Barfold Mechanics' Institute
(1897-present)

Aged 124

Commemorated on 1 plaque

MIV Historical Plaques Program #0043

Barfold Mechanics' Institute. Established 1897. Moved to this site in 1906. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This building, originally sited at Emberton, was the Emberton State School from 1874 to 1886. It was used by Redesdale railway construction workers till 1891. The site was gazetted for a Mechanics' Institute in 1895, and in 1897 a library was established with a donation of books by Miss Mitchell of Barfold Estate. In 1906 the building was relocated to this site in Dargan's paddock, beside the Barfold Railway Station, on the Kyneton-Redesdale Road. This plaque, No. 43 in the MIV series, commemorates the Victorian launch of "Home is Where the Hall Is" on 27 October 2013 by Ms Amanda Millar MLC representing the Minister for the Arts. The occasion included a book launch, artwork by students of Langley and Redesdale-Mia Mia schools and unveiling of a replica 'Mechanics' Free Library' sign.

Heathcote-Kyneton Road, Barfold, Victoria, Australia where it sited