Oak Park 3046

Oak Park, a residential suburb 11 km. north of Melbourne, is situated in the southern part of Glenroy. Its western border is the Moonee Ponds Creek. The name is thought to derive from a property once owned by John Pascoe Fawkner.

Fawkner acquired land in the Oak Park area in 1839 at a Government land sale. Consisting of 316 ha., it ran eastwards from the Moonee Ponds Creek to today's Pascoe Vale. The Sydney Road (now Pascoe Vale Road), ran through the land. Between 1840 and 1855 Fawkner lived there, naming it Belle Vue of Grand View Park, near the Oak Park primary school. A stable in Oak Park Court is thought to date from Fawkner's occupation.

When the property was bought from Fawkner's widow in 1879 the new owner renamed it Oak Park. His two storey mansion has a single-storey dwelling beside, thought to have been built by Fawkner. They are at the corner of Marie and Josephine Streets.

When the railway line went through the area in 1872 no railway station was provided at Oak Park. When the line was electrified in 1921 the stations were confined to Pascoe Vale and Glenroy, and the Oak Park station was built in the mid 1950s after housing came to the area.

Being without a railway station, housing subdivisions did not occur until after the second world war. The 1950s and 1960s saw the area's quickest growth. The primary school was opened in 1954 and the high school in 1960. Seedling oaks were planted in the high school's grounds, taken from trees on the Oak Park property. By 1970 the area was nearly filled with housing, although the Oak park mansion had a 600 bird poultry shed in its grounds when it was sold that year.

There is a shopping centre near the railway station and two reserves with ovals at the Moonee Ponds Creek. In 1997 the Oak Park High School was closed, ending its role in a four-campus secondary college which had served the Glenroy area.

The median house price in Oak Park between 1987 and 1996 was about 95% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne.


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