Friends of Westgarthtown

Westgarthtown is an historic 19th Century German/Wendish farming settlement 16 kilometres north of Melbourne, located in the suburbs of Thomastown and Lalor. Established on 640 acres (240 hectares) in March 1850, Westgarthtown celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2000.

Westgarthtown was named after William Westgarth, who had assisted the Germans and Wends to emigrate to and settle in Victoria. Using the most readily available material — bluestone — the German/Wendish settlers at Westgarthtown soon erected a Lutheran Church and School, numerous farmhouses and accompanying barns, stables, milking sheds and dairies. All were located on neatly laid out properties, bordered and divided by seemingly endless stone walls. Even the roads and yards were paved with stone.

Westgarthtown’s bluestone heritage today consists of many bluestone buildings and structures, all of which have been protected by Heritage Victoria by inclusion on its Heritage Register

These include:

  • Australia’s oldest operating Lutheran Church (1856) and and adjoining stonewalled cemetery (1850)

  • Ziebell’s Farmhouse (1851)

  • Wuchatsch’s and Maltzahn’s Farmhouses (1850s)

  • Siebel’s Farmhouse (1860)

  • Graff’s Farmhouse (1873)

  • Various outbuildings at Graff’s, Wuchatsch’s and Ziebell’s Farmhouses.

The Friends of Westgarthtown Inc was formed in 1995 to bring together those who care for Westgarthtown and its unique architectural, historical, cultural, landscape and environmental assets. The group consists of descendants of original German and Wendish settlers, local residents, German born Australians and other interested people such as historians, architects, teachers.

Should you wish to join the Friends of Westgarthtown, please write to us at PO Box 95, Thomastown, Victoria 3074. Membership is $10 per year for individuals and $15 families. Concession rates are $5 individual and $10 family.

In 1999 the Victorian German Teachers Association (AGTV) produced a Westgarthtown Trail Folder for use by German language students

Other references:

Westgarthtown (1998) by Robert Wuchatsch and David Harris.
Westgarthtown, the German Settlement at Thomastown (1985) by Robert Wuchatsch.
From Hamburg to Hobsons Bay (1999) by Thomas Darragh and Robert Wuchatsch.


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