Community fight builds to save historic Marshall landmark
The Marshall Bluestone Cottage Community Group is calling on the Victorian Government to save a unique remnant of Geelong’s local heritage by relocating historic McAteer Cottage.
The pioneering McAteer family built the bluestone cottage at the corner of Tannery and Barwon Heads roads in 1866. But under plans by Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) to duplicate Barwon Heads Road, the 155-year-old structure will soon be destroyed.
“Our group is not against progress, and we fully support the need to duplicate and improve Barwon Heads Road,” explained Marshall Bluestone Cottage Community Group president Virginia Johnson.
“But very little remains of Marshall’s early-European settlement heritage, so our group of more than 50 locals believes this modest place is an important landmark that’s truly worth saving.
“Three separate heritage studies by the City of Greater Geelong also recognise the McAteer bluestone cottage as ‘significant’ and that it ‘should be preserved and included where possible in any future development’.
“So we urge Major Road Projects Victoria to carefully dismantle and reconstruct this structure on nearby public land to become a new Marshall Town History House that can be open to the public and become a community hub and a repository for information about the district’s history.
Mrs Johnson says Major Road Projects Victoria has relocated other buildings when required to save heritage places that are highly valued by local communities.
“McAteer Cottage reminds us the Marshall Town district provided jobs in industries linked to Geelong’s early wool-processing prosperity, such as fellmongery and leather production that prospered along the Barwon due to the abundance of wattle-bark with high levels of tannin, and ample fresh water.
“For this reason, we hope the City of Greater Geelong will work with MRPV to ensure this rare example of our local settlement history is not lost forever to the wrecker’s ball, like so much of our region’s lost heritage,” Mrs Johnson concluded.
Members of the public to register their support to save and relocate McAteer’s Cottage by emailing: