Chiltern’s historic value has always been a talking point, but this year’s National Trust Heritage Festival will be about the town’s new additions, too.
Last year’s event was significant, with Chiltern hosting the state-wide launch, and National Trust Chiltern property manager Sue Hinrichs wanted to keep the momentum going.
“The general feel of the town was celebratory,” she said.
“The heritage festival is Australia-wide and each town nominates different events.
“It used to be a sleepy dusty, town, but Chiltern’s coming alive.”
Three old buildings have been re-purposed this year – studios Blackbird and Paper Trail have joined the scene, as well as a tea room in the old bank. Chiltern Tourism and Development president Kevin Mayhew welcomed visitors to see the new ventures on Sunday, as part of their journey back in time.
“This will be a casual weekend where people are encouraged to come to Chiltern and do a discovery tour,” he said.
“The visitor information centre will do guided walking tours, or will have a brochure for people to do self-guided tours.
‘We’ll have guides to tell them the story of the different places they visit – of Dow’s Pharmacy, the Federal Standard and Lake View house, the three National Trust properties – not many towns in Victoria have that many.
“The tour highlights significant other properties in Chiltern – we’ve got something like 20 or 30 listed on the Victorian register of historic properties.”
Mr Mayhew said as part of the weekend, evening lantern tours will also be on offer, the Chiltern Athenaeum Museum will celebrate its 150th anniversary and visitors are welcome to cruise the Old Hume Highway 31.
“It’s an iconic piece of road and we’d love as many people in their old cars to come along,” he said.
“It’s not just about the properties, but about people being able to go to the Athenaeum to hear about their family history, and learn of the significant people in Chiltern.
“The creation of the football club happened behind the building in Dow’s residence – it’s all those stories and more.”