Learn about the family who built the McCrae Homestead

Show your students the pioneering life in one of Victoria's oldest homesteads built by the Mornington Peninsula's earliest European settlers.

“The kitchen is finished. It is made of posts stuck upright in the ground; it is plastered with mud.”

Letter from Alexander McCrae to Georgiana, his mother, May 1845

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The McCrae Homestead

The Homestead was built in 1844 in an area unsettled by other European pioneers. This makes it one of Victoria’s oldest homesteads and an important reminder of the state’s pioneer settlers.
The McCrae family lived here from 1844 until 1851, when they moved back to Melbourne.
The town of McCrae grew around the Homestead in the years that followed.

The wooden ceiling in the kitchen

The Homestead was mainly constructed using local materials. Builders and craftsmen had to travel to McCrae from Melbourne by boat and bring everything they needed with them. They could not buy anything once they arrived, and it was a long journey back to Melbourne!

Portrait of Eliza by Georgiana McCrae c1845

The area around the Homestead was important to the local Bunurong tribe. The McCrae family had a good relationship with the local Aboriginal people, who would often camp nearby and even help with chores. Eliza was a Bunurong woman who taught Georgiana and her son George words from their language.

Aboriginal Corroboree painted by George McCrae

George keenly observed the traditions and customs of the local Bunurong tribe. They wrote the words they learned from their Bunurong teachers in a document they entitled 'Lexicon'.

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