History of Greening of Riddell
Riddells Creek 1888 by Ernest Decimus Stokes.
The Flour Mill is in the centre of the painting and the residence of Smith's Nursery is also depicted.
In the early 1980's a group of Riddells Creek residents formed a working group to lobby for the under grounding of the power lines in Station Street. Under grounding would allow space for the majestic Elms to grow as the mature trees had just been cut back to stumps. They obtained a grant and were successful in convincing the authorities that this initiative would beautify the main street.
The working group's submission to the SEC (State Electricity Commission) was won on the basis of preserving an historic walkway to Smith's Nursery.
Up until the 1920's, day trippers with their picnic baskets would arrive by train, walk down Station Street, down the old Sunbury Road, through Smith's Reserve / Lake Park , through the Green Patch and along the creek path to Smith's Nursery. The lake was dug out for the railway line and to get water for the trains. The walking path not only linked the station to Smith's Nursery, but beyond to Falbarrow House which became the first electrified house in Victoria.
Having returned from the United States, Sir John Monash set up a generator powered by the old water race that fed the bluestone mill. Sir John later became the driving force behind the electrification of the whole state of Victoria and distinguished himself in the First World War.