Kyneton Mechanics' Institute. Opened 19 October 1858. 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. In 1855 a committee was formed to establish the Kyneton Mechanics' Institute. The first building opened in 1858, had meeting rooms and a library. Serious fires in 1867 and 1876 destroyed large sections of the building and its valuable library. In 1897 fire damaged the room of the main hall. The building was rebuilt after each of these fires. The original hall had a mural in a Grecian theme that was later replaced with an Art Deco design. The restoration and refurbishment in recent years has returned a grand building to the community where people can meet and socialise in the heart of the town. This plaque, No. 49 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2015. It is dedicated to the pioneers who established the reserve and built the hall.
Mollison Street, Kyneton, Victoria
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by Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria Inc. #0049 of the MIV Historical Plaques Program series