Out of the wilderness

John Noone (1820 -1893) arrived in Melbourne in 1856 and established a photographic studio, but was later employed in the Government Survey Office as a photographer.

His photographs were acclaimed and he was commissioned by the government to prepare albums for visiting dignitaries. This photograph is one of eight commissioned for presentation to visiting British naval officers and is part of a near complete panorama from the high point of Dr Fitzgerald’s house in Lonsdale St.

The panorama records the increasing permanence of post-gold rush Melbourne in its solid buildings and denser settlement. The background shows the West Melbourne Swamp, known as Batman’s Swamp.

The foreground contains the West Melbourne Common School, West Melbourne Library Institute Fountain, and the area near the present site of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) where the Royal Mint was to be built.

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is the peak body for local history in Victoria. It has a fine collection of photographs, manuscript and a library.

The society has an active program of lectures, walks, talks and exhibitions. To find out more, visit www.historyvictoria.org.au

Visitors are always welcome.  239 A’Beckett St, Melbourne. Ph: 9326 9288. Email: office@historyvictoria.org.au

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