Looking for a Vintage-style venue for functions?
The Mechanics Institute is perfect for weddings, birthdays, family reunions, book launches, art shows, presentations and meetings.
The Main Hall with adjoining Billiard Room can cater for 60 seated at tables, and 80+ for a smorgasbord eaten from tables and chairs using both rooms.
The small Meeting Room is perfect for small group meetings or workshops, with lovely north views over Stringers Creek.
The Kitchen is stocked with basic crockery & cutlery. The Kitchen has two sinks, one large fridge (no freezer), urns and a large trolley for drinks to be served in the hall. Please bring your own utensils such as carving knives, ladles and such.
The Main Hall has reverse cycle heating and cooling, as well an open fireplace.
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 small Meeting Room seating 20 across from the Main Hall, which is included in the Hall hire. It is carpeted and has a fire place.
This small Meeting Room can also be hired separately.
The Mechanics Institute building is owned by the State of Victoria and managed by the Walhalla Board of Management.
Creek Cottage is available for overnight accommodation for functions, with a very pleasant Miners Cottage style building situated at the back of the Hall.
Come and experience this magic place yourself.
If you wish to go ahead with a booking you will need to:
Complete the Hall Hire Application
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.