junction of the Pyrenee Highway and the Calder Highway. HT William Benjamin ( 1869 -74) was in charge when Elphinstone became a State School on 1st January 1873.

Various changes made through the years included repairing the gallery, putting in a ceiling, repairing floors and out-offices, and in 1912, as the whole building was unsafe, damp and badly lit, besides being too small for more than 70 pupils, the school was remodelled at a cost of four hundred and sixty three pounds. During remodelling the gallery was removed, making the room larger, and more windows were added. While the work proceeded HT James Ellis conducted school in the local Mechanics Institute rented by the Department. In 1914, a five-room residence was erected on land purchased for ten pounds opposite the school. In 1958 the Mothers Club began it work to aid the school. Today Elphinstone School has a population of 37 children and two teachers and is proud of its continuing place in the history of Victorian education.

 

Taken from Vision and Realisation, Volume 2 1973