Preservation and Restoration

From the 1970s onwards interest had been shown by various people including school teachers in preserving the homestead. A letter was written to the Director of the Historic Building Council (HBC) on the 26/2/1986 inquiring about registration and preservation of the station complex. A reply was received on the 7/3/86, advising that the building was not registered, and enclosed was an application from for registration. Forms were completed and returned on the 1/4/86, this application was acknowledged on the 10/3/1987. In March 1987 an architect and a historian visited the homestead to assess its importance. After this the application was completed and lodged. State registration was granted in 1989 and National registration in 1991. Preservation could not commence until after registration and until the property was owned by Walpeup Shire.

Cookhouse, part roof

Restoration of the Cookhouse

From 1988 to February 1997 many attempts were made to convince the Shire councillors the the Commissioners to purchase the complex but these were all unsuccessful. During this time a number of visits were made by people from the HBC. A Conservation report by Dr Miles Lewis of Melbourne University was completed in 1993, this recommended the preservation of the building and listed guidelines as how it should be carried out. Before the election of the present Mildura Rural City Council in March 1997 a final attempt was made, letters were written to all 31 prospective councillors and after the election, letters were written to the new councillors and to members of parliament. The response was positive and the significance of Kow Plains finally recognised by the council. Negotiation began with the owner and the agreement to purchase was signed on 23/7/1998. A Section 86 Committee of Management was formed on the 7/9/1998.

From March till August in 1999 working bees were held regularly to remove all old machinery and junk form the site. In November 1999 a new sign was erected at the gate and in April 2000 signs were erected at wells. On the 12th and 13th of April 2000, architect Pip Giovanelli from Canberra visited the site along with Tomas Nohel from Heritage Victoria to assess and make recommendations to Heritage Victoria.

On the 19th of May 2000 Pip Giovanelli’s report was acknowledged and as a result the historical significance of the Kow Plains Homestead was recognised and a grant for $68,850 was received from the Public Heritage Program. Work  commenced on Stage 1 of Restoration in March 2001 and was completed prior to the opening on the 20th October 2001

A further grant of $20,000 was received from the Public Heritage program in Feb.2002 and along with funds from the Mildura Rural City Council and from the Kow Plains Committee. Stage 2 of restoration and other tasks were completed by the opening on the 12th April 2003

See our gallery for restoration photos >

Clubs Welcome

Clubs Welcome

Books for Sale

Books for sale

Family Tree Research

Family Tree Research