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Miller's Homestead and Gardens, Boronia

Miller's Homestead is one of 3 historic homesteads owned by Knox City Council, including Ambleside Homestead and Stamford Park.

About

We acknowledge that Miller's Homestead is located on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation.

Miller's Homestead is a single storey Victorian residence on the corner of Melrose Court and Dorrigo Drive in Boronia.

It was the former home of James John Miller, the first President of Ferntree Gully Shire.

The building has been restored and is the best example of the late Victorian 'boom' era architecture of the 1880s in Knox.

The garden has been landscaped as close as possible to its original design, including a camellia walkway grown from plants dating back to the 1880s.

After a period of restoration, Millers Homestead reopened to the public on Monday 7 March 2022. 

What's on

Run by Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL), Miller's Homestead hosts a range of arts, culture, literature and heritage activities and events for the community, including:

  • creative writing and literature events
  • children's programs
  • community and cultural events
  • arts partnerships
  • heritage literature collections
  • genealogy services
  • gardening, seed back and sustainability activities.

View upcoming events

Let us know your feedback on the new Miller's Homestead and programmed events by emailing millers@knox.vic.gov.au

Location

Miller's Homestead
Corner Melrose Court and Dorrigo Drive, Boronia VIC 3155.

More information

History

Learn more about the historic homestead:

  • Other name: Melrose
  • Date of construction: 1888
  • Type of place: formerly a private residence
  • Owned by: the City of Knox as part of Knox Heritage and used for exhibitions, seminars and performances
  • Listing status: Classified National Trust Australia (Vic.) File No. 2173

Miller's Homestead was the home of James John Miller. 

Miller was the first President of Ferntree Gully Shire from 1889.

Before construction, the land of the property was wilderness and scrub.

The original property was over 77 acres and bounded by Miller Road, Albert Avenue and Mountain Highway. Miller also owned other block of land adjacent to this property, including what is now the entire shopping centre area in The Basin. In total this amounted to over 400 acres.

Millers Homestead replaced an 1870s house and included stables and training facilities. 

The Homestead is part of the historic landscape of Knox because of its:

  • historical associations with the settlement of the district of Knox
  • connection with the first Knox Shire President James John Miller, who built and lived in the Homestead
  • architectural significance. 
Architectural significance

The single storey Victorian dwelling is believed to have been designed by English architect Thomas Hunter.

The Homestead is of the Victorian 'boom' architectural era and is characterised by:

  • symmetrical design
  • stucco facades
  • 2 large bay windows with French doors instead of windows
  • an encircling timber and cast iron verandah
  • brick construction with a corrugated iron hipped roof.

While a fairly typical house of its period, the Homestead is architecturally unusual because of the:

  • use of French doors instead of windows
  • merging of  bay window roofs into the ridge.
Recent history

On 30 March 2020, Council considered a report on the potential future uses of Miller’s Homestead. The report brought together your feedback, Council officer research and the results of the feasibility study.

Council agreed with the results of the community consultation, that Miller’s Homestead be:

  • used for proactive programming
  • used for an art and history centre
  • be managed by a community or not-for-profit group.

Council has recruited a project officer to focus on the work required, including finding a community or not-for-profit tenant and getting the facility ready for its new use.

An expression of interest was conducted to identify an organisation to provide programming for a 12 month period, with the option to extend for a further 4 years.

Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL) was selected as the tenant for Millers Homestead for a 12- month pilot period from 2022 to 2023. ERL will program a range of arts, culture, literature and heritage activities and events for the community of all ages.

Community Reference Group (CRG)

The Miller's Homestead Community Reference Group (CRG) was appointed in 2021.

The group supports and guides activities relating to the community heritage asset, and contribute their local and industry knowledge.

The CRG will meet approximately 12 times per year, and the appointment is for 12 months.
Meetings will be a combination of face-to-face and online.

View terms of reference

For more information, email the Miller's Homestead Project Officer at millers@knox.vic.gov.au

Updates

For more information and updates on Miller’s Homestead:

Need help?

For more information, contact:

Knox City Council

Eastern Regional Libraries

  • Michelle Kemp, Miller's Homestead Officer on 0438 284 989.

What's happening

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