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150 years: Lake Goldsmith State School

Learn about the history of Lake Goldsmith State School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

Beaufort, 3373
1 January 1867
20 June 1947
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Lake Goldsmith Common School

The history of Lake Goldsmith State School

  • 1867

    Lake Goldsmith opened as a common school in 1867. It was built on the east side of the lake.

    Quarried stone for the school building came from the shores of the lake itself.

    The first head teacher was IM Rowland.

    The school committee handed over the school building to the government.

    In return, the government sent money to pay for the cost of building the school and to help pay for the head teacher.

    Parents also had to pay a weekly fee to send their children to the school.

    As there were only 30 students enrolled at the school to begin with, the head teacher's pay was low.

  • 1900s

    In 1900 the school moved to the south-west corner of the lake, near the creamery.

    Students from the near-by Stockyard Hill State School (No. 718) started attending when the school closed.

    In 1903 student attendance dropped.

    The Department of Education stopped paying for a teacher and the building was sold.

  • 1915

    The school reopened on the first site that lay on the east side of the lake.

    The new head teacher was J Davies.

    The school opened part-time as there were only an handful of students enrolled.

  • 1920s

    By 1922, 15 students enrolled and the school opened full-time. There were 22 students enrolled in 1923.

    The local community always supported the school. In 1915 parents put up a fence around the grounds and built a stable for the children's horses.

    In 1926 they built a shelter shed and installed wire doors (flyscreens) in the school building.

    A timber plantation was established in 1927.

  • 1930s

    In 1931 the community built a tennis court at the school and in 1935 donated a new piano.

    In 1936 special gates were installed in memory of Cr. D Stewart, a great benefactor to the school.

    Over many years the community also gave books to the school library. Unfortunately, school inspectors said the collection of books were unsatisfactory.

    The school was able to buy more library books with money from the Gillies Bequest Scheme.

  • 1943

    By 1943 the school was overseen by an ex-teacher, Mrs M Cushing. During her time very few students enrolled.

  • 1947

    The school closed in 1947.

    There were only six students. These students caught the bus to Beaufort State School (No. 60).

  • 1966

    The Lake Goldsmith Social Club bought the old bluestone school building from the Department of Education.

    Lake Goldsmith State School bluestone hall in 1972.
    Hall at the former Lake Goldsmith State School in 1972. (Source: Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria)

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it’s your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what info PROV have on this school.