Walhalla Mechanics Institute Hall & Meeting Room
Looking for a Vintage style venue for functions – weddings, birthdays, book launches, presentations or meetings. Then consider the Walhalla Mechanics Institute.
The meeting room is perfect for that small group meeting with lovely north views over Stringers Creek.
The hall can cater for 60 at tables, 80+ for a smorgasbord eaten from tables and chairs using both rooms.
The hall comes with basic crockery & cutlery. The kitchen has two sinks, one large fridge; NO FREEZER.
Please bring your own utensils such as carving knives, ladles and such.
The kitchen has urns and a large trolley for drinks to be served in the hall.
The hall has reverse cycle heating and cooling as well an open fireplace. You are to provide your own wood. The fire MUST be completely out with fire screen in place before leaving the building.
The room behind the main hall has a large billiard table which is covered and can be used to serve food for a smorgasbord or store gifts. Two double doors separate these rooms.
There is a smaller meeting room across the hall from the large hall which comes with hall hire which can seat 20. It is carpeted and has a fire place. This can be hired separately.
If you wish to go ahead with a booking you will need to
- Complete the rental booking form (link added at bottom of page)
- Pay a booking deposit (without which a booking is not registered)
Walhalla was so named after the first prosperous registered mine, being the Walhalla Long Tunnel Mine. Before 1866, this little settlement was previously known as Stringers Creek, after Edward Stringer and his party discovered Gold in 1862, in the creek now named after him.
The first free library opened in the Mechanics in 1867, it also operated as a private school in the beginning until a new and much larger school building was built at the base of the hill next to the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, north of the town.
A disastrous fire in November 1888 devastated the centre of Walhalla and consumed the priceless, irreplaceable books, documents and memorabilia kept in the building.
This Mechanics’ Institute was set up as educational establishment, usually run by one or more of the church groups in Walhalla. These Institutes were originally formed to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects, to the working class men and were often funded by local industrialists on the grounds that they would ultimately benefit from having more knowledgeable and skilled workmen. Many young men in Walhalla would have the pleasure of a bowl of soup provided, then have lessons each week to further their education, thus the possibility of earning a higher weekly wage.
The Mechanics’ Institutes were used as ‘libraries’ for the adult working class, and provided them with an alternative pastime to gambling and drinking in pubs. As there were up to 15 licensed Hotels in and around Walhalla, This Mechanics Institute was a popular place for those non drinkers.
The Mechanics Hall was rebuilt, but fell into disrepair when the mines closed around 1915, leaving only a few permanent residents who preferred the peace and quiet.
Again a fire broke out and destroyed this building and others in 1944. So for a third time this Mechanics Hall was rebuilt in the 1980 by a very dedicated group of local property owners and volunteers who wanted to keep the spirit of Walhalla’s Mechanics Institute alive. Army apprentices, along with work details from the Office of Corrections also did a tremendous job in the reconstruction of this important building. The local TAFE College and various businesses also contributed.
There are now small shops along the front. The hall, along with a special Meeting room is available for hire for that special occasion such as weddings, AGM’s, dances, and family re-unions.
The building is owned by the State of Victoria and managed by the Walhalla Board of Management.
Creek Cottage is available for over night accommodation with a very pleasant Miners Cottage style building at the back of the Hall.
For bookings of the Walhalla Mechanics Institute or Creek Cottage, please look at our bookings page and then come and experience this magic place yourself.